The Truth Foundation
11 Laurel Court
Freehold Township, New Jersey 07728
Chapter 14 The Courtroom
(pg 209) The same day, Friday January 5th, a hearing was held before Judge Vernon Foster, with attorney Allen Browne moving for a lifting of the receivership.
He said: “Checks are bouncing like crazy. As these checks go bouncing along, this Church is going to be ruined.”
To support this courtroom maneuver, Rader had seen to it that bus loads of Ambassador College students, employees and Church members were on hand to create a sensational media event. Judge Weisman testified before the court that he had been totally unable to obtain Church documents for protection during the investigation. He said that the college facilities manager, Ellis LaRavia, was reluctant to cooperate. Chodos, in his pleadings before the court said, “If the receivership is dissolved, the Church will be gone by the time we are back to your courtroom.”
He was referring to the upcoming hearing of January 10th, which was the return date on the subpoena. Chodos said; “It will only take Rader twenty minutes and a pack of matches to do away with crucial evidence.” Then in a dramatic presentation, he produced a shredding machine from Rader’s office which had been confiscated by court officials while church employees, including Rader’s secretary, Virginia Kineston, were allegedly in the process of using the machine. As an indication of the type of evidence they hoped to still uncover, Chodos produced an executive payroll (pg 210) checkbook for the Church which had been confiscated at the Worldwide Advertising Agency offices in Century City.
The day prior to the imposition of the receivership, checks had been drawn as follows:
Herbert Armstrong $40,000
Natalie Rader 1,144
Virginia Kineston 2,500 (marked bonus)
Stanley Rader 4.940
35,000 (marked bonus)
Judge Foster, at 8:30 P.M., well past sunset and already into the Sabbath, issued an order modifying the receivership wherein Weisman was to not interfere in the normal day-to-day operations of the Church, pending the hearings on January 10th. However, the receivership was maintained.
The following day, on January 6th, a most unusual Sabbath service took place at the Ambassador Auditorium. For three and a half hours, the Church members were subjected to the ranting and ravings of Ellis LaRavia, Roderick Meredith, Rader and Rader’s law partner Ralph Helge.
Meredith said, “We are in a war. Let’s see if we are faithful warriors.” He must have forgotten what he had written in the September 1964 issue of The Plain Truth regarding civil disobedience. He said that a Christian’s obligation to civil power was in accordance with the statements in the 13th Chapter of Romans as quoted only a couple of days earlier by Wayne Cole in his statement to Church employees. Meredith went on to state in his article, “Those who resist the civil power shall receive to themselves DAMNATION! They are resisting GOD HIMSELF who allows that authority!
“Your Bible proves government authority and power are ORDAINED OF GOD!-Yes, your Bible reveals that it is God who has ordained human officers of government and those officers must be respected.”
Meredith is condemned by his very own words. The fact that he made that statement in 1964 makes it quit plain that he knew he was wrong now. In 1979, he was calling the Church members to be warriors against civil authority. At the end of his sermon Meredith then announced that Wayne Cole, David Antion, Robert Kuhn and (pg 211) Ben Chapman were all being disfellowshipped. H claimed that all of these men were part of a satanic conspiracy to destroy the Church and overthrow Herbert Armstrong. Ben Chapman was apparently included, as due to his past executive positions in the Church, he was able to verify and authenticate financial statements that were included as past of the court filing. As a result of his verification of those documents, he was considered to be a traitor. His involvement in this way also served as a basis for the claims that later would be made that Garner Ted Armstrong was the moving force behind the entire lawsuit. Those claims were partly based on the fact that Ben Chapman’s wife, Lois, is the widow of Richard David Armstrong, Garner Ted’s older brother, who had been killed in a car crash in 1958.
