Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's On Your Mind Today? UFO's, Atlantis, Robots, Food Riots?

Being part of the Worldwide Church of God or one of it's 700 splinter cults we were/are surrounded by every imaginable conspiracy theory there was.  Pasadena was filled with those who saw the Illuminati behind everything, the new world order, new money systems, Zionist Jews, Bilderbergers, and on and on the list can go.  When you free your mind from this silliness you see a world  filled with wonder about you.  However, those still entrenched in Armstrongite thought still think about these things.

On one of  the ultra far right HWA loving Yahoo sites these are the topics of discussion.  I must add that in hardly any of the 26,000 some entries do you find people discussing Jesus and his radical message.

This is just a sampling of the topics these people feel are important to their spiritual lives:

Germany's new generation of female political leaders

Germany is beginning to proclaim herself as a leader in Europe

Intermarriage in the US is destroying our bloodline

UFO flies over Temple Mount

First Gad, now Dan, build tunnel to Assyria - for future captives?

Google finds Atlantis!

A mysterious, pale green figure seen in televised news coverage of the Egyptian riots has prompted some viewers to ask, "Could this be the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse?"

Robot's are attacking us.

For what it's worth, my thoughts are that the Laodicean era started when Mr.
Armstrong died. Both Philadelphia and Laodicea continue today. Those of us in
Philadelphia are striving to"...hold that fast which thou hast..." Rev. 3:11.
The Laodicean attitude is the predominate one now.

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica is only legit encyclopedia

Hidden underground cities for 2012 survivors

Hidden underground military bases

The Georgia guide stones

Sociologists claim 225 of Russians are Israelites

There will be another Hitler someday

Super moon on March 19 will cause huge earthquakes and other extreme weather

Massive food riots this spring

Upcoming civil war in the USA that will cause the country to break apart.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Al Portune's Story

Someone sent me a great link to Al Portune's story of his life.  It is fascinating reading and brings back many memories of life in Pasadena.  Names and places that have meaning to so many people. 

Al's story begins with meeting his wife, heading off to War serving in the Coast Guard and then finding Ambassador College.  He tells about his rise up in the organization with HWA and GTA's encouragement.  Then he tells about his time as manager of the finance department.  Being exposed to the use of money and having to sign the checks started opening his eyes.  Confrontations with HWA over his begging for money started to seal his fate.

He tells of his leaving the the employ of the church and has quest for expanding his knowledge.  Too few in Armstrongism have ever dared to question religion, life, where we come from, etc.  Far too many prefer to have someone else tell them the answers.  It alleviates any responsibility for accountability on their part.

Al has obviously advance far beyond COG thought into something far more meaningful to him.

Astounding as it may be, on honest investigation, the basis of religion has little changed from the religion of primitive man. It is still belief in gods who control everything, even life and eternal life itself. Most of mankind still feels it cannot be safe and have any kind of secure present or future without serving, worshipping, placating one or more of those gods. Religion has become more sophisticated as MAN “tweaked” it, added to it, embellished it and tailored it to the benefit of power centers, profitable institutions and self aggrandizement. However, sacrifice of one kind or another is still a requisite, predominantly sacrifice of money for those who have found that religion is a lucrative business. Promoting their religion as the “salvation for man” requires money and is perhaps the most prominent sacrifice to enable the “preaching of the gospel or “good news” to the world . One could list thousands of sacrifices and offerings threaded through manifold religions, but it is still that same primitive motivation – that sacrifice, offerings, sacraments and worship bring existential advantage.

The grandeur of religion’s leaders, their robes, their churches and cathedrals, the pomp and “sanctity” displayed, the rituals so “elegantly” displayed and on an on create the illusion of a sanctity and relationship to “god” that even those in those exalted positions are looked to as actual vicars or representatives of god himself. The desire to be recognized and acclaimed as the leader or founder of a church or religious movement is great. It even was thousands and thousands of years ago in the preeminence of being “the Medicine Man.” But it all goes back to the first primitive placation of existential apprehensions and those who devised methods of placation.

For me it has come down to an elementary acceptance of what this earth and its long, long history has brought forth naturally and spontaneously based on the “forces” at work upon it going back to a “beginning” beyond the comprehension of mankind. What those forces or “a force” has brought forth on this earth has followed a pattern. Not a religiously defined pattern but a natural pattern, verified by the “natural evidence” that has progressed from the very first elements of life down to the present highest form of life extant on earth – man. Religion ignores or seeks to refute that natural process and replace it with various creation stories that establish a power basis that is nowhere evident in the natural evidence on this earth. Creation by fiat establishes a god concept and therefore a power that controls all things and must therefore be served, placated, obeyed and worshipped according to a methodology devised by “religion” that was created by man.  

Check out his story here:  Religion and WCG  or the Index here: Index of Memoirs

Upcoming War With Arab Extremists (According to Malm)

Move over Six-Pack!  Move over Weinerdude!  Move over Spanky! There is a new 'voice crying out in the wilderness!'  

God's greatest gift to the COG's has declared that there were will be an upcoming war with Islamic fundamentalist nations which will result in the total defeat of Muslim fundamentalism and a peace accord.  Of course soon after this there will be World War III and the tribulation.  Petra here we come!  Oh wait, we won't be invited - only Malm and his true believers will make it to the place of safety.

Malm seems to see himself as one of the only voice out there proclaiming the truth of God.  He has not yet declared himself Elijah or one of the Two Witnesses, but he is just a hairs breath away from doing it.  Only HE is the lone voice proclaiming these things:

TheShiningLight is the only site declaring this truth!  V I C T O R Y IS SURE!

No matter how severe the situation seems: This is NOT the tribulation and this war will NOT be lost.  The Anglo/Judeo/Americans will defeat Islamic Extremism and reach a peace agreement.  When that peace is declared as the abomination goes to the Holy Place: Then the tribulation will begin with the occupation of Judea and the defeat of the Anglo Americans by the New Europe.  1 Thess 5 and Mat 24:15-21.

Egypt is coming out of this Revolution a stronger than ever American ally; the United States has managed to overthrow the Ghaddafi regime in Libya and gain another ally in the region. Islamic Estremism is euduring defeat after defeat while a new broad Middle East war is brewing to destroy Pan Arabism and Shia Mahdi Fundamentalism.

When Israel destroys Hamas and Hezbollah and the US bombards the Revolutionary Guard in Iran, facilitating a regime change in that country, the stage will be set for a genuine dialogue for peace in the region.
 This war will most likely begin on Israel’s borders, with the United States entering against Iran.
The Israeli goals will be met with the US exercising its veto power to prevent the Security Council from stopping the violence before the Israeli goals are met.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards will be largely destroyed by American bombing; allowing an internal revolution of the Green Path party to take over in that nation.  This will be subsidized and encouraged by the National Endowment for Democracy.

Ultimately, Israel will reach a Peace Agreement with her neighbors. The Scriptures tell us that when the condition of Peace and Safety has been achieved and is officially announced; sudden destruction will fall from an unexpected source, Dan 8:23-25 and 1 Thes 5:3.

This coming war will be intense and bloody: Islamic Extremism WILL BE DEFEATED!  At that time; with our people at their peak:  Sudden Destruction will fall upon us, for the multitude of our evils.

And how does the prophet discern these miraculous events? God created the computer and online concordances just for his use!

In this latter day we have been provided with a great tool in the computer and the Bible with concordance on computer.  I suggest that you make use of the Blue Letter Bible site, which is Strong’s Concordance.  I also suggest that you copy the scriptures in your study including all the synonym scriptures and then paste them all onto a single page.  That way you can see all the scriptures on a point TOGETHER  which is a big help for me.

He is also making repeated exhortations that proper Bible Study can only be done by using a study of 'synonyms'.  Who would a thunk it!!!!!!!!!!

This second key is that we must put every scriptural reference  on a particular point together to understand the whole subject.   When doing so remember the synonyms!  God’s Word covers the same point in many places and in many ways with many synonyms; that is a protection against translational error.

Before studying any subject ALWAYS pray to our loving Father and ASK him to provide his spirit of  understanding [this is another vital key], then sit down and write out all the possible synonyms on the subject; then as you study write down any more synonyms that come to mind.  Look each up and study them.

