Book: The Truth Shall Make You Free

published by: 

The Truth Foundation
11 Laurel Court
Freehold Township, New Jersey 07728

Chapter 1

(pg 3)  Little did I realize that my first contact with the Worldwide Church of God, about eighteen years ago, would lead to this moment, nor could I ever have imagined what it  would lead to in just a few years.  Only a few years alter my wife and I were to make the decision to institute a lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God and its officials, alleging that the officials were misappropriating funds.  This lawsuit was destined to become one of the most massive church/state confrontations in recent history.
(pg 7) (In searching for a church they wrote to Pasadena)…I later found that Church meetings were kept rather secret so that outsiders wouldn’t wander in.  Looking back at this, I wonder how the Worldwide Church of God could ever have expected to do the work that Christ commanded when they spent so much effort at keeping themselves hidden in the local community.

(pg 15) We didn’t realize at the time that most of what was written about Church history and Herbert Armstrong was just a subtle device to condition people’s minds to blindly following the Church’s teachings as expounded by Armstrong.  I should have realized at the time that any man who claimed to be the only servant of Jesus Christ would not put out a 540-page autobiography which only covered the period from his birth in 1892 up until the year 1938.  This book, significantly, was the largest publication ever issued by the church. There is more written about Herbert Armstrong in this autobiography than there is written about Christ in the entire Bible.

Chapter 2 Beginning of Troubles

(pg 21)  When we first contacted the church in early 1974, we did not realize then, and in fact did not realize for some time, that we were coming into the Church during one of its most tumultuous periods.  A series of events took place in 1974 that were actually setting the stage for the legal action that we were to initiate in 1978. In 1974, over forty ministers and an estimated two thousand to three thousand members left the Church.  This was later to become known as the 1974 Rebellion.  This rebellion was actually the aftershock of a double crisis in 1972. Church members had for many years been told in sermons and in Good News, a publication only for church members, that they should be prepared to flee to a place of safety in 1972.  This place was to be the ancient and now uninhabited town of Petra, located in Transjordan, Petra is described in the Pictorial Bible atlas, as follows: “In the small basin of Petra was situated the famous Nabatean.  Impressive gorges and impregnable faulted walls of crystalline rocks rise into the southern Edom Mountains to over 5,000 feet.”  The entrance to Petra is a mile-long canyon with cliffs three hundred feet high. It was to this town in the wilderness that the entire Worldwide Church of God expected to go and live for three an one half years awaiting the return of Christ in 1975.

(pg 22)  During the late 1960’s, in anticipation of this flight to safety many members had put off important matters, such as  necessary dental care, home purchases, or any other long-term commitments, expecting that such things would not be necessary.  Of course, 1972 came and went, but there was no flight to Petra.

Armstrong wrote a co-worker letter, dated March 25, 1975, “Some years ago I saw factors indicating the possibility that our work might be completed in early 1972, and immediately followed by the Great Tribulation. I NEVER SET A DEFINITE DATE, I NEVER SAID IT WOULD DEFINITELY HAPPEN-but cautioned there were indications of the possibility.  Yet some misunderstood it as a definite prophecy for a definite date.”

Nonetheless, 1972 was a momentous year for the Worldwide Church of God. It was in that year that Herbert Armstrong announced to the church, in a letter dated April 25, 1972: “Last autumn I was dismayed to learn that my son had been overcome with personal emotional problems, that it Ied to conduct inconsistent with the high standards of the Work of the Church of God and the scriptural qualifications for a minister of Jesus Christ, and rendered him incapable of carrying on the duties of a minister, and of his responsibilities of Executive Vice-President.”
(pg 23) This event rocked the Church in 1972.  Garner Ted Armstrong had been for years the radio and television voice of the Church, and was known and respected as not just a great evangelist, but a man with tremendous insight and understanding regarding world affairs….There was much speculation at the time, and also allegations that Garner Ted Armstrong’s problem was one o f sexual infidelity.  I was to find out much later that whatever the depth of his emotional problems, it was amazing that he survived the ordeal at all, considering the constant struggle that he had been having with his father on some of the harsh doctrines of the Church.

The whole period of turmoil actually had its start around 1968, after the death of Herbert Armstrong’s wife Loma in 1967. It was at this time that Stanley Rader began to assume a more prominent position as an advisor to Herbert Armstrong.  Rader was a non-member and had been in the employ of the Church for approximately ten years as an accountant and legal counselor.  It was during this period, starting in 1968, when the massive building program was embarked upon, including the commitment for the elaborate Ambassador Auditorium.  This also marked the beginning of Herbert Armstrong’s visits to political leaders around the world, as part of what he called his ‘great commission.”  Garner Ted Armstrong’s disagreement with the direction his father was going, as well as the doctrinal differences, were one of the many causes of a complex emotional problem.

Three of the doctrinal points which seem to be of major contention (pg 24) were those concerning divorce and remarriage, healing, and make-up.  A fourth one, to a lesser degree, concerned birthdays.  On the matter of divorce and remarriage, the Church taught that a divorced person could not remarry, as to do so would be adulterous.  Even harsher was the part of the teaching which required one who had been divorced and remarried before entering the Church to dissolve the second marriage and return to the first mate.  If that was not possible, the remarried couple were to live apart from each other, since to continue together would be adulterous.  There was no scriptural basis for this teaching, and many lives were virtually destroyed by a forced adherence to this doctrine.

On the matter of healing, members were taught that to use doctors or medicine for anything other than “mechanical” repairs, such as fixing broken bones or repairing teeth, was a sin.  Members were to rely only on God for healing, and were to have a minister anoint them with oil and then pray over them for healing.  It is certainly true that God does heal and the He does perform many miracles, but He does expect us to do what we can physically as part of our reliance upon Him. Many members and, even more tragically, young children actually died as a result of the member’s fear to use a doctor of medicine.

Members were also forbidden to wear make-up as it was considered to be a sign of vanity and, according to Herbert Armstrong, something used by prostitutes. The celebration of birthdays was forbidden as being pagan, although there is no Biblical proof of this. 

The expenditures for Armstrong’s world trips in the Church owned Gulfstream II jet were also becoming a cause of dissention among many of the top officials…All of these various factors – the 1972 ouster and later return of Garner Ted Armstrong, serious doctrinal questions, and the massive expenditures of money on round the world trips – all combined to set the stage for serious discord within the ministry.  The final result of all this was the event that became known as the 1974 Rebellion.

Another point of serious concern among many of the top Church leaders was the growing influence of Stanley R Rader on Herbert Armstrong.  Rader, born in 1930 in New York, was not a Church member and had never been baptized.  He was first employed by the Church in 1956 as a certified public accountant and later became legal counsel to both the Church and to Herbert Armstrong.  He was a member of both the accounting firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler and of the legal firm of Rader, Helge and Gerson.  Both these firms represented the Church in a professional capacity.

Chapter 3 The Great Commission

(pg 34)  Armstrong said further, “One thing that has been a serious handicap, and caused me and my touring team no little embarrassment.  We have had to say that we represent either Ambassador College or Worldwide Church off God.

“I am regarded as an Ambassador of WORLD PEACE. But if I represent a CHURCH, immediately that shouts to them RELIGION.”
Somehow in Herbert Armstrong’s convoluted way of thinking he was convincing Church leaders that he could deliver the Gospel, a religious message, by not sounding religious and hiding behind a secular organization.  Most ministers kept this to themselves.  When it was mentioned in congregations, it was put forth in such a way that the people swallowed the whole story without even realizing what was going on.

(pg 38)  In contrast, our way of serving was to be one of supporting the Armstrong’s or as some call it, “Pray and pay!”

Only later did I come to realize that that was not the complete statement.  More accurately it was, “Pray and pay while the Armstrong’s play.” Herbert Armstrong was jetting around the world in the Gulfstream II visiting foreign dignitaries, while Garner Ted Armstrong was jetting across the country in his Falcon jet, on his way to hunting or fishing trip.  Still oblivious to so much of this, I said to Maceo Hampton one day, “How can I serve?  I want to serve.  I feel like just going to Church every Sabbath and being a (pg 39) member isn’t enough. What can I do?” To which Paula added, “What about me?  It seems that all the women do is have their ladies club.  If the Church were to have a Sabbath school for the kids, the women could certainly be much more effective and helpful!”  Hampton responded, “You two are really something!  You always want to help.  Don’t worry, just be patient. Your time will come.  I know that you will get your opportunity to serve, I can assure you of that.”

Little did any of us realize how significant his statement was to be.

Chapter 4 Crack in the False Facade

(pg 41) The first significant wedge to be driven into the crack developing in the façade of the Worldwide Church of God came in June of 1976 with the release of a publication called the Ambassador Review. The Ambassador Review was put out by a group of former Ambassador students, led by J. Timothy Nugent, John Trechak, and Leonard W. Zola.  In their opening statement they say, “The Ambassador Review is a journal by and for students, alumni, and friends of Ambassador College.  Its goal is to provide an open forum for those who have shared in the ‘Ambassador Experience.’  It has grown out of an increasing need for a response to censored and ideologically-controlled articles found in the official Ambassador College and Worldwide Church of God publications.”  This publication was a fifty-two-page magazine, and while it had a strong impact in the Pasadena area, it did not receive wide circulation.  I was unaware of it at the times, but did find out later that some people in our local congregation received copies in the mail.  Most of those copies were immediately given over to the ministers and destroyed.

Another article by Nugent states, “None of the ‘great purposes’ seem pertinent anymore.  Bricket Wood is gone, Imperial Schools is gone.  The Ambassador Press has been sold. The computer department is being phased out, The Ambassador Television Studio is being bartered off.  And it doesn’t help to be reminded (pg 42) that THE PLAIN TRUTH look starved for  content, while the pages of the once-again delayed HUMAN POTENTIAL are so bloated with content that it appears to be wallowing in its own galleys, perhaps never to see the arrival of a second edition. Yes, it’s hard to be optimistic.”

Referred to here as the College at Bricket Wood, England, which had been closed and was in the process of being sold.  The sale was finally consummated in 1978. The Imperial Schools were elementary schools in the Pasadena area which were operated by the Church.  It was becoming quite obvious to some that great sums of money were going into cultural endeavors and allegedly great humanitarian causes, while some of the very basic operations of the Church such as its schools, its colleges, and even its printing plants were being liquidated.

The selling of the printing plant is a case in point.  The Ambassador Press was one of the most modern color printing facilities on the West Coast.  In a short-sighted move to raise cash, the entire facility was sold to large magazine publishing company in an arrangement whereby the Church would then contract with the purchaser for the printing of THE PLAIN TRUTH and the GOOD NEWS magazines. Soon after the sale of the printing plant the buyer closed the facility due to insufficient business, as a result of the 1974-75 recession.  The same basic recessionary period that motivated the Church to sell the printing plant resulted in its total closing, with the presses being dismantled and sold off to some distant buyer.  This resulted in the Church being in the position of having to job-shop, or farm out, its major printing assignments.

One of the main points of Armstrong’s teaching was that of Church authority.  He would constantly remind the membership that he was God’s apostle and that God’s form of government was government from the top down. This meant that, he, Armstrong, was in charge of everything and in a sense, the only human capable of governing the Church.  He more than once made the statement, “God would never allow me to do anything or make any decision that would adversely affect the Church.” In this he even goes the Pope one better.  At least the Pope limits his claimed infallibility to matters of faith and morals; Herbert Armstrong, in a more subtle way, claims infallibility on any decision affecting the Church.

(pg 44)  Attention was also called to the fact that the accounting firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler didn’t operate exactly as an arm’s length auditor of the Church’s books.  Rader, of course, was on the payroll of the Church.  Henry Cornwall, a partner in the firm, was not a member of the Church.  Ambassador Review states: “Another individual worthy of note was Henry F Cornwall, long time friend and business associate of Stan Rader.  He holds the office of Secretary-Treasurer within the Foundation.  His position in the entire Worldwide Church of God empire is even more covert than Rader’s, but sources within the organization have revealed that Cornwall yields incredible power in the area of fiscal affairs. Cornwall, a Certified Public Accountant, has kept the financial records of the Church and College for years and reportedly acts as the sole ‘independent’ auditor of the corporate conglomerate.  From their office suite in Century City, Cornwall and Rader discreetly exercise almost absolute control over the purse strings.  It is they who authorize the ultra-extravagant expenditures by the AICF using Church monies.

Herbert Armstrong was taken strongly to task in another article entitles “Herbert W Armstrong, A legend in His Own Mind”.  One of the more shocking disclosures was the fact that the church conducted what were known as ‘tithe checks’ on members and especially employees. If a member was being considered for ordination as an elder or deacon, or if someone was being considered (pg 45) for promotion as an employee, a check of their tithing record would be made.

Ambassador Review further states: “The ministerial letter of January 28, 1969 emphasized once again that the ministers should check with headquarters to determine the loyalty of suspected brethren under their charge.”

Little did I realize that I was a member of a church that conducted  its operations more like a Communist police state, while Herbert Armstrong was running around the world telling people that God’s way is the way of love and man’s way is the way of get and selfish greed.  Which way was he practicing here?

…It is difficult to determine the effect the first issue of Ambassador Review hay have had.  While it may have caused some people to begin thinking critically about Church leadership, it appears that most of the people who received copies of the Review did the same thing as those in my Church area.  They turned them into their minister.

The interesting point in all of this was that they did not just throw out something that they did not consider worthy of their attention; because they did not want to be suspected of ever having such a think in their possession, most members turned them in as an outward show of loyalty to the Church and the Armstrong’s.  This is a perfect example of what can happen to someone’s thinking process after being conditioned with propaganda that Herbert Armstrong is an apostle of God, and as such could not be questioned.  For to question him is to question God, and to question God is to risk losing your eternal life and ending up in the lake of fire. 

(pg 51) Elbert atlas is one of the few black ministers in the Church and he only black area Coordinator  Unfortunately, he (pg 52) appears to very sensitive to this fact and ever-mindful of the feeling of some of the top officials in the Church.  He will probably never forget the statement, by Roderick C. Meredith, a top-ranking evangelist who was later to become Director of the ministry “that one of the signs of God’s displeasure with America was the fact that many blacks were ruling over us.”  And he called particular attention to the black mayor of Los Angeles [Tom Bradley]. He further stated that no black man should ever have authority over whites.

Chapter 5 The Apostle’s New Helpmate

(pg 55)  In the spring of 1977, Herbert Armstrong, after ten years a widower, remarried.  At age eighty-five, he married a woman in her late thirties, Ramona Martin.

Many members wondered about Armstrong marrying such a young woman at his age.  Again, this point was handled well by the (pg 56) ministry.  Picking up on Herbert Armstrong’s statements that his original wife could not have stood the rigors of travel, they told the members that God mercifully allowed her to die, so that Armstrong could conduct his world travels and bring the Gospel to other nations.  Because he needed a wife who could act as his hostess in various social functions, we were told that God provided him with his new young wife who was able to handle such heavy travel.  Could there be some further significance to this?  What about the fact that the new Mrs. Armstrong had been a secretary to the mysterious Osamu Gotoh and them later an assistant to Stanley Rader?  One wonders wither God really did send her to Herbert Armstrong or someone else made the arrangements.

Church members were told in letters from Herbert Armstrong that he had gone to this clinic [Otopeni Clinic] to rest up after a grueling trip.  Yet Garner Ted Armstrong in a public speaking engagement in Hackensack, New Jersey, in September 1978 was to say something quit different.  He said, “My father, before marrying this younger woman, went to a clinic in Romania where they give these special treatments for sexual rejuvenation, and it didn’t do any good.”Again, one must wonder where a lot of heard –earned donations had (pg 57) been going.  Had it preached the Gospel, or to pander to every whim and desire of the self-appointed apostle?

Garner Ted Armstrong was to state in an interview, regarding his father’s marriage to Ramona Martin, “I felt that every woman over fifty in the Church would be outraged.”  He stated further that he strenuously objected directly to his father and through intermediaries regarding his father’s interest in Ramona Martin during the entire two-and-a-half-year courtship.  Garner Ted said that he was told that his father would drink too much at dinner in some of the fanciest restaurants throughout the world, and in his inebriated condition pound his fist o the table, making public spectacle of himself as he proclaimed his anger against his son and his love for Ramona.

Garner Ted was so opposed to his father’s marriage that he says, “As I was walking through the front door of my father’s Tucson home, I was saying to my wife Shirley, “No, I will not perform (pg 58) this ceremony. It’s not right, it’s not good.  I won’t do it.  She kept begging me, all the way up the steps.  I won’t do it.  But when I opened the door and walked in there and I saw him surrounded by all these strangers, my heart went out to my father.  Suddenly, the family tie was there, and I said, ‘I can’t do this, I’m Garner Ted Armstrong, the executive vice-president and the person right next to my father and in the position at the top.  How can I let an insignificant young, new pastor of a little tiny church, whom I  had know since the time he was a baby boy, perform the wedding of the Chairman of the Board and the President of the Church and the Founder of the Church and the College and so on, when he is my father.  I walked over to my dada and asked him if I can perform the ceremony. He broke down and threw his arms around me and just almost with a weeping voice said, “O Ted, that’s the greatest wedding present you could have ever given me.”

“Stan walked in and my father said, “Stan, isn’t it wonderful Ted has consented to perform the ceremony.’ Stan’s face blanched and he looked at me like he would like to have me disappear on the spot.  He was furious.  My wife saw it, I saw it, we felt it, it was just blazing anger, you couldn’t believe how angry he was.  And it was unreasonable. Because he saw me suddenly winning, he thought it was political of me.  It wasn’t political. It was totally accidental. Nothing political about it.  It was just a heartfelt feeling that I had had.”

What very few people know, was that the events leading up to the marriage of Herbert and Ramona Armstrong, over Garner Ted’s constant violent objections, were setting the stage for a crisis in the Church such as had not been seen before.  It was during this same period of time that Garner Ted had been having some disagreements with Stanley Rader and had also become increasingly suspicious of Rader’s motives and increasing wealth.  When Garner Ted observed Rader’s blazing anger at the fact that he was going to perform his father’s wedding ceremony, it became fully apparent to Garner Ted that this marriage had a great significance to Stanley Rader.

(pg 59)  Strangely enough, this woman, whom Herbert Armstrong married, suddenly had better things to do, than to accompany him on his trips.  This, in spite of the fact that Herbert Armstrong made a major point of the fact that a young wife would be able to stand the rigors of travel, whereas had his first wife Loma lived, she would not have had such endurance.

Shortly after his marriage, Armstrong was to embark on another international trip.  Ramona, however, could not travel with him in order to attend to matters of greater urgency.  She stayed home in Tucson, in order to oversee the landscaping project of their new home.

It seems strange that Church headquarters had no Sabbath school materials at all for use in the program.  All lesson materials had to be developed locally, and Harriet, with a group of assistants, did a fine job preparing a complete set of lessons.  What seems so strange was that in discussing the financial needs of the program with a minister, Harriet was told that (pg 60) there was no money in the budget from headquarters to fund a Sabbath school program.  All such funding had to be done on a local basis.  We had no idea, at the time that we were told this, that Garner Ted Armstrong, at about the very same time, was being instructed by his father to sign checks for tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewels and furs for his wife Ramona.  There was plenty of Church money for pearls of adornment, but no money to bring the pearls of great price to our little children.  Money for international trips and gifts for world leaders, but no money for Sabbath school lessons.

(pg 62) On the way out of the store, Mark (Armstrong) stopped by one of the shelves and pointed to a patent medicine, a well known brand of laxative with a bulking-type vegetable fiber in it.  He said, “Hey John, that’s the stuff that killed my grandma, she had bowel problems and used to live on that stuff.  While grandpa was preaching healing with no medicine, grandma was forever drinking that stuff.  One time it just got like cement in her bowels and she just couldn’t go.  Then grandpa wouldn’t have any doctors, and they kept praying for her, and she finally died.  That’s the stuff that did it, John.”  On the way out of the store, Mark kept talking, he said, “Now old Stan’s got my grandpa right where he wants him.  He’s got him married to that fat Ramona, and there ain’t a thing grandpa says or does now that (pg 63) Stan doesn’t know about.”  While I was still getting over the shock of these statements, Mark continued, “I know grandpa would like to go back to the old doctrines of no doctors again, and stop having people celebrate birthdays, but I guess there is not much he’ll do about the divorce doctrines now, because he’s married to a divorcee.  Well, I guess as the apostle he can find even his way around that if he wants to.” It was quite a shock to hear such statements about Herbert Armstrong, not just from an employee of the Church, but from his very own grandson.

The Ambassador Report (pg 67)

In September, or perhaps early October, 1977, the Ambassador Report bombshell hit, it was a ninety –two-page magazine, slick, professionally produced.  A new name was listed among the publishers, that of Robert Gerringer, a former Ambassador student and form employee of the Church.  The front cover carried a photograph of Bobby Fischer and the legend “Bobby Fischer Speaks Out! – Exclusive Interview-his 15 Years in Armstrongism.”  Below that a photograph of Garner Ted Armstrong with the legend “In Bed With Garner Ted, America’s Playboy Preacher.”  This publication cost more than $10,000 to produce and was financed by some of the publishers, who actually took out second mortgages on their homes to raise the cash.
My first knowledge of the new Ambassador Report was as a result of an announcement at Sabbath services.  Richard Frankel announced, ‘”Brethren, Satan is again trying to destroy God’s Church through the Ambassador Report, a vicious publication put out by former members of the Church.  It contains noting but vicious attacks on God’s Work.  Many people are receiving this poison unsolicited in their mailbox.  Don’t even look at it. To do so will poison your mind. If you receive a copy, turn it in to one of the elders immediately without even looking at it.

“Mr. Rader has said that the material was scurrilous and much the same as reported in other places in other times and with no (pg 68) foundation in fact. Brethren, we have been advised by headquarters that our legal department is going to sue these people who have sought to destroy the Church.  They won’t get away with it.  If anyone wants to show you a copy of this poison, have nothing to do with them, and I want to know the name of any person who may be spreading such vicious slander about.”

At the next Sabbath there were members turning in their Ambassador Reports. They were assuring elders that they did not look at it.  It’s amazing how people will resort to blind obedience out of a distorted fear of God that is just driven into them by an autocratic ruler.  This is nothing more than modern day book-burning.

The Ambassador Report was apparently having quit an impact on the Church and resulted in numerous newspaper articles throughout the country.  Although I did not receive a copy in the mail, I was able to obtain one from one of the few thinking members of the Church, Elder Walter Scull.

This report was well researched and comprehensive.  Again there was a review of some of the doctrinal aberrations, such as the failure of the Church to have to flee for safety in 1972; the Church’s position of total reliance on God without medical help for healing; and the teaching against the use of make-up.  It appears that Armstrong, like the Pharisees of old, spend more time and effort fabricating self-righteous doctrines to keep people in his control, than he did on just preaching the truth about the Scriptures.

In the article called, “Computer Snooper,” the fact that the Church used the computer system to monitor tithing records was well documented.  The editors quoted from a ministerial letter dated, January 28, 1969, “Also, we are beginning to look into the tithing situation. Up until we had out computer, it was very slow and difficult (pg 69) to check the tithing record of brethren. We still don’t intend to do this all the time and try to ‘catch’ people at as some denominations apparently do.  But, we are going to male spot-checks in certain church areas from time to time.”

Even more like 1984 are the revelations about the Ambassador College Manpower Committee. This committee was supposedly for the purpose of determining the employment potential of Ambassador College graduates within the Church or college.  The article states, “Before any discussion of a student began, his picture is projected on a screen.  Then, as the members of this ‘spiritual jury’ stared at the student’s image, each one of them divulged information – often given them confidentially in private counseling sessions – gathered of the student.  This information often included a student’s background, racial and genetic heritage, sex and dating problems, attitudes and physique in addition to biased personal assessments of a student’s worth to the organization.

Then followed excerpts from minutes of these meetings: “Like most Negroes he is reserved, timid and not as warm and spontaneous as he could be – Most of our Negro leaders are partially white and don’t have the normal dull mind of the average Negro.”; “He is starry eyed, has a glassy stare when speaking, is hard to listen to because of his poor eye contact – this may be the result of excessive masturbation in the past.”; “He does confess to mentally fornicating with girls every day of his life.  Before he came into the Church, he used to masturbate twice a day – he is a sexual pervert in his mind.  He has had demon problems.”; “The Manpower Committee saw no objections to a marriage sometime in June.”; “Mr. Armstrong just recently made an ironclad rule that any senior who wants to marry a freshman is automatically out of the college and if he doesn’t take that in the right attitude is out of the Church.”; “Now Y is over there and she is getting romantically involved with a weak student named X.  His stock is weak.  If we were cattle raisers we would not begin to allow such mating to take place.  Breeding is important.”; “Mr. Armstrong could see no reason why they should not get married, his future is already mapped (70) out for him.”; “She had a breakdown in Mr. Buzzard’s class the other day – she couldn’t stop crying. We don’t want ‘odd’ people – people obviously demon influenced.  We should not hesitate to kick her out at the end of the semester, unless there is a drastic change.”; “Mr. Ted Armstrong said there are still security leaks in our Manpower Committee that must be stopped.  Word got back to X that we were discussing him in a recent Manpower meeting.  But what he heard was fifth or sixth hand, perverted, warped and only small percentage correct.”

It is difficult to imagine how a group of men who called themselves ministers of Jesus Christ could engage in such an activity under the guise of evaluating people for employment.  What is evident here is an attitude on the part of these Church leaders that they must have total control over every aspect of an individual’s life.

Chess Champion Bobby Fisher had quite a lot to say about the Armstrong’s.  In an interview with the Ambassador Report editor, Fischer said, “I was trying to buy God.”  From 1967 through 1974 he gave a total of $94,315 to the Worldwide Church of God.  In 1972, the year he won his championship defeating Soviet champion Boris Spassky, he donated $61,200 to the Church. He said, “This idea of Herbert’s that you can't trust your own thoughts – that’s the key doctrine that I think has to be blasted out. I would say that if there’s one thing that is the whole essence of Armstrongism, that is it.  That’s how he screws up your mind, that’s how he hangs on to people.

(71) “You know, from reading his stuff and listening to his sermons, you’d think he was very interested in God.  But when you meet him personally, there is nothing there at all.

“I find Armstrong to be an egomaniac. He sitteth in the temple of God saying great things as if he were God. He apparently wants to leave his permanent mark on all he comes in contact with and can bring into submission. He is simply a madman who would love to rule the world.”

Some of the most shocking disclosures regarding the handling of finances were made in an article entitled “Fleecing the Flock.”  In this article John Trecheck opens with an account of his own experience as a ministerial student visiting Herbert Armstrong’s home.  The account reads, “It was February 18, 1970.  A small group of ministerial students were spending an evening with Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the Worldwide Church of God. Those of us who had been invited were given a glimpse of a life-style which is today’s world only a very few are able to afford.  At his home, a small mansion on Pasadena’s South Orange Grove Boulevard, (once nicknamed “Millionaires Row”), we were surrounded by rare antiques, expensive paintings, and Steubin crystal. The carpets were luxurious; a Steinway Grand stood in the corner of the drawing room.

“The gourmet cuisine served at dinner was excellent as were the European wines – all four of them.  We had been shown a large number of expensive paintings and objects d’art and, as was his custom, Herbert would relate what he had paid for each and what they were now worth.  That theme carried over into the conversations at dinner.  Then, as the servants began to clear the table, he turned to one guest and said, “What do you think all these beautiful things on the table are worth?”  Of course, none of us had even the slightest idea.  And so, he was able to proudly proclaim “Over $125,000!”

I’ve’ heard stories similar to this repeated many times by others who had been to Herbert Armstrong’s home.  Much of the art was (72) of an erotic nature and Herbert Armstrong was very proud of this. Frequently, part of his performance for the senior guests from the college would be a lengthy dissertation on sex.  It has been reported that Armstrong would give his apostolic advice to the seniors regarding their conduct and performance on their wedding night.  Rather than go into details regarding what he did say at those times, let it suffice that the reports were that the guests were most embarrassed by Armstrong’s conduct and especially his references to his own marital relations and his first wife’s various hang-ups and inhibitions.

Also revealed in the same article was Herbert Armstrong’s obsession for buying paintings.  He has so many paintings that many are in storage still with the price tags on them.  A conservative estimate of the value of these paintings is over half million dollars and in fact would probably be considerably higher than that.

According to a recent statement by Garner Ted Armstrong about (73) a year after publication of the Ambassador Report, ‘My father loves paintings of horses by one particular artist.  He must have just about every painting the guy has ever made.  Why, when he’s in London, part of his routine is to be driven up to Harrods’s in his Rolls Royce, and wouldn’t you know they’re all primed and ready for him.  The manager of that place just bows and scraps before my father and by the time it’s all over they’ve emptied his pockets again.  The only thing is, its Church money.”

But then one must wonder what Ted is really complaining about. Continuing in the same article in the Ambassador Report, John Trechak recalls a time when he was working as an instructor in the Church camp at Orr, Minnesota during the summer of 1973.  He states, “I can vividly recall how each week, Garner Ted would pass through from Californian.  He was not at all involved in teaching, counseling or the administration of the camp, nor did he normally give sermons or a lecture to the campers.  The purpose of the trip was purely for pleasure.  Each Thursday or Friday, Ted and his guests would fly a smaller plane north into Canada to Ted’s private fishing camp.  On Monday they would come through Oregon on their way back to California.  Now who do you think paid for all of this?  The jet referred to here by the way was the Church –owned Falcon Jet, which Garner Ted is licensed to fly.

One of the biggest spenders in the Church was the mysterious Japanese man, Osama Gotoh.  AN article entitled “The Incredible Story of Mr. Mission Impossible, Ambassador College’s Illustrious Professor Gotoh” detailed some of his activities. Gotoh, apparently drawn to Ambassador College by its opulence ad great show of wealth, came on the scene in Pasadena in the mid-sixties.  He claimed to have been a Christian minister in Japan and had been (74) speaking on an obscure Japanese-language radio station on the West Coast.  After flunking out of Ambassador College in 1967, Gotoh incredibly, was named the head of the newly created Japanese department.  Apparently he had sold Herbert Armstrong on his ability to arrange connections and introductions in Japan.

“An A.C. Financial Affairs official reported that Gotoh had a lavish expense account which eventually exceeded $100,000.”  While Gotoh was being highly praised by Herbert Armstrong as being the man God was using to open doors for him in Japan, it appears as though Gotoh was also actively engaged in less Christian pursuits such as smuggling. Ambassador Report stated, “On June 6, 1975 Gotoh was apprehended at the L.A. International carrying a substantial undeclared amount of jewelry.  This information came from the Department of the Treasury in San Pedro, Californian, which commissioned an agent compile a case against Gotoh.  According to an official spokesman of the government agency, Gotoh, if tried by a jury and convicted of the crime, could have received up to five years in jail and a $50,000 fine.”

Soon after this Gotoh was out of the United States and out of the reach of Federal agents. He also then left his position on the Ambassador College faculty.  After the Federal pressure seemed to subside, Gotoh was again actively engaged by the Church.  Then, early in 1977, he was again released for what were at the time rather obscure reasons as far as official statements to the membership were concerned.

Regarding Gotoh’s problems with the Department of the Treasury, Ambassador Report stated further, “He is now free to enter and leave the U.S. as the Department of the Treasury is no longer after him.  Their spokesman, however, admitted that the Department had been under ‘pressure from above’ to lay off Gotoh.  He would not elaborate any further.”

It had been reported that as a result of the pressure to lay off Gotoh, all of the records regarding his case (75) and activities have been sealed, and if Gotoh were the only one involved in illegal activity, one must wonder why Herbert Armstrong would state that they prefer to clear customs at Salt Lake City, as they don’t get any problems there.

One article entitled “Southern Exposure” contained an interview with Holly Ruiz, who for eighteen years had been married to Enrique Ruiz, the director of he Mexico City office of the Church.  She was divorced from her husband in 1965.  She detailed various visits by both the Armstrong’s as well as many other top Church officials to both Mexico City and Acapulco. She told how they ate in the best restaurants and had private dinners in the finest hotels.  In response to the question, “Did Herbert ever behave immorally?” she answered, “Not like Ted, but he used to talk about sex a lot.  In fact he was obsessed with sex.  He told me once that he knew more about sex than anyone else.  A few years ago, Herbert told me that he had a crush on a young Philippine girl.  He brought her over from the Philippines and set her up in a really nice apartment.  However, when he found out that she had another boyfriend, he sent her back. He also had a crush on one of his young secretaries.  He wanted to marry her, but Ted would not allow it.”

“I went to Ted after I broke up with my husband not only to get help financially but also because I was concerned about the effect our separation would have on the Church members in Mexico. Ted told me not to worry about that and that he understood how I felt.  He explained that he too had similar problems, but that his father had forced him to (76) remain married and that he didn’t feel it was fair.  He told me that he had taken off with one of his stewardesses to Colorado.  Then he asked me if I’d ever committed adultery at all, and I said no and that I didn’t intend to. He seemed rather taken aback by that statement.

In another article entitles, “Son of the Legend,” Ambassador Report went into considerable detail regarding Garner Ted’s 1972 exile, claiming that the real reason was definitely a matter of adultery.  Referring to the summer of 1971, the article stated, “By this time, word of Ted’s sexual improprieties had begun to filter through the ministry. For at least a year Ted had been having an affair with his stewardess.  Of course, this was not his first affair – Ted had had numerous adulterous relationships with many other women – but this relationship was different. Herbert could not dismiss it as another one of Ted’s passing flirtations.  Ted was ready to leave his wife.

This article went further to state that from Garner Ted’s return later in 1972 through 1972, many of the ministers began to be aware of he real reasons for his exile.  This along with the various doctrinal problems led to the event known as the 1974 rebellion.

A report on a meeting in Richmond, Virginia in February 1974 quotes Albert Portune and David Antion, brother-in-law of Garner Ted, speaking before a group of Eastern ministers as follows: “I don’t know how many times, I just don’t know.  But whether its 25 or 225, I don’t know.  Somewhere between those two points” This was in reference to the number of illicit relations that Garner Ted (78) had had.

“I would say here that a lot of it was not outright adultery – a lot of it was flirtation, a lot of it was necking, making a pass and so forth.

“He needs to feel attractive.  He likes to know that he’s handsome.  He likes to know the girls will go for him and all that.  And I think there’s a psychological need, personally, when I analyze it, rather than just a great need for just sex, you know.”

The forth and final article regarding Garner Ted was written by Al Carrozzo, a former minister and regional director of the Western portion of the United States. His article was entitled “The Profligate Son.”  Carrozzo starts his article, “Al, lets get one thing straight.  I’m a no good fornicating, adulterating son of a bitch’” these highly emotional words initiated a private conversation between Garner Ted Armstrong and me at 10:15 A.M.  on Wednesday, May 16, 1973 in the seclusion of his television studio office.”

Carrozzo then recounted some of the same events covered in other articles regarding Garner Ted’s adulterous activities and his 1972 exile. Regarding Garner Ted’s repentance, Carrozzo states, “Has Garner Ted changed? Did he really repent? One thing is sure, Ted repented many, many times.  He has been called the ‘professional repenter.’  He can cry on cue.”

The Church propaganda machine began to crank out constant attacks on the publishers of Ambassador Report characterizing them as dissident malcontents who were out to destroy God’s Church.  We were told that the Church legal department was going to take swift action against those people and sue them for all the false claims and charges that they had made.  After a while the furor began to die down and all seemed forgotten.

Strangely enough, or perhaps not so strangely, the publishers of Ambassador Report were never sued.  While the Ambassador Report did not have the effects that its publishers had hoped for, they did drive one more wedge into the ever-widening crack in the false façade of the Worldwide Church of God.

Regarding their blockbusting charges against the Church and its officials, Bob Gerringer was to tell me about two years after the massive 1977 issue was published, “Of course they never sued us.  They knew that if they did, we would get into document discovery proceedings and everything would come out.  They were just telling the Church people that they were going to sue, but all the while they knew they wouldn’t dare.  We didn’t publish one thing that we (80) couldn’t back up with proof.

Chapter 7    Renewed Enthusiasm and a New Crisis

(pg 81)  Jack Martin, circulation manager of The Plain Truth, had been appointed publishing director of Quest and had moved into the Quest offices in New York City.  He was a minister in the Church, and the members were told that he would actually oversee the affairs of Quest to make sure that the magazine content would not conflict with Church teachings.  Jack Marin is an Englishman who had a background in business, having been at one time president of a company which manufactured eyeglass frames in England.  Soon after his baptism, he left his job and attended Ambassador College in Britain.  His business talents were soon recognized, and it wasn’t long after graduation that he began to rise into higher levels of responsibility in the Church.

As 1977 was drawing to a close, the Ambassador Report faded further into a distant memory, and I became more enthused about getting further involved in Church activities.  Gordon Muir, who was still in Pasadena, called and asked me to help with a new program on distribution of returns of Quest magazine.  His plan was to have me obtain all of the newsstand returns of back issues from the local distributor. Normally these returns would have their covers removed by the distributor.  Then he would send them to the publisher for credit.  The actual magazines would be shredded in a huge machine for sale as scrap.  Gordon’s plan was to have me and other Plain Truth representatives around the country (pg 82) take these returns and stamp them with a rubber stamp indicating that they were free copies.  They were then to be placed in stores, doctor’s offices, and other public places, in the hope that people would pick them up and perhaps subscribe, using one of the subscription cards that had been inserted in the magazines.

Only a few months earlier I had gone into a rage over the contents of Quest, and now I had become convinced that it was going to be a magazine acceptable to Church members that I was willing to actively engage in the promotion of the magazine.

Gordon Muir suggest that I introduce myself to Jack Martin on one of  my trips to New York City, as he felt that it would be good for Jack to be aquatinted with those who were volunteering their efforts for the Church.  Near the end of the year I met with Jack in his office.  A short man of about forty years of age, he had red hair which seemed to fit perfectly with his dynamic enthusiasm to make Quest into a magazine that could be helpful to the Church.  He said, “We have talented people here at Quest. Some of the best in the business.  All we have to do is give theme some direction and be in accordance with Church teaching.  We have several ideas for other magazines, plus a book publishing division what we hope to start up soon. If done properly, this whole publishing operation will gain the Church a recognition that it has never had before.  The people will be much more receptive to our main message as we try to bring the Gospel to the world.”

He went on further to say regarding the Church and its worldwide impact, “Right now the name of the Worldwide Church of God is almost a joke.  Sure we have scattered Churches here and there around the world, but we’re almost unknown outside the United States. We’re not really worldwide yet, but we could be.”  As we talked further we found we shared a mutual frustration because of the constant setbacks the Church was experiencing.  We felt that with the world events moving as fast as they were that the world would find itself facing a total disaster within the next twenty years.

I said, “Jack we’re supposed to be God’s Church, and we have this job to do. We’re supposed to call the nations to repentance.  We’re supposed to sound the warning of the great troubles that lie ahead.  We’re supposed to tell the world the truth about Christ, that He is our Savior and that He will soon return to earth, save the whole world at the last moment and establish the Kingdom of God.  Yet, we don’t seem to me making much impact, what’s wrong?”  I just couldn’t understand how with approximately 65 million dollar annual income, the Church could not make a greater impact with its message.

Jack agreed that there were a lot of problems to overcome.  He said there was a lot of turmoil and power plays were constantly going on at headquarters, and this certainly had to have a negative influence on the work of the Church.  He said that he felt encouraged however, and tried to encourage me, as he felt that the coming minister’s conference in January 1978 would set a new forceful direction for the Church.  He said that the Church had many good people with good ideas, but that the initiative tended to be stifled due to the hierarchical structure of the Church. He said further that this was one of the points of constant dissension between Herbert Armstrong and Garner Ted, with the father wanting to retain a tight iron-fisted control of the Church and Garner Ted wanting to have a less rigidly controlled organization.

(pg 84)  After the ministerial conference in early January 1978 there was a renewed enthusiasm among the members.  Announcements came through the local ministers and by way of Church publications that the Church was going to get into fighting trim and get the message out to the world as never before.  Garner Ted Armstrong was to begin doing live radio broadcasts on the West Coast, with tapes of those broadcasts being played in other stations around the country only a few days later. In this way, it was explained, the prophetic message could be tied into current news events n order to heighten their topical interest.

(pg 85)  As part of this new program Garner Ted Armstrong had made arrangements with Ed Libov Associates, Inc. of Los Angeles to become the new advertising agency buying all of the radio and TV time for the Church.  We were told that this was one of the largest time-buying agencies in the country and that as a result they would be able to get us the best time slots at the most attractive rates.  This meant, of course, that Worldwide Advertising would no longer be the time-buying agency of the Church.  What few people had realized at this time was the fact that Garner Ted had been successful in his first step to dismantle Stanley Rader’s financial empire. Worldwide Adverting was a corporation controlled by Stanley Rader and his accounting associate Henry Cornwall. Cornwall was not a member of the Church, but wielded considerable influence.

It is a fact, however, that at the time Worldwide Adverting was established in partnership with Cornwall, Rader was an active partner officially in the accounting firm of Cornwall.  Rader had found too many years ago where all the ripe plums were, and finally it appeared that Garner Ted’s was going to stop him from picking them.

(pg 86) Ministers were finally going to have their phone numbers listed in the phone book.  Finally it appeared as though the Church was coming out into the open as it should have been all along. There was even talk of local evangelistic campaigns where the local minister would do the speaking and the lay members of the Church would have an opportunity to assist counseling with and talking to those who attended the meetings.

All this sounded very encouraging and the Church membership seemed to have a renewed zeal and enthusiasm.  However, behind the scenes, Rader was not about to have his heavy influence over Herbert Armstrong undermined by Garner Ted. It wasn’t long before confusion was to reign supreme over the entire organization.  After years of attempting to obtain accreditation for Ambassador College, the entire matter dropped. Herbert Armstrong, in letters to members, attacked the entire accreditation program as Garner Ted’s attempt to secularize the college.  Even though he originally himself desired accreditation and authorized the accreditation program, he was now saying that such mixing with the world was satanic and referred to it as “the leavening of intellectualism.”

Herbert Armstrong said that the use of non-member instructors at the college was resulting in students being taught to lean to the own understanding, which was Satan’s way.  According to Armstrong the only instructors qualified to teach at the college were those who had been personally trained by him or by those who had received their instruction from him.  According him, only through this continuous chain could God’s revealed knowledge be passed down to the students.

Armstrong’s idea of a college was not one where students are taught to reason and sue their minds and to think, but rather a scheme of institutionalized programming.

On the coming weeks no one knew from one week to the next which campus of Ambassador College, it any, was to remain in operation.  First it was announced that the campus at Pasadena was to be closed and the entire college operation being moved to Big Sandy, Texas.  No longer were there to be two separate campuses.  The (pg 87) Pasadena location was then to be used as just a Church headquarters operation.

Shortly after that announcement, Stanley Rader announced that the Big Sandy campus was to be closed and all Ambassador College operations would be conducted at the Pasadena campus. Then after another short period of time, Herbert Armstrong instructed Garner Ted by letter to reopen Big Sandy. Now there were again to be two campuses.  A battle was in full swing.  Garner Ted had begun to chip away at Rader’s influence and control, and Rader was retaliating.  There was no way after twenty years that Rader was going to let go of the Worldwide Church of God.

Milton Scott, owner of Milton Scott Associates, an advertising agency in Los Angeles, remembers Rader’s beginnings very well.  Over twenty years ago, Scott was handling the time-buying for the Church’s radio programs. Rader at that time was a junior accountant with the firm retained by Scott.  It was actually Scott who introduced Rader to Herbert Armstrong.  It didn’t take Rader long to recognize an opportunity and Scott recalls Rader saying to him, “There’s a gold mine out there. If you want to get rich, go into religion.”

In rapid order Rader managed to favorably impress Herbert Armstrong with his capabilities and came under retainer to the Church.  Scott recalls with anger how quickly Rader moved in.  Said Scott, “I trusted Rader to handle my books and prepare all my tax returns.  Soon after eh began working for the Church I found myself involved in a heavy tax audit, which resulted in my having to pay several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes and penalties.  Rader called this to Armstrong’s attention and told him that anyone who is in trouble with the IRS cannot be trusted in any way to represent the Church in time-buying.  Actually, the tax problems were not my fault as I trusted Rader to handle those things for me.  I believe that he set me up.  Well, it wasn’t long after that and I found myself out and Rader and Cornwall had organized Worldwide Advertising to handle all of the Church’s time-buying.”

Rader had handled Milton Scott in the past and now he was going to take care of Garner Ted.  The fact that he had supported Garner Ted on his return from exile in 1972 meant nothing.  His (pg 88) support of Garner Ted at that time was only a practical consideration, since he realized that someone would have to be the front man for the organization and it may not be Herbert Armstrong for much longer.  It was easy for him to support Garner Ted’s return at that time knowing of his weakness for women, as this would be a tool that he could use to manipulate and control Garner Ted.  But, now things were different. Rader and Garner Ted had locked horns, and Rader was determined that this would be the last time.

On a Thursday, early in May 1978, Rader instructed Dr. Germano, the dean of Ambassador College, to call an emergency faculty and student meeting, complete with newspaper coverage. Garner Ted was never informed of this meeting. Germano then announced that the entire Ambassador College operations at both campuses would be closed. This was the final blockbuster.  No board meeting had been called, no vote taken on this move. Yet Ambassador College, a separately incorporated non-profit organization, was being capriciously closed at the whim of one man.  Student acceptances were canceled and faculty members were to be terminated.

The following day, unaware of all that was taking place, I called Mark Armstrong to discuss a new idea that I had to improve the Plain Truth newsstand program.  He said, “John, I can’t even discuss that, I don’t know if we are going to be in business tomorrow.  Everything is going crazy out here.  Stan announced that the college is to be closed and my dad doesn’t know anything about it.  There are rumors flying all over the place.  The press seems to know more than we do.”  Mark was nearly crying and was so upset he could hardly talk.  I was shocked. Here we had been lifted to the height of enthusiasm only a few months earlier, only to descend into the despair of confusion with the on again, off again college announcements.  And now this blockbuster.

Mark went on to say, “There are even rumors that Grandpa is going to take Dad off the air.  Now that he’s recovered from his heart attack, he seems to think he can do a better job than my Dad.  Mom and Dad are trying to figure out what’s going on and they just can’t get through to Grandpa.  I think Stan is blocking off all contact.  I just don’t know what’s going on.  Oh, what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen? I just don’t know, I just don’t know.”

That evening Herbert Armstrong arrived in Pasadena.  A large (pg 89) crowd gathered in the Auditorium to hear him speak at what was to be a Bible Study.  Strangely, Armstrong did not even mention the closing of the college, nor did he mention anything about Garner Ted being taken off of radio and TV.  He just went on and on incessantly about his world travels, his visits to world leaders, is planned trip to dedicate a children’s park in Jerusalem, but no mention of the college or his son.

Amidst all of this confusion an announcement was made that Garner Ted was being placed on a leave of absence.  No reason was given and none could only speculate what was behind it all.

In a letter dated May 21, 1978, Herbert Armstrong wrote tot eh members, “God’s great Work to the whole world – is truly going ahead now as never before, with A NEW START!” He then went on reminding us of his greatness: “Soon you will hear NEW PROGRAMS from me, on both radio and television.  Just as Moses, the man of God, had not abated in his strength of mind and spirit, in leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage into the Promised Land, after 80 years of age, so the SAME GOD has sustained my mind, energy and power for the completion of His work in this world.”

Herbert Armstrong always likes to compare himself to Moses.  Of course, he tends to forget that while Moses did lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, God did not allow Moses to cross over, and he died in the wilderness.  If a righteous man such as Moses was not permitted over into the Promised Land, one must wonder how a man like Armstrong could even begin to compare himself to him.

Finally, on he second page of the letter, Armstrong addressed (pg 90) himself to the matter regarding his son, Garner Ted.  He said “There was not, and is not, any “power struggle” for control of God’s Church and His Work.  JESUS CHRIST IS IN CHARGE!”

It was becoming more and more obvious that Herbert Armstrong’s ego problem did not allow for the sharing of the limelight with a son who had an ego just as large as his.  Herbert Armstrong wanted his son to be a carbon copy of himself in all areas – except ego. 

(pg 91) On the ecclesiastical side , there was the ridiculous picture of a father and son vying for position and authority, an on the administrative side, an even more ridiculous picture of the son vying for authority with the father’s chief aide, who in reality was the boss over the entire organization.

All this was taking place at a time when the movie Star Wars was tremendously popular. Perhaps in referring jokingly to Stanley Rader as Darth, as many had begun to do, after the evil character Darth Vader, they were speaking more truth than they realized.

In the same letter of May 21st, Armstrong did his best to impress everyone with his own greatness. He said, “July 8th, I am scheduled to co-host an important premier of a charity motion picture to raise funds for the handicapped children of Britain.  Queen Elizabeth II has promised to co-host this premier and banquet – and in the event she is unable to be present, either Prince Charles (the next King) or Prince Philip will be there.”  Such a statement served to impress the membership with the fact that God was opening many more doors before Herbert Armstrong so that he could take the message of Jesus Christ to world leaders.  This announcement did not make many points with Queen Elizabeth II.

In an article in the London Sunday Times of July 2, 1978, reporter John Clare wrote, “Buckingham Palace has never heard of the man, 86-year-old Herbert Armstrong, head of the California based Worldwide Church of God.  And the Queen will not even be at Thursday’s premier in London of the adventure film, The Wild Geese, Starring Roger Moore and Richard Harris.”  The article went on to quote Evan Lloyd, producer of the film, who said, “Mr. (pg 92) Armstrong and Mr. Rader had been invited to attend the premier as representatives of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, a charity of which Mr. Armstrong, he’s chairman of. It was originally hoped that the Queen or Prince Philip would attend the premier.  But there was never any question of either Mr. Armstrong or Mr. Rader co-hosting the event.  They are just ordinary quests and will be treated in a normal way.

