Saturday, March 9, 2019

Wes White: WCG Paratroopers of 1979 -1980

WCG Paratroopers of 1979 – 1980
By Wes White

The March 7, 2019 post in Banned about the re-capture of alleged child-molester Kevin Owen Dean (brother of UCG evangelist Aaron Dean) brought back some old, old memories.  Especially the comment which said: “I remember him (Kevin Dean) coming to KC one time… he accompanied Raymond McNair as they were going around to try and give ‘correct’ info when CA sued the WCG.”

This comment was talking about the Paratroopers who operated in 1979 and 1980. Does anyone remember the Paratroopers? I was one of them.  

This PR operation was created as a result of the Receivership crisis which began on January 2, 1979.  We were called Paratroopers because about twelve to fourteen of us would load up on the church’s G-II on a Friday afternoon.  We would fly to a region of the US and we would be dropped off (usually in pairs) in various cities of that region.  We would attend morning Sabbath services in one city and then afternoon services in a nearby city.  We would be picked up Sunday morning and returned to Pasadena that afternoon or evening.

Each two-man team was typically composed of an older minister and a younger guy who may or may not have been ordained.  Obviously, I was one of the younger guys.  

I actually found some of my old Paratrooper files and I am looking at them as I write. 

The “younger guys” consisted of people like Fred Stevens (Accounting Department), Jim Snook (Facilities and step-father of the Dean boys), Mike Feazell, Contardi, Aaron Dean, Kevin Dean, Joe Katora, Robin Webber, and Wilbur Berg. 

The “older ministers” consisted of people like Bob Fahey, Jack Kessler, Dean Blackwell, Dibar Apartian, Raymond McNair, Larry Salyer, Ellis LaRavia, Carn Catherwood, Leroy Neff, Joe Tkach Sr., Dick Ames, Richard Rice, John Halford, Frank Schnee, Sherwin McMichael, and K. Walden. 

At the church service in a local area, the older minister was tasked with just giving a sermon.  That’s all. He didn’t need to necessarily promote the party line regarding the Receivership.  If it had been required that the older minister speak glowingly of resisting the Receivership, a lot of these older guys wouldn’t have participated in the program.  Guys like McNair and McMichael and Neff were not on board with the resistance to the Receivership.   They were still steeped in the old WCG condemnations of sit-ins, demonstrations, and resistance.  That was liberal hippy stuff and “liberal” was a very bad word in WCG. 

So it was the younger guys who were given the job of doing the heavy lifting of rallying the local church to support WCG as it fought the Receivership. From my notes, I can see the following were the responsibilities of the “second man:”

n  Introduce the film about the Receivership that had been created by the WCG Television Department. 
n  Even though this is a church vs state conflict, remember that it is NOT the job of the Paratroopers to get the membership to hate the state of California. We don’t want the church to be turned into a group anti-government nuts.  We don’t want to be promoting any weird conspiracy theories. 
n  Don’t bad-mouth GTA or anyone else who has provided information, assistance, and encouragement to the California Attorney General’s Office.  Example, in private conversation with the local leaders, it is inappropriate to refer to GTA as Garner Terd Armstrong.  If they say things like this to you over lunch or dinner, discourage it.  Don’t refer to the “Receiver” as the “Deceiver.”  Don’t make jokes about Judge Wiseman (the Receiver) by quoting the hymn, “Not Many Wise Men Now Are Called.”  Be respectful of authority even when it is wrong. 
n  Be prepared to truthfully answer all questions about exactly what is happening at HQ.  Don’t embellish.  Don’t try to read more into what actually happened.  Don’t say anything that is factually incorrect because some brethren will be recording this church service.  Anything you say that is incorrect will be used against us later. Telling the truth is important.

Here are just a few of the questions we received during our trips:

Isn’t the demonstration and the sit-in wrong?

Who are the plaintiffs?

What does the lawsuit demand from the Church?

Why does Stan Rader insist on going after GTA in lawsuits?

GTA claims he has tried to call his father many times, but the
phone is left off the hook when it is answered.  Why is this so?  Is
it true?

Do you think HWA will ever set foot in California again?

What is the origin or story of this mysterious tape that has fallen 
into the hands of Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes?  

Who is Mr. Bagley?

Why are some of our local ministers confused about the suit 
against the church?

How probable is it that this case will be brought before the 
Supreme Court?

Does the church file forms with the government each year?

Has the Big Sandy campus sale fallen through?