I also suggest that you copy the scriptures in your study including all the synonym scriptures and then paste them all onto a single page. 

If Malm was a real Christian he would know that Christians don't have to sit on their butts reading COG materials worrying about the end times. All they seem to do is worry about saving their rear ends! It's all about "qualifying."  Have you not been eating out on Saturdays, have you never knowingly let a little pork by-product entered your body, have you thrown out all the leavening - including those brewers yeast tablets, swimming pool baking soda, cream of tarter toothpaste and other tainted satanic tools of deception.  Grace filled believers know that all of this malarkey is a waste of time.

It is interesting that the lectionary scripture readings for the last several weeks has been about a 'new light' coming into the world.  A new way of doing things, believing and thinking.  Yet when you read Malm's blog all you see is 'glowering darkness'. War death, destruction, satanic influences, conspiracies, tribulation and trials.  The only hope is to follow myriads of rules, regulations, laws and  silly interpretations in order to save you sorry ass.  It's no wonder Armstrongism is fading into uselessness and irrelevance.  There is no hope in Armstrongism!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Truth Shall Make You Free: Chapter 13 Excerpts: The Raid

Chapter 13  The Raid

(pg 181) By January 3, 1979, I was getting very edgy. It had been a day since Earl had told me that he was on stand by in order to be available.  Bert Mann was anxiously awaiting for word so that he could be on the scene for a good story.  I could wait no longer, and as soon as I thought it was late enough in California for Earl to be out of bed, I phoned him.

He said, “I think this is the day.  Chodos told me to stick around the house and not to be out of touch.  He doesn’t want me to leave the house, as he said he would call me as soon as they are ready and I have to be able to run down there immediately to show the officers where to go.  This is really going to be something.  They’re going to come in with court officers to seize all records at the college and Church offices, as well as Rader’s offices downtown at Century City.  They’re also going to grab the Worldwide Advertising records that are kept there.  I better get off the phone now, so that the line is clear.”

After a couple of hours I could no longer stand the suspense.  I hadn’t heard from Earl and I wondered what was going on.  Was there another day of delay?  Or had he neglected to call me?

Again I phoned, Shirley answered. She said, “Earl just went down to the College campus.  The Attorney General’s office just raided the place and they didn’t even tell Earl ahead of time.  We got word after it was in progress.  They didn’t even tell Earl (pg 182) what time it was going to happen, or exactly when.  They wanted him to wait around the house here, so that he would be available but even he was not to know ahead of time when it was going to happen.  They didn’t want any leaks at all.  They wouldn’t even tell us, it turns out.  I don’t know what’s going on down there now, but I understand that it’s really kind of wild.  There are police cars and police officers all over the place.  Bert Mann already knows about it.  He’s on his way.”

Wayne Cole was having breakfast with Ray Wright.  While at breakfast, a waitress came to their table and said there was a phone call for Cole.  It was Cole’s wife asking him to return home as quickly as possible to return a call from Herbert Armstrong.  Cole rushed home and, upon walking through the door, his wife told him that she had just received a call from his secretary Pam Brubaker.  She relayed the message that Virginia Kineston, Rader’s secretary had called the office and said, “Lock the doors; there are police officers in here serving notices.  Don’t let anyone in”  Pam had told Cole’s wife that there were police officers up and down the halls and no one knew what was happening.  As anxious as Cole was to find out the details, he felt it would be best to call Herbert Armstrong first.

It was about 9:30 A.M. and Cole returned Armstrong’s call.  Armstrong was unaware of the happenings at the Church headquarters, and wanted to discuss the Rader situation.  He said that he had his letter hand-delivered to Rader in Pasadena and that Rader had gone into an absolute rage and threatened to sue Armstrong and the Church.  Armstrong said that he had finally calmed Rader down and said further to Cole, “I’ve never seen a man filled with so much self in a certain way for his own honor and integrity.  He just flies into desperate rage, loses his head completely if any says anything against his honesty and honor.”  Rader, finally calming down, began to agree that it might be better to go along with Armstrong’s wishes, but to do it in a way that wouldn’t reflect badly on (pg 183) him.  If Armstrong felt that Rader went into a rage from time to time when his honesty was attacked, then what he had seen was nothing compared to the reaction Rader would soon have against the lawsuit.

During this conversation, Cole told Armstrong that he received word that something was wrong and that something very strange was going on at the office. He relayed the message to Armstrong regarding lawyers and officers and police serving notices throughout the offices and said that he had no further details as to what was going on.   Armstrong, who had been spending so much time of late hatching a plan by which he could remove Rader from a position of prominence, said, “Oh, I’d better call Stan about that right away.” 

…The phone call ended and Cole immediately called his office.  He was unable to determine much further, other than the fact that law (pg 184) officers and lawyers were swarming all over the offices.  There was still a great deal of confusion as to the purpose of the so-called raid.

The imposition of the receivership and the serving of the complaints on the various defendants was well planned, and in spite of all the rumors regarding lawsuits, was a total surprise.  It was a perfectly kept secret.

The peaceful college campus and Church headquarters complex, Herbert Armstrong’s idea of a miniature model of the Kingdom of God, was total bedlam.Like a well planned military invasion, the court-appointed receiver, Judge Steven Weisman, Deputy Attorney General Tapper, Hillel Chodos, his brother Rafael, members of the Attorney General’s office, state law enforcement officers, and Pasadena police officer’s had moved in on the Worldwide Church of God headquarters.

At the same time in a smaller way the same thing was taking place over at the offices of Rader’s various firms in Century City.  As court officers began seeking out Stanley Rader and other defendants, it became quite obvious who was in charge of the Church.  As all this took place while Rader was enjoying a game of tennis on the College tennis courts, his secretary, Virginia Kineston, was the one who began giving orders.  She immediately instructed all employees to lock their offices and not permit law officers to enter. It was Mrs. Kineston who was not even member of the Church, since she had been disfellowshipped some time back, who was the one who was instructing Church employees to resist the law.  The fact that people complied with her orders leaves no doubt as to the fact that they considered her to have been speaking directly for Stanley Rader. Their compliance would make it quite plain as to who the employees considered to be the one in charge of the Church.  Offices and vaults were sealed off by the officers and they immediately began seizing and removing documents from Church headquarters.

At the same time several drawers of Church documents were removed from the Century City offices, under the custody of the Attorney General’s office.  Church employees, instead of cooperating with the law officers in accordance with the court order, hid away in their offices like a bunch of frightened rats.  Curtains were drawn, and from time to time employees could be seen peeking from behind the curtains.

That afternoon, the Pasadena Star News carried a headline: (pg 185) “AMBASSADOR RAIDED< POLICE CORDON OFF COLLEGE OFFICES.” Only the sketchiest information was reported by the Star News, as the reporters were unable to get details regarding this unusual action against Church officers.

While it was to be reported many times later that the action was against the Church, that in fact was not t the case.  The action was against Church officers, with the Church being named a defendant merely as a legal means by which the courts could obtain possession of Church documents for their protection.

The day before, on January 2nd, proceedings had been conducted in the chambers of Judge Jerry Pacht of the Superior Court of the State of California.  Appearing before Judge Pacht were Lawrence R. Tapper, Hillel Chodos, Rafael Chodos, and their associate Hugh John Gibbson.  Also appearing was Judge Steven S. Weisman, who was later to appointed receiver.  Judge Pacht had previously read the complaint which named as defendants the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, Wilshire Travel Incorporated, Worldwide Advertising Incorporated, Gateway Publishing Incorporated, Environmental Plastics Incorporated, Herbert W. Armstrong, Stanley R Rader, Osamu Gotoh, Robert Kuhn,  Raymond L. Wright, Henry Cornwall, Ralph Helge, the Accounting Firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler and Does one to one hundred.

The complaint alleged….., “Funds and property contributed to the Church were freely being transferred among Church and the other corporate defendants” and, due to the lack of knowledge as to the precise relationship of the various defendants with the Church, the right to amend the complaint at a future date was requested.  Armstrong and Rader were said to have refused to make any accounting to the membership regarding funds received, expended or held by (pg 186) the Church.  The complaint further alleged: “The named individual defendants, acting in concert with and under the direction of the defendants Armstrong and Rader have been and are siphoning off the property and assets of the Church and appropriating them to their own personal use and benefit on a massive scale amounting to several million dollars per year.”

