Saturday, February 3, 2018

Aaron Dean On Why Herbert Armstrong Refused To Put Rod Meredith In Charge Of The Church


Posted on a Yahoo COG group:

Aaron Dean writes about Rod Meredith and why Herbert Armstrong refused to put him over the church.

You asked about Rod Meredith. I have a little time so I will answer. It may be a bit long…but a short answer is difficult. 
RCM always saw things in a vertical line. He set much of the culture of strong control of people lives in the church.  Whether he ever got over his need for power or not I don’t know. God is the judge. I never disliked him, and hoped he would come to see all as team players and not as status in a vertical hierarchy.  I even sent some people to Global when their individual pastors went over the edge early in the 90’s. After that, when UCG started I would ask people “who in your area still keeps the Sabbath and Holy Days” without regard to the corporation. I wanted them to go to a Pastor I felt would help them rather than a corporation. (After all, we are in the salvation business pointing to God, not the corporate business collecting numbers.) 
Anyway, I always enjoyed HWA discussing the early years of the college. Many of the students were like the early disciples, vying for position.  When HWA decided to have a church administration director in the ’50s, he told me of a considerable argument between Raymond Cole and RCM who both wanted the positions.  HWA said Raymond was more qualified, but he was up in Eugene Oregon pastoring so he put RCM in since he was at the college. (Interesting both these men ended up over their own churches.)  RCM was always concerned with position and always would give everyone his history as credentials for why he should be near the top before HWA’s death…or at the top after his death.  
Sadly, RCM always did investigation of people who got between him and the top. He smarted when he was made 2nd vice president. (GTA being first)  The two main ones he went after were GTA and SRR.  He was right on both of them as to the problems, but his way of going about it was wrong.  HWA did put him back over Church Admin at the receivership because he said “I know Rod will be loyal to ME.” Interesting the way he said it.  It wasn’t “loyal to God”, but “loyal to me.” 
He knew RCM was a loyalist and demanded personal loyalty from those under him and gave it upward even when he didn’t like it. Sadly that made him susceptible to flattery. HWA put him back over the ministry because of his vertical nature and personal loyalty since HWA was kept away from Pasadena most of the 70’s – travelling or heart attack – and with the receivership didn’t know where each of the old guard was as information with the ’79 receivership crisis was sketchy and he was in Tucson.  
I was steward during these years and helped HWA by reading and helping him with his writing and heard a lot about everything as HWA was quite open to those around him, but sort of like Hogan’s heroes Sergeant Shultz “I heard NOTHING”. 🙂  It wasn’t my place to talk so I treated it all as confidential.  
Within six months of the ’79 receivership and being named in the positon, HWA was getting messages from ministers who were being asked by RCM “Who are you going to follow if HWA dies, me or Stan Rader.”  HWA asked, “What right does he have to even make himself a candidate let alone ask this question of the ministry”. He saw it would be divisive and also the same problem RCM had always had wanting authority.  RCM was sent to Hawaii to hopefuly come to see himself.  After receiving letters justifying himself HWA responding, HWA finally wrote a stong letter to RCM and stated in no uncertain terms that he should he never be over the church. This letter in his big type is on the web. While some accused me of putting this on the web, it was the Tkach administration that did this…people only asked me if it was true.   
To show what I mean by the vertical thinking, in 1980 when I was made HWA’s aide I was allowed to go to faculty dining.  I seldom did as HWA often left late and I had work.  One day he left early and I decided to go over.  There were 4 or 5 tables of 16 in the room. 15 people were seated with the one end chair open. The other tables were empty.  I didn’t know there was any protocol, and I didn’t want to sit by myself so I sat down at the end. A hush fell over the room and everyone looked directly at RCM. I said “is something wrong”.  After a long pause RCM finally spoke. “Well, that chair was always reserved for HWA, but he hasn’t been here for over a decade.  You have been named HWA’s assistant and Vice President and put on the Council of Elders so I guess that qualifies you to sit in that chair.  Now, the ranking person decides who opens with prayer to start the lunch.”  I replied, “I’m just here to eat, you can decide who prays.”   It was obvious RCM had to somehow justify in his mind how I was qualified to sit in that chair.  To me I was having lunch, and always tried to see everyone as a team – not who was over who. 
Interesting that later HWA gave RCM another chance as vice chancellor in Big Sandy.  Some issues came up concerning RCM decisions and statements that were brought to HWA’s attention and he decided again that RCM should be removed from influencing students, but HWA saw his health was failing and rather than hurt RCM’s feelings he decided to close the Big Sandy campus (which he announced in 1985 but JWT kept it open after HWA’s death on Jan 16, 1986.) There would be no reason to announce RCM’s removal since with the college closing as it would be a moot point. HWA had told me during his illness that after he died “the church would quit keeping the Sabbath, the income would drop, the foundation and college would close, but the church would go on”. 