How much money has been paid by the church to the Receiver 
and his staff?

Why wasn’t Quest sold?  I thought Mr. Armstrong said he was 
going to sell it.

Why doesn’t Mr. Armstrong say Worldwide Church of God instead
of AICF when he travels?

Is AICF taking over the church?  Why do we allow it to print bad

What is the plastic company I heard about in Texas?

What happened to Rod Meredith?  What is the real reason he is in

Who runs Mr. Armstrong?  Is he drugged?

            Forty years later, I would answer a lot of these questions differently than I did back then.  And, as I have pointed out on Banned on several occasions, I have repented of many of the things I believed, said, and did while I was WCG from 1971 to 1981.

            However, I still believe that the California Attorney General’s Office was wrong to use an ex parte court hearing to set up a receivership that took over the WCG.  This was wrong in 1979 and would be wrong to do today.  History has proven that this was a wrong act in that it has not happened since.  

            We now know from hindsight that this receivership happened mostly for two reasons:

            The first is that GTA and his family and his supporters were pushing for it.  They provided tons of documents to the state of California along with doom and gloom predictions that the members of WCG were about to do some horrible things to themselves and their families. 

            The second reason why this happened is because the memory of the Jonestown massacre was still fresh in the minds of many people. 

            Rader was correct when he publicly stated that, if he was doing something illegal, the LA County District Attorney should have him handcuffed and taken downtown for booking.  That never happened because no one could ever prove that what Rader (and HWA) did was illegal.  

            Let me explain.

            The rich people who run things in this country are usually too smart to do anything illegal.  They and their experts know the law well enough to know they can get just about everything they want legally.  They simply don’t need to steal.  

            The laws of this country are set up where people (whether we’re talking about Rader or the Clintons or the Trump family or the Kennedys or the Bushes) usually hire the best minds to guide them as they reap financial benefits LEGALLY.  

            Some have said, “Of course the government couldn’t prove that Rader was a thief.  He kept the church’s financial records secret.”  Not true.  At the time, all WCG and AC offices were leaking like sieves.  There were people in just about every department who were unhappy with the WCG.  Employees were constantly leaking information to the Ambassador Report and to government agencies.   Remember that it was Bill Sprouse (Director of AC Security) who unlocked all the doors for the Receiver on January 2.   Yes, he was fired for it shortly thereafter.  But he let them in everywhere they wanted to go – including the fourth floor executive offices of HWA and Rader. 

Then there were several weeks between the initial take-over by the Receiver’s people on January 2 and until they lost control of the property during the sit-in.  During that time, the Receiver’s staff had access to all the financials.  

            You can promote all the conspiracy theories you want, but (in the end) until someone is convicted in a court of law, he is to be presumed innocent.  Yes, until he is actually found guilty by a judge and jury, we cannot say with assurance that he is guilty. 

            Yes, I have heard all the stories about John Kineston supposedly hauling off gold in the middle of the night from the basement of the Hall of Ad.  But the truth is that Kineston was out of town when that supposedly happened.  

            Rader didn’t need to steal.  He carefully followed the law and got what he wanted without stealing.   He set up corporations that did business with the WCG. And he made millions from these corporations along with his generous salaries (plural) and expense accounts (plural).  Was the set-up and usage of these corporations and salaries and expense accounts ethical?  Probably not. Were they moral?  Probably not.

            But legal?  Yeah.  They were legal.  

            So, if someone doesn’t like what WCG and HWA and Rader did, the laws regarding church corporations need to be changed.  Setting up a Receivership in an ex parte court hearing is not the appropriate way to solve the very real problem that was WCG, HWA, Rader, GTA, RCM, RFMc, et al.

Garner Ted On New Years Eve 1967

Garner Ted Armstrong loved to be at important events it appears, such as the previously posted Apollo 11 moon launch.  

Here is a clip, narrated by famous Basketball  Hall of Fame sports announcer Chick Hearn, from the first opening night of the Los Angeles Forum.  At that time, the Forum was considered to be the most elite basketball arena in the world. 

In the film, there are some opening shots of some of the famous celebrities who came out for the grand opening, including Lorne Greene, who at that time was the centerpiece of the "Cartwright Family" on the very popular television series called "Bonanza".  

And surprise!... guess who else is coming through the special celebrity door at the SEVEN SECOND mark of the video... no less than Garner Ted Armstrong himself, along with his wife Shirley! 