According to the complaint, the church, being incorporated under a law which requires election of directors by member, failed and refused members to vote as required.  The allegation went on to state: “that none of the directors of the aforesaid corporations actually votes on any matters affecting Church governance; but merely acquiesces in decisions and instructions made by the defendants Armstrong and Rader.”

Armstrong has a much as admitted to this charge in view of his statements to Wayne Cole regarding the fact that the Board was just a dummy board.

The allegations for financial improprieties were quite strong.  According to the complaint, the Church had been spending at least a million dollars per year over and above its annual receipts.  As a result, the organization had been forced to liquidate holdings in order to defray current expenditures.  In regard to this it was stated in the complaint: “All the excess of expenditures over receipts is attributed to the individual defendants pilfering of the revenues of the Church and their appropriation of its assets for their own personal use and benefit, which pilfering and appropriation continues to this very day on a massive scale.”  It was alleged that real estate was being sold well below market value and that the sixteen-hundred acre Big Sandy, Texas campus was reputed to be worth approximately $30 million, but in the process of being sold for $10 million. The complaint stated: “All these statements and activities are part of their effort to convert assets of the Church into a form in which they may be more easily appropriated to the personal use and benefit of the individual defendants.”

As a result of their investigation, the Attorney General’s office had reason to believe that documents were being tampered with and alleged” “That the individual named defendants, in an effort to frustrate discovery of their wrongdoing and to obscure the facts, have caused and are causing the written records of their dealings to be removed from the Pasadena offices of the defendant corporations, and to be shredded an destroyed; and that if said removal (pg 187) and destruction are allowed to continue, it may never be possible to develop a true and complete accounting of the Church finances during the time period complained of.”

In order to correct situations, as alleged in the complaint, the plaintiff, which for purposes of the suit the people of the State of California, represented by the Attorney General’s office, and the relators asked from the courts:

1.       “For an order requiring defendants to make a full and complete accounting to this Court and to the members of the Church of the affairs of the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, Excelsior Leasing Incorporated, Midatlantic  Leasing Incorporated, Gateway Publishing Incorporated, Worldwide Advertising Incorporated, and the Accounting Firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler from at least January 1, 1975 or such earlier date as may be appropriate through the date of said accounting.
2.       “For an order requiting an immediate election of new directors of Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, and requiring all the said directors to be elected by the members of the Church according to the procedures prescribed by law.
3.       “For an order appointing a temporary receiver ex parte,(without notice to the defendants) and a receiver pendente lite (meaning pending or during suit or while litigation is in progress) to take possession, until further order of this court, of all property of the defendant corporations aforesaid and of their books and records, and empowering him to take such actions as he deems, in the reasonable exercise of his discretion, appropriate to recover property and assets wrongfully taken from the Church, and to prevent the further dissipation of Church property and assets, said power to include without limitation the power to bring lawsuits in the name of the Church and any of its affiliated organizations, and to  retain independent accountings, lawyers, and other professional assistants to assist him in the prosecution of such lawsuits.
4.       “For an injunction restraining the named individual defendants, their agents, employees, and all persons acting in concert with them, from interfering in any way with the action of said receiver, and requiring them furthermore to yield up to said receiver all the books, records, and administration facilities of said corporate documents. (pg 188)
5.       “For an injunction restraining the named individual defendants, their agents, employees, and all person acting in concert with them, from selling or mortgaging or asserting ownership in any other way, over the property or assets of any of the corporate defendants, except as a court appointed receiver may allow.
6.       “For a cost of suit herein.
7.       “For such other and different or further relief as to this Court may seem just and proper.”

While this entire action was later to be characterized by Armstrong and Rader as an attack on religion by the state, it was quite clear by the language of he complaint that the action in fact was on behalf of the Church. It can clearly seen that the entire purpose was to bring the Church functions into compliance with the laws under which it was organized, recover any monies which may have been wrongly taken from the Church, and prevent dissipation of Church assets for personal gain or any other reason through a proper accounting to determine the true financial condition of the Church.

In proceedings before Judge Pacht, Chodos said that he did not want to make a public filing on the compliant before appearing in chambers with the Judge. In seeking an ex parte receivership, the plaintiff’s attorneys were seeking a most strong and unusual court order in any case and in the case of religious organizations, the potentially explosive nature of the entire matter was most apparent.  Yet any advance notice to Armstrong and Rader would be such a hindrance to the effective progress of the suit that there would be no choice but to seek an ex parte receivership.

Judge Pacht said, “What I have read, obviously, are copies of documents which counsel furnished to me.  I am concerned about the scope of the relief sought. I am concerned about the ex parte nature of the proceedings, and the rather majestic order which would flow from these proceedings without a hearing. I am not unmindful there are charges that dissipation of the properties may occur, and I am also not unmindful of the one cruncher, if you will, which is the proposed sale of the Big Sandy property on January 4th, or the proposed completion.”

Chodos took the position before the Judge that while an ex parte receivership was an emergency measure to be used with great caution, that in this case the unusual principles were not applicable in (pg 189) view of the fact that all the Church corporations were organized under California law for charitable, religious and education purposes.’

Describing the law that is applicable to corporations of that type, Chodos said, “That their property always and ultimately rests in the courts custody, and they are always and ultimately subject to the supervision of the court on the application of the Attorney General. In effect, there are no private interests.  The court is not taking anything away from somebody or interfering with anyone’s private rights. In effect, what we are saying is that there are presently trustees who have been allowed to manage the charitable fund on a day to day basis.  There is reason to believe, as we have shown you, that they have not done their job in a faithful manner.  We believe that essentially those trustees serve at the court’s pleasure, and may be replaced with a more trustworthy trustee.”

Judge Pacht said that he had no quarrel with that point, and further discussion ensued regarding the problem of dealing with the Big Sandy property which is outside the state of California.  Chodos suggested that Judge Weisman be appointed trustee of all Church funds and then allow him to be confronted with the claims regarding any problems with the Texas property.  It was obviously realized that if the sale of the Big Sandy campus was consummated, before any legal action was commenced in California, that it may even be necessary to sue in Texas for a reversal of the transaction.

In discussing the ex parte receivership, Chodos pointed out that the situation was quite different than one dealing with a private property matter.  He pointed out that imposing such a receivership on private property, a court was put in a position of attempting to interfere with someone’s rights.  But in this case there would be no interference as the court was in effect the overseer of a charitable trust.  Chodos said, “In this case, however, there are no private transactions. In other words, if you appoint an ex parte receiver, all that is going to happen is that he is going to take custody of the records and preserve them; take custody of the money and preserve it; take custody of the causes of the action and preserve that.”

Judge Pacht then indicated that he felt still that some interest could be hurt and he was mindful of that.  The turning to Judge Weisman, Judge Pacht said: “It ahs been urged that this bowl of (190) spiders be put in your custody.  Before I get involved in orders or making orders or granting relief, are you willing to become involved in it?”
“Yes, I am” said Weisman.
                “As a receiver?” asked Judge Pacht.
                “Yes, I am,” Judge Weisman said.

Little did Judge Pacht realize that calling the entire situation a bowl of spiders was to be such an apt description of what others through was God’s Church?  And Judge Weisman, anticipating a more routine receivership, despite the fact he was retired in his sixties and suffering from the crippling effect of polio, was prepared to proceed.

Judge Pacht indicated that he was somewhat queasy about putting a receiver in charge of all the corporations, and felt that it would be more appropriate to place a receivership only over the charitable corporations and not over private business entities also named in the complaint.

After discussion regarding administrative details of the receivership, the posting of a receiver bond and other legalities, Judge Pacht said that he would issue the order to be served by January 4th at 5 P.M.  When he called the entire affair a bowl of spiders, he may not have foreseen completely what kind of a web he was dealing with.  He must have had some foresight, however.

After signing the order, he said, “Someone is going to have a career as a judicial officer in this.”  In closing the proceedings, Judge Pacht said to Chodos that he had better get the complaint filed. Chodos responded, Yes, if your honor, please, if we can be excused, I’ll go out to your table outside and prepare our papers, get the bond and make all those arrangements.”  The final words of Judge Pacht at the closing of the proceedings were: “I will be here, I am sorry to say.”

