Monday, December 4, 2023

Who exactly was Herbert W Armstrong?


Who exactly was Herbert W Armstrong? 
How did a private citizen and leader of a small church denomination get audiences with over 300 world leaders from 1968-1986? 
This is the first in a series of videos that will attempt to answer those questions and many more.


Anonymous said...

“How did a private citizen and leader of a small church denomination get audiences with over 300 world leaders from 1968-1986?”

Well, I suppose that is all very nice too, but Gerald Flurry might go to more Irish dancing shows, and Dave Pack might come up with more wrong date guesses.

Anonymous said...

Who was HWA? A pedofile.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I did not realize he said all this. An Ambassador for Allah? An Ambassador for all religions?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. By the time I left WCG, I was pretty jaded by the bogusness of the whole experience. By that point in time, 1975, HWA had lapsed into his standard sermon on the two trees, and ummed and uhhed his way even through that as he forgot words here and there. I can't say that I enjoyed and looked forward to hearing that same sermon each Pasadena holy day on which he spoke. But, those were commanded assemblies, and as I gazed around the room, it wasn't as if everyone else was on the edge of their seats as they would be for some gripping sort of experience. No white knuckles in that audience!

The video presentation above reminded me of how charismatic a speaker HWA was. We have to at least give him that. His personal charisma certainly drew a lot of people in. The descendants of Ishmael with whom he was speaking in the video were obviously very happy to hear someone from another of the three Abrahamic religions acknowledge that Allah was God, although it is difficult to know what these Arabic heads of state were thinking when he told them that Allah had sent him to give them a message. He certainly left the knowledge that Allah = God out of his sermons to us in Pasadena, although, curiously, Wade Cox seems to have picked up on it.

The feeling I was left with at the end of the 13 minutes was that although HWA was indeed enthusiastic about what he felt was his calling, and you could even say humble in the way he presented it, the dignitaries with whom he shared his message are mostly all dead now. The lasting effect which he had envisioned did not materialize. The empire he constructed does not exist any more, with the exception of a few little HWA nostalgia clubs. There never has been that all important next step for which he created all that hope. We've all been left flat, and some have suffered a lifetime of financial hardship. The sad truth is that in the end, HWA did not really accomplish anything of a lasting nature. We remember Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and certainly Billy Graham. HWA? Not so much. These days, if you mention the name "Armstrong", young adults are going to think you are talking about Lance, or perhaps Billy Joe Armstrong of the rock group Green Day. But nobody is imbibing of all the Herbal essence that was so present in the '70s.

Anonymous said...

"He's speaking through me.."
But forget Herb's 1975 claim and his many other moral half truths and out right lies.
Isn't it interesting that the Jehovah's Witnesses governing body also claims that God talks exclusively through them as well. Hence disagreeing with the church is "mere human reasoning." And they too preached 1975. Both hid that the veil splitting in half on Christ death means that every Christian has direct access to God. No middlemen ministers are required. Oh, and the JWs also use the expression "best conference ever." And ban birthday celebrations as well, since it runs counter to narcissistic devaluation. And, and also treat their members like 10 year olds.
These groups steal from each other.

Anonymous said...

....and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, and he shall corrupt.......Dan 8:24

Anonymous said...

Produces so much hot air he created a man-made cyclone while in Philippines!

Anonymous said...

He was a cult leader who did not like it when people disagreed with him.

Anonymous said...

Where’s that one guy who always calls out every splinter and their folly except for the mother of all folly WCG?

What really struck me as someone who was third gen in Armstoringism is the glaring hypocrisy of the leader talking about the way of give while amassing houses and possessions to flaunt his status. A truly small man not only of stature but of character.

He broke up families.

Children were not taken to doctors for life saving treatment.

He extorted member by preying on his wife’s sickness for donations to the building fund.

He gave many false prophecies about what would “soon” happen.

His empire and all his influence on the world is almost gone. He is remembered distantly by most in “the church” and not at all by the world.

A footnote for those who study cults. A boon for Branson Missouri and Wisconsin Dells who still get a modicum of money from feast goers.

