Letter to Author, Janis Hutchinson
From ESN Founder
Pt. 1 | Pt. 2
1995 proved to be the pivotal year for the Tkach Co. new business strategy. Within two weeks of the New Covenant