Friday, June 15, 2018

The Envoy


44 comments:

Anonymous said...

When my mother died I found a closet filled with these all the way back to the 50's. They made the best bonfire ever!

Anonymous said...

This was nothing but a propaganda tool used to "inspire" members to give more money. Plus it was a guaranteed money maker for the church since church members were encouraged to use 2T to buy it.

Byker Bob said...

Super plastic. Totally artificial environment in which zealous students were to lose their own personalities and adapt the UAP (universal Ambassador personality). Many of those who were most successful at this were sent into the field.

BB

Anonymous said...

Ah yes.

Thumbing through the envoy as a young child. Looking at all the pictures of the "Happiest Place on Earth".

Looking at the pictures of the dorms, and the beautiful homes - and that gigantic swimming pool. Thinking Renae Bechthold and Brenda Purkapile were the most beautiful two girls that ever existed on the planet - and that Kathy Pierce was just plain cute.
Yup, I was that kid. The WCG kid who looked at the Envoy to see who the most beautiful ladies were. There was also this one chic on the envoy who wore a swimsuit who looked to me like she was 65 years old. Mind of a kid.

It looked like such a happy, peaceful, paradise of a place. I always got a little lump in my stomach when I saw images of the Feast. you know, "The Sun Never Sets.... .... on the Worldwide Church of God". I also remember thinking the name "Arthur Suckling" was just funny. Made me chuckle when I saw it. Not sure why. I would pull out the OLDER ones and find young pics of future ministers.

Of all the books I would pick out to read, I would pick the Envoys. My parents also had about 100 issues of National Geographic Magazines, but I always went for the Envoy. I was a weird kid.



I think I looked through those envoys out of pure boredom. though. Oh, and Ross Jutsum always had an amusing smirk in each one.

Anonymous said...

This was nothing but a propaganda tool used to "inspire" members to give more money

At the Feast, I very well remember they also sold something called "The Diplomat". I remember seeing that in the Festival Brochure right under "Envoy" and right over "APPLAUSE AT THE FEAST", I think. You know - my parents didn't have any "Diplomats". I think it was the one book they did NOT have.

nck said...

6:31

RB is an amazing woman. Beats Albert Portune in a minute...... Those older pictures with the lofty titles as "chancellor" or "treasurer" and "president" always made me think of Walt Disney presenting the Mickey Mouse club in three piece suit and black and white.

I bet you loved that girl in youth magazine sunbathing in the snow.

Nck

Byker Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I can honestly say that during the 3 years of WCG attendance that I NEVER gave any money whatsoever to the church.

Still Learning said...

Our family never bought any--too poor, and what was the point?
As a kid, I did enjoy looking at the old envoys at others' homes, just to see what the ministers looked like in their younger years.

Byker Bob said...

So many memories that Ambassador students or ACOG members will never have! Sitting on your Triumph at the stop light in El Monte, California Friday night. It's bored .060 over, and running a radical cam. Both pistons are going up and down at the same time, firing on opposite sides each cycle. The high octane aviation gas you bought at the airport has the bike running fine. You watch the front wheel bob up and down against the plunging action of the forks, like a jackhammer. Your blown out steel pack mufflers are making the real music, but Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone" is playing in your head. Budweiser and White Zinfandel wine strapped to the sissy bar via bungy cord.. You are on the way home to your Mexican girlfriend, looking forward to watching her cousin Eddie on Miami Vice, and hearing the debut of Tina Turner's comeback hit "What's Love Got To Do With It?" Your lady is preparing delicious tacos for dinner from a recipe that has been in her family for hundreds of years. You hear a hissing noise and suddenly realize that the extreme vibration of your bike has once again exploded one of your beer cans, and beer is dripping from the bag down the rear fender. This is just the beginning of another wonderful 1980s Southern California weekend. You smile as you think of your former brethren, and family members eagerly awaiting the arrival of "the Germans", and enduring a Kafkaesque life. You cut the engine halfway up the driveway, drift the final 30 yards, park the bike in the garage, and are greeted with a passionate kiss...... This is a life worth living, and what life should be all about.

BB

Anonymous said...

I bet you loved that girl in youth magazine sunbathing in the snow.