Millions of dollars of Church money are being spent to fly Armstrong and Rader around the world, allegedly to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to other nations. Yet the people conducting the events which he is attending have never heard of the Worldwide Church of God and only know of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, into which money from the Church has been funneled for what appears to be purposes quite contrary to that for which the Church was established.

With Herbert Armstrong spending millions of dollars to bring embarrassment upon the Church in this was, the problems were much more serious than just the power struggle taking place in Pasadena.

During his leave of absence, Garner Ted and his wife Shirley went into seclusion at the summer camp maintained for the youth of the Church at Orr, Minnesota. The situation continued to deteriorate as the behind-the-scenes battle for control of the Church continued.

Herbert Armstrong, in a classic attempt to rally support, wrote a letter on June 13, 1978 to the membership.  In it he stated, “Stan has been doing his utmost to deceive and mislead God’s Church into (pg 93) SECULARISM – into material and worldly interest – into going as far as possible into THE EVIL WORLD’S WAYS, while we may still try to keep one foot in God’s Church so that we may make it into THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  This Church has been IN MORTAL DANGER!”  The same man who was writing this was the one responsible for the incredible lie about his pending meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.  The same man who was criticizing Satan’s deception and misleading t=of the Church into secularism, was the one responsible for going around the world hiding behind the shield of a secular organization, the AICF. This very same man who had said he was embarrassed to present himself as a minister to the world leaders.  Now all the troubles that he has brought upon the Church are being blamed on someone else.  Herbert Armstrong, the apostle, would remain solidly before the people as their idol as he continued to manipulate their minds.

Then, further on in the letter, still claiming to be a special representative of Jesus Christ, Armstrong said, “Therefore in HIS NAME, as His apostle, I am calling for a day of FASTING AND PRAYER throughout the entire Worldwide Church of God on Sabbath, June 24th.”  The calling of a fast by Herbert Armstrong was always an effective way to cause the Church membership to feel as though they were responsible for the problems in the Church.  Armstrong, of course, never did anything wrong.  The reasons for the problems were always, according to him, a result of God withdrawing his blessing from the Church due to their spiritual laxity on the part of the Church membership. Translated, spiritual laxity means inadequate financial support.  Actually this entire matter of a fast was part of a conditioning process to prepare the membership for the next event soon to take place; it was all to set the stage for an announcement that would be made to the membership the following Sabbath which would cover the events of the intervening week.

On June 26th, Herbert Armstrong wrote to his son, “Need I say it is with a heavy heart and in deepest regret that you have forced me to send you this letter.

“In spite of your continual disagreements with the way the Living Christ has been building and conducting God’s Work through his chosen apostle, I have at all times done my best to hold up an protect your name.

“But you no longer permit me to shield you. You have: (pg 94)
                Disobeyed my directive by going to Orr, Minnesota
                Contacted members you were forbidden to contact
               Contacted United States Postal authorities in the unethical  and unscrupulous effort to                      intercept corporate mail and thus divert corporate funds illegally into your private, personal hands, and
               Finally, giving the Los Angeles Times (and perhaps other media) distorted and false                  accusations against your father, God’s apostle.

What must a man think of himself when he feels that he can forbid his forty-eight year old son to be in contact with certain individuals, and then to accuse his son of attempting to intercept corporate mail, when in fact Garner Ted had merely written the Post Office asking that mail addressed to his personal attention be held for pick-up by someone on his behalf.

Then on June 28th, a letter from Herbert Armstrong was sent to the membership.  He went onto say that he was setting the Work back on the right track and restoring harmony and peace in the Church, but that the members should be alert, as Satan was going to try and deceive the people of God.  The letter continued to for several legal sized pages, where he wallowed in self –aggrandizement, reminding everyone as to how he built the church over the past many years. He then dragged his son through the recapitulation of the events covering 1972 through the 1974 Rebellion.  Regarding the (pg 95) rumors that Stanley Rader was actually in charge of the Church, Armstrong said, “Brethren, I brand that as a Satan LIE!” And then referring to Quest magazine, he apparently had forgotten his statements of only a couple of years earlier where he had said that he needed such a magazine to represent the Church in a non-religious way. Now, Armstrong was saying, “I was never enthusiastic about the magazine, but I went along with it under the understanding that I was to write the LEADING ARTICLES in every issue.  I said emphatically at the beginning that t magazine could not succeed otherwise.  But men of SECULAR EXPERTISE hired to run it deceived Mr. Rader.  This magazine now is showing a slight profit through advertising sales and subscription price, but I have given a firm order which Mr. Rader will at once follow: “SELL IT OR GET RID OF it.”

Finally after nearly seven legal-sized pages of mind conditioning, Herbert Armstrong came to the main point of the letter”  “Yesterday, I sent to him the official letter, heartbreaking as it was to me, disfellowshipping him from the WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD.

“That means, brethren, that on pain of being themselves disfellowshipped and PUT OUT of God’s Church, you are all, according to CHRIST’S COMMAND, restrained from contact with, or conversation with, Garner Ted Armstrong – no longer a member of this Church!”

Chapter 8  Basis For Action

(pg 97)  A couple of weeks prior to Garner Ted’s permanent removal by his father, Mark Armstrong traveled to New York to visit with some friends.  As he said, “I have to get out of Pasadena for awhile and get away from all of this.  Maybe by the time I get back in a week or so things will have settled down.  I just can’t take it out here right now.”  Prior to his leaving the New York area, Mark came to our home one Sunday evening and visited with Paula and me for a couple of hours.  He told us an incredible story.  He said that Stanley Rader was taking control of the Church and, n order to do so, Garner Ted Armstrong had to be out of the way.  He said that some of the top ministers at headquarters were either involved with Rader or, if not involved, were standing by watching things happen, hoping they could move into the vacuum that would be left after Garner Ted’s removal.  Mark said that Rader and his grandfather were spending millions of dollars just to entertain the world leaders.  Osamu Gotoh, according to Mark, had spent several hundred thousand dollars in one year in a questionable manner.  He said that the Church had paid all of Rader’s mortgage and tax payments on his home and also picked up all of his personal household expenses.  Mark said, “It was bad enough before, but now that Grandpa is married to that fat Ramona, things are really crazy.  Not too long ago he spent $200,000 of his own money to buy jewelry and furs for her and then reimbursed himself from the first (pg 98) tithe fund.  My dad knows all about that. It really happened. That’s the kind of thing going on.

We then discussed the path that the Church may take with Herbert Armstrong again having such dominance over the organization.  Mark said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if pretty soon Grandpa’s got the Church back into the Dark Ages on the healing doctrine.  Of course, he won’t teach against divorce any longer, now that he’s married to Ramona, who was divorced.  But pretty soon he will be declaring it a sin to go to doctors. He doesn’t want the people in the Church to go to doctors or take medicine, but if it weren’t for all the pills and medicine and drugs that he’s been taking since the heart attack, he wouldn’t even be alive now.  He tells the Church one thing, and does something different himself.”

Paula then said, “It’s amazing that he’s alive at all, let alone in such a good state of recovery at this time.  We always thought that God had worked a miracle to allow him to live longer, but now I really wonder.  What do you really think of his condition at this time?” Mark then said, “Well, he’s really coming along quite well, considering what he’s been through.  His liver is pretty bad, you know.  He’s got whatever it is you get from drinking too much wine and cognac.  Boy, that’s a real problem with him.  He tells the Church people to drink in moderation, and for years he’s been getting himself smashed just about every night.”

Again, Paula and I were both shocked to hear such things about the man who represented himself as God’s apostle, our religious leader, the man who has brought us much truth.  Yet the degree of hypocrisy here was almost more than one could handle.  I said, “Do you really mean to say that your grandfather actually gets (pg 99) drunk?”  To which Mark replied, “Oh yeah, I’ve even helped carry him to his bed when he was plain wiped out from too much booze.”

This was quit a bit to handle for Paula and I, and while Mark was telling us all of this, I was wondering, “How much can I believe? After all, he is Garner Ted Armstrong’s son and is bound to be somewhat biased in his thinking on this entire situation.”  I had to realize, however, that allowing for the close personal interest on Mark’s part, that a great degree of what he said must still be true.  If that were the case, I just had to know more, and although I didn’t know what I would do about it, I told Mark that I wanted to have any documentation of the claim that he had been making regarding the financial abuses on the part of Rader and Herbert Armstrong.

On the Sabbath of the fast, just prior to Garner Ted’s final removal, Paula and I decided not to fast.  We felt that to do so would place us in an attitude of being in concert with Herbert Armstrong, which we knew, was a totally wrong attitude.  At Church services I began discussing the situation with Ron Quinlan, who I had known since coming into the Church.  Ron is a young man in his twenties and is associated with his father in a heating/oil distribution business in Staten Island, New York.  He had taken the past several months off from work in order to attend a year at Ambassador College to take special courses in theology. Having just completed a semester, he had now returned back East.  Ron told me that this latest crisis was of course a major one and that only Church members in the Pasadena area and students who are attending Ambassador College are aware of the fact that the Church seems to be in a constant state of turmoil and crisis.  He said there always seemed to be a great deal of in-fighting and political intrigue going on within the organization.  He said, “If I weren’t so sure that the doctrines of the Church were true because I’ve proven them, I would wonder if this was God’s Church.  You certainly could never prove it by the conduct of the people out at headquarters.”

(pg 100)The following week I received a phone call from the minister Richard Frankel.  By this time, through a phone call from Mark Armstrong, I was aware that Garner Ted had been permanently removed and disfellowshipped by Herbert Armstrong.  Frankel told me that I was speaking to people at Church in a manner to cause division among the brethren. He said that he received several reports from people that I was causing trouble.  I thought to myself, “Is this the Church of God, or is this some Communist country where every time you voice your opinion, someone runs to the local leader with a complete report on what is being said?” Mindless blind loyalty, hardly the spirit of Jesus Christ.

I told Frankel exactly what I had said to the people.  I told him “It looks to me as though Rader is taking control of the Church.  He now has Garner Ted out of the way and controls Herbert Armstrong.  Everything that I said to the people last Sabbath is factual.  I have the information straight from Mark Armstrong and he said that there is proof.”  He responded, “Are you going to believe everything you were told by that young twit, Mark.  He’s Ted’s son. He’s going to spread what ever lies he has to, to gain support for his father.”  I again reminded Frankel that the basic facts were true even allowing for the fact Mark may be somewhat prejudiced by his family involvement.  Frankel’s response was incredible, he said, “Even if everything you say is one hundred percent true, the fact still remains that you said things that caused people to get upset, and anyone who says anything to cause people  to get upset is guilty of causing division among the brethren. If you do any more of this, I will have no choice but to remove you from the Body of Christ and mark and disfellowshipped you.”

Could I believe my ears?  A man who’s supposedly a minister of (pg 101) Jesus Christ talking to me in this way?  I told him, “You could throw me out of the Church if you want but you cannot remove me from the Body of Christ. Only Christ can do that.”  I did promise to say no more at that time, however, I wanted to stay around a while to see what would develop.  During this period of time, Paula absolutely refused to attend Church any longer.  She said that she would feel like a hypocrite by doing so and that she wanted no further part of the Church.  I decided, however, to continue attending to see what might develop.

The Sabbath following the fast promised to be interesting, as I was anticipating the announcement of Garner Ted’s final removal.  I decided to attend and keep my mouth shut. A brief announcement was read very matter-of-factly and the letter from Herbert Armstrong sent his son was read to the congregation.  There was no further comment.  After services I found that I could hardly believe the general conduct of the members.  They were discussing everything but Garner Ted Armstrong.  It was as though they did not even hear the announcement. No one wanted to discuss the subject, for to do so would lead to the possibility of voicing an opinion on the situation.  To voice an opinion would be dangerous because one would not know whether anyone listening would be of like opinion. This, of course, could lead to a threat of being reported to the minister.  After all, no one wanted to be thrown out of the Church.

To further illustrate the mentality of some of these poor people who have given their minds over to a man, I recall an incident just a few weeks later.  I was speaking in the parking lot with Bob Sorge, a man who shared my opinions.  He too felt that we were witnessing a total capitulation on the part of the people to a man.  While they thought they were being loyal to Christ, they in truth ere rejecting Him by being blindly loyal to a man who was now actually teaching contrary to Scripture and doing so in the name of Christ.  This had been my first opportunity to talk to Bob Sorge since I had spoken with Mark Armstrong, and I was bringing him up to date. Standing some distance away, but straining to listen was a young member, Roy Koons.  We were trying to speak privately but Koons was doing a good job at eavesdropping.  He then walked over and blurted out, “You’re speaking against God’s apostle.  You’re speaking to cause division among the brethren. I heard what you said.  You can’t talk about Mr. Armstrong that way.”  I responded, “We’re having a (102) private conversation and what we are speaking about is none of your business.  I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinions and I’m not speaking to cause division. Bob and I happened to be in full agreement on this particular matter.”  Sorge then indicated his agreement with what I had just said.  Koons then said, “That’s not the point, you’re still speaking against Mr. Armstrong and he’s God’s apostle. That’s causing division.  Someone could over hear you as I did.  I have no choice but to report you to Mr. Frankel” I said to him, “Fine, go and tell him, but if I see him first, I’ll tell him before you do.  What kind of childish mid do you have anyway?”

On July 25, 1978, Garner Ted sent a letter to the Worldwide Church ministers. In it he reviewed the entire circumstances surrounding his removal and then announced that he had formed the Church of God International, headquartered in Tyler, Texas.  He said in the letter that he had taken his savings of $20,000 and began purchasing radio time.  A few days later a similar letter was mailed to many members of the Worldwide Church of God.  Garner Ted had then totally severed himself from the Worldwide Church and his action would appear to preclude his ever coming back in some sort of reconciliation.  In making the decision to form a new church, Garner Ted totally rejected the terms of a letter which Stanley Rader sent him on July 24th.

Rader advised him that he has been discharged “for cause” and as a result was no legally entitled to any severance, termination or retirement payments.  The letter went on to say, “However, as a matter of Christian courtesy, and not by virtue of any legal obligation, (pg 103) Mr. Herbert Armstrong, with the counsel and consent of his advisors, ahs agreed that the church pay you the sum of %50,000 per year in bi-monthly installments less Federal and State withholding.

“The payment of such sum is subject, however, to the unconditional right of the Church to terminate said payments at any time, with or without cause, within the Church’s sole and objective discretion.  Without limitation upon generality of the foregoing, one of the conditions that would result in the termination of said payments would be breach of the following confidentiality provisions.”

Then regarding that confidential information that Garner Ted may have knowledge of, Rader continued, “By accepting either of the benefits provided herein, or any portion thereof, you agree to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of such information and documentation regarding such corporations and persons which you have within your knowledge, possession, custody or control.  Further, you agree never to release, divulge, disclose, make available, or in any manner make known any such information or knowledge, possession, custody or control.  You further agree to take reasonable precaution to safeguard all such information and documentation.

“”Whether any information or documentation is private or confidential shall be decided by the Church.  Such decisions shall be within its sole and subjective discretion and shall be deemed conclusive and determinative to the question.”

In accordance with the same general terms, Rader also offered Garner Ted the use of a cabin at Lake Tahoe as his place of residence.  Had Garner Ted signed this document, Rader would have been, in effect, judge, jury and executioner.  For, he continued, “It should be noted that the use of the Tahoe cabin, and the financial arrangements, are without legal obligation but are based solely upon the certain subjective, discretionary spiritual determination based upon the Bible.” Rader ended the letter, “It is our sincere hope that you will see fit to accept the following under the terms and conditions provided and in the attitude of love and concern in which they are offered. In Jesus’ name, (Signed) Stanley R. Rader.”

To write such a letter to anyone is itself a gross insult.  To do so in Jesus’ name is the height of blasphemy.  Such a letter could only (104) make one wonder what it was that Garner Ted knew that so concerned Stanley Rader.  After all, how many secrets could there be in a church organization that is established as a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization.  This is not a business where one must be concerned about trade secrets, and there should certainly be no concern about financial matters, as they should all be a matter of public information anyway.

Around this same time – I believe it was also in July – I received a set of documents in the mail from an anonymous source.  These documents served to confirm some of he financial information that Mark Armstrong had given me verbally and in fact went far beyond that.  They were entitles “Executive Expense Analysis” and dated March 3, 1978.  One sheet showed that Henry Cornwall managed to spend $51,094.13 in Japan.  Most of this money went to two receipts - $22,925.56 going to the Imperial Hotel and $24,881.28 to Japan Airlines.  The purpose of these expenditures was not noted so it would be difficult to determine from this the legitimacy of the expenditures. Documents covering Rader’s expenses were much more detailed, however. He managed to spend a little more than Cornwall, a total of $51,432.14.  $22,571.19 went to the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris and $1,536 to Wilshire Travel.  The balance appeared to be mostly for his own utilities - $287.26; property tax - $7,284.47; landscaping - $413.17; mortgage payment - $2,400; expenses allocated to his (pg 105) Tucson home were: furnishings - $7,508.65; mortgage payment - $999.30; telephone - $944.88; housekeeping service - $580; utilities - $237.91.  There are also other smaller amounts, including a pest control service bill of $11.03. It appears from this document that every expense in both homes was paid by the Church.  Even a minor bill such as that for the pest control service was not paid by Rader.

From this and the following one would wonder if he even needed a salary at all. Other expense items continued:  expense allowance (unitemized) - $2,782; La Scala’s - $694.78; White Tie Limousine Service - $376.55; and on it went, even to a miscellaneous subscription for $19.36.  From this it would appear that Rader was able to spend more at La Scala‘s Restaurant in one month than many families spend feeding an entire for twice that amount of time.

I just couldn’t quite understand it.  Church members would sacrifice to contribute to the Church.  Many of them postponed the purchase of necessities, including even clothing for their young children in order to tithe to the Church. This appeared to be just a tip of the iceberg.  How much money, I wondered, was actually going to the true purposes of the Church and how much was going to maintain a regal lifestyle for the top officials?  I decided that something had to be done about this.

(107) After laying out the entire background story on the Church and showing Herrmann and Pearlman the Executive Expense Analysis, Peter said, “Well, John, how does it feel to know that you have been paying for Stanley Rader’s house?”  He was never one to miss an opportunity to needle me.  He then said, “Well, Jeff, if we don’t make it in law, we can always start a church.  It looks like a good business.”

Getting more serious, then they said that they felt that the matter warranted further investigation and that it certainly looked as though there may be cause for further action. Peter then explained to me that they had been recently involved in a class action stockholder suit in California and were dealing with an (108) attorney named Hillel Chodos.  He said Chodos was a top trial attorney in Beverly Hills and liked to go after cases.  I felt very encouraged that perhaps finally there would be a way to get the Church straightened out freeing it from the grasp of those who appeared to have motives which were not in accord with the teaching of the Bible.  Paula and I certainly didn’t want to do anything that would be contrary to God’s way.  We prayed about it constantly, asking God to guide and direct us and to show us if he wanted us to proceed in this direction.

 The previous Sabbath, Richard Frankel had announced to the congregation that I was no longer in the Church, having succumbed to the dissident material.  Then this Sabbath, realizing the threat that our meeting presented, he announced that I was being marked and disfellowshipped, which meant that no member was to have any contact or conversation with me.  He also announced that Paula was being marked and disfellowshipped because she was my wife and evidently in accord with what I was doing.

Our own experience after leaving the Church was something difficult (110) to believe.  Members who we considered our friends would have nothing to do with us.  Only a couple of people maintained any contact with us at all and it was a most uneasy type of relationship.  Even those contacts finally dwindled to nothing

(111)  …we received encouragement from Peter Pearlman.  He informed us that Hillel Chodos was interested in pursuing a legal action, and it we could get him additional information to go on he would consider doing something on a contingent fee basis.  The concept was to sue for removal of Herbert Armstrong and Stanley Rader from their official Church corporate positions and seek restitution of all monies wrongfully taken from the Church.  The attorneys were to receive a portion of this as compensation for their efforts.  Chodos had initiated meetings with the California Attorney General’s Office and had discussed the matter with Lawrence R. Tapper, Deputy Attorney General.

Then, a short time after Chodos’s original contacts with Tapper, I was able to obtain a copy of a lengthy financial document called “The Pastor General Report.”  This document, containing twenty-seven legal-sized pages, detailed millions of dollars in expenditures, most of it of a very questionable nature.  This seemed to be the extra piece of ammunition needed to convince Tapper that the situation warranted further investigation. Again, this too was only the tip of the iceberg.  But as the Ambassador Report was a wedge into the crack in the façade of the Worldwide Church of God, this certainly was the next major wedge to be driven into that ever-widening crack.

The Attorney General’s office agreed to conduct an investigation to determine whether any action could be taken.  Our approach had to be a little different than suing officers of a commercial enterprise.  As we were dealing with a charitable organization, any suit to (112) be brought against the officers would have to be brought by the Attorney General’s Office.  Any individuals such as ourselves would be named as relators, rather than plaintiffs.

Chapter 9   On The Track or Off The Track?

(pg 113) While Paula and I were going through these personal experiences in our church life, many other things had been happening.  Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely in spite of Herbert Armstrong’s forceful directive to Stanley Rader to sell or get rid of Quest, Rader was increasing his control over Quest with no apparent intent to sell it.

On July 12, Roger Lippross, Circulation and Publishing Director of The Plain Truth magazine, announced to employees in Pasadena that Stanley Rader had placed Quest under his personal control in the AICF.  At about the same time, Rader made swift moves to remove all Church employees from their positions at the Quest offices in New YorkIn addition to Jack Martin, several other Church employees had earlier transferred to the Quest offices from California. The group included Gordon Muir, who was slated to take over as circulation manager.  The Church employees were now given less than a week to phase out and leave the offices.  The reason given by Rader was that it would be easier to sell Quest if it were a self-sustaining operation without Church employees on the staff.  The true reason behind Rader’s actions, however, seems to be somewhat different.  With no one from the Church on the scene, Rader could then mold Quest and the newly established Everest House publishing operations to his liking and use them to his purpose.

(pg 114) The importance of a secular publishing business owned by the Church could better be understood in light of a remark that Robert Kuhn, executive assistant to Garner Ted Armstrong and a Church vice-president, made at the 1978 ministerial conference. He said, “Quest was very important to the Church, as through the publishing contacts maintained by the Quest office, adverse publicity in the press could be controlled.”  One must wonder that even if it were possible to influence the press in such a way, why would a Church want to do so.  It would appear that the only influence a church would desire over the press would be one whereby its evangelistic message would be disseminated through the news media.

Perhaps the fall 1978 Everest House catalog with its list of twenty-two books would offer some insight to Rader’s true motives.  Quest and Everest House, while subsidized directly by money from the Church, which had been collected from tithe paying members for the preaching of the Gospel, was quit obviously engaged in promoting a very unchristian message.  Jack Martin and other Church employees were evidently placed in positions at Quest for a short period of time to appease those who objected the initial Quest issues.  Now, in all of the turmoil over Garner Ted’s ouster, it was very easy to remove these people from Quest and it wouldn’t even be noticed.  And to keep quiet they were kept on salary while they had no job to go to.

Looking through the Everest House catalog we find publications such as Dark Dimensions; A Celebration of the Occult. The description reads, “In this startling new exploration of the wonders of the occult world, the renowned author and one of the world’s greatest authorities on parapsychology, Colin Wilson brings together the extraordinary feats of nine masters of magic.”  The book contains accounts of homosexuality, mutilation, and sex perversion.  Another book entitles In Search of…glorifies the demonic talents of psychics such as Jeanne Dixon and explores the satanic practices of Kirlian photography. The LTR Money Book is not as sedate a financial advisory as the title would indicate.  It contains advice for gay couples and instructions for homosexuals who wish to get married or divorced.  And Zen Running is not a book on jogging, but rather a book that advises how one can let his mind go through the use of Zen.  Certainly a strange list of books to be published by an organization that claims to serve Jesus Christ under the leadership of a man who claims to be God’s apostle.

(pg 115) Perhaps the true spiritual leadership of the Church could be better understood when one considers Rader’s statement regarding his birth date. When asked his date of birth by a reporter, Rader stated, “August 14, 1930.  I’m a Leo”.  While many Christians may be aware of their so-called astrological birth sign as a result of having followed such practices before their conversion, it is something that a converted Christian would not longer retain in his mind. Rader’s interest in astrology seems to go far beyond his simple recitation of his birth sign. Could it be that some of the books offered by Everest House are the true handbooks of Rader’s spiritual life and in fact other aspects of his life also?  The answers to these questions were to become into more clear focus as time progressed.

When the prophet Isaiah told of the judgment to come upon Babylon for her evil ways and rejection of God, he said mockingly, “Let now the astrologers, the star gazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” (Isaiah 47:13)  Rader's preoccupation with the occult led him to state in a talk to Church employees, “If I were teaching course in metaphysics we could spend an whole semester talking about what reality is. “  Strangely enough no one picked it up.  From Rader’s comments and his further actions, it would become more and more apparent which God he really serves.

Through the rest of the year Herbert Armstrong, through a massive propaganda effort, continued to strengthen his position as God’s apostle.  At the same time Stanley Rader was about to liquidate Church properties in order to provide the money needed to keep the organization afloat.  From year to year the Church operated at a deficit and the financial crisis was virtual way of life in the Church.  Of course, all of the Church’s problems had been blamed on Garner Ted and his so-called attempts to secularize the Church.  Now that he was out, the Church’s problems could no longer be blamed on him.  Now that the cause of the problems was no longer in the Church, Armstrong must therefore come through and eliminate all problems.  To cover himself, through sermons and Church publications, the members were constantly reminded that they were in a lax spiritual condition and were not behind him, the apostle.  If they were not behind the apostle, Armstrong said, then God would remove his blessing from the Church.  The members were under constant pressure to dig deeper into their pickets as a show of support or suffer the terrible guilt feelings of being (pg 116) unfaithful to God or, even worse, they were in a constant fear of perishing in the lake of fire for failure to support God’s Church and his apostle.  A despotic leader always has the tools of intimidation and fear at his command, tools which enable him to maintain control under virtually any circumstance.  No matter what may go wrong, he can blame the problem on someone else, further reinforcing his own position as great leader and the only one who can solve the latest crisis.  It almost seems that a despotic leader can only maintain his control in a time of trouble and crisis; his follower’s reason, “If things are this bad with our great leader in control and being constantly attacked, what will happen if we lose him?”

A key point to Armstrong reinforcing his position as apostle depended upon the establishment of an authority for that claim.  In the past he had always criticized the claim of the Pope to be a spiritual descendant of Peter, the first Pope.  Of course, there is no historical proof whatsoever that Peter was the first Pope, and in fact it cannot be proven that he was ever in Rome.  It is more likely that Peter was never in Rome, as Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and there is considerable record of Paul having been spent much time in Rome. 

Now Armstrong, in a July 10, 1978 “Pastor’s Report,” was to put himself in a position of going against his own previous teaching and against scripture as well when he claimed that Peter had been the head apostle and that in this age he, Armstrong was not only the head apostle but the only apostle.  Armstrong says, referring to the power to impose decisions upon the Church, or as it is called, “bind and loose,” “To WHOM did Christ give power to bind and loose?  NOT THE CHURCH AS A COLLECTIVE VOTING BODY.  God’s government is from the TOP DOWN –NOT Democracy!”  Yet the scriptural example is quit different.  In Acts 15 is the account of the apostles gathering in Jerusalem to discuss the matter of whether or not Gentile converts to Christianity must be circumcised.  This was a major issue, as the accounts said (117) that there had been much disputing.  But the “plain truth” of the Bible is not the Plain Truth for Herbert Armstrong.  For he concluded his article in the “Pastor’s Report,” “God speaks with a decisive and certain voice through the one HE has chosen, and used these many years as HIS instrument.

“I do not ask your permission – I TELL YOU as Christ leads me.”

And then the announcements started coming regarding another about face at Ambassador College.  It was not again to be a full four-year college.  The July 17th issue of the Good News revealed that Armstrong was now purging out the deadly leaven of higher education. Of course this deadly leaven of higher education, as he called it, was all a result of his son Garner Ted having led the Church into secularism and into the world’s ways.  In all modesty and humility as befits a true minister of Jesus Christ, Armstrong reveals in this article how he originally established Ambassador College as what he calls God’s college.  He said, “I recognized clearly that I myself as the ONLY available faculty member possessing SPIRITUAL knowledge must DOMINATE the teaching staff and inculcate the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD into the students.”  After two pages of rambling on about his own greatness and character attacks against his son, whom he accused of removing all of Herbert Armstrong-trained instructors from important positions, he said, “The ‘coup’ had become complete.”  Armstrong then continued in explaining why he had removed his son from the church, “And (pg 118) THAT, brethren, is why God has roused me to TAKE OVER – why the living CHRIST has stepped in to HEAD GOD’S CHURCH and to SET BOTH CHURCH AND COLLEGE BACK ON GOD’S TRACK.  Truly Satan had all but WRECKED the Church, the college and the WORK of the living God – it HAD JUMPED THE TRACK WHERE GOD THROUGH ME HAD SET IT!

“That is WHY I had been led by CHRIST to move swiftly to resume human LEADERSHIP! – TO PUT THE CHURCH AND IT’S WORK BACK ON GOD’S TRACK!”

The man who accused his son of secularism is, incredibly enough, the very same man who only a few months earlier had stated that he was embarrassed to represent himself as a minister of a Church world leaders. HE is the same man who goes to these world leaders and tells them that the whole cause of the world’s problems is the fact that the world follows the way of get and God’s way is a way of give. That is the beginning, the end, and sum total of his so-called message of Jesus Christ.  The name Jesus Christ is not mentioned at all. Yet the Church members’ minds are so conditioned to believe everything this man tells them that they blindly follow. Whomever he accuses of wrong leadership, disobedience, or disloyalty is automatically guilty in the minds of the members.  Now Herbert Armstrong must fight vigorously to solidify his position as the apostle, as he fears his son.  He had hoped his son would take the bait of the $50,000 annual payoff, and it didn’t work.

Herbert Armstrong went on to state in the July 31st edition of the Good News with blaring headlines: “THE GREAT MAJESTIC GOD BEING ENTHRONED IN EYES OF CHURCH ONCE AGAIN BY JESUS CHRIST.”  Again the constant repetition of the same theme, week after week, month after month: “Yes, more than generally realized, Satan was manipulating things to make God’s Church and his Work more and more secular – more like any other purely worldly and human activity!”  His statement, of course, was true. The Church was becoming more and more secular.  However, his son was not the cause of it – he was.

Herbert Armstrong would play the game by different rules in different circumstances and. Buy constant distortion and manipulation and by using fear, maintain his base of support. It seems that egomania and extreme paranoia go hand in hand.  While Armstrong envisions himself as God’s apostle, he also feels threatened.

(pg 119)  While he feels threatened by his son and the Church of God International, he also feels threatened by Stanley Rader. He knows that he is secure only as long as Rader can use him.  For, in fact, Rader controls the Church.

On the subject of his proper handling of his duties, Armstrong says, “And if he doesn’t? If he needs correction or removal?  If so that is CHRIST’S responsibility – and HE WILL SEE TO IT.  It is not the responsibility of those UNDER the apostle to correct him.

“But maybe Christ is NOT LOOKING or maybe Christ neglects to correct him?  Should not the people under him then take it into their hands?  To do so would DEFY CHRIST –TRY TO TAKE CHRIST’S JOB AWAY FROM HIM!”

Logic clearly says that if Christ is going to correct Herbert Armstrong, He will do it either by removing him through death or illness or through the use of other people who may take certain actions.  Yet Armstrong is telling the people that no matter what they may see wrong, they are to sit idly by and do nothing. Is this any different than the rational that Hitler used on his subjects to convince them that they should say nothing while millions of Jews were being burned in the ovens?  For many Germans believed as Hitler claimed – that he was a special leader of the German people ordained by God to fulfill a purpose.
Going ahead to the November 8th issue of “The Pastor’s Report,” Armstrong in an article entitled, “HOW CHRIST GIVES THE CHURCH ITS DOCTRINES,” he fully establishes his Peter Primacy Theory.  In it he states, “Peter did have many primacy as chief apostle.”  By this time Armstrong had put into the Worldwide Church of God the Catholic Doctrine of Peter Primacy, and he, Armstrong, was the modern-day fulfillment of Peter’s office. Now Herbert Armstrong had fully established the office of Church leader in a direct parallel to that of the Pope in Rome.  This in spite of the fact that in earlier years Armstrong had criticized the Papacy as being pagan in origin, having its roots in the Babylonian mystery religions.

To make sure Armstrong had no opposition, he redeveloped his program to squelch all opposition, and reconstructed the college in a way that he could produce automatons as graduates, who would faithfully serve him.  Even at his age, he is not one to think in a shirt term, as he expects to be around a long time. He fully expects to be alive when Christ returns.

(pg 120) To further mold minds into the state necessary for blind obedience, it is necessary that the desire to excel be totally destroyed. In academic subjects, of course, one must excel to pass the course.  However, Armstrong was to have no spirit of competition where one would seek to excel in any way over another.

In purging out this “evil” concept, this leavening of higher education that had crept into God’s college, Armstrong stated, “We don’t have physical education this year. We want to have it again, but competition is one of those things Satan introduced, so we are not going to have intercollegiate completion.  I never was for that in the first place, and until my son was taking over and he wanted it, we didn’t have it.  That’s out and it’s going to stay out.”

And then of course, the use of fear.  To be obedient, people must be fearful, Armstrong told the students, “Ambassador College will never go Satan’s way again, I promise you that.  And if I find it tending to, I will close it down.”

And through all of this Garner Ted was not getting off lightly either.  His father continued to attack him.  Again Armstrong constantly hammered away at the fact that his son was out to displace him as God’s apostle he said in the September 21st “Pastor’s Report,”  “I began to sense an undercover conspiracy for my son to take over – as two of King David’s sons Adonijah and Absalom tried by deceptive means to conspire to take over David’s throne.”  From this type of propaganda the Church members were beginning to get the picture that Garner Ted, who had introduced evil competitive sports was laying the ground work for training people to be of an evil conspiratorial mind, as his father claimed him to be.

Herbert Armstrong continued:  “Ted always wanted a more liberal way of life than I had learned from GOD’S WORD.”  What Herbert Armstrong does not discuss here is whether he himself has wanted a more liberal way of life than he had learned from God’s word.  Whatever liberal conduct Garner Ted had engaged in was (pg 121) not without precedent in the Armstrong family, as we were to learn later.

Continuing to lash out against his very own son, Herbert Armstrong actually makes what would be more fitting as a statement of self-indictment.  He said, “My son is out to GET not GIVE.  While he writes and by his clever words and ‘fear speeches’ he deceives some sincere brethren to thinking he is ‘proclaiming the gospel of the world,’ YOU KNOW that is a LIE!”

Having several homes to live in, several chauffer-driven limousines, including a Roils Royce at his beck and call, a lifestyle befitting that of a king. Armstrong could have written that very statement about himself from his desk in his Gulfstream II Jet.  But it was becoming increasingly obvious that Herbert Armstrong was feeling threatened by his son having started a church.  He fought and fought hard.  For a man who hates competition he himself could handle it quit well.

In the December 4th issue of Good News, Armstrong wrote an article entitles “IS CHRIST STARTING A SECOND CHURCH?”  He goes on at great length to claim that there is only one true church, the Worldwide Church of God headed by God’s apostle, himself.  He claims that the acts of his son are quit different from his own acts in the 1930’s when he broke away from the Oregon Conference of the Church of God.  Through convoluted reasoning, Armstrong claims that he was never a member of that Church, therefore he did not break away to start a new Church.  He claims that he was uniquely called by God to raise up the end-time Church, the Worldwide Church of God, which he calls “the Philadelphian era of the Church.”

He goes on, in the December 18th issue, with two more articles claiming that God’s Church is not composed of many separate groups and that Christ is the living head of only one Church not two.  Armstrong goes on and on, making the point that there cannot even be other organizations believing the truth of God, for it there were, they would be part of t the Worldwide Church of God. Insisting that God’s true Church is the Worldwide Church of God, he accuses his son of incorporating the Church of God International with a name very close to the Worldwide Church of God as a means of deceiving and, misleading brethren into thinking it’s the same Church.

Yet Armstrong felt no guilt about operating for years as the (pg 122) Radio Church of God prior to the Worldwide Church of God, after he himself withdrew from the Oregon Conference of the Church of God.  While he continues to deny having been part of the Church of God Seventh Day at Salem, West Virginia, the Church has in its file the following document containing Herbert Armstrong’s signature: “I am anxious to begin  on the ministry which has fallen to me by lot, in the one body, and am determined by the help of the Lord to live and teach the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ as found in Holy Scriptures, and as outlined in the Constitution of the Church of God, with world headquarters at Jerusalem, Palestine. Will you please record this my acceptance, and have credentials issued to me, according to my ministry in the body.”

It is interesting note that not only did Herbert Armstrong receive his credentials as a minster of that organization, but he acknowledged that organization as being “the Body,” meaning the Body of Christ or the true Church.  How, then, could he later form another organization and claim it was the true Church?  Does that mean that other predecessor organizations ceased to be so, even though they remain in existence?  As God’s apostle, does he have the authority over these other organizations?  One could run in circles trying to figure out the logic of Herbert Armstrong.  But in his own mind the while matter is clear, for he states, “God does not have two churches – only ONE Church that Jesus Christ founded in A.D. 31 and raised up to carry on in OUR time though His own chosen apostle.”  If that statement is true, then Herbert Armstrong must have been ordained into the ministry of a false church, in which case his ordination is fraudulent and not only is he not an apostle, but he is not even a minister in the Church of God.

The most incredible aspect of all of this, however, was that Herbert Armstrong’s propaganda was very effective.  The Church members, for the most part, believed even more fervently that the Worldwide Church of God was the only true Church, that Herbert Armstrong was God’s Apostle, and that to go against the Church or Herbert Armstrong was to go against God Himself.

Among the ministry, even though for the most part there was a belief in Armstrong’s apostleship, many of them harbored sever doubts about the character and motives of Stanley Rader.  Although they supported Rader’s position before their congregations, he became a subject of increasing concern within their own (pg 123) ranks. Many were concerned about what they viewed to be Rader’s heavy influence over Herbert Armstrong.  In dealing with this matter, Herbert Armstrong, in an August 21st “Pastor’s Report” characterized such concern as character assassination, evil speaking, and destructive gossip, al of which had to be stamped out of God’s Church.  He said that he agreed with Rader’s position that an attack against Rader was an attack against him.  An attack against Armstrong was also, according to him, an attack against God.  He was now putting forth a doctrine whereby this continuous chain an attack against Rader would be in effect an attack against God.  Armstrong said, “But you who have accepted these defaming innuendos against the character of Stan Rader, ANSWER ME THIS: What PROOF – NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER!” He then went on to brag about the qualities of Rader and his exceptional talents and abilities, keen and brilliant mind and his wealth of experience.  Armstrong said that Rader had been of inestimable value to God’s Work. He said, “He has been of VALUE to me in my personal activities in the Work beyond description.”

Armstrong continued: “I have known for years the GREAT VALUE of Mr. Stanley Rader’s services. The character assassination spread among some of the ministry against him was, in reality, intended to harm the personal representative and apostle of Jesus Christ – whom HE chose, and for fifty years had USED, in building this entire great Worldwide WORK!  One must wonder why Herbert Armstrong would fight so hard to defend Stanley Rader.  After all, if a top executive of an organization, no matter how qualified for his position, acts in such a way as to create great dissension among subordinates, then there is a problem which must be dealt with.  It just would not make sense to allow an organization to tear itself apart at the seams because of such a problem.

What is interesting in this situation is the fact that while virtually none of the ministry had gone over to the Church of God International and Garner Ted Armstrong, there was still a great concern about Stanley Rader.  Armstrong, aware that the ministers would not submit to political suicide by directly confronting him with accusations against Rader said, “If any of you have EVIDENCE or PROOF, of anything, more than hearsay, against Mr. Rader, come (pg 124) forth with it, and I will deal with it.  If not, and you still want to go along condemning him, I will be happy to accept your resignation.”

The Rader matter kept seething and building however, and in the December 4th Good News Armstrong dealt with the matter further, in an article entitle, “Answering Smear Stories,” Armstrong reported that Rader said that his health was not up to par and that all the stress and strain was wearing on him and that he felt that he should probably resign.  This was a standard tactic of Rader’s to reaffirm his position. Whenever Rader felt that his position was being threatened he would then inform Armstrong that maybe it would be better if he resigned. Of course, each time Armstrong would convince him to stay.  The reason according to Armstrong in this article was, “If his health permits I shall plead with him to stay with me, for I NEED HIM AS MY ASSISTANT.  He is of inestimable values to the Work.  His fruits have been good – actually superb.”

While it would appear that Rader’s periodic requests for permission to resign was for legitimate health reasons, what few realized at the time was it was in effect a veiled threat to Herbert Armstrong. What no one knew at the time that this article appeared was the fact, contrary to his public statements; Herbert Armstrong was finally, this time after months of wrestling with the problem, appearing to remove Rader from his official position in the Church.  This, in spite of the fact that only two months earlier in October the Associate Press sent a wire story to the papers throughout the country which called Rader the new crown prince of the Armstrong Empire.  According to that article, there could be no doubt that Garner Ted had been a loser in a power struggle and that Rader was firmly entrenched.  The article stated, “Four months after the ouster of TV evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong, the troubled Worldwide Church of God has a new crown prince, a formally Jewish lawyer-accountant who could inherit the rich religious empire of Armstrong’s father.”  Rader was quoted as saying, “Mr. Armstrong has said publicly very often that I am a son in whom he is well pleased.”  This man, the very man who some  in the ministry are concerned about, the man who Armstrong is publicly exalting while privately planning to remove, has so displaced Herbert Armstrong’s real son that he now apparently fills that position.

The question of whether or not Rader will succeed Herbert Armstrong (pg 125) is really at the root of the concern among the ministry. Had it not been for Garner Ted’s violent objection, Armstrong would have ordained Rader as a minister on the day that he baptized him. Had that happened, Rader would have been seen at this point as the obvious successor of Armstrong.  Now it could be a matter of speculation.  But if Armstrong had intended at one time to ordain Rader, might he still do so in spite of his secret desire to remove him?  These were problems that Herbert Armstrong would have to deal with and in fact would find that he had little to say about.

On the matter of succession, Rader said, “I don’t feel that it is my calling. I don’t want to be a minister.  Of course, several letters have come in recently telling me that Christ was not a minister. He was a carpenter.”  A statement such as that on the part of Stanley Rader requires little speculation as to his true motives.

While the Church was being barraged with the Armstrong-Rader propaganda, the program of asset liquidation was well under way.  The inoperative Ambassador College campus at Bricket Wood, England was finally sold on September 1978.  The property, containing nearly two hundred acres with several buildings, swimming pool, track and other athletic facilities, was sold for approximately $4 million to the General Electricity Generating Board.  The London Daily Mail, in reporting the sale of the property, described its history: “Ambassador College, as it now is, started life early this century as the country residence of East Indian Merchant Sir David Huel, a former director of the Midland Bank.  In the sixties it was sold to an obscure religious sect.”  “Obscure religious sect” –an interesting way for the Church to be described by a British newspaper after millions had been spent on Herbert Armstrong’s world travels so that the Church and its message would be known around the world.  Ina nation where Armstrong claimed to be co-hosting a movie premier with the Queen, the Church is reported as being an “obscure religious sect.”  One must wonder what Herbert Armstrong did in Britain during his lengthy visits other than ride around in his chauffer-driven Rolls Royce and spend tens of thousands of dollars at Harrods’s

Perhaps Britain was important to Armstrong and Rader as an operating base for which they could conduct activities in other countries.  The former wife of a leading church official recalls that in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Herbert Armstrong would boastfully state to her that Rader was taking another trip to France (pg 126) to meet the Princess.  Rader was to go to Paris to accompany a princess on shopping trips and then return her in the Church-owned jet to her own country.  Sine this activity was not publicized to the Church members, it is hard to conceive how expenditure for such travel can be justified.  While Herbert Armstrong was not stingy with the Church’s money when it came to running a taxi service for royalty, his attitude toward average Church members was quit different.

Again, the same woman recalls that while she lived in England with her former husband, while he was a college official, there was an occasion when Church members from the States were visiting Ambassador College in Bricket Wood.  These people were planning to return home when Herbert Armstrong coincidently planned to return to the States with the Church jet. On that particular trip, there were few if any others travelling with him, leaving excess available space on board.  It was suggested to him that perhaps he could bring these visitors back to the State, since he had extra room.  Armstrong’s comment was, “Who are they anyway? They are just Church members.  I don’t have time for nobody’s.”  While he enjoyed the ego satisfaction of associating with royalty and leading political figures around the world, he had little time for the people who were paying the freight.  He was certainly correct when he would say God’s way was the way of outgoing love and concern for others whereas the world’s way was the way of get.  However, the example that he set was quite contrary to the message he preached.  All this is not new, of course, as it has often been said that ministers don’t practice what they preach. It’s such an old, worn-out cliché, yet it appears that few have carried it to the extreme Herbert Armstrong has.

Along with the sale of the Bricket Wood campus, similar plans were made for the Big Sandy, Texas campus of Ambassador College.  On October 31st, Rader announced that the Big Sandy campus would be sold to F. William Menge of Lynchburg, Virginian, and that the property would be used by the James Robinson Evangelistic Association.  The entire sixteen-hundred –acre parcel, which included full college facilities, several lavish homes, an operating farm and an airfield capable of handling small jet aircraft, was sold for $10.6 million dollars.  There were many who considered this price to be far below its true value and, to top it off, this property for which Herbert Armstrong many (pg 127) years ago asked the people of the Church to sacrifice financially, as he said that God had placed His name there.  Such words coming from the apostle would virtually make the Big Sandy campus hallowed ground.  Yet it was now being sold at a bargain price to one of the “world’s churches,” that Armstrong often characterized as “Satan’s churches.”

During this same period of time the Church announces plans to dispose of at least two convention properties used for the annual Feast of Tabernacles.  This constant process of asset liquidation to cover operating deficits would never be tolerated in a business enterprise, and it certainly would never be tolerated in a church.  Here was an organization with tens of millions of dollars in assets and since it was a charitable, non-profit organization, the officers were actually trustees of these properties.  They, according to the law, administered the assets, as a trust and had a fiduciary responsibility.  Yet Armstrong and Rader would capriciously do as they wished with the asset, as though it was all their own personal property.

Truly the title bestowed upon Rader by the news media, “crown prince of the Armstrong empire,” was fitting, as the entire operation was and still is no more than a personal kingdom with the tithe-paying members of the Church being no more than mere serfs.  And as loyal serfs, most of them had so long ago stopped thinking, that they were happy to continue being defrauded.

As one who was by this time a former member planning a lawsuit against the Church leaders, one could say it was no longer any concern of mine if the members didn’t care, but they were not the only ones supporting the activities of t the organization.  Over 24 percent of the income to the Church in 1977 was received from non-member contributors.  These are people who for one reason or another, having heard the broadcasts or received The Plain Truth or other Church literature, decided to contribute.  These contributors consist of occasional contributors known as “donors” and “co-workers” which was a classification given to those contributors who contributed at least twice in a twelve month period.  Once one had fallen into the category of “co-worker” he was then on the mailing list for the “co-worker” letters, the propaganda sheets sent out by Armstrong boasting of  his fulfilling of the great commission, and soliciting additional financial support.  These non-member contributors certainly were not of the same (pg 128) commitment to the organizations were the Church members.  In most cases, they merely thought, from the superficial view that they had of the organization, that they were supporting an evangelistic work that was bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, while in many cases not even being in agreement with all the Church’s doctrines.

One fact remains, however. Non-member contributions, as do members, have a right to expect their contributions to be used for the purpose for which they are given.  While a rationalization could be made that the members could handle any dispute internally by discussing questions with their ministers, that option is not open to non-members.  Therefore, there was no doubt in my mind that even though I had withdrawn from the Church, I still had a duty to pursue this matter.  The Worldwide Church of God was a tax-exempt organization receiving certain benefits from the State and Federal Government, including reduced postage rate and the ability to purchase broadcast time on federally licensed broadcast stations.  As such, the general public has a right to be protected from misrepresentation.

If an organization wishes to misrepresent itself to members and defraud them, it may be considered an internal matter.  Once the general public becomes involved, it is quite another situation.

Chapter 10   Ted’s Feast

(pg 129) While the leaders of the Worldwide Church of God were fighting to patch up the crumbling financial foundation, and to discredit Garner Ted Armstrong in order to prevent him from drawing away tithe-paying members, the Church of God International was getting off to a very good start. Garner Ted, once heard on hundreds of radio and TV stations with his commanding voice and rapid fire delivery, was starting over on just one station.  Where at one time his broadcasts were produced in the most modern studios that excelled even commercial stations, he was now recording his first programs in a small commercial studio in Tyler, Texas, which operated out of a converted garage.  The first broadcast was heard on July 27, 1978 over WOAI in San Antonio, Texas, a clear-channel, 50,000-watt station.

Soon after, in early August, the Church of God International began holding services in Tyler, Texas in a rented hall.  The Church offices were initially located in a spare room of Garner Ted’s newly purchased ranch home just outside Tyler.  It wasn’t long before the mail started coming in.  Many of the envelopes contained financial donations.  By early September, the CGI was located in rented offices and already had a staff of five employees.  Plans were already being made to hold the Feast of Tabernacles and soon arrangements were made to rent the Convention Hall at Jekyll Island, Georgia.  For approximately fifteen years the Worldwide Church (pg 130) had held the Feast at Jekyll Island, and in 1978 decided to move to a large hall in Savannah and drop the Jekyll Island site.  With only one congregation meeting in Tyler, and a small radio ministry going, Garner Ted had absolutely no idea how many would show up at Jekyll Island.  Paula and I decided to attend, and made reservations at an apartment-style resort hotel, the Sand Dollar.  Ron Quinlain also decided to attend, and as it turned out we would be the only ones from the entire New York metropolitan area.