Here lies Herbert Armstrong. Emphasis on lies.

Anonymous said...

One who created a lot of family trauma & tragedy, starting with his own family. One who claimed himself to be a prophet & apostle but one whose own words and actions when held to up to the Bible's criteria of a prophet failed miserably. I wonder what happened to his Rolls Royce ? Did Flurry buy it?

Anonymous said...

For me, this strikes a note of melancholy. It bespeaks a dream shattered. The dream of HWA being the end-time Apostle in the spirit of Elijah with an important message about the imminent return of Christ. What actually happened was a Millerite redux. The WCG recapitulated the Great Disappointment of the 19th Century. In the historical footnote, HWA will not be remembered as an Ambassador of God to the nations but as a latter day William Miller. I am struck with the sadness of it because I used to believe in all this. Now it is a song blown away on the wind long ago. Oddly, some few keep singing. Given the conspicuous history, I'm not sure why.


Anonymous said...

Herb the advertising blub was a gaslighter. Learn the signs.

Anonymous said...

I think the fact that you could interview 100 people on the street and ask "Who was Herbert Armstrong?" and get a 0% recognition rate speaks against his claims and the claims his minders made about him quite soundly.

Tonto said...

Most expensive AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING tour ever. Buy expensive gifts, donate other people's money to despots projects, bribe lower level officials of these corrupt son of a bitches to arrange meeting , and put the pictures of these leaders on the cover of your magazine, and you will certainly get 15 minute "meet and greets".

Nice to know that ALLAH and him sacrificed will save me! NOT!

Anonymous said...

The second worse aspect to HWA, from a youthful perspective, was that he was an elitist a$$h0le who didn't like rock n roll. That's OK, His attitude made it that much more of a valuable commodity to me.

And of course his first worst was the daily beatings administered by my WCG parents who were very Philadelphian in their adherence to the child beating booklet. Hah! That's OK. It put me into a condition in which I never developed any kind of relationship with them throughout my adult years. Which, of course, goes back to the Lasting Legacy of Armstrongism post of a couple of days ago. I''m sure that there were many other church kids who wished they could have been like Steve Martin's charracter Navin Johnson, and adopted by Colored People, my idols who originated the rock n roll in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Arabic-speaking Christians often still use "Allah" as the word for "God". Like the Hebrew "Eloah".

Anonymous said...

Where are your defenders oh Armstrongism?

Even doubly blessed Bobby naturopathic had one sucker defending his “freedom”

Come LCG, UCG, COGWA, RCG, and all you indie stay at homers. Tell us a story of this man’s righteous character and message.

Maybe you’re all busy with a church appointed fast, or a new moon, or a new truth. Maybe that end time message is being spread in the magazine that no one will read or the article that only some nutter would click on your website about British Isrealism.

You lost half your flock to a much simpler message of Christianity. Then the rest of you couldn’t agree on a leader or a message. Now you’re playing Goldilocks and finding a porridge that tastes just right and bed that provides the support you need.

Goldilocks is a children’s tale and most of you are grown adults but keep telling yourself the story. The one about the end time apostle who warned the world and turned the hearts of the fathers to the children.

You are the children of an abusive father and those who stayed passed on that abuse and trauma. The emperor has no clothes.. that he did not purchase without fleecing the tithe paying members who thought he was the number one man God appointed.

Anonymous said...

Herb's narcissism is over the top. This I-represent-God arrogance is the most disgusting, destructive and grossly disfiguring virus on earth.

Anonymous said...

It's extremely hard to find a single honest person these days. Herb was a good fraud who knew how to make himself look like a saint to gain the respect of his followers. He was not what he appeared to be.

Anonymous said...

Allah does not mean "God" any more than Apollo or Zeus or Baal means God. It means the MUSLIM God. It is the personal name of the MUSLIM God. When Herb spoke to Muslim world leaders he used the name Allah for God. He was denying Jesus. He was honoring a false god.

Anonymous said...

6.19 pm, Allah and the Christian God are different gods, but Herb was just being diplomatic. Those present understood this and tagged along.
Diplomacy: "the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way."