That, to be honest, does not ring a bell. And I recall a lot of Youth Magazine in my childhood. The "Ideas Plus", "Frisbees Friends", some girl on a bike throwing out newspapers, a guy on the cover gloating over an egg or something, and a girl on waterskis on SEP. I had every copy of Youth, and I'd read them right before bed most nights. There was also these ridiculous drawings - one I remember was church humor of a guy with something like a "turbo xl 2000 pen" for taking notes that could do it automatically and was the size of a missile or something. Only church kids would understand the humor of that joke. There was also a cartoon about making some kind of car engine out of paper mache. Wow, haven't thought about that in ages. Then there was an article about someone trying to land a plane during a storm. Interesting memories.


nck said...

9:38 must have been an 1982-1985 issue.

BB' s story takes me back to 1987. Tom Cruise on the soundtrack of "take my breath away. Another state, same decade.

Nck

Anonymous said...

The "Envoy" should have been named the "Envy" because it made you envy the beauty of the campus and the coeds pictured in it. As a previous post said it was just another ploy to bring in more money. Lust for a better life was the ploy used.

Hoss said...

something called "The Diplomat"

A visiting minister mentioned in his sermon that GTA had approached him with the idea of starting a church newspaper. Keeping with Ambassadorial titles, the minister suggested the new rag could be called The Emissary -- instead, it became The Worldwide News.

James said...

And you can view that piece of history, the envoy here:
https://hwarmstrong.com/ambassador.report/ambassador/1969-envoy.html

Near_Earth_Object said...

The envoy was no different from the other WCG products - it was all about theatrics and, ultimately, money. The goal was to create a marketable charade. The AC Envoy was just a part of the sales media package.

We have a stack of those yearbooks around here someplace. I have seen the much touted smiling faces. I also know that these were just regular kids - some were decent people and others were rotten. They smiled because they were supposed to smile.

The goal of all these media products was to create an illusion to induce people believe something that is not true. If you can control their beliefs you can control them as a resource, human and financial.

The Envoys were also a kind of religious artifact of devotion - although I have not encountered this much. My wife and I ran into a young man at the FOT and he knew my wife's name and where she was from though he had never met her. We discovered that he had exhaustively and devotedly studied the Envoys to accumulate this information in memory. I felt a little sad. He was a nerdish sort of kid - someone who would be a laughingstock among the students at AC.

Near_Earth_Object said...

An Envoy Anecdote:

When AC was seeking accreditation, Don Ward hired a bunch of staff who were not WCG members. The library director was not a WCG member. He recognized that the library collection at AC did not remotely support the curriculum of a small college. So he began a process of selling of all the strange volumes that were on the shelves and acquiring standard works to replace them.

This meant that he was selling off a lot of arcane works that were in the bibliography of Hoeh's Compendium of World History - carefully collected to support the pseudo-history.

In this bibliographic cleansing, the library director eliminated the Envoy collection that was in the library. I was standing around one afternoon when Dixon Cartwright came over from the Press to look something up in an Envoy and found them missing. He went bazooka. The librarian told him that it was not a function of the library to keep Institutional records and documents. Cartwright was not happy as he stalked out of the library.

I don't know what actually happened to the Envoy collection. Maybe they went into a dumpster.

Anonymous said...

The Envoys were also a kind of religious artifact of devotion - although I have not encountered this much. My wife and I ran into a young man at the FOT and he knew my wife's name and where she was from though he had never met her.

The Young Ambassadors were A-List Celebrities in COGDom.
The Really Gorgeous Students were the B-List Celebs.
The Student Council Presidents, and other AC Elites were C-Listers.
And all the other AC students were the D-Listers.

It really was no different than the fans of Hollywood regard actors/actresses to those who were really into Herbert's Wonderful World of Make Believe. It's just the way it was for the small subset of the weird, the sheltered, and the oppressed who were cut off from the normal reality (such as the kid you mentioned you met at FOT) - so they invented their own set of people to look up to. In WCG world, those AC YA's held the same admiration as some of the actors from the same area in California - but more so - they were from "God's College".

Your wife would have made his day if she autographed his bible or hymnal ;)

Anonymous said...

4:44 said, ..Plus it was a guaranteed money maker for the church since church members were encouraged to use 2T to buy it.

Though they no doubt charged a lot for these, I would venture to guess that even then, they never recovered the production/printing costs on these!
Not to worry, that wasn't the intention as this was internal propaganda for the troops and just another aspect of the overall money-burn, like print/television spending that by the 1980s was ineffective as nobody was interested outdated Adventism/British-Israelism by then, leading Tkach to dump the whole thing (good move)

Anonymous said...

