When reading of the booklets for analysis - the booklet "This is Ambassador College" published by the Ambassador College Press in 1968 and 1969. This was three years before the big 1972 incident. Eleven years into the attempts to fund the Auditorium. Thirteen years since they were pressing forward the idea of the nineteen-year time cycle. Nearly every building was completed - except for the Crown Gem of the campus. And well into the glory years of the Church - just before that scandals of GTA and 1975 were about to rip a gash in the fabric of the Church. This is the background of this submission.
First - some pointed facts of what is NOT in the booklet.
There is ZERO mention or acknowledgement or praise of God, Jesus, the Church, or any hint or semblance of any religious affiliation whatsoever in the growth or the building up of this college. There is zero mention of any of the traumatic money-pushes that were going on at the exact same time this was published (of course). In fact, you cannot find any hint at all that this college was even religious. It's not there. In fact, the Church behind the college was such a secret at the time that you could not even find where they were meeting,or who the pastors were. Of course, we all know the story behind this - or at least how it was portrayed to the members. It still stands a strong, solid fact: God was absolutely excluded from any part of the founding or the story of Ambassador College. All glory was given only to Herbert Armstrong - for everything.
Here we see the "Business aspects" that claimed help Herbert start Ambassador College and the Church. This is actually very good information to what Herbert was learning behind the scenes - once you take off the religious charade that cloaked what he was learning and doing.
He traveled all over the country, it says, interviewing business owners, and executives - millionaires - searching out "ideas that had been successfully used by businessmen", gathering material for the Trade Journal. He was also internalizing this material for his own benefit - storing the advice and material wisdom from some of the brightest - and wealthiest - men of that generation.
Notice what this work involved. He had to literally question businessmen (and Herbert must have been in his glory here) to learn "the reasons for the success of the few and the failure of the many". The definition of success here, of course, was financial success - becoming "an important person", as he so often says he strove with all of his energy to be. He did many surveys to learn the psychology of why people buy what they buy, and spend what they spend. He was able to learn the act of marketing - how to sell a product, and to determine what needs to be said to what group of people to merchandise - to get them to buy whatever product people are trying to sell. Sales was an art form - and he was in a position to learn and employ every psychological formula to cause people to want to buy ANYTHING.
The wealth of information that he learned - make no mistake about this - was WORLDLY. He spent time classifying and analyzing all types of people and knew exactly what to write, in his ads, or say, in person, to convince a person that they needed a product - desperately. This knowledge would have cost much money to learn in a college environment. Herbert had the chance to learn these worldly ways directly from the ones who have used them the best. The Autobiography clearly states the financial advice he got in regards to money was advice he took with him for his entire life - employed and used in business, by a businessman.
Here, it is very obvious what Herbert was trying to do: Mix, as a hybrid, the worldly ways of financial success with the Bible as he saw it. This, in my view, is how he approached scripture. He allowed the worldly laws of finance and business to rule over the spiritual laws of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is BUSINESS that employed the top-down model of government. It is BUSINESS that employed the strict, dictatorial, my way of the highway approach that he used. It is BUSINESS that determined the ministerial policies of strong-handedness among the "management". The only way that he knew how to run a business was to run everything as a business - even if it was supposed to be "God's True Church".
It was business that caused Herbert Armstrong to use sales product pitches in every co-worker letter to obtain finances. It was business in the way he organized the very structure of every division. And it was as a businessman, and a boss, in how he viewed the baptized members of the Church - and the co-workers as an arm of funding.
The fruits of what happened are exactly what you would expect from a business, not a church.
Scandals. Debauchery. Immorality, Contentiousness. Power Struggles. Deceit. Lies. When you understand that the Worldwide Church of God was merely an "Extension Program" of Ambassador College - the fundraising arm through tithes, and offerings, under a pretense of religion - and you see clearly that all this was going on while the Church was fully deceiving it's membership as a means to an end - it begins to put every puzzle piece together.
Let me emphasize this once again for clarity.
Mention of God? Zero.
Mention of Jesus? Zero.
Mention of the Church? None.
This was intentional - until changed by Garner Ted in the 1970s, in an attempt to make the church "more visible" - and eventually, after everything was accomplished and completed as far as the master plan of the college goes - when nothing else was to be gained - the Church did become more visible, and the name of the Church was added to the World Tomorrow Program. But you did not find this happening until after the fact - when there was a massive shift from fundraising and establishing to simply maintaining.
Herbert was a pioneer in strategically using a worldly business model to combine with a religious organization to create the appearance of a Church. And without any doubt whatsoever - he used fully worldly, fully carnal, fully business-like methods to accomplish this task - using the business training he received from successful businessmen to do so.
When people joined into his "Church", they entered into a reverse business.
Instead of getting paid, they paid the business. Instead of getting health benefits, their health was taken away. Instead of getting support from the ministers, they were chastized. Instead of the ministers seeing themselves as servants, they saw themselves as bosses.
Once they got you in their business, then the psychological training was on.
You were told if you left the Church, you would lose the business benefits. Which were:
- A Security Detail that would Protect You from the Outside Wolves
- The Office of a High-Ranking Manager in the World-Ruling Government
- A Pioneer in a World-Ruling Government
- A Yearly Vacation in a Business Conference, Which is paid by You, not the Corporation
- Mandatory weekly training sessions
Or, you could be terminated from the business by:
- Failure to comply with the Standards and Practices of the Organization
- Failure to pay dues as required by the Organization
- Failure to follow the Code of Conduct required by the Organization
- Disloyalty to the organization, or to it's management
- Failure to follow the Corporate Dress Code
- Self-Interpretation of Business Law or Dissemination Thereof to other members
- Failure to adhere with the Policies of the Organization
- Insubordination of Managers within the Corporation
In addition, you agreed to:
- Follow orders without question, every time
- Refrain from grumbling, complaining in any measure
- Maintain the highest level of productivity and efficiency within the organization
- Forego any "union" representation
- Refrain from personal interpretation of the Master Code of Regulations used by the Corporation
- Agree to not participate in the activities of the competition
- Agree to non-disclosure on corporate material to the competition; instead referring them to Management
- Agree to on-call, twenty-four hour service as required by Management
- Agree to pay for any business projects beyond dues as requested when required out of pocket
- Agree to zero compensation at all times
- Agree to a lifetime, irrevocable membership unless terminated by Managers
In the event you revoked your membership:
- You forfeited all rights, privileges, rank, and fellowship with the Corporation or other members of the Corporation, without eligibility of rehire, unless reinstated by the Management upon intent of compliance with the Polices, Standards, and Procedures of the Corporation.
In addition. You would be, according to the policies of the Church, convinced:
- You forfeited all spiritual, eternal, everlasting cohesion inside the mortal Universe, and as punishment for the Crime of Rebellion against the Corporation, you would be supernaturally obliterated into absolute nothingness as if you have never been, on the sole whim and judgement of the Managers of the Corporation.
"This Is Ambassador College" seemed to be absolutely EMBARRASSED a religious organization was behind it. About as embarrassed was as Herbert was to go to Kings and Prime Ministers and completely leave Jesus and his first coming out of it.
Herbert Armstrong took all the glory for the business with this booklet. God and Jesus got none. And this - 3 years before "1972" - all while deceiving the membership about what was to come - and here you see the College - and the Church - for exactly what it was. A worldly enterprise with an Extension Program, a "Church" as its main fundraising arm somehow not even mentioned here - with the most worldly senior management you could imagine running the whole business.
God wasn't in this.
Also, seriously, I'm being totally literal here.
GOD was NOT in this.