One must wonder if Judge Pacht at that point was wishing that he had taken a good winter vacation.  If he hadn’t thought of it then, the coming events were sure to make him wish he had.  The rest of the day was spent in carefully planning and arranging the service of the complaint and imposition of the receivership the following morning.

While Rader was planning next morning’s tennis game, he and others were comfortably secure in the knowledge that all of the rumors they had been hearing were false, and that no one could (pg 191) ever bring suit against them.  After all, they had allegedly bought people off in the past on minor matters with out-of-court settlements, and the rumors indicated an action of some sort that was so massive that it was beyond the realm of possibility.  Rader was, at that time, quite pleased that he was maneuvering to calm the concern of the ministry and Church members regarding his prominence, yet remain in total control.  And, of course, no matter what Rader’s apparent title or position, as long as he was there he would still be in full control of Herbert Armstrong.

The bowl of spiders was all his and he wove the web any way he pleased.

And now, back to the raid.

For the next couple of hours, the scene at Church headquarters could best be described as total confusion.  Employees had no idea what was going on.  They just did as they were told by their superiors, which meant that, either directly or indirectly, they were following orders of Virginia Kineston.  There was a total lack of cooperation with the authorities.  Once the order to resist had come down from Virginia Kineston and Rader’s aide, Ellis LaRavia, it didn’t take much for the blindly faithful to be convinced that this  was a fulfillment of end-time prophecy. In their minds, God’s Church was under attack.  The persecution had begun.  Could this be the time to flee to safety, they wondered?  The presence of armed guards on duty at all building entrances and strategic points throughout the headquarters complex had many totally convinced that this was the beginning of the great tribulation.

While the officials of the court were busy attempting to do their job, I had a phone conversation with Robert Kuhn and told him, if it was at all possible, to get Wayne Cole and others of the leading ministers on some sort of conference call that I would be able to explain what was happening.

I said, “If I could only talk to these men, I am sure that I could show them that the real purpose here is to save the Church and not to destroy it, which is what I am sure we’ll be accused of doing.  I know of no way to reach Herbert Armstrong directly other than perhaps through the leading ministers.  Maybe after our discussion they may be able to get to Mr. Armstrong with the facts on this situation and hopefully the whole thing could be cut short.”

I was then faced with the unhappy task of telling Kuhn that he and Ray Wright had been named defendants in the case.  Kuhn was (pg 192) terribly shaken by the news and felt he had been betrayed.  I told him that as far as I knew I had the same information as he regarding the list of defendants.  That information was that Armsrong and Rader and Does one to one hundred were to be named.  The decision to name him and Wight was made between Chodos and the Attorney General’s office and neither I, nor the other relators, nor the firm of Cohn and Lifland knew anything about it until after the fact.  Whatever reason for the last-minute change we didn’t know, but there was nothing we could do about it.  I tried to assure him that if he had no guilt there was nothing to worry about.  I suggested that he continue to cooperate fully and have his attorney relate his desire to do so.

Kuhn said, “I don’t care about his for myself, I’ve been called all kinds of things by people, especially by Rader, but this is going to cause a lot of problems for my family. It will be terribly embarrassing to my father and also to my wife. My wife’s not a member of the Church, you know, and she’s very prominent here socially in Pasadena, and I don’t know what kind of problems or embarrassment this is going to cause my father with his business associations back in New York. They’ve never been happy with the fact that I’m in the Church, and my father would much rather that I give the whole thing up and come with him in his business.  This is terrible, terrible.  See what you can do to get my name removed.”  There was nothing I could do to get his name removed, as I was just a relator in the case.

Kuhn’s concern for his family was due to the fact that he was the only one in his family who was a member of the Worldwide Church of God. His wife was a concert pianist in the Los Angeles area, and very active in the temple where she held membership.  And his father was a well known textile manufacturer in New York.  I was upset about this turn of events as well, but I realized that nothing could be done about it, and told Kuhn that all we could do now is press forward and do our best in trying to clean up the Church.  He called Cole, telling him of our phone conversation and my desire to speak with him. They then assembled a group at one of their homes.  Included in that group were evangelists David Antion, Art Mokarow, Steve Martin, Dr. Hermann Hoeh, and Ray Wright, who was the only non-minister present other than Kuhn.

While Kuhn was arranging for the conference call, I was anxiously awaiting.  I had made notes of the points I had wanted to make (pg 193) and it seemed like such an unlikely thing was about to take place. The conference call was with the leading ministers of the Church, and I was to tell the director of the ministry why I thought he should do about the events taking place at Church headquarters.  I wondered what kind of an awesome responsibility I had taken upon myself. I was not awe-stricken by the fact that I would be in contact with these various men, but rather by the fact that it had finally happened. The lawsuit was a reality. I couldn’t help but be bothered by doubts as to whether or not we had done the right thing.  I knew that if we had done the wrong thing by initiating this legal action that we would have a terrible thing to answer for some day, standing before Jesus Christ as he asked us to account for our attempt to destroy His Church.

I replayed the events of the past several months in my mind.  All the prayers for guidance, for direction were again pondered over. No, this is not an attack on God’s Church.  This was the only way.  Thos who God had sued at one time had been misled by others to turn from their righteousnessy others to turn from their righteousness and were in fact the ones truly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Church. This had to be done. 

(pg 194) After about an hour I received a call from the conference operator and was hooked into a four-way conference call with Kuhn, Cole and Antion all at the other end of the line.  Kuhn then related to everyone on the line that he had established the conference call at my request in order that I may have the opportunity to make clear to the leading ministers of the Church the real reasons behind the lawsuit.  Both Cole and Antion said that it was a tragic series of events that were taking place.

Cole then said, “We were afraid that something like this would happen sooner or later. You may think we’ve been doing nothing here but there are many others who have been trying to work from within for a long period of time to correct the problems in the Church. I just want you to know that we’re willing to listen to what you have to say sow we will know exactly what this is all about.”

I outlined the entire reason for the suit and emphasized the fact that this is an attempt to save the Church and that the receiver was being placed in charge in order to protect the assets of the Church. I told them that the Attorney General’s office has no right to interfere with the ecclesiastical affairs of the Church and that the receiver has no interest in those areas.  I made it quite plain that this action had been in the planning for quite sometime and that it would be pursed aggressively to a conclusion.’

After explaining the entire background and purpose of the lawsuit, I said, “Our interest here as relators is obviously one more broad than that of the Attorney General’s office.  We want to clean up the financial improprieties and also see the Church relieved of the autocratic, dictatorial rule that has been imposed, plunging the Church into a state of complete fear. The Attorney General has determined from his investigation that here are adequate grounds to proceed with this lawsuit, and their interest is to see those responsible for wrongdoing are removed and cause to make full (pg 195) restitution to the Church. I just hope this doesn’t have to go very long. If only there was some way that you can get to Mr. Armstrong and tell him the rue facts about all that is taking place. Perhaps he will act quickly, remove Rader, and cooperate with this investigation.”

In discussing Rader’s part in this entire situation, I said, “actually with all the concern surrounding Rader, I don’t know what he may or may not be guilty of, when you get right down to it, he is not the true cause of what is taking place today.  The problem is actually Armstrong himself and the autocracy that he has created allowing such an individual as Rader to be the effective head of the Church.  I don’t believe that Armstrong is really capable of handling this man and he has not provided any organizational depth as means of safely against what appears to be a total takeover.”

At this time I had no knowledge of the phone calls that had been taking place between Armstrong and Cole regarding Rader, nor did I know of Armstrong’s encounters with Rader.  Cole told me that he was pleased that those of us who had initiated the lawsuit appeared to have proper motives and he was so sorry that things could not be handled in another way. He said he hoped that they could straighten everything out quickly in order to prevent the whole thing from becoming a national scandal that would disgrace the Church.  Cole and Antion both said that they felt that the only answer was to immediately go to Tucson and meet with Armstrong.

Cole then said, ‘Well, we’ve been talking about an hour and I think we have the whole picture now.  It seems quite clear what we have to do.  We’ll discuss this further immediately here and I will try to set up a meting with Mr. Armstrong right away.  Maybe we can even get down to Tucson to see him yet this evening.”