In the entire three-and-a-half hour service, most of the speaking was performed by Helge and Rader. They are lawyers, not ministers. What a strange parallel to the days two thousand years ago, when religious leadership had fallen into the hands of the legalistic Pharisees, the lawyers of their day. Helge claimed that the judge and the courts were all agents of Satan and “we are fighting Satan.” HE was only partly right. This was a satanic struggle; however, whether he realized it or not, he was among the collaborators of Satan.
Rader accuse Cole of being comparable to a Nazi collaborator for his efforts to cooperate with the courts. He then went on to say, “We are going to have ministry that is not divided, we are going to have a Church government as it was here up till about ten years ago. We are all going to know what the doctrines are, and we are all going to agree.”
If anything smacked of Nazism, it was statements such as this from Rader, rather than Wayne Cole’s attempts to fulfill his Christian responsibilities.
Rader then went on to say, “The major problem is an internal spiritual matter which is now under control because these people have been fired. We cut off the head of this conspiracy, the collusion between these people and the plaintiffs.”
It was expected of Rader that he would attempt to promote a conspiracy theory to divert attention from the real cause of the entire problem, that, of course, being predominantly Stanley Rader. By the time these men were done, they had so distorted the minds of the people listening to them that had they decided to do so, they (pg 212) could have instructed the people to commit just about any act. By the time the tape recordings of the service were played in all congregations the following Sabbath, the massive brainwashing campaign of the entire membership was well under way.
Over the next few days there were constant confrontations, lockouts, and attempts by Rader loyalists to illegally remove documents from the Church property. One can only look at this incredible turn of events and wonder what kind of an incredible hold Rader had on Herbert Armstrong. How could it be that Herbert Armstrong had been soliciting Wayne Cole’s help only a few days earlier in an attempt to push Rader aside from his most influential position? To appoint Cole temporarily in charge and then suddenly do such an about ace, leaving Rader more solidly in charge than he had ever been before? Perhaps when Rader called Armstrong’s attention to the fact that he was not going to escape this thing, Armstrong was convinced that he need Rader’s help. But one must wonder if that could be sufficient reason for Armstrong to literally hand over reigns to Rader. Or is it something else that Rader knew, something else that he could do that would enable him to have an ever-tightening grip on Herbert Armsrong? While there was much speculation on this, no one could yet be sure at this time.
As a result of the notoriety surrounding the Worldwide Church, Garner Ted Armstrong was now speaking out more in interviews. He said in the Dallas Morning News that enormous amounts of the Church’s money had been spent on kings and presidents and other rulers.
He said; “If the truth were known it would blow the lid off the nation of Japan alone. Senators there would be literally tossed out of office. I can’t tell you how many around-the-world-tickets were paid from Church funds and slipped into Japanese officials in return for getting Church officials into the inner circle of the country. I’m talking about tens of thousands of dollars in trips alone.” He stated for the Dallas Times Herald that the things he warned his father about in the 1960’s were coming home to roost in the late 1970’s. The Times Herald said: “He said his father’s mental and physical abilities have diminished markedly with advancing age, and that the elder Armstrong had fallen increasingly under the control of Rader and a group of ‘right wing reactionary ministers’ who ‘would have us in uniforms and jack boots.’”
(pg 213) On January 10th, a hearing took place before Judge Julius Title to determine if the temporary receivership would continue.
By this time the Church’s problems were the subject of national news coverage and the entire situation had become a major news event in Southern California. The morning of he hearings, the Los Angeles Times carried Bert Mann’s story which included many of the details from the “Pastor General’s Report” that I had given to Mann. He had sat on it until the right time and the publication of those expenditures was a blockbuster. The Ambassador Report referred to it as a “major scoop.”
The article also stated that Allan Browne confirmed the existence of a Swiss bank account, and of gold bullion. This was in reference to a letter written in 1974 by Dennis Stauffer of the Church business office to the Union Bank of Switzerland, in confirmation of a Telex sent to that bank. The Telex had instructed the bank to buy one million francs at the current exchange rate and to debit the U.S. dollar amount for the ten percent margin requirement.