Since JWT was over church administration he was in the hat to be in named as successor. Even HWA knew JWT was the least qualified, but the Council was to decide all doctrine issues instead of one man, to hold the church steady. Of course JWT took ownership of all this a bit later (with SRR’s help interestingly – remember SRR made sort of a hero of JWT in his book). He did this after I was removed from the Council and JWT had the men on the Council sign away their control – something I would not have done and others should not have – but we were hierarchical and it happened. 
A few months before Global started RCM took my wife and me to dinner. Even though later he said Global just started somewhat spontaneously, he already had members and a budget when we had dinner. Since I had faithfully served HWA, he wanted me to join him (as have others – I felt like David’s last wife whom Adonijah asked Solomon through Bathsheba to be his wife – as a billboard as if my being with them as their aid somehow made them the credible successor to HWA).  I told RCM it was premature and that he was pushing to be put out so he could start a church and be in charge. I reminded him of HWA’s letter to him. (Also HWA had made me promise to not follow RCM as he knew Rod would try to get in charge – why he decided to name someone instead of letting the Council of Elders decide. HWA said “Raymond and Dibar and….and named all those who did go with RCM and said “they might vote him in”, and “Rod should never be in charge of the church”.  A vocal repetition of his letter 6 years before. So HWA decided to name someone… and that changed several time the last few moths of his life.) 
Shortly after Global started WCG did start pushing the heresy but it was not so blatant or public before Global started and many thought JWT might stand up to Joe Jr and Mike Feazel as they were the ones changing things, not JWT.  
JWT and RCM had a history and very much disliked each other and RCM could not stand being under JWT who he saw as a nobody. HWA’s naming Tkach fueled what was already a very strained relationship.  After Globel started, Jr. and Feazel decided to push the heresy in WCG more directly and  pastors got pushed at different times, often depending on their individual regional pastor’s agreeing or disagreeing with heresy.  When it became blatant is when UCG formed, and men had already worked under RCM and didn’t want his form of control so they chose to start over since God had not placed one man in control.  To me it was a time when God was seeing who had chosen Christ as their king and not a man – although still willing to be under authority – just not absolute authority of a man. 
It was sad that Global split when RCM felt he wasn’t in charge.  That is another sad commentary (although all groups have some sad events).  When Denny Luker took some UCG office staff to visit Living it was interesting that RCM asked each person their job and “you should sit with him, and you with him…” all very much in the hierarchical style of his past. 
I do believe RCM may have softened somewhat in the “who is in charge” mentality as he saw he would not be alive till Christ returned – so it would no longer be him.  However I found it interesting in a letter in his last year he resold himself as God’s appointed and stated “I knew Mr Armstrong better than any man alive today”.  I had people jokingly asked if I was still alive since I was with him most of the last 12 years of his life and on a 365 days a year basis the last 5 years before his death.  RCM had very little contact during those 12 years and exaggerated his personal contact as HWA was close to many of the early graduates. 
I never disliked RCM (or anyone for that matter as I learned both good and bad from everyone) but I did know his peculiarities and his need for power, and hope he did come to a more humble position before his death. He was not alone in his desire to be in charge.  A number have started their own churches and even those who left UCG in the splits wanted power for themselves, and when they lost it, their lack of humility showed and they started their own groups to continue in power.   
It is not unusual for men to use their own talent or stories to be in charge.  Korah was with “men of renown, 250 princes of Israel” and the next day they accused Moses of killing their friends…they didn’t say “thank you for getting rid of those evil people.”   Absalom was well spoke, the most beautiful eloquent man in the kingdom. He stood at the gate and blogged “If I were only king I would give justice…” and stole the hearts of Israel from David – who slew Goliath and was anointed by Samuel.  John the Apostle wrote of “Diotrephes who seeks preeminence” and was able to throw out 
So this history is 2000 years old as God sorts out who is his.  Interesting that HWA said “The next thing is God purifying the bride”.  I believe he was right.  Everyone has had to choose what they believe and who they will follow. We will each be judged individually by God for our choices of belief of what his word says. May He show mercy on all of us.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