7.51 AM
Talking about creating a illusion, I recall reading commie publications at the time. I couldn't help but notice the similarity with Herbs publications. The use of repetition, and photographs of people, especially groups of people who supposedly believed the same thing, was obvious.
The official newspaper of the Communist Soviet Union was Pravda (1912 - 1991), which in Russian means truth. What a coincidence (sarcasm) that Herb called his flagship magazine The Plain Truth.

Connie Schmidt said...

SING ALONG TIME!

Sing to the refrain of the tune "CONVOY" C.W. McCall 1978

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd5ZLJWQmss

'Cause we got the stupid Envoy
Rotten' , full of trite
Yeah, we got the stupid Envoy,
Ain't she juvenile sight?

Come on and buy the Envoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in your way.
We gonna sell this Envoy
'Cross the U-S-A.
Envoy!

Allen Dexter said...

My first wife who divorced me when the church doctrine changed called me shortly before she died of cancer and wanted to know if I wanted her Envoy collection. I didn't. I still have the one from 1960, my year of graduation, somewhere. The others would be of no interest to me, and even that one is of decreasing interest.

Hoss said...

commie publications.... I couldn't help but notice the similarity with Herbs publications

HWA claimed he took a course on Communism, which, in his mind, made him an authority on the subject. He boldly stated that their plans were coming to pass "on schedule".
I wonder if the demise of the Soviet Union occurred "on schedule"?

nck said...

Hoss.

It goes much farther than that. Remember the Soviet gift to the UN. Plowshares and swords. That was in the Pasadena garden aswell. HWA printed commie stuff as a teen in his uncles print plant. There was quite a problem how early american capitalism treated the worker. Many many riots in the early 1900.

It takes a real understanding of my ramblings or a phd on american history to understand what hwa was talking about and what occured in the american communist party before wwI and who was printing that stuff.

At the feast in 1977 whe were shown orwells "animal farm" as an activity. The kids loved the animation and the adults seemed to like it.

You can only fight an idea if you introduce a new one. Agricultural world tomorrow (1938) fair was the capitalist answer to the soviet idea.

Hwa became the stauncest of cold war wariors over all the cia funded radio stations, radio monte carlo, etc etc fighting the soviets with the capitalist version of their original idea.

World tomorrow was first broadcast from putins office in st petersburg when putin was my counterpart as a lowly st petersburg civil servant after he had left his kgb counter intelligence post in berlin. There is so much more.

Chimese welcomed hwa after 10 years of lobbying through ethiopian intelligence. Rader praised the chinese system in 1978. Its on tape. Then hwa says it needs to change and hands deng the aiditorium blueprints. Then kuhn becomes the 10th influential person to the chinese in history. As I saw that brroadcast at the anniversary of the chinese state close to manas airforce base in kirgizstan. From where we pounded the afghans because 19 saudi had attacked manhattan.

Changing the world forever. But thats another story all together.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

The idea of the Ambassador student as super star in the local church areas, with the Envoy being Armstrongism's version of "Tiger Beat", or "Teen Idol" magazines made going home for a summer vacation a very uncomfortable experience. People in your local congregation with whom you had never had conversations before suddenly wanted to know your opinions on various matters. While sitting silently listening to the sermon, you'd look up, see fingers pointing and people smiling. The teenagers you hung around with before, and who knew your secrets, wanted to find out whether you'd sold out, and to what degree you'd changed. I had tried to be as inconspicuous as possible at church prior to attending AC, very very careful of every word spoken, because the brethren would tell your parents about any little slip, and you'd end up being punished in typical overkill fashion. Whoever made the comment about Communism was right on target. Comments that differed with the party line were taken seriously, and there were repercussions.

The beginning of my Sophomore year, we had a new student in our dorm who had not been a long-term church member prior to coming to AC. Typically, such students were handle with kid gloves. You wanted to be very careful not to offend these "little lambs". The first day, he was beginning to make comments to the effect that some of the things he was seeing were not in the Envoy or the college catalogue. Our dorm was not Manor Del Mar, and had not been on the pages of the Envoy. Due to the demolition of some of the older mens' dorms, making room for an ambitious construction program, we were in some old, formerly unused, nearly condemned apartment buildings on Olcott Place which by no means met the standards portrayed in the Envoy. The first few days, I ran around attempting to correct as many of the things found legitimately objectionable as possible, including sneaking out of the dorm after lights out to unscrew a lightbulb on another dorm's stairway, which had been keeping (I'll call him Richard) from being able to sleep. Eventually, I discovered that while Richard was often critical (a good trait) of things he observed, these things did not rise to the level of causative factor for leaving. That wouldn't happen until around 1975.