Buying foreign currency on margin is clearly a speculative type of financial transaction and, while in itself not wrong, is a risky venture. The chance of loss is as great as the chance of profit. In handling fiduciary funds, this is a highly improper transaction. Regarding the Swiss account of gold bullion, Browne said, “Is there anything wrong with that, is this the beginning of the State telling the Pope what kinds of robes he can wear? Or that he should not live in such splendor in the Vatican?”
This was one of many comparisons that would later be made between Herbert Armstrong and the Pope. It seems so strange that the Papacy would be used as a benchmark against which the actions of Herbert Armstrong and Stanley Rader would be justified.
In court proceedings, Chodos claimed not only had money been used for purposes other than for which the money had been contributed, but now something even more ridiculous was taking place. He said, “We have shown you, your Honor, and I believe we will show you today that the money is not being used for God’s work. It is being used to pay Mr. Browne to represent Mr. Rader. If that is true, your Honor, the court ought to welcome your supervision and not resist.”
Only by hiding behind the shield of a religious organization could an officer of an organization under accusation of malfeasance use the funds of his employer to defend himself (pg 214) against charges of defrauding that very same employer. Browne again justifying Armstrong’s position as head of the Church said, “He sits there as the Pope does.”
Actually, Browne was stating a greater truth than he realized. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church was at one time the Church of God in Rome. This was two thousand years ago when Apostle Paul was preaching in that part of the world. The Church grew and finally became what is known as the Universal Church of God. Armstrong has often pointed out that the early Church, now the Roman Catholic Church, and all of its daughters of Protestantism went into total apostasy by the mid-300’s, have become spiritually corrupt and morally corrupt. Perhaps Herbert Armstrong does sit at the head of the Worldwide Church of God as the Pope does at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there should be no great honor to be known as the one who initiated the descent into degeneracy and apostasy of this latter day Church of God.
Chodos continued in his attempt to convince the court that Browne was dealing with a conflict of interest by representing both Rader and the Church. He said, “Mr. Browne should not be permitted to get up on behalf of the Church and say that the Church doesn’t want a receiver. Because when Mr. Browne speaks, the hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob. That is the difference, Your Honor.”
Chodos would often use references of this nature both in and out of the courtroom. He fully understood and appreciated the nature of the entire problem and had a definite understanding that was totally lacking on the part of Rader’s attorneys. In fact, we could often see that the hand of God often moved in working things out in such a way that we would have Chodos fighting to save the Worldwide Church of God, while all the time being accused of being the enemy of the Church and an agent of Satan. We often wondered if it was more than just a coincidence that we would have an attorney who had also received intensive rabbinical schooling. Chodos’ first name, Hillel, means in Hebrew “Praise God.” He had been well named by his parents, for his very conduct, actions, and sensitivity to the true nature of the Church’s problems was such that he did in fact praise God just by his daily conduct. More and more it would be seen to be such a contrast to the conduct of Rader and his attorney’s.
In the hearings which continued the following day, Browne (pg 215) attempted to justify the expenditures by Armstrong and Rader on various prominent government leaders. He said, “And it is true they come here and visit Herbert Armstrong. He doesn’t take them to McDonalds and I hope that is not slander, he takes them to Perino’s. He’s proud of that fact. You can’t take a head of state to a mediocre restaurant. So there is no doubt about the fact that he has done that. But that’s the way in which he has developed the Church assets. In order to make money, you have to spend it. And the Church has made the money and developed the word of Jesus by developing it in his style.
Of course one must wonder from such a statement whether the propose of the Church is to preach the gospel to make money, and to develop assets. Such logic could get to be a merry-g-round, as the statements of Rader claim that the Church’s assets must be spent on world leaders. It would be hard to conceive of a better way to have a self-perpetuating money machine than this. The lifestyle that the leaders of such an organization can enjoy would strike envy into the hearts of not only many corporate leaders, but some of the most prominent government leaders, and members of royalty throughout the world.