Gordon Muir, still on Quest payroll, although without any job, was watching the entire situation but didn’t know what he would do.  I told him, “I believe that Ted is going to get the work done.  I believe he is sincere and that this thing is really going to take off.  Why don’t you come to the Feast with us at Jekyll?”  Gordon wasn’t about to make any hasty decisions.  He said, “I think Armstrongism ahs had it.  The Worldwide Church of God is run by evil men and it appears that Herbert Armstrong is totally corrupt.  I certainly can’t have any part of that and I’m trying to find a job so that I can get out from under this whole thing.  If Stan hadn’t just thrown me out for no reason as he did, I would even feel guilty taking the pay checks.  I may go back to England and resume practicing medicine.  I just don't know.  But I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not about to get wrapped up in this thing with Ted. You know the problems in the past, that’s going to haunt him and the Scriptures say that a minister must be of good report, and John, Ted is not of good report.  I’m just not about to swap one Armstrong for another.”

This type of discussion went on for weeks on various phone calls and I constantly tried to convince Gordon that I thought that Garner Ted had fully repented of the past wrongdoings and that God had actually set him free in a strange way from the Worldwide Church.  I was convinced that Garner Ted was doing the right thing.  Paula had a more neutral attitude, but certainly wanted to look into it further, to see if this was where God would be working.  Ministers in the Worldwide Church were telling their members that what they called “Ted’s Feast” was going to be a disaster and the whole thing would fall on its face.  Anyone to get involved with Garner Ted, they said, would only find themselves out in the cold when the CGI collapsed.

Our entire family looked forward to the Feast at Jekyll.  On October 14th, we piled the four kids into our station wagon and headed pg 131) south.  Lat the next day we arrived in beautiful Jekyll Island.  Having spent previous Feasts at Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, during the time of year when the air was getting chilly and leaves beginning to turn brilliant colors, this was quite a contrast. Warm weather, a beautiful ocean, and palm trees and other tropical plants, all contributed to the excitement of attending this first Fest of the Church of God International.

There were 520 people in attendance at this first Feast of the CGI, and, incredibly, they were from all over the world.  There were people from Canada, Australia, France, and just about every state.  There were many people who in their long drive to Jekyll Island had actually driven through as many as three locations where the Worldwide Church of God was holding their Feast.  Obviously people were committed to making a break from the Worldwide Church of God. That attitude was quite well expressed by a man from Tennessee who as staying in an apartment near ours.  He said, “Yes sir, these are the thinking people down here.  They’ve had enough of old Herbert.  One thing old Ted had better realize, we ain’t going to follow him either if he tries to pull any fast ones onus.  Yep, we’re the ones who won’t follow a leader blindly again. If Ted does right, God’s going to use him mightily. If he does wrong, he better realize that the people who are here just ain’t going to put up with it.”

Of course I hoped that Garner Ted was sincere.  I believed that he was, but at this point there was no way one could really be sure.  As the Bible says, “By their fruits you shall know them”.  It was much too early to see what kind of fruit would be born as a result of these fledgling efforts.  Time will tell, and we certainly had to give it a chance and see what would happen.  It was an exciting Feast and everyone seemed to feel the almost electrifying atmosphere of a new vibrant spirit.  The sermons of Garner ted and Ron Dart, a former evangelist with the Worldwide Church of God all served to inspire us to pull together to do the work of Jesus Christ.  There was to be no autocratic leadership, they said. The hard rule and the (pg 132) dictatorial government were all things of the past.  They were not scriptural, we were told.  Of course, those of us who were there knew that and it was good to hear that the leadership of the CGI planned to break out of that mold.  Was this genuine? Was this spiritual high that we were on for a week for real, or were we just caught up in the flash of being part of something new?  Time would tell.

During all the time of the Feast, the conduct of he Worldwide Church of God leadership was anything but Christian.  Since it was customary to take offerings at the Feast on the first and last days which are holy days, it was necessary to open a local bank account.  What Garner Ted did not realize until almost the last minute was the fact that his father and Rader had registered the name of the Church of God International in the State of Georgia when they found out that the CGI was going to hold the Feast at Jekyll Island. There was even a question as to whether or not the signature on the registration papers was truly that of Herbert Armstrong. Herbert Armstrong, the man who said that competition was the way of Satan, was engaging in a type of competitive practice worthy of the most unscrupulous businessmen.  This entire maneuver was viewed as blatant attempt to seize the funds that would be deposited by the CGI in its bank account. The conduct the Worldwide Church was more in line with that of organized crime than that of a church.

The entire attempt was outsmarted very simply.  The CGI opened its bank account in the name of the “Church of God International (a Texas non-profit corporation).”

Each day at the convention center, while CGI services were in progress, the Rader operatives were busy in the parking lot.  The Worldwide Church had to know who the traitors were in order that they could be purged out from among “God’s faithful people.”  License plates were photographed in order to aid in identifying those who were rebelling against Herbert Armstrong. While the Worldwide Church was playing its childish spy games, the CGI members were laughing in ridicule about the whole foolish scheme.  The general attitude was that if they wanted to know who was attending CGI services, there were no secrets; people would be happy to tell their names.  As long as the Rader spies seemed to enjoy their activity, we felt it would be poor sport to spoil their fun.

Everyday there were Ambassador College students visiting at Jekyll Island, having decided to come down from the Worldwide (pg 133) Church Feast site in Savannah.  Even they were under close scrutiny.  One student told of overhearing a festival monitor at the motel where he was registered, speaking to the desk clerk.  “Festival monitor” sounds like a title out of the “new-speak” vocabulary of George Orwell’s 1984.  Officially, their duty is to assist Feastgoers with any problems that they may have with their accommodations. However, their true purpose was somewhat more sinister than that.  In this one instance, the festival monitor was overheard to instruct the desk clerk to make note of all Worldwide Church registrants who did not return to their rooms for the evening. Through this means, going on the assumption that anyone who did not return to their room for the evening would be staying over night at Jekyll Island, the spiritual guardians of the Worldwide Church would know which unfaithful members they were going to consign to the lake of fire.

In the past, it had been Herbert Armstrong’s policy, as well as Garner Ted’s, to speak at each Feast site throughout the United States, which meant about twelve speaking engagements in the course of eight days.  In 1977, the father was unable to conduct his speaking tour due to his illness. This year, he was back at it again, although he was going to limit his speaking engagements to perhaps three or four.  “Garner Ted’s Feast,” as he called it, could not be ignored and Armstrong felt the necessity to speak nearby.  He chose to speak at the Worldwide Church Feast at St. Petersburg, Florida, where he announced mockingly, “My son has his little Feast going on up there at Jekyll Island and he has only 17 people, that’s all he has.”  From the reports of those who heard Armstrong make his statement, it was felt that he actually believed that what he was saying was actually true.  It appeared to many that he was becoming senile as had so often been reported.

Many who attended the Feast at St. Petersburg, upon hearing such a statement from Herbert Armstrong, followed by a scathing attack on his son, made that their last day in St. Petersburg and transferred to Jekyll Island for the balance of the week.  Yet others who continued to follow Herbert Armstrong were even more strengthened in their resolve to remain with the Worldwide Church of God.  After all, they reasoned, if Garner Ted was so evil that his own father would reject him in faithfulness to God, certainly they must follow Herbert Armstrong in order to please God.

It was obvious to any thinking person that the Worldwide (pg 134) Church leadership was reacting in a paranoid way to just about every move made by Garner Ted.  Some time prior to the Feast, Garner Ted announced that the CGI was going to be open, no secrets.  He announced that the financial details of the Church would be made public each year at the Feast, and that an audited financial statement would be issued each year at that time.  This put the Worldwide Church on the spot, as they had not released any financial information to the membership in several years.

While Garner Ted was releasing full details of the first couple of months operation of the fledgling Church to those gathered at Jekyll Island, the Worldwide Church of God was distributing what it called the “Treasurers Report.”  This report came out in October and was merely two pages with some graphs showing the apportionment of income and expenses.  Included was a very brief summery showing the total revenue of $76,161,300 and total expenses of $68,4290,500 leaving a deficit of $1,259,200 for the year 1977. There was no way from this abbreviated report that one could glean out any meaningful information other than a few grand totals.  The interesting point is that while this report covered the period ending December 31, 1977 it was not released until October 1978, after Gamer Ted had announced to the press that the CGI would not keep its financial affairs secret as was the practice with the Worldwide Church.  In a misleading statement signed by Stanley Rader, the “Worldwide Church Report” said, “The Work’s financial statements were audited and certified each calendar year by an independent firm of Certified Public Accountants.”  What Rader failed to note was the name of the accounting firm – Rader, Cornwall and Kessler, more recently known as Cornwall, Kessler and Pallazzo.  That was the firm with which Rader had been associated for so many years.  While he claimed to have withdrawn himself from any act of participation in the firm, the matter of independence was certainly one of question.  According to Rader’s own statements, there was never any cash consideration given to him by others for his share of the business, and he continued to maintain an association with Henry Cornwall in their ownership of Worldwide Advertising.

Chapter 11 Preparing for Action

(pg 135)  During the time of the Feast, reports began circulating about an embezzlement that had been reported in the Worldwide Church “Pastor’s Report.”  It was revealed that Raymond Wright, Vice –President for financial affairs, and Robert Kuhn, had been responsible for the illegal diversion of $219,000 of Church funds.  According to the “Pastor’s Report,” this money had been transferred to Environmental Plastics Inc. of Dallas, Texas. This was a small company owned by Wright and Kuhn which dealt in the application of chemical-resistant coatings for chemical processing equipment.  Church officials claimed that it was an embezzlement authorized by Garner Ted, and they inferred that he was a pivotal figure in the embezzlement.  While it was later found that most, if not all, of the transfers of this money took place in 1977, for some reason no announcement of the discovery was made until the fall of 1978.  The “Pastor’s Report” stated boastfully that the uncovering of this scheme was a fine example of the talent of the CPA firm employed by the Church.  The report stated that the embezzlement was discovered as a result of “God’s auditing procedures.”  Yet if the books had been audited earlier in the year for calendar 1977, one would think that the embezzlement would have been discovered at that time.  This is most likely the case, which of course leads to the question, “Why did they wait until autumn to disclose the discovery?”  “God’s auditing procedures’ must be something (pg 136) unique only to the Worldwide Church of God.  The revelation of these unique procedures has never been disclosed even to the “big eight” accounting firms and one can only assume that they were given by divine revelation to Stanley Rader. I make that assumption since not even the Scriptures appear to contain any such procedures, not even the Book of Numbers.

Following the announcement of the embezzlement it was interesting to note that the Church never brought criminal charges against the alleged embezzlers in spite of the fiduciary responsibilities of Church officials to do so.  The reaction on the past of Robert Kuhn was swift.  He threatened to bring suit, as he had not know of any transfers of money until the matter had been published by the Church.  He reported that he had been a silent partner, merely an investor in the company with Ray Wright, and knew nothing of the daily operations or financial activity of the business.  Wright then confirmed that Kuhn had known nothing of the transfers, and it was necessary for the Church to retract any allegations regarding Kuhn.  Strangely enough, while Wright was relieved of his vice-presidential duties, he was retained in the employ of the Church.  It was announced that he would be sent to Europe.  There was speculation at the time, later confirmed, that Rader appeared to know of the embezzlement for some time.  Holding that knowledge, he was then able to use it at a time most appropriate to putting Wright in a position of enforced loyalty.  The time to use it against Wright was when it appeared that Wright may reveal to authorities his knowledge of Rader’s financial dealings with the Church.  The involvement of Garner Ted, if any, in the embezzlement was still to remain a mystery for a couple of months.

Back in September, Garner Ted, knowing that I was exploring the possibility of a lawsuit gave me information that Jim Lookingbill, the general manager of Environmental Plastic, had given him over the phone.  Garner Ted said, “This guy Lookingbill told me that he works for Environmental Plastics, which is owned by Ray Wright and Bob Kuhn.  I never even heard of the place.  I never knew that they were involved in another business like that.”  He then went on to tell me that it seemed like their business was being used as some sort of a laundry for Church money.  He told me that money had been coming into the company from the Church and (pg 137) that it appeared that some really strange things were going on. He said that Lookingbill was frightened about possibly being implicated in something illegal. 

I then obtained a Dun & Bradstreet report on the company, and in this way was able to confirm Wright and Kuhn were the owners.  Yet I was not able to find anything further until the disclosure of the embezzlement by the Worldwide Church of God.

While these various events were unfolding, and Herbert Armstrong was focusing his attack constantly on is son, another wedge was about to be driven in the still-widening crack in the façade that was covering the secret truths of the Worldwide Church of God.  Hillel Chodos had been pursuing the matter of a possible legal action with the California Attorney General’s office, and was infrequent contact with my attorney Peter Pearlman at Cohn and Lifland.  In early November, Pearlman wrote me a letter advising that Chodos was interested in pursing the matter.  It was their suggestion to initiate an action similar to what is known as shareholders derivative action in corporate litigation, in which Rader and others could be sued on behalf of he Church, seeking to obtain reimbursement to the Church of funds which we alleged had been misappropriated. In this type of lawsuit, the recovery would be for the Church itself. In other words, we were to pursue an action against individuals on behalf of the entire Church.  Of coursed, the legal fees would be very high in a case such as thins, and I  was thrilled to be informed that both Chodos and the Cohn and Lifland firm were willing to take the entire case on a contingency fee basis, as we had hoped they would.  They just required assurance that disbursements would be covered.  As I already had preliminary discussions with Ron Quinlan about the possibility of bringing a suit, and the hope that it could be handled in this fashion, he had been making arrangements to cover any disbursements on the part of the attorney’s.

At this point, we were faced with the financial decision of whether or not to proceed.  Paula and I reevaluated the entire situation and it appeared to us that there just was no other way to solve this problem.  But we wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing.  IN discussing it with Ron, he said, “I’m willing to put up the money to cover lawyer’s disbursements.  It appears that would be a better use of my tithe money, compared to what it was spent for in the past when I was ending it out to WCG.  I just want to make (pg 137) sure though that we are doing all this in accordance with Scriptures. It’s a serious matter to take your brother before the courts.”  This was something we had to be very certain of.  Even though Church leadership had gone wrong, they were still our brothers.  Christ’s instructions regarding handling of disputes with fellow Christians are quite clear. 

Obviously we had not tried to confront Rader or any of the others with our allegations.  How, then, could we now make this a court matter?  After considerable discussion and prayer, it became quite clear to us that although we personally had not confronted the people, we were just a few of many people having the same complaints.  It was known that others had confronted the Church leaders with allegations of self-dealing and misappropriation of funds.  Garner Ted Armstrong had confronted them on many occasions in the last days of his power struggle. Others, as reported in the Ambassador Report, had done the same thing back into the early 1970’s and even the late 1960’s; and of course the Ambassador Report itself and  the ensuing news coverage had served to bring the entire matter before the Church.  IN view of this the Church leaders had been made well aware that there was concern regarding their conduct.  There was no doubt that the scriptural requirements of handling such a situation had been met.  We were merely in a sense bringing to conclusion a corrective campaign that had been started many years earlier by many other brothers and sisters in the Church.

I told Pearlman to proceed.  From there on, events moved very rapidly with Chodos and Deputy Attorney Tapper doing all of the work necessary to prepare the case.  There was little more that we could do here, three thousand miles away, other than feed them any additional information that we might be able to uncover.  It was then finally determined that we as individuals would not be Plaintiffs, but relators with the Attorney General’s office actually bringing suit. This was in accordance with the required procedure for (pg 139) bringing a civil suit against officers of a non-profit, charitable corporation alleging their misuse of funds. We were immediately faced with a problem as the Attorney General and Chodos thought that it would be good to have a California resident as a relator.  Their reasoning was that it would probably be necessary to sign affidavits or assist in some other way and only with a California resident could such things be done expeditiously.

Up to this point we had one of the best kept secrets in the Church.  The only ones not directly involved with the lawsuit who had any knowledge at all were Gordon Muir, with whom I had discussed the possibility and Garner Ted Armstrong.  Garner Ted, while helpful in answering any direct question I put to him, seemed to act as though he wished things were not heading in that direction.  But he also realized that it was inevitable sooner or later.  He said, “Well, I’d sure like to see them get Rader.  It’s about time they get that guy out of there.  No one should become a millionaire off of a church.  But I know my father’s lived pretty good too, but it’s nothing compared to what Rader has done.  I just hope it doesn’t all back up on my father, too.  I hope he won’t have to be involved in this.”

Of course, what I didn’t realize at the time was that Garner Ted was quit concerned for himself. How will this affect him? What about the publicity?  Would it enhance or destroy his efforts in building the Church of God International?  He was saying all the right things now; he was speaking out against ostentations edifices, massive spending of worldwide trips and entertaining and autocratic rule.  He was even saying that he could never be an autocratic ruler, as the constitution of the CGI was being set up to provide for his removal if necessary.  But the fact remained that, while at the Worldwide Church, he had a home in Pasadena, Big Sandy, Texas and Lake Tahoe, as well as the use of facilities at Orr, Minnesota.  And, of course the airplane.  The Church had its own private air force; the Gulfstream II jet that was used for Herbert Armstrong was just the flagship of the fleet.  There are a few prop-driven planes of various sizes, a Cessna Citation jet and a Flacon jet.  Garner Ted could fly them all, which he did frequently.  He had gotten his pilot’s license after having attended flight school with Church money.  But of course, these were necessary tools for doing the work of Christ, he claimed.  In addition to the various Church (140) areas, and the shuttling back and forth between Pasadena and Big Sandy, there were the frequent rest and rehabilitation trips for fishing and hunting in places like Canada and Alaska.  Yes, it could back up on him, too.  I was concerned about it, and I hoped that it wouldn’t.  For it appeared as though Garner Ted had repented of whatever wrongdoing was in his past and was not making an effort at being a diligent servant in preaching the Gospel.  But if he did get caught up in it, one can only say that he should have thought of it when he, too, was living the good life.

Gordon had promised to keep the whole thing a secret.  So had Garner Ted.  Considering his nervous attitude regarding the entire situation, he was certainly not about to talk about the suit. Now we were faced with letting the cat out of the bag.  I thought, “Who could I contact in California?  I don’t really know anyone there who could ride this thing out, in case it turns into a long drawn-out battle.  And even worse, suppose the person I tell says no, then it would no longer be a secret and we’ll lose our element of surprise.”

The only possibility that I could think of was Earl Timmons.  I had heard of Earl and his wife Shirley from Mark Armstrong.  They had been early supporters of his father after his ouster from the Worldwide Church of God, and it was they who contributed substantial amounts of money to him and encouraged him to start a new Church.  He seemed to be not only the ideal choice but the only choice.  At the moment Earl did not have any job or any business responsibilities, as he had previously sold a plumbing contracting business and had not yet gotten involved with any thing else.  I felt fairly confident that if he rejected the idea of getting involved, we could at least trust him to maintain the confidence.  What we were about to do with this lawsuit was later to be attacked by Herbert Armstrong as a massive conspiracy orchestrated by his son.  Stanley Rader was to claim that the entire scheme was hatched and organized in Jekyll Island.  Contrary to the wild claims that were later to be made by these men, no such conspiracy existed and in fact I had never met Earl Timmons or his wife Shirley at that time.

Early in November, I phoned Earl Timmons and told him of the plan.  As I began to ask him if he would be a relator, he interrupted and said, “Wait a minute, you don’t; have to go further.  It’s about time something like this was done. Yeah, I’ll do it, of course I will.  Maybe finally we could get the evil influence out of the (pg 141) Church.  But what about Mr. Armstrong?  You’re not going to have to name him in a suit, are you?  I know he’s not been perfect, none of us have been.  I just think he’s been under a very bad influence.”  I then saints, “Aim glad that you agreed to this!  I was afraid that in our attempt to get someone in California to cooperate with us that we just might blow the lid of secrecy off the whole idea.

Earl then proceeded to tell me that he and his wife had just recently gone to the Attorney General’s office on their own with some information they obtained and thought that the Attorney General should look into the Church. Earl said, “They told me down there that they were already looking into it and that something was being developed.  They said that an attorney had been retained by some Church members back east and asked us not to say anything.  The it must have been you people that he was talking about.”

“That’s right, we’re the ones.  I don’t know of anyone else actively engaged in bringing any action at this time., I know there have been various rumors from time to time but I think it was all talk. This is for real”, I said.

There had been two other developments in recent days that graphically illustrated the excesses existing in some religious organizations. The one was the tragic murders and suicides resulting in the loss of over nine hundred lives in Guyana.  If there had been any question in our minds before as to how far individuals may go into following dictates of a religious leader, it was not quite clear that there were no limits.  No matter how sincere a religious leader might be or how correct his doctrine, he must always be viewed in light of Scriptures and should be considered a heretic should he stop preaching the truth of the Bible.  More than enough has been written about he Guyana tragedy that it is not necessary to belabor the point.  It did impress upon us, however, that the Worldwide Church of God was in the early stages (pg 142) of apostasy and the leaders had been engaging in lies and deception.  It was quite plain where this could lead to if allowed to run its potential course, under the leadership of an all powerful apostle and his crown prince.

The other development was the situation that prompted Earl and Shirley Timmons to approach the Attorney General regarding the Worldwide Church of God.  Shirley Timmons had been driving in her car when she heard a news announcement stating that the Attorney General’s office had launched a probe into the Faith Center Church of Los Angeles.  There were allegations of misuse of funds by the church leader W. Eugene Scott.  Faith Center owned their own FM radio and UHF TV stations and conducted an almost marathon broadcasting schedule mainly featuring Scott and his brand of evangelism. It had been alleged that Faith Center, a non-profit charitable corporation had been using money solicited for one purpose for other proposes.  Records have been subpoenaed and an attempt to quash the subpoena on November 3, 1978 met with failure.  Judge Phillips made it quite clear that while government agencies are not allowed to interfere with the ecclesiastical activities of a church, they do have the responsibility to see that the church uses its funds for the purpose for which they are collected.  To deviate from that would be a violation of the State Corporate Laws.  Judge Phillips said, “The nature of a religious organization is such that any funds it has are subject to public trust.”

This appeared to be a situation quite similar to what we were dealing with, and it gave us encouragement to proceed.  It appears to be more than a coincidence that at the same time we were preparing a lawsuit, Timmons also approached the Attorney General.  Also we were later to find out that Robert Gerringer and his associates at the Ambassador Report also approached the Attorney General’s office at about the same time.  It seems that one way or the other something would have happened.  While we had been accused of being agents of the Devil, it appears that something quite different was the case.  The ministers had often said that God would take care of the situation.  I would say that God had decided to deal forcefully, and was doing so in such a way that if one of us fell down on the job, there were others coming forward at about the same time with the same ideas.  This was much more than coincidence, I am sure.

(pg 143)  Earl and Shirley then visited Chodos, as it was decided that they would both sign affidavits as relators.

Shortly thereafter, a sixth relator David Morgan, was added to the list of relators by Earl, for as he said, “Just in case something happens to me, you know these guys can get pretty mean out here.  I really don’t trust them.  I’m not paranoid, because I really don’t care for myself.  This is a very important thing we have to do, and I won’t be intimidated, but in case something does happen we’ll have Dave here to carry on.  It’ll be a lot harder for them to stop two of us.”  I don’t think we are dealing with quite the type of a situation, but it still made sense if for no other reason than the fact that Earl just may be hit by a truck; one just never knows.

Over the next few weeks Earl and Shirley began gathering as much information as they could to have a good foundation on which to base a complaint. They were able to make it known, without revealing our plans, that they had a desire to gather as much information about the Church as possible in an attempt to correct problems.  That was when we began to realize that the entire organization was built on a very shaky foundation.  Few of the employees were actually loyal to Rader.  Information began to literally pour out of the sky.  Many anonymous informants, employees in very sensitive areas of the organization, began to funnel data to the Timmons.  Many apparently felt that the Timmons were fronting for Bert Mann, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

There had been rumors for the past several months that Mann was going to do a major expose of the Church.  I called Mann to determine the accuracy of the rumor and he did admit that he was planning such a story. He said, “This thing just has to be exposed. It’s a colossal rip-off.  I’ve never seen such fraud in the name of religion in my life. It’s going to take quite some time, however, to get all my facts together before I can run the story. .”  Many had been hoping that the rumors about Mann’s forthcoming story were true, and were basing their hopes on such an expose.  I kept in touch with Mann from time to time and sent him some of the more devastating documents such as the “Pastor General’s Report” and “Executive Expense Analysis.”   I confided in him that we were planning a lawsuit and asked him not use certain of this information until I gave him the go-ahead.  With Mann’s high degree of interest in the Church, we were counting on the Los Angeles Times to give our lawsuit the type of publicity that we hoped would make (pg 144) it a national issue.  We did not realize at the time that this matter was going to become a national issue without any special cooperation from any one reporter.

From the extreme position of fearing Rader may find out about the lawsuit ahead of time and stop it, the conversation would wing to the other extreme.  We would discuss lists of potential defendants.  I told Gordon that according to our attorneys, it definitely would name Rader, the Board Members and, unfortunately, Herbert Armstrong.  Gordon was concerned that if Armstrong were named it would be viewed by the Church members as an attack on the apostle, giving them a rallying point to fight the suit.  I agreed that such a possibility existed and felt that I would prefer to see that Herbert Armstrong would not be named.  Maybe there was another way.  We discussed the possibility of confronting Rader in advance in the hope that just a mere threat of a lawsuit would cause him to see the wisdom in resigning from his position.  If that could be accomplished, then any other problems could easily be dealt with.

I discussed this concept with Ron Quinlan and he said, “Look. I know that Herbert Armstrong is not an apostle.  Still, we have to acknowledge that he was used by God to raise up this Church and we can’t deny the fact that we learned a lot of truths as a result.  I almost feel that he is trapped by Rader and would like to be released, but doesn’t know how to handle it.”

(pg 145) We agreed that if there were some way to use the threat of a suit without actually proceeding with a filing, then perhaps the Church could be cleaned up without any scandal and adverse publicity.  We knew that if we had to follow through with it all the way, not only would there be a lot of publicity, but that we would  actually seek it since it would be a necessary instrument in preventing the public from being deceived by the organization..

One visit to the offices of Cohn and Lifland, I decided to discuss our idea with Pearlman and Hermann. I said, “If we actually file this lawsuit it would hurt and perhaps even destroy the Church when our real desire is to save the Church from the corrupt leadership. Why don’t; we just get everything prepared, then Ron and I could go to California and along with Chodos and the other realtors call on Rader.  We could just tell Rader, “Look, this is it.  It’s all over. We’re going to file this lawsuit before the courts close this afternoon, unless you agree to resign from all positions in the Church.”  I really thought that could work.  Ron and I were both convinced that if Rader’s main objective was one of gathering riches for himself, that he would have to realize that sooner or later the game would be over.

I continued, “Look at some of these men like Robert Vesco, they know sooner or later the game is going to be over and they make preparation to skip the country.  When it’s over they run, that’s all.  We won’t even have to be concerned with whether or not we gain restitution.  It would be worth it just to be rid of this cancer.  We could say to Rader, “Look, the game is over, pack your tent and leave.  We just don’t want to see you any more.  Here’s a one way ticket to Costa Rica.”

Pearlman nearly had a fit. He said, “Do you really believe that this man has spent the last twenty years at the Church, methodically gaining control over every aspect of the organization, just to have some of what he considers dumb sheep jackass members to come and scare him off?  I can’t tell you right now that we are not dealing with an armature. We’re dealing with a man who knows what he is doing, and this man will fight, there is no doubt about it. In fact, when we file this lawsuit he’s going to fight.  I told you before, this is not going to be over one. Two, three, just like that.  It’s going to take a longtime.  And while I think that money is a very important thing to Rader, I think that he may just hold on due to another even more powerful motivation.  There’s power there, a (pg 146) a lot of power.  Don’t you think he likes it and wants to keep it?”  I argued my point presenting the same case, in several different ways, but Pearlman kept shooting me down.  He said, “It’s important that we have the element of surprise here.  If they have any advance notice at all, there’s no telling what they will do to destroy evidence or hide it.  You know there have been a lot of pretty well-founded rumors regarding double books, false entries, and things of that sort.  To do what you want to do would only serve to give him advance notice, and then when he tells you what to do with the lawsuit and where to stick it, it will be over.  We’ll have lost before we even got started.”

I knew Pearlman was right, but there was such a desire on the part of us to be involved in this to still give benefit of the doubt that we felt that it was worth discussing this approach.  Then Pearlman further summoned it up very clearly, saying “How easy do you think it’s going to be to just convince a man to walk away from $65 million a year?”  Reluctantly, all of us had to agree that Pearlman was right. There was no choice but to allow Chodos and Tapper to proceed in a way that they considered most appropriate. It seems that ever couple of days I was on the phone to Earl Timmons. In the beginning, it appeared as though my investment in this lawsuit would be mainly one of time, as Ron Quinlain had agreed to handle the payment for our attorney’s disbursements.  As the frequency of phone calls increased, I was later to develop a feeling that I was directly resizable for a substantial increase in the earnings of New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. In the next couple of months, my bills were to climb as high as $750 per month.

A similar situation, but on a lesser scale, developed with Ron.  He is single and lives with his parents.  It was no longer possible for him to share the family telephone.  He had to have his own private line installed, as he found it necessary to make frequent phone calls to the West Coast.  He had made many friends in California during his year at Ambassador College and was now able to take advantage of those contacts.  It was important to obtain every bit of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, in order to be properly armed for this legal action. He could only say, in very general terms, that they had lots of good information, but he could not be specific. Ad there (pg 147) had been reports of phone bugging within the Church headquarters, he was fearful that his own phone many not have been clear.

Toward the end of November, in a conversation with Gordon Muir, I felt he had really breached a trust.  He said, “I know that I agreed not to tell anyone about the lawsuit, but I felt it necessary to discuss it with Jack Martin.  I thought he should know about it.  He’s a minister you know, and very concerned about the condition the Church had fallen into.” I couldn’t understand Gordon’s having done this, and was quite angry.  I had met Jack on a few occasions, and also heard him preach a couple of times.  I was always impressed by him and knew that he was not fooled by the ridiculous claims of Herbert Armstrong or by Armstrong’s and Rader’s constant justification of there own excesses.  But I didn’t feel it was Gordon’s place to decide that Jack should be aware of the lawsuit.

I angrily responded, “Gordon, what did you do that for?  There’s no purpose or reason for it.  Just to let Jack in on it so he would know, is ridiculous.  He knows a lot of people in top positions. So now how do we know that he won’t in turn let some of those people in on the secret?  By the time it’s all over, the cat will be out of the bag and Rader will have advance knowledge and it will be too late.  You could have blown it right here, Gordon!”

Gordon said, “Hey, I can assure you that he won’t tell anyone, but I thought he should know that you are planning to name Ray Wright and Robert Kuhn as defendants. I know those men, John, and I am quite sure neither of them was implicated in any way in squandering the Church’s money.  I know Ray had his problem with embezzlement, but he’s owned up to that and I understand that he has fully repented and is making restitution to the Church.  These men, I’m sure had no par with any of Rader’s doing.”

I just thought it was ridiculous to begin getting selective in the list of defendants. Ray Wright had publicly admitted to embezzling and Kuhn had been a member of the Board of Directors of the Church.  According to the attorney’s, there was no way that they could avoid being named.  Finally, I settled down and at least accepted the fact that Gordon meant well, and only hoped that Jack would not discuss the situation with anyone else.  Gordon said that he would suggest that Jack call me in order to put my mind at ease.  Soon Jack Martin called and he said, “John, as a minister I must (pg 148) advise you that you are dealing with a very serious matter when you are preparing to bring a lawsuit against officials of the Church.  I’ve thought a lot about it and perhaps there is no other way to straighten out this whole mess that the Church has gotten itself into.  There’s no doubt that we are in the end-times and one can expect almost any kind of trouble in the Church.  I’m concerned, however, that you are going to name Ray Wright and Robert Kuhn.  John, I know these people, and as Gordon told you there is really no justification in naming them. If you do, you are only going to bring a lot of trouble on two men who don't deserve it.”

Again, I made the same points to Jack as I had made to Gordon.  I felt that he grudgingly was accepting the fact that there was nothing more that he could do about it and further there was nothing that I was going to do about it, considering that the attorney’s advice should be followed regarding the naming of defendants.  Jack then said, “Are you also going to name Mr. Armstrong?  I really hope that won’t be necessary.  If there’s any way to avoid it, I wish that you could.  If the lawsuit is successful in removing Rader and freeing Mr. Armstrong from his influence, I think things would be fine,  John, I don’t believe that Mr. Armstrong is an apostle, but I do believe that God has used him all these many years, and we have to consider that.  With all his many faults, he has done a lot.  We shouldn’t be quick to judge, as no one can know what we might be like were we to be in his position.”

We discussed that further, and I felt that I couldn’t really object too much to Jack’s position regarding Herbert Armstrong.  I promised to discuss it with the attorneys.  I conveyed Jack’s opinion regarding the naming of Mr. Armstrong to Peter Pearlman, indicating that I was in agreement with Jack. Pearlman said, “Look, I can understand that we are dealing with more than just physical considerations here.  This is a very unusual case.  I know that you have a spiritual consideration in mind also.  However, Herbert Armstrong is the chairman and president of the organization and there’s no way that he could not have know some of the things that were going on.  I don’t want to disillusion you, but the results of the investigation out there seem to indicate that Herbert Armstrong is in this up to his ears, according to what I have been told.”

There was no way that it was going to be changed, and it was something that we finally had to face up to.  Altogether there was a list of approximately fifty defendants, consisting of current (pg 149) and former employees in various positions of responsibility in the Church.  How many of the total list would be named was not yet determined.  But we had to accept the fact that the key figures, including Herbert Armstrong were going to be defendants.  From that point on, both Jack Martin and Gordon Muir became part of the daily phone network as the lawsuit was drawing closer to reality.

It was early December, and the daily phone calls from Jack Martin and Gordon Muir increased to several each day.  Every time one of them could obtain a bit of information or grapevine scuttlebutt, they would call, and then also inquire about the progress in preparation of the lawsuit.  They had nothing to do but sit around home, collecting their paychecks from the Church, as they had received no new job assignments.  At least they were now putting their time to good use, although Rader may have had a different opinion, had he known of the interest at t the time.

The phone rang early one morning, and when I answered, I heard a familiar “Hello, John,  Jack here again.”  He then stunned me by announcing that it was about time he told me that he had been discussing the lawsuit with Robert Kuhn.  I responded, not hiding my annoyance at what I considered to be a breach of rust: “Jack, why did you do that?  He’s a crook like the rest of them, and will be named as a codefendant.  Kuhn was one of the guys who double-crossed Ted when he could have stood by him last May against Rader.  And don’t; forget that he was involved with Environmental Plastics.  You know very well that he  is implicated with Wright on the embezzlement.”

Jack then assured me that Kuhn had nothing to do with Ted’s ouster, but along with Director of Ministry, Wayne Cole and Wright, was set up and used by Rader in that situation.  He continued, “Look, John, Rader is now out to destroy his opposition one by one. He caught Ray in the embezzlement, but Ray is taking the rap for something that appears worse than it is.  He didn’t use all the money for himself.  Most of it went through the plastics company as a conduit to lawyers in Texas who were investigating Rader’s dealings.  The man was under a lot of pressure, and kept some money for use by his company.  He is totally repentant, and has given Rader a letter stating that Robert was only an investor in the company, and had no knowledge of any financial dealings.  Robert is totally innocent of any wrong doings, but Rader, (pg 150) is using this situation as a means to destroy him before the Church.  He must get rid of Robert, as he is afraid that sooner or later Robert may expose him.”

“That’s all very nice Jack, “ I said sarcastically, “but what is to be gained by telling him what we’re doing?  Now we have a leak.  It’ll get back to Rader and we’ll lose our element of surprise.  By the time we get the suite filed, Rader will have picked the Church clean to the bones, and be on his was to Costa Rica in the G-II.”

Begging me to be patient with him, Jack explained that Kuhn wanted to help, and that he could possible convince Ray Wright to meet our lawyers. He also claimed that Kuhn could speak to Cole and other leading ministers in order to gradually prepare them for the impact of the lawsuit.

While I was quite suspicious of Kuhn, I agreed to let Jack proceed further in contacting him. There was certainly doubt in my mind as to the motives of Kuhn and his associates, as they were publically in support of Rader, if only by their silence.  I thought, “Could it be that they did actually cooperate with Rader against Ted, only to be later kicked aside?  Or, were they truly innocent puppets of Rader? And, were their motives sincere now, or did they just want to get in on what looked like a possible wining situation in order to save their jobs?”  There could be no answer at this time.  I had no choice but to trust Jack’s good judgment, and allow him to continue his discussion with Kuhn.

A few days later, Jack asked me to call Kuhn.  We agreed that no one would know of these contacts, except our attorneys, Perlman and Herrmann, and of course Ron Quinlain and Gordon Muir.  Earl Timmons was not going to know at this time.  The Pasadena area was now rife with rumors of pending class action suits, IRS investigations, attorney general investigations, a lawsuit by Garner Ted, an expose by Bert Mann, and an expose by the TV program 60 Minutes.  Some of these rumors seemed to have their foundation in fact, but were so distorted that any leaks appeared to become swallowed up in the rumor mill.  Without our realizing it at first, the rumor mill turned out to be our best protection against any leaks from our own associates.  Some of the leaks were the inevitable result of our having to confide in others in  order to gather evidence.  As even the slightest rumor regarding involvement of Kuhn would destroy his effectiveness, we decided that only those with a need to know would have any knowledge of his activities. 

(pg 151)  Prior to my calling Kuhn, he had been meeting with Cole.  He told Cole that some sort of legal action was being prepared, and would be filed near the end of the year.  Cole asked, “What kind of legal action?  Who is behind it? There are a lot of rumors around here and if one  of them is true, I think that I should know about it.”  Kuhn responded, “Wayne, I just can’t tell you anymore at this time.  I know more, but please don’t ask.  This is enough for now, and I’ll tell you more as I can. If you know the details, I know that out of loyalty to Mr. Armstrong, that you’ll feel obligated to inform him.  Then he’ll immediately call Stan, and then the action may run into problems.  All I can tell you about it is that the people want to save the Church.  They aren’t dissidents, but feel that strong action must be taken to clean this place out.”

Cole realized that all efforts within the Church just weren’t working.  He had a constant battle with his conscience, as he continued to write and preach to the membership that all was well and the leadership was in full unity now that Garner Ted had been removed.  While maintaining this position publically, he agonized over the fact that he was deceiving the people.  He continued to rationalize that it was the right thing to do while he tried to work from within with Herbert Armstrong to remove Rader and establish a legitimate board of directors.

As Jack had asked, I phoned Kuhn a few days after Jack had informed me of what he now called his private diplomatic mission.  Kuhn’s main concern was to be fully assured that we were not out to destroy the Church, but rather were sincere in our desire to save  the Church.  I assured him that this was the feeling of all those involved. He then told me of his meeting with Cole, and that Cole in turn would keep a few of the top ministers informed of developments.  Over the next couple of weeks, it was his plan to continue slowly feeding additional information to Cole and the others, who were not to be identified to me until later.  He planned to have them already to make a decisive move the day the suit was filed.  It was his and Jack’s hope that  by swift action, the leading ministers could be effective in reducing  the traumatic effects of what was to be a legal action much more drastic than they, or even we, could have ever anticipated.

Kuhn was very upset that he was to be a defendant, along with at least twenty others at the time. He reminded me that I had been told by Jack about his situation.  “Understand one thing, “ I (pg 152) said, “this is bigger than you or anyone else.  This is God’s Church and it is our responsibility before Him to clean it up. If you’ve done no wrong, you’ll be vindicated, but you must be named, as your name is linked to Wright’s in the embezzlement.  It’s all through the Church as a result of the story being in the latest ‘Pastor’s Report.’”

Kuhn responded, “Okay, I guess I’ll have to live with that for now.  In the meantime I’ll see what I can do to help. In fact I think that I can even get Ray Wright to come forward voluntarily.”

The possibility of Wright helping was almost unbelievable.  No one knew more about the daily functioning and procedures of the business and accounting offices than he did.  I wondered of he was sincere, or if he just hoped to save his own skin by helping us.

Kuhn assured me that he would contact Wright, who was visiting with his parents in Texas, and begin to prepare him for the possibility of speaking to our attorneys.  Wright was still recovering from the trauma of his ordeal, as he had been totally disgraced before the entire Church as an embezzler of $219,000.  It was necessary for Kuhn to use the eyedropper approach in preparing Wright to agree to do something that could be totally contrary to his own best personal interests.

After several days of phone calls with Wright, Kuhn felt it was time for Jack to contact Wright.  Jack was successful in convincing Wright that he had a spiritual obligation to assist us in any way possible.  He then obtained Wright’s agreement to meet with us at the offices of Cohn and Lifland in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.  The meeting was to be only a few days later, on December 22, 1978.

On December 21st, Kuhn met us at the attorney’s office for a meeting in preparation for the following day.  While seated at the conference table, it struck me that this was a most unusual meeting. Here were Ron Quinlain and I, along with Church employees Gordon Muir and Jack martin, witnessing the questioning of the former executive assistant to Garner Ted Armstrong by attorneys Pearlman and Herrmann. I thought, “What an unlikely situation, Robert Kuhn voluntarily submitting to questioning by my attorneys an entire continent away from Church headquarters in Pasadena.”

Kuhn proceeded to outline the entire purpose of the Church and his main responsibilities in doctrinal research.  He said that the Church was not fulfilling its main purpose of worldwide evangelism as it should due to internal problems. He was pleased (pg 153) that something was finally going to be done to remove those who were misusing the Church and its money for their own purposes. After listening to Kuhn for a while, Pearlman said: “Mr. Kuhn, it appears that your main role was a theologian, as you have stated.  But you haven’t really told me anything concrete about the alleged misdeeds of the top officials.  Surely, as a close associate of the Armstrong’s, Rader, and others, you must know something more specific.”

Kun could see that Perlman was skeptical of his willingness to be totally candid, and said, “It may sound crazy, but while I heard a lot of rumors, I actually never knew the facts.  The documents that you have shown me today: the ‘Pastor General’s Report’ and the ‘Executive Expense Analysis,’ are the first items of proof that I have seen.  It is quite shocking to see in black and white the confirmation of rumors that I have heard for so long.  You must realize how the Church is run.  Mr. Armstrong is a total dictator, calling himself God’s apostle, and Rader controls the entire business and the board is not what I would call a functioning body at all.  Everything is very secretive.  Even Ted had no knowledge of the finances of the Church. He was just used as a front, but actually had no real authority, except for a short period of time when he began to assert himself. That was when it looked as though he was succeeding in getting Rader pushed into the background, and nearly had him out.  Then, Rader apparently threatened Mr. Armstrong, and last May, Ted was thrown out. His own father sacrificed him for Rader.”

Herrmann then asked Kuhn, “What does Rader have on Herbert Armstrong, that he can seem to control him in that way?”  “I’m not sure, “responded Kuhn sadly, “but there are rumors of sexual compromise, in addition to the vast expenditures of money.  I also believe that Rader has a lot of powerful connections, I don’t know how they fit in to Mr. Armstrong’s international travels, but there may be something there.  As an example, Rader was very well acquainted with H. R Halderman.  During the Nixon administration, Rader’s oldest daughter worked in the White House and is now an attorney with the prosecutor’s office for either the city of the county of Los Angeles.  During the Nixon years there were some IRS audits of the college books and Ted’s return was audited. I understand that they were also going to do Rader’s return, but through some contacts in Washington he had that stopped.”

(pg 154) Pearlman asked, “What about yourself?  Have you ever been engaged in a business dealing with the Church in a personal way other than employment? Kuhn said, “No, not at all, other than the purchase of my home from the Church.  I was very fortunate in that transaction, as the Church was good enough to sell it to me at a discount below market value.”  That struck me as very strange.  Apparently, Kuhn did not see any particular significance in such a transaction, and it was hard to believe that he would volunteer this information if he had consciously engaged in self-dealing.  Yet someone must have had a motive in allowing him to buy a Church-owned home at below market value.  A transaction such as this, where a director of a charitable non-profit corporation is permitted to buy a property from the organization at discount, would seem to be in violation of the state law.

Kuhn said that he hoped that we would have a good meeting with Ray Wright on the following day, and that he was very concerned about Wright.  He said at first he was quit angry over the fact that Wright had taken Church money and put it into their jointly owned Environmental Plastic Corporation, which for a while made it appear as though he was also implicated.  He said that later when the whole matter came to light he had lengthy talks with Wright about the situation and came to understand that Wright was under considerable personal pressure  of one nature or another and that, while not condoning Wright’s actions, could understand the.  Kuhn said, “I have forgiven Wright and now my only concern is to see that he gets himself straightened out.  Perhaps by you giving him this opportunity to help here tomorrow, you will be helping him get one-step closer to a normal life.”

In listening to Kuhn, I felt that he was sincere in his desire to help save the Church. He had worked very hard at arranging for Wright to appear at the following day’s meeting with the attorneys.  He was now involved with us to a degree that would make it very difficult for him to back out.

As the meeting drew to a close, Pearlman announced:  ‘Don’t worry about being a defendant, Mr. Kuhn. Chodos informed me yesterday that he will name the Church and its subsidiaries; plus Herbert Armstrong, Stanley Rader and Does one through one hundred.  If you’re clean, you won’t have to worry, but if evidence shows otherwise, you’ll be one of the Does. I have agreed with Chodos in naming the defendants in this way in order that the main (pg 155) thrust of the action is clearly identified.”  While the statement pleased Kuhn, it also set the stage for considerable problems which were to develop in less than two weeks.,

The following day, December 22nd, was when IO first met Ray Wright.  I had arranged to meet Jack and Gordon at a restaurant near the attorney’s office.  They arrived with Wright, who had flown into Newark from Dallas the previous evening.  I immediately recognized Wright from photographs in Church publications, but was struck at his appearance. He seemed much thinner now than in photographs of only a few months ago. The rumors that he had lost over twenty pounds as a result of his recent ordeal seemed valid as son as I saw him.

As I talked over a hurried lunch, Wright said, “I have been totally destroyed by Rader as a result of what he has written about me to the Church. While some of the money that was given to Environment Plastics didn’t go to the attorney’s as it should have, Rader makes it look as though I stole the entire $219,000. I have already paid back a good portion of it my mortgaging my house, but he will try to control me because I tried to help Ted expose him.  I want to help you people, but only if your motives are right,  If you just want to destroy the Church as others have tried to do, I would rather go to jail than to help you.”

I assure him that our propose was to expose those ensnared in financial improprieties and remove them form the organization, as well as to establish a board of directors that would never allow an autocracy to develop again.  This was the only way we would be protected against further problems of the type we were now facing.

Wright seemed to be satisfied that our attitude was proper, and realized that of he didn’t help us, he would come out worse in the end, as the Attorney General would certainly investigate his situation thoroughly.  He was between a rock and hard place, and he knew it. Any help he could provide at this time  might just enable him to get a lighter treatment later by authorities, although no promises could be made to him.

After lunch we met Ron Quinlain in the lobby of the attorney’s office, and proceeded to our meeting.

Again, as in the meeting with Kuhn, I was struck by the fact that only a few months ago, I would never have thought that I would be engaged in such a situation.

Pearlman, speaking in his best lawyerly manner, advised Wright (pg 156) that he was appearing voluntarily without counsel, and could leave at any time, but that anything he said may be used against him, as he may be a defendant in the lawsuit before it is all over. “You must realize,” said Perlman, “that although the Church will be named as a defendant, it is merely for technical reasons to enable us to have access to the documents without having to wait for pre-trail discovery proceedings to take place.  In reality, we are acting on behalf of the Church, and that is our first responsibility.  Once the suit is filed, no one is immune if they were engaged in any wrongdoing.  And”, he continued, pointing to each one of us seated around the conference table, “that means you, or Jack Martin, Gordon Muir, or even the relators!”

Wright appeared to be stunned by the firmness of  Perlman’s statement. He said, “That’s quit clear.  I feel that to be right before God, I must tell what I know.  There are rumors of pending lawsuits in the past.  I understand that Rader always managed to get them quashed or bought people off…” Perlman then interrupted: “Mr. Wright, this action is going forward, it will not be stopped and no one will be bought.  It is about time that organizations such as the Worldwide Church of God be released from the grip of those individuals who seek to use religion for personal gain.  Now, if we may, let’s begin by your telling me about yourself, and what you know about these matters, Mr. Wright.”

Wright then began telling a lengthy story of his having been  a top executive of Texas Instruments, with responsibility over certain aspects of their British and  European operations.  While living in England several years ago, he came into contact with the Church. Later he and his wife were baptized, and he decided to commit himself to the work of the Church.  He began by working in the British office, and after a few years was appointed business manager at headquarters in Pasadena.

“One of the first things that came to my attention, “ he said, “was the $25,000 in cash going out the door tin Gotoh’s briefcase.  Someone in the accounting office thought it was strange that Gotoh would take $25,000 on frequent occasions, and thought that I should know about it.  When I brought it to Rader’s attention, he told me that it was needed for foreign campaign expenses, and that I was not to ask any more questions.”

“That kind of cash can’t leave the country without being declared,” said Herrmann, pausing a moment, then continuing (pg 157) “Strange, very strange way to run a Church.  Isn’t this the same Gotoh who bought thousands of dollars worth of cameras, and spent hundreds of thousands at Gucci, Cartier, etc.?’  What were all those cameras for, by the way?”

“I don't know”, said Wright, “but there is a story that he was caught for smuggling such items into the country on the G-II, but Rader had it quashed.”

Perlman responded in astonishment, “How can Rader get a smuggling charge quashed? All right, so he’s been hobnobbing with all those foreign politicians, but who does he know in Washington?”

“Well,” said Wright, “there was an IRS investigation some years back, but it was only superficial. It only dealt with the college, but not Church books.  Rader saw to it that his personal returns weren’t audited.  That was when Nixon was President.  One of Rader’s friends was H.R. Halderman.”