HWA,GTA & RCM were nothing but power mad and money hungry clowns who walked over the backs of tithe slaves. May they rot in hell!

Anonymous said...

Rod Meredith couldn't run a lemonade stand much less a church.

What About The Truth said...

RCM always saw things in a vertical line. He set much of the culture of strong control of people lives in the church.

That thinking and action is no different than what has been deployed by all of the despot leaders of countries through time. The statement about RCM investigating any in front him or those that would stand in the way of his rise parallels the leadership of North Korea. In a statement given by a defector in the oval office this week, a woman described being detained and imprisoned for nine years for the egregious crime of growing up with and knowing the North Korean leaders' wife. She was told you know too much about her.

I think the most interesting statement in Aaron Dean's article is the fact that HWA never came to dine with the vertical hierarchy men for over ten years. And then HWA, almost near death couldn't trust many of the same vertical hierarchy men to choose a qualified successor.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Dean the self appointed expert on everyone in WCG simply because he's out lived them. Yawn.

nck said...

Well. I have been saying this for years. So I am right.

HWA was sincere in his religion working hard and late at age 90.

He didnt like the vertical people. Aaron Dean wasn t even aware about the stupid protocols and pet theories of these ministers since he enjoyed the original order of things.

And as I have saying on many blogs and postings. Stan Rader was in control even after he left regular attendance. Thats why Tkach presided over his funeral and why the Foundation collapsed at the exact hour the last installment to the Auditorium was payed. Then as Rader had prophesied in 1980 in prinr was executed. "There would be no (real) successor to HWA".

Nck

Gordon Feil said...

Too bad that Aaron doesn't write his memoirs of his 12 years as steward and the several years following. He could dispel a lot of ill founded speculation.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Dean is being very kind to RCM, saying that he "exaggerated." Meredith didn't "exaggerate", though, he LIED. OFTEN.

Dibar Apartian, weeks before his death, said that RCM had not changed in the 40 years he had known the man. We should not forget how RCM, not long before he died, lied in a court deposition about what he knew about the Scarborough situation. He also meanly, cruelly, and politically arranged the defrocking and exile of John Robinson, based in large part on LIES.

Rod Meredith was known for saying "Liars won't be in the Kingdom." By his own testimony, RCM won't be in the Kingdom. After the third resurrection, maybe he and Rod McNair will survive long enough to wave to each other as they are consumed in the Lake of Fire.

Anonymous said...

I personally know many power crazed individuals. As they have gotten older, they have become even more power hungry, rather than less. Especially as their health deteriorates. So obviously they use power to compensate for their failing health.
So forget the idea of people becoming humble in their old age.

DennisCDiehl said...

I was an 18 year old still Presbyterian oriented kid sitting in RCM's First Year Bible/Harmony (LOL) of the Gospels class when he said, "It is God, Christ, Herbert W Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong, MYSELF ......and a few other leading Evangelists..."