Later in the hearings, Stanley Rader was placed on the stand as a witness. Chodos then introduced into evidence the contract of employment between Stanley Rader and the Worldwide Church of God, dated July 30,, 1976. Chodos asked Rader, “Mr. Rader, who drew this contract?”
Rader then answered somewhat uncertainly, “This contract was drawn probably by a young associate in the firm of Ervin, Cohen and Jessup after discussions with me. I think his name is Greg somebody, I don’t know his last name.”
In further examination, Rader stated that his law firm prepared the contract, based on information that he had provided. This is the same firm of which Allen Browne is a member, and the firm represents Rader. Through further convoluted testimony Rader attempted to evade the fact that he was counsel to the Church and was in fact advising the Church on the preparation of his own employment contract.
Finally Chodos said, “Who was counseling the Church and its related entities?” Browne then objected and was overruled by the Judge. Chodos then continued, “As I read this contract it provides (pg 216) that Mr. Rader is to get $200,000 a year for acting as chief advisor to Mr. Armstrong for a period of seven years. If his employment is terminated for any reason, other than his own death, habitual refusal to work, or if Mr. Armstrong becomes disabled or incapacitated where he can’t receive advice, Rader’s status is to be converted to that of a senior consultant and he is to get $100,000 a year plus expense until the year 2003. Now it seems to me, Your Honor, that is a three-and-a half-million dollar employment contract that Mr. Rader had drawn up, and had Mr. Armstrong sign for the Church a couple of years ago, when he was general counsel, director, executive vice-president. I believe it is pertinent to your Honor to note in terms of who shall be left in control of the financial affairs, whether Mr. Rader in view of the presumptions of civil code, Section 2235 and he sections which preceded it, whether Mr. Rader has in the past used his influence and his office as a trustee to benefit himself to this extent, without getting independent counsel for the Church and by telling, by arranging with Mr. Armstrong that they should have contracts of this magnitude.”
Continuing further in his questioning, Chodos said, “Mr. Rader, who advised the Church about the advisability or the propriety or the desirability of this contract?”
With further convoluted reasoning, Rader replied, “Mr. Armstrong is God’s apostle; he is Christ’s representative here on earth at this time. He by the powers that have evolved upon him spiritually and which I understand after constant review with my counsel Mr. Helge, he has the power to hire and fire, set rates of compensation, things of that nature, and has done so consistently for thirty-six years.”
Chodos: “Mr. Rader, he is not a lawyer, Mr. Armstrong, is he?”
Rader: “No, sir, he is not a lawyer.”
Chodos: “Did he have any other lawyers advising him besides you and Mr. Helge about this matter?”
Rader: “Mr. Armstrong calls upon lawyers when and if-“Interrupting, Judge Title said: “Mr. Rader, I think it will help us all if you will listen to the question. You are a lawyer; respond only to the question, all right?”
It was quite evident that Judge Title was annoyed at Rader’s evasive maneuvering, and his impatience was beginning to show. Agreeing to cooperate, Rader asked Chodos to repeat the question.
Chodos responded, “Did he have any other lawyers besides you (pg 217) and Mr. Helge advising him about entering into this contract from the Church when he did so?”
Rader finally responded with a long sought after answer. He said: “Not to my immediate first-hand knowledge.”
It was becoming more and more obvious that Rader had skillfully maneuvered himself into a position where he controlled all aspects of the Church and was able to literally write his own ticket and Armstrong would sign it.
Going further regarding his purchase of Church-owned homes, Rader testified that Armstrong did not have any independent counsel regarding any transactions between the Church and Rader. Rader either directly or through his lawyers controlled both sides of the deal. Rader also admitted that he kept well over one million dollars profit on the sale of a home that he had purchased from the Church in 1972. This was a home, that according to Ray Wright’s statements to our attorneys Pearlman and Herrmann was essentially paid for with monies given Rader by the Church for that purpose.