On hearing this reference to Halderman again, I couldn’t help but think that the comments that I had made weeks earlier that we were onto a Watergate might mean more than I had realized.

Pearlman then handed Wright some papers entitled ‘Executive Expense Analysis’ and a twenty seven page document entitled ‘Pastor General Department, Report of Expenditures.’  “Do you recognize these documents?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Wright,. “the ‘Executive Expenses Analysis’ came from the Church accounting office. The ‘Pastor General Report’ was complied by my people, by extracting figures from various accounts and assembling them into a single document, to show how money was being wasted, and perhaps stolen.  These figures were scattered through different accounts, and it too a lot of digging to get them together.  I did this when Ted asked me to investigate Rader’s financial activities.  At the same time, the lawyers in Texas who were being paid through my company so Rader Wouldn’t know that we were hiring lawyers, were investigating Rader’s leasing companies.  These were companies that owned the jets that were leased to the Church.  We could have made a better deal elsewhere than we had with his companies “Then,” said Perlman, “these figures, such as $7,284.476 for taxes on Rader’s home in Beverly Hills, $2,400 mortgage payments on his home, $7,508.65 for furnishings in his Tucson home, a total of over $51,000 for one month, are correct?  And also over $10,000 (pg 158) in nine entries on one day at the Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem on Rader’s Diners Club Card?  And over $19,.000 spoon on an Ambassador Mugo, including his visit to Disneyland.  And Dr. Singh, a justice of the World Court in the Hague, several thousand dollars in air fare for him?  It goes into the hundreds of thousands, with places listed such as Gucci, Cartier, Harrods’s, Patek Phillipe, Steuben Glass, etc., etc.  Incredible!”

“Yes,” Said Wright, “I’m afraid that those figures are correct.  And that doesn’t show what was spent through the special executive checking account, which’s how Mr. Armstrong’s and Rader’s salaries were handled. The checkbook for that account was maintained at Rader’s law and accounting offices in Century City.  We just made a bulk transfer into that account, as we were instructed to do. We never knew how it was spent. That was also the location of Worldwide Advertising, run by Rader and Cornwall.  This was the company that bought several million dollars per year of radio and TV time for the Church. We only get a monthly bill from them for  services, but never a breakdown or supporting invoices from broadcast stations.  I later found out that we could get much better prices for broadcasting time, than we were getting through Worldwide Advertising.  That was before Ted finally dumped them and made a deal with Ed Libov Associates.

Wright continued, talking almost non-stop.  He commented that even Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t dream up a story as this true one. He told how money had been spent on personal homes; about executives speculating in previous metals on margin for their own accounts using Church funds; about an account at Union Bank of Switzerland that was used to cover margin requirements for speculation in foreign currency. Then, there was the home that Rader purchased from the Church for $450,000 with little more than $100,000 down payment, and with the Church holding the mortgage. He then paid the mortgage loan from money received from the Church for that purpose. Over $500,000 was spent by the Church to remodel the home. He then sold the home for $1.8 million dollars, with the Church paying his capital gains tax for him.

Perlman said, after Wright talked for some time, “I’d like to get back to this matter of the $219,000 which you transferred to Environmental Plastics.  That seems to play a very important part in this entire situation.”

(pg 159)  Wright then explained that he and Kuhn bought Environmental Plastics in March of 1976 for $90,000.  It was strictly an investment and was to be operated in absentee ownership.

Wright then said, “I guess this really started boiling back in March of 1977 when I was called down to Tucson by Mr. Armstrong. He demanded that I produce evidence of Ted’s wrongdoing and produce proof that he was a playboy engaged in frivolous expenditures of Church money.  He wanted to get rid of his son then, but shortly after Ted and his father made up and there was no investigation conducted on Ted.”

There was apparently was a concerted effort to remove Garner Ted at that time.  At the very same time Wright was being pressured to produce evidence against Garner Ted, other officials in the Church had been asked to do the same thing.  Also at the time, Herbert Armstrong had initiated meetings with Albert J. Portune who had left the Church in 1974 as one of the leaders of the 1974 Rebellion.  Portune had been a minister and had held several high positions in the Church including that of business manager.  Not only was Herbert Armstrong asking Portune to return to the Church and have his disfellowshipment lifted, he was actually offering to bring him in as Garner Ted’s replacement. l   garner Ted had been led by his father to believe that Portune may be coming back into the Church as a minister, but was not aware of the full range of his father’s plans.  Portune, however, revealed the entire scheme to Garner ted, who then wrote a memo to his father indicating that Portune would not be coming back.

Herbert Armstrong called Garner Ted to his office and said, “Now Ted, what is this about Al Portune? What do you mean here? You mean All is not coming back?”

Garner Ted then said, “No, he’s not coming back.  He’s not coming back because of what you said to him about me.”

Herbert Armstrong then said, “Why Ted, your name never even came up.  Your name wasn’t even mentioned.”

This type of conversation went back and forth for  sometime with Garner Ted just allowing his father to lie to him.

Garner Ted then finally said, “Dad, you called me a wild jackass, an ass of man, absolutely irresponsible and so on.  You totally just took me apart to Al Portune. “Herbert Armstrong continued to deny having done or said any such thing.  And Garner Ted then said, “Al and I just went to breakfast this morning.”

(pg 160) Turning white, almost as though he were going into a state of shock, Herbert Armstrong lowered his head and mumbled, “Oh, I just guess I ought to just go out and kill myself.”

Pieces were beginning to fit.  Ray Wright was filling in the pieces that, together with this account of what took place between Garner Ted and his father, made it quite clear that there would have been no reconciliation had Ted not caught his father in a horrendous series of lies.  God’s apostle, the very representative of Jesus Christ on earth, the head of God’s Church, scheming and conniving and lying, and of all things maneuvering against his own son.

Getting back to Ray Wright’s startling revelation, he then continued, “At about this time, Ted realized he had to do something and being suspicious of Rader said that he wanted to compile a complete dossier.  He decided to investigate Rader’s financial dealings and his association with the companies that lease the planes to the Church, Worldwide Advertising, is mortgages and so on.”

Wright then continued to explain how it was decided to retain attorneys to conduct certain investigation while he would internally prepare summaries of various expenditures.  The “Pastor Generals’ Report” was a result of that effort.  They were concerned that any expenditure for outside attorneys would be noticed and brought to Rader’s attention. Wright came up with the idea of funneling money through Environment Plastics and then have Environmental Plastics pay the attorney’s.

Wright then reached into his pocket and said, “I have a copy of a memo right here form Ted authorizing the use of Environmental Plastics for that purpose. “  The memo was dated July 13, 1977, addressed from Garner Ted Armstrong to Ray Wright, and said, “I hereby authorize Ray Wright to use the firm of Environmental Plastics, Incorporate for very special projects and studies as and are necessary.”  Only about $30,000 went to the attorneys for the studies.  The balance of he $219,000 went into Environmental Plastics and was used for proposes other than those which Garner Ted had in mind.

That memo was Wright’s blank check and , when he found himself in a financial difficulties, he was able to use the authority he had been given to ‘borrow’ from the Church at any time.  It was a strange picture here of a man conducting an investigation to expose financial misdeeds on the part of the top office of the Church, himself engaging in the same activity

(pg 161)  On hearing Wright’s statement and seeing the memo, it struck me that only a couple of months earlier Ted had told me that he had never heard of Environmental Plastics.  It was during our phone conversation that he informed me that the manager of Environmental Plastics had called him with information of suspicious movements of money from the Church into the company.  Why, I thought, did Garner Ted tell me that he had never heard of the company?  Was it an oversight?  That’s hard to believe. Or, realizing that I had  determined to expose the wrongdoing in the Church, he decided to funnel additional information to me, hoping to keep himself out of it as much as possible. It’s doubtful that he ever expected Wright to turn stoolpigeon in hopes of saving his own neck.

Wright continued revealing even more as he rattled on like an LP record. He said: “We came up with all sorts of things.  Rader’s home is just full of art purchased by the Church and then given to him as gifts by Herbert Armstrong.  Of course, it’s a pretty well known fact that Herbert Armstrong has huge art collection appraised at somewhere between a half million and a million dollars.  That was all paid for by the Church, too. And there was the Currier Insurance Company, there was some sort of connection between that company and Rader. Interestingly enough, the Church placed its insurance business with Currier.”

At the end of 1977, Wright confronted Rader with his findings. It was never made clear whether this was done with Garner Ted’s approval or if Wright did it prematurely realizing that he may be in trouble for taking $219,000, finding it necessary to protect himself on all fronts.  At any rate the outcome of that was as Wright said: “Rader was shocked. He was absolutely shocked. He went into a rage when he found out what we had done.”

At this point it was becoming open war between Garner Ted and Rader and would only be a matter of time until the events of the following spring leading to Garner Ted’s ouster would take place.

As I listened to Wright’s story, I couldn’t  help but wonder  what would be the reaction of the people in the Church when this was made known.  Would they finally wake up and demand that corrective measures be taken?  I didn’t expect that all of them would but I thought it would be reasonable to expect that at least half would finally revolt against the apostle.

Herrmann then said, “This is incredible, but do you mean to tell (pg 162)  me that these things could go on for so  many years with no one before this time deciding to do something about it.  It’s hard to believe how so many people could close their eyes to such a thin.”

‘well, there were others,” said Wright, “there was a Jim Johnson who I understand is from Florida. He is a CPA who was brought back in 1972 or 1973 to look into tings  It was kind of an undercover deal.  But he didn’t last long and he was sent back to Florida, out of a job.”

Jim Johnson had been hired by others in the church business office who were suspicious of Rader’s dealings. He was originally brought in as a cost accountant with the fact of his being a CPA kept secret.  After working for the Church for two months, Rader was so impressed with him that for six months he was put on the payroll of Rader’s accounting firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler.  The he was transferred back  to the Church payroll and began to on his own to conduct an internal audit. His investigation produced details regarding many questionable dealings and possible conflicts of interest.  He found that First Pennsylvania Corporation financed the planes for the Rader  owned leasing companies which in turn leased jets planes to the Church.  There were many questions regarding the property of the furnishing of top officials’ homes and then their subsequent sale to various outsiders.  Johnson began to reveal some of his findings to Frank Brown, who was then the business manager of the Church.  It was then that Brown realized that those under him had brought  Johnson in to the accounting offices and that he had looked upon as a spy functioning right under his nose.  The solution was obvious. Late in 1974, Frank Brown informed Johnson that due to budgetary considerations, Johnson’s salary could no longer be justified and that he was being terminated.  After his termination he returned back to Florida and submitted the details of his findings to the Ethic’s Committee of the California State Accounting Board.

Shortly thereafter, Rader “voluntarily” announced that he was withdrawing from the accounting firm and turning it over to his partners.  Then to insure the continuity of his relationship with the Church, Rader had Herbert Armstrong baptize him in the Hong Kong bathtub.

Again, everything was beginning to fit.  It became more and more apparent that whenever anyone became too inquisitive or shoed too much personal initiative their job was quickly placed in jeopardy. 
(pg 163) It appeared that the major consideration regarding one’s continued employment at Church headquarters was not one of qualification but rather one of continued unquestioning loyalty to Armstrong and Rader.

Pearlman then said to Wright, “There have been several references to dealings in real estate, other than the transaction on Rader’s homes, do you have anything further on that?”

Wright replied, “ Yes, one of the strange things about the real estate transactions is the fact that most property sales seem to have been handled by William Evans a real estate broker in Pasadena.  He’s been a deacon in the Church for about twenty years and prior to becoming a real estate broker was employed in the Church offices. He was in charge of managing the Church-owned homes. He sold properties owned by the Church.  I don’t know how improper that may be in itself, but I did wonder about some of the transactions. There were cases of Church –owned homes being sold at a certain price and then immediately resold by that buyer to someone else at a substantially higher price. It all seems rather strange.”

I wondered about the significance of what Wright had just said.  All of Garner Ted’s recent talks and writings out of the Church of God International seemed to indicate that others had been defrauding the Church and that he was thrown out in an attempt to expose it with he himself being innocent of any such abuses.  Yet Evans was a close friend of Garner Ted’s and it seemed highly unlikely that he had no awareness of Evan’s activities. Pearlman had also been wondering if it could be so that Garner Ted was so totally innocent of any wrongdoing, when just about everyone else seemed to be accused of an involvement one way or another.

Perlman said to Wright, “all this seems to center around Stanley Rader, but I don’t think Herbert Armstrong is free from involvement either, and none of this could be going on without the collaboration of many others.  Do you really think that Garner Ted Armstrong had pure motives for attempting to expose Rader?  Or is it that he saw Rader as a threat to his own position?”

Wright responded: “I really don't know.  But Garner Ted has been accused many times of excessive spending also.  He lived quite well in his several homes and jet planes.  There have been many stories widely circulated regarding Ted’s gambling activities.  One that comes to mind is that the Church had to bail him out of a (pg 164) massive debt in Las Vegas.  He likes to play blackjack and has been known to drop a lot of money at the blackjack tables.  Ted denies the story and claims he just needed a small amount of money sent to him in Las Vegas as he was out of cash which he needed for personal expenses.”

Herrmann then asked, “Would Rader, if he were an enemy of Garner Ted actually bail him out of  a large gambling debt?”

Wright replied, “Yes, he probably would.  That’s the way Rader operates.  Then it would give him something that he could hold over Garner Ted’s head to use whenever he saw fit.  Rader maintains meticulous files and a detailed diary of his every activity. HE would to that very type of thing if he thought it could provide him the tool he needed to control Ted at a later date. But there were other expenditures on Ted’s behalf. He frequently got large cash advances, which seemed rather strange considering that everyone had a credit card.  And then of course there were his flying lessons.  All of his flying lessons were paid for out of Church funds, including those which he required to obtain his jet pilot’s license.  All of those payments were made out of the general expense fund.  When you get right down to it, the Falcon jet was more of a toy than a business tool because it was used mostly for his personal use.  The same applied to the Cessna Citation which was used by Ron Dart and some other top ministers.”

Again, Herrmann brought up the same question that he had asked Kuhn, and a question that constantly prayed upon all of our minds.  He asked, “This is incredible. I really find it all hard to believe. I just don’t see how this man Rader can stay so tightly locked in to the point of coming out on top of Herbert Armstrong’s own son. He must have something on Herbert Armstrong that no one knows about.  Do you have any idea what it might be?”

Wright stumbled and stammered a bit and acted as though he wished that the question had never been asked..  He then said, ‘Well, of course Armstrong has spent more than his share of money, too. Rader was the guy who knows where every penny has gone.  He has threatened Mr. Armstrong many times that if he were ever let go he would tell the world everything knows.  He has also  threatened many times to sue the Church and sue Herbert Armstrong.  His knowledge seems to go far beyond money.  A lot of the hold that he has over Herbert Armstrong seems to be centered around Armstrong’s own weaknesses. He has a drinking problem and (pg 165) that just leads to all other types of problems.  I think the whole key to the thin is Dr. Floyd Lochner. He’s a Ph.D. who used to teach at the college, but most of the time he accompanied Mr. Armstrong as one of his aides and also as his masseur. Lochner claims to have made several tape recordings of Herbert Armstrong revealing very intimate things to him.  He has acknowledged that he knows that he is not an apostle, but that  it is through the use of such a title that he can control the Church.  And then I understand that there were many sexual sins, but I don't know the details about it.  I would say that the validity of all this is confirmed by the fact that Dr. Lochner is on a salary from the college of about $25,000 a year.  He has absolutely no duties and no responsibilities. It is strictly a  no-show job.”

I had heard such stories many times, but they were always probably about tenth-hand rumors.  Other  than the comments made to me by Mark Armstrong, this was the first I had heard such things from someone close to the situation. Wright was asked whether he still had any information in his personal files regarding all of his investigations, and he said that he had very little remaining. At about the time Garner Ted was ousted later in the year, Rader seized all of Wright’s files in his office.  He did say, however, that he had removed some documents from the premises and had them stored in his garage at his home and had only hoped that they would still be there.

At the end of the meeting, Wright assured us that he would contact Chodos by phone, and arrange to bring him Church documents that he had stored in his garage in Altadena.  He promised that after spending the weekend in Texas, where his family was staying, that he would return to his home, and see that the documents were given to Chodos.

Both Ron and I were quite stunned by all of what we had heard. Even though we had heard rumors of all sorts of wrongdoings for so long, even after having seen several documents, to hear  it all confirmed intimate detail by one who was there was almost more than we could cope with.  How it could have gone on so long, we wondered.  Could everyone either have been so blinded, or such a past of it themselves that such a monstrous abomination could continue to exist in the guise of a church?  It would be so easy to become totally disillusioned and just check out on religion altogether. Yet we knew that was not the answer, for we knew God (pg 166) is real and Jesus Christ is our Savior, ever-living High Priest and soon coming King. Yet how could this be, such corruption in the very Church that seems to have more of the truths of God than any other religious organization?

Of course, it was nothing new.  Both Old and the New Testaments have several accounts of corruption among religious leaders. Even one of Christ’s own disciples, Judas Iscariot, was able to be bought.   If one who lived with Christ and actually witnessed his miracles could fall to such temptation, then none of us are immune but for the grace of our Savior. Perhaps there is an interesting parallel here.  Judas Iscariot not only took a payoff to betray Christ, but he was actually the treasurer.  Not only was he the treasurer, but he had been dipping in the till. This point was clearly made in the twelfth chapter of John when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Christ’s feet with  a very expensive ointment and then wiped his feet with her hair.  Judas Iscariot said, in response to that, “Why was not this ointment sold for 300 pence and given to the poor?” He seemed to be so concerned for the poor.  What he really meant was that they should sell the ointment with the proceeds being given to him, the treasurer, to, in turn, distribute to the poor.  But was he really giving all the money to the poor as he claimed?  The next verse makes it very plain. John states in Verse 6: “This he said not that he had cared for the poor, but because he was a thief and had the bag.
, and bare what was put therein.”

Here was Judas Iscariot the bag man, the treasurer for the disciples, acting so concerned for the poor, when in fact he wanted to replenish the treasury which had been running low because had been stealing from it.  Jesus, knowing he was soon to be crucified and realizing that Mary was anointing him for his burial said, “Let her alone; against the day of my burying had she kept this.”

The parallels here are amazing.  Jesus Christ had a thief and a traitor right beside him, so we must realize that there is no reason why we should expect any less difficulties today.

With Kuhn and Wright on their way back to California, and the lawsuit just about ready to go, we were expecting that sometime during the following week that it would be served.  The information that we had obtained was sure to be very helpful, and we were quite (pg 167) relieved that we had been successful in obtaining it before the service of the complaint would have everyone scrambling for their own individual necks.

Chapter 12 Armstrong’s Fear of Rader

(pg 169) During the month of December, while various individuals involved in the lawsuit were buy gathering information and preparing for when the suit would be filed, there were things taking place behind the scenes in Pasadena that few were aware of.

On December 4th, while Wayne Cole was out to lunch, his secretary took a call from Garner Ted Armstrong. His message was: “Mike Wallace has been hounding me to death; he wants me to go on 60 Minutes. I don’t want to go on and I desperately need to talk to my father about it. Wayne Cole is the only man who can get through to my father.  Please have him call me about this.”  Cole, on receiving this message, felt that he should not call Garner Ted back without first discussing it with Herbert Armstrong.

That same afternoon, he called Armstrong at his home in Tucson.  Cole informed Armstrong of Garner Ted’s call and said: “I felt I should ask you counsel before speaking to Ted or if you even want me to speak to him at all.”  He then went on to relay the entire message regarding Mike Wallace’s persistent efforts to get Garner Ted to appear on a 60 Minutes program.  The specter of his son discussing his ouster on national television apparently was sufficient to convince Armstrong that there should be a dialogue between him and his son and he asked Wayne Cole to be a go between.  He said” “Wayne, I want to give Ted the following message: ‘Ted, I had to do what I did to get the Church back on the (pg 170) track.  It was not a personal attack against you, but I could not let the Church and the college continue to go the way they were going. If you, Ted, will admit that you were wrong in the way that you left us and all you have done, I would be happy to see you back in the Church.  I love you Ted, very much and do not wish to get between you and God and harm your eternal salvation.’”

After discussing further potential unpleasant and perhaps disastrous effects of Garner Ted discussing Church and family problems on national television, Armstrong said to Cole, “Wayne, I’m staying alive by sheer determination and struggle.  I have felt that I need to live to get this straightened out. It would be very easy to sit down and relax, stop struggling and it would not be very long.  I do not think I could be replaced.”

Cole interrupted, “Mr. Armstrong, there should never be any thought of replacing of anyone replacing you.  God has preserved your life and we hope and pray he will allow you to life to finish this Work and be here when Christ returns.”

Armstrong then continued, “But if He doesn’t allow me to remain that long and I have been replaced, I guess it will be up to you, Wayne, to try.”

Whether Armstrong really meant what he said was open to question, as he had often made the same statements to many other leading ministers in the Church.  And even if he felt that way, would it be his decision?  Further events would show that more clearly.

The next day, a call came from Garner Ted.  Cole told him that he had spoken to his father and that he was asked to be a go between in this father-son estrangement. He told Garner Ted that he had a message for him from his father. Garner Ted replied, “How fine. I have a message for my father also, but first let me hear the one he has for me.”  After hearing the message, Garner Ted said: “That’s pretty hard for me to believe to think that he actually believes that he could get between me and God and harm my eternal salvation. I ‘m absolutely horrified at the things he’s been saying about me, comparing me to Jim Jones and inferring that I could lead people off to such tragic end as he did to those people down in Guyana.  I’ll say one thing, though. If my father were to announce that now is the time to sell everything and flee to the place of safety, I wouldn’t be surprised if half the people in the Church would do just that. Give my father all of their money, show up wherever he told them to be, and go off with him to Petra.”

(pg 171) It was evident that Garner Ted was not about to return to the Worldwide Church under conditions that his father had established.  Yet in spite of the fact that he had started the Church of God International, he so fervently wanted to reconcile with his father.  One would wonder if he would have gone back and if so under what conditions and what type of compromise.

After hearing his father’s message and discussing the belief that each thought that the other could lead a group of people off into the wilderness as Jim Jones, he was right with his message for his father.  He said: “Wayne, I want you to give my father the following message. ‘Mike Wallace has called me repeatedly.  On two occasions I have talked with him for approximately three hours.  They have already done their homework and may do a show on the Worldwide Church whether or not I cooperate with them; Mike Wallace has called me an S.O.B. for not already saying I will appear on the show.  I don’t really want to go on 60 Minutes, but unless I hear from my dad then Dottie (Garner Ted’s sister) and I am going to go on the program.  Whatever we’ve had to bear because of my moral problems was absolutely nothing compared to what me and others in the family had borne down through the years because of my father’.”  With a promise from Cole to do whatever he could to urge Herbert Armstrong to call his son, the phone call was concluded.

On the same day, Cole called Herbert Armstrong in Tucson.  Cole conveyed Garner Ted’s message to his father, and Armstrong was quite noticeably affected in an emotional way by the message. He voiced considerable concern as to what his daughter Dottie might want to say on 60 Minutes. Armstrong then said that he was going to call his son and that concluded the conversation with Cole.

One may wonder why there was a concern about what his daughter Dottie might say. She was not a member of the Church, but did receive assistance from the Church, which she considered inadequate, in view of the fact that her husband Vern Mattson had served faithfully as an executive during the early years of the Church.  Perhaps she would say some of the things that she had said to others. She wondered when her father was going to get rid of Stanley Radar and stop him from destroying the Church. She would tell of times when her father‘s phone numbers were being changed and she, his own daughter, wasn’t able to call him for long periods of time. She would tell of those lengthy periods of time (pg 172) when she never heard from her father. She would tell how, when she attempted to make him see how terribly wrong he was ion both the way he treated his son and the way he was so trusting of Rader, he would get angry, refuse to continue the discussion, and hang up on her. Finally, she would say, “I hate to say it, but all these years the only one my father has cared for is himself.  That’s really all that counts to him, just himself.  He’s never really cared about the family.  He doesn’t give a ---- about us and never has.”

This is part of the story that Dottie Mattson would tearfully tell to the world about her father, God’s apostle. With all of the wrong in the Worldwide Church of God, the family tragedy is rally the worst part of it, especially in light of the fact that Herbert Armstrong has often said that the Worldwide Church of God is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi 4 Verse 5 and  6.  He claims that his preaching is the spiritual fulfillment of that prophecy which states: “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hear of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”  The Church was to be a fulfillment of that prophecy, but had failed, and was being smitten with a curse.

Five days went by before there was any further contact between Cole and Armstrong. On December 10th, Herbert Armstrong called Wayne Cole.  It tuned out that he had never attempted to contact his son and wanted further clarification on what Garner Ted hoped could be accomplished by a call from him.  Cole then told him that it was Garner Ted’s desire that the two of them reach an agreement whereby Armstrong would cease attacking his son constantly or else Garner Ted and Dottie were going to cooperate with Mike Wallace and appear on 60 Minutes.

Armstrong then said, “Has Ted given any indication of the hope of coming back into the Church?”

Cole replied, “No, he hasn’t.  He merely wants to discuss a means of stopping the constant charges and allegations against him or else, 60 Minutes.

Armstrong then responded, “I will answer him with silence.”

Armstrong was not convinced that Mike Wallace wanted Garner Ted to appear on his program, but thought instead that his son was attempting to convince Mike Wallace to put him on.  One can only understand Armstrong’s reversal and his decision to call his son by (pg 173) realizing who advised him in this matter. Armstrong said:  “Satan tells me that he has spoken to officials in CBS headquarters and was given assurances that there would be no comments made on their network slanderous against me or the Work.  Why, CBS has even shown interest in purchasing Quest Magazine.”  Armstrong had become convinced that there would be no 60 Minutes program on the Church and, with that fear removed, no longer saw any need to effect any reconciliation with his son.

Though all of this, however, Armstrong was becoming more and more cognizant of the fact that radar’s hold on him was getting progressively tighter. The conversation then took a sudden turn away from Garner Ted, and totally surprising Cole, he said: “Wayne, I do have a problem which I would like to discuss with you in the strictest confidence.  Every time I speak to anyone Stan Rader always wants to follow me and speak as well.  I have been told that many of our members do not appreciate this practice, and don’t know what to do about it. He always writes out his own notes and pretty well reads from them in making his comments.  Stan is a very brilliant man in many ways, but he certainly is not an effective speaker or preacher. He has plenty of opportunity to speak and if God were calling him into the ministry, we would have seen his development long before now.”

With a comment such as this coming from Herbert Armstrong, Rader’s motives and ultimate goal were quite apparent.  Armstrong then continued outlining a list of complaints the he had about Rader and Rader’s constant attempts to move into the limelight and place himself in a position of authority before the people.

Armstrong continued, “If I say anything to Stan, even very gently, about his problem, he flies into a rage and screams at me.  He is very sensitive about this. He gets into such a rage that he is opening himself up for a demon at these times.”

Armstrong indicated that he didn’t have the courage to deal with this matter directly and wanted some backup support. He suggested that Cole have the ministry write letters to him indicating their criticism of Rader.  Cole told Armstrong eh thought such a maneuver would not work.  If such a think were done and should Armstrong then change his mind about dealing with the Rader problem, it was obvious that any minister who would have written such a letter would be on the purge list.  The conversation ended with no conclusion having been reached on the Rader problem.  Cole wished (pg 174) him well on his coming trip to Jerusalem.

Armstrong’s trip to Jerusalem was to be his first trip out of the country since his illness the previous year.  He was finally going for the delayed dedication of the Children’s Playground at Liberty Bell Park. Armstrong met with President Navon, Prime Minister Begin, Mayor Teddy Kollek and other top officials.  The Children’s Playground had been sponsored by AICF; in other words, it was essentially paid for with Worldwide Church of God money.  Even though this money was given for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Herbert Armstrong has never taken the chance of offending the Israeli leaders by preaching the Gospel or mentioning the name of Christ.  He was more interested in being known by one of his other self-proclaimed titles, “Ambassador for World Peace.”  Quiet a contrast to the apostle Paul who wrote in Ephesians 6:20 regarding his approach to preaching the gospel: “For which I am an ambassador in bonds that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”  The apostle Paul; was willing to be throw in jail and actually had been imprisoned many times for boldly speaking the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But Herbert Armstrong was more impressed by the opportunity to be honored personally. He had a dinner in his honor, the inauguration was in his honor, and his name was engraved on the name plaque at the entrance to the park.  There was a special program honoring Herbert Armstrong at the ICCY (International Cultural Center For Youth), which is an organization funded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Moshe Koi, Minister of Tourism.  This organization is for the purpose of promoting better relations between Israeli and Arab youth and is almost wholly supported by Ambassador College and the AICF. In other words, supported by the tithe-paying members in the Worldwide Church of God. The Gospel is not preached to these youth, however. Armstrong was proud to have a name plaque placed on a stone marker at the square to the ICCY Building, announcing that it was to be called The Herbert W. Armstrong Square.

Upon conclusion of his visit it Israel, Armstrong and Rader went to London. They arrived early in the week, with Armstrong planning to speak that following Sabbath, December 23rd, at a special service at the Bricket Wood Campus.  Members were coming in on special buses from various parts of Britain to hear his special sermon.  This was to be the last service at Bricket Wood prior to the vacating of the premises completely.

(pg 175) On December 21st, Frank Brown, who at this time was Director of the Church affairs in Britain, drove into London to meet Armsrong and Rader at their hotel for breakfast.  On arriving there he was shocked to be told by the chauffer that the entire party had rushed off to the airport and left on the Gulfstream II to return to the States.

Gordon Muir had received word of this sudden departure from a friend of his who was employed at the printing facilities by the Church in England.  Gordon called me with great concern.

He said, “I’m afraid Armstrong and Rader may know about the lawsuit.  I can’t think of any other reason why they would be returning to the States so suddenly.  Somehow the word seems to be out over in England and Frank Brown seems to know about the lawsuit.  Jack Martin has found out from someone else over there that Frank Brown knows about the lawsuit and also knows that I was to the Feast in Jekyll Island and he actually asked Jack what he knows, if anything, about the California attorney general.”

We were panic-stricken.  With rumors all over Pasadena, none of them accurate but all of them in one way or another having their original root in the truth, we were fearful that Rader may be able to take some action to render our efforts ineffective.  At this time we didn’t know of any of the things that had been taking place between Cole and Armstrong.

That same day, Frank Brown called Wayne Cole’s home and told Cole’s wife about Armstrong’s sudden departure.  He also then told her that he had heard about a lawsuit.  Cole thought that he would certainly hear from Armstrong upon his return, for such a sudden change in plans must have been for a very important reason.  Yet by December 26th, Cole had not yet heard from Armstrong, so he decided to call him and welcome him home. Strangely enough, in that conversation Armstrong gave no reason for his sudden early return.  He bragged on for some length about his visit, his meetings, his dinner, and all of the important people he had met.  Then he said that now that he had seen Begin, he was planning to see Sadat in Cairo in February and then in April was planning to go to Japan.

Coming events were soon to cause him to cancel his trip to Cairo and postpone his trip to Japan.  It does seem very strange, however, that Armstrong would constantly make this three point circuit, (pg 176) Israel, Egypt and Japan.  Many of his trips to these countries seemed to coincide with a time that negotiations may have been going at higher diplomatic levels regarding the Arab/Israel peace initiatives, energy problems, etc.  Could there be something more than meets the eye?

Cole continued his conversation with Armstrong, telling him about the continued and increasing concern on the part of many ministers and members regarding Rader.  Armstrong replied, “I’m afraid so, that’s a problem to me Wayne, and I want to talk privately to you about it.”  Armstrong then said that Rader wanted to bring lawsuits against Garner Ted and also that he wanted to disfellowship John Schroeder, an employee in Britain who said that he had heard rumors about a lawsuit and about Rader, but refused to disclose the source of the rumor.

Of significance here is the fact that Armsrong made no mention of their early return or the reason for it, and was complaining about Rader.  This conversation, of course, proves that Armstrong or at least Rader, knew about the lawsuit rumor, and it would also indicate that Rader sensed urgency to return.  He apparently felt that it was important to return to Pasadena to nail down the source of the rumor that John Schroeder had heard.  He was to be unsuccessful and remained unprepared for the events soon to occur.  The fact that Rader, who was not a minister, felt that he could even suggest removal of someone from the Church to Herbert Armstrong would indicate the true position of power this man actually holds.

Armstrong, continuing on the subject or Rader, then said, “It’s quite a problem because he keeps boring in all the time.  He is one who can just lose his temper and fly into a rage, and I don’t want to upset him.  When he gets angry with me he threatens to bring lawsuits against the Church.  He says that he will tell the world what he knows.  I don’t know what he knows, I don’t know what he can do to harm the Work, but that’s what he said he will do.”

Discussing the matter further Cole said, “My concern is that he is in too prominent a position in the leadership in the Work and that seems to be the biggest concern we have coming in.”

Armstrong interrupted, “That’s right, and he is deliberately trying to put himself there.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to think that anyone has their eyes on 50, 60, 70 million dollars a year, but that is quite a magnet, you know.”

(pg 177) Armstrong then continued voicing his concern for Rader’s constant desire to continue the public dispute with Garner Ted.  Armstrong referred to Garner Ted’s public allegations that his wife Ramona had been giving sexual favors to Rader and to other men, and said that he felt the best answer for that was one of silence.

At the very same time that we were about to file our lawsuit in the hopes of saving the Church from total destruction through corruption and self-dealing, Armstrong was on the verge of alt least partially removing what he considered to be the main source of the problem. , Stanley Rader.  Through the evening of December 26th, Cole prepared a lengthy letter outlining all of the concerns throughout the Church regarding Rader.  The following day, he discussed it with Dr. Herman Hoeh, one of the evangelists and a professor at Ambassador College.  Hoeh indicated that Cole’s response to Armstrong regarding Rader was in order, and appeared to agree with it.

On December 28th, Cole flew to Tucson to meet with Herbert Armstrong and hand over his letter to him.  The letter was a written confirmation of all the facts that they had discussed on their previous phone conversations.  After reading the letter Armstrong said, ‘Wayne, I don’t believe that Stan is really converted enough to understand the love that you have expressed for the Church in your letter. He is the most powerful person in the Work right now.  He only speaks from the position he occupies, but also speaks with my authority which he uses as he wishes. Why, he even uses my underground garage and private elevator to the office, and I don’t like that.”

One may wonder if Armstrong is truly concerned about Rader’s honesty and integrity or if his anger was caused more by Rader’s presumptuous use of Armstrong’s exclusive facilities.

Armstrong continued to Cole, “Yes, Wayne, I know that I must remove Stan from all executive and administrative responsibility. He’s giving the impression that he’s trying to take over the Work. I must do something to stop that.”

Having heard more rumors about a lawsuit, Cole thought that he should bring up the subject. He told Armstrong that he had heard sufficient rumors from various sources to believe that there may be some substance to them. He said, however, that according to Ralph Helge, a member of the Church and law partner of Stanly Rader’s, such rumors were just rumors with no basis in fact as there (pg 178) there was no way any kind of lawsuit could be brought against the Church.  Of course, some of the rumors that Cole had to go on were a result of the delicate spoon-feeding of information that he had been receiving from Robert Kuhn so that it would not be a total shock to him when it occurred.  In spite of the fact that this entire matter between Cole and Armstrong was for the purpose of discussing the removal of Rader from executive and administrative positions, Armstrong’s first reaction was, “I’m going to have to talk to Stan about this.”

Would Armstrong really be able to release himself from Rader when at the first signs of alarm, his immediate reaction would be to “call Stan”?  Armstrong wanted to know what kind of claim the suit was going mention, and in spite of the fact Cole really didn’t know, Armstrong continued to press on that point.  Cole then mentioned one rumor that he had heard regarding the fact that Rader on a trip to Monte Carlo rented a large yacht at a cost of $3,000 per day for several days.  All of this was paid for by the Church.  Armstrong remembered such a yacht and that he in fact had had a cruise on it and also had diner aboard.  Armstrong and Cole prayed about the entire situation and then Cole left to Armstrong’s parting words: “Wayne, if you see Stan taking over the Work, I will expect that you will stand up and fight.”

The next day Armstrong phoned Cole and wanted to know more about the possibility of a lawsuit being filed over yacht expenses.  He was very disturbed about such a possibility.  Armstrong said, “I remember we rented a bog boat, a two-story boat with a full crew, on board.  Ramona, Stan and others spent more time aboard than I did.  Maybe if that is going to be a problem, I should reimburse the Work for expenses of the yacht.”  Cole indicated that he didn’t think it was necessary and should not react to rumor, so Armstrong did not send any check in.

It’s interesting to note that Armstrong was fully aware that the yacht was used only for personal purposes, strictly pleasure, and was willing to reimburse the Church for the $30,000 only if it were the source of the problem.  As long as it seemed there would be no problem over such an expenditure, he appeared to have no guilt about not reimbursing the Church for the expense.

At about this same time, I had heard that there was a possibility (pg 179) that Armstrong might be successful in removing Rader from his position of prominence.  There was the possibility, I was told, that Rader would be put on the AICF payroll and that he would remain advisor to Herbert Armstrong, but have no executive duties in the Church.

In discussing this with Gordon Muir, Gordon said, “Maybe you should not have bothered with the lawsuit.  It looks like everything may be getting taken care of anyway.”  We discussed it somewhat and finally agreed that just the presence of Rader, no matter what his official position, was still dangerous. To have in a position of lower authority, as a sop to the members and ministers who were complaining about him, could actually make him more dangerous.  In such a position, he would not be recognized as one having any official authority, yet he would still have his influence and control over Herbert Armstrong, though not in an obvious way.  I felt confident that no matter what, we had to proceed, and in fact even if we didn’t want to proceed, as the entire situation was in the hands of the Attorney General’s office.  As each day went by, we were anxiously awaiting word as to when the suit would be actually filed.  Each day seemed to bring the words, “Maybe tomorrow.”

On January 2, 1979 Cole received a call at his office from Armstrong, who asked him to go to a private phone and call him back.  Armstrong said, ‘I don’t want this call to be overheard by eavesdroppers”.  Although Church officials were later to deny that phones were tapped at Church headquarters, Armstrong’s very own comment in that regard and his concern for privacy would indicate that he was quite aware that the phones were not private.  Armstrong then said that he had written a letter to Rader, and proceeded to read it to Cole.  In the letter he outlined to Rader the concern that many have about Rader trying to take over the Church.  He said, “But you are pushing yourself to take over.  People do look at you as an attorney, experienced in finance, etc., but not as a minister and shepherd over God’s people.  So what I propose is that you resign from the administrative positions in the Church and college, but continue in the AICF and as a personal assistant and advisor to me.”

Armstrong then asked Cole if he knew what Rader’s salary was, to which Cole responded, “No, I’ve heard rumors but I don’t really know what the figure is.”  Armstrong didn’t reply directly at the (pg 180)
Time, but went on to state that he thought it was best to have Rader retained as financial and legal advisor to the Church at a figure of $75,000 a year, plus fees and additional services, and then put Rader on the payroll of the AICF at a $100,000 a year.  Armstrong then said, “That’s the total of what he gets in salary.”  Armstrong then went on to explain that the $100,000 salary from AICF could be kept confidential and that no one need know anything about it.  Armstrong said to Cole, “Keep this quiet, as I want it to be as though Stan volunteered to resign.  I don’t want it to be known that he actually triggered it.  If Stan doesn’t volunteer, then I will force it.  There’s no turning back now.”

Armstrong then went into a discussion about changes in membership of the Board of Directors.  He mentioned the names of some individuals that he would remove and others that he would install on the board.  He said, “I can put people on and off the board as I wish.  It’s really been a dummy board up to now.”  In making this statement, he confirmed what Robert Kuhn had told us at the offices of Cohn and Lifland earlier and also confirmed what the organization was operating in violation of the law under which it was chartered which calls for an elected board.

While these calls between Armstrong and Cole were taking place, we were becoming very uneasy wondering when the complaint would be filed.  It seemed that as we drew toward the end of the year, each day the story from Chodos was that it would be another day or so. We just hoped and prayed that the suit would be filed before anyone would be able to confirm the rumors of the impending action.  Earl Timmons had been telling me that Chodos was going to let him know in advance in order that Earl may show the court officials locations of various offices at Church headquarters.  This would be necessary, as the Attorney General was going to attempt to have a judge rule in favor of an ex parte receivership.  A receivership of this type is one that is imposed without any advance notice to the parties involved.  This was an important factor as it was felt that should any advance notice be given to the defendants, they would have time to shred and dispose of sensitive documents and evidence.  We were on pins and needles waiting day by day, moment by moment.

Chapter 13  The Raid

(pg 181) By January 3, 1979, I was getting very edgy. It had been a day since Earl had told me that he was on stand by in order to be available.  Bert Mann was anxiously awaiting for word so that he could be on the scene for a good story.  I could wait no longer, and as soon as I thought it was late enough in California for Earl to be out of bed, I phoned him.

He said, “I think this is the day.  Chodos told me to stick around the house and not to be out of touch.  He doesn’t want me to leave the house, as he said he would call me as soon as they are ready and I have to be able to run down there immediately to show the officers where to go.  This is really going to be something.  They’re going to come in with court officers to seize all records at the college and Church offices, as well as Rader’s offices downtown at Century City.  They’re also going to grab the Worldwide Advertising records that are kept there.  I better get off the phone now, so that the line is clear.”

After a couple of hours I could no longer stand the suspense.  I hadn’t heard from Earl and I wondered what was going on.  Was there another day of delay?  Or had he neglected to call me?

Again I phoned, Shirley answered. She said, “Earl just went down to the College campus.  The Attorney General’s office just raided the place and they didn’t even tell Earl ahead of time.  We got word after it was in progress.  They didn’t even tell Earl (pg 182) what time it was going to happen, or exactly when.  They wanted him to wait around the house here, so that he would be available but even he was not to know ahead of time when it was going to happen.  They didn’t want any leaks at all.  They wouldn’t even tell us, it turns out.  I don’t know what’s going on down there now, but I understand that it’s really kind of wild.  There are police cars and police officers all over the place.  Bert Mann already knows about it.  He’s on his way.”

Wayne Cole was having breakfast with Ray Wright.  While at breakfast, a waitress came to their table and said there was a phone call for Cole.  It was Col’s wife asking him to return home as quickly as possible to return a call from Herbert Armstrong.  Cole rushed home and, upon walking through the door, his wife told him that she had just received a call from his secretary Pam Brubaker.  She relayed the message that Virginia Kineston, Rader’s secretary had called the office and said, “Lock the doors; there are police officers in here serving notices.  Don’t let anyone in”  Pam had told Cole’s wife that there were police officers up and down the halls and no one knew what was happening.  As anxious as Cole was to find out the details, he felt it would be best to call Herbert Armstrong first.

It was about 9:30 A.M. and Cole returned Armstrong’s call.  Armstrong was unaware of the happenings at the Church headquarters, and wanted to discuss the Rader situation.  He said that he had his letter hand-delivered to Rader in Pasadena and that Rader had gone into an absolute rage and threatened to sue Armstrong and the Church.  Armstrong said that he had finally calmed Rader down and said further to Cole, “I’ve never seen a man filled with so much self in a certain way for his own honor and integrity.  He just flies into desperate rage, loses his head completely if any says anything against his honesty and honor.”  Rader, finally calming down, began to agree that it might be better to go along with Armstrong’s wishes, but to do it in a way that wouldn’t reflect badly on (pg 183) him.  If Armstrong felt that Rader went into a rage from time to time when his honesty was attacked, then what he had seen was nothing compared to the reaction Rader would soon have against the lawsuit.

During this conversation, Cole told Armstrong that he received word that something was wrong and that something very strange was going on at the office. He relayed the message to Armstrong regarding lawyers and officers and police serving notices throughout the offices and said that he had no further details as to what was going on.   Armstrong, who had been spending so much time of late hatching a plan by which he could remove Rader from a position of prominence, said, “Oh, I’d better call Stan about that right away.” 

…The phone call ended and Cole immediately called his office.  He was unable to determine much further, other than the fact that law (pg 184) officers and lawyers were swarming all over the offices.  There was still a great deal of confusion as to the purpose of the so-called raid.

The imposition of the receivership and the serving of the complaints on the various defendants was well planned, and in spite of all the rumors regarding lawsuits, was a total surprise.  It was a perfectly kept secret.

The peaceful college campus and Church headquarters complex, Herbert Armstrong’s idea of a miniature model of the Kingdom of God, was total bedlam.  Like a well planned military invasion, the court-appointed receiver, Judge Steven Weisman, Deputy Attorney General Tapper, Hillel Chodos, his brother Rafael, members of the Attorney General’s office, state law enforcement officers, and Pasadena police officer’s had moved in on the Worldwide Church of God headquarters.

At the same time in a smaller way the same thing was taking place over at the offices of Rader’s various firms in Century City.  As court officers began seeking out Stanley Rader and other defendants, it became quite obvious who was in charge of the Church.  As all this took place while Rader was enjoying a game of tennis on the College tennis courts, his secretary, Virginia Kineston, was the one who began giving orders.  She immediately instructed all employees to lock their offices and not permit law officers to enter. It was Mrs. Kineston who was not even member of the Church, since she had been disfellowshipped some time back, who was the one who was instructing Church employees to resist the law.  The fact that people complied with her orders leaves no doubt as to the fact that they considered her to have been speaking directly for Stanley Rader. Their compliance would make it quite plain as to who the employees considered to be the one in charge of the Church.  Offices and vaults were sealed off by the officers and they immediately began seizing and removing documents from Church headquarters.

At the same time several drawers of Church documents were removed from the Century City offices, under the custody of the Attorney General’s office.  Church employees, instead of cooperating with the law officers in accordance with the court order, hid away in their offices like a bunch of frightened rats.  Curtains were drawn, and from time to time employees could be seen peeking from behind the curtains.

That afternoon, the Pasadena Star News carried a headline: (pg 185) “AMBASSADOR RAIDED< POLICE CORDON OFF COLLEGE OFFICES.” Only the sketchiest information was reported by the Star News, as the reporters were unable to get details regarding this unusual action against Church officers.

While it was to be reported many times later that the action was against the Church, that in fact was not t the case.  The action was against Church officers, with the Church being named a defendant merely as a legal means by which the courts could obtain possession of Church documents for their protection.

The day before, on January 2nd, proceedings had been conducted in the chambers of Judge Jerry Pacht of the Superior Court of the State of California.  Appearing before Judge Pacht were Lawrence R. Tapper, Hillel Chodos, Rafael Chodos, and their associate Hugh John Gibbson.  Also appearing was Judge Steven S. Weisman, who was later to appointed receiver.  Judge Pacht had previously read the complaint which named as defendants the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, Wilshire Travel Incorporated, Worldwide Advertising Incorporated, Gateway Publishing Incorporated, Environmental Plastics Incorporated, Herbert W. Armstrong, Stanley R Rader, Osamu Gotoh, Robert Kuhn,  Raymond L. Wright, Henry Cornwall, Ralph Helge, the Accounting Firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler and Does one to one hundred.

The complaint alleged….., “Funds and property contributed to the Church were freely being transferred among Church and the other corporate defendants” and, due to the lack of knowledge as to the precise relationship of the various defendants with the Church, the right to amend the complaint at a future date was requested.  Armstrong and Rader were said to have refused to make any accounting to the membership regarding funds received, expended or held by (pg 186) the Church.  The complaint further alleged: “The named individual defendants, acting in concert with and under the direction of the defendants Armstrong and Rader have been and are siphoning off the property and assets of the Church and appropriating them to their own personal use and benefit on a massive scale amounting to several million dollars per year.”

According to the complaint, the church, being incorporated under a law which requires election of directors by member, failed and refused members to vote as required.  The allegation went on to state: “that none of the directors of the aforesaid corporations actually votes on any matters affecting Church governance; but merely acquiesces in decisions and instructions made by the defendants Armstrong and Rader.”

Armstrong has a much as admitted to this charge in view of his statements to Wayne Cole regarding the fact that the Board was just a dummy board.

The allegations for financial improprieties were quite strong.  According to the complaint, the Church had been spending at least a million dollars per year over and above its annual receipts.  As a result, the organization had been forced to liquidate holdings in order to defray current expenditures.  In regard to this it was stated in the complaint: “All the excess of expenditures over receipts is attributed to the individual defendants pilfering of the revenues of the Church and their appropriation of its assets for their own personal use and benefit, which pilfering and appropriation continues to this very day on a massive scale.”  It was alleged that real estate was being sold well below market value and that the sixteen-hundred acre Big Sandy, Texas campus was reputed to be worth approximately $30 million, but in the process of being sold for $10 million. The complaint stated: “All these statements and activities are part of their effort to convert assets of the Church into a form in which they may be more easily appropriated to the personal use and benefit of the individual defendants.”

As a result of their investigation, the Attorney General’s office had reason to believe that documents were being tampered with and alleged” “That the individual named defendants, in an effort to frustrate discovery of their wrongdoing and to obscure the facts, have caused and are causing the written records of their dealings to be removed from the Pasadena offices of the defendant corporations, and to be shredded an destroyed; and that if said removal (pg 187) and destruction are allowed to continue, it may never be possible to develop a true and complete accounting of the Church finances during the time period complained of.”

