Friday, June 16, 2023

Gerald Flurry's Latest Pathetic Snow Job On HWA and The WCG


Gerald Flurry sent out a letter today supposedly directed towards all present Church of God members and the unclean Laodiceans who have left the church An Open Letter to the Churches of God. It has to be the biggest snow job I have ever seen! He waxes eloquent and longingly for the days of the past when the church was supposedly one big unified family doing marvelous works as families were restored to wholeness and tranquility.

Reading it almost makes you want to gag at how syrupy and nostalgic it all is. 

Flurry writes:

Herbert W. Armstrong was part of something great. That Church was a work of miracles.
Do you remember that glorious history? Too many of God’s people don’t. God challenges us to always keep the big picture. 
Over Mr. Armstrong’s 55 years in Jesus Christ’s ministry, the work blossomed. It started as nothing and grew into a huge, Spirit-led work that spread God’s beautiful truth throughout the world. 
Mr. Armstrong oversaw a work that was based on the principle of give—which is what God’s love is. By the end of his life, each month the Church was giving 8 million free monthly copies of the Plain Truth newsmagazine (which the Trumpet magazine is patterned after). We gave 6 million copies of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, not to mention countless other magazines, newspapers, books, booklets, tracts and articles—all free. We made the World Tomorrow broadcast freely available on over 400 television stations. 

Flurry obviously never spent much time around Pasadena where the principle that ran everything was the principle of GET. More money, more power, higher rank. better homes, newer cars, etc. Corruption walked the hallways of the Hall of Ad, Finance Offices, and the Office Facilities building finding shelter in many of the top leadership of the church.

Do you remember that history? God put our tithes and offerings to magnificent use, and we were happy to be a part of such a noble cause. 
The Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, which Mr. Armstrong founded in 1975, freely sponsored humanitarian projects including archaeological digs, schools and anthropological excursions. Its activities stretched from Bombay to Brussels; the Philippines to the Netherlands; Tokyo to Cairo. We hosted projects in Jerusalem, Jordan, London, Nepal and Okinawa. Why? Because Mr. Armstrong wanted to preach the gospel “for a witness unto all nations” (Matthew 24:14). 
Using the international contacts Mr. Armstrong established through the cultural foundation, God opened doors for him to meet high-ranking officials around the world. Mr. Armstrong was invited to speak publicly on many occasions, and he took those opportunities to preach the gospel—to tell people about God’s master plan and about their incredible human potential. These events opened the way for personal appearance campaigns, where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of leading people in various countries. 

Who can forget HWA preaching about "a strong hand from someplace" Again, too embarrassed to talk about Jesus he had to dress his words so he did not come off as too religious. 

Do you remember that history? 
In the wcg’s hometown of Pasadena, California, we hosted the concert series, staged in the Ambassador Auditorium, which attracted world-class performing artists and brought a standard of excellence to the community. Physically, it was the crowning achievement of a work that over decades had built great resources to draw on for the betterment of mankind. 

The concert series, funded almost entirely from tithe money was a financial boondoggle that the church had to highly subsidize. Ticket sales never covered any of the events. While impressive concerts were held there, some of them even historical, the concert series was never a tool to witness about the gospel to anyone. When and if anything was ever said it was about people using their God-given potential. Jesus was just too damn embarrassing  

Under Mr. Armstrong, the Church of God practiced the way of give—of godly character, generosity, cultural enrichment, true education—of beautifying the environment and caring for fellowman. Mr. Armstrong never deviated from his God-given commission, and the work prospered! His work acknowledged God’s desire to have all men saved and brought to the knowledge of His truth (1 Timothy 2:3-6). It was an inspiring display of God’s love for all mankind. 

The way of "give" only extended as far as sending out literature, supposedly "free". As we all well know that "free" came with a 30-40% tithing statement if you joined up. 

When Mr. Armstrong died, he was highly praised by leaders and prominent individuals from around the world. Even unconverted people could clearly see what a towering legacy of love and generosity he left behind and were deeply impressed by it. Certainly we in the Church all recognized on a much deeper level what he had achieved. 

"Unconverted" people clearly saw the gifts of Steuben Crystal and financial donations as quick entrances into their offices. No gospel was ever preached and if it accidentally might have been, there was never any follow-up or encouragement by the church to continue to instruct these leaders or their countries. Sure, doing an archeological dig helped out the countries they did it in or the setting up of schools to teach English or disadvantaged children. All of these did good, but no gospel was ever preached, Jesus was never taught. Yet, all of this was funded by tithe money that people send after they were fed slick stories on how awesome this new "door" for the "work" was to be. 

Do you remember that glorious history?  

Now, did Mr. Armstrong do all that? Certainly he worked hard to implement God’s law and government and to walk by faith. But was the work so powerful and effective simply because of Mr. Armstrong’s intellect or advertising expertise? Did Mr. Armstrong swing open all those mighty doors? 
No—the great God did that! 
It doesn’t take great spiritual discernment to recognize that God was behind that work—God was blessing that work—God was empowering and multiplying that work—as Mr. Armstrong submitted to Him. 