Chodos then proceeded in the matter of leasing companies in which Rader was a principal, which had been organized to own jet airplanes and then lease them to the Church. After lengthy questioning, Chodos was again frustrated by Rader’s refusal to give a direct answer as to whether or not Armsrong had independent counsel in the transactions between Church and the Rader-owned leasing companies.
Finally Rader said, “I don’t know whether Mr. Armstrong has consulted independent counsel, but it’s because Mr. Armstrong is inclined to consult independently of everybody with other people and I never know with whom he is speaking at any onetime.”
To this, Judge Title responded, “Your answer is you don’t know.”
Rader then said, “Yes.”
And so it went, one intriguing maze after another which if perused far enough, always seemed to come back to Rader sitting at the center.
The testimony of Jack Kessler seemed to confirm that Rader’s withdrawal from the firm in 1974 after Jim Johnson’s complaint of conflict of interest to the State Accounting Board was somewhat less than a true withdrawal. Kessler testified that the firm, now (pg 218) known as Rader, Cornwall, Kessler, and Pallazzo, was purchased from Rader by the remaining partners for no money, just an exchange of promises.
In explanation of the exchange of promises, he said, “Well, we promised him that we would take up the current clients they had and perform to the best of our ability. He promised us that he would not compete with us and that we could use his name.”
It is hard to imagine someone giving away his interest in a prosperous business for nothing more than a promise on the past of the purchasers to carry on that business. It appears that the entire maneuver was nothing more than a sham; a means of taking care of the problems caused by Jim Johnson’s reports tot eh State Accounting Board.
Next to testify in the court proceedings was Virginia Kineston, Rader’s secretary. Under questioning by Chodos, Mrs. Kineston testified that she had on many occasions used a paper shredder in the office. Chodos asked her if the paper shredder had been used to and including the day that Judge Weisman entered the office?”
Responding in her clipped, tersely-worded testimony which was her style throughout the entire proceeding, she said, “Of course. I have never denied that.”
Chodos then read to her a declaration that she had signed a few days earlier. “At no time have I or any other person working in this office destroyed any document, book, financial record, or other matter generated or belonging to the Church, Foundation or College.”
It was apparent that under Rader’s pressure to sign a document, she was quite willing to attest to whatever she was asked to, but under pressure of cross-examination, inconsistencies were being revealed.
Chodos then presented as evidence reconstructed documents that had been retrieved from the paper shredder basket and laboriously pieced together by State officials. The documents were messages that had been intended fur Judge Weisman which were never received by him.
Next on the stand was John Kineston, Virginia Kineston’s husband. He was employed as Rader’s chauffer and administrative assistant.
Chodos went right to the heart of the matter. He said, “Mr. Kineston is it correct that on Wednesday, the 3rd of January, (pg 219) sometime in the middle of the morning or toward noon, you took a limousine to the transportation building and took a quantity of documents from the transportation building and put them in the limousine?”
Kineston responded, “That is not true.”
Chodos: “Did you take any documents from their usual location, from the location where they were on Wednesday and transport them somewhere else?”
Kineston: “I did not.”
Chodos: “”You didn’t take any documents?”
Kineston: “I took no documents over to…and my wife have taken any documents, I don’t know what they are in a sense. I don’t deal with documents.”
Chodos: “All right. And do you have any recollection, Mr. Kineston, of taking the limousine to the transportation building on Wednesday morning and then going from there to the airport at Burbank?”
Kinston: “I have no recollection of that whatsoever.”
And so the questioning went on with Chodos continuing to delve into whether or not Kineston removed documents from the premises with Kineston denying all allegations. In his closing question to Kineston, Chodos said, “Are you telling us, Mr. Kineston, you have never since you heard Judge Weisman was on the premises, you have not taken or removed any records or anything to do with Church records?”
Quite definitively Kineston responded, “Absolutely correct, that is true.”