In order to correct situations, as alleged in the complaint, the plaintiff, which for purposes of the suit the people of the State of California, represented by the Attorney General’s office, and the relators asked from the courts:

1.       “For an order requiring defendants to make a full and complete accounting to this Court and to the members of the Church of the affairs of the Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, Excelsior Leasing Incorporated, Midatlantic  Leasing Incorporated, Gateway Publishing Incorporated, Worldwide Advertising Incorporated, and the Accounting Firm of Rader, Cornwall and Kessler from at least January 1, 1975 or such earlier date as may be appropriate through the date of said accounting.
2.       “For an order requiting an immediate election of new directors of Worldwide Church of God Incorporated, Ambassador College Incorporated, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation Incorporated, and requiring all the said directors to be elected by the members of the Church according to the procedures prescribed by law.
3.       “For an order appointing a temporary receiver ex parte,(without notice to the defendants) and a receiver pendente lite (meaning pending or during suit or while litigation is in progress) to take possession, until further order of this court, of all property of the defendant corporations aforesaid and of their books and records, and empowering him to take such actions as he deems, in the reasonable exercise of his discretion, appropriate to recover property and assets wrongfully taken from the Church, and to prevent the further dissipation of Church property and assets, said power to include without limitation the power to bring lawsuits in the name of the Church and any of its affiliated organizations, and to  retain independent accountings, lawyers, and other professional assistants to assist him in the prosecution of such lawsuits.
4.       “For an injunction restraining the named individual defendants, their agents, employees, and all persons acting in concert with them, from interfering in any way with the action of said receiver, and requiring them furthermore to yield up to said receiver all the books, records, and administration facilities of said corporate documents. (pg 188)
5.       “For an injunction restraining the named individual defendants, their agents, employees, and all person acting in concert with them, from selling or mortgaging or asserting ownership in any other way, over the property or assets of any of the corporate defendants, except as a court appointed receiver may allow.
6.       “For a cost of suit herein.
7.       “For such other and different or further relief as to this Court may seem just and proper.”

While this entire action was later to be characterized by Armstrong and Rader as an attack on religion by the state, it was quite clear by the language of he complaint that the action in fact was on behalf of the Church. It can clearly seen that the entire purpose was to bring the Church functions into compliance with the laws under which it was organized, recover any monies which may have been wrongly taken from the Church, and prevent dissipation of Church assets for personal gain or any other reason through a proper accounting to determine the true financial condition of the Church.

In proceedings before Judge Pacht, Chodos said that he did not want to make a public filing on the compliant before appearing in chambers with the Judge. In seeking an ex parte receivership, the plaintiff’s attorneys were seeking a most strong and unusual court order in any case and in the case of religious organizations, the potentially explosive nature of the entire matter was most apparent.  Yet any advance notice to Armstrong and Rader would be such a hindrance to the effective progress of the suit that there would be no choice but to seek an ex parte receivership.

Judge Pacht said, “What I have read, obviously, are copies of documents which counsel furnished to me.  I am concerned about the scope of the relief sought. I am concerned about the ex parte nature of the proceedings, and the rather majestic order which would flow from these proceedings without a hearing. I am not unmindful there are charges that dissipation of the properties may occur, and I am also not unmindful of the one cruncher, if you will, which is the proposed sale of the Big Sandy property on January 4th, or the proposed completion.”

Chodos took the position before the Judge that while an ex parte receivership was an emergency measure to be used with great caution, that in this case the unusual principles were not applicable in (pg 189) view of the fact that all the Church corporations were organized under California law for charitable, religious and education purposes.’

Describing the law that is applicable to corporations of that type, Chodos said, “That their property always and ultimately rests in the courts custody, and they are always and ultimately subject to the supervision of the court on the application of the Attorney General. In effect, there are no private interests.  The court is not taking anything away from somebody or interfering with anyone’s private rights. In effect, what we are saying is that there are presently trustees who have been allowed to manage the charitable fund on a day to day basis.  There is reason to believe, as we have shown you, that they have not done their job in a faithful manner.  We believe that essentially those trustees serve at the court’s pleasure, and may be replaced with a more trustworthy trustee.”

Judge Pacht said that he had no quarrel with that point, and further discussion ensued regarding the problem of dealing with the Big Sandy property which is outside the state of California.  Chodos suggested that Judge Weisman be appointed trustee of all Church funds and then allow him to be confronted with the claims regarding any problems with the Texas property.  It was obviously realized that if the sale of the Big Sandy campus was consummated, before any legal action was commenced in California, that it may even be necessary to sue in Texas for a reversal of the transaction.

In discussing the ex parte receivership, Chodos pointed out that the situation was quite different than one dealing with a private property matter.  He pointed out that imposing such a receivership on private property, a court was put in a position of attempting to interfere with someone’s rights.  But in this case there would be no interference as the court was in effect the overseer of a charitable trust.  Chodos said, “In this case, however, there are no private transactions. In other words, if you appoint an ex parte receiver, all that is going to happen is that he is going to take custody of the records and preserve them; take custody of the money and preserve it; take custody of the causes of the action and preserve that.”

Judge Pacht then indicated that he felt still that some interest could be hurt and he was mindful of that.  The turning to Judge Weisman, Judge Pacht said: “It ahs been urged that this bowl of (190) spiders be put in your custody.  Before I get involved in orders or making orders or granting relief, are you willing to become involved in it?”
“Yes, I am” said Weisman.
                “As a receiver?” asked Judge Pacht.
                “Yes, I am,” Judge Weisman said.

Little did Judge Pacht realize that calling the entire situation a bowl of spiders was to be such an apt description of what others through was God’s Church?  And Judge Weisman, anticipating a more routine receivership, despite the fact he was retired in his sixties and suffering from the crippling effect of polio, was prepared to proceed.

Judge Pacht indicated that he was somewhat queasy about putting a receiver in charge of all the corporations, and felt that it would be more appropriate to place a receivership only over the charitable corporations and not over private business entities also named in the complaint.

After discussion regarding administrative details of the receivership, the posting of a receiver bond and other legalities, Judge Pacht said that he would issue the order to be served by January 4th at 5 P.M.  When he called the entire affair a bowl of spiders, he may not have foreseen completely what kind of a web he was dealing with.  He must have had some foresight, however.

After signing the order, he said, “Someone is going to have a career as a judicial officer in this.”  In closing the proceedings, Judge Pacht said to Chodos that he had better get the complaint filed. Chodos responded, Yes, if your honor, please, if we can be excused, I’ll go out to your table outside and prepare our papers, get the bond and make all those arrangements.”  The final words of Judge Pacht at the closing of the proceedings were: “I will be here, I am sorry to say.”

One must wonder if Judge Pacht at that point was wishing that he had taken a good winter vacation.  If he hadn’t thought of it then, the coming events were sure to make him wish he had.  The rest of the day was spent in carefully planning and arranging the service of the complaint and imposition of the receivership the following morning.

While Rader was planning next morning’s tennis game, he and others were comfortably secure in the knowledge that all of the rumors they had been hearing were false, and that no one could (pg 191) ever bring suit against them.  After all, they had allegedly bought people off in the past on minor matters with out-of-court settlements, and the rumors indicated an action of some sort that was so massive that it was beyond the realm of possibility.  Rader was, at that time, quite pleased that he was maneuvering to calm the concern of the ministry and Church members regarding his prominence, yet remain in total control.  And, of course, no matter what Rader’s apparent title or position, as long as he was there he would still be in full control of Herbert Armstrong.

The bowl of spiders was all his and he wove the web any way he pleased.

And now, back to the raid.

For the next couple of hours, the scene at Church headquarters could best be described as total confusion.  Employees had no idea what was going on.  They just did as they were told by their superiors, which meant that, either directly or indirectly, they were following orders of Virginia Kineston.  There was a total lack of cooperation with the authorities.  Once the order to resist had come down from Virginia Kineston and Rader’s aide, Ellis LaRavia, it didn’t take much for the blindly faithful to be convinced that this  was a fulfillment of end-time prophecy. In their minds, God’s Church was under attack.  The persecution had begun.  Could this be the time to flee to safety, they wondered?  The presence of armed guards on duty at all building entrances and strategic points throughout the headquarters complex had many totally convinced that this was the beginning of the great tribulation.

While the officials of the court were busy attempting to do their job, I had a phone conversation with Robert Kuhn and told him, if it was at all possible, to get Wayne Cole and others of the leading ministers on some sort of conference call that I would be able to explain what was happening.

I said, “If I could only talk to these men, I am sure that I could show them that the real purpose here is to save the Church and not to destroy it, which is what I am sure we’ll be accused of doing.  I know of no way to reach Herbert Armstrong directly other than perhaps through the leading ministers.  Maybe after our discussion they may be able to get to Mr. Armstrong with the facts on this situation and hopefully the whole thing could be cut short.”

I was then faced with the unhappy task of telling Kuhn that he and Ray Wright had been named defendants in the case.  Kuhn was (pg 192) terribly shaken by the news and felt he had been betrayed.  I told him that as far as I knew I had the same information as he regarding the list of defendants.  That information was that Armsrong and Rader and Does one to one hundred were to be named.  The decision to name him and Wight was made between Chodos and the Attorney General’s office and neither I, nor the other relators, nor the firm of Cohn and Lifland knew anything about it until after the fact.  Whatever reason for the last-minute change we didn’t know, but there was nothing we could do about it.  I tried to assure him that if he had no guilt there was nothing to worry about.  I suggested that he continue to cooperate fully and have his attorney relate his desire to do so.

Kuhn said, “I don’t care about his for myself, I’ve been called all kinds of things by people, especially by Rader, but this is going to cause a lot of problems for my family. It will be terribly embarrassing to my father and also to my wife. My wife’s not a member of the Church, you know, and she’s very prominent here socially in Pasadena, and I don’t know what kind of problems or embarrassment this is going to cause my father with his business associations back in New York. They’ve never been happy with the fact that I’m in the Church, and my father would much rather that I give the whole thing up and come with him in his business.  This is terrible, terrible.  See what you can do to get my name removed.”  There was nothing I could do to get his name removed, as I was just a relator in the case.

Kuhn’s concern for his family was due to the fact that he was the only one in his family who was a member of the Worldwide Church of God. His wife was a concert pianist in the Los Angeles area, and very active in the temple where she held membership.  And his father was a well known textile manufacturer in New York.  I was upset about this turn of events as well, but I realized that nothing could be done about it, and told Kuhn that all we could do now is press forward and do our best in trying to clean up the Church.  He called Cole, telling him of our phone conversation and my desire to speak with him. They then assembled a group at one of their homes.  Included in that group were evangelists David Antion, Art Mokarow, Steve Martin, Dr. Hermann Hoeh, and Ray Wright, who was the only non-minister present other than Kuhn.

While Kuhn was arranging for the conference call, I was anxiously awaiting.  I had made notes of the points I had wanted to make (pg 193) and it seemed like such an unlikely thing was about to take place. The conference call was with the leading ministers of the Church, and I was to tell the director of the ministry why I thought he should do about the events taking place at Church headquarters.  I wondered what kind of an awesome responsibility I had taken upon myself. I was not awe-stricken by the fact that I would be in contact with these various men, but rather by the fact that it had finally happened. The lawsuit was a reality. I couldn’t help but be bothered by doubts as to whether or not we had done the right thing.  I knew that if we had done the wrong thing by initiating this legal action that we would have a terrible thing to answer for some day, standing before Jesus Christ as he asked us to account for our attempt to destroy His Church.

I replayed the events of the past several months in my mind.  All the prayers for guidance, for direction were again pondered over. No, this is not an attack on God’s Church.  This was the only way.  Thos who God had sued at one time had been misled by others to turn from their righteousness and were in fact the ones truly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Church. This had to be done. 

(pg 194) After about an hour I received a call from the conference operator and was hooked into a four-way conference call with Kuhn, Cole and Antion all at the other end of the line.  Kuhn then related to everyone on the line that he had established the conference call at my request in order that I may have the opportunity to make clear to the leading ministers of the Church the real reasons behind the lawsuit.  Both Cole and Antion said that it was a tragic series of events that were taking place.

Cole then said, “We were afraid that something like this would happen sooner or later. You may think we’ve been doing nothing here but there are many others who have been trying to work from within for a long period of time to correct the problems in the Church. I just want you to know that we’re willing to listen to what you have to say sow we will know exactly what this is all about.”

I outlined the entire reason for the suit and emphasized the fact that this is an attempt to save the Church and that the receiver was being placed in charge in order to protect the assets of the Church. I told them that the Attorney General’s office has no right to interfere with the ecclesiastical affairs of the Church and that the receiver has no interest in those areas.  I made it quite plain that this action had been in the planning for quite sometime and that it would be pursed aggressively to a conclusion.’

After explaining the entire background and purpose of the lawsuit, I said, “Our interest here as relators is obviously one more broad than that of the Attorney General’s office.  We want to clean up the financial improprieties and also see the Church relieved of the autocratic, dictatorial rule that has been imposed, plunging the Church into a state of complete fear. The Attorney General has determined from his investigation that here are adequate grounds to proceed with this lawsuit, and their interest is to see those responsible for wrongdoing are removed and cause to make full (pg 195) restitution to the Church. I just hope this doesn’t have to go very long. If only there was some way that you can get to Mr. Armstrong and tell him the rue facts about all that is taking place. Perhaps he will act quickly, remove Rader, and cooperate with this investigation.”

In discussing Rader’s part in this entire situation, I said, “actually with all the concern surrounding Rader, I don’t know what he may or may not be guilty of, when you get right down to it, he is not the true cause of what is taking place today.  The problem is actually Armstrong himself and the autocracy that he has created allowing such an individual as Rader to be the effective head of the Church.  I don’t believe that Armstrong is really capable of handling this man and he has not provided any organizational depth as means of safely against what appears to be a total takeover.”

At this time I had no knowledge of the phone calls that had been taking place between Armstrong and Cole regarding Rader, nor did I know of Armstrong’s encounters with Rader.  Cole told me that he was pleased that those of us who had initiated the lawsuit appeared to have proper motives and he was so sorry that things could not be handled in another way. He said he hoped that they could straighten everything out quickly in order to prevent the whole thing from becoming a national scandal that would disgrace the Church.  Cole and Antion both said that they felt that the only answer was to immediately go to Tucson and meet with Armstrong.

Cole then said, ‘Well, we’ve been talking about an hour and I think we have the whole picture now.  It seems quite clear what we have to do.  We’ll discuss this further immediately here and I will try to set up a meting with Mr. Armstrong right away.  Maybe we can even get down to Tucson to see him yet this evening.”

…Cole (pg 196) phoned Armstrong. He told him he felt it was very important that he come with a few men to Tucson to discuss the receivership. He reminded Armstrong that in the past Armstrong said that he would meet him anywhere on the Rader situation, and then said, “I think in view of the entire sensitive nature of this entire problem it will be best if we do not meet in your home. Would it be agreeable if we met privately at a room in a hotel in Tucson?

Armstrong responded, “Of course.”

Plans were made to meet Armsrong at a local hotel. Armstrong then said, “You can catch the GII, I’m going to get it out of the State immediately, so you can get on the GII.  I would like to talk to you about what is happening there.”

Arrangements were then made with Captain Ed Black, who piloted the Gulfstream II.  At about 5 P.M. Cole, Antion, Wright and Hoeh boarded the Church jet and were on their way to Tucson.  On arrival at the Tucson airport, Cole found a message waiting for him from Armstrong stating that he had changed his mind about meeting in a hotel, that he had a cold, was not feeling well and he would prefer to have the meeting at his home. He assured Cole that anything taking place would be totally private and would be kept confidential.

Cole and his party went directly to Armstrong’s home.  On arrival at the Armstrong home, the group was received cordially by Herbert Armstrong. They went into his family room for the meeting and presented him with the afternoon edition of the Pasadena Star News which carried the large bold headlines: AMBASSADOR RAIDED.
Armstrong then said, ‘Well, I’ve been talking to Stan a few times today about this, he tells me that he’ll have the whole thing quashed and totally settled in the morning. He said the whole thing will be completely reversed tomorrow morning.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, if this newspaper article means what it says, I don’t know, we’re not lawyers, but it doesn’t seem reasonable that the whole thing will be just stopped and thrown out the next day.  There must be good reason for this and it just doesn’t seem likely that it can be thrown out the next day.”

Armstrong responded: ‘Well, I’m willing to listen.”

It seems strange that only a few short hours earlier when Cole had been talking to Armstrong there was no mention of his having a cold and he finally agreed to meet the men privately away from his (pg 197) home.  Now, there suddenly appeared to be the problem of a cold, and he didn’t want to meet away from his home. One must wonder of the phone calls to Rader already were began to have an effect on Armstrong, causing him to ignore the seriousness of the lawsuit.  Armstrong did not want to believe that there was anything wrong. , that there was any improprieties which would give the Attorney General’s office justification for its action.  He apparently could even delude himself into believing that his own conduct and lavish standard of living were not improper.

Ray Wright, having been so closely involved with the financial matters of the Church, was a major factor in convincing Armstrong that things were in fact very wrong. He said, “Mr. Armstrong, there are improprieties. I don’t know if there is anything that is actually illegal, I’m not a lawyer, but there are things that are very much improper.  That much I know, I can assure you of that.  In light of that I feel it would be best to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office no matter what the results, no matter what the penalty. Let’s take whatever penalty we have coming, let’s just let them come in and look at the books, let’s have a clean and open organization.  Let’s take our slaps on the wrist for whatever we might have done in the past that was not too good.”

Armstrong then said, “Well. Ray, do you think there are some things that they might find that could lead to penalties for us?”

Ray repeated what he had stated earlier, “Well, Mr. Armstrong. I don’t know if they’ll find anything illegal, but they will find improprieties.”

Antion then firmly said, “Mr. Armstrong, just look at this newspaper. We’ve got to do something to keep this bad news from spreading all through the newspapers.  It’s the bad publicity that will kill us. We’ll lose the reputation that we have in the community for many years; all that we have worked for so many years can just be wiped out by this bad publicity.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, please do something about this.  The Work needs it. You’ve got to do something.”  Cole told Armstrong about his call with me earlier that day and outlined to him what I had said over the phone.

Armsrong was angered. He said, “Well, all these people are enemies, they’re up to no good.  Don’t believe a word they say. They’re not any good to us; they’re just out to destroy the Work, that’s all. They’re just out to destroy the Work!”

(pg 198) The meeting continued until about 10:30 that evening, but Armstrong just couldn’t seem to come to grips with the situation. He was fully convinced that this was a satanic attack on the Church and it seemed as though the entire meeting was stalemated.  It appeared as though he was going to end the meeting without any final decision regarding action on his part. He said, “It is getting kind of late, I’m tired, I have a cold, and I think we’ve met long enough on this now.”

The point was made strongly by all the men if they could only have some sort of news to take back to Pasadena, they could do a lot to offset the bad publicity.

Armstrong then said, “Well, it’s late but I’ll go ahead and write something up. I’ll appoint Wayne Cole as acting chief executive officer while the crisis exists. I realize this may wreck my relationship with Stan, but then again it really doesn’t have to because I just won’t mention Stan’s name anywhere.”

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, I don’t want to be prominent. I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m second person in charge.  In fact, if you’re going to put me in this position, I will take it only for the duration of the crisis.”

Armsrong went to his study, sat down at this special typewriter. Due to failing eyesight, Armstrong, as well as those who had to type messages to him, all had special typewriters having double-sized type.

At this point Cole was nervous and upset to the point of being physically ill, realizing the magnitude of Armstrong’s decision. He had not sought such prominence and now was finding himself thrust into the position of being temporarily in charge of the Church. He realized that this could bring conflicts between himself and Rader, such as he had not had in the past.  He said, “Gentleman, I’m not feeling too well, I’m nervous over this whole thing.  I’m going outside to get some fresh air.”

While Armstrong typed his press release, Cole took a lengthy walk around the neighborhood, as he tried to adjust to his new responsibilities.  He wondered what Rader’s reaction would be. He realized that while Armstrong had just only that very morning discussed with him the removal of Rader from certain positions, he was now concerned about a deteriorating relationship with Rader.  Cole now found himself in a most prominent position in the Church, next to that of Armstrong’s position as head of the Church.

(pg 199) While Cole was walking the streets of Armstrong’s neighborhood, Armstrong typed the following memo dated, January 3, 1979.

                Press Release
I have been shocked beyond measure to learn of the raid on our executive offices in Pasadena this morning, initiated from the State of California’s Attorney General’s office. I know little of the facts as yet. The Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College are both upstanding institutions and we are people of integrity.

If any improprieties have existed in either institution, I want them to be known, and I shall take every effort to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office. We are an institution of 46 years’ standing. We have many departments and branch offices around the world. We employee many hundreds. I have of necessity had to entrust responsibility to various officers under me. I am appointing Mr. C. Wayne Cole as Acting Chief Executive Officer under me till this crisis has passed.  Mr. Cole is Director of Pastoral administration over our ministry worldwide.

                                                                                                                Herbert W. Armstrong

After typing the press release, Armstrong discussed it with the three men who remained in his study, while Cole was still outside.  The Antion made several copies on Armstrong’s copier, and they prepared to leave.

Antion said, “Thank you, very much Mr. Armstrong. We’ll release this to the press in the morning and try to stop this bad publicity.”

As they prepared to leave, Cole retuned to the house from his walk.  Armstrong warmly thanked all four men for coming to visit him and for their desire to help straighten out the problem. HE warmly embraced each one and wished them a good trip back to Pasadena.  As they left, Armstrong’s wife Ramona appeared at the door and looking very disturbed and upset.  Antion noticed this and wondered why she appeared that way.  “Could it be” he wondered, “that she’s just concerned for his health and that perhaps we kept him up rather late?  After all, it is somewhat past eleven o’clock. Or could she be disturbed because we came to see him about these problems?”  Her cold, upset appearance was very disturbing to the (pg 200) men.  One could only wonder if she was truly concerned for her own husband’s well-being or if her loyalties were to someone else.  After all, these four men came to council Armstrong and to assist him in properly handling a serious problem.  Could it be that she saw in Armstrong’s decision to appoint Wayne Cole acting chief executive officer a serious threat to Rader’s position?

Cole and his group returned immediately to the airport where they then boarded a 1 A.M. commercial flight for the return trip to Pasadena.  While they were on their way back to California, my wife and I were soundly asleep at our home in New Jersey, unaware of the events that had just taken place.

At 3:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, January 4th, we were awakened by a phone call from Robert Kuhn. He told me that he had received a call from the Tucson airport and that one of the men with Cole told him what had taken place at Armstrong’s home.  Kuhn then read tome the press release.  How relieved I was!  It certainly appeared as though Herbert Armstrong was going to take hold of the situation and act properly to cooperate with the authorities and clean up the Church.

Kuhn said, “Don’t get to excited yet, John, We’re very encouraged by this, but Mr. Armstrong is very unpredictable.  As long as he stands by his decision and gives Wayne the proper backing, I’m sure that Wayne can handle it very well. We can only wait now and see what happens. I’ve been told that Wayne is actually physically ill, as he’s come to realize the magnitude of his new responsibility. He expects that one of the first things he’ll have to do is face up to Rader, and if Rader doesn’t cooperate properly Wayne will have to remove him.  That’s where the real test will be, when we find out if Mr. Armstrong backs up Wayne with the authority he’s given him.”

The following morning, I was speaking with Gordon Muir by phone bringing him up to date.

Regarding the news media coverage, Gordon said, “I’m just afraid that they will not understand the whole nature of this thing (pg 201) and will get everything distorted. Jack Martin is out there to be in the area coordinators meeting that had been scheduled for this week.  He told me that there’s a lot of confusion and it looks as though Rader’s going to fight.  Jack said that he’s afraid that Rader may turn this into a church vs. state battle.”

No matter which way the situation was to go at this point, one thing was for certain: A final wedge had been driven into the false façade of the Worldwide Church of God and the corrupt leaders would no longer have a place to hide.

Gordon Muir, Jeff Herrmann, and I met with Alan Maraynes one of Mike Wallace’s assistants, for lunch on January 4th.  Maraynes said that he was very busy and could give us only as much time as would be necessary for a very quick lunch.  As we laid out the entire story to Maraynes, his interest heightened.  He realized that this was a perfect story for them. The short luncheon meeting carried over into an all-afternoon meeting with Maraynes in Wallace’s office.  Wallace himself was in Los Angeles at the time, on his way to Thailand to do a story on the Mong tribesmen, who were being driven out of Vietnam by the communists. I recall being so impressed by Maraynes and his ability to instantly see through to the very hear t of the story.

After reviewing documents and listening to us, Maraynes said, “This is a perfect story of good guys and bad guys.  Now, what do we have here?  You’ve got to realize that we have about twelve minutes our of a twenty minute segment on the show during which we can actually tell our story. In reality, we’re kind of a magazine.  We have to tell people what the Church is, delve into the problems, expose what we want to expose and make our point.  You know, as I look at this, Garner Ted isn’t clean either. But here is what I see.  I see a situation where we have an organization where things appear to be wrong.  Finally, Garner Ted says, ‘I’ve had (pg 202) enough.  I’m not going to be part of this anymore.  Things have to change.’  Then there’s a final power play and Garner Ted loses. Stanley Rader then is the key figure in having him removed. The son is out and an outsider, so to speak, has taken his place with the father. Garner Ted then goes off to Texas, having learned his lessons, and decides to try to do things properly. In the meantime, a few concerned members become aware of that they perceive as wrongdoing and decide to do something about it, resulting in this receivership.  I think it is a good story; we need Garner Ted to complete the story. Do you think he will talk to Mike now?”

“Yes, I replied, “I believe he’s ready to give an interview now.  Why don’t we call him right now and get that point confirmed?”

There then ensued a flurry of phone calls between ourselves and Mike Wallace at his hotel room in California and with Garner ted at his office in Tyler, Texas   Garner Ted agreed to speak with Mike Wallace.  Wallace said that the receivership was a major news story in the Los Angeles area, and that he would immediately attempt to contact Stanley Rader.

On leaving the meeting with Maraynes, Gordon and I discussed now we hoped that the combination of publicity over the lawsuit and the 60 Minutes program would certainly put an end to Armstrong and Rader and the spiritual and financial bondage they had placed on so many people.  Herrmann said, “Don’t be so sure, I think you’ll be surprised when you see how people can have the facts staring them right in the face, yet continue with what they were doing out of self-justification for their involvement.”

That evening, Mike Wallace had dinner with Rader. Rader in all his vanity actually invited Mike Wallace to do a profile on him and his activities in the Worldwide Church of God. Here was Mike Wallace hoping to find a way to film and interview Rader, and Rader actually thought that his exposure on 60 Minutes would enhance his position, and he extended full cooperation to the 60 Minutes crew.

I recall so well one minister’s comment on the situation when I told him what transpired with Mike Wallace and Rader. He said: “Stan is like Satan himself, absolutely dazzled by the brightness of his own vanity.”

Over the next couple of weeks, the 60 Minutes filming crew had the full run of the Church properties and had Rader’s full cooperation.  Announcements were made that, finally, the responsible (pg 203) media were going to show the Church in its true light. That was exactly the intent, to show the Church in its true light.  The true light of the Church at this time, however, was not the light of Jesus Christ but rather the brightness of Satan’s vanity.

On January 4th, while we had been having our meeting in New York with Al Maraynes, the receivership was running into severe difficulty in Pasadena.  There was resistance on the part of the Church officials and Judge Weisman was unable to properly implement the receivership. While Wayne Cole was in the process of contacting Judge Weisman to advise him of Herbert Armstrong’s desire to cooperate, Rader was in the process of filing a petition with the court claiming that the receivership was unconstitutional.  Cole phoned Judge Weisman and advised him that he had been appointed as acting chief executive officer by Herbert Armstrong. Weisman said, “This is the first ray of sunshine I have seen since this whole thing started.  Finally, I’m speaking to someone who actually appears to want to cooperate.”

Along with Herbert Armstrong’s news release, Cole issued a memo to all employees of the Church. He stated, “We are to be the light of the world.  Our light is to shine forth to the world.  As God’s people we must never do anything we have to be ashamed of.  We need not hide out, act clandestinely or furtively or sneak around peering out from behind closed doors.

“Let us place our faith in God and seek to please him spiritually. We rely on Him to bless and protect us because of our spiritual and moral righteousness and our dedication to doing His work of preaching the Gospel.  “let us remember our calling, to be about that Work fervently NOW!”

Cole issued a press release, stating, “I have already implemented Mr. Armstrong’s request that all employees of the above corporations (referring to the Church, the College and the Cultural Foundation) be instructed to cooperate fully in all respects with the Attorney General’s office of he State of California.”

He went on to state, “God’s Word states that we are to be subject to the powers that be.  The governmental officials are for our good – ‘the minister of good to you for good’ – and if anything has been improper in the Work we want it corrected and will submit to the powers not only because they have authority but also because of ‘conscience sake’ toward our God which is our guide in living.

(pg  204) “For rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil. Further, ‘Do that which is good and thou shall have praise of the same, for he is the minister of God to thee for God.  But if thou do that which is evil, he beareth not the sword in vain, for he doeth evil.  Wherefore we must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.’ (Romans 13:3-5)

“God’s Word reminds us that He is the ordainer of the powers that exist.  (Romans 13:1) Christians are not to resist them in the carrying out of civil responsibilities.”

It was quite clear that what Wayne Cole in his position was determined to comply with God’s instructions to His people as written in the Book of Romans.  He made it clear to everyone that there should be full cooperation with the authorities in order that should there be any wrong doing uncovered that it may be dealt with and corrected.  Cole knew that only then could the Church go on and fulfill its calling.  This was clearly stated in the closing paragraph of his release.

“My responsibility as Director of Pastoral Administration focuses on the spiritual growth and sustenance of the ministry and membership of the Worldwide Church of God.  And this is precisely where the Church must direct the full thrust of its efforts – preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ – thereby fulfilling the Commission given to the Church of Jesus Christ.”

At the same time that Cole was making his statements to the press, Rader made the following statement to the press: “The Church will not permit any activities of a government agency that violates our constitutional rights or duties to our brethren.”

It was quite apparent that Rader was not about to accept the fact that Herbert Armstrong appointed Wayne Cole as the man in charge.  While Cole was trying to stabilize the situation and set a proper Christian example before the world, Rader was mustering his forces for a massive resistance against the authorities.

At a meeting on January 4th for all the Church employees, Judge Weisman explained Herbert Armstrong’s appointment of Wayne Cole.  He then said, “This is not an adversary proceeding. I’m for you; I’m here to protect the assets of the Church. I’m here to assure that the money you send in for the Church, goes to the purpose for which you sent it.” Weismann then explained how he had been appointed by the State as the one in authority over all secular matters (pg 205) of the Church, with the authority to hire and fire. He went on to explain further that he had no authority over the ecclesiastical matters of the Church and could not and would not interfere in any way in those areas.

Dr. Herman Hoeh, realizing that Armstrong then was not any longer in charge over the secular affairs of the Church, thought it best to get the matter of Cole’s appointment clarified in a legal sense.  He asked at the meeting:”Does Mr. Armsrong have the authority to appoint Wayne Cole to the position of acting chief executive officer, since you have the authority to hire and fire.”

Weisman answered, ‘Whether or not Mr. Armstrong would have had the authority, I would have chosen Wayne Cole as well.  So on that Mr. Armstrong and I are in agreement.”

From that simple clarification of the appointment of Wayne Cole emerged a series of distorted rumors which finally escalated to the rumor that Wayne Cole had maneuvered Mr. Armstrong out of his position as head of the Church and that the receiver was supporting this maneuver.  Rumors then quickly began to circulate that Armstrong had changed his mid about Cole’s appointment and that he was going to fire him. On hearing these rumors later in the day, Cole immediately phoned Armstrong.

Armstrong was very upset that Cole had suspended Ellis LaRavia, thinking that Cole had fired him.  Cole explained that he had not fired LaRavia, but had suspended him, as LaRavia had been actively leading a resistance movement against the receiver.  LaRavia was a minister who was exhibiting very strong loyalties towards Stanley Rader.

Cole then said, “Mr. Armstrong, Judge Weisman, the receiver is right here in the room with us. Why don’t you talk to him?”

Cole and Antion then attempted to convince Armstrong that the Church should not be represented by the same attorneys representing Rader.  They suggested that they bring representatives of (pg 206) several firms to Tucson in order that he may make a selection.

Armstrong said; “No, I won’t do that.  Stan has picked the law firm that we will use, and that’s the way it will have to be.”

An incredible situation was emerging here.  In what would appear to be a conflict of interest, the very same law firm that was representing Rader would be charged with appropriating Church assets to his own benefit, and as such had interests quite different from the interests of the Church.  It was quite clear that Rader had by this time gotten to Herbert Armstrong and so distorted his thinking by playing on the man’s fears that Armstrong was in no way capable of making rational decisions in this matter.  Armstrong did not, however, confirm the rumor that Cole had been fired and while the whole point was somewhat in doubt at that time, Cole continued on the assumption that he still held the position to which he had been appointed by Armstrong.

The following morning, January 5th, Wayne Cole has holding a meeting in his office with a group of area coordinators and was explaining the situation to them.  Cole then received word that a meeting had been called in the auditorium at 9:00 A.M. for all the employees.  This was very puzzling, as Cole who was supposedly in charge had called no such meeting nor had Judge Weisman.  The group of ministers gathered in Cole’s office decided to go to the auditorium and see what was happening.  As Cole and his group walked up to the main entrance of the auditorium, they noticed several employees of the accounting and legal offices of the Church guarding the doors.  These were all men who reported either directly to Stanley Rader or to his underling Ellis LaRavia and Jack Bricket.  The ominous specter of men guarding the doors to the building where Herbert Armstrong has said; “God has placed His name” struck these men as a very strange sight indeed.  As Cole attempted to enter the auditorium, Raymond McNair slammed the door in an effort to prevent Cole from entering.  McNair is an evangelist of extreme blind loyalties to Armstrong under any and all circumstances. Being one who is known to side with whomever he perceived to be in power at the moment, it became quite apparent that Rader had been busy marshalling his forces in what was turning out to be his all out battle for continual control of the church.  After his success in ousting Herbert Armstrong’s son, he was not about to be thwarted by Wayne Cole.

(pg 207)  As McNair attempted to shut the door, Dr. Hoeh grabbed the door, yanked it open, enabling Cole and the other ministers to enter.  Thus ensued a scene which shall forever be a blot on the Worldwide Church of God.  A group of men, all supposedly ministers of Jesus Christ, began scuffling with one another.  Robert Kuhn was assaulted and an attempt was made to physically eject him from the building.  Cole was shoved and nearly knocked over.  Jack Martin received a strong blow to the stomach.  Kuhn was resisting the attempt by someone to throw him out of the building and another minister came to his aid, attempting to pull his assailant from him.

This horrible conduct by men who claim to represent our Savior was later described by David Antion: “It was a scene of pushing and shoving.  It was a scene I’ll never forget as long as I live, and behind all this pushing and shoving were the words: ‘Dedicated to the Great God.’  Ambassador Auditorium dedicated to the Great God.  And it just flew over me that here are people who are supposed to be loving God fighting with one another.  And I began to cry and I began to shout, ‘Brethren, I plead with you and beg with you, not to do such a thing. We’re here in God’s house and here we are brother turned against brother, and all this is to save Stanley Rader!’

Finally, Cole and his group were successful in entering the auditorium and attended the meeting.  Roderick Meredith, another evangelist sharing McNairs opportunistic ways, spoke to the group.  He announced that Cole had been relieved of his duties, and that he was replacing Cole.  A statement from Herbert Armstrong was then read confirming Meredith’s announcement. This was the first official announcement anyone, including Cole, had heard regarding Cole’s removal.  Meredith explained that the Attorney General’s actions violated the First amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion.

Speaking to the group, McNair said, “When the government of God comes to earth, it will not be a democracy. We have the opportunity to shake and move this nation more than ever has been done.”  Armstrong‘s constant emphasis on the Church being the government of God was soon to become a total obsession as he and (pg 208) those loyal to him would more and more ignore the Gospel of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It has become the self-aggrandizing promotion of the Church, and the human leadership of it, as the government of God.

Near the close of the meeting, Cole mounted the stage and approached the podium to tell his side of the story and also to announce that if this was the latest decision of Herbert Armstrong he would abide by it. Before fifteen hundred people on the stage of Armstrong’s monument to his own ego, several men prevented Cole from speaking.  Loud music immediately began playing and the microphone was quickly dismantled. Meredith and others then escorted Cole off the stage with Meredith threatening to call the police if Cole did not leave.  Cole and his group left the auditorium as several of them hurled charges of “outrage” and “travesty.”  These charges were surely an understatement in describing the conduct of the men now firmly in charge of the Worldwide Church of God.  Now in charge of the Church as puppets of Rader were Roderick Meredith and Raymond McNair. Meredith, the new head of the ministry, has always been noted for his self-righteous attitude and harsh demands of loyalty to God required loyalty to Herbert Armstrong.

The true nature of the man can better be understood, however, by other characteristics which are not widely known. In a sermon he once to great lengths to explain how people should spank their children. He was proud of the fact he spanked his teenage daughter on her bare backside at least once a week whether she needed it or now, just to keep her I line.  His penchant for X-rated movies and adult bookstores has been explained by him as a necessary part of his research in order that he may speak out properly against such sins in his sermons.

This line of logic, then, would require one to commit murder in order to speak out against such a crime.

McNair, the man who divorced his wife, Leona, because she had been “disloyal” to Herbert Armstrong, which in his mind was a sign of her being unconverted, was now a chancellor of Ambassador College.

This is the very same man who Herbert Armstrong had referred to many times in private conversations as a “buffoon.”

Chapter 14  The Courtroom

(pg 209) The same day, Friday January 5th, a hearing was held before Judge Vernon Foster, with attorney Allen Browne moving for a lifting of the receivership.

He said: “Checks are bouncing like crazy.  As these checks go bouncing along, this Church is going to be ruined.”

To support this courtroom maneuver, Rader had seen to it that bus loads of Ambassador College students, employees and Church members were on hand to create a sensational media event.  Judge Weisman testified before the court that he had been totally unable to obtain Church documents for protection during the investigation. He said that the college facilities manager, Ellis LaRavia, was reluctant to cooperate.  Chodos, in his pleadings before the court said, “If the receivership is dissolved, the Church will be gone by the time we are back to your courtroom.”

He was referring to the upcoming hearing of January 10th, which was the return date on the subpoena. Chodos said; “It will only take Rader twenty minutes and a pack of matches to do away with crucial evidence.”  Then in a dramatic presentation, he produced a shredding machine from Rader’s office which had been confiscated by court officials while church employees, including Rader’s secretary, Virginia Kineston, were allegedly in the process of using the machine.  As an indication of the type of evidence they hoped to still uncover, Chodos produced an executive payroll (pg 210) checkbook for the Church which had been confiscated at the Worldwide Advertising Agency offices in Century City.

The day prior to the imposition of the receivership, checks had been drawn as follows:

                Herbert Armstrong         $40,000
                Natalie Rader                     1,144
                Virginia Kineston                2,500  (marked bonus)
    Stanley Rader                     4.940
                                             35,000  (marked bonus)

Judge Foster, at 8:30 P.M., well past sunset and already into the Sabbath, issued an order modifying the receivership wherein Weisman was to not interfere in the normal day-to-day operations of the Church, pending the hearings on January 10th. However, the receivership was maintained.

The following day, on January 6th, a most unusual Sabbath service took place at the Ambassador Auditorium.  For three and a half hours, the Church members were subjected to the ranting and ravings of Ellis LaRavia, Roderick Meredith, Rader and Rader’s law partner Ralph Helge.

Meredith said, “We are in a war.  Let’s see if we are faithful warriors.”  He must have forgotten what he had written in the September 1964 issue of The Plain Truth regarding civil disobedience.  He said that a Christian’s obligation to civil power was in accordance with the statements in the 13th Chapter of Romans as quoted only a couple of days earlier by Wayne Cole in his statement to Church employees.  Meredith went on to state in his article, “Those who resist the civil power shall receive to themselves DAMNATION!  They are resisting GOD HIMSELF who allows that authority!

“Your Bible proves government authority and power are ORDAINED OF GOD!-Yes, your Bible reveals that it is God who has ordained human officers of government and those officers must be respected.”

Meredith is condemned by his very own words.  The fact that he made that statement in 1964 makes it quit plain that he knew he was wrong now.  In 1979, he was calling the Church members to be warriors against civil authority. At the end of his sermon Meredith then announced that Wayne Cole, David Antion, Robert Kuhn and (pg 211) Ben Chapman were all being disfellowshipped. H claimed that all of these men were part of a satanic conspiracy to destroy the Church and overthrow Herbert Armstrong. Ben Chapman was apparently included, as due to his past executive positions in the Church, he was able to verify and authenticate financial statements that were included as past of the court filing.  As a result of his verification of those documents, he was considered to be a traitor.  His involvement in this way also served as a basis for the claims that later would be made that Garner Ted Armstrong was the moving force behind the entire lawsuit.  Those claims were partly based on the fact that Ben Chapman’s wife, Lois, is the widow of Richard David Armstrong, Garner Ted’s older brother, who had been killed in a car crash in 1958.

In the entire three-and-a-half hour service, most of the speaking was performed by Helge and Rader.  They are lawyers, not ministers.  What a strange parallel to the days two thousand years ago, when religious leadership had fallen into the hands of the legalistic Pharisees, the lawyers of their day.  Helge claimed that the judge and the courts were all agents of Satan and “we are fighting Satan.”  HE was only partly right.  This was a satanic struggle; however, whether he realized it or not, he was among the collaborators of Satan.

Rader accuse Cole of being comparable to a Nazi collaborator for his efforts to cooperate with the courts. He then went on to say, “We are going to have ministry that is not divided, we are going to have a Church government as it was here up till about ten years ago.  We are all going to know what the doctrines are, and we are all going to agree.”

If anything smacked of Nazism, it was statements such as this from Rader, rather than Wayne Cole’s attempts to fulfill his Christian responsibilities.

Rader then went on to say, “The major problem is an internal spiritual matter which is now under control because these people have been fired. We cut off the head of this conspiracy, the collusion between these people and the plaintiffs.”

It was expected of Rader that he would attempt to promote a conspiracy theory to divert attention from the real cause of the entire problem, that, of course, being predominantly Stanley Rader.  By the time these men were done, they had so distorted the minds of the people listening to them that had they decided to do so, they (pg 212) could have instructed the people to commit just about any act.  By the time the tape recordings of the service were played in all congregations the following Sabbath, the massive brainwashing campaign of the entire membership was well under way.

Over the next few days there were constant confrontations, lockouts, and attempts by Rader loyalists to illegally remove documents from the Church property.  One can only look at this incredible turn of events and wonder what kind of an incredible hold Rader had on Herbert Armstrong.  How could it be that Herbert Armstrong had been soliciting Wayne Cole’s help only a few days earlier in an attempt to push Rader aside from his most influential position?  To appoint Cole temporarily in charge and then suddenly do such an about ace, leaving Rader more solidly in charge than he had ever been before?  Perhaps when Rader called Armstrong’s attention to the fact that he was not going to escape this thing, Armstrong was convinced that he need Rader’s help. But one must wonder if that could be sufficient reason for Armstrong to literally hand over reigns to Rader.  Or is it something else that Rader knew, something else that he could do that would enable him to have an ever-tightening grip on Herbert Armsrong?  While there was much speculation on this, no one could yet be sure at this time.

As a result of the notoriety surrounding the Worldwide Church, Garner Ted Armstrong was now speaking out more in interviews.  He said in the Dallas Morning News that enormous amounts of the Church’s money had been spent on kings and presidents and other rulers.

He said; “If the truth were known it would blow the lid off the nation of Japan alone.  Senators there would be literally tossed out of office.  I can’t tell you how many around-the-world-tickets were paid from Church funds and slipped into Japanese officials in return for getting Church officials into the inner circle of the country.  I’m talking about tens of thousands of dollars in trips alone.”  He stated for the Dallas Times Herald that the things he warned his father about in the 1960’s were coming home to roost in the late 1970’s.  The Times Herald said: “He said his father’s mental and physical abilities have diminished markedly with advancing age, and that the elder Armstrong had fallen increasingly under the control of Rader and a group of ‘right wing reactionary ministers’ who ‘would have us in uniforms and jack boots.’”

(pg 213) On January 10th, a hearing took place before Judge Julius Title to determine if the temporary receivership would continue.

By this time the Church’s problems were the subject of national news coverage and the entire situation had become a major news event in Southern California.  The morning of he hearings, the Los Angeles Times carried Bert Mann’s story which included many of the details from the “Pastor General’s Report” that I had given to Mann. He had sat on it until the right time and the publication of those expenditures was a blockbuster.  The Ambassador Report referred to it as a “major scoop.”

The article also stated that Allan Browne confirmed the existence of a Swiss bank account, and of gold bullion.  This was in reference to a letter written in 1974 by Dennis Stauffer of the Church business office to the Union Bank of Switzerland, in confirmation of a Telex sent to that bank.  The Telex had instructed the bank to buy one million francs at the current exchange rate and to debit the U.S. dollar amount for the ten percent margin requirement.

Buying foreign currency on margin is clearly a speculative type of financial transaction and, while in itself not wrong, is a risky venture.  The chance of loss is as great as the chance of profit.  In handling fiduciary funds, this is a highly improper transaction.  Regarding the Swiss account of gold bullion, Browne said, “Is there anything wrong with that, is this the beginning of the State telling the Pope what kinds of robes he can wear?  Or that he should not live in such splendor in the Vatican?”

This was one of many comparisons that would later be made between Herbert Armstrong and the Pope.  It seems so strange that the Papacy would be used as a benchmark against which the actions of Herbert Armstrong and Stanley Rader would be justified.

In court proceedings, Chodos claimed not only had money been used for purposes other than for which the money had been contributed, but now something even more ridiculous was taking place.  He said, “We have shown you, your Honor, and I believe we will show you today that the money is not being used for God’s work.  It is being used to pay Mr. Browne to represent Mr. Rader.  If that is true, your Honor, the court ought to welcome your supervision and not resist.”

Only by hiding behind the shield of a religious organization could an officer of an organization under accusation of malfeasance use the funds of his employer to defend himself (pg 214) against charges of defrauding that very same employer.  Browne again justifying Armstrong’s position as head of the Church said, “He sits there as the Pope does.”

Actually, Browne was stating a greater truth than he realized.  In fact, the Roman Catholic Church was at one time the Church of God in Rome.  This was two thousand years ago when Apostle Paul was preaching in that part of the world.  The Church grew and finally became what is known as the Universal Church of God.  Armstrong has often pointed out that the early Church, now the Roman Catholic Church, and all of its daughters of Protestantism went into total apostasy by the mid-300’s, have become spiritually corrupt and morally corrupt.  Perhaps Herbert Armstrong does sit at the head of the Worldwide Church of God as the Pope does at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there should be no great honor to be known as the one who initiated the descent into degeneracy and apostasy of this latter day Church of God.

Chodos continued in his attempt to convince the court that Browne was dealing with a conflict of interest by representing both Rader and the Church.  He said, “Mr. Browne should not be permitted to get up on behalf of the Church and say that the Church doesn’t want a receiver. Because when Mr. Browne speaks, the hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob.  That is the difference, Your Honor.”

Chodos would often use references of this nature both in and out of the courtroom.  He fully understood and appreciated the nature of the entire problem and had a definite understanding that was totally lacking on the part of Rader’s attorneys.  In fact, we could often see that the hand of God often moved in working things out in such a way that we would have Chodos fighting to save the Worldwide Church of God, while all the time being accused of being the enemy of the Church and an agent of Satan.  We often wondered if it was more than just a coincidence that we would have an attorney who had also received intensive rabbinical schooling.  Chodos’ first name, Hillel, means in Hebrew “Praise God.”  He had been well named by his parents, for his very conduct, actions, and sensitivity to the true nature of the Church’s problems was such that he did in fact praise God just by his daily conduct.  More and more it would be seen to be such a contrast to the conduct of Rader and his attorney’s.

In the hearings which continued the following day, Browne (pg 215) attempted to justify the expenditures by Armstrong and Rader on various prominent government leaders.  He said, “And it is true they come here and visit Herbert Armstrong. He doesn’t take them to McDonalds and I hope that is not slander, he takes them to Perino’s.  He’s proud of that fact.  You can’t take a head of state to a mediocre restaurant.  So there is no doubt about the fact that he has done that.  But that’s the way in which he has developed the Church assets. In order to make money, you have to spend it.  And the Church has made the money and developed the word of Jesus by developing it in his style.

Of course one must wonder from such a statement whether the propose of the Church is to preach the gospel to make money, and to develop assets.  Such logic could get to be a merry-g-round, as the statements of Rader claim that the Church’s assets must be spent on world leaders.  It would be hard to conceive of a better way to have a self-perpetuating money machine than this.  The lifestyle that the leaders of such an organization can enjoy would strike envy into the hearts of not only many corporate leaders, but some of the most prominent government leaders, and members of royalty throughout the world.

Later in the hearings, Stanley Rader was placed on the stand as a witness. Chodos then introduced into evidence the contract of employment between Stanley Rader and the Worldwide Church of God, dated July 30,, 1976.  Chodos asked Rader, “Mr. Rader, who drew this contract?”

Rader then answered somewhat uncertainly, “This contract was drawn probably by a young associate in the firm of Ervin, Cohen and Jessup after discussions with me.  I think his name is Greg somebody, I don’t know his last name.”

In further examination, Rader stated that his law firm prepared the contract, based on information that he had provided. This is the same firm of which Allen Browne is a member, and the firm represents Rader.  Through further convoluted testimony Rader attempted to evade the fact that he was counsel to the Church and was in fact advising the Church on the preparation of his own employment contract. 

Finally Chodos said, “Who was counseling the Church and its related entities?”  Browne then objected and was overruled by the Judge.  Chodos then continued, “As I read this contract it provides (pg 216) that Mr. Rader is to get $200,000 a year for acting as chief advisor to Mr. Armstrong for a period of seven years.  If his employment is terminated for any reason, other than his own death, habitual refusal to work, or if Mr. Armstrong becomes disabled or incapacitated where he can’t receive advice, Rader’s status is to be converted to that of a senior consultant and he is to get $100,000 a year plus expense until the year 2003.  Now it seems to me, Your Honor, that is a three-and-a half-million dollar employment contract that Mr. Rader had drawn up, and had Mr. Armstrong sign for the Church a couple of years ago, when he was general counsel, director, executive vice-president. I believe it is pertinent to your Honor to note in terms of who shall be left in control of the financial affairs, whether Mr. Rader in view of the presumptions of civil code, Section 2235 and he sections which preceded it, whether Mr. Rader has in the past used his influence and his office as a trustee to benefit himself to this extent, without getting independent counsel for the Church and by telling, by arranging with Mr. Armstrong that they should have contracts of this magnitude.”