Anonymous said...

Some folks need to investigate the etymology of, and the pre-Islamic usages of "Allah" I'd share, but then it would just be me telling you. Better to learn it by yourself. Hints: Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrew

Anonymous said...

Oh, BS. "Allah" is just the Arabic vowel pronunciation of "Eloah" (Ilah) with a "the" at the beginning (Al) - Al-Ilah. Unless you're going to claim that HWA touted a false god by misrepresenting the Christian one, that doesn't hold water at all.

RSK said...

Heh, because of this thread, I went to Youtube and dug up the 1985 "Behind The Work" film, specifically the segment where they bragged on the GIII. It came off so tone deaf and silly. Why even promote that?

James said...

and people like thiel claims hwa never said he was a prophet. Sheer gaslighting.

Anonymous said...


Actually, it is lying. HWA claimed he was the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. He claimed for himself "cry aloud, spare not".

And hwa gives obelisks as gifts...he called obelisks pagan.

HE was far from the "cry aloud, spare not" style that he claimed for himself.

Such deception and hypocrisy foisted on us by WCG and Armstrong!

RSK said...

Well, the linked video was interesting, but all the Masonic garbage at the end made me chuckle. Yes, sir, Masons of all walks just randomly go around making this gesture so you can suss them out. That belongs in the dustbin with "covfefe is really an alloy" nonsense.

NO2HWA said...

RSK wrote:

"Well, the linked video was interesting, but all the Masonic garbage at the end made me chuckle."

That one was mild compared to the others I did not post. Talk bout batshit crazy stuff! While a couple of them started out ok the longer they went on the worse they got. Masons, Jesuits, and nutjob conspiracy garbage.

Anonymous said...

"Such deception and hypocrisy foisted on us by WCG and Armstrong!"

Exactly. HWA was trained in marketing, and according to books marketing, objective reality doesn't count. All that matters is perception. Control others perceptive, and you get what you want.
Which is why I heard the most ridiculous lies from ministers while I attended. services. Gaslighting and lies were the norm.

Anonymous said...

Many pitiful souls are hostile to any new paradigm because it challenges their world view. So they equate anything that did not come from the "approved sources" as garbage without any rational analysis.

RSK said...

Riiight. No, equating HWA's "Great Unseen Hand" with the Masons is idiotic. His use of the term repeatedly in his writings makes it more than clear that he is not referring to any Masonic gesture or faddish portraiture pose from bygone days.

Anonymous said...

Tonto said “Nice to know that ALLAH and him sacrificed will save me! NOT!”

True. Allah is the name of the pagan moon god not the name of the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Further, 1 Jn 2:22-23 provides a fundamental doctrine that both defines and excludes all other religions as false including Muhammadanism and Talmudism which rejects the Fatherhood of God and/or the Sonship of Christ and therefore are "antichrist."

Anonymous said...

It is more likely that HWA "borrowed" his concept of the unseen hand (Al Ghaib) from the Quran. His mention of this would have been somewhat effective in his discourses shared with Arab leaders.

Over the years, more accurate information about the religion and culture of Middle Eastern people has percolated into the consciousness of Westerners. When I was a child, books for children concentrated on the mystic elements of Arabic and Persian cultures. The magic carpet was a recurring theme. In school, we learned about "Moslems", and their holy book, the "Koran". The accent was placed on the wrong syllable of "Allah". Meanwhile, in the WCG, we learned about Ishmael, Abraham's son, and the allegedly corrupted form of God's ways which was passed from him to his descendants. Today, we know Islam as being one of the three Abrahamic religions which considers Jerusalem to be their holy city. The "one God" precept, is found in the Quran, with Jesus as a prophet, a created being. Those whose world view is guided by gestalt give Islamic influences deference and respect by making them part of the whole, adding additional depth to the picture.