…Cole (pg 196) phoned Armstrong. He told him he felt it was very important that he come with a few men to Tucson to discuss the receivership. He reminded Armstrong that in the past Armstrong said that he would meet him anywhere on the Rader situation, and then said, “I think in view of the entire sensitive nature of this entire problem it will be best if we do not meet in your home. Would it be agreeable if we met privately at a room in a hotel in Tucson?

Armstrong responded, “Of course.”

Plans were made to meet Armsrong at a local hotel. Armstrong then said, “You can catch the GII, I’m going to get it out of the State immediately, so you can get on the GII.  I would like to talk to you about what is happening there.”

Arrangements were then made with Captain Ed Black, who piloted the Gulfstream II.  At about 5 P.M. Cole, Antion, Wright and Hoeh boarded the Church jet and were on their way to Tucson.  On arrival at the Tucson airport, Cole found a message waiting for him from Armstrong stating that he had changed his mind about meeting in a hotel, that he had a cold, was not feeling well and he would prefer to have the meeting at his home. He assured Cole that anything taking place would be totally private and would be kept confidential.

Cole and his party went directly to Armstrong’s home.  On arrival at the Armstrong home, the group was received cordially by Herbert Armstrong. They went into his family room for the meeting and presented him with the afternoon edition of the Pasadena Star News which carried the large bold headlines: AMBASSADOR RAIDED.
Armstrong then said, ‘Well, I’ve been talking to Stan a few times today about this, he tells me that he’ll have the whole thing quashed and totally settled in the morning. He said the whole thing will be completely reversed tomorrow morning.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, if this newspaper article means what it says, I don’t know, we’re not lawyers, but it doesn’t seem reasonable that the whole thing will be just stopped and thrown out the next day.  There must be good reason for this and it just doesn’t seem likely that it can be thrown out the next day.”

Armstrong responded: ‘Well, I’m willing to listen.”

It seems strange that only a few short hours earlier when Cole had been talking to Armstrong there was no mention of his having a cold and he finally agreed to meet the men privately away from his (pg 197) home.  Now, there suddenly appeared to be the problem of a cold, and he didn’t want to meet away from his home. One must wonder of the phone calls to Rader already were began to have an effect on Armstrong, causing him to ignore the seriousness of the lawsuit.  Armstrong did not want to believe that there was anything wrong. , that there was any improprieties which would give the Attorney General’s office justification for its action.  He apparently could even delude himself into believing that his own conduct and lavish standard of living were not improper.

Ray Wright, having been so closely involved with the financial matters of the Church, was a major factor in convincing Armstrong that things were in fact very wrong. He said, “Mr. Armstrong, there are improprieties. I don’t know if there is anything that is actually illegal, I’m not a lawyer, but there are things that are very much improper.  That much I know, I can assure you of that.  In light of that I feel it would be best to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office no matter what the results, no matter what the penalty. Let’s take whatever penalty we have coming, let’s just let them come in and look at the books, let’s have a clean and open organization.  Let’s take our slaps on the wrist for whatever we might have done in the past that was not too good.”

Armstrong then said, “Well. Ray, do you think there are some things that they might find that could lead to penalties for us?”

Ray repeated what he had stated earlier, “Well, Mr. Armstrong. I don’t know if they’ll find anything illegal, but they will find improprieties.”

Antion then firmly said, “Mr. Armstrong, just look at this newspaper. We’ve got to do something to keep this bad news from spreading all through the newspapers.  It’s the bad publicity that will kill us. We’ll lose the reputation that we have in the community for many years; all that we have worked for so many years can just be wiped out by this bad publicity.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, please do something about this.  The Work needs it. You’ve got to do something.”  Cole told Armstrong about his call with me earlier that day and outlined to him what I had said over the phone.

Armsrong was angered. He said, “Well, all these people are enemies, they’re up to no good.  Don’t believe a word they say. They’re not any good to us; they’re just out to destroy the Work, that’s all. They’re just out to destroy the Work!”

(pg 198) The meeting continued until about 10:30 that evening, but Armstrong just couldn’t seem to come to grips with the situation. He was fully convinced that this was a satanic attack on the Church and it seemed as though the entire meeting was stalemated.  It appeared as though he was going to end the meeting without any final decision regarding action on his part. He said, “It is getting kind of late, I’m tired, I have a cold, and I think we’ve met long enough on this now.”

The point was made strongly by all the men if they could only have some sort of news to take back to Pasadena, they could do a lot to offset the bad publicity.

Armstrong then said, “Well, it’s late but I’ll go ahead and write something up. I’ll appoint Wayne Cole as acting chief executive officer while the crisis exists. I realize this may wreck my relationship with Stan, but then again it really doesn’t have to because I just won’t mention Stan’s name anywhere.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, I don’t want to be prominent. I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m second person in charge.  In fact, if you’re going to put me in this position, I will take it only for the duration of the crisis.”

Armsrong went to his study, sat down at this special typewriter. Due to failing eyesight, Armstrong, as well as those who had to type messages to him, all had special typewriters having double-sized type.

At this point Cole was nervous and upset to the point of being physically ill, realizing the magnitude of Armstrong’s decision. He had not sought such prominence and now was finding himself thrust into the position of being temporarily in charge of the Church. He realized that this could bring conflicts between himself and Rader, such as he had not had in the past.  He said, “Gentleman, I’m not feeling too well, I’m nervous over this whole thing.  I’m going outside to get some fresh air.”

While Armstrong typed his press release, Cole took a lengthy walk around the neighborhood, as he tried to adjust to his new responsibilities.  He wondered what Rader’s reaction would be. He realized that while Armstrong had just only that very morning discussed with him the removal of Rader from certain positions, he was now concerned about a deteriorating relationship with Rader.  Cole now found himself in a most prominent position in the Church, next to that of Armstrong’s position as head of the Church.

(pg 199) While Cole was walking the streets of Armstrong’s neighborhood, Armstrong typed the following memo dated, January 3, 1979.

                Press Release
I have been shocked beyond measure to learn of the raid on our executive offices in Pasadena this morning, initiated from the State of California’s Attorney General’s office. I know little of the facts as yet. The Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College are both upstanding institutions and we are people of integrity.

If any improprieties have existed in either institution, I want them to be known, and I shall take every effort to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office. We are an institution of 46 years’ standing. We have many departments and branch offices around the world. We employee many hundreds. I have of necessity had to entrust responsibility to various officers under me. I am appointing Mr. C. Wayne Cole as Acting Chief Executive Officer under me till this crisis has passed.  Mr. Cole is Director of Pastoral administration over our ministry worldwide.

                                                                                                                Herbert W. Armstrong

After typing the press release, Armstrong discussed it with the three men who remained in his study, while Cole was still outside.  The Antion made several copies on Armstrong’s copier, and they prepared to leave.

Antion said, “Thank you, very much Mr. Armstrong. We’ll release this to the press in the morning and try to stop this bad publicity.”

As they prepared to leave, Cole retuned to the house from his walk.  Armstrong warmly thanked all four men for coming to visit him and for their desire to help straighten out the problem. HE warmly embraced each one and wished them a good trip back to Pasadena.  As they left, Armstrong’s wife Ramona appeared at the door and looking very disturbed and upset.  Antion noticed this and wondered why she appeared that way.  “Could it be” he wondered, “that she’s just concerned for his health and that perhaps we kept him up rather late?  After all, it is somewhat past eleven o’clock. Or could she be disturbed because we came to see him about these problems?”  Her cold, upset appearance was very disturbing to the (pg 200) men.  One could only wonder if she was truly concerned for her own husband’s well-being or if her loyalties were to someone else.  After all, these four men came to council Armstrong and to assist him in properly handling a serious problem.  Could it be that she saw in Armstrong’s decision to appoint Wayne Cole acting chief executive officer a serious threat to Rader’s position?

Cole and his group returned immediately to the airport where they then boarded a 1 A.M. commercial flight for the return trip to Pasadena.  While they were on their way back to California, my wife and I were soundly asleep at our home in New Jersey, unaware of the events that had just taken place.

At 3:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, January 4th, we were awakened by a phone call from Robert Kuhn. He told me that he had received a call from the Tucson airport and that one of the men with Cole told him what had taken place at Armstrong’s home.  Kuhn then read tome the press release.  How relieved I was!  It certainly appeared as though Herbert Armstrong was going to take hold of the situation and act properly to cooperate with the authorities and clean up the Church.