Continuing further in his questioning, Chodos said, “Mr. Rader, who advised the Church about the advisability or the propriety or the desirability of this contract?”

With further convoluted reasoning, Rader replied, “Mr. Armstrong is God’s apostle; he is Christ’s representative here on earth at this time. He by the powers that have evolved upon him spiritually and which I understand after constant review with my counsel Mr. Helge, he has the power to hire and fire, set rates of compensation, things of that nature, and has done so consistently for thirty-six years.”

Chodos: “Mr. Rader, he is not a lawyer, Mr. Armstrong, is he?”
Rader: “No, sir, he is not a lawyer.”
Chodos: “Did he have any other lawyers advising him besides you and Mr. Helge about this matter?”
Rader: “Mr. Armstrong calls upon lawyers when and if-“Interrupting, Judge Title said: “Mr. Rader, I think it will help us all if you will listen to the question. You are a lawyer; respond only to the question, all right?”

It was quite evident that Judge Title was annoyed at Rader’s evasive maneuvering, and his impatience was beginning to show.  Agreeing to cooperate, Rader asked Chodos to repeat the question.

Chodos responded, “Did he have any other lawyers besides you (pg 217) and Mr. Helge advising him about entering into this contract from the Church when he did so?”

Rader finally responded with a long sought after answer.  He said: “Not to my immediate first-hand knowledge.”

It was becoming more and more obvious that Rader had skillfully maneuvered himself into a position where he controlled all aspects of the Church and was able to literally write his own ticket and Armstrong would sign it.

Going further regarding his purchase of Church-owned homes, Rader testified that Armstrong did not have any independent counsel regarding any transactions between the Church and Rader.  Rader either directly or through his lawyers controlled both sides of the deal.  Rader also admitted that he kept well over one million dollars profit on the sale of a home that he had purchased from the Church in 1972.  This was a home, that according to Ray Wright’s statements to our attorneys Pearlman and Herrmann was essentially paid for with monies given Rader by the Church for that purpose.

Chodos then proceeded in the matter of leasing companies in which Rader was a principal, which had been organized to own jet airplanes and then lease them to the Church.  After lengthy questioning, Chodos was again frustrated by Rader’s refusal to give a direct answer as to whether or not Armsrong had independent counsel in the transactions between Church and the Rader-owned leasing companies.

Finally Rader said, “I don’t know whether Mr. Armstrong has consulted independent counsel, but it’s because Mr. Armstrong is inclined to consult independently of everybody with other people and I never know with whom he is speaking at any onetime.”

To this, Judge Title responded, “Your answer is you don’t know.”

Rader then said, “Yes.”

And so it went, one intriguing maze after another which if perused far enough, always seemed to come back to Rader sitting at the center.

The testimony of Jack Kessler seemed to confirm that Rader’s withdrawal from the firm in 1974 after Jim Johnson’s complaint of conflict of interest to the State Accounting Board was somewhat less than a true withdrawal.  Kessler testified that the firm, now (pg 218) known as Rader, Cornwall, Kessler, and Pallazzo, was purchased from Rader by the remaining partners for no money, just an exchange of promises.

In explanation of the exchange of promises, he said, “Well, we promised him that we would take up the current clients they had and perform to the best of our ability. He promised us that he would not compete with us and that we could use his name.”

It is hard to imagine someone giving away his interest in a prosperous business for nothing more than a promise on the past of the purchasers to carry on that business.  It appears that the entire maneuver was nothing more than a sham; a means of taking care of the problems caused by Jim Johnson’s reports tot eh State Accounting Board.

Next to testify in the court proceedings was Virginia Kineston, Rader’s secretary.  Under questioning by Chodos, Mrs. Kineston testified that she had on many occasions used a paper shredder in the office.  Chodos asked her if the paper shredder had been used to and including the day that Judge Weisman entered the office?”

Responding in her clipped, tersely-worded testimony which was her style throughout the entire proceeding, she said, “Of course.  I have never denied that.”

Chodos then read to her a declaration that she had signed a few days earlier.  “At no time have I or any other person working in this office destroyed any document, book, financial record, or other matter generated or belonging to the Church, Foundation or College.”

It was apparent that under Rader’s pressure to sign a document, she was quite willing to attest to whatever she was asked to, but under pressure of cross-examination, inconsistencies were being revealed. 

Chodos then presented as evidence reconstructed documents that had been retrieved from the paper shredder basket and laboriously pieced together by State officials.  The documents were messages that had been intended fur Judge Weisman which were never received by him.

Next on the stand was John Kineston, Virginia Kineston’s husband.  He was employed as Rader’s chauffer and administrative assistant.

Chodos went right to the heart of the matter.  He said, “Mr. Kineston is it correct that on Wednesday, the 3rd of January, (pg 219) sometime in the middle of the morning or toward noon, you took a limousine to the transportation building and took a quantity of documents from the transportation building and put them in the limousine?”

Kineston responded, “That is not true.”

Chodos:  “Did you take any documents from their usual location, from the location where they were on Wednesday and transport them somewhere else?”

Kineston:  “I did not.”

Chodos:  “”You didn’t take any documents?”
Kineston:  “I took no documents over to…and my wife have taken any documents, I don’t know what they are in a sense.  I don’t deal with documents.”
Chodos:  “All right. And do you have any recollection, Mr. Kineston, of taking the limousine to the transportation building on Wednesday morning and then going from there to the airport at Burbank?”
Kinston:  “I have no recollection of that whatsoever.”

And so the questioning went on with Chodos continuing to delve into whether or not Kineston removed documents from the premises with Kineston denying all allegations.  In his closing question to Kineston, Chodos said, “Are you telling us, Mr. Kineston, you have never since you heard Judge Weisman was on the premises, you have not taken or removed any records or anything to do with Church records?”

Quite definitively Kineston responded, “Absolutely correct, that is true.”

Concluding his questioning of Kineston, Chodos then called Chester Roberson to the stand.  Robertson, a member of the Church, had been employed by the Church for twenty-five years.  Originally, he had been employed as a gardener and, ore recently, a small engine mechanic for the past six years.  Roberson’s testimony was indirect contrast to that of Rader’s supporters.  While the Rader supporters seemed to be extremely tense and always maintaining eye contact with Rader during their testimony, Roberson spoke in his relaxed Southern drawl which to set him part from the Rader loyalists.

Chodos directed the questioning to Kineston’s presence at the transportation building on January 3rd.  He said, “And did you see Mr. Kinston at the building on that day?”

(pg 220) Very directly, Roberson stated, “Yes, I did.”

Roberson then testified that he had seen Kineston coming from a parked car, from a garage, with record books in his hands.  He then testified he saw a secretary had Kineston a transmittal envelope, the type used for inter-office communications to Kineston.

Roberson continued:  “Then Mr. Kineston handed whatever he had in his hand to a man named Bill. Bill Whitman.  He asked him to place it in the Cadillac, then Mr. Kineston had to go to the bathroom, and then Mr. Whitman replied: “Do you want me to fill it up with gas?”  And Mr. Kineston says: “No, I’m afraid I will be seen on my way to Burbank.  I will pick up gas.”

Roberson then stated that a few days later, on a Saturday evening, he again saw Kineston on the college campus.  He stated that he and one of the relators, Dave Morgan, saw Kineston entering the Data Processing Building.

Describing what he had seen, Roberson said, “First Mr. Morgan and I saw four people, no, five people, including what looked like a guard standing by a car, and they had a flashlight over the hood of the car and at the time I didn’t know who they were.  And then when we went around the block and came back again, and by that time four of these men were up in the building itself, the data processing center, off of Pasadena Avenue.”

The guard that he had described was apparently one of the Church’s regular security guards. In his further testimony, he stated that as he and Morgan drove around the block again, they observed these people standing in front of the data processing building.

Roberson said, “Mr. Kineston was one of the men and Mr. Dave Whitman was one of the others.  The other man was a bearded man I did not recognize, the other man was the guard.”

Chodos asked, “What were they doing?”

Roberson said, “They were…we stopped the truck and watched and they were entering the building.”

In cross-examination, Church attorney Allan Browne asked Roberson, “Are you aware of the fact that David Morgan is one of the plaintiffs in this action?”

Roberson: “yes, I am aware.”

Browne: “You are aware of that?”

Roberson: “Now, yes.”

(pg 231) Browne:  “At the time you were driving with Mr. Morgan you didn’t know that he had been one of the persons suing the Church?”

Roberson: “Yes I did.”

It appeared that whether or not Roberson knew of Morgan’s involvement with the suit was the main thrust of Browne’s questioning.  The next day, Chester Roberson was fired from his job of twenty-five years for “disloyalty.”

Concerning the Saturday night incident, David Morgan, who was later called tot eh stand stated, “I observed a security guard standing in the door and I observed Mr. Whitman with a flashlight and I observed Mr. Kineston and there was also another party with a beard, but he was in the shadows you know, the dark.  I couldn’t. ..I don’t know who it was.  And when we saw this, Mr. Roberson stopped immediately and when we stopped Mr. Kineston turned and there was no mistaking it.  He must have a twin brother if he says he wasn’t there, because this party looked identical to him as far as I could see.”

The following day, on January 12th, the court heard arguments from Browne and Chodos regarding the continuation of the receivership.

Browne said, “I think the court would agree with me, I would hope, that there has not been one shred of evidence implicating Mr. Herbert Armstrong of any wrong doing.  The most the court could say was that he was overly generous.  I think that he was…if you were going to say there was any fault, which is what you would have to say.  Take that as very best.  The man has spent forty years developing this Church.  If a receiver is appointed, your Honor, he’s the man that is most effective. He’s the spiritual leader of the Church.”

After all that had been shown, Allan Browne was bold enough to actually suggest that one of the foxes be put in charge of the henhouse.  To make such a statement claiming that Hebert Armstrong rather than Judge Weisman would act as trustee for the Church’s funds through the receivership was the height of absurdity.

In Chodos’s argument referring to Browne, he said, “Counsel told you that a receivership is the most drastic remedy and that may be where the court attempts to interfere with private rights.  This money is public money, the court is the guardian of it today, it was the guardian of it last week and it will continue to be the guardian (pg 222) of this money as long as the charitable trust continues to exist.”  Going further, Chodos referred to Armstrong, Rader and their henchmen, “who are part of the palace guard, who have been brought here to court to foist their claims against you, are the takers, not the givers. The givers are the people all across the country who send in their tithes and their double tithes and their offerings, and that, your Honor is not because they have faith in Herbert Armstrong, but because I presume they have faith in God and because they believed that Herbert Armstrong and the man he has unfortunately chosen to deputize with control of this Church are faithful trustees of God’s Work.  And they themselves, as you Honor sees in the moving papers, do not blush to remind people that this is God’s tithe money.  But real truth, your Honor, is when they come into court and they talk about it as though it were their money.”

Referring to statements that Rader had made later, Chodos said, “And he comes in here and tells you it takes money to make money.  And Mr. Rader is saying buy low, sell high.  I don’t take stupid pills.  Well, he doesn’t take honesty pills either, your Honor.”

Proceeding on to the transactions and contracts that Rader had with the Church, Chodos continued, “Now, Your Honor, the problem in this Church is that nobody but Mr. Rader ever reviewed Mr. Rader’s transactions. When Mr. Rader wants some money, he draws up an agreement or has his long-time counsel, Irvin, Cohen and Jessup draw up an agreement.  He takes it to the Church, presents it, and shifts to the other buttock and signs it.  Mr. Rader has twelve hats in this Church and every time he changes hats, makes a few bucks.  And that is what has happened for the last I don’t know how many years.”

After hearing the arguments from both sides, Judge Title dissolved the original receivership and imposed a new receivership naming Judge Weismann as the receiver.

In his order, he stated: “Now the receiver is to take possession and control of the Church, including all of its assets, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, of every kind and description except as I otherwise provide in the order.”  He then gave the receiver full right and power to monitor and supervise all of the business and financial operations and activities of the Church, including the right to hire and fire employees.  The receiver was also given the (pg 223) power to hire and employ his own counsel, accountants and other personnel as he deemed necessary.  Judge Title made it quite clear that the receivership was only to concern itself with the business and financial affairs of the Church and not ecclesiastical matters.  He stated, “Now it is not the purpose of this court nor the intention of this court to allow the receiver to interfere in any way with ecclesiastical functions of the Church as distinguished from the college or the foundation, and the receiver is ordered not to do so. “  Judge Title went on to order that al books and records be made available to the representatives of the plaintiffs for use in preparing of the trial and the action.

Continuing his order, he instructed that the receiver be authorized to conduct thorough audits of the financial and business dealings of the Church and to review all allegations of malfeasance concerning the financial and business affairs of the Church.

In spite of this clearly stated guideline of the court, Armstrong and Rader clamed that the Attorney General was out to take over control of the Church and remove Armstrong as its religious leader.  Rader was stunned by the outcome of the hearings.  For a short period of time he was virtually silent, and when questioned by the press his only answer was “No comment.”  That silence was short-lived however, as he was later to become champion media hound, as he would seek to distort the facts regarding the case in order to gain public sympathy.

Chodos was more than satisfied with the outcome of the hearings.  He said: “We got 99.9% of what we wanted.”  Those present in the courtroom who were sympathetic with the purpose of the lawsuit were elated.

Later that evening, I was awakened by a phone call from Earl Timmons. As he related the event of the court proceedings to me, and told me of the outcome, I could not control myself.  I was in tears of happiness as I responded with comments that finally now perhaps the Church would be free of the satanic control of Stanley Rader.  None of us, however, anticipated how violently Rader was to respond.

Chapter 15  Propaganda and Sit-ins
(pg 225) Rader found that those who viewed Armstrong as the apostle would rally behind him.  A show of complete loyalty on the part of the deceived members of the Church was all he needed.  Through his manipulation of these people, he would be able to thwart and frustrate the authorities for quite some time.
Over the weekend, a letter over Herbert Armstrong’s signature was prepared for mailing to the membership. Dated January 14th, it was run off secretly late that evening and early the following morning in an attempt to circumvent the receiver.  Earl Timmons was immediately made aware of the letter by one of his contacts within the Church. The letter was nothing more than a blatant attempt to circumvent the court order.
Starting with his traditional tactic of striking fear in the hearts of the members, Armstrong opened his letter: “Satan has struck his master blow to destroy God’s Church.  We must now FIGHT as never before, knowing God will also fight our battles with us.”  He then went on to claim that the State of California had appointed a receiver who’s purpose was to take over God’s tithe money and to destroy God’s Church.  He also claimed that the State had given the receiver the right to remove him as Pastor General from the Church.  That statement was a complete lie and totally contrary to the ruling handed down by Judge Title.
Claiming that the tithes sent to Pasadena would be used by the (pg. 226) State and not by the Church, Armstrong continued:
“…Meanwhile I ask you to stand solidly by Christ’s chosen Apostle!  So, until I notify you otherwise, please go ALL OUT in support of GOD’S CHURCH AND WORK now.  I have to ask you to SACRIFICE AS NEVER BEFORE.  Send the most generous offerings it is possible for you to send to defend God’s Work.
And please state in your letter, in your own words, that this money is your ENDORSEMENT OF MY APOSTLESHIP, AND THE MONEY IS TO BE USED FOR DEFENDING GOD’S WORK AS I, Christ’s Apostle, deem best.” 
Continuing in his plea for total sacrifice on the part of the membership, he said:
                Herbert W. Armstrong
                c/o General Delivery
Tucson, Arizona 85731

With their immediate attempts to circumvent the court order it became quickly obvious that Armstrong and Rader were going to fight to the bitter end.  Chodos summed it up quite well in a statement to Earl Timmons when he said that Rader reminded him of the women who wanted Solomon to have the baby but in half. He said he felt that if Rader couldn’t destroy the Church for himself, he would do everything he could to destroy it.

As a result of Timmons immediate knowledge of the preparation of this letter, he was able to bring a copy to Judge Weisman first thing in the morning. Weisman immediately sought a court order from Judge Title backing up his decision to embargo the letters at the Pasadena post office.  Of 85,000 letters that had been printed, only approximately 25,000 entered the mail system.

Not to be thwarted, however, Church officials immediately implemented another plan.  They resorted to what was known as the telephone hotline, or round-robin system.  Through this system messages can be gotten to the entire Church membership within only a matter of hours. Headquarters personnel phoned the local ministers and read to them the key points of Armstrong’s letter.  It only remained then for the local ministers to phone a few people in each congregation passing on the information.  Through this chain of events, these individuals would then phone a group that each of them had on their list and again in one more step, each of (pg. 227) those individuals would make the final contacts and all Church members would have the message.  The sense of urgency conveyed by this telephone message of soliciting the money be sent directly to Armstrong in Tucson was probably more effective than the letter would have been.

Church members now being told to commit acts of violation of government authority had complexly forgotten or ignored what they had read in Church publications and in the very Scriptures in which they claim to believe.  But Armstrong, the master of mind manipulation soon had millions of dollars pouring into the post office at Tucson, Arizona.  Yet, by the words of his own publication, The Plain Truth, he is condemned.  In a pamphlet reprinted from a 1973 edition of The Plain Truth the Church issued an article written by Dr. Hoeh, entitled “Respect Government Authority.”  Besides quoting again from Romans 13, Dr. Hoeh wrote:  “Anyone who resists the authority of human government is actually rebelling against God who ordained that authority.”

Regarding our attitude towards government officials, he said, “It is a common practice for people to resist government regulations and to accuse office holders, whether the president or the corner policemen.  This supposed ‘right’ of the people is abominably misused.  There is a righteous limit to the ‘freedom’ of speech.”

And in his conclusion, he stated, “God has established earthly governments to keep order until His Kingdom comes.  It is your commanded duty to submit to their authority patiently, excusing the obvious faults inherent in human leadership.  No human government can be perfect; it may even be required of you by God to suffer unjustly when you have to obey God rather than man.”

From this point on, the entire affair began to degenerate into a circus of total resistance of authority on the part of the Church leadership.

On January 16, the Church attorneys appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Firth with a petition asking that he declare the Los Angeles Superior Court decision regarding the receivership, unconstitutional.  They also filed a suit for seven hundred million dollars in damages against the State Attorney General and other court officers. Throughout the court proceedings, (pg. 228) Church members picketed and prayed outside the Federal Court House.  Judge Firth refused to interfere and said, “It is obvious at this stage that it would be foolish to intrude the Federal court into the proceedings taking place in State Courts. “  The seven-hundred-million-dollar lawsuit against the State was later to be thrown out of court.

The following day, it became necessary for a debugging team to sweep the entire Church headquarters, as phones and offices had been bugged, making it almost impossible for court officers to function without Rader being aware of what they were saying.  The Church-employed guards, who were supposed to cooperate withy the authorities, instead served as a constant obstruction to their efforts to conduct an audit and investigate the charges of malfeasance. It was necessary for Judge Weisman to hire his own guards at a cost of $2,600 per day.

Weisman had hired as his chief operating officer a man well experienced in affairs of this nature. He was A. Sheridan Atkinson, a well known Christian businessman.  At various times he had served as chairman of the board of various major corporations, usually as someone hired to straighten out companies when they were in extreme difficulty. One of the most notable companies that he had headed was Botany 500, having been hired by a group of stockholders in order to preserve the assets of the corporation during its Chapter XI bankruptcy proceedings.

Atkinson said to several people, “I believe that God has sent me here to fight Satan.  I have fought the mob before, and I fought Satan before, and actually I’ve even fought Stanley Rader before.  A different face and a different name perhaps, but I have fought him before. And I won’t back down.  My reputation as a Christian and as a business man is well known and I have a duty to fulfill here.”

By January 19th, security had totally broken down according to Atkinson, and vital assets, including gold bullion, coins, expensive paintings, computer tapes, were feared to be missing.  All of these items were known to exist, but it was impossible for Atkinson to gain access to them.  Church leaders were able to exercise total control over employees, since they were under fear of being disfellowshipped and fired from their jobs if they cooperate with the receiver.  Had it not been for several employees who were secretly cooperating, things would have been even much more difficult.

(pg. 229) On January 18th, Judge Weisman wrote a letter to Herbert Armstrong advising him of the facts regarding the court order. He said in his letter: “I am writing this letter hoping that whatever problems there may be may be resolved in a spirit of cooperation for all concerned.” He then offered to meet Armstrong at anyplace, at any time, to resolve any misunderstanding.  Predictably, the letter was ignored.  It is even doubtful if Armstrong actually ever saw the letter.

The same day, a letter was sent to the Church membership from Armstrong and his letter now carried a box number address in Tucson, Arizona.  Attempting to strike fear in the hearts of the members, he informed them that the very life of the God’s Church hung in the balance. He accused Judge Weisman of attempting to take the Church over himself.  He continued claiming this is a satanic attempt to destroy the Church and then began to blame the entire matter on his son, claiming that it was a conspiracy brought about by his son in an attempt to destroy him.  In one of his most typical ways of raising large sums of money coupled with his direction to send money to him in Tucson, he proclaimed a day of fasting on January 27th. Predictably, the people fasted and the money poured in.

During that same time period, Rader set the stage for a possible fight by the Church by issuing an announcement that Church headquarters would be moved out of Californian. While this never actually took place in totality, he financial functions of the Church were permanently moved to Tucson.  Everything was then made ready, just in case any further moves were determined necessary by the leaders.

While all this was taking place, I heard that Wayne Cole had tape recorded his December phone conversation with Herbert Armstrong.  Supposedly, the comments made by Herbert Armstrong regarding Stanley Rader were on these tapes.  I decided to call Cole to see if he had in fact made such tapes.

On January 21st, I phoned him and his wife answered.  She said that he was not taking any calls, that he was physically ill over the entire situation and just didn’t want to have anymore to do with it.  I suggested to her the possibility of the existence of tape recordings of the December conversations.  I could tell that it was a sensitive subject and she didn’t want to discuss it.  Finally, she did promise that if he felt better later in the day, he would call me back.

(pg. 230)  By late afternoon, having not yet heard from him, I decided that I had to force the issue. I called again. The response was the same. His wife, who answered the phone, said that he did not want to speak to me.  I then said, “I understand that he has both notes and actual recordings of conversations with Herbert Armstrong. I had hoped that he would be willing to turn them over in order to avoid the need to be subpoenaed.”

Apparently, that statement was sufficient to bring him to the phone. After some conversation, Cole agreed to turnover the notes and the tape.  Within he next couple of days, his notes of the conversations were in the possession of Hillel Chodos and the tape recordings were in the possession of the producers of 60 Minutes.

To this day, I don’t know the means of conveyance of these items from Cole to their final destination.  The cloak-and-dagger aspects of this situation, particularly since it involves a church, are almost impossible to believe.  Yet it was necessary that much information be secretly passed at rendezvous points in the dark of night.  Many people had been threatened, and Earl Timmons had been told by Church members that they just couldn’t wait to get him against the wall and shoot him.

Suddenly we could see history being relived.  During the Crusades, when the apostate Church at Rome was trying to spread its brand of paganized Christianity throughout Europe, people were killed fro refusing to bow their knee to the Pope. But that just seemed like so much distant history.  Now in 1979, brothers in the Church were threatening other brothers with murder.  Thankfully, it never happened.  But then again one never knows what the coming months and years may bring. These events certainly put quite an impact on what the apostle John said in the Book of John 16:2, “Yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God a service.”

Armstrong and Rader were trying very hard to press the issue of trying to force the officials to precipitate violence.  They wanted martyrs.

Starting on January 21st, all-day sit-ins were conducted in the Ambassador auditorium and the various Church office buildings.  By the following day there were over 2,400 people gathered, including children whose parents were instructed to keep out of school.  The buildings were locked and signs were posted on the (pg. 231) doors, “Worldwide Church of God Ecclesiastical Service.”  Armstrong spoke to the gathered people over telephone lines from Tucson. He said, “Being subject to the laws doesn’t always mean to obey them. I wonder if people aren’t going to have to go to jail.”

His tactic and his psychology was no different that that used by Martin Luther King, when after making similar statements, riots ensued.  This was the very same type of conduct that Armsrong was condemning not too many years back.

By Wednesday morning, January 24th, the situation had all of the potential of a Kent State disaster.  And that is exactly what Armsrong and Rader wanted.  Uniformed deputies escorted Sheridan Atkinson to the administration building.  His entrance was barred by doors that had been locked by timbers which had been placed through the door handles. Members inside were singing hymns.  Outside the door, a deacon, Wayne Pyle, yelled at Atkinson, “If you want to come in you’re going to have to break the door down.  You will have to arrest us. You are our enemy, but we’ll pray for you. We’ll pray for God to take care of you.”

Atkinson was fine example of Christianity in its practical application. He tried to reason with Pyle, and said that he was a Christian and believed in moderation in all things. Instead of giving a command to break down the door, he held up a copy of Judge Title’s order and an open Bible and said, “I believe in the same God they do, but they ought to red the 13th Chapter of Romans.”  Standing before news camera was a representative of the courts conducting himself as a true Christian and speaking the words of Christ to a group of people who were making an absolute mockery of the Gospel.

Exercising the utmost restraint, Weisman decided not to use the two hundred riot-equipped deputies and Pasadena Police officers who had been assembled at a nearby park in the event they were given the command to break down the doors. He sent a message to Rader: “I have so much respect for religious freedom and the right not to interfere with that I would like to work out something that respects your religious freedom.”  A meeting was held and a compromise was reached.

Later that afternoon Rader escorted Weisman into the administration building. A short while later, when Weisman left, Rader, in a complete about-face, said to the assembled group of Church members, “There is no peace, there is till a war. Not until (pg. 232) we get the attorney general punched out and the receiver punched out will there be peace.  We’re still in a state of all out war.  We’ve been invaded by an army of the State of California.  There were one hundred fifty armed members of the sheriff’s force ready to break down the doors.”

In spite of this statement, however, Rader had apparently decided to back down somewhat.  For, by the following day, the demonstration was over, the entire premises left in a shambles by people who had always prided themselves as being ones who should show care and consideration for property.

During the same week that the demonstration was in progress at the Church headquarters in Pasadena, Herbert Armstrong was holding a ministers conference in Tucson. This conference, which had been officially scheduled to take place at the Auditorium in Pasadena, had been hastily moved.  Armstrong had no intention of coming to California.  For someone who said he had wanted to cooperate with authorities, he was using maximum effort to stay out of their reach. Prior to the conference, there had been rumors that many of the leading ministers and area coordinators were going to speak out at the conference in support of the Attorney General.  It was said that maybe they could bring the entire matter to a head and get Herbert Armstrong to remove Rader.

By this time, the smokescreen of the Church versus state had been so well thrown up by Armstrong and Rader that many people were totally deceived by the true issues. Approximately 550 ministers gathered for the conference.  And true to form, no one spoke out against Armstrong.

One can only conclude that these men are ministers of convenience rather than ministers of conviction.  Apparently, they were brought up in an educational environment and a career that is so sheltered, so attached to Herbert Armstrong that they stand in absolute fear of having to earn a living under the same conditions as the members to whom they are supposed to be shepherds.  Armstrong, in his address to the ministers said, “This attack has come on the Church because I represent Jesus Christ, and this world doesn’t love Jesus Christ.”  Ministers who knew better than to believe that sat silently and listened.  Most of the conference consisted of Armstrong attacks on what he labeled “liberal dissidents” and those who said he had tried to change the Church and take its control away from him.

Roderick Meredith, however, decided to use the conference as an opportunity to undermine Rader. His purpose was not that altruistic, as he felt that he was the one who should be in charge of the Church next to Armstrong, and he was anxious to make a move.  There had been a rumor regarding Rader that had not yet been widely spread. In order to make sure everyone knew the rumor, Meredith decided to publicly deny the rumor. He then announced to the entire assembled group of ministers that all of the allegations regarding Rader’s homosexual conduct with Cornwall were false.  Now everyone knew the story.  And while Rader remained totally silent on the subject he would have the final word on Meredith.

A few months later, Rader was to have Meredith removed by convincing Armstrong to eliminate the position of head of the ministry and take it himself.

On January 26th, Sheridan Atkinson resigned as the receiver’s chief operating officer.  Apparently, Weisman considered Atkinson not sufficiently sensitive to some of the problems and Atkinson claimed he had found it best to resign as he was being thwarted by politics.  He said that he was totally unable to get anything done and that he had a reputation of achievement.  He said if he were going to be ineffective in his positions, it was better that he resign.  Atkinson said that he had even heard that there was a strong possibility that he may find himself on a hit list as a result of his involvement.

Again on January 29th, Browne was back in Federal Court with another attempt to get Judge Firth to remove the receivership.  He was unsuccessful.  Hillel Chodos pointed out that the constitutional rights argument was just a smokescreen, a series of trumped-up charges, an attempt to thwart the receiver.  He said, “You cannot perpetrate fraud in the name of religion and then wrap yourself in the flag and call out the name of the First amendment.”

He said that Browne, in effect, was saying, “If a man comes into court and says ‘stealing is my religion’ there’s nothing you could do about it.”  And through all this Rader continued to conduct himself in a way totally contrary to that of a Church leader.

Referring to Deputy Attorney General Tapper, he said, “I think the Attorney General is paranoid. We were in the same class. I was at the top and he was an also-ran.  HE was out to get me.  I’m going to make the Attorney General eat those words.”

From this point on the entire receivership settled down into a (pg. 234) lengthy, tedious legal battle.  There were constant trips in and out of the court room, too numerous to mention.  Several attempts were made by Rader to appeal to the Federal courts without success.  A petition was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to have the state’s action reversed on the grounds of the first amendment prohibiting against government establishment of religion.

Judge Weisman later resigned his position as receiver, as his health did not permit him to withstand the rigors of the job.  After numerous court proceedings, at this writing, the Church is under orders to provide all documents to the Attorney General’s office as deemed necessary for the purpose of the investigation.

While all these court battles were taking place, Rader used every attempt to frustrate those he considered to be his enemies. HE filed a $550 million lawsuit against Garner Ted Armstrong. Then his accounting firm filed a $13 million suit against Garner Ted. Both suits were thrown out of court as legally deficient. And then there was the $13 million suit that Rader filed against Deputy Attorney General Tapper and Hillel Chodos. Chodos’ response was, ‘This complaint will be given the attention it deserves.”

Though all this, Rader’s troubles, however, were to continue to grow.  Soon after the initiation of the receivership, the IRS advised him that he was under criminal investigation.  Whether or not Rader had had a prior investigation was no longer important.  This time the investigation was initiated from the grass roots, and would be very difficult in not impossible to stop.

Through all the demonstrations, sit-ins and other unchristian conduct, Church officials acted as though the 13th Chapter of Romans did not apply to them.  Yet, in April 1957, the following was written in The Plain Truth, “We must all be subject to the laws of our land and to its court decisions.  WE MUST NOT RESIST AUTHORITY.  We are not to participate in boycotts in order to force officials to change their policy.”

There can be no doubt that Armstrong and Rader knowingly and willfully manipulated the minds of their members in such a way that these people became totally contrary in their conduct to the teachings of the very Bible in which they profess to believe. In fact, in 1948, when the Church was originally incorporated as the radio Church of God, Armstrong considered obedience to law so important, that in the Covenant portion of the Church constitution and by-laws, he wrote: “having been called through the will of God to (pg. 235) this special ministry for this time in the service of Jesus Christ our Lord we do now in the presence of Almighty God and this assembly most solemnly enter into a COVENANT with Almighty God our Heavenly Father, and with one another, in the name of Jesus Christ; to walk circumspectly in the world, to be subject to the laws and government  of our nation, to pray for the president and leaders of the national government, to be careful to give a good account of ourselves at all times before the world in order that we may win, so far as within us lies as Christians the respect and approbation of he world, to avoid the appearance of evil or placing a stumbling block before others, to practice the Great Command; “Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself” with charity towards all and malice towards none, following the example of Jesus Christ by the faith and in the power of His Spirit.”

Not only has Herbert Armstrong broken his covenant with God, but he has induced others to do the same.  In II Peter 2:1, Peter speaks plainly about such things.  He says:  “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privally shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Chapter 16   60 Minutes

(pg 237)While the church officials were waging their battle of opposition to the civil authorities through their sit-ins and legal maneuverings, the 60 Minutes program was being prepared. Rader was so confident that he had set up Mike Wallace that 60 Minutes was being touted to the Ambassador students as one of the top programs on TV. Finally, on February 7th, with all the background filming completed, Mike Wallace completed the filming with his interview of Rader. After three hours, the interview ended with a violent outburst by Rader, and his threats to sue Mike Wallace and CBS. Wallace and his entire crew were told by Rader to immediately leave his offices.

 Rader, who thought he had been using Mike Wallace, now knew that Wallace had his number all along. Rader immediately announced to the press that Wallace had obtained the interview under false pretense. Said Rader, "The press is the press, they can't be trusted and they're irresponsible." Leaving the reporters he then said, "Now it is time to turn my attention to those around here who ought to be punished."

Word quickly spread that Mike Wallace had been thrown out of Rader's offices, and it was carried as a major news item that evening. Also, by the next day, Earl Timmons had in his possession a tape recording of the entire Wallace/Rader interview. The recording did not come from Wallace, however. It was obtained from one (pg 238) of the Church employees who had copied it from the secret recording that Rader had made of the entire interview.

Stories regarding the contents of the interview began to circulate throughout the Church. Rader announced to the membership that Wallace had used illegally obtained recordings in the interview. Anxiously, many were awaiting the airing of the program.

Finally, on April 15th, 60 Minutes aired its report on the Worldwide Church of God and called it "God and Mammon." After a brief background by Mike Wallace on the Church, and its current troubles, films were shown of Rader proudly boasting of the opulence and cost of the various campus facilities. He was shown emerging from his chauffeur driven limousine. The crown prince was being featured in all of his glory and he appeared to love every minute of it.

In the segment where Garner Ted was interviewed, he told of the lavish expenditures and outright extravagance on the part of Church leadership. He indicated that Rader was the one responsible for his ouster. When asked by Wallace if he felt that the Worldwide Church had done a disservice to Christianity, Garner Ted pensively responded "Yes."

His willingness to answer questions in such a direct manner was in extreme contrast to the segment covering Wallace's interview with Rader. When comparing the giving of gifts to world leaders to a situation where the President of the Untied States would give gifts when he traveled, Rader seemed to indicate that Herbert Armstrong occupied a position of greater importance than most people realized. Wallace then asked if Rader would compare Herbert Armstrong to a head of state. Rader said that he did and added that Armstrong held a position comparable to that of Head of State. And Rader said that he was Armstrong's secretary of state. Wallace then proceeded to the part of the interview that resulted in his being thrown out of Rader's office.

Wallace said to Rader, "Just a little while ago you were the bete noire of Herbert Armstrong. Did you know that?"
     Rader replied, with a questioning look, "I?"
     Wallace: "Yes."
     Rader: "When was this?" Wallace: "Oh, early January".
     Rader: "No."
     Wallace: "Don't you believe it?"
     Rader: "Positive."

(pg 239) Wallace then read a portion of the letter that Herbert Armstrong had sent Rader when Armstrong was trying to move him aside late in December. It was the same letter that Armstrong had read over the phone to Wayne Cole. Rader didn't believe that Wallace could have had access to that letter and continued to bluff his way claiming that rmstrong had never said such a thing to him. Wallace then asked Rader if he would recognize Armstrong's voice. Rader responded that he would and Wallace then began to play the tape recording that had been made of the phone conversation between Armstrong and Cole when the subject of Rader was being discussed. Millions then heard Armstrong make his statement referred to earlier in this book regarding his concern about Rader taking over the Church and referring to the $50 to $70 million magnet that he feared Rader may have his eyes on.

Rader was stunned. He said, "Now I say you've acquired this by illegal means. I intend to have my attorneys today not only sue you, if you use this." Turning to his attorney Allan Browne he continued, "I mean this now and I want you to go to the district attorney today, let him know that Wayne Cole improperly recorded this. I'll defend Mr.Armstrong and the Church on that basis."

As he continued to work himself up into more and more of a rage, Rader said: "Mike, look, I think you better scrap everything because you're on my list, okay? You're never going to live it down, Mike, I guarantee it. You're contemptible. I'd like you to get out of here immediately." Rader then got up from his desk, began storming about the room like a raving maniac and disappeared off camera.

That ended the program. After watching this, Paula and I wondered if people would finally wake up. It may have awakened the general public to the nature of the Church leadership, but it appeared to have little effect on the members of the Church.

Herbert Armstrong claimed in a Church publication that the tape recording of his conversation was a fabricated tape and was actually pieced together word by word from other tapes of his speeches and sermons. By this time, members of the Church were ready to believe anything from the mouth of the apostle, and they swallowed this, one of the biggest lies yet, as well. Any person of even less-than-average intelligence could tell that it was not a fabricated tape. To those who wanted to believe that Armstrong was the apostle, any lie to fortify that belief, no matter how big, was believable.

(pg 240) In spite of Rader's threats to Mike Wallace, neither Wallace nor CBS were ever sued, as Church members were being told that they were putting that problem on the back burner until the time was right to bring suit. Slowly it would be forgotten that a threat had ever been made.

Chapter 17 A Yoke of Burden

(Pg 241) Throughout the moves and countermoves taking place between the state and the Rader group, Osamu Gotoh could no longer be found. Apparently, he was out of the country and would not return. Although he handled large sums of money, running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, spending it all over the world, it will take an extensive investigation to determine how he fits into the overall picture. He was known as the mysterious Gotoh and remains so to this day.

Ray Wright, who in December was so anxious to help our attorneys, returned to the Rader camp. Many others, who in the very early stages of the receivership indicated that they were glad to see the wrongdoings brought to light, and who said that they wished Rader would finally be emoved, also returned to the Rader camp. Many ministers throughout the country who said that they would never follow Stanley Rader were standing before their congregations every Sabbath supporting Rader and threatening the members with the loss of their eternal life if they did not
sacrifice to support Armstrong and Rader. Most of the area coordinators who during the first week of January were so solidly with Wayne Cole, were now faithful to the umbilical cord of a pay check.

 Over the several months since the imposition of the receivership, many ministers did finally leave the Worldwide Church, or were asked to leave because of disloyalty. Disloyalty was defined as an (pg 242) unwillingness to support the Rader regime each week at Sabbath services. However, those who left were a small proportion to the total number of ministers in the Church. Those who remained knew better, and remained to willfully deceive the flock over which they had been placed as shepherds. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God spoke quite sternly regarding men such as these. In Ezekiel 34:2 he says: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?"

During that same period of time, the barrage of propaganda through the Worldwide News continued. The members' minds, which by this time had been beaten to a psychological pulp, were now being totally submerged in a continuous outpouring of unscriptural nonsense from Church headquarters.

In the April 23rd issue was an article entitled: "And Now-Christ Sets Church on God's Organizational Track." Taking up a half page was an organizational chart (see p.243). The entire
article by Herbert Armstrong went on to substantiate his claim as human head of the Church directly under Christ. The whole tone was government, authority, and power-all written in capital
letters. He said: "I have realized for 52 years that God's form of government is ruled from the TOP DOWN." He claimed that his dictatorial rule of the Church was God's form of government. And reverting back to the harsh control over members lives reminiscent of the 1950s, the May 21st issue carried bold headlines: "HOW YOU DRESS FOR CHURCH-COULD IT KEEP YOU OUT OF THE KINGDOM?" While no one would argue that one must dress appropriately for various occasions, there is nowhere in the Bible where one can find his eternal life threatened due to his manner of dress. But that didn't matter to a Worldwide Church of God member. By this time, anything coming out under the authorship of Herbert Armstrong carried the weight of new and divine revelation.

In the June 25th issue, an article appeared called "What God Never Did-Never Will-Allow To Happen." After a lengthy rambling dissertation comparing himself to Moses, Armstrong ended the article by very nearly proclaiming himself a deity. He said, "Let me close with one thought. It is now a little late in life for me to turn to Satan's way, as so many others in high places have done. (pg 243 containted an organizational chart) 

(pg 244) God never yet has let one through whom He STARTED a great project turn wrong-and he has never yet let such an appointed leader of his die until his job was FINISHED!"

One can only conclude from such a statement that Armstrong feels that he is immune to turning to Satan's way, in other words he can no longer sin, and that he does not expect to die until Christ returns.

In another article entitled "How Satan Injects False Doctrines," Armstrong claimed that he was the one who restored all truth to the Church of God after nineteen hundred years. According to him, the satanic deceptions in the Christian church remained until 1927, when God began working with him. He wrote: "And beginning in the Fall of A.D. 1927, God began an absolutely
UNIQUE WORK on the one the living Christ had chosen to be His apostle. He put me through the wringer that squeezed out all former misconcepts and untrue beliefs, using me to put His Truth into His Church, that is to rise and meet the glorified Christ in the clouds as He returns to establish the Kingdom of God!"

To say that the Church was without truth until he came along is an absolute lie, as we shall show in a future chapter, and Armstrong knows it very well.

To keep the money coming, Armstrong apparently felt the need to reinforce the tithing doctrine. In the July 9th issue, his front page article was entitled "Non-Tithing is Stealing." Armstrong made it quite clear that no matter what one's circumstances, they must tithe a full tenth of their income to the Church. He even threatened to again activate the computer snooping program. He wrote: "Heretofore I have made NO EFFORT TO CHECK OUR COMPUTER RECORDS TO FIND OUT WHO TITHES. I surely never wanted to "snoop". But it is A LAW! Neglect or refusal is MAJOR SIN! I am not pussyfooting! Commandment breakers won't get into the Kingdom of God, and I am commissioned to blot out the spots and iron out the wrinkles to make God's Church READY when He comes."

Again, Armstrong was hitting them with the loss of eternal life if the members did not tithe. And how skillfully he diverted attention from the allegations of stealing that had been brought against him and other high officials in the Church. If he truly felt a commission to blot out the spots and iron out the wrinkles, there was (pg 245) somewhere else that he could start other than laying another yoke upon the necks of the Church members.

Ending the article, Armstrong said,  "Failure to tithe is STEALING - COMMANDMENT BREAKING. It is without excuse! Keep current with God and HE will keep you current with your other obligations! This matter of STEALING FROM GOD is one matter that Christ is CLEANING UP IN GOD'S CHURCH NOW! No delay! And no excuses!"

At least Armstrong was speaking some truth here. The matter of stealing from God was being cleaned up in God's Church. But he just refused to face up to the fact as to how it was being done. In this case God's "ministers for good," the officials of California, were the ones who were doing the cleaning up. The article just quoted from was actually excerpted from what was
written in the "Pastor's Report" of June 25th. In that publication, Armstrong was laying it on the ministers quite heavily also. They, too, are expected to tithe from their salary. He said to the ministers, "If you are on the payroll, unless tithing begins with the very next paycheck, YOUR PAYCHECKS WILL BE CUT OFF WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE."

It certainly is interesting to see how Herbert Armstrong practices his philosophy of love, and that of give instead of get in his relationship with his employees and followers. Not only were the Church members subjected to a continuing barrage of propaganda, but so were members of the press.
A front organization called the "Emergency Committee for the Defense of Religious Freedom, a Voluntary Association of Lay Members of the Worldwide Church of God in Good Standing," was formed in March 1979. They prepared a several-hundred-page aide-memoire with supporting data for distribution to the media. This aide-memoire consisted of selected documents taken out of context in order to support the Armstrong/Rader position.

An interesting aspect of the publication was the constant reference to the Pope. It must be remembered that the Worldwide Church, as do many other churches, considers the Roman Catholic Church to be modern Babylon, the great whore referred to in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. In the reference to the Pope, Stanley Rader, in a signed statement, said that, "The Church is hierarchically structured, with Mr.Armstrong as its pastor general (pg 246) (analagous to the Pope). As with the Pope, Mr. Armstrong's authority is virtually absolute." He went on to say that the executive committee of the Church board was "a group perhaps most closely comparable to the Papal Curia".

In the aide-memoire section outlining the Church organization according to Armstrong, it said: "His position and authority are comparable to those of His Holiness, the Pope. The Board of Directors is equivalent of the Papal Curia." Never, in all the history of the Worldwide Church, had Armstrong ever been compared to the Pope nor had the Church organization been compared to the Papal Curia as a means of justification. And certainly the title of His Holiness was never acknowledged as a title or name of any individual. And for very good reason: Our Savior is the only one who may be called His Holiness. To take on such a title to one's self, or call someone by that name is blasphemy. In Psalm 111:9 we read: "He sent redemption unto His people: He that commanded His covenant forever: Holy and reverend is His name."

This is the same verse, by the way, that has always been used to support the reasoning for not calling ministers reverend. One can expect that it may not be long before Herbert Armstrong
will have the title, the "Most Right Reverend Holy Apostle." It is not difficult to see that a Church which had come so far from false beliefs, which had come into the knowledge of so much truth, which had done as God commanded, had come out of Babylon, was now, through its internal corruption, going right back into Babylon. And the signs of this are quite clear, justification of itself by comparison to "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF
HARLOTS" (Revelation 17:5).

The situation was fast deteriorating to the point where Armstrong and Rader were just fighting to hang on to the members through continued fear and intimidation. Before all this happened, the Church was already in trouble, and the leaders knew it. They knew it in spite of the fact that they were lying to the members, saying that things were better than ever, on the right track, God's government was being restored, etc. etc.

Chapter 18    1979 vs 1939

(pg 247) IN MAY 1978, SRI INTERNATIONAL, A LARGE MANAGEMENT Consulting firm in Menlo Park, California, delivered to the Church its report entitled "Evaluation of the Institutional Marketing of the Worldwide Church of God." SRI had conducted an in-depth analysis of the Church membership. Former religious affiliations, geographical data, and income levels were all taken into account. The means by which members came into contact with the Church and later into membership were carefully analyzed. Apparently, their findings were totally ignored.

In their summary they stated that early action was urged. The report stated: "The studies conclusions and recommendations cover several matters that SRI believes should be given the highest possible priority by the leadership of the Worldwide Church of God. In SRI's judgment, problems connected with the institutional marketing of the Church call for immediate attention and early action to prevent further deterioration of deleterious trends that threaten the continued well-being of the Church."

It was felt that a turnaround was achievable. As the report continued: "The final section of the report is action-oriented. Several recommendations are offered that SRI believes can and should be implemented. If the principal recommendations are implemented, SRI believes the Worldwide Church of God will be able to achieve a turnaround. If not implemented, SRI believes the Church's (pg 248) growth-related problems will probably remain unresolved, and the future well-being of the Church will remain in question."

In a comment that Armstrong should have paid particular attention to, the report stated: "The most profound kinds of changes are emerging from the bottom upward, not from the top downward." The report went on to say: "SRI'S understanding of the current era of change leads it to conclude that organizations like the Worldwide Church of God will have to be more flexible and more communicative than they have been in the past, to be able to adapt to the various constraints that were not present in the environments of the 1950s and early 1960s. It will be advantageous to develop improved flexibility so that changes can be accommodated with a minimum of disruption. Also it will be more advantageous to be more communicative with the people and groups that are affected by the Church, so that those groups and the Church will have a better understanding of the other's thinking."

In its conclusions and recommendations, the report stated that the Church was confronted with the necessity of significantly curtailing its expenditures to affect a turnaround in the Church. The report confirmed our own claim that much of the Church's money went for purposes other than preaching the Gospel, other than the purposes for which the money was collected. On this matter, the report stated: "Until this year, activities that contribute directly to the future regeneration of the Worldwide Church of God have received a relatively small and declining share of the Church's total budget, whereas a large and growing share has gone for nonregenerative purposes, such as Ambassador Auditorium, the AICF, Quest Magazine and Ambassador College."

Among its recommendations the report urged that "the Church try to reverse the deleterious trends that underlie its current financial predicament within the next year or two." In further recommendations, the report suggested "that the Worldwide Church of God consider temporarily curtailing its non-essential activities to give the Church time and funds to reverse the deleterious trends discussed previously."

The only action of note, taken by Herbert Armstrong in the month of May when this report was received, was that he fired Garner Ted Armstrong. And if there was ever any question in one's mind at that time that Stanley Rader was moving to take over completely, that should have become more clear through the passing (pg 249) months. It should have become especially clear through the early months of 1979 when it was quite apparent that it was Rader, not Armstrong, who was calling all the shots. And if that still was not enough to convince anyone of Rader's ultimate intentions, one must wonder if the event that took place in Herbert Armstrong's home on September 27, 1979 would be sufficient. At that time, Stanley Rader and his lieutenants Ellis
LaRavia and Joseph Tkach were ordained as evangelists. Rader, who had never been a minister, now holds the highest rank in the ministry other than that held by Herbert Armstrong as apostle. One can only speculate how long it will be before the crown prince is officially designated heir apostle by Herbert Armstrong.

Finally, the coup was complete, and while many members were stunned by the announcement of Rader's ordination, most cheered and applauded.

"Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar (whitewash), seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them saying, thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken." (Ezekiel 2:27 and 28.)

One must wonder if it was always Herbert Armstrong's motivaton to build an empire for himself. Or, could it be that there was a time when he was sincere, truly believed in what he was doing, and was trying to follow God's ways and grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ?In 1939, he apparently was quite differently motivated. In February of that year, an article was printed in a publication called The Good News of the Kingdom entitled "Did Christ Reorganize The Church?" Regarding organized Church government, Armstrong wrote that the old covenant as recorded in the 24th chapter of Exodus was a marriage ceremony. In that ceremony, the Lord joined himself to ancient Israel in a symbolic spiritual marriage. Armstrong writes: "IT WAS THE MARRIAGE THAT FORMED GOD'S PEOPLE INTO AN ORGANIZATION HAVING CHURCH GOVERNMENT!"  Because Israel had slid back and turned away from God, Armstrong notes that in Jeremiah 3:8, the Bible says: "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I HAD PUT HER AWAY AND GIVEN HER A BILL OF DIVORCE." But then even Judah began sinning worse than Israel (pg. 250) and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured them and destroyed Jerusalem, at which time the authority to rule and govern was taken away completely from God's people and given over to the Babylonians. He then points out that until Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God and destroy the Babylonian rule of this world, there is to be no Church government as a spiritually ordained line of authroity. He points out that at the time Christ was on this earth, He did not establish a biblical form of organization or a definite Church government. Armstrong states: "There is not one single HINT in the New Testament of any Church BOARD with authority to rule, to govern, to decide doctrine, or to handle tithes and Church finances (the whole Church)."

