By SHT, Contributing Writer
I don't get angry that often - really angry - when I read the way we were. But this is different.
I am literally fuming at what members of the Church and readers of The Plain Truth were TOLD to show our children.
In the Plain Truth of February, March, of 1955, Herbert Armstrong told parents to show their children the horrifying, graphic imagery of Armageddon that was drawn by Basil Wolverton. In 1955 - this was insanely graphic for the time.
In a response to people who those who "griped" and "criticized" Herbert Armstrong about not wanting to see such realistic pictures, even that they would stop reading - and some, rightly, not wanting their children to see such pictures - what did Herbert do?
First, he admits that the pictures are TERRIFYING and REVOLTING.
Then, he doubles down and says he WANTS children to see those pictures!
He wants the children to "WAKE UP" and see what's happening. Herbert wants these children to "seek God and His Divine Protection." And that these horrible events NEED NOT strike them - that they MAY be taken on a flight to the place of safety."
This is the most disgusting, revolting piece of pure garbage I have ever come across from researching the bowels of historic Armstrongism. Because showing children, intentionally, these images, is absolutely horrible. Then, telling them that these images may really happen? Even worse. But then putting it into their heads that they are going to be taken to some place of safety? At any time? That's the WORST UNCERTAINTY a child could ever imagine. These tactics were abusive. They were destructive. They were nightmare-inducing and fear-enabling. Most of all, all of this were nothing but lies that severely harmed the lives of children in their most formative years of life.
What kind of man would ever WANT to show children these kinds of pictures? What kind of man would want children to focus on Armageddon, death, destruction, boils, pain and hurt? What kind of man would TELL parents to show kids this? What kind of man would tell parents to tell kids they might be whisked to some place of safety? What kind of man would make children believe that all of this was going to happen - and SOON?
You know what kind of man would do that. And yet, so many stand behind this kind of man as some sort of holy restorer of divine truth. The man many stand behind was an abusive liar. And the harm he caused by advising parents to show children this sort of CRAP - and teach them LIES that it would happen in their childhood and lifetime - cannot be understated. Because my parents were two that listened to that man. And I believed my parents. And I know others who believed the same thing. And our childhoods were stolen.
Children need to learn about Jesus Christ. Children need to learn about the love of God. How to help people. How to care for others. How to worship and praise God, and be thankful. Children need to have fun, live life, play, learn, laugh, and love. Children need to develop in an atmosphere of joy and peace - to the best that their surroundings allow. Though we all know that life in childhood for many is never a bed of roses - a mix of the best and worst of times - the LAST thing that a child needs is the horrifying images of Armageddon, death and destruction in their heads, their parents telling them it's all real, and at any moment they might be whisked to the place of safety. That's not Christianity. That's just abuse. And that's why I am angry I came across this absolutely disgusting piece of crap of an article in "The Plainest Bullcrap" of March, 1955.