Yet, that "powerful "work" had already splintered and ruptured untold numbers of members over the decades. God sure was not able to keep his church unified, even though Pasadena brass was constantly saying the church was unified. 

No man could have ever built such a marvelous and wondrous work in this satanic world. It was built and sustained by the miracles of the living God!

Satan was a bigger god in the church than Jesus ever was. No one was mentioned more than Satan was. He lurked around every corner, behind every hedge, and in every office building ready to devour church members because God and Jesus were too inept to do anything about it.

Flurry continues:

Family Education 

What truly distinguished Mr. Armstrong’s accomplishments was that they were all built upon the foundation of God’s truth. God flooded Mr. Armstrong with biblical understanding, restoring all foundational true doctrine to His Church through that man. We learned and lived by the wonderful truths of God, and our lives were richer as a result. 

Anyone who has ever had a minimal amount of understanding of Christian belief knows for a fact that God's word was never lost. Jesus was never lost. Hundreds of millions of Christians have died in the faith knowing their standing was God was secure, unlike COG members who were always fretting about losing their salvation. Millions have been slaughtered for their beliefs while standing firm in their salvation, yet the COG arrogantly implies they were all too stupid to understand and therefore need CCOG leaders like HWA and Flurry to restore so-called lost truths to them.

Right at the heart of Mr. Armstrong’s teaching was his instruction about the God-plane institution of family (Malachi 4:5-6). He taught us how to build beautiful marriages and to rear happy children. We educated our children with Youth Educational Services lessons; we provided our teens rich experiences through the Youth Opportunities United program—with its sporting events, talent shows and summer camps. 

Flurry glosses over the rampant divorce rate in the church. The parents that abused their children mentally, physically, and sexually. The stalkers and rapists in the ministry. The pedophiles that were ministers. The pedophiles that were on staff at Imperial Schools. The children of evangelists and high-up ministers who were drug pushers.

Do you remember what life was like in the Church under Mr. Armstrong? If you were applying God’s family education, then you have personally experienced the blessings that come as a result! Do you remember that? 

Those that were abused can NEVER forget!  

Naturally, the Church wasn’t perfect; there were problems. Some members and even ministers did not implement God’s loving family government the right way. But the problem went beyond simple neglect. Revelation 3:9 tells us that “the synagogue of Satan” was actually at work within the Church of the Philadelphia era—under Mr. Armstrong! 

Here we go again! Powerful Satan continues to get the upper hand on Jesus and God thwarting them at every move.  

The Bible is filled with prophecies that show how God knew this crisis would happen—and actually allowed it in order to test our loyalty to Him. The Bible also shows that He is going to bring every abuse to judgment. God will not be mocked! I strongly encourage you to request a free copy of my book Malachi’s Message for a very thorough scriptural study of God’s perspective on what happened to His Church. 

Oh yes, write in for the book that Flurry stole and copied word for word from Jules Dervaies' The Letter to Laodicea.  For more information about Flurry's corruption see: The PLAIN TRUTH About Malachi’s Message And THAT PROPHET. Next to Dave Pack and Bob Thiel, the Church of God has never seen a more corrupt man than Gerald Flurry.

Many of God’s people have turned away from God altogether—because of the mistakes and sins of men. They are missing the big picture. 

Men like Flurry, Pack, Weinland, and Thiel are corrupt and spiritually abusive men who have turned untold numbers away from God. Lies and half-truths make up their so-called ministries. 

Do the sins of men change the truth of God? 
Mr. Armstrong has been dead nearly 34 years now. But did the Almighty God who empowered his work die? 
Is God too weak to do the same marvelous work today—simply because a man has passed from the scene? 
Absolutely not.

Ha Ha!

Flurry then pulls a Bob Thiel and has to say he is the modern-day Elijah. The bullshit just keeps piling higher and higher! 

“My Father, My Father” 

When the Prophet Elijah was carried away in a whirlwind, his student Elisha was moved with emotion. “And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces” (2 Kings 2:12). 
Elijah was not Elisha’s physical father. But he was his spiritual father. That is because Elisha and the sons of the prophets came to God through Elijah. In that sense they were all his sons. 
Some people didn’t see Elijah’s office as one of importance, but Elisha saw that it was the only office that could lead and carry Israel forward! It was Israel’s only hope—then and now! He saw that, ultimately, all Israel would be governed by the teachings of Elijah. His statement, “My father, my father,” revealed a deep understanding and a beautiful attitude. God liked it so much that He used Elisha to succeed Elijah. God loved his attitude. 
Some people today scoff at such an attitude, but it is very biblical. The Apostle Paul told the Church members in Corinth, “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you” (1 Corinthians 4:14). Paul considered his followers to be his spiritual sons. Why? “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (verse 15). Paul was their spiritual father because they came to God through him. He called himself their spiritual father. 
Mr. Armstrong said the same to all of those who came to God, either directly or indirectly, through him. 
The original Elijah and the end-time Elijah held extremely important “father” offices for God. The Philadelphia Church of God, like Elisha, recognizes that fact. This is the foundational issue that sets the pcg apart from any other Church of God group. If you follow the Elisha example in this respect, God will make you a king with a headquarters position forever. Why? Because this foundational truth points us to God the Father. 