The take-away from this discussion regarding the Envoy is that we open yet another illusion of Armstrongism to the light of day. Whitened sepulchres is a descriptive from the pages of the Bible used to depict people who effect a veil for the benefit of others, while being totally different on the inside. AC/WCG/HWA perfectly fits that descriptive. If we consider the possibility that nck may be right, then the whole thing wasn't even a religion to start with. In his version we were all part of a front for the CIA. The Bible doesn't say that the CIA will never completely die out, and will always be a small group found somewhere. So, who knows?

BB

Angela Storey said...

I can't believe I was deceived by all that hypocritical fake rubbish. It seems a lifetime ago and I'm glad I woke up and escaped. One big unhappy narcissistic family.

Hoss said...

Thanks nck, I now remember about HWA and printing Communist material.
I recall the fictitious account in the PT of HWA meeting the then deceased Mao Zedong and a few other accounts of the WCG/AICF adventures in China.

Anonymous said...

BB -

Since you were an AC student back on summer break, did they give you the opportunity to present a Sermonette to the congregation or give you a leadership role i.e. song leading?

nck said...

Hoss. Fictitious account of a meeting with chairman mao in PT. Thats new to me. Have to look that up sometime. Perhaps you are talking about the annoyed British secretary of the Queen about an overly enthusiastic hwa at a benefit where he claimed joint cooperation with the cabinet of the queen, which was a mistake.

What strikes me at the 1969 envoy is that's it like a start up with all the important players\ people\puppets of later years in place already. Ready to embark.

The 1969, also makes my point on the plans on the huge building program. It beats me completely that anyone was mentally preparing for 1975 if development plans on such scale were freely available. I wasnt expecting anything in 1975. I can tell you that. And the envoy played huge part in not expecting radical change anytime soon early seventies.

Nck

Anonymous said...

https://hwarmstrong.com/ambassador.report/ambassador/1969-envoy.html

On page 348 I see the Giant IBM Computer used to keep tabs/files on members' info/sins (very handy for ministers'/deacons' wives'coffee-talk in local areas)

nck said...

The chinese got aware of hwa at "the lion of judah, heir to the seed of salomo's" place, just before this central figure in east african relations was strangled in 1975 and replaced with a marxist regime. This I know about 1975.

The 2 candelabra at the auditorium were a reminder of the most lavish party on earth ever. The cost of this huge party was the final straw for a call to regime change that eventually sent the cia backed rulers of iran fleeing and change the power structure in the "seven sisters" power structure.

Nck

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

The Envoy was opened in my household. We had most of the Envoys from the 1960s and 1970s. Like others mentioned, it was fun to see what our local ministers looked like when they were younger at Ambassador College. Local ministers in the Washington/Baltimore/Richmond WCG such as Ken Westby, Tom Williams, Richard Plache, Richard Frankel, Cliff Ackerson, Ken Smylie, Ben Wesley, Vince Panella, Chuck Zimmerman, Charles Dickerson, Arnold Hampton as well as all of their wives. Whenever a visiting minister came to our Washington, D.C. Church, we would look them up in the Envoy. People like Roger Foster, Edwin Marrs, Robert Lay, Lambert Greer, Randy Kobernat, Art Mokarow, etc.

When we came back from the Feasts, we would look up the ministers who spoke in old Envoys. Also, it was a way of seeing the top executives/evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God in action behind the scenes.

As an aspiring future Ambassador College applicant, the Envoys were motivational to me in my pursuit of applying to Ambassador. As one single girl in Church who went on to Ambassador said to me, "Ambassador is where all the best guys in the Church are". She said that to me right after I had informed her my application had been denied, thank you very much!

I never made it to Ambassador (thank God), but my sister did and she is in an Envoy both at Big Sandy and Pasadena. It is important to remember the context of that time in the Church. We excluded ourselves from the rest of the world. We didn't socialize with "worldly people". I had almost no friends in high school and College but had many friends in the Church - some of whom went onto Ambassador and later appeared in Envoys.

The Envoy was a very important psychological tool to represent "God's College" and God's people and their families. We were a very connected group amongst ourselves in an age before the internet and social media. For example, in conversations with Dennis Diehl a few years back, we discovered he knew people I knew and I knew people he knew - yet Dennis and I had never met in the WCG. The Envoy in many ways was the glue representation that kept us all bonded. It also displayed pictorially the next generation of the growing WCG should time go on beyond 1972. However, few of us expected that to happen at the time as the second 19-year time cycle was to expire in the first week of January 1972 and the Germans were to attack the United States beginning the Great Tribulation.