That was the first time of many I thought, "huh?....that's a crazy thing to say. Why would a man say that?." I could not fathom my Presbyterian minister coming up with such a line about himself." Aaron explains a lot and that was consistent with RCM's view of himself.

That rank and authority thing mucked up the WCG up but good over the years and led to Joseph Tkach being Apostle of nothing left.

My dad wrote JWT a letter "thanking" him for destroying the local congregation and signed it his ever famous...
M.T. Hall which it was after authority from the top down got done with it.

Byker Bob said...

Wow, Dennis! What a unique coincidence we share! I was 18 part of the semester I spent in Rod’s 1YB class, too! I turned 19 during that year. He was known to say so many outrageous things, wasn’t he? But, mostly, he talked about the Bible, and masturbation, and homosexuality. Curiously, he also reminded us every day to keep our minds off sex.

All these years later, I wonder if he ever realized that John 3:16 takes care of all offenses of the 613, past, present, and future for all times. Numerologists would find that juxtaposition rather interesting.

BB

Anonymous said...

I remember leaving WCG for not just doctrinal changes but also I was fed up with the very non-Christian attitude, A "friend" tried to get me to get involved with GCG and after about 3 visits with the local minister I knew that I would just be a better Christian in the Church of God of Prophecy and have a much better relationship with Jesus and have since 1992.

Near_Earth_Object said...

Just like a bunch of Goyim. Squabbling over who is greatest. Autocrats who represent themselves as benefactors.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Dean admitted to altering or falsifying "Herb's" last letter, so Dean is not credible.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Dean, is a cowardly guy, why did not he say this before and directly to Rod Meredith ?, ask Don why he taught the trinity with Jim Franks Mario Seiglie and other UCG heroes ...? .. Why Victor KUbik dismissed ministers for keeping the Sabbath? ... there are many things to ask before speaking ill of someone who can not answer ... Aaron Dean this is very ordinary on your part ... is it worth saying this Now? ... Why not deal with your evangelical corporation, lukewarm and lax, which is today the UCG?

Anonymous said...

I notice that "vertical people" isn't defined. So let me do it. It's people who feel that they own others, and treat them accordingly. Failing to affirm this is whitewashing a great evil.

Herb failing to eat with these might be nothing more than hiding his physical frailty rather than a moral statement.

That Herb wasn't a vertical guy is not true. It was he who often said that 'government is everything.' He endorsed the taboo on rights in the church. Dave Pack published a letter Herb sent to all the ministers telling them that 'they can be kings on thrown now' rather than in the kingdom. He knew this meant unleashing scum ministers unto the members. I assume this was envy and power motivated.

Herb was the king and protector of the vertical people.

Ron said...

Aaron Dean posted that and much more on the Big Sandy AC alumni forum, and it was copied over to the Pasadena site as well.

Greg Albrecht has also started posting.... real honest, heart felt stuff. Seems like a cool cat, now. He still has a faith based website, but associates himself with no organized religious group.

There's been a lot of quite interesting discussion there for quite some time now.

Roger Barnett

Ron said...

Meredith was a trip... I never could stomach the asshat. I sat in the same class, Dennis, well, a year before you.....

I'm not sure what happened to a post a minute ago. It said that Aaron Dean's two long posts were copied from the big Sandy Alumni group to the Pasadena page.

Roger Barnett

Connie Schmidt said...

Id love to hear Aaron give expose' information about his brother Kevin, and the fun adventures they had together back in Pasadena spying on people with electronic devices and dossiers, and insight into some of the "activities" that happened aboard the G2/3. Also if he has any insights on the current location of his brother.

Anonymous said...

And of course, Aaron Dean has the final say so on everything about WCGs history, and would never have an unbiased agenda against anyone he may or may not care for. lol

Anonymous said...

I disagree with HWA on most things (he was an egotistical, pathological liar who took advantage of the poor and ignorant) but his assessment of Rod Meredith was SPOT-ON!