Such utter bullshit! For a Christian, the foundational TRUTH is Jesus Christ. Not some stinking turd leading some splinter group here in the United States.  As a side note: Why are all COG splinter groups led by WHITE privileged Americans? Why is no one from Europe, Australia, Africa, or the Philippines? Who is no one of color?

Do you view Mr. Armstrong the way God does?

Flurry continues to blabber on:

The God of Elijah 

After Elijah was gone, Elisha learned an important lesson. “He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over” (2 Kings 2:13-14). 
If you study this account in the original Hebrew language, you will see that the first time Elisha came up to the Jordan, he smote the water but didn’t speak—and nothing happened. Then he asked the important question, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” and smote the water, and the river opened up and he walked across! 
Do you want to know how to do the work of God today? How to have doors open for you—even rivers, if necessary? Here is the formula. Elisha knew where the God of Elijah was, and he was following his spiritual father. So God opened up the river for him, just as He did for Elijah. 
Where is the God of Elijah today? Where is the great Almighty God who did that powerful work?
Can you answer that question? Far too many of God’s people aren’t even asking it! 
God did not die with Mr. Armstrong! Yet none of the scattered churches of God have that kind of power. They don’t receive and proclaim God’s revelation. They don’t have the right government. And their works are frankly devoid of the kind of miracles and wonders that were almost routine when the work was led by Mr. Armstrong. 
We must find and remain with the God of Elijah! 
All baptized members of the Church of God during the Philadelphia era will be held accountable for the fact that they were with that God for so long. The tragic fact is this: Not only have most of God’s people left Him—most of them are not even interested in where He is! If they wanted to know, they would submit to God’s government and end up in God’s true Church.

This is such disgusting bullshit! there is no other word more appropriate for it than bullshit. God is no more involved in the Philadelphia Church of God than he is in the improperly named "continuing" Church of God.

Flurry then has a slobber-fest on how awesome his college and work are and ends with this:

And—most importantly—God has continued to bless us, as He did Mr. Armstrong, with new revelation. The living God did not stop speaking to His people when Mr. Armstrong died. He has continued to give us “present truth” (2 Peter 1:12) that builds upon the foundation of the truth He restored through Mr. Armstrong. The pcg produces over 100 books and booklets, the large majority of which contain new biblical understanding from the great God. 

How can God be blessing the COG with new revelation when Dave Pack and Bob Thiel claim they and they alone are the sole possessor of new revelation. They are either lying or God is. 

That is the single greatest proof that the God who inspired Mr. Armstrong is behind our work.
We hope you can clearly identify the same miracles and blessings that built Mr. Armstrong’s work. Most of all, we hope and pray that you can recognize the work of the God of Elijah! 
Our time in this age of man is fast running out. God is growing much more urgent in trying to reach His sons who have turned away from Him, because eternal life hangs in the balance. We urge you to respond to Him!

Jesus be damned! It's all about Flurry. No one has a more magnificent work than he does. No one! Eat your heart out Bobby Boy!  You are a nobody compared to Flurry!

Anyone, even a nominal Christian needs to run as fast as they can away from Flurry and his church. Your salvation may depend on it!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

UPDATED: Evaluating the rumors about Herbert W. Armstrong and incest

UPDATED Links to Deborah Armstrong, Larry Gott, and Verne Mattson's stories

Originally posted in 2017

When individuals research the history of the Worldwide Church of God, they generally turn to the Internet.  The Internet allows the efficient gathering of facts, truths, and insights.  The Internet can also be a rich source of rumors, lies, and innuendo.  For most WCG issues, separating the facts from the fiction is fairly straightforward.  There is typically enough documented data for individuals to make informed decisions without buying into lies or unsubstantiated rumors.   

When it comes to evaluating the allegations of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA) committing incest, however, the situation is more challenging.  The act is repulsive, the implications are significant, the burden of proof is high, and yet the documentation is somewhat sparse and hotly contested.  His critics tend to dogmatically claim HWA committed incest and offer this as proof that HWA was not a man led by God.  Some ministers have acknowledged that HWA did commit incest but they tend to downplay the significance of it.  Other strident HWA supporters have dogmatically claimed that the allegations are false and these individuals typically attack the integrity and motives of the accusers. 

Is it possible to sort through all of the contradictory claims on this topic?  This document was prepared to summarize my own efforts to do so.  It was compiled from information that is available on the internet.  I’ve also included additional material regarding my discussions with some of the ministers who had been at the Pasadena Headquarters just before and after the accusations were made public around 1980.       


A number of individuals have indicated that the charges against HWA are false, unfounded and evil spirited.  Common positions include:

1.     LACK OF EVIDENCE - the evidence presented by his accusers would not stand up in court.  An example of such a position is discussed in further detail below.

2.     INCONCEIVABLE - it is inconceivable for a man of integrity, a man of God, to have done such a thing.  This type of defense is also addressed below. 


“Not guilty” due to lack of evidence.  Bob Thiel is an individual who finds HWA not guilty of incest due to there being insufficient evidence to prove the incest had taken place.  His full, in-depth explanation can be found at the following link:

Herbert W. Armstrong & Incest: Not Guilty!