In total contrast to the present Worldwide Church of God form of centralized dictatorial authority, Armstrong said in his 1939 article: "All authority and power to rule is limited solely to each LOCAL congregation. But there is NO BIBLE AUTHORITY for any super-government, or organization with authority over the local congregations!" He then continues: "How, then did ORGANIZATION, and the idea of CHURCH GOVERNMENT get into the Church!”

“It came out of BABYLON! Spiritual BABYLON - that is, ROME! The same as nearly all other false doctrines of Satan."

Quoting from various publications such as the Encyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, and also from Myers' Ancient History, Armstrong shows that the idea of centralized Church government originated with Leo, the fist Pope in the real sense of the word. He reigned from 440 to 461 A.D., and it was Leo I who set up an ecclesiastical form of government. Armstrong comments: "And thus the very PRINCIPLE OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT becomes the IMAGE OF THE BEAST! “

“The whole thing is FALSE! It is NOT ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE! It is part of BABYLON! Those who are IN, and MEMBERS OF such an organized Church government, submitting to doctrines declared by unscriptural boards as a fellowship test are IN BABYLON and actually worshippers of THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST! And God is calling us, HIS people OUT of BABYLON today, before it is too late-before the PLAGUES fall!”

“Brethren, let us have the courage to accept the TRUTH, and to COME OUT."

In 1939, Armstrong was calling people out of spiritual Babylon. (pg.251) Forty years later, Armstrong is leading people right back into spiritual Babylon. Just as the Church of God at Rome, in the first few centuries after Christ, fell into total paganized Babylonish worship, Herbert Armstrong, instead of remembering his early teachings, has strayed from his ways and led this end-time Church of God in its first steps on a return to Babylon.

Armstrong continued in his article pointing out that the New Testament Church was a spiritual body, that no one organization constituted the true Church. His current teachings are totally contrary to that. He points out that when Christ returns, He will make a spiritual marriage with His Church. This is clearly stated in Revelation 19:7 where it is written: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." The Lamb referred to here is Christ and His wife is the Church, the spiritual body of true believers. And Armstrong clearly understood this in 1939, for he wrote: "This MARRIAGE will not be made with some one organization! It is THE INDIVIDUAL SAINTS - not some organization which shall possess the government, and rule."

He said further: "The CHURCH is the collective body of individual saints who are sanctified and CLEANSED by Christ! Let us stop speaking of some organizations as 'The Church' or 'our

Regarding government and authority, he stated: "Our Heavenly Father never planted any super-organization, or established any Church GOVERNMENT, or set men IN AUTHORITY over either spiritual or financial affairs, in the New Testament church. Any such 'plan' was never planted of GOD - and therefore IT SHALL BE ROOTED UP!"

And if only he had remembered what he had said near the close of his article: "Organization and Church GOVERNMENT has brought us only strife, jealousies, divisions, bitterness! It is not of God and it can bear no other fruit." Yes, if only Herbert Armstrong had remembered the truth that he was teaching in 1939. One must wonder what it was that had caused Armstrong to go wrong.

It appears that as the Church began to grow and there was a great deal of money coming in, Armstrong's priorities changed considerably. Soon friendships with world leaders and a desire for magnificent buildings appeared to have a greater importance to him. And somehow he felt that he could rationalize this all away in (pg. 252)  his mind as part of his service to God. But once one begins to dabble in rationalizations of that sort, God quickly begins to withdraw His blessings and a downhill slide has begun. Armstrong is so proud of the fancy Ambassador College campus, so proud of the Ambassador Auditorium, so proud of the fine clothes and fine works of art that adorn his home, that he has forgotten the following passage from Isaiah 66:1 and 2:

"Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."

Apparently Armstrong never totally lost his old original desire. Once he began to stray, that desire again manifested itself to the point where his main objective was to visit world leaders under the guise of preaching the Gospel. In his autobiography he stated, regarding his past, "Now I had an idol. My whole mind and heart was set on that idol. I had worked hard, night and day, for that false god. My false objective was the intense desire - the desperate, driving, overpowering ambition - to become 'successful' in the eyes of important businessmen - to
be considered by them as outstandingly "IMPORTANT" - to achieve status"

One can see that attitude as a very prominent part of Herbert Armstrong's make-up today. It is no wonder, then, that he no longer can be effective as a spiritual leader.

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15.

It appears though, that in spite of Armstrong's constant, increasing drift toward an attitude of total authoritarian rule, finally culminating in his appointing himself an apostle, that he was having a battle within himself. This can be seen in his rather ineffective attempts from time to time to move Rader aside. His strongest effort in that direction was his attempt to remove Rader at the end of 1978 and put him in a position of less authority. Yet we see that when the pressure was on, Armstrong literally jumped right back into Rader's arms.

Chapter 19  BLACKMAIL?

to so attach himself to Rader, even to the point of totally destroying the Church that he worked so long to build. Could an elderly man be fearful of what Rader would reveal regarding financial dealings? Possibly, but not to the point of acting the way Armstrong has acted in the most recent months.

As I wondered about these things, I knew that I would have to investigate further rumors that I had chosen not to believe. There was the recurring story mentioned earlier about Stanley Rader's homosexual conduct. That alone, it would appear, would be sufficient for Armstrong to take some drastic action. Yet Rader's hold seemed to get tighter and tighter, to the point where he was finally able to have himself ordained an evangelist.

But this was not the only story regarding Rader's sexual conduct. In 1974, Mr.and Mrs.Jim Fox, members of the San Jose congregation of the Church, were in a restaurant of the Hilton Hotel in Madrid, Spain. Fox noticed Rader and Gotoh at another table talking to a woman, and then observed them writing something down on a piece of paper and handing it to her. Rader and Gotoh did not know the Foxes and were unaware that they were being watched by Church members. After handing the note to the woman, Gotoh and Rader left the table and Fox heard one of the men say that they would see her sometime later that evening. Fox then became quite (pg. 254) suspicious that the woman was a house prostitute and had those suspicions confirmed by the bartender. Still wanting to be absolutely certain, Fox discussed it with his wife and they  determined that he would approach the woman. Fox went to the woman's table and began to engage her in conversation. It did not take long for him to determine that she was indeed a prostitute, found out her price, and made tentative arrangements with her. He then left her table and went back to his wife and told her what transpired. As the reality of this hit them both, they became emotionally shattered. When they returned to the States, Fox discussed the situation with his pastor and was told that he should not mention it to anyone, and was assured that the matter would be taken to proper Church authority. Apparently, nothing further ever came of the situation. This disillusioned the Foxes with the Worldwide Church so much that they dropped out at that time. They continued to worship on their own and had no further fellowship with an organized church group until late in 1978 when they affiliated themselves with the Church of God International.

As this throws quite an additional cloud over Rader, it would seem that Armstrong would have even further justification for his removal. Yet in spite of this type of conduct, Armstrong continued to be fearful of what Rader would say to the world.

After the State of California made its allegations regarding financial improprieties, it would seem that there would be little more that Rader could say over and above that which had already been revealed through the press. There had to be something else. There were rumors that others knew what Rader had on Armstrong. I decided to pursue each rumor until I could come up with something concrete.

The facts were that the Worldwide Church of God was under the leadership of men who had sunk to the lowest depths of moral depravity.

Around mid-July 1979, rumors began to circulate that David Robinson, a minister of the Worldwide Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had been fired by Herbert Armstrong. Robinson had been a member of the Church for over twenty-five years, and now he was out as a result of a meeting that he had had with Herbert Armstrong in Tucson on July 4th. It had long been rumored that Robinson knew some of the facts regarding Rader's hold on Armstrong.

(pg. 255) Robinson told me, "Finally, I just had to go see Mr. Armstrong and confront him with his sins in hope that he would repent." During Robinson's visit, Henry Cornwall was present. Rader was out of the country at the time and during his absence, Cornwall was a regular fixture in the Armstrong home. Was he there to help Armstrong, protect him, or, as is more likely, isolate him? During the visit, Robinson asked Armstrong if it was necessary that Cornwall be present during their conversation, as the matters to be discussed were matters between two ministers. Armstrong just hung his head in shame and mumbled, indicating that Cornwall would stay.

Robinson told Armstrong that his sins were grievous and that he must repent and take the necessary steps to straighten out the problems of the Church. He referred to a meeting that he had with Armstrong at his hotel room at the Holiday Inn in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania, during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1976. He was staying there over night, during his appearance at the Mt. Pocono Feast site before approximately eight thousand people.

In spite of the fact that eight thousand people saw him and heard him speak, he denied having been there that year. Robinson was the Festival Coordinator at Mt. Pocono and was responsible for the overall administration for the week long gathering.

During the night of Armstrong's stay, Dr. Floyd Lochner, who was traveling with Herbert Armstrong, contacted Robinson and told him that Armstrong was having difficulty getting to sleep. As Lochner would not be able to remain with Armstrong for that time, he asked Robinson to visit with Armstrong for a while and keep him company. What Armstrong told Robinson that evening, after drinking excessively, shocked him. It was after bringing these matters to Armstrong's attention on July 4th, that Robinson was fired from the ministry.

Here is Robinson's account of that visit with Armstrong in the fall of 1976:

"He got one of the crystal wine glasses and filled it with Harvey's and downed it quickly, and then more. He said he needed it to relax. He said he had decided to quit wine before the Feast, but felt that he couldn't make the circuit without it now. He said he had decided to lay off when he discovered that drinking so much wine tended to render him impotent, he had enough of that anyway.”

“He intended to marry, he intended to marry Ramona. He got (pg. 256) his wallet out and showed me her picture and a picture of her son. Mr.Armstrong said he needed someone to lavish his love on, but now he was abundantly able to take good care of a woman. He said 'Ted has finally given his consent, even if grudgingly.' “

“He got back on the Church just briefly, that was the subject I preferred to talk on, except it took a dangerous direction. He said that there were ministers who were extremely liberal and he was going to deal with them. I agreed that there were. He said if I would name them, he would fire them. He requested that I give him some names.

“He said that he expected the Church would soon be run by a committee, and that they had seen to it that contracts had been signed which guaranteed that their standard of living, or as he said, my lifestyle, would not be diminished. He would continue to have the plane, etc., no one could take that away from him. He said he had been particularly proud of Ted, as he had sent Stan's contract back with a reduction and a boost in his own. That was the sort of ambivalence that made me cautious of Ted as well as other reasons when Mr. Armstrong spoke against Ted.

“I felt sure he thought he could do so, but woe to the other person who did. I am sure that is not still the case.

“One must stop at this point, and consider what had happened. This was the first time I had heard anything about contracts in the Church, and especially among the ministry. He said that he, Stan, and Ted had just signed contracts which called for salaries for the three of them well into the six figures.

“Here the very top minister in the whole of the Church, the apostle of faith, if you will, one who had taught so many years ago about George Mueller at Bristol, England, and he had
spoken and written of faith for so many years, now fearing a committee in the Church. He was afraid his income-his disposable income-might be diminished, his lifestyle curtailed, and had gone to the courts and the law to provide for his sustenance. Where did that leave the rest of us? Were we dumb sheep that didn't matter at all? I think of all the things I have faced in the Church, this was the heaviest blow of all. Contracts between the three top men to protect themselves from the Church. It seemed certain divine healing was now needed badly in spiritual matters in the Church. But there was more to come."

And there certainly was more to come. Armstrong then began to (pg. 257) concentrate on the terrible stress he had been under without a wife. He said that his great desire to give a woman so much love was frustrated by not having a wife, and as a result he frequently masturbated. He then showed Robinson a diary wherein he had recorded each incident of masturbation. He had carefully noted all the details of each occurrence.

It was only Robinson's strong faith in God that prevented him from becoming totally disillusioned when faced with such a startling revelation.

As time went by, Robinson was to become aware of Armstrong's alleged encounters with boys in Europe, and that Rader had allegedly secretly obtained photographs. Said Robinson, "Maybe HWA was drunk, I don't know. It's easily possible for those things to be photographed."

That began to fill in another part of the puzzle and confirm some of the rumors regarding Armstrong's immorality. But could that be enough for Rader to hold over him? Or was there more? The major rumor that had circulated for so long was the one regarding Dr.Lochner. Lochner, a physical education instructor at Ambassador College, was frequently Armstrong's traveling companion. It was Lochner who would give Armstrong his daily massage and accompany him on walks. Armstrong grew to trust Lochner with his most intimate secrets. The rumor was Lochner had recorded many of his conversations with Armstrong without Armstrong's knowledge, and had also amassed a large collection of incriminating photographs. For the past few years, Lochner had been on the payroll of the Church at $25,000 per year, but had no duties.

At this time in 1979, he was sixty-seven years old. The question, of course, was whether or not Armstrong was maintaining Lochner in a no-show job in order to keep him quiet. When Mike Wallace confronted Rader with the Lochner rumor, Rader said that Lochner always asks for work so that he could earn his pay. Rader indicated, however, that for some puzzling reason, no one seemed to have anything for Lochner to do. If that were the case, it would seem that Lochner would have been discharged long ago in order to save that $25,000, considering that many valuable employees had been let go in recent years for "budgetary reasons."

Finally, I decided to phone Dr. Lochner and confront him headon regarding the rumors. I was amazed that Lochner was  willing to speak as freely as he did. Perhaps it was because during the (pg. 258) gas crisis he had been cut off from his free gas supply by Church headquarters. Or perhaps it may have been due to his temporary removal from the payroll just a few weeks earlier. He was quickly reinstated, however, when he reminded Armstrong and Rader of his knowledge.

He said, "There's been a lot said about the information I have. I don't know why I've got the information I've got, but It's like I said to Mike Wallace, 'Mike, you can't use the information I have because you wouldn't use it totally. You've already established what you want to do. So you'd only take some of the information and the rest of it you'd leave people guess

He then continued, "When you spend nights with a man and days with a man and years with a man, and he reveals to you the secrets of his life, the only way I would be entitled to reveal it would be if Christ would demand it of me."

While he was not ready to reveal all that he had, he did indicate a knowledge of sexual threesomes between a member of the crew on Armstrong's plane and two female members of the Armstrong family. He also knew and mentioned the names of the individuals involved.

Apparently, Lochner had done his homework even better than Rader.
Lochner said, "About the only person who would have more information than I do would probably be Stan Rader. And then he might not have that much information, he might not have as much information as I do. And I didn't go after the information, the information was given to me. I'm in a position now, where I've left it up to Christ. If he wants it revealed, there are ways He can get it revealed.

“Even with all the information I have I don't think I can take the prerogative of revelation of all I know."

Lochner seemed to be very carefully establishing the ground work for his self-justification in collecting pay for a no-show job. Continuing in my conversation with Lochner, I finally said to him, "What would you take as an indication that you should do something?" He replied, "Well, it's like one man called me not so long ago and said, 'Now's the time to bust them. Why don't you hit him for a million?' I said no. I've worked in this business for twenty-five years. My wife and I had worked very hard and worked full time but got a minimum of one salary, so I feel this way right (pg. 259) now, they have taken away my opportunities of the people being able to profit from my experience with my knowledge of physical fitness and child relations. They had promised that I can be employed as long as I'm physically fit and can do the job. Now, they don't use that experience and knowledge that I have. As long as they pay me for it, that's all right, but if they don't use it, I can't do anything about that. But I could do something about it if they stopped my pay."

Realizing that he had finally come to the key of the situation, I said, "That would be the sign that you would need, wouldn't it?"

He responded: "Well, that's what I felt. In other words, Christ is not going to come down here some night and tell me what I'm going to do. Now if He wants to put me in a position where I'd reveal it, He knows about it. Stan Rader and Herbert Armstrong are not the guiding factors in this. If He knows that I'm no longer worthy of the job, even though I'm just sitting here, it will mean that He wants the information revealed."

Lochner indicated that he had a knowledge of moral misconduct for at least a ten-year period. This would, again, seem to fit in with the statements made by Garner Ted that everything seemed to change drastically in a wrong way after his mother died. Lochner said that he felt that one of the reasons Armstrong was hanging on so tenaciously, so fearful of what might be revealed about him, was because he was not the type of man who would have the courage to get before the people and say that he had done wrong, had repented, and was sorry. And it appears as though Rader is very aware of this characteristic of Armstrong and has been able to use it to maximum advantage.

While there are a few such as David Robinson, who have a personal knowledge of factors in Armstrong's life which would disqualify him as a spiritual leader, the key seems to be Dr. Lochner. With Lochner knowing as much or more than Rader knows, it would be absolutely essential to keep him quiet. He seems to have developed a rather interesting rationale to justify his taking $25,000 per year for doing nothing: calling that continued paycheck a sign from Christ that he should not reveal what he knows. Obviously, had he gone for the big dollars, as was suggested to him by a friend, his rationale would not work. By not being greedy perhaps, he may continue to get away with it. Whether or not this could be construed as blackmail would
certainly be an interesting thing for the (pg. 260) courts to consider. Obviously, if he were to reveal what he knows, then Rader would no longer have a hammer over Armstrong's head. The key to breaking the bond between Armstrong and Rader would appear to be Dr.Lochner.

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6.

As the legal maneuverings continue,  and probably will do so for some time as more becomes known regarding the unchristian conduct of Armstrong and Rader and the other Church leaders, as the Rader hierarchy increases its total control over the lives of the members, people seem to respond in three different ways. As some become more and more aware of the unscriptural conduct of their leaders they either slowly continue to drop out of the Church in total disillusionment or to continue in their belief on their own or in fellowship with other groups. Others, just as aware that they have come under false leadership, feel they have no choice but to stay with the Worldwide Church, as they are fearful they will lose their eternal salvation by leaving that physical organization. And, for the most part, there are the members so totally deceived that they continue to follow Armstrong, believing totally that he is God's apostle, and finally turning away from the truth of Scripture that they should know so well, believing instead that every pronouncement from Herbert Armstrong is inspired new revelation direct from God.

(pg. 261) AND WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE PAULA AND ME? WHERE DOES IT LEAVE the others who have spoken out against this corrupt religious organization? One might ask, why we haven't done the same as many of those who have left organizations commonly known as "the cults." Why haven't we proclaimed our escape from Armstrongism as some others who have left the Church have done? The reason we haven't done that, the reason that this book is not an expose of Armstrong's false unscriptural teachings, is simply because basically his teachings have been correct. The problem here is that he is a man who has turned from his righteousness, and in so doing threatens to drag those who remain into a system of growing apostasy. The financial dealings, the way the money was handled, the way that Church leaders did not comply with California state law, all these matters which are a concern of the state authorities, are only a small part of the entire problem. What must be understood here is that this was not some religious belief invented by Herbert Armstrong for the purpose of building his own private Church.

What about the beliefs of the Church as taught by Armstrong? True, there were some erroneous teachings as mentioned earlier regarding the matters of healing, divorce, make-up, etc. Most of those errors have been corrected and are errors in teaching that are not unique to the Worldwide Church of God. Many other religious organizations, many of them highly regarded and respectable, in (pg. 262) corporate some of the same self-righteous errors in their teaching.

As we review the basic doctrines of the Worldwide Church, it can be shown that they are true, but have been criticized as being false, due to the fact that in some cases they are not in line with the teachings of the traditional modern Christian Church.

To begin with, God the Father is all powerful and eternal, He has always existed and is the Creator of all things. With God the Father, and also being Eternal, was the Word. It was through the Word that God the Father created all things. This is clearly spelled out in the first chapter of John and of course ties in with the opening verses of the book of Genesis. The Word, who was referred to as the Lord in the Old Testament, is the personage of the God family who later gave up His divinity to be born as a human being in order that he may be tempted as we are, suffer and die and then be resurrected to eternal life. The various books in the New Testament attest to this fact. He is our Savior, the first born of many brethren, and salvation is only through Him. When we repent and are baptized in accordance with Acts 2:38, we then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power that God imparts to us in order to enable us to follow His ways. That is not to say that we have perfection, since we can still sin because we are still human. But by asking for forgiveness, those sins are covered under the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not the third person of some mysterious trinity, an impossible-to-understand concept of three beings in one. In the first chapter of John it is clearly stated that in the beginning there was God the Father and the Word, who later became Jesus Christ. The Trinity doctrine is false and comes out of Babylonian paganism. Only by understanding this and understanding the fact that the Holy Spirit is God's mighty power does it then make sense that Christ was conceived in Mary of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, He could not have been conceived of Himself through some mysterious three in one personage. Nor would Christ later have prayed to God the Father, if God the Father was Himself. In fact, He clearly stated that all the power that He had came from His Father in Heaven.

While salvation comes only through Christ and His grace, and not through keeping of the Commandments, we are nevertheless to keep them. The Commandments are the Royal Law of God. We are not to keep the Commandments out of fear, but for a very simple reason. (pg. 263) Christ said: "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15).

Clearly the Commandments are still in effect. They were not done away with at Christ's crucifixion. What was done away with was the penalty of death under that law, for those who repent and accept Christ as their Savior are no longer under that penalty of death but have the promise of eternal life. What was done away with by Christ's sacrifice was the need to keep all of the ritual laws; and animal sacrifice which was symbolic and prophetic of His sacrifice.

And what is wrong with these Commandments? If all mankind were to strive to keep the Commandments, out of a love for Jesus Christ, the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in. Can any reader find fault with the following?

            1. You shall have no false God.
            2. You shall not make any graven images (idols).
            3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
            4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy.
            5. Honor your father and your mother.
            6. You shall not murder.
            7. You shall not commit adultery.
            8. You shall not steal.
            9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
            10. You shall not covet your neighbors' belongings.

It's that fourth commandment that so many people say does not have to be kept. Protestants claim that the seventh day Sabbath is Jewish, and that Sunday is to be kept as a memorial to Christ's Resurrection. Yet the Scriptures clearly record that Christ and the apostles kept the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the seventh day and the keeping of Sunday has come into most of Christianity through the Roman Catholic Church which in turn got it from the pagan Babylonian religions. They have chosen to follow the ways of false religion rather than follow and believe in Christ's simple statement: "For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day." (Matthew 12:8). The Sabbath is the day on which the Lord rested after His six days of creation. To keep the Sabbath is to keep a memorial of that creation. And the keeping of the Sabbath serves to identify those who desire to worship God in truth. "My Sabbaths ye shall keep, (pg. 264) for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." (Exodus 31:13).

In the book "From Sabbath to Sunday," Dr.Samuele Bacchiocchi clearly establishes that Sunday was adopted by the Christian Church as it drifted away from the truth. The introduction to the book states: "The investigation shows that the adoption of Sunday in place of the Sabbath did not occur in the primitive Church of Jerusalem by virtue of apostolic authority, but approximately a century later in the Church of Rome. An interplay of Jewish, pagan, and Christian factors contributed to the abandonment of the Sabbath and adoption of Sunday observance instead. The fact that Sunday became a day of rest and worship not by Biblical apostolic authority, but rather as a result of political social, pagan, and Christian factors, makes it virtually impossible to construct a valid theology for Sunday observance. The author argues that the traditional attempt to justify Sunday rest by appealing to the Sabbath commandment is paradoxical, to say the least. How can the fourth commandment be legitimately applied to Sunday, when it is the seventh and not the first day that the commandment demands to keep holy when it is claimed that Jesus abolished it?"

The book goes through a lengthy scholarly investigation of the factors which ultimately led to the declaration by the Roman Catholic Church that Sunday was to be the day of observance. It was the influence of the sun-worshipping cults, which had their origins in ancient Babylon, that so corrupted the early Church and finally resulted in the abolishment of God's Sabbath in favor of Sunday, the day of worship of the sun.  

In addition to the sun worship origins of Sunday, another motivation was the anti-Judaic feeling prevalent in the Church at Rome in the fourth century. Pope Sylvester said during his reign from 314 to 335, "If every Sunday is to be observed joyfully by the Christians on account of the Resurrection, then every Sabbath on account of the burial is to be regarded in execration of the Jews." This was part of his proclamation of a fast day on the Sabbath as a means of showing contempt for the Jews.

By the middle of the fourth century, Sunday worship had supplanted the Sabbath and only a small remnant of faithful believers remained outside of the established Church. Today, all Sundaykeeping groups unknowingly acknowledge the authority of the (pg. 265) Pope whether they are part of the Roman Catholic Church officially or not. This includes every sector of the Protestant Church.

Several years back, in Chicago, a Roman Catholic priest named Father Enright, gave a speech entitled "The Power and Authority of the Catholic Church." He said; "Take, for instance, the day we celebrate Sunday, what right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? None whatever. You say it is to obey the commandment, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' But Sunday is not the Sabbath, according to the Bible and the record of time. Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh day and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest. It is so recognized in all civilized nations. I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who will furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we
are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. If any person in this city will show me any Scripture for it, I will, tomorrow evening, publicly acknowledge it and thank him for it. It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodacia 364 A.D. anathematized those who kept the Sabbath, and urged all persons to labor on the seventh day under the penalty of anathema. Which Church does the whole civilized world obey? Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of-anti-Christ, the Scarlet Colored Beast, Babylon, etc., and at the same time profess great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church. The Bible says, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy', but the Catholic Church says, 'No, keep the first
day of the week', and the whole world bows in obedience."

Enright said simply that the Catholic Church could establish Sunday as the day of rest because, "Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There is but one on the face of the earth - the Catholic Church – that has the power binding upon the conscience, binding before God, binding under pain of hellfire."

And just to make it more interesting, Dr.Bacciochi's book distributed in the United States by the author, in Berrien Springs Michigan, is printed by the Pontifical Gregorian University Press, in Rome and carries the Papal Imprimature on its cover. Dr.Bacciochi is a Seventh Day Adventist, and was the first non-Catholic (pg. 266) to graduate from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The book is from his thesis for his doctorate. There can be no question, then, that Sunday observance is a man-made observance contrary to Scripture. And just as pagan, just as contrary to Scripture, is the observance of many days commonly accepted as Christian holidays. Days such as Easter, Christmas, New Year's Day, and lesser days such as Valentine's Day, May Day and Halloween, have all come to us from the pagan Babylonian religions through a Christian Church that long ago departed from the truth. It is a historical fact that Christ was not born in December. It can be proven from the Bible that He was born six months after John the Baptist, and John the Baptist was born around the time of the Passover. This would place Christ's birth at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall. By December, the area around Bethlehem is very cold and there are no flocks in the fields for the shepherds to be watching over, as the Scriptures record having been the case at the time of Christ's birth.

Easter is a paganization of the Passover. The other days and their origins can be found in any good encyclopedia. In the book "Babylon Mystery Religion," Ralph Woodrow the author shows that the pagan beliefs that are now part of Christianity originated with Nimrod in ancient Babylon. The author states: "After Nimrod's death, his wife Queen Semiramis, claimed that he was now the Sun-god. And later, when this adulterous and idolatrous woman gave birth to an illegitimate son, claimed that this son, Tammuz by name was Nimrod reborn. Now the queen-Mother of Tammuz had no doubt heard of the prophecy of the coming Messiah to be born of a woman, for this truth was known from the earliest times (see Genesis 3:15). Satan had first seduced a woman, Eve; but later through a woman was to come the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan, the great counterfeiter, also knew much about the Divine Plan. Thus, he began to set up counterfeits of the true plan centuries before Jesus came. Queen Semiramis, as an instrument in Satan's hands, claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived and that he was the promised seed, the 'Savior'. However, not only was the child worshipped, but the women, the MOTHER was also worshipped as much (or more) than the son! As we shall see, Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz were used as (pg.267) puppets in Satan's hand to produce false religion - though often appearing as the true! - and this corrupt system filled the world."

This Nimrod and Semiramis were the origins of all the Sun-god legends that have come out of the middle East and spread throughout the world.

Christmas trees, rabbits, eggs, all the other trappings associated with these so-called Christian days, are merely pagan symbols of fertility and have no place in Christianity. The early Roman Church, in its attempts to spread its religion throughout Europe, took the easy way. Instead of teaching people the truth, they forced the people to convert to what they called Christianity and, to make it easier, allowed the people to continue with their pagan practices, and absorbed these practices into the Church by "Christianizing" them.

As an example, after Woodrow refers to the Encyclopedia Britannica reference to the Easter egg as a symbol of fertility he then says, "How then, we ask, did this custom come to be associated with Christianity? Its adoption into the Romish 'church' is but further evidence of the great compromise that was made with paganism - a compromise to gain popularity with both sides! And as when other rites were adopted by the 'church', apostate leaders attempted to find some similarity between the pagan rite and some Christian event; so in this case, it was suggested that, as the chick comes out of the egg, so Christ comes out of the tomb! Thus, fallen church leaders - void of God's Holy Spirit - told the people that the egg was a symbol of
the resurrection of Christ! Pope Paul V even appointed a prayer in connection with the egg! 'Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of EGGS, that it may become wholesome sustenance unto thy servants eating it in remembrance of Our Lord Jesus Christ.' And so another 'mixture' passed into Babylon Modern and has in turn become part of our present day customs."

An earlier, more detailed book on the same subject was written in 1853 by Alexander Hislop, a minister in the Church of England. At that time, there was a rather large movement to bring about correction in the Church, and bring about a repentance and a return to the truth, away from the pagan beliefs that it had adopted from the Roman Catholic Church. Entitled "The Two Babylons"  it goes into (pg. 268) great detail documenting that the traditional Christian holidays are pagan. It states: "In leading proof of the Babylonian character of the Papal Church, the first point to which I solicit the reader's attention, is a character of MYSTERY which attaches alike to the modern Roman and the ancient Babylonian systems. The gigantic system of moral corruption and idolatry is symbolized in this passage by the emblem of a woman with a 'GOLDEN CUP IN HER HAND' (Revelation 17:4) making all nations DRUNK with the wine of her fornication", (Revelation 17:2 and 17:3), and is divinely called, 'MYSTERY Babylon the Great' (Revelation 17:5)."
It's interesting that the only time anything close to the current practice of Christmas is mentioned in the Bible is in Jeremiah 10:24: "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

And Easter customs are also mentioned in a similar way. In Ezekiel 8:16, God is showing Ezekiel various abominations, regarding the worship of Tammuz. He then tells Ezekiel to turn and he will see greater abominations. "And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east."

God called it an abomination for people in His temple to be facing the east worshipping the sun. It appears that the Easter sunrise service was in existence long before the time of Christ. It is purely of pagan origin.

And what about hot cross buns and the Queen of Heaven? In Jeremiah 7:18, God inspired Jeremiah to write: "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women kneed their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger." And in Chapter 44:19, it again records the making of cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and that God poured out famine and pestilence on Jerusalem for such practices.

(pg. 269) The Worldwide Church correctly teaches that these pagan practices should not be followed, and instead God's true Holy Days should be kept. These days were mentioned earlier in the book and are outlined in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. It says in the first and second verse: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts." And the feasts were then listed as explained in the opening chapter. The forty-fourth verse concludes: "And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord."

Those feasts were kept by Christ and the apostles, as we are to keep them today. In I Corinthians 5:7-8, Paul wrote: "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

Christ, in keeping the Passover with His disciples before His Crucifixion, changed the method of observing the Passover. He instituted the foot washing ceremony as a sign of humility, and instructed us to continue doing so, as recorded in John 13:14-15; "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you should do, as I have done to you".

Regarding the taking of the wine and the unleavened bread, Christ said in Luke 22:19 and 22: "And He took bread, and gave thanks and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given to you: this do in remembrance of me."

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying: "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." We are to keep the Passover service annually as Christ did, and are not to keep a monthly, daily, weekly communion or any other such observance.      

Pentecost also is to be observed, for it is quite clear that the New Testament Church continued to observe the day. In Acts 2:1, it says: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

This is the account that tells of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Had the early Church not assembled on the day of Pentecost after Christ's Ascension into heaven, those not there (pg. 270) would not have received the Holy Spirit. By the example set forth in the Scriptures, we are to continue observing this day.

The Fall Holy days - the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day - are also to be observed. It was so important for Christ to keep the Feast of Tabernacles that just a short time prior to His Crucifixion, He kept the feast in disguise, as His time was not yet come to be killed. At that time the religious leaders were seeking to kill Him, as recorded in the seventh chapter of John. The disciples attended the feast without Christ and then John says in Verse 10: "But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, where is He?" After attending the feast secretly, Christ later spoke out publicly and caused
quite a commotion. John records: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' (But this spake He, of the Spirit, which they that believe on him shall receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)." (John 7:37-39)

If we are to believe on Christ, and have the Holy Spirit, we must do as He says: "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46.

Other pagan beliefs that have permeated Christianity are the ideas that when one dies, one either goes to heaven, if they were good, or to an ever-burning hell, forever to be tortured if they were bad. There is no scriptural support for this belief. The dead are dead in their graves. "For the living know that they shall die; the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

The apostle John made it quite clear that no one had gone to heaven other than Christ. In Chapter 3, verse 13, he said: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down fromheaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." And in the Book of Acts, Peter is recorded as saying, in Chapter 2, Verse 29: "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day."

The truth of the matter is very simple. It is that at Christ's coming, (pg. 271)  all of those who have received His Holy Spirit and had died will be resurrected. The entire chapter ofI Corinthians 15 should be read to get a clear picture of this. Paul makes it quite clear that a natural physical body that has died, when it is resurrected, will be a spirit body. He says in Verses 52 and 53: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibn, and this mortal must put on immortality."

The Bible clearly shows that the traditional doctines of either go to heaven or go to an ever-burning tormenting hell are false. The truth is that when Christ returns after the great tribulation, which is a time of trouble, atomic war, famine and all types of natural disaster, soon to come on the earth, He will descend from the sky with power and great glory, and, according to Matthew 24:30, all the earth shall see Him.

The apostle Paul in I Thessalonians 4:13 through 17 makes the entire chain of events that will take place quite clear. He says: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

That does not mean, however, that we will remain forever in the air. It means we will be with the Lord wherever He is going. And He is going to Jerusalem to descend on the Mount of Olives.The prophet Zechariah in the Old Testament tells of this coming of Christ, as He comes to destroy all the waring nations who have given themselves totally over to Satan's ways. In Chapter 14, verse 4, Zechariah says: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

(pg. 272) And the apostle John, in his prophecy in Revelation 20:4, said: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither hath received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

 That is the destiny of all the true believers and worshippers of Jesus Christ: to be given immortality at His coming and to reign with Him for a thousand years over the earth.Christ will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords from Jerusalem, which will be the capital city of the entire earth. During that thousand years, Satan will be bound and will not be able to go out and tempt and deceive the people of the world. It will be a time of great cleaning up and reconstruction, which will be a necessary result of the great wars which would have
just previously encompassed the entire earth. This, then, will be the Kingdom of God. All living at that time will then have the opportunity to see what it is like to live in a world of perfect government under Christ as King. The saints, those then reigning with Christ, will have the wonderful opportunity to assist Him in instructing the human inhabitants of the earth in the good and righteous ways of God. One may ask what will happen to all the other dead people. If they haven't gone to heaven or hell, where are they? The apostle John records in the same chapter of Revelation: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years are finished. This is the first resurrection."

This means that the people who have died, not having attained salvation during their human life, will remain in their graves during the time of the Kingdom of God. At the end of the thousand years they will be resurrected into a perfect world. This would take place after Satan will have been let loose for a short period of time to continue to attempt to deceive people who had had the opportunity to live under Christ for a thousand years. Those who then follow Satan will be destroyed, not eternally tormented, but destroyed. Satan and all of his demons, being spirit beings, will not be destroyed and they are the ones that will be tormented forever and ever.
After this takes place, and the rest of the dead are raised at the end of the thousand years, they will be judged according to their works. Christ, in His righteous judgment, will then give each one of these people either eternal life or death. That second death will be (pg. 273) permanent, but not a time of eternal torture. And at that time death and hell, hell meaning the grave, will also be destroyed.
The last two chapters of Revelation describe a wonderful scene, where at the end of the thousand-year-reign of Jesus Christ on earth, God the Father will bring His throne down from Heaven to the earth where He will then reign over the entire universe. The earth will then be the headquarters of God's entire creation, with inhabitation by God the Father, Jesus Christ, the angels, and all of the millions who will then have been given eternal life and will be as Christ; in other words they will actually be gods as He is God.

One may ask, what then? This can only be understood by grasping the wonderful reality that God created the entire universe. In order that man, after conversion to spirit beings and sons of God, may have dominion over it, Hebrews 2:b through 8, says: "But one in a certain place testified, saying: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him."

What Paul is saying here is that eventually man would have authority and rule and control over the entire universe. And this is what will begin to take place after God places His throne on earth at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The universe is endless; the stars and planets and other heavenly bodies are uncountable. Man cannot begin to grasp the immensity of God's creation. But yet the entire universe, except for earth, is void and barren. It will not remain that way, however. Under God the Father and Jesus Christ, all of the born-again sons of God will have a job to do. That job will be to make new creations throughout the universe, to make the entire universe a creation of great beauty that would be so wonderful that we cannot even conceive of it in our human minds. This is the purpose for which we were created. This is straight from Scripture and this is how it has been taught by the Worldwide Church of God.

Since the teachings of the Church are true, it would be foolish for one to reject those teachings because the leader, the one who brought that truth, has gone wrong and turned from God's ways. If only the Church leadership would repent. God is so merciful, that (pg. 274) as He says in the Book of Ezekiel, He would forget their sins if only they would repent and turn to His ways. The fact that the leadership has now turned from God's ways, and is leading so many of the members back into Babylon from whence they came, is no reason to reject the truth that they had brought.

Chapter 21  The Origin of the WCG

(pg. 275) IN THE EARLY YEARS OF THE CHURCH, ARMSTRONG WAS LEARNING and growing in the knowledge of God's truth. As long as he did this, God continued to bless the Worldwide Church of God. The problems seemed to start in 1968, after Mrs. Armstrong died. At that time, Stanley Rader who had been around Armstrong for the past ten years, was finally able to make his big move. Garner Ted says that his mother had a great influence over his father, and she was really the guiding influence over the Church. Garner Ted said of his mother, "One of the most important things she was able to do in dealing with my father and some of his ideas was to say, 'No, Herbert'."

It is so easy to understand that this Church organization, which was teaching so much of God's truth in such a powerful way, would be a main point of Satan's attack. And it was Armstrong's ego and vanity, and his later belief that he was a specially appointed apostle of God, that gave Satan that opening.  Armstrong's claims that this was the only Church teaching God's truth were false, as were his claims that he had been given this knowledge in a special way from God. By making such claims, he drew special attention to himself as someone very unique and specially chosen, which placed him between the people and Jesus Christ.

The facts are that the Church of God Seventh Day of Stanbury, Missouri, back in the 1930s, had the same basic truths that Armstrong (pg. 276) had been teaching. And it was from this group that Armstrong broke away in the 1930s. The Church of God Seventh Day can trace its history back to the Middle Ages when Sabbath-keeping Christians were being persecuted and killed along with the Jews. This history, although rather spotty and difficult to piece together, was written in a book called "The History of the True Church" by A.N.Dugger and C.O.Dodd. Both these men were Elders in the Stanbury, Missouri Church. Although there were many inaccuracies in the book, it does form the foundation for the fact that the Church never died out and can actually be traced all the way back, even though there are gaps, to the first century Church.

In the 1600s, Seventh Day Baptists began to flourish in England, and they too were a part of the remnant Church. Many of our early settlers were of various Sabbath keeping groups, including the Seventh Day Baptists and the Church of God. The founders of the Rhode Island colony, including Roger Williams, were members of the Church. While the Seventh Day Baptists and other Seventh Day worshippers had many differences in their doctrines, there was a small remnant group among them that constituted the Church of God. They were the ones who believed the doctrines being taught by the Worldwide Church of God today. While some did not believe in keeping the Holy Days, there were others among them who did keep the Holy Days. Also, in their very early days, many of the Waldensians and Moravians were Sabbath keepers, although they later drifted totally into Sunday keeping.

Sabbath keepers, while scattered and of no strength as far as organization was concerned, finally began to come together in the early 1800s. That was during the time that the Adventist movement, which believed that Christ would return in 1844, was commonly accepted among both Sunday keepers and Sabbath keepers. Of course, He did not. They had been reading too much into prophetic events, and setting dates, which the Bible tells us not to do.

Ellen G. White was one of the leaders of the Adventist movement and was originally a Sunday keeper. She later came into the knowledge of the Sabbath. It was in 1844, when the Adventists realized that they had made an error in attempting to pick a date for Christ's return, that a split came in the Sabbath-keeping Adventist church. A large group followed Ellen G. White, and that was the beginning of what is now known as the Seventh Day Adventist Church, probably the largest Sabbath-keeping Church in the (pg. 277) world. While at one time they taught many of the doctrines now taught by the Worldwide Church, they have, over the years, fallen away and drifted into many pagan beliefs, including the keeping of Christmas.

It was during that split in 1844 that the Church of God Seventh Day was formed. There were probably also many other splinter groups that are hard to identify that sprung up in various places. The Bible Sabbath Association in Fairview, Oklahoma publishes a directory of Sabbath-keeping groups. This directory lists Sabbathkeeping groups of various doctrinal beliefs. Included in the listing is a large number of groups having the same beliefs as the Worldwide Church of God. And interestingly, many of these groups, although very small, in many cases are scattered throughout the world in India, South America, Asia and Africa. In most cases, these far-flung small Churches of God had no contact at all with the Church in the United States. The members of many of these foreign Churches of God say that they have existed for many generations in their little villages. For hundreds of years they have been carrying the same name and believing the same beliefs as the Worldwide Church of God and other similar groups in the United States.

Coming back then to the Church in the States, we find that there was a man named G.G.Rupert who in the very early 1900s produced a publication called "Remnant of Israel." His teachings were again, basically the same believed by the Worldwide Church.

Coming, then, into the 1930s, when Herbert Armstrong came on the scene, we find that there were many splits at that time. They occurred over various minor doctrinal differences, and perhaps one major one, as some did not want to keep the Holy Days and others did. Today, we have the Worldwide Church of God which is by far the largest. Then there is the Church of God Seventh Day, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, which is a result of a split, and the Stanbury group which by that time had relocated to Salem, West Virginia. The Salem, West Virginia church is still in existence in Salem. Neither of these groups any longer keep the annual Holy Days, other than Passover, but otherwise there is essentially no difference in teaching. They have various congregations throughout the world. The Denver Church has a total worldwide membership of perhaps 35,000 with most of the members outside the United States and the Salem church is considerably smaller. Out of the (pg. 278) Salem group emerged the Seventh Day Church of God of Caldwell, Idaho in 1952. This resulted because the Caldwell group wanted to keep the Holy Days. They, too, have several churches throughout the world, having about twenty-five ministers in the United States and 175 in foreign countries. There are many other small groups, some of which emerged from the original Stanbury, Missouri group, and some of which carried through independently from the darkest, most distant annals of Church history.

Parallel to all these groups, and many times mingling among them, were others known as Sacred Name Believers. All of the Sacred Name Believers keep the annual Holy Days. Where they have been able to organize, they are known as the Assemblies of Yahweh. The largest such group is headquartered in Bethel, Pennsylvania, and was formed in 1966 by Jacob Meyer by gathering together various Sacred Name Believers who had been worshipping in and among the other groups known as the Churches of God. The only difference in doctrine between the Holy Day-keeping Churches of God and the Assemblies of Yahweh is the fact that the Assemblies of Yahweh believe that the only names to be used for God and Jesus Christ are original Hebrew names. "Yahweh" comes from the Hebrew word which was spelled YHWH, and is the word from which we get the word Lord. Rather than use the Greek words "Jesus Christ," they adhere to the original Hebrew word, "Yashua Messiah."

And again, just as there are Churches of God throughout the world, there are groups in these same obscure places in foreign countries known as the Assemblies of Yahweh. And again, many of them have been there for hundreds of years with no knowledge or contact with other like groups until the last few years.

All of this proves, then, that while the Worldwide Church of God is not the one and only Church as Herbert Armstrong claims, it is in fact one of the groups in the one and only true Church. The way these doctrines have been preserved over the centuries, even through much turmoil in the Church due to Satan's constant attacks, is more than ample proof that these beliefs, these teachings and doctrines, are true, and whoever believes in them and follows them is in fact a member of the one true Church, the true Church of God, the Body of Christ, no matter what its actual name.

Christ said that He would not forsake His Church, and by keeping it dispersed, Satan could never destroy it. But certainly Satan (pg. 279) would go after Herbert Armstrong with a vengeance, as Armstrong was making an impact with his message. Once he allowed his ego and hisself-proclaimed importance to become dominant in his thinking to the point to where he proclaimed himself an apostle, he was vulnerable to Satan's attack, and this attack came through Stanley Rader, who can only be described as a tool, an instrument of Satan. Once Rader was able to prey on Armstrong's human weaknesses, he had him. And as long as Garner Ted was having his problems, Rader thought that he could control him also. However, Garner Ted apparently has overcome his problems and repented. After years of battling these serious problems, he apparently overcame them and was able to stand against Rader. No longer would Rader be able to hold anything over his head. In 1978 Garner Ted was able to meet Rader head on and, for whatever purpose, God allowed Rader to prevail over Garner Ted. It could only have been that God allowed this in order to purge and purify the Worldwide Church. As Garner Ted said, "Rader has something on just about everybody he wants to control, but he has nothing on me. My past is my past."  And referring to the problems and the excesses of the Worldwide Church he said, "I praise God, and thank Jesus Christ my Savior that I am no longer a part of any of that - that any part I remotely had in it I have vomited it up in deep heartfelt repentance before my God". Referring to the problems of the past, Garner Ted said, during the time of his greatest troubles, that "it was just becoming more than I could cope with. I was nearly having my own private mental breakdown." His wife Shirley had said that it was the most horrible time of their lives and that it was only through the grace of God that they pulled through it. Garner Ted has recently said, "I can only go forward now. Anything bad that could be said about anyone has already been said about me, there's nothing more they can say. And that's all behind now. I can now go forward and do the work of Jesus Christ as He leads me."

So while Garner Ted ultimately ended up out of the Worldwide Church, what had Rader really been up to with Herbert Armstrong?

Chapter 22   Satan”s Master Conspiracy

of it. If a man were in it just for the money, he would have taken what he could and left the country by now. The motives seem to be stronger than that as Rader continues to fight and, now
having been ordained an evangelist, need only wait for Herbert Armstrong to die or become incapacitated, when he will be the apostle and in full open control.
To see how Satan has attempted to use the Church and destroy it from within, one must look to the worldwide trips that Armstrong and Rader began shortly after Mrs.Armstrong's death. While Armstrong was operating under the grandiose delusions that he was bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, he was being used, probably without his knowledge, as part of a satanic
Much has been written over many years about the so-called "International Conspiracy." This has been referred to as a secret movement to control the world, and it is said to be under the control of the leading politicians, business people, and financial giants of various countries. This conspiracy has often been referred to as one world movement, the internationalists, or the Bilderbergers, and has been dismissed by most as just a lot of reactionary paranoid charges being made by those who attempt to expose such a conspiracy.

The modern day version of this conspiracy was formed in 1776 (pg. 282) by Adam Weishaupt and was called the Illuminati. In his book, "Fourth Reich of the Rich," author Des Griffin clearly documents the origins of the Illuminati and the modern day organizations that have come out of it. Griffin states; "Illuminati is derived from the word Lucifer, which means Bearer of the Light or a being of extraordinary brilliance (Isaiah 14:12)." This Luciferian conspiracy developed a master plan for a one world totalitarian dictatorship. Griffin states: "THE MEN WHO CONCEIVED THE DIABOLICAL CONSPIRACY AS LAID OUT IN THE PROTOCOLS, WERE NOT ATHEISTS.'LIGHT BEARER', SATAN THE DEVIL. THEY WERE WORSHIPPERS OF SATAN: THIS IS THE PLAN OF SATAN."
On page 199, quoting from the master plan: "The political has nothing in common with the moral. The ruler who is governed by the moral is not a skilled politician, and is therefore
unstable on his throne. He who wishes to rule must have recourse both to cunning-and to make believe.

“Our power in the present tottering condition in all forms of power will be more invincible
than any other, because it will remain invisible until the moment when it has gained such strength that no cunning can any longer undermine it."
Other quotes from the master plan: "Let us, however, in our plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful."; "Our State, marching along
the path of peaceful conquest, has the right to replace the horrors of war by less noticeable and more satisfactory sentences of death, necessary to maintain the terror which tends to produce
blind submission."; "Our triumph has been rendered easier by the fact that in our relations with the men whom we wanted we have always worked upon the most sensitive cords of the human mind, upon the cash account, upon the cupidity, upon the insatiability for material needs of man; and each one of these human weaknesses, taken alone, is sufficient to paralyze initiative for
it hands over the will of men to the disposition of him who has bought their activities."; "When the hour strikes for our Sovereign Lord (Satan) of all the World to be crowned it is these same hands that will sweep away (pg. 283) everything that might be a hindrance thereto."; "By all these means we shall so wear down the GOYIM that they will be compelled to offer us without any violence gradually to absorb all the State forces of the world and to form a Super-Government."; "In countries known as progressive and enlightened, we have created a senseless, filthy, abominable literature."; "Every kind of new institution of anything like a secret society will also be punished with death; those of them which are now in existence are known to us, serve us and have served us, we shall disband and send into exile to continents far removed from Europe. In this way we shall proceed with those GOY Masons who know too much; such of these as we may for some reason spare will be kept in constant fear of exile. We shall promulgate a law making all former members of secret societies liable to exile from Europe as the center of our rule.