What a wonderful "make-believe world" we belonged to in the WCG. As others noted, the Envoy was a marketing tool to make us all feel good about the Work, the Church, the Armstrongs and God's College teaching God's ways and recapturing true values. Oh, to be young and idealistic again!

Richard

nck said...

9:31

Richard that is an excellent expose about the times before facebook, instagram and whatsapp. I really mean that. Most of my silly postings extend what you describe into the international diplomatic arena at a time when personal friendships (diplomatic wining and dining) mattered more and to reach a renegate ally like Egypt by phone would take have an hour to set up a feeble landline through which they would communicate that the Soviets would build at aswan and kings would radio ham bricket wood for fun to see how far they could reach.

Many today have difficulty imagining a world where "the babysitter" cannot just take her cell phone in a horror movie to call 911, or even sit out the intro to a rerun of "The Streets of San Francisco" tv series that today is percieved to be soooooooooooooooo slow.

nck

Anonymous said...

Hoss
I do recall a article and photograph showing Herb with the leader of China in a church publication. It was touted as the first foreign religious leader to meet the Chinese leader. But it was Deng rather than Mao.
I had been reading the PT since 1966 but have no memory of Herb meeting Mao.

Anonymous said...

???????? If HWA was really CIA Manchurian candidate then surely they would have bumped off Garner Ted.

Hoss said...

nck, no, and I remember the phony "co-hosting" with the Queen.
I found a story about HWA's March 77 PT Mao fantasy over at PCG.

nck said...

Ah yes, The "what I would have wanted to say to the Chairman" issue. Thank you.

I found that article an hour ago after I was distracted by the ending of the career of the "senior japanese son". Interesting to see what had become of the "japanese sons" to really understand japanese power structure after wwII and the liberal party.

For those who believe I am off topic. The 1969 envoy is about the year the daughter of the "senior son" studied for a year at ac as the "son" introduced hwa to the three people ruling a quarter of the known world.

In the minutes you see how Stanley Rader explains through a note to hwa how the intelligence community works as they discussed the domino theory and the chinese leadership explain their position versus the soviet position to hwa.

Nothing phony about that. It is the Manchurian candidate in full frontal view, 360 degree angle. The manchurian candidate, the story of my life. If any wants to know about how "prophecy" works I do recommend "UN special envoy George Clooney's movie "Syriana" that years before the "fulfillment" exactly explains what is happening in Saudi Arabia and Yemen now.

I love it that 1969 envoy. O noes dominoes.......


nck

nck said...

I spoke to hastily regarding "Manchurian candidate". I should have said "Robert Redford's Spy Game".

nck

Byker Bob said...

Many who were part of the scene in 1969 did ask “Why are they building all of these buildings if the end is right around the corner? It seemed really strange. The sermons with an end time theme kept on chugging along, hippies, getting the pride of our power broken in Viet Nam, the end of the marriage institution, abortion, scandal in government, the counter-culture’s romance with drugs, all of which we were assaulted with every sabbath, and told that the world was in a desparate condition. But, they kept on buying expensive artwork and gold, and building expensive buildings. The auditorium was widely called “Herbie’s Last Erection”. It was all so counterintuitive. Was the message the real mission, and the buildings for the benefit of the CIA?

BB

nck said...

What is interesting to see in the pcg article is how they filter 5 minutes of hwa talking and edit out 45 minutes of intelligence gathering by stan, and japanese intelligence.

The chinese do mention that they make note of hwas observations regarding Europe as the tenth rate minipower that they are. Today they are responding to hwas call in full power with the strategic belt initiative connecting the entire eurasian landmass in the largest infrastructure initiative in the history if mankind. Leaving the us a tiny island in another 40 years.

Nck

nck said...

The buildings were a reflection of our belief in a new world a new society. They were classified that way by the american architectual society and reflected the values of the famous architects and campus / garden designers.

If one says "well when I saw them later they had this sixties feel about them" then at least that is some hint of knowledge about design and architecture. Thats a good start.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

It really doesn’t matter, nck. HWA/WCG were inconsequential shit at best. If everything you say is true, they were reflections, and not innovators. They simply fell in with the times in a similar fashion as the Beatles.

BB

nck said...

"They simply fell in with the times in a similar fashion as the Beatles."

Of course. Don't we all!

I did say that the staff pictures in the envoy reflect Walt Disney presenting three little pigs to make that point.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv1zd02fqVM

nck

Anonymous said...

Many didn't buy one, but many of us did buy one because we enjoyed them.