Bob reported that he personally investigated the issue.  He claimed that not only could the accusations not be proven, but some aspects were actually disprovable. 

He concluded that the accusers had merely perpetuated the charade with no direct information and that HWA would be found not guilty in any real court of law. 

In essence, Bob believes that all accusations about HWA and his daughter stem from the charges first aired in David Robinson's 1980 book, Armstrong’s Tangled Web.

A significant point Bob made included that Art Mokarow would not stand by previous comments about personally hearing HWA's alleged confession in the "Lochner tapes"

Note that in Bob’s investigation, he did not discuss the allegations with several individuals who had reported learning about the incest directly from Armstrong family members. 

 “Not guilty” because it is inconceivable.  It makes no sense that God would have imparted spiritual knowledge to an individual who, at the same time was violating his own daughter.   This is the position many take, including the individual behind the "HWA Library" site and Frank Nelte.  In response to questions I raised, they both argued along the lines of:  God only works through men of integrity.  God obviously worked through HWA.  Therefore, HWA is a man of integrity and these claims must be false.

Although many strongly believe this to be the case, circular reasoning proves nothing.


Lack of Denials

It would have been reassuring to find clear denials of the incest at the time these claims had been put into print in books (e.g., Armstrong's Tangled Web) or when they appeared in newspapers (during HWA's divorce trial and when the church divided in 1995).  However, the allegations were never denied publically by HWA, by his family members, or by the WCG. 

Is the lack of denials proof that the incest occurred?  No.

"David Defense"

Some HWA supporters have acknowledged (without getting into the specific 'proofs') that he had committed incest with his daughter but then have offered excuses such as the "David defense" to minimize the transgression and to imply that it had no impact on his role.  Such statements are telling but they neither prove nor excuse the alleged incest.

Are non-specific acknowledgments of incest proofs that the incest had occurred?  No.


1.     Nov. 19, 1979 Letter from David Robinson.  David Robinson, a former WCG evangelist wrote a letter to HWA that alluded to the incest and other sexual issues and requested that HWA resign for the good of the church.
While some have attacked David Robinson's integrity, others have defended him.  This is not surprising.  This is often the case when individuals speak out about controversial topics and every individual could be praised or criticized depending on what attributes or actions a supporter or enemy would choose to focus on.  

2.     HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB by David Robinson, 1980

David Robinson wrote from firsthand knowledge of the WCG and with deep disappointment.  He came to agree with Solomon who advised against putting their trust in men. Chapter XX of the book covered
HWA and the incest story.   An excerpt is provided below and the entire book is available in PDF form at the following link accessed from "The Painful Truth"  website:

"Incest is a terrible and unnatural crime, an extreme perversity. That is why I was shocked beyond measure to hear that Herbert Armstrong was himself, guilty of this vile sin. I learned of this in the summer of 1979 from members of his own family. The story, sordid beyond imagination, was told in awful detail.
One family source was Garner Ted Armstrong. Last summer, as HWA attacked his own son in such savage fury, his son was in the depths of despair. His emotional mix included anger and deep hurt. In such a state he told family secrets that otherwise would have been locked within him forever. He said he had learned in 1971 of his father's incredible conduct during the '30's and '40s. The story came directly to him in lurid detail, but he kept it sealed in his own consciousness for all those years. But, in the spring of 1978 while in his father's house for the last time, his father had threatened to "destroy him." Ted, in response, replied, "Dad, I will destroy you. I know about you and -----." (He was speaking of the younger of his two sisters.)"
...None who have objectively heard the incest story in its awful detail doubt it. This is a vital chapter left out of HWA's autobiography. This sin occurred over a long span of years, a decade after his ordination to the ministry, according to his own family members. No wonder he was not receptive to David Antion's "qualifications for the ministry" paper back in 1974."
Such matters should not normally be mentioned, but this is by no means a normal case. The welfare of thousands is at stake, and thousands who look to HWA, idolizing him as if he were God himself, must come to understand how dangerous such a view is. Thousands around the world have been hurt by blindly following this man. Now people must be given enough information to make an intelligent decision on whether this is the man who is going to lead them to safety during the "crisis at the close," or whether he is just going to continue taking their money and calling them "dumb sheep"!
"...The way a man talks in private is the way he is. His public utterances alone aren't enough to judge a man's character—his trustworthiness. It is especially necessary to know what kind of man you follow when he promises to lead you in the kingdom of God."
Although this book may not have been the most well written account of the church, much of the material was consistent with other sources and confirmed through my personal discussions with ministers who had been at headquarters during this period. 
Is the incest claim credible?  Since Mr. Robinson stated that he had learned about the incest directly from several family members (although he named only GTA), this leaves us with just a few choices:
·       Mr. Robinson was lying.
·       GTA (and others) had lied to Mr. Robinson
·       Mr. Robinson had told the truth
No matter how disgruntled an individual had become about WCG in 1980, it is difficult to imagine that they would be willing to make such a claim if they knew it were to be false.  WCG was very well-funded and litigious and it would have put an individual at great financial risk to make such a claim in print.  Mr. Robinson went ahead and made the claim and also explained why he did so.
Although Herbert Armstrong never sued David Robinson for publishing his book, two of his employees (Henry Cornwall and Sherwin McMichael) did sue Mr. Robinson.  The suit was settled with WCG having to pay Mr. Robinson $25,000.