HWA's research team, since his background was in sales and advertising, dealt more in marketing and apologetics than it did in genuine research. It was dedicated to supporting the sale and furtherance of his philosophies and expanding his influence. I am sure that his sources and handlers carefully prepped and advised him for his meetings with world leaders in ways which would help him establish common ground. This might have singled him out as being one of the very few Westerners who actually "got it". We were his experiment, his dumb sheep on which he perfected his techniques in influence. Following his great failure of 1975, he graduated to a more sophisticated audience. He was able to capture their attention just as he captured ours.

RSK said...

Heh, there's a quoted essay I want to post, but Blogspot keeps saying "Comment is too long"! That's hard to believe with some of the diatribes I've seen on here...

RSK said...

Remember HWA's open admiration of Elbert Hubbard as a young man? This was published when HWA was in his twenties (a few paragraphs cut to fit the Blogspot requirements)

I AM AN ANARCHIST. All good men are Anarchists. All cultured, kindly men; all gentlemen; all just men are Anarchists.

Jesus was an Anarchist.

A monarchist is one who believes a monarch should govern. A Plutocrat believes in the rule of the rich. A Democrat holds that the majority should dictate. An Aristocrat thinks only the wise should decide; while an Anarchist does not believe in government at all... An Anarchist is one who minds his own business. An Anarchist does not believe in sending warships across wide oceans to kill brown men, and lay waste rice fields, and burn the homes of people fighting for liberty. An Anarchist does not drive women with babes at their breasts and other women with babes unborn, children and old men into the jungle to be devoured by beasts or fever or fear, or die of hunger, homeless, unhoused and undone.

Destruction, violence, ravages, murder, are perpetuated by statute law. Without law there would be no infernal machines, no war policeman’s billies, no nightsticks, no handcuffs, no strait-jackets, no dark cells, no gallows, no prison walls to conceal the infamies therein inflicted. Without law no little souls fresh from God would be branded “illegitimate”, indelibly, as soon as they reach Earth.

Without law there would be less liars, no lawyers, fewer hypocrites...

I am an Anarchist.

No man who believes in force and violence is an Anarchist. The true Anarchist decries all influences save those of love and reason. Ideas are his only arms.

Being an Anarchist I am also a Socialist. Socialism is the antithesis of Anarchy. One is the North Pole of Truth, the other the South. The Socialist believes in working for the good of all, while Anarchy is pure Individualism. I believe in every man working for the good of self; and in working for the good of self, he works for the good of all... The wise way to benefit humanity is to attend to your own affairs, and thus give other people an opportunity to look after theirs.

If there is any better way to teach virtue than by practicing it, I do not know it.

Mankind is governed by the worst... We are governed by rogues who hold their grip upon us by and thru statute law. Were it not for law the people could protect themselves against these thieves, but now we are powerless and are robbed legally. One mild form of coercion these rogues resort to is to call us unpatriotic when we speak the truth about them. Not long ago they would have cut off our heads. The world moves.

Government cannot be done away with instantaneously, but progress will come, as it has in the past by lessening the number of laws. We want less governing, and the Ideal Government will arrive when there is no government at all.

So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill their’s. So long as men are clubbed, robbed, imprisoned, disgraced, hanged by the governing class, just so long will the idea of violence and brutality be born in the souls of men.

Hate springs eternal in the human breast.

And hate will never die so long as men are taken from useful production on the specious plea of patriotism, and bayonets gleam in God’s pure sunshine.

And the worst part about making a soldier of a man is, not that the soldier kills brown men or black men or white men, but it is that the soldier loses his own soul.

I am an Anarchist.

I do not believe in bolts or bars or brutality. I make my appeal to the Divinity in men, and they, in some mysterious way, feeling this, do not fail me.

I fix my thought on the good that is in every soul and make my appeal to that...

I do not believe in governing by force, or threat, or any other form of coercion... I will influence men, if I can, but it shall be only by aiding them to think for themselves; and so mayhap, they, of their own accord choose the better part—the ways that lead to life and light.

Anonymous said...

When I left the WCG, I threw Herbert W. Armstrong into the ropa sucia. When he didn't come clean in the lavadora, I had to put him in the basura.

Anonymous said...

Muslims do not believe Christ died for our sins. Christians do and that is required for salvation. Armstrongism is very flawed.