Concluding his questioning of Kineston, Chodos then called Chester Roberson to the stand. Robertson, a member of the Church, had been employed by the Church for twenty-five years. Originally, he had been employed as a gardener and, ore recently, a small engine mechanic for the past six years. Roberson’s testimony was indirect contrast to that of Rader’s supporters. While the Rader supporters seemed to be extremely tense and always maintaining eye contact with Rader during their testimony, Roberson spoke in his relaxed Southern drawl which to set him part from the Rader loyalists.
Chodos directed the questioning to Kineston’s presence at the transportation building on January 3rd. He said, “And did you see Mr. Kinston at the building on that day?”
(pg 220) Very directly, Roberson stated, “Yes, I did.”
Roberson then testified that he had seen Kineston coming from a parked car, from a garage, with record books in his hands. He then testified he saw a secretary had Kineston a transmittal envelope, the type used for inter-office communications to Kineston.
Roberson continued: “Then Mr. Kineston handed whatever he had in his hand to a man named Bill. Bill Whitman. He asked him to place it in the Cadillac, then Mr. Kineston had to go to the bathroom, and then Mr. Whitman replied: “Do you want me to fill it up with gas?” And Mr. Kineston says: “No, I’m afraid I will be seen on my way to Burbank. I will pick up gas.”
Roberson then stated that a few days later, on a Saturday evening, he again saw Kineston on the college campus. He stated that he and one of the relators, Dave Morgan, saw Kineston entering the Data Processing Building.
Describing what he had seen, Roberson said, “First Mr. Morgan and I saw four people, no, five people, including what looked like a guard standing by a car, and they had a flashlight over the hood of the car and at the time I didn’t know who they were. And then when we went around the block and came back again, and by that time four of these men were up in the building itself, the data processing center, off of Pasadena Avenue.”
The guard that he had described was apparently one of the Church’s regular security guards. In his further testimony, he stated that as he and Morgan drove around the block again, they observed these people standing in front of the data processing building.
Roberson said, “Mr. Kineston was one of the men and Mr. Dave Whitman was one of the others. The other man was a bearded man I did not recognize, the other man was the guard.”
Chodos asked, “What were they doing?”
Roberson said, “They were…we stopped the truck and watched and they were entering the building.”
In cross-examination, Church attorney Allan Browne asked Roberson, “Are you aware of the fact that David Morgan is one of the plaintiffs in this action?”
Roberson: “yes, I am aware.”
Browne: “You are aware of that?”
Roberson: “Now, yes.”
(pg 231) Browne: “At the time you were driving with Mr. Morgan you didn’t know that he had been one of the persons suing the Church?”
Roberson: “Yes I did.”
It appeared that whether or not Roberson knew of Morgan’s involvement with the suit was the main thrust of Browne’s questioning. The next day, Chester Roberson was fired from his job of twenty-five years for “disloyalty.”
Concerning the Saturday night incident, David Morgan, who was later called tot eh stand stated, “I observed a security guard standing in the door and I observed Mr. Whitman with a flashlight and I observed Mr. Kineston and there was also another party with a beard, but he was in the shadows you know, the dark. I couldn’t. ..I don’t know who it was. And when we saw this, Mr. Roberson stopped immediately and when we stopped Mr. Kineston turned and there was no mistaking it. He must have a twin brother if he says he wasn’t there, because this party looked identical to him as far as I could see.”
The following day, on January 12th, the court heard arguments from Browne and Chodos regarding the continuation of the receivership.
Browne said, “I think the court would agree with me, I would hope, that there has not been one shred of evidence implicating Mr. Herbert Armstrong of any wrong doing. The most the court could say was that he was overly generous. I think that he was…if you were going to say there was any fault, which is what you would have to say. Take that as very best. The man has spent forty years developing this Church. If a receiver is appointed, your Honor, he’s the man that is most effective. He’s the spiritual leader of the Church.”