3.     December 1, 1980 Ambassador Report
The incest story was also mentioned in Ambassador Report #14, December 1, 1980 ("HWA incest allegations not denied").
Many AR readers who have read David Robinson's book Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web have written to us expressing absolute shock at some of the allegations it contains. Especially disturbing to many are the allegations contained in chapter 20 entitled "Incest."

We sincerely wish that we could report uncovering evidence to negate Mr. Robinson's charges, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Herbert Armstrong has not issued any statement discounting the charges, nor has Stan Rader. Dorothy Mattson, Herbert Armstrong's daughter, has not come forward to deny the allegations. And Garner Ted Armstrong has also refused to deny the charges. The Toronto Star, Sept. 20 (p. F4) wrote:

"Contacted by phone in Tyler, Texas, where he heads his own new church, the Church of God International, Garner Ted Armstrong said he had 'no comment' regarding allegations of his father's incest ...."
All Ambassador Reports are available at:   Ambassador Report

4.     December 30, 1981 letter from Jack Kessler to the Board of WCG
Jack Kessler was WCG's CPA who worked directly with HWA and Rader and his letter detailing a number of corporate irregularities contained the following references to the charge of incest:
“The human condition is such that it would shock probably only just a few to learn of the moral depravity that is reported commonly among you. Although others, such as Dave Robinson* and Floyd Lochner, apparently thought it might work to their advantage to report Mr. Armstrong's admission (which he's made to several) that he had engaged repeatedly in incestuous intercourse with his daughter during the first 10 years of his ministry, as well as more recent, self-confessed sexual perversity..."

The entire letter available at:

This letter was credible in a number of areas.  Was it true regarding the incest allegation?  In addition to mentioning Mr. Robinson as a source, Mr. Kessler also brought up Mr. Floyd Lochner.  Floyd Lochner had allegedly taped HWA, hoping to get a denial regarding the incest allegation on record, but instead, HWA had confessed to the incest.
This evidence would be incontrovertible.  But many ask, “Where is the tape?”  Who had heard it personally?  If someone claimed to, are they credible?
Art Mokarow is one individual who has publically stated that he had personally heard this tape.
5.     April 1984 Ambassador Report #27 "HWA confesses to incest".
This issue provided additional material beyond what David Robinson had mentioned and named others that were aware that the incest had taken place.  This was because Dorothy had told friends about the incest and that others had confirmed with HWA after reading David Robinson’s book.
Some excerpts:
The Armstrong organization, through surrogates, attempted to use the courts to block the distribution of the Robinson book but failed miserably (Ambassador Report, Sept. 1980). It is most remarkable, however, that in attempting to stop the distribution of the Robinson's book, never once was it asserted that the incest allegation was untrue. Nor did Dorothy Mattson, HWA's younger daughter, ever come forth to deny the incest story (and she has repeatedly refused to respond to queries from the Report regarding the matter). In spite of all this, it seems there are still some who prefer to believe that the incest story was fabricated. Let us briefly review the facts.
In 1971 Garner Ted Armstrong paid a visit to his younger sister Dorothy. He had long been suspicious of the kind of relationship his father and sister maintained during his youth. They chatted over a few drinks and then Ted told her bluntly of his suspicions. She did more than admit the allegations. With candor, she related detail after shocking detail.
For a number of years, GTA kept the information to himself. But Dorothy did not. She divulged the same information to many others including David Antion (GTA's brother-in-law) and Lois Chapman (who had been married to the late Richard Armstrong, Ted's older brother).
“The last meeting between GTA and his father in 1978 was not the only time HWA confessed to the incest allegation. In 1980 Henry Cornwall, then an aide to HWA, read the Robinson book soon after it appeared and asked HWA directly if the chapter on incest was accurate. HWA told him it was. He then instructed Cornwall that his wife Ramona was not to see the book or learn of the incest story. Unfortunately for Herbert, Ramona already had a copy of the book and was in the next room listening to the Cornwall-HWA discussion. Shortly thereafter, she too confronted HWA about the incest allegation. And once again, Herbert admitted it was true, but begged and pleaded with Ramona not to let this fact get in the way of their marriage. The cause of the problem, he said, had been Loma, his first wife.”
6.     Lakeland Ledger May 12, 1984 newspaper article about HWA’s divorce with Ramona mentions an “understanding” the couple reached about Armstrong’s “prior incestuous conduct with his daughter for many years.”