I did check on whether or not this was a Friday night event, but no, this was a New Years Eve opening, and December 31st of 1967 fell on a Sunday. I checked as I have heard rumored , that at other times, GTA did attend Laker games on Friday nights on occasion. 

Anyway, whether it was getting to witness the moon launch or the opening of the Los Angeles forum, or having your own personal jet, or the Czar's silverware, ad nauseam, it was all YOUR HARD EARNED TITHE MONEY, hard at work for the preaching of the Gospel! 

Courtesy of TONTO

Apollo 11 and GTA

Today I saw the new documentary movie, Apollo 11, at our local IMAX theatre.  Just after launch minus 1 hour 31 minutes, they showed a clip lasting about half a second of some reporters covering the event.  Right in the center of the picture was Garner Ted Armstrong, his hair still black.  I had forgotten that he got himself accredited as a reporter at several of the launches, so he could promote his new booklet, Who Will Rule Space.  Back then, I wondered why I was listening him on the radio, a week or two after the fact, say pretty much the same stuff that I had heard Walter Cronkite say a fraction of a second after the fact.  It seems that in the 1960s, GTA wanted to be a respected reporter, similar to the 1970s when he wanted to be a respected country music singer.

From a source North of the borderlines

Friday, March 8, 2019

The One and Only True Church and International Women's Day

Friday was International Women's Day.  This, of course, had to set off the doubly-cursed and self-appointed false prophet of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God.  In his eyes everything has to have a pagan connotation or some hidden meaning so that he has something to whine about.  His latest flatulence is that the day is a SOCIALIST tool to brainwash women.
March 8 was suggested by the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day.” After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. …
In 1914 International Women’s Day was held on March 8, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on March 8 in all countries. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women’s right to vote, which German women did not win until 1918.
In London there was a march from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of women’s suffrage on March 8, 1914. Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square.
On March 8, 1917, on the Gregorian calendar, in the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd, women textile workers began a demonstration, covering the whole city. This marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution. …
The day is an official holiday in Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.
In some countries, such as Cameroon, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Chile, the day is not a public holiday, but is widely observed nonetheless. (Wikipedia, accessed 03/08/18)
#BalanceforBetter is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which is observed each year on March 8. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements, according to the International Women’s Day website. That includes reducing the global pay gap between men and women and making sure all are equal – and balanced – in activist movements, boardrooms and beyond. 
International Women's Day 2019 theme is #BalanceforBetter: Here's what you need to know
He then makes this statement, almost begrudgingly:
As far as women go, they do have rights, and should not be mistreated.
He then proceeds to quote ancient scriptural texts of Herbert Armstrong on how women should know their place in the family and the church.

To be truly happy, a real woman should bear in mind the purpose of which she was created – and set herself definite GOALS to fulfill in the accomplishment of that purpose. 
First of all, she should remember that she was called to help and supplement her husband. She should learn to be responsive to him and to his direction of the home, entertainment and way of life. 
She should realize that her husband’s success is her success also – and fully SHARE and delight in the triumphs and achievements of her husband, knowing that htey are partly her own. Also, she should equally share in his sorrow and disappointments – trying always to give the right kind of balanced and positive sympathy and encouragement so that he will rebound to other successes in the future.
Then, for the woman who reads and understands the Bible, another goal presents itself. That is the goal of preparing to help RULE and reconstruct this entire society in the World Tomorrow (Rev. 2:26; 5:10). Some Christian women wonder how they are being prepare for this. If they, themselves, are not leading and directing businesses, families and public activities today, how are they learning and preparing for tomorrow’s world?
The ANSWER is that a woman, with the physiological and psychological nature given her by God has magnificent opportunities – too often untapped – for preparing toward this goal. She needs to set herself to be a really successful wife, mother and contributor today. (True Womanhood: A Lost Cause?) 


Oh Noes!!!!! Don't You Just Hate When This Happens!

It has been a sad day in Israel, as no ripe barley was found.  Thanks to that misfortune, another month has been added to the calendar!  Don't you just hate it when that happens!