After all that had been shown, Allan Browne was bold enough to actually suggest that one of the foxes be put in charge of the henhouse. To make such a statement claiming that Hebert Armstrong rather than Judge Weisman would act as trustee for the Church’s funds through the receivership was the height of absurdity.
In Chodos’s argument referring to Browne, he said, “Counsel told you that a receivership is the most drastic remedy and that may be where the court attempts to interfere with private rights. This money is public money, the court is the guardian of it today, it was the guardian of it last week and it will continue to be the guardian (pg 222) of this money as long as the charitable trust continues to exist.” Going further, Chodos referred to Armstrong, Rader and their henchmen, “who are part of the palace guard, who have been brought here to court to foist their claims against you, are the takers, not the givers. The givers are the people all across the country who send in their tithes and their double tithes and their offerings, and that, your Honor is not because they have faith in Herbert Armstrong, but because I presume they have faith in God and because they believed that Herbert Armstrong and the man he has unfortunately chosen to deputize with control of this Church are faithful trustees of God’s Work. And they themselves, as you Honor sees in the moving papers, do not blush to remind people that this is God’s tithe money. But real truth, your Honor, is when they come into court and they talk about it as though it were their money.”
Referring to statements that Rader had made later, Chodos said, “And he comes in here and tells you it takes money to make money. And Mr. Rader is saying buy low, sell high. I don’t take stupid pills. Well, he doesn’t take honesty pills either, your Honor.”
Proceeding on to the transactions and contracts that Rader had with the Church, Chodos continued, “Now, Your Honor, the problem in this Church is that nobody but Mr. Rader ever reviewed Mr. Rader’s transactions. When Mr. Rader wants some money, he draws up an agreement or has his long-time counsel, Irvin, Cohen and Jessup draw up an agreement. He takes it to the Church, presents it, and shifts to the other buttock and signs it. Mr. Rader has twelve hats in this Church and every time he changes hats, makes a few bucks. And that is what has happened for the last I don’t know how many years.”
After hearing the arguments from both sides, Judge Title dissolved the original receivership and imposed a new receivership naming Judge Weismann as the receiver.
In his order, he stated: “Now the receiver is to take possession and control of the Church, including all of its assets, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, of every kind and description except as I otherwise provide in the order.” He then gave the receiver full right and power to monitor and supervise all of the business and financial operations and activities of the Church, including the right to hire and fire employees. The receiver was also given the (pg 223) power to hire and employ his own counsel, accountants and other personnel as he deemed necessary. Judge Title made it quite clear that the receivership was only to concern itself with the business and financial affairs of the Church and not ecclesiastical matters. He stated, “Now it is not the purpose of this court nor the intention of this court to allow the receiver to interfere in any way with ecclesiastical functions of the Church as distinguished from the college or the foundation, and the receiver is ordered not to do so. “ Judge Title went on to order that al books and records be made available to the representatives of the plaintiffs for use in preparing of the trial and the action.
Continuing his order, he instructed that the receiver be authorized to conduct thorough audits of the financial and business dealings of the Church and to review all allegations of malfeasance concerning the financial and business affairs of the Church.
In spite of this clearly stated guideline of the court, Armstrong and Rader clamed that the Attorney General was out to take over control of the Church and remove Armstrong as its religious leader. Rader was stunned by the outcome of the hearings. For a short period of time he was virtually silent, and when questioned by the press his only answer was “No comment.” That silence was short-lived however, as he was later to become champion media hound, as he would seek to distort the facts regarding the case in order to gain public sympathy.
Chodos was more than satisfied with the outcome of the hearings. He said: “We got 99.9% of what we wanted.” Those present in the courtroom who were sympathetic with the purpose of the lawsuit were elated.
Later that evening, I was awakened by a phone call from Earl Timmons. As he related the event of the court proceedings to me, and told me of the outcome, I could not control myself. I was in tears of happiness as I responded with comments that finally now perhaps the Church would be free of the satanic control of Stanley Rader. None of us, however, anticipated how violently Rader was to respond.