The reference within this article was quite significant to me.  This is not the type of comment a newspaper would make carelessly.  If the lawyer had spoken in error, it would be logical to expect that HWA's attorneys would have corrected the record. 
7.     April 19, 1993 Letter by Mark Thorton
Dear friends in the Worldwide Church of God,
In late November of 1992 I read an incredible account of Herbert Armstrong carrying on an incestuous relationship with his youngest daughter Dorothy from 1933 to 1943, the year she married Verne Mattson. Later, in January I read another account of it in a book by former WCG minister David Robinson. It was Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web published in 1980. At the time I discounted the story as fiction. But over the succeeding months leading up to last April 12, I'd learned of many other serious moral sins in the man's life. They were widely reported on by many former ministers who knew him.
But I still doubted the incest allegations -- that is until Mr. Gary Antion confirmed that they were entirely true when I talked with him after his sermon on the last day of Unleavened Bread, April 12. I'd asked him if he'd read David Robinson's book. He said he had. I told him that I'd read in another publication that Dorothy Mattson told his brother David Antion (a former WCG evangelist) all about the incest. (They were and are in-laws.) He nodded. I asked him if David ever said anything to him about it. "Yes," he said.
"What did he say?" I responded.
"He told me the story was true," he calmly said. "But before you get all upset and say how could he have done such a horrible thing, we should remember that we don't know what went on in his mind. We don't know if he repented or not. Maybe he repented in 1980 after David Robinson's book came out."
He went on to say that God gave king David time to repent and that if Mr. Armstrong repented, that he'll be in God's kingdom and if not, he won't be there. He also said he'd known about the whole thing in 1978. I asked if his brother David knew about this before he left the church in 1974 or after. He said David knew before. Antion was casual and relaxed with his words and never hesitated with any of the information.
He said that this should show us not to look to a man for our salvation which he said the church had done in the past. Finally, he asked me why I'm here; meaning the church. I said because I believe what the church believes, for the most part. He smiled, nodded and encouraged me not to let the matter bother me.
But as you can see, it does bother me a great deal. HWA claimed that God used him to raise up the Philadelphia era of His true Church beginning in 1933. I don't think so. In addition to raping his young daughter for many years, the "apostle" was widely known to have habitual sexual sins throughout his life including fornication, adultery, and masturbation. He frequently lied, misused church money, and had a serious drinking problem. And despite his appearing public image, Joe Tkach is not much of an improvement.
So there you have it. I've sung my swan song, thus ending nine years as a loyal WCG member.
By Mark Thornton (Wisconson)
April 19, 1993 (snail-mailed to 35-40 others, including ESN)

This letter is available at the following site:
8.     1997 letter from GTA in response to an inquiry about the incest

The Church of God International
Post Office Box 2530,
Tyler, Texas, 75710
Garner Ted Armstrong, Founder

July 28,1997
Dear Mr. (Name Withheld by Request),
I'm sorry, but I really have no comment about the very lengthy letter from Jack Kessler. The entire situation is completely moot at this time, of course. My father died at age 93 1/2 back in 1986, eleven years ago, and I certainly have no desire to resurrect a lot of ancient ghouls from their graves and engage in a lot of criticism involving the actions of individuals in that organization decades ago.
Nothing my father did, negative or positive, matters to my personal salvation, or to yours.
For the last twenty years, I have continued to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness and a warning to the world, and I have never engaged in the kind of spiritual "grave robbing" that exhumes ancient sins of fifty or sixty years ago, and attempts to defile and defame the memory of individuals who themselves are long since dead.
Sorry if this proves disappointing to you, but I simply have no further comment.
Garner Ted Armstrong

This letter comes across more as "I do not want to talk about it" than as an "It did not happen" response.  This letter proved nothing but it also did not contradict earlier statements made by GTA to others which acknowledged HWA had committed incest.
9.     Dec. 4, 1997 article in the Los Angeles New Times.