Kuhn said, “Don’t get to excited yet, John, We’re very encouraged by this, but Mr. Armstrong is very unpredictable.  As long as he stands by his decision and gives Wayne the proper backing, I’m sure that Wayne can handle it very well. We can only wait now and see what happens. I’ve been told that Wayne is actually physically ill, as he’s come to realize the magnitude of his new responsibility. He expects that one of the first things he’ll have to do is face up to Rader, and if Rader doesn’t cooperate properly Wayne will have to remove him.  That’s where the real test will be, when we find out if Mr. Armstrong backs up Wayne with the authority he’s given him.”

The following morning, I was speaking with Gordon Muir by phone bringing him up to date.

Regarding the news media coverage, Gordon said, “I’m just afraid that they will not understand the whole nature of this thing (pg 201) and will get everything distorted. Jack Martin is out there to be in the area coordinators meeting that had been scheduled for this week.  He told me that there’s a lot of confusion and it looks as though Rader’s going to fight.  Jack said that he’s afraid that Rader may turn this into a church vs. state battle.”

No matter which way the situation was to go at this point, one thing was for certain: A final wedge had been driven into the false façade of the Worldwide Church of God and the corrupt leaders would no longer have a place to hide.

Gordon Muir, Jeff Herrmann, and I met with Alan Maraynes one of Mike Wallace’s assistants, for lunch on January 4th.  Maraynes said that he was very busy and could give us only as much time as would be necessary for a very quick lunch.  As we laid out the entire story to Maraynes, his interest heightened.  He realized that this was a perfect story for them. The short luncheon meeting carried over into an all-afternoon meeting with Maraynes in Wallace’s office.  Wallace himself was in Los Angeles at the time, on his way to Thailand to do a story on the Mong tribesmen, who were being driven out of Vietnam by the communists. I recall being so impressed by Maraynes and his ability to instantly see through to the very hear t of the story.

After reviewing documents and listening to us, Maraynes said, “This is a perfect story of good guys and bad guys.  Now, what do we have here?  You’ve got to realize that we have about twelve minutes our of a twenty minute segment on the show during which we can actually tell our story. In reality, we’re kind of a magazine.  We have to tell people what the Church is, delve into the problems, expose what we want to expose and make our point.  You know, as I look at this, Garner Ted isn’t clean either. But here is what I see.  I see a situation where we have an organization where things appear to be wrong.  Finally, Garner Ted says, ‘I’ve had (pg 202) enough.  I’m not going to be part of this anymore.  Things have to change.’  Then there’s a final power play and Garner Ted loses. Stanley Rader then is the key figure in having him removed. The son is out and an outsider, so to speak, has taken his place with the father. Garner Ted then goes off to Texas, having learned his lessons, and decides to try to do things properly. In the meantime, a few concerned members become aware of that they perceive as wrongdoing and decide to do something about it, resulting in this receivership.  I think it is a good story; we need Garner Ted to complete the story. Do you think he will talk to Mike now?”

“Yes, I replied, “I believe he’s ready to give an interview now.  Why don’t we call him right now and get that point confirmed?”

There then ensued a flurry of phone calls between ourselves and Mike Wallace at his hotel room in California and with Garner ted at his office in Tyler, Texas   Garner Ted agreed to speak with Mike Wallace.  Wallace said that the receivership was a major news story in the Los Angeles area, and that he would immediately attempt to contact Stanley Rader.

On leaving the meeting with Maraynes, Gordon and I discussed now we hoped that the combination of publicity over the lawsuit and the 60 Minutes program would certainly put an end to Armstrong and Rader and the spiritual and financial bondage they had placed on so many people.  Herrmann said, “Don’t be so sure, I think you’ll be surprised when you see how people can have the facts staring them right in the face, yet continue with what they were doing out of self-justification for their involvement.”

That evening, Mike Wallace had dinner with Rader. Rader in all his vanity actually invited Mike Wallace to do a profile on him and his activities in the Worldwide Church of God. Here was Mike Wallace hoping to find a way to film and interview Rader, and Rader actually thought that his exposure on 60 Minutes would enhance his position, and he extended full cooperation to the 60 Minutes crew.

I recall so well one minister’s comment on the situation when I told him what transpired with Mike Wallace and Rader. He said: “Stan is like Satan himself, absolutely dazzled by the brightness of his own vanity.”

Over the next couple of weeks, the 60 Minutes filming crew had the full run of the Church properties and had Rader’s full cooperation.  Announcements were made that, finally, the responsible (pg 203) media were going to show the Church in its true light. That was exactly the intent, to show the Church in its true light.  The true light of the Church at this time, however, was not the light of Jesus Christ but rather the brightness of Satan’s vanity.

On January 4th, while we had been having our meeting in New York with Al Maraynes, the receivership was running into severe difficulty in Pasadena.  There was resistance on the part of the Church officials and Judge Weisman was unable to properly implement the receivership. While Wayne Cole was in the process of contacting Judge Weisman to advise him of Herbert Armstrong’s desire to cooperate, Rader was in the process of filing a petition with the court claiming that the receivership was unconstitutional.  Cole phoned Judge Weisman and advised him that he had been appointed as acting chief executive officer by Herbert Armstrong. Weisman said, “This is the first ray of sunshine I have seen since this whole thing started.  Finally, I’m speaking to someone who actually appears to want to cooperate.”

Along with Herbert Armstrong’s news release, Cole issued a memo to all employees of the Church. He stated, “We are to be the light of the world.  Our light is to shine forth to the world.  As God’s people we must never do anything we have to be ashamed of.  We need not hide out, act clandestinely or furtively or sneak around peering out from behind closed doors.

“Let us place our faith in God and seek to please him spiritually. We rely on Him to bless and protect us because of our spiritual and moral righteousness and our dedication to doing His work of preaching the Gospel.  “let us remember our calling, to be about that Work fervently NOW!”

Cole issued a press release, stating, “I have already implemented Mr. Armstrong’s request that all employees of the above corporations (referring to the Church, the College and the Cultural Foundation) be instructed to cooperate fully in all respects with the Attorney General’s office of he State of California.”

He went on to state, “God’s Word states that we are to be subject to the powers that be.  The governmental officials are for our good – ‘the minister of good to you for good’ – and if anything has been improper in the Work we want it corrected and will submit to the powers not only because they have authority but also because of ‘conscience sake’ toward our God which is our guide in living.

(pg  204) “For rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil. Further, ‘Do that which is good and thou shall have praise of the same, for he is the minister of God to thee for God.  But if thou do that which is evil, he beareth not the sword in vain, for he doeth evil.  Wherefore we must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.’ (Romans 13:3-5)

“God’s Word reminds us that He is the ordainer of the powers that exist.  (Romans 13:1) Christians are not to resist them in the carrying out of civil responsibilities.”

It was quite clear that what Wayne Cole in his position was determined to comply with God’s instructions to His people as written in the Book of Romans.  He made it clear to everyone that there should be full cooperation with the authorities in order that should there be any wrong doing uncovered that it may be dealt with and corrected.  Cole knew that only then could the Church go on and fulfill its calling.  This was clearly stated in the closing paragraph of his release.

“My responsibility as Director of Pastoral Administration focuses on the spiritual growth and sustenance of the ministry and membership of the Worldwide Church of God.  And this is precisely where the Church must direct the full thrust of its efforts – preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ – thereby fulfilling the Commission given to the Church of Jesus Christ.”

At the same time that Cole was making his statements to the press, Rader made the following statement to the press: “The Church will not permit any activities of a government agency that violates our constitutional rights or duties to our brethren.”

It was quite apparent that Rader was not about to accept the fact that Herbert Armstrong appointed Wayne Cole as the man in charge.  While Cole was trying to stabilize the situation and set a proper Christian example before the world, Rader was mustering his forces for a massive resistance against the authorities.

At a meeting on January 4th for all the Church employees, Judge Weisman explained Herbert Armstrong’s appointment of Wayne Cole.  He then said, “This is not an adversary proceeding. I’m for you; I’m here to protect the assets of the Church. I’m here to assure that the money you send in for the Church, goes to the purpose for which you sent it.” Weismann then explained how he had been appointed by the State as the one in authority over all secular matters (pg 205) of the Church, with the authority to hire and fire. He went on to explain further that he had no authority over the ecclesiastical matters of the Church and could not and would not interfere in any way in those areas.