7 Mar:  The New Moon was not seen this evening at Jerusalem, therefore the first day of the 13th biblical month will begin at sunset on Friday. 
No Aviv barley was found near Jerusalem or anywhere else in Israel.  Therefore an intercalary thirteenth month will be added at the next visible new moon [tomorrow evening], and the first month of the new year will begin in April. 
Lest you think this silliness cannot get any worse, read the following legalistic nonsense:

7 Mar: Except for a report by Brian Convery of isolated patches of barley mixed with a high concentration of oats south of S’derot by Gaza [which are not Aviv anyway since this is barley plants mixed with standing oats, and is also not acceptable due to their location so far from Jerusalem]; NO Aviv was found anywhere near Jerusalem at this time.    
The difference between Brian and the Karaites is that the Karaites [the ancient scribes] standard, is that the barley harvest must be Aviv by the end of the 12th month; while Brian’s standard is that he can forecast the harvest to be Aviv by the Wave Sheaf day.   
I cannot accept the position that the Aviv can be forecast without any error two weeks before the fact, because it relies on human judgment rather than an actual observation.  What if it is forecast with the best of intentions and information, and there is an unexpected weather issue and the barley is not Aviv by Wave Sheaf day?   
This explains the 12th month or offering day issue between them; but still does not meet the command for all persons to be present at Jerusalem for Passover and the Feast, which necessitates the cutting of the sheaf immediately outside the temple.  Which  was accepted practice during the temple period and accepted by Christ as the standard.  
What is the command?  To keep the Passover and Feast at Jerusalem!What does the Wave Sheaf mean?  It is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ!   
Where was Christ resurrected from?  A tomb immediately outside the walls of Jerusalem!  
Where was the Sheaf cut, throughout the temple period?  Just outside the walls of Jerusalem! 
To cut it anywhere else is to break God’s command,  and obscures the true meaning!  See more below.   
Of course the temple no longer exists and we will not offer sacrifices until Christ comes and builds a new temple, but we should certainly use the temple site as the basis for establishing the new year. 
Because of this fact an intercalary thirteenth month will begin at the next visible new moon [tonight or tomorrow evening], and the first month of the new year will begin in April. This is way too early, placing Trumpets in August,  Brian made the same error  of mistaking a few isolated advanced patches as establishing Aviv in 2016.  
This year his pics showed a little barley mixed with standing oats which is a dead giveaway that the barley is NOT Aviv since the oats will always fall over a week before the barley becomes Aviv.   
Devorah Gordon: no Aviv found anywhere in Israel.  
We carried out our Aviv Search on March 6, 2019 and concentrated our search in the regions in Israel where the barley first ripens, namely the Jordan Valley and the Northern Negev. The barley in the Jordan Valley was extremely immature, either still in the boot or in the flowering or cotton stages. When we first started our search in the in the Northern Negev we were finding that there too the fields were in the flowering and cotton stages. However as we progressed more South, we found fields that contained a significant amount of barley in the worm and soft dough stages.  
We even found some patches of aviv barley. However, these aviv patches were clearly micro environments and by far not representative of the state of the barley in the fields they were found in. One of the places we found patches of aviv barley was growing on a slightly raised mound, which for whatever reason seems to have caused the barley to develop quicker [James, this is because of better drainage drying the plant and forcing maturation]. The other place we found patches of Aviv barley was on the West side of a Tel, which due to its position and direction was receiving a lot of direct sunlight.  
I want to reiterate that the little Aviv we found, were patches found in micro environments and by far not representative of the state of the barley in the fields they were found in, nor will it significantly affect the harvest yield if these patches are not harvested before their heads break.  
It was the unanimous consensus of the team that they personally will NOT be beginning the new year with the upcoming new moon.
6 Mar:   Brian Convery seems satisfied with a little barley in the Gaza area and has decided to terminate his search.   
Report from Jerusalem:  The barley at the Temple Mount (just north of the Eastern Gate) is either just coming out of the boot (Zadoks stage 5) or in flowering stage (Zadoks 6). The hulls where the kernels form are still empty. Aviv is Zadok Scale 8 and harvestable barley is Zadok Scale 9.Becca Biderman reports that the barley is not ready anywhere north of S’derot and around Jerusalem the oats were still vibrant green and the barley was mostly in bloom, basically, it was in the same condition as itwas in the north region. There are storks, swallows, doves, figs,leafing grapes, lambs and kids, etc. but the barley is not ready.  
Brian Hoeck reports some fields in the south with patches of Aviv, and others intend to visit those fields tomorrow.  
Unless this changes tomorrow, the barley at Jerusalem is NOT Aviv for a new year and the next new moon will begin an intercalary thirteenth month, and  Passover will be in April. Final Report tomorrow.   
This is the kind of legalistic bullshit that James Malm wants to enforce upon the world.