The article continues…
The thing that drove Carrozo and others to leave, however, was the leader's double standard regarding his own edicts. In accord with Armstrong's teaching, church members could visit doctors to obtain a diagnosis, but not (except in a few special cases) receive treatment. "As a pastor in the field, I had seen people die [for lack of medical attention]," Carrozo recalls. "And yet, as I came to find out, whenever he [HWA] became ill, he would slip away to a doctor for treatment." But such matters paled compared to another secret.
 According to former church officials, and the founder's own grandson, Richard David Armstrong II, Herbert's younger daughter, Dorothy, began to tell family and friends during the '70s that, years earlier, her father had molested her. John Tuit, an ex-church member living in North Carolina, recalls Garner Ted Armstrong telling him of his sister's startling revelation and that Herbert had not denied it when his son confronted him.
 The allegation surfaced publicly in a book written by David Robinson, a former Worldwide minister in Oklahoma. The church tried unsuccessfully to suppress it. Robinson recounted a bizarre late-night conversation with the then-widowed Herbert during a church festival in the Poconos. Armstrong, who had been drinking, was alleged to have confessed to Robinson that he had molested his daughter between 1933 and 1943. Then, to the astonishment of the younger minister, Armstrong was said to have produced a small black book in which he had carefully documented the many times he had masturbated, a practice he had frequently railed against from the pulpit. "It was a shattering experience for my dad," says Mark Robinson, a Dallas-area businessman, whose father died in 1995. "Until then, he had no reason to doubt Mr. Armstrong's spirituality."
 The issue arose again in 1984, during divorce proceedings between Armstrong and his second wife, Ramona Martin, a former switchboard operator 46 years his junior. The breakup, after seven years of marriage, was nasty. Armstrong, playing hardball, had accused her of stealing church property and was pressing criminal charges while refusing to bend to Ramona's demands for a large settlement, including a large amount of cash and the couple's sprawling ranch-style home in Tucson, Arizona. Until, that is, shortly before a court hearing at which her lawyers had threatened to introduce a purported "understanding" between Herbert and his wife regarding the alleged incest. The divorce was quickly settled to Ramona's satisfaction, and the criminal charges were dropped.
 Although damaging, the fallout from such disclosures didn't debilitate Worldwide for as long as Herbert was alive. The amicable and grandfatherly Armstrong continued to enjoy the adoration of rank-and-file members. Among those who heard about his shortcomings, many chose not to believe. "You blocked those kinds of things from your mind," recalls Joyce Renehan, who grew up in the church. (She and her husband, Bruce, left in the early '90s). "You might see a newspaper headline, but you were told not to read that stuff or Satan would get you and you'd be out of the church, and then where would you be?"
Looking back, it is amazing how ill-informed we church members were and/or how willing we were to avoid unpleasant facts stated by “outsiders”.
10.  1999 Letter from Bruce Renehan
Bruce Renehan had interviewed some members of the Church of God 7th Day who had reported that they were aware of the incest.
"I'm not exactly sure what constitutes proof to everyone. Before I began to author my book, my wife and I visited the Church of God, Seventh Day, both in Bakersfield and in Fresno. That is the church that Herbert Armstrong started attending in 1927. I first heard of the incest from some of their members, two of whom--Israel Hager and John Keiss--had known Armstrong in the 20s and 30s. Keiss, who was Armstrong's closest friend in the COG7 had actually discussed the incest with Dorothy Armstrong who confessed to him. Not wanting to believe hearsay from just one group, I placed a call to a friend of mine (Bob Mizell) in Pasadena. Bob was a very close friend to Joe Tkach Senior and, if anyone would know if the stories were true or not, he certainly would. Bob told me openly that both he and Joe Tkach had known about Armstrong's incest with his daughter and then he quickly brought up the David was a man after God's heart" ploy. "
The full letter is available at:
In the letter, Bruce Renehan comes across as sincere, specific, and credible.   
11.  Statement by Keith Hunt
"Oh indeed, the WCG was going to SUE Ambassador Report a NUMBER of times over the next years, especially over HWA having an affair with one of his daughters way back when, that came to light [and for those who still say it was all slander and lies; I personally heard GTA say he confronted his dad on the matter and HWA admitted it was so, saying, I was not always close to God"].  What was the reply from Ambassador Report to the WCG stating they were going to sue them, it was "Come on do so, will be happy to see you in court."  The WCG NEVER did sue Ambassador Report!!"
Keith’s comments about the incest allegation may be found at:
A direct confirmation from GTA is significant.
12.  WCG ministerial confirmations (various dates):
·      Many have reported that David Antion (GTA’s brother-in-law) has acknowledged that the incest occurred (apparently to all that are willing to ask).  
·      Art Mokarow had confirmed that HWA committed incest while in a public setting.   
·      Other COG ministers have acknowledged the rumor to be true when asked by members, including Gary Antion and at least one of the current UCG Council members (2016).

13.  2014 Interview of HWA’s niece Deborah
In a radio interview, Deborah related that the family had kept quiet about Dorothy to protect her.  Deborah’s mother had told her it was true.  She was also was told by her grandson.  Interestingly, Deborah noted that the only thing HWA had given her was a hand signed copy of his “Missing Dimension in Sex” book.

Start at minute 50:00. 

This admission by family members is significant and consistent.  It is difficult to imagine that Deborah would have been deceived about this or benefit from lying about it.

14.  2014 Interview of HWA’s grandson Larry Gott
In a radio interview, Larry Gott said that the incest was an accepted as fact within the family and that it had started when Dorothy was 14 or 15.    When asked, what kind of character was HWA, he said, “He was tyrannical… He was a person who craved and used authority over other people.  That was sort of the essence of him.    Nobody was really close to him – ever – including his wife.  He was an authoritarian and I would tell people that he was not completely honest with everybody about himself.”

Start at minute 1:01:20.