Dr. Herman Hoeh, realizing that Armstrong then was not any longer in charge over the secular affairs of the Church, thought it best to get the matter of Cole’s appointment clarified in a legal sense.  He asked at the meeting:”Does Mr. Armsrong have the authority to appoint Wayne Cole to the position of acting chief executive officer, since you have the authority to hire and fire.”

Weisman answered, ‘Whether or not Mr. Armstrong would have had the authority, I would have chosen Wayne Cole as well.  So on that Mr. Armstrong and I are in agreement.”

From that simple clarification of the appointment of Wayne Cole emerged a series of distorted rumors which finally escalated to the rumor that Wayne Cole had maneuvered Mr. Armstrong out of his position as head of the Church and that the receiver was supporting this maneuver.  Rumors then quickly began to circulate that Armstrong had changed his mid about Cole’s appointment and that he was going to fire him. On hearing these rumors later in the day, Cole immediately phoned Armstrong.

Armstrong was very upset that Cole had suspended Ellis LaRavia, thinking that Cole had fired him.  Cole explained that he had not fired LaRavia, but had suspended him, as LaRavia had been actively leading a resistance movement against the receiver.  LaRavia was a minister who was exhibiting very strong loyalties towards Stanley Rader.

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, Judge Weisman, the receiver is right here in the room with us. Why don’t you talk to him?”

Cole and Antion then attempted to convince Armstrong that the Church should not be represented by the same attorneys representing Rader.  They suggested that they bring representatives of (pg 206) several firms to Tucson in order that he may make a selection.

Armstrong said; “No, I won’t do that.  Stan has picked the law firm that we will use, and that’s the way it will have to be.”

An incredible situation was emerging here.  In what would appear to be a conflict of interest, the very same law firm that was representing Rader would be charged with appropriating Church assets to his own benefit, and as such had interests quite different from the interests of the Church.  It was quite clear that Rader had by this time gotten to Herbert Armstrong and so distorted his thinking by playing on the man’s fears that Armstrong was in no way capable of making rational decisions in this matter.  Armstrong did not, however, confirm the rumor that Cole had been fired and while the whole point was somewhat in doubt at that time, Cole continued on the assumption that he still held the position to which he had been appointed by Armstrong.

The following morning, January 5th, Wayne Cole has holding a meeting in his office with a group of area coordinators and was explaining the situation to them.  Cole then received word that a meeting had been called in the auditorium at 9:00 A.M. for all the employees.  This was very puzzling, as Cole who was supposedly in charge had called no such meeting nor had Judge Weisman.  The group of ministers gathered in Cole’s office decided to go to the auditorium and see what was happening.  As Cole and his group walked up to the main entrance of the auditorium, they noticed several employees of the accounting and legal offices of the Church guarding the doors.  These were all men who reported either directly to Stanley Rader or to his underling Ellis LaRavia and Jack Bricket.  The ominous specter of men guarding the doors to the building where Herbert Armstrong has said; “God has placed His name” struck these men as a very strange sight indeed.  As Cole attempted to enter the auditorium, Raymond McNair slammed the door in an effort to prevent Cole from entering.  McNair is an evangelist of extreme blind loyalties to Armstrong under any and all circumstances. Being one who is known to side with whomever he perceived to be in power at the moment, it became quite apparent that Rader had been busy marshalling his forces in what was turning out to be his all out battle for continual control of the church.  After his success in ousting Herbert Armstrong’s son, he was not about to be thwarted by Wayne Cole.

(pg 207)  As McNair attempted to shut the door, Dr. Hoeh grabbed the door, yanked it open, enabling Cole and the other ministers to enter.  Thus ensued a scene which shall forever be a blot on the Worldwide Church of God.  A group of men, all supposedly ministers of Jesus Christ, began scuffling with one another.  Robert Kuhn was assaulted and an attempt was made to physically eject him from the building.  Cole was shoved and nearly knocked over.  Jack Martin received a strong blow to the stomach.  Kuhn was resisting the attempt by someone to throw him out of the building and another minister came to his aid, attempting to pull his assailant from him.

This horrible conduct by men who claim to represent our Savior was later described by David Antion: “It was a scene of pushing and shoving.  It was a scene I’ll never forget as long as I live, and behind all this pushing and shoving were the words: ‘Dedicated to the Great God.’  Ambassador Auditorium dedicated to the Great God.  And it just flew over me that here are people who are supposed to be loving God fighting with one another.  And I began to cry and I began to shout, ‘Brethren, I plead with you and beg with you, not to do such a thing. We’re here in God’s house and here we are brother turned against brother, and all this is to save Stanley Rader!’

Finally, Cole and his group were successful in entering the auditorium and attended the meeting.  Roderick Meredith, another evangelist sharing McNairs opportunistic ways, spoke to the group.  He announced that Cole had been relieved of his duties, and that he was replacing Cole.  A statement from Herbert Armstrong was then read confirming Meredith’s announcement. This was the first official announcement anyone, including Cole, had heard regarding Cole’s removal.  Meredith explained that the Attorney General’s actions violated the First amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion.

Speaking to the group, McNair said, “When the government of God comes to earth, it will not be a democracy. We have the opportunity to shake and move this nation more than ever has been done.”  Armstrong‘s constant emphasis on the Church being the government of God was soon to become a total obsession as he and (pg 208) those loyal to him would more and more ignore the Gospel of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It has become the self-aggrandizing promotion of the Church, and the human leadership of it, as the government of God.

Near the close of the meeting, Cole mounted the stage and approached the podium to tell his side of the story and also to announce that if this was the latest decision of Herbert Armstrong he would abide by it. Before fifteen hundred people on the stage of Armstrong’s monument to his own ego, several men prevented Cole from speaking.  Loud music immediately began playing and the microphone was quickly dismantled. Meredith and others then escorted Cole off the stage with Meredith threatening to call the police if Cole did not leave.  Cole and his group left the auditorium as several of them hurled charges of “outrage” and “travesty.”  These charges were surely an understatement in describing the conduct of the men now firmly in charge of the Worldwide Church of God.  Now in charge of the Church as puppets of Rader were Roderick Meredith and Raymond McNair. Meredith, the new head of the ministry, has always been noted for his self-righteous attitude and harsh demands of loyalty to God required loyalty to Herbert Armstrong.

The true nature of the man can better be understood, however, by other characteristics which are not widely known. In a sermon he once to great lengths to explain how people should spank their children. He was proud of the fact he spanked his teenage daughter on her bare backside at least once a week whether she needed it or now, just to keep her I line.  His penchant for X-rated movies and adult bookstores has been explained by him as a necessary part of his research in order that he may speak out properly against such sins in his sermons.

This line of logic, then, would require one to commit murder in order to speak out against such a crime.

McNair, the man who divorced his wife, Leona, because she had been “disloyal” to Herbert Armstrong, which in his mind was a sign of her being unconverted, was now a chancellor of Ambassador College.

This is the very same man who Herbert Armstrong had referred to many times in private conversations as a “buffoon.”

New Book Based on Armstrongism: The Last Great Day

From Benjamin Grant Mitchell's site:

A novel based on a TRUE STORY

The author of THE LAST GREAT DAY, Benjamin Grant Mitchell, was born into a cult who believed the world was going to end sometime in the nineteen-seventies. Throughout his childhood his father was a minister in The Worldwide Church of God, an American based religion started by Herbert W. Armstrong, a former Oregon advertising man. The cult followed a mixture of religious beliefs including viewing medical assistance as unholy. As a result Benjamin’s Aunty and baby twin brothers died in otherwise preventable circumstances.
When prophecies for the End Time repeatedly failed, the Mitchell family moved to church headquarters in Pasadena, California, discovering rumours of sexual and financial corruption were well founded. Despite having no savings or home to return to (the cult paid rent and minimal wages), and knowing his family would be isolated from friends and extended family, Minister Mitchell resigned. On the way back to Australia, Benjamin turned ten in Hawaii, and although the cult banned celebrating birthdays, it was a notable milestone for the Mitchell’s, who began life for the first time free of the influence of a deluded megalomaniac.