“Freedom of conscience has been declared everywhere, so that now only years divide us from the moment of the complete wrecking of that Christian religion, as to other religions we shall have still less difficulty in dealing with them, but it would be premature to speak of this now."

This master plan of the Illuminati was to penetrate religious organizations and secret societies to work their scheme. In the late 1700s they had already taken over the Masonic order. Only the highest degree Masons ever knew the real purpose of their organization. Griffin states; "On the 16th of July, 1782, at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad, an alliance between Illuminism and Freemasonry was finally sealed."

And they certainly succeeded in penetrating every national government by having infiltrated the religious and political organizations and secret societies, such as the Masons. Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto was nothing more than a rewrite of the Illuminati master plan. Griffin states: "Moses Mordecai Marx Levy, alias Karl Marx, joined one of the branch organizations of the Illuminati conspiracy known as the League of the Just. In 1847 he was hired to write what became known as the Communist Manifesto." Another excellent book on the subject is "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" by Gary Allen. He states: "Karl Marx was hired by a mysterious group who called themselves the League of Just Men to write the Communist Manifesto as demagogic (pg. 284) boobbait to appeal to the mob. In actual fact the Communist Manifesto was in circulation for many years before Marx' name was widely enough recognized to establish his authorship for this revolutionary handbook. All Karl Marx really did was to update and codify the very same revolutionary plans and principles set down seventy years earlier by Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Order of Illuminati in Bavaria. And, it is widely acknowledged by serious scholars of this subject that the League of Just Men was simply an extension of the Illuminati which was forced to go deep underground after it was exposed by a raid in 1786, conducted by the Bavarian authorities."

Coming into more recent times, it can be shown that the International Conspiracy functioned quite effectively. The International Bankers financed both the Communist Revolution in
Russia, and Hitler in Germany. Griffin states: "At the same time, as the International Bankers were bolstering the sagging Communist regime in Russia, they were also underwriting huge
loans on both sides of the Atlantic for the new regime of Adolph Hitler. The financial backing for Hitler was handled by the Warburg-controlled Mendelsohn Bank of Amsterdam and later by the J. Henry Schroeder Bank with branches in Frankfort, London and New York. It is interesting to note that the chief legal counsel to the Schroeder Bank was the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell whose senior partners included John Foster Dulles and Alan Dulles."

Shown in Griffin's book is a document appointing H.H.G. Schacht as administrator of Nazi Germany's money in March of 1933. The document is signed by Hitler and also by Max Warburg as a representative of the Warburg financial empire in Europe, giving his approval to the appointment. At the same time that Max Warburg was financing Hitler, his brother Paul M. Warburg who directed the American branch of the Warburg empire, was serving as one of the members of the Federal Reserve System during Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidency.

And in 1950 on February 17, his son James Warburg proclaimed before the United States Senate: "We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER WORLD GOVERNMENT WILL BE ACHIEVED BY CONQUEST OR CONSENT."

(pg. 285) The most prominent organizations taking part in the conspiracy today are The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), headquartered in New York and the Trilateral Commission also
headquartered in New York. There are similar organizations in other countries throughout the world. The CFR includes in its membership all of the leading politicians of both major political
parties. The Rockefellers have a heavy influence over the operation of the CFR. The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Western Europe, Japan, North America.
The facts regarding the Trilateral are well documented in a book entitled, "Trilaterals Over Washington" by Antony C. Sutton and Patrick M. Wood. The Trilateral was founded by David Rockefeller and Zbignieuw Brzezinski. The world knows Brzezinski today as President Carter's special representative for foreign affairs. However, it is interesting to note that Brzezinski does not really work for Carter, in fact Carter is under the heavy influence of Brzezinski.

The authors state: "It was Brzezinski, in fact, who first identified Carter as presidential timber, and subsequently educated him in economics, foreign policy, and the ins-and-outs of world politics." When the Trilateral commission met in Tokyo, Japan in January 1977, Brzezinski wrote to the Commission: "I remain convinced that on the larger architectural issues of
today, collaboration among our regions is of the utmost necessity. This collaboration must be dedicated to the fashioning of a more just and equitable world order. This will require a
prolonged process, but I think we could look forward with confidence and take some pride in the contribution the Commission is making."

Let there be no doubt that Brzezinski favors a one world government as outlined by the Illuminati and Karl Marx. Referring to Marxism, Brzezinski says it "represents a further vital and
creative stage in the maturing of man's universal vision. "

Another group prominent in the international conspiracy is the Bilderberger group of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. This group holds secret meetings periodically in various parts of
the world where heavily armed guards are posted to maintain absolute secrecy. Some of those who have attended the meetings according (pg. 286)  to Griffin are David and Nelson G. Rockefeller; Amelio Collado, Executive Vice-President of Exxon Corporation; Giovani
Agnelli, head of Fiat; Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank; Henry Kissinger; Gerald Ford; Senator Matthias; Britain's former Prime Minister James Callaghan, and his so-called conservative counterpart the present prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher; and many others of prominent positions in various countries.

All of these organizations have constant dealings with each other working towards a one-world dictatorial government. The United Nations is one of the corner stones of that proposed scheme. The CFR has even proposed that sovereign nations give over control of domestic matters to an international organization. Des Griffin states; "The passionate concern of the CFR is the creation of a One-World dictatorship: this is clearly revealed in their own publications! For example in 1959, the CFR published a document entitled, 'Study Number 7, Basic Aims of U.S. Foreign Policy,' in which it was stated, 'THE U.S. MUST STRIVE TO BUILD A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER - including States labeling themselves as socialists (Communists)'. The study also urged that the U.S. 'maintain and gradually increase the authority of the United Nations', and 'make more effective use of the International Court of Justice, jurisdiction of which should be increased by withdrawal of reservations by member nations on matters judged to be domestic.'"

 All three of the books mentioned go on with considerable documentation to prove that such an international conspiracy to place the world under total dictatorial rule exists. And that conspiracy involves the willing compliance of our national leaders. Political parties mean nothing, they are all part of the same conspiracy.

What, one may ask, does this have to do with the Worldwide Church of God? It has everything to do with it and is most significant in understanding the meaning of what has taken place
in the Worldwide Church. Most writers on the subject of the conspiracy while seeming to come close to a knowledge of the real root cause of it, don't quite understand it as does Griffin. He
points out quite clearly that the Bible reveals that Satan is the current ruler of this world. Satan rebelled against God when he was still called Lucifer, (pg. 287) one of the the great archangels. It was after his rebellion that his name was changed to Satan. The Bible records that Satan is the god of this world. When Christ was tempted by Satan, Satan offered Christ rulership over the world. Christ did not then dispute the fact that Satan had control over the world, He just told Satan "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." This world is Satan's kingdom until Christ returns to bind Satan and takes that kingdom, establishing the Kingdom of God. God's plan is a one-world rule, under the divine rulership of Jesus Christ. Satan, the master counterfeiter, has for these thousands of years been attempting to form his counterfeit one world government. In these end times, he is working through organizations such as the organizations just mentioned in an
attempt to bring about a one world government. As the master counterfeiter and great deceiver, he comes as an angel of light making it appear that all of these plans and schemes are the best
for humanity. But in all of these great plans of men, under the sway of Satan, we never see God and His way remembered. Satan has succeeded in bringing our nation to the very point where, along with other nations, there is total perplexity, as the world conditions seem to get worse and worse. We have lost our national greatness because we have turned from the ways of God.

There is ample evidence in the Bible and in history to indicate that Great Britain and the United States are descended from Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, and represent
along with other nations in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the ten lost tribes of Israel. God's greatest blessings were promised through Jacob to his son Joseph. And there is no doubt that Great Britain and the United States for years had an abundance of those blessings.

 The Bible prophesied, however, that if our nations did not turn from their evil ways and did not turn back to God, that the pride of our power would be broken (Leviticus 26:19), and we have
seen that, where we are even unable to win a war or stand against our enemies, or rescue our hostages from Iran. This is because we have given our power over to this satanic conspiracy. As Satan continues with his master plan, our leaders blindly follow, through their (pg. 288) in volvement in these various organizations which are trying to bring about a one world government. A one-world government under human rule can only be a one-world government
under Satan's rule. Instead of looking to God and calling our people to repentance, calling our people out of the pagan ways of their false Christianity, our leaders speak good-sounding words,
claiming to believe in God, and then go totally contrary to the way of life outlined for us in the Scripture.
Seeing the Worldwide Church of God developing as it did, it was only natural that Satan would attempt to stop it. Two thousand years ago, he corrupted the original true Church, the Church of God in Rome, and so filled it with pagan idolatry that the Roman Catholic Church and all of its Protestant daughters are Christian only in name. While they profess to honor Christ, their actions in following pagan practices and teaching false pagan doctrines prove without a doubt that the Roman Catholic Church has deteriorated to the point where it is what the Scriptures describe as "MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:7) and the Protestant Churches, through their remaining in Babylon, are the harlots born of this mother. And now, through Stanley Rader and his desire for great wealth and power, Satan could work to prey on Armstrong's weaknesses of ego and vanity, turning him from the very ways of God that he had taught so well to others. Through subtle deceptions, the Worldwide Church of God is also now going right back into Babylon.

Through moral corruption and the false apostleship of Herbert Armstrong, the Worldwide Church today is every bit as much in Babylon in spite of the true doctrines that they still
may have, as are the traditional Christian churches. Without the love of Jesus Christ, even true doctrine is nothing. Armstrong, through his desire to meet world leaders, has deluded himself
into thinking he is bringing the Gospel to these nations when in fact he is not. This very Church, which was supposed to be preaching the one-world government under Jesus Christ, has now
become part of the "International Conspiracy" working to bring about a one world government under Satan.

 One cannot say for sure whether or not Rader is actually aware of his part in this scheme. But nonetheless, this is how he is being used. While Armstrong is meeting with various world
leaders, there (pg. 289) is much going on behind the scenes. It is of more than passing significance that Armstrong's original contacts were made through high-ranking members of the Japanese government. Perhaps the mysterious Osamu Gotoh's part in this will never be
totally known. The Japanese, who have such a significant part in the Trilateral Commission, are also the very ones who have introduced Armstrong to many world leaders. And Armstrong, in
turn, arranged meetings for some of the Japanese. It was he who asked President Sadat to invite the Prince Mikasa of Japan to Egypt. It was the Japanese who arranged the September 1979 visit
of Stanley Rader to Communist China, where he lectured on law at Peking University. Herbert Armstrong made a trip later in the year.
Armstrong has pointed out that on many occasions, shortly after he visited with national leaders, there was either an overthrow in that government or that leader was deposed or murdered. One case in point was President Allende of Chile, who was murdered shortly after Armstrong's visit there. And while Henry Kissinger was conducting his shuttle diplomacy between Egypt and Israel during the Nixon administration, Armstrong claims that he and Rader were also shuttling back and forth between those two countries.

Through the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Rader has established an institute for political research in Tokyo as well as a Society for Near Eastern Studies in Tokyo.
There is a close relationship with King Leopold III of Belgium, who is one of the members of the Prince Bernhard's Bilderberger group. And there has also been very close contact with Prince Bernhard. Doctor Singh of the World Court also figures prominently in the Armstrong-Rader contacts. Ambassador College, in conjunction with the Kress Foundation, has been engaged in
archaeological expeditions in Syria. Franklin Murphy, the chairman of the Board of the Kress Foundation, was the former Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, and is
now chairman of the Board of the Times Mirror Corporation, publishers of the Los Angeles Times. Franklin Murphy is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. The pieces fit very well here as this begins to explain why Bert Mann, the reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was pulled off of the receivership story in January 1979. While the story was prominently featured in the Pasadena papers, it was buried in the back pages of the Times.

 Only after Larry Manning, a reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (pg. 290) threatened to do a story alleging that the Times was suppressing the Church story, did the Times again begin to  run token articles in a more prominent position. The full part of the Worldwide Church of God in this satanic conspiracy will probably never been known until after Christ returns. However, there can be no doubt that as the leadership of the Church turned from the ways of God, God removed His blessing and Satan was allowed to use the organization in such a way, perhaps as a test of the ministers and members. Anyone who remains part of the Worldwide Church of God today is in Babylon, and would not remain there if they adhered to the scriptural teachings that they should know so well.

Christ said in Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

And that is what has been going on in the Worldwide Church of God. Some of the very elect now are threatened with deception. But Christ said that he would not forsake His Church, and He has not forsaken it. Many of the scattered groups of the other Churches of God and the Assemblies of Yahweh throughout the world have not soiled their garments with the pollutions of paganism. They have kept the testimony of Jesus Christ, and as long as they remain true to the Scriptures, while their groups may be relatively small and perhaps struggling along, God will
miraculously use them as the end draws near to proclaim the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Chapter 22   Satan”s Master Conspiracy

of it. If a man were in it just for the money, he would have taken what he could and left the country by now. The motives seem to be stronger than that as Rader continues to fight and, now
having been ordained an evangelist, need only wait for Herbert Armstrong to die or become incapacitated, when he will be the apostle and in full open control.
To see how Satan has attempted to use the Church and destroy it from within, one must look to the worldwide trips that Armstrong and Rader began shortly after Mrs.Armstrong's death. While Armstrong was operating under the grandiose delusions that he was bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, he was being used, probably without his knowledge, as part of a satanic
Much has been written over many years about the so-called "International Conspiracy." This has been referred to as a secret movement to control the world, and it is said to be under the control of the leading politicians, business people, and financial giants of various countries. This conspiracy has often been referred to as one world movement, the internationalists, or the Bilderbergers, and has been dismissed by most as just a lot of reactionary paranoid charges being made by those who attempt to expose such a conspiracy.

The modern day version of this conspiracy was formed in 1776 (pg. 282) by Adam Weishaupt and was called the Illuminati. In his book, "Fourth Reich of the Rich," author Des Griffin clearly documents the origins of the Illuminati and the modern day organizations that have come out of it. Griffin states; "Illuminati is derived from the word Lucifer, which means Bearer of the Light or a being of extraordinary brilliance (Isaiah 14:12)." This Luciferian conspiracy developed a master plan for a one world totalitarian dictatorship. Griffin states: "THE MEN WHO CONCEIVED THE DIABOLICAL CONSPIRACY AS LAID OUT IN THE PROTOCOLS, WERE NOT ATHEISTS.'LIGHT BEARER', SATAN THE DEVIL. THEY WERE WORSHIPPERS OF SATAN: THIS IS THE PLAN OF SATAN."
On page 199, quoting from the master plan: "The political has nothing in common with the moral. The ruler who is governed by the moral is not a skilled politician, and is therefore
unstable on his throne. He who wishes to rule must have recourse both to cunning-and to make believe.

“Our power in the present tottering condition in all forms of power will be more invincible
than any other, because it will remain invisible until the moment when it has gained such strength that no cunning can any longer undermine it."
Other quotes from the master plan: "Let us, however, in our plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful."; "Our State, marching along
the path of peaceful conquest, has the right to replace the horrors of war by less noticeable and more satisfactory sentences of death, necessary to maintain the terror which tends to produce
blind submission."; "Our triumph has been rendered easier by the fact that in our relations with the men whom we wanted we have always worked upon the most sensitive cords of the human mind, upon the cash account, upon the cupidity, upon the insatiability for material needs of man; and each one of these human weaknesses, taken alone, is sufficient to paralyze initiative for
it hands over the will of men to the disposition of him who has bought their activities."; "When the hour strikes for our Sovereign Lord (Satan) of all the World to be crowned it is these same hands that will sweep away (pg. 283) everything that might be a hindrance thereto."; "By all these means we shall so wear down the GOYIM that they will be compelled to offer us without any violence gradually to absorb all the State forces of the world and to form a Super-Government."; "In countries known as progressive and enlightened, we have created a senseless, filthy, abominable literature."; "Every kind of new institution of anything like a secret society will also be punished with death; those of them which are now in existence are known to us, serve us and have served us, we shall disband and send into exile to continents far removed from Europe. In this way we shall proceed with those GOY Masons who know too much; such of these as we may for some reason spare will be kept in constant fear of exile. We shall promulgate a law making all former members of secret societies liable to exile from Europe as the center of our rule.

“Freedom of conscience has been declared everywhere, so that now only years divide us from the moment of the complete wrecking of that Christian religion, as to other religions we shall have still less difficulty in dealing with them, but it would be premature to speak of this now."

This master plan of the Illuminati was to penetrate religious organizations and secret societies to work their scheme. In the late 1700s they had already taken over the Masonic order. Only the highest degree Masons ever knew the real purpose of their organization. Griffin states; "On the 16th of July, 1782, at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad, an alliance between Illuminism and Freemasonry was finally sealed."

And they certainly succeeded in penetrating every national government by having infiltrated the religious and political organizations and secret societies, such as the Masons. Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto was nothing more than a rewrite of the Illuminati master plan. Griffin states: "Moses Mordecai Marx Levy, alias Karl Marx, joined one of the branch organizations of the Illuminati conspiracy known as the League of the Just. In 1847 he was hired to write what became known as the Communist Manifesto." Another excellent book on the subject is "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" by Gary Allen. He states: "Karl Marx was hired by a mysterious group who called themselves the League of Just Men to write the Communist Manifesto as demagogic (pg. 284) boobbait to appeal to the mob. In actual fact the Communist Manifesto was in circulation for many years before Marx' name was widely enough recognized to establish his authorship for this revolutionary handbook. All Karl Marx really did was to update and codify the very same revolutionary plans and principles set down seventy years earlier by Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Order of Illuminati in Bavaria. And, it is widely acknowledged by serious scholars of this subject that the League of Just Men was simply an extension of the Illuminati which was forced to go deep underground after it was exposed by a raid in 1786, conducted by the Bavarian authorities."

Coming into more recent times, it can be shown that the International Conspiracy functioned quite effectively. The International Bankers financed both the Communist Revolution in
Russia, and Hitler in Germany. Griffin states: "At the same time, as the International Bankers were bolstering the sagging Communist regime in Russia, they were also underwriting huge
loans on both sides of the Atlantic for the new regime of Adolph Hitler. The financial backing for Hitler was handled by the Warburg-controlled Mendelsohn Bank of Amsterdam and later by the J. Henry Schroeder Bank with branches in Frankfort, London and New York. It is interesting to note that the chief legal counsel to the Schroeder Bank was the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell whose senior partners included John Foster Dulles and Alan Dulles."

Shown in Griffin's book is a document appointing H.H.G. Schacht as administrator of Nazi Germany's money in March of 1933. The document is signed by Hitler and also by Max Warburg as a representative of the Warburg financial empire in Europe, giving his approval to the appointment. At the same time that Max Warburg was financing Hitler, his brother Paul M. Warburg who directed the American branch of the Warburg empire, was serving as one of the members of the Federal Reserve System during Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidency.

And in 1950 on February 17, his son James Warburg proclaimed before the United States Senate: "We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER WORLD GOVERNMENT WILL BE ACHIEVED BY CONQUEST OR CONSENT."

(pg. 285) The most prominent organizations taking part in the conspiracy today are The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), headquartered in New York and the Trilateral Commission also
headquartered in New York. There are similar organizations in other countries throughout the world. The CFR includes in its membership all of the leading politicians of both major political
parties. The Rockefellers have a heavy influence over the operation of the CFR. The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Western Europe, Japan, North America.
The facts regarding the Trilateral are well documented in a book entitled, "Trilaterals Over Washington" by Antony C. Sutton and Patrick M. Wood. The Trilateral was founded by David Rockefeller and Zbignieuw Brzezinski. The world knows Brzezinski today as President Carter's special representative for foreign affairs. However, it is interesting to note that Brzezinski does not really work for Carter, in fact Carter is under the heavy influence of Brzezinski.

The authors state: "It was Brzezinski, in fact, who first identified Carter as presidential timber, and subsequently educated him in economics, foreign policy, and the ins-and-outs of world politics." When the Trilateral commission met in Tokyo, Japan in January 1977, Brzezinski wrote to the Commission: "I remain convinced that on the larger architectural issues of
today, collaboration among our regions is of the utmost necessity. This collaboration must be dedicated to the fashioning of a more just and equitable world order. This will require a
prolonged process, but I think we could look forward with confidence and take some pride in the contribution the Commission is making."

Let there be no doubt that Brzezinski favors a one world government as outlined by the Illuminati and Karl Marx. Referring to Marxism, Brzezinski says it "represents a further vital and
creative stage in the maturing of man's universal vision. "

Another group prominent in the international conspiracy is the Bilderberger group of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. This group holds secret meetings periodically in various parts of
the world where heavily armed guards are posted to maintain absolute secrecy. Some of those who have attended the meetings according (pg. 286)  to Griffin are David and Nelson G. Rockefeller; Amelio Collado, Executive Vice-President of Exxon Corporation; Giovani
Agnelli, head of Fiat; Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank; Henry Kissinger; Gerald Ford; Senator Matthias; Britain's former Prime Minister James Callaghan, and his so-called conservative counterpart the present prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher; and many others of prominent positions in various countries.

All of these organizations have constant dealings with each other working towards a one-world dictatorial government. The United Nations is one of the corner stones of that proposed scheme. The CFR has even proposed that sovereign nations give over control of domestic matters to an international organization. Des Griffin states; "The passionate concern of the CFR is the creation of a One-World dictatorship: this is clearly revealed in their own publications! For example in 1959, the CFR published a document entitled, 'Study Number 7, Basic Aims of U.S. Foreign Policy,' in which it was stated, 'THE U.S. MUST STRIVE TO BUILD A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER - including States labeling themselves as socialists (Communists)'. The study also urged that the U.S. 'maintain and gradually increase the authority of the United Nations', and 'make more effective use of the International Court of Justice, jurisdiction of which should be increased by withdrawal of reservations by member nations on matters judged to be domestic.'"

 All three of the books mentioned go on with considerable documentation to prove that such an international conspiracy to place the world under total dictatorial rule exists. And that conspiracy involves the willing compliance of our national leaders. Political parties mean nothing, they are all part of the same conspiracy.

What, one may ask, does this have to do with the Worldwide Church of God? It has everything to do with it and is most significant in understanding the meaning of what has taken place
in the Worldwide Church. Most writers on the subject of the conspiracy while seeming to come close to a knowledge of the real root cause of it, don't quite understand it as does Griffin. He
points out quite clearly that the Bible reveals that Satan is the current ruler of this world. Satan rebelled against God when he was still called Lucifer, (pg. 287) one of the the great archangels. It was after his rebellion that his name was changed to Satan. The Bible records that Satan is the god of this world. When Christ was tempted by Satan, Satan offered Christ rulership over the world. Christ did not then dispute the fact that Satan had control over the world, He just told Satan "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." This world is Satan's kingdom until Christ returns to bind Satan and takes that kingdom, establishing the Kingdom of God. God's plan is a one-world rule, under the divine rulership of Jesus Christ. Satan, the master counterfeiter, has for these thousands of years been attempting to form his counterfeit one world government. In these end times, he is working through organizations such as the organizations just mentioned in an
attempt to bring about a one world government. As the master counterfeiter and great deceiver, he comes as an angel of light making it appear that all of these plans and schemes are the best
for humanity. But in all of these great plans of men, under the sway of Satan, we never see God and His way remembered. Satan has succeeded in bringing our nation to the very point where, along with other nations, there is total perplexity, as the world conditions seem to get worse and worse. We have lost our national greatness because we have turned from the ways of God.

There is ample evidence in the Bible and in history to indicate that Great Britain and the United States are descended from Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, and represent
along with other nations in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the ten lost tribes of Israel. God's greatest blessings were promised through Jacob to his son Joseph. And there is no doubt that Great Britain and the United States for years had an abundance of those blessings.

 The Bible prophesied, however, that if our nations did not turn from their evil ways and did not turn back to God, that the pride of our power would be broken (Leviticus 26:19), and we have
seen that, where we are even unable to win a war or stand against our enemies, or rescue our hostages from Iran. This is because we have given our power over to this satanic conspiracy. As Satan continues with his master plan, our leaders blindly follow, through their (pg. 288) in volvement in these various organizations which are trying to bring about a one world government. A one-world government under human rule can only be a one-world government
under Satan's rule. Instead of looking to God and calling our people to repentance, calling our people out of the pagan ways of their false Christianity, our leaders speak good-sounding words,
claiming to believe in God, and then go totally contrary to the way of life outlined for us in the Scripture.
Seeing the Worldwide Church of God developing as it did, it was only natural that Satan would attempt to stop it. Two thousand years ago, he corrupted the original true Church, the Church of God in Rome, and so filled it with pagan idolatry that the Roman Catholic Church and all of its Protestant daughters are Christian only in name. While they profess to honor Christ, their actions in following pagan practices and teaching false pagan doctrines prove without a doubt that the Roman Catholic Church has deteriorated to the point where it is what the Scriptures describe as "MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:7) and the Protestant Churches, through their remaining in Babylon, are the harlots born of this mother. And now, through Stanley Rader and his desire for great wealth and power, Satan could work to prey on Armstrong's weaknesses of ego and vanity, turning him from the very ways of God that he had taught so well to others. Through subtle deceptions, the Worldwide Church of God is also now going right back into Babylon.

Through moral corruption and the false apostleship of Herbert Armstrong, the Worldwide Church today is every bit as much in Babylon in spite of the true doctrines that they still
may have, as are the traditional Christian churches. Without the love of Jesus Christ, even true doctrine is nothing. Armstrong, through his desire to meet world leaders, has deluded himself
into thinking he is bringing the Gospel to these nations when in fact he is not. This very Church, which was supposed to be preaching the one-world government under Jesus Christ, has now
become part of the "International Conspiracy" working to bring about a one world government under Satan.

 One cannot say for sure whether or not Rader is actually aware of his part in this scheme. But nonetheless, this is how he is being used. While Armstrong is meeting with various world
leaders, there (pg. 289) is much going on behind the scenes. It is of more than passing significance that Armstrong's original contacts were made through high-ranking members of the Japanese government. Perhaps the mysterious Osamu Gotoh's part in this will never be
totally known. The Japanese, who have such a significant part in the Trilateral Commission, are also the very ones who have introduced Armstrong to many world leaders. And Armstrong, in
turn, arranged meetings for some of the Japanese. It was he who asked President Sadat to invite the Prince Mikasa of Japan to Egypt. It was the Japanese who arranged the September 1979 visit
of Stanley Rader to Communist China, where he lectured on law at Peking University. Herbert Armstrong made a trip later in the year.
Armstrong has pointed out that on many occasions, shortly after he visited with national leaders, there was either an overthrow in that government or that leader was deposed or murdered. One case in point was President Allende of Chile, who was murdered shortly after Armstrong's visit there. And while Henry Kissinger was conducting his shuttle diplomacy between Egypt and Israel during the Nixon administration, Armstrong claims that he and Rader were also shuttling back and forth between those two countries.

Through the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Rader has established an institute for political research in Tokyo as well as a Society for Near Eastern Studies in Tokyo.
There is a close relationship with King Leopold III of Belgium, who is one of the members of the Prince Bernhard's Bilderberger group. And there has also been very close contact with Prince Bernhard. Doctor Singh of the World Court also figures prominently in the Armstrong-Rader contacts. Ambassador College, in conjunction with the Kress Foundation, has been engaged in
archaeological expeditions in Syria. Franklin Murphy, the chairman of the Board of the Kress Foundation, was the former Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, and is
now chairman of the Board of the Times Mirror Corporation, publishers of the Los Angeles Times. Franklin Murphy is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. The pieces fit very well here as this begins to explain why Bert Mann, the reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was pulled off of the receivership story in January 1979. While the story was prominently featured in the Pasadena papers, it was buried in the back pages of the Times.

 Only after Larry Manning, a reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (pg. 290) threatened to do a story alleging that the Times was suppressing the Church story, did the Times again begin to  run token articles in a more prominent position. The full part of the Worldwide Church of God in this satanic conspiracy will probably never been known until after Christ returns. However, there can be no doubt that as the leadership of the Church turned from the ways of God, God removed His blessing and Satan was allowed to use the organization in such a way, perhaps as a test of the ministers and members. Anyone who remains part of the Worldwide Church of God today is in Babylon, and would not remain there if they adhered to the scriptural teachings that they should know so well.

Christ said in Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

And that is what has been going on in the Worldwide Church of God. Some of the very elect now are threatened with deception. But Christ said that he would not forsake His Church, and He has not forsaken it. Many of the scattered groups of the other Churches of God and the Assemblies of Yahweh throughout the world have not soiled their garments with the pollutions of paganism. They have kept the testimony of Jesus Christ, and as long as they remain true to the Scriptures, while their groups may be relatively small and perhaps struggling along, God will
miraculously use them as the end draws near to proclaim the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Chapter 23   What Does This Mean To You?

different groups of true worshippers to proclaim the Gospel. The Worldwide Church should not be written off, as no one can yet tell what the final outcome will be regarding Armstrong and Rader.

Evangelicals, with their love and zeal for Christ, could be the most potent force of all. If only they would see how they are still standing with one foot in Babylon. If the Evangelicals would only come completely out of Babylon, and break from the paganism of Rome, we would see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit not seen since the notable day of Pentecost mentioned in the Book of Acts.

And what does this all mean to you, the reader? When we look at the world situation and all of the turmoil in religion, from the largest organized religious groups to the most weird off-beat cults, we can only conclude that we are truly in the last days. We are near the end of the age, and in the times spoken of by Jesus Christ in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew. The ten kings, or what would today be ten nations or groups of nations, spoken of in the seventh chapter of Daniel and the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, are right now forming their prophesied alliance. This is the group of Common Market nations which have now progressed to the point where they have a European Parliament. It will not be long before the European nations will have unified themselves totally, economically and politically. And when they do, Germany will be (pg. 292) the dominant factor in that alliance, as is already quite apparent. Due to their great differences and jealousies, these nations will have to give their power over to a common unifying force, religion. That religion, or religious organization is the "MOTHER OF HARLOTS." It will be this great false religion that will dominate the European union, which will then go out to make war with the nations. This will be the final outcome of the "International Conspiracy," Satan's final attempt to establish his world dictatorship.

 This great false religious leader, according to the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, is referred to as a beast which gives power to another, the first beast, which is identified as the leader of the European empire. This great false religious leader will do great miracles and have great power; and nearly the entire world will be deceived by him. While he represents Satan, he will claim to represent God. He is the one who will require that in order to buy or sell, one must have his mark on their forehead or their hand, and that mark will be his name or the number of his name. That number is recorded as being six hundred, three score and six in Revelation 13:18.

The study of the Greek origin of that phrase in Strong's Concordance will show that the words "six hundred," the words "three score" and the word "six" are from three Greek letters, each one of which is a variation of a cross. This false religious leader, the beast, will occupy the religious office of a great worldwide religious system. That office is identified by three crosses on the vestments. We are in that time just preceding these prophesied events right now.

What this all means is very simple. God provides a way of salvation through Jesus Christ. By repenting of your sins and following Christ completely, keeping His commandments and doing as He says, worshipping in truth according to the Scriptures, rather than following a pagan religious system which masquerades as Christianity, you can be one of those who will be given eternal life at Christ's coming, and reign with Him as an eternal living son of God. Those who are now in the corrupt false religions must come out of Babylon.

If you have never given this much thought before, or have scoffed at what has been written here as so much religious nonsense, why not get out the Bible and read for yourself what the Scriptures have to say? Perhaps you will not see it now, but as time (pg. 293) goes by, you will begin to see that the prophesies of Scripture continue to be fulfilled. Or perhaps you are one of the many millions who have in one way or another accepted Christ as your Savior. If you have, are you doing what He says? Or are you still with one foot in the pagan beliefs that have corrupted the Christian Church? You may be in many ways leading a good Christian life, showing the love of Christ in your daily conduct, but Christ wants more of you than that. Read the second and third chapters of Revelation, and see the various spiritual conditions that Christ asks His people to repent of. He says to the apostle John that many of the seven symbolic churches mentioned, while they worship Him, are nevertheless in various stages of spiritual decay. One of those conditions is the condition of false doctrine and pagan belief. Another quite notable one is a lukewarm condition; a lack of zeal in serving God. And Christ says to repent of this.

Whatever you now think of God, Jesus Christ, religion, the Bible, prophecy, salvation, or whether you are an atheist, an agnostic, a Jew, a Moslem, a nominal mainstream Christian, an Evangelical, a member of the Church of God, a Hindu, etc., etc.,these things are important to you, and you should consider right now what you are going to do about it.

Those in the Church of God, having the knowledge of God's truth, are called by Christ to get busy and be zealous in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. And those others who feel that they are Christians, are called by Christ to come out of Babylon and put all false beliefs and observances behind, or He will not even accept your calling him Lord. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) And those who have just totally rejected Christ up to this time can prove for themselves that these things are true, and obtain salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

God's plan is so wonderful, His love so great, that He makes it easy for us through Jesus Christ to reject Satan and accept eternal life. As has often been said by many people, "Make me a deal I can't refuse." God has made you a deal that you can't refuse. Yet the decision is up to you.

"Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4)

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

(pg. 294) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16 and 17)

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." (Revelation 3:21)

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:11 and 12)



(pg. 295) This book was written under contract to Andrews and McMeel, Inc., a Universal Press Syndicate Company. The manuscript was submitted in segments through the month of October 1979, with the final pages being mailed on November 9, 1979.

The contract was negotiated and signed over a period of only a few weeks in February and March of 1979. President Jim Andrews and Editor Donna Martin were aware that I had never written before, but based on a sample chapter were well satisfied that I could write the book without using a ghost writer. Having previously published a book called "The Real Jesus" by Garner Ted Armstrong, they were familiar with the WCG, and anxious to have my manuscript.
In negotiating my advance, they had to stay to the low side as they felt legal expenses could be high, and thought they should be prepared for a lawsuit. In fact, Donna Martin said that if they were sued, it would even help sell more books.

 After submitting the manuscript, I grew increasingly concerned as I received various reasons and then finally obvious excuses why it had not yet been approved by Jim Andrews. This continued into March 1980, until Donna Martin began to be unavailable, and seemed to forget to return my daily phone calls. Finally, on April (pg. 296) 19, 1980, 1 received my manuscript, with the following letter form Jim Andrews, dated two days earlier.

            Dear John:

            After going over your manuscript carefully I must regretfully inform you that I do not find it  acceptable  for publication. While you do indeed have a fascinating story to tell            about the case against the Worldwide Church of God, I'm afraid that the number of hours             of editorial work that would be necessary to put this manuscript into publishable form        makes its publication   prohibitive. Add to this the additional legal fees that we would incur to substantiate every allegation in your book so as to preclude any support for the     libel suits which would very ikely ensue, and you can well appreciate our problem. It is        most unfortunate that we do not feel             this is a feasible project for our book company, but   we do feel we should release you to seek another contract if possible. In any case,         although we could legitimately ask for the return of your advance since the manuscript is   unacceptable, we have decided not to do so.
            Please accept my apologies for the long delay. It was in fact only recently that I had the    time to     thoroughly review the manuscript.

            Sincerely yours,
            James F. Andrews

I could not accept this letter at face value, as they were automatically forfeiting $7,500 in advances already paid. This, in spite of the fact that the contract called for my refund of advances if I submitted an unpublishable or libelous manuscript. It appeared that Andrews wanted to get out of the deal, and hoped that the $7,500 would be enough of a sop to send me away quietly. Obviously, it would not make sense for me to sue. It would be better to seek another publisher or, failing that, to publish the book myself.

I was told in a later phone conversation that they were no longer interested in religious books. That, however, is no cause to break a contract. Could there be another reason? Could it be that they still had a book in print by Garner Ted, and thus be concerned because he did not come off in my book as well as they had hoped?

Or could there be another reason? Read Chapter 20 again. Then consider the fact that in the summer of 1979, between the signing of my contract, and the submittal of the manuscript, that Time, Inc. bought an interest in Universal Press Syndicate. Time, Inc. (pg. 297) publishes Time Magazine, which is considered by many to be part of the "Establishment press". At least seven officials of Time, Inc. are reported to be members of the Council on Foreign Relations, with Hedly Donovan, Editor in Chief and Sol Linowitz, also being members of the Trilateral Commission.

As a result of the broken contract, many months were lost in bringing this book to publication, but God always provides a way for His will to be fulfilled.

It is said that books are often suppressed. The reader may evaluate the facts and draw his own conclusions. My opinion as to how the WCG leaders fit into the satanic conspiracy of one world
rule are more firm than ever


In September 1979, the formation of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability was announced. This organization, located at 1444 Wentworth Avenue, Pasadena, California, was formed after nearly two years of effort on the part of several Christian leaders. They felt that the repetition of scandal regarding so many religious groups would bring about harsh legislation unless certain standards were established and adhered to.

Membership and a seal of approval is granted only to organizations meeting their standards. Compliance with standards must be supported by substantial documentation. A summary of standards follows:

            1. There shall be an active, responsible governing board, a
            majority of whom together are not employees/staff, or immediate
            family members which meets at least semi-annually, having policy
            making authority.

            2. Required annual audit by a public accounting firm performed in
            accordance with generally accepted auditing standards with the
            financial statements prepared in accordance with generally
            accepted accounting principles.

            3. Audited financial statements shall be available on request.

            4. An active audit committee, a majority of whom are not
            employees/staff shall be established by the governing board of
            the organization.

            5. The organization shall carry on its business with the highest
            standards of integrity and avoid conflicts of interests.
(pg. 298)
            6. The member organization shall have a clearly defined statement
            of faith, consistent with the Evangelical Christian perspective.

            7. All programs and activities of the organization shall be
            consistent with its stated purposes and objectives and donated
            funds shall be applied for the purposes for which they were

Had the WCG followed such standards, there would be no legal problems now. In fact, Armstrong and Rader, had they been true to God, would have been in the forefront in establishing such standards for others to follow, as an example of proper Christian stewardship.

ECFA executive director Olan Hendrix is, in one respect, in full agreement with the California Attorney General, having stated, "Every Christian charity must be fully ac countable to
its giving public. Each dollar must be regarded as a sacred trust."


Rader has stated that the hearing for an ex parte receivership was illegal. He has claimed that the ex parte action was a result of dishonesty among the lawyers and judges.
Yet on June 2, 1980, WCG minister Sherwin McMichael, and Henry Cornwall obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order, which halted the release of David Robinson's book "Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web." The suit was filed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Robinson lives, and now pastors an independent Church of God.

Testimony in later court hearings showed that the plaintiffs were acting on behalf of the WCG, and that the WCG was paying the legal fees.

The very same people who claim that the First Amendment is being trampled by the State of California in its effort to correct their alleged fraudulent activity in handling of Church funds, felt no guilt in trampling Robinson's constitutional rights to publish a book.

In the later hearings, the courts decided in favor of Robinson, and his book was released.

Why such an effort to prevent release of Robinson's book?

In Chapter 19 is Robinson's account of his meetings with (pg. 299) Armstrong. This was read by him to me over the phone, from what was to later become part of his book. This account was copied and distributed to many by Robinson in manuscript form. When Church officials became aware of Robinson's plans to include such accounts in a book, they moved against him.

Robinson's book is a devastating account of hypocrisy and false leadership in the Worldwide Church. Most revealing is the fact that Garner Ted is, as many have stated "truly his father's son." He was not the first member of the family to engage in sexual sins. His father had set quite an example. What could be worse than a man engaging in incest with his daughter? According to Robinson, this is one of the many things of which Herbert Armstrong, the selfappointed apostle, is guilty. No wonder God has turned his back on the Worldwide Church of God.


What about Garner Ted and what he called the "new beginning," the Church of God International? Were all the good things that he was saying being said with sincerity, or did he, like a politician, know what the people wanted to hear?

In July 1979, the CGI distributed copies of the Constitution and By Laws. This document provided that "The Chairman and Pastor (Garner Ted) shall hold office in perpetuity by virtue of having been chosen by the divine authority of Jesus Christ..." "The Chairman shall have power and authority to appoint and/or dissolve any and all committees...Constitutional amendments required a two-thirds majority of the board and approval of the Chairman. In other words, Garner Ted would have full veto power over all actions.

The provision for removal of the Chairman required a unanimous Board decision. With the Chairman's wife and brother-in-law on the Board, such an action would be highly improbable, even under the most extreme cases of irresponsibility. Would Shirley Armstrong vote her husband out of a job paying over $40,000 per year, plus fringes such as free restaurant meals nearly every night, expense account for the Cessna 310 plane, and other percs?

(pg. 300) Truly, it appeared to be a WCG rerun after all!

The Constitution created an uproar among the members. Had Garner Ted forgotten that most of them were the thinking people who had left the WCG?

Hastily, a constitutional committee was appointed. I was one of several who were called to make suggestions. Special meetings were held for the general membership. Slowly the furor died down, and no affirmative action was ever taken.

In January 1980, Jack Martin, who had become the Publishing Director of the CGI, was fired by Garner Ted. He was planning to resign, but was fired first, as he had begun to publicly state: "It remains to be seen whether this is going to be God's Church or just Ted's Church."

Immediately following Martin's firing, Allan Heath, Editor of CGI Publications, quit. At the same time, Wayne Cole, after only a few months as Director of the Ministry, resigned. He was true to his word. He had told me in June 1979 that he would never be part of another spiritual fraud. He said that as soon as he saw Garner Ted setting himself up as an authoritarian despot, he would leave. He did just that. If only other ministers in many other churches had the same courage of their convictions.

Also, at about the same time, Wesley Ward resigned from the Board and left the CGI. He had been chairman of the constitutional committee. Aware that he had been used, he left. Ward said, "Ted thought he could use me as a rubber stamp. Well, I was the only one on the Board who wouldn't be a rubber stamp. Ted's no different than his father."

And Wayne Cole had something similar to say. He said, "Just like his father, Ted uses and abuses people."

While following in the ways of his father, trying to establish his own private religious business, Garner Ted appears to have reverted back to other types of conduct. It appeared for a while as though he had repented of his past sexual sins. Perhaps for a time, he did.
More recently, he has been seen stumbling out of a bar called the Foxy Lady. He was known to hang out in a place that was raided for drugs. A young real estate saleswoman was asked to meet him at a bar to discuss his real estate requirements. She was shocked to find out that his true intention appeared to be his desire to have an affair with her.

(pg. 301) Garner Ted is known now as one who makes a fool of himself in public places around Tyler, being loud and boisterous, seeking to be the center of attention, and making a spectacle of himself. Strangely, he accused his father of the very same thing.
Garner Ted and his establishment of the CGI started out so well. Many of us were encourged, and thought that he was truly yielding himself to Jesus Christ. Recent events have shown that this was just a short lived deception. While the CGI still exists, it is faltering. The thinking people have left, many worshipping with independently formed Churches of God.
Income has dropped from a high of $25,000 per week to less than $15,000 per week.

Garner Ted now has his own little group of idol worshipers, taken from his father. They just happen to prefer bowing down before a younger golden calf.


On April 25, 1980, all employees of the Worldwide Church of God were terminated. With their letters of termination, they received a letter from another organization called "Herbert W. Armstrong The Apostle of the Worldwide Church of God and His Successor, a corporation sole." The terminated employees were offered employment with the Armstrong corporation,  conditioned on strict loyalty to all rules, regulations, doctrines, teachings, and beliefs of the Church (meaning Armstrong).

Further, part-time employment elsewhere was forbidden. Termination could be with or without cause, without severance pay or other benefits. An employee's spouse was also required to agree with and sign the new employment agreement.

As a result of this maneuver, the WCG members were left thinking that they were a member of one group, while in fact, their ministers would now be in the direct personal employment of Armstrong or his successor. It does not take much intelligence to deduce who that would be. Most ministers and other employees have now been compromised to the point where they have signed this document.

Clearly, any minister signing such an agreement is unfit to represent himself as a minister of Jesus Christ.

Through the summer of 1980, the Church leaders began a major (302) advertising campaign, taking their battle against the Attorney General before the public. Full-page advertisements, at the rate of two or three each month, were placed in major newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Church members, through their tithes, were actually paying a small fortune for Armstrong and Rader to engage in a massive campaign of self-aggrandizement. As an example, the Wall Street Journal full-page ad costs $42,000 per day.

While the legal battles continued, Rader succeeded in enlisting the support of many California politicians to his cause. Seeing the level of corruption in politics, it is easy to see how Rader could gain the support of many politicians. Their game is the same. They just play in different arenas.
With the added support of many church leaders of various denominations, some deceived by him, and others fearful of themselves being exposed, a bill was introduced to the California legislature by Senator Nicholas Petris. The bill states. "Except as the Attorney General is empowered to act in the enforcement of the criminal laws of this state . . . (he) . . . shall have no power with respect to religious corporations." In effect, the bill, if it becomes law, will prohibit the Attorney General from acting on behalf of a church in an action against leaders who are suspected of misappropriating funds. The Attorney General would no longer be able to seek recovery of monies for a church. The only avenue would be criminal prosecution, a much more difficult task.

In May, the Senate passed the bill and in August it was passed by the Assembly. If Governor Brown does not veto the bill, it will become law in June 1981. While it would not be retroactive to a time prior to the current action, it would in effect, many feel, neutralize any further attempts by the Attorney General to continue in his actions against WCG leaders.
The tragedy of such a law going into effect is that California would most likely become the home of anyone seeking to perpetrate fraud in the guise of religion. Eventually, some of these frauds may get so out of hand that the law will be repealed. The backlash in such an event could in fact bring about real religious oppression, which Rader has deceived many into believing that this law is designed to prevent. In such a backlash, one could expect laws of oppression to be enacted.

(pg. 303) Can religious leaders perpetrate fraud, and get away with it? It may seem like they can, perhaps for a time. But they will always live in fear of being caught.
In Isaiah 33, the prophet was inspired by God to write that the sinners in Zion (symbolically speaking, the Church) are afraid, that fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites. And in verse 18, an astonishing statement: "Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? Where is the receiver? Where is he that counteth the towers?"
Study this, using a concordance, and you will see that the sinful religious leader will be in constant fear of being caught. He will fear having to give an accounting. And he will fear that his pulpits, pride and honor (his banquets and speeches) are to be counted and found to be worthless.

And what if we must continue to watch as Church leaders seem to get away with fraud and deceit. We can only accept that God is allowing it for a time, allowing people to be fully responsible for their own actions, whether they will follow the truth of Jesus Christ or the false ways and lies of certain men. Rader has stated to David Robinson that it is a higher duty for men in responsible positions to lie.

Not only false teachers, but also those who willingly follow them, shall finally perish. If you are following such a false leader, read what God inspired Peter to write.

            "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they  understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
            And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in  the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
            Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an   heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

            Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

            But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet.

            These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

            (pg. 304) For when they speak great swelling worlds of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantoness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

            While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is lie brought in bondage.For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

            For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

            But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
            - II Peter 2:12-22

            "Come out of her, my people, that be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. " (Rev.18:4)

            "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."    (John 8:32)


(pg. 305) ON OCTOBER 14, 1980, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE Deukmejian announced that he was dropping any further action against the leaders of the WCG. His announcement was a result of the signing of the Petris bill by Governor Edmund G. Brown on September 30. Deukmejian also dropped any further investigations of eleven other groups, including Synanon, the drug rehabilitation organization which had become a religious cult.
Such an action on Deukmejian's part was expected, if the bill did become law. He is an elected official, who inherited the case from his predecessor, Evelle Younger. The actual handling of the case was by a staff of career officials, under the direction of Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Tapper.

It was evident that a pursuit of the case, in light of the new law, could take two or three years. It could present a political handicap for someone who is rumored to have his eye on the Governor's office. Obviously, political ambitions are not best served by a case such as the one against the WCG leaders.
Rader had done a masterful job of creating a church-state confrontation and the final outcome would make him appear victorious. But, did we really lose? Did Armstrong and Rader really win?
I don't think that we lost. The entire operation of the Church was brought into the open. During the year and a half of legal (pg. 306) battling, Rader had time to bring the Church into compliance with the letter of the law, if not the spirit of the law. The Church issued its first detailed financial statement in the Autumn of 1980. Salaries, fringes, and other unchristian excesses were all footnoted. As a result, the burden of sound Christian stewardship is now even heavier on the members, as they now have the information available to determine if those they support are truly servants of Jesus Christ.

Even more evident, however, is the fact that the Church remains a spiritual fraud, under the leadership of Armstrong and Rader. It appears that the deception will grow stronger, as Armstrong and Rader further involve themselves in their Illuminati activities, deceiving the members into thinking they are supporting the work of Christ, while in fact they are supporting a satanic counterfeit.

After the suit was dropped, Armstrong continued the weekly advertisements in major newspapers. In another of his exercises in self aggrandizement, each advertisement carried his photo, under the headline "A Voice Cries Out." The general theme is his euphemistic message about all the world's ills being a result of  a selfish "GET" attitude, and the cure being a "GIVE" attitude.

God and Christ are only mentioned in a most abstract way, if at all. Armstrong's message is nothing more than another version of secular humanism. There is no way that one would get a message of salvation through Jesus Christ from the advertisements. Yet, members are told that this is a new thrust to bring the Gospel to the world. It is actually just a continuation of Armstrong's big lie.
Armstrong states each week that peace will be brought about by the intervention of a great "Unseen Hand from Someplace." That is a name which cannot be found in the Bible. It can mean many things, depending on a person's particular belief. And, to the Illumanists, the phrase refers to their god Lucifer, Satan the Devil.
It appears now, that having fallen away from the truth, that Armstrong, and Rader, who many believe to be a modern day Simon Magus (the Sorcerer) (Acts 8:9 & Gal.1:7) are fulfilling many end time prophesies as workers of iniquity. Don't be surprised if these two men become prominent news figures as a result of their international efforts. And don't be deceived by their words.

This further emphasizes the fact that those who represent themselves as ministers of Jesus Christ should be examined very (pg. 307) critically. If their words and actions are not in full accord with the Word of God, then they are frauds, and of Satan.

And, now to answer the question, did Armstrong and Rader win? They may now be out of reach of the courts. But, there is one Judge beyond whom there are no appeals.

"Many seek the ruler's favor; but every man's judgement cometh from the Lord." (Proverbs 29:26)

"For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10)