15.  Statement by Verne Mattson (Dorothy's husband)
A December 2015 letter to Exit Support Network related how one man's father had contacted Mr. Mattson to discuss the incest allegation and how that Verne had confirmed it. 
16.  Supplemental material related to above references
“Inconceivable” is how many feel about the allegation that HWA had committed incest during the beginning period of his ministry and this was also my own response upon first hearing about it from a WCG minister in 1995.  At the time, it seemed too convenient for the pro-Tkach people to bring this ugly rumor up just as individuals were deciding whether they should stay in WCG or leave.   If true, why had it not been a problem all along?   I gave the allegation no serious consideration for the next 15 years.
While researching the history of the church during the UCG/COGWA split, the allegations came up again and again.  It was unpleasant and again tempting to ignore but after confirming most of the allegations about financial impropriety in Ambassador Report and other books, and after reading mention of the incest in the Nov. 12, 1984 Lakeland Ledger newspaper article about HWA’s divorce, it made sense to consider the incest allegations more seriously. 
There was substantial ‘proof’ available on the internet but it required one to believe that the referenced individuals had really known and said what was being alleged.  Could these individuals just have been repeating an unfounded rumor as Bob Thiel had concluded, or was the rumor actually true?  I wanted to speak to somebody in person to remove the shadow of doubt.  In the end, it was possible to discuss the allegations with several individuals mentioned above:
1)    Al Corrozzo (July 2014 discussion at the UCG Doheny Beach activity).  Mr. Carrozzo confirmed that that he did author, and stood behind, what one could find credited to him on the Internet (e.g., “Al Carrozzo’s Resignation Letter to Ministry” and “The Profligate Son” post in Ambassador Report).  When asked about the incest allegation, he answered without pause, “Yes, that rumor is also true.”  He explained that he knew for certain because his good friend Art Mokarow had heard HWA confess on Floyd Lochner’s tape.
2)    Art Mokarow  (Dec. 2014 phone conversation).  After learning that, when asked in a public setting, Art Mokarow had confirmed the incest had occurred; I called Mr. Mokarow to determine if this report had been true and, if so, how had he known for certain.  Art said that he knew for certain that HWA was guilty of incest because he had heard his taped confession that had been recorded by his friend Floyd Lochner (confirming what Al had told me earlier that year).
3)    Keith Hunt (by phone in April 2015 phone conversation).  Mr. Hunt confirmed that he had personally heard about HWA’s incest directly from GTA.
4)    Art Mokarow (May 14th, 2016 phone conversation).  I re-read Bob Thiel's "proof" that the incest had not occurred" in 2016.  The statement about Art Mokarow backing away from his claim bothered me.  I again contacted Mr. Mokarow on May 14th, 2016.  Art did not back away from his statement at all.  Yes, he had heard the tape himself.  He also had heard Mr. Armstrong confess the incest directly to him to some of the other leading ministers.  This had occurred close to the time when David Robinson's allegations had surfaced and were being circulated.  Apparently, HWA had wanted to address the issue and move past it.  Essentially, he had said, "Yes the incest had occurred, I had not always been close to God, but I've repented and now I need to know who is going to continue to support me at this time?"  Some ministers stayed, Art Mokarow moved on. 
I believe this is likely why other ministers had felt comfortable in acknowledging the incest allegation to have been factual when asked by church members.
5)    David Antion (Dec. 2016 discussion after services in his Altadena congregation).   Mr. Antion confirmed much of what had been stated in AR#27, what Mr. Kessler had mentioned, and what had been documented elsewhere on various websites.  It was true that Mr. Armstrong had committed incest; that the abuse had begun around 1933, that the abuse led to incest and had continued into the early 1940’s; that Dorothy had confessed to family members, friends and specifically to David Antion (in 1979/80 when the charges became public); and that GTA had told other ministers.
All of the individuals above were found to be credible and their individual stories were consistent when evaluated as a whole.  These individuals were sincere and candid and spoke without bitterness.   Although most of the initial confirmations occurred close to the timing of the release of David Robinson’s book, these confirmations did not stem merely from David Robinson’s allegations as had been concluded by others.  It is logical that once the incest became public knowledge, many would have sought confirmation from members of HWA's family and that some of his family members would again discuss something that had been left unsaid for years.


Although a lot of information has been presented but it can be easily summarized:

·      Dorothy had spoken about the incest to family and some of her friends long ago

·      Dorothy had also confessed to John Keiss of the Church of God 7th Day

·      GTA had learned about the incest from Dorothy in 1971

·      Keith Hunt had heard about it directly from GTA in the early 1970’s

·      Mr. Robinson heard about it from GTA other family members in 1979

·      HWA confessed to Art Mokarow and other top ministers (and Dorothy had spoken with David Antion about the incest) in 1979/80 just before the release of Mr. Robinson’s book

·      Mr. Robinson published Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web in 1980

·      Floyd Lochner recorded HWA after he heard the allegation

·      Art Mokarow had heard HWA confess the incest on the Lochner tape

·      Al Corrozo confirmed that Art Mokarow had heard the tape

·      Jack Kessler had heard the rumors, and learned about the Lochner tape, in 1980 and then had asked HWA directly about the rumors and HWA admitted to the incest

·      Ramona's lawyers mentioned HWA’s incest in the divorce trial in 1981

·      GTA did not refute the allegation when asked in writing in 1997

·      HWA's niece Deborah had learned about the incest from her mother long ago and recently confirmed this during a 2014 radio interview  

·      HWA's grandson Larry Gott stated that the incest was an accepted fact within the family and did so during a 2014 radio interview

Conclusion:  Was there a big conspiracy to denigrate HWA’s character or were the allegations factual?  Simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones.  After looking into this topic in greater detail, it became clear that the allegations were factual.  I found no reason to fault the credibility of Al Corrozo, Art Mokarow, Jack Kessler, Keith Hunt, Deborah, David Antion, and Larry Gott on this subject.