THE LAST GREAT DAY is based on actual events including ex-members and friends of church leaders reporting child abuse at the highest ranks. It is set during the most tumultuous period of the cult’s existence, culminating when hundreds of thousands of members from around the world learned (via a 60 Minutes USA exposé), the Californian government was investigating the church for fraud. This turned out to be the beginning of the end —  not of the world, as Armstrong had falsely predicted for years —  but for his cult.

More information here:   Benjamin Grant Mitchell

When Depression Leads Pastors to Suicide

When depression leads pastors to suicide

One out of four pastors is depressed
Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert Author"What kind of personal pain would cause a 42-year-old pastor to abandon his family, his calling and even life itself? Members of a Baptist church in Hickory, North Carolina, are asking that question after their pastor committed suicide in his parked car in September.

Those who counsel pastors say Christian culture, especially southern evangelicalism, creates the perfect environment for depression. Pastors suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to seek help or even talk about it. Sometimes they leave the ministry. Occasionally the result is the unthinkable.

Experts say clergy suicide is a rare outcome to a common problem. But Baptists in the Carolinas are soul searching after a spate of suicides and suicide attempts by pastors. In addition to the recent suicide of David Treadway, two pastors in North Carolina attempted suicide and three in South Carolina died by suicide, all in the past four years".   THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY

What would cause a Christian Minister, Pastor or Cleric to take their lives?  On the basic level, the reasons would be the same as for anyone who makes the conscious (or unconscious) decision to end their lives.  Despair seems to be the bottom line and is simply a condition a human being arrives at after they have spent years perhaps in denial over their reality, choices or personal failures or circumstances in life.

Let's get this out of the way.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Easy to say and certainly those who "would never think of such a thing..." can see the truth in that.  However, when lost in the fog of despair, it seems like THE solution to a permanent problem.  And in answer to the impolite question most would ask me is...yes I have.  I find that almost everyone I have asked about this topic say "yes" at one time in life or another.  So the thought is common among humans evidently.

I know several COG ministers who have committed suicide over the years of WCG drama, scandal and disappointments.  They are not listed on the sites that note such things.  More have ended their lives than those whose lives ended by suicide are noted.  The men I knew put on a good front.  Intelligent guys with hearts for ministry and their congregations.  Men, who as young men or even kids found hope in the teachings of the WCG.  It took years to realize that the more you looked at the details of the "Big Picture," the more disheartened you could become.  These men drank themselves to death.  I believe they meant to and of course the fog of drink to delay the pain felt makes getting out of the hole of despair almost impossible.
Over the years as a Pastor, several members committed suicide. One very nice fellow came to see me to talk, drove around the block I lived on, never stopped and drove home to end his life.  I did have one man hang himself from his CB tower, rather unsuccessfully.  He hung enough to not be able to get out of hanging but did not hang enough to die.  When EMS rescued him, he called me to say he wanted me to remarry him and his wife.  I guess he had a revelation hanging around on that tower.  Probably a common thing but few get to undo what they have done.

I always quoted the Old Testament account of Saul falling on his sword.  It simply says "and the battle went hard against him..."   That explains it all.  That is the definition of despair.
At any rate, I don't intend this to be a study in anything.  I would like to express my own thoughts, based on my own experiences on why a minister would commit suicide.
A.  First of all, because or she is human first.  Those who minister well and sincerely until the despair and disillusionment hit really want to teach and encourage others in the hope that lies within them.  That was my goal and no matter how many times I am told "but you were one of them,"  I know my heart very well.  I am not speaking of the nut cases who see themselves in the pages of the Bible, both Old Testament and New.  These men are mentally ill and need meds not contributions.  But I spare you.  The pastoral types I knew were generally and probably healer types all their lives.  They tended to put others first and themselves last. They probably had a temperament very close to ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptive)  Job descriptions for these types are along the lines of "pastors, social workers, ministers and yes, even massage therapists...I'm not making this up)  They have a heart for pastoring no matter the denomination. 

The problem can be is that they are idealists and get totally befuddled over the concept of "I wouldn't do that to you, why did you do that to me?"  They believe the best until they can't and then when they can't, they go into denial hoping against hope time will heal or change what they see but have a hard time accepting.  They are also good followers IF they believe in the leadership.  They also tend to be the leaders worst critic when they wake up.

About 20 years ago I ended myself up in a counseling program for depression.  One morning my little group of equally depressed types were told to show up at the gym.  When there, we could see there was a regular wooden pallet in the middle of the gym floor and we all were simply told to all make a way to get on the pallet and get our feet off the floor for 30 seconds.  There were almost too many humans for a bit too little of a pallet.  At any rate, feeling like fools, we all did as asked.  When finished, we went back to the group session and the leader asked us one question.  "Where did you find yourself on the pallet?"   It hit me right between the eyes and I got it.  Some were smack in the middle assuring their place. You can't fall off the middle.  We were all scattered from the center of the pallet to the edges.  Guess where I was?  Yep...on the very edge, hardly able to stay on, arms around all I could embrace to hold them on with me.  I have been doing that all my life.  Caretakers when in despair tend to feel life is all or nothing.

B.  Ministers take their lives because they have to live a double life.  By the way, this is true of every member as well.  I have met NOT ONE MINISTER who did not have two ways of being once we got acquainted.  There is the way one thinks they are supposed to be and that bangs up against the way one also is.  Both are sincere and both exist in everyone actually.   When you join a church, you put on the mask and hope to keep the other side at bay.  I don't believe we have "an evil side," just the "other side."  ....the human side.  Every minister I know and knew has topics that he feels strongly about but has to balance that by saying,  "but if I teach that, I'll lose my job."

The problem is that while members in a congregation demand forgiveness and understanding when they fall short, that grace is not generally extended to the minister who is just like them.  The minister tends to be the sacrificial goat and the member expects him/her to be and do what they generally have no intention of being or doing.  Its why we don't think it's such a big deal for the Pope to forgive the guy who tried to kill him.  HE"S THE POPE!  HE HAS TO FORGIVE HIM!  THE POPE IS A PROFESSIONAL FORGIVER!

It's the rejection and despair of having to pray others won't find them out that leads to ending one's life at times.  I at least have to credit the Apostle Paul in his writings in Romans with admitting to this duality and pain.  Paul was a very guilt and shame ridden human being.  Conveniently we aren't told by him what the thorn in the flesh was or what it was that he should have done, but couldn't do but I understand it.  You only let out the fact that there is a struggle.  But the nature of the struggle or the despair it causes is often just something that most don't trust to share about.  Admitting one's struggle to some types can also be a form of suicide.  You know..."twas not a foe who did deride for that I could endure....."

C.  Ministers take their lives literally because when their faith tanks no matter the reason, there doesn't seem to be anything else.  It has been their career, job, calling and inspiration for decades.  Finding out or suspecting one has wasted a life teaching the wrong thing, or being with the wrong group, or sacrificing for the wrong cause can bring despair.  Or as one of my counselors said once when he first met me...." got fired by God!"    At the time, it wasn't funny.

D.  Ministers take their lives because of their sense of personal failure and also letting others down.  I always admired those who really seemed not to give a flying leap about what others think of them, and that is probably better mental health, but most pastor types do care.  It goes with the turf and their idealism and healer tendencies.  Most genuine ministers, regardless of what denomination of which one Jesus and God  really like, are healers by nature.  These healer/idealist types are NOT the ones who rise to high position in organizations.  They are not the type who declare themselves to be Prophets, Priests, Apostles or Witnesses.  Many men who rise to these positions do so on the backs of the healers and idealists.  Healers and idealists do not become gurus or dictators.  When things fall apart, they generally and quietly slip away unnoticed.  Some are overtaken by their idealism gone bad.  They may lack the balance to accept certain realities in the world of people.  I find the solution to this sometimes misplaced idealism to be curable by abiding by the Four Agreements by Ruiz.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Well, this is not all there is to this topic, but some of the more personal reasons, in my experience and even in my own struggle with all the losses and change that has exploded my own idealism and caretaking tendencies.  It's a big topic.  We're all in this together even if we can't quite figure out anymore what "this" is.
The Spa beckons and I have to go rub someone the right way for a change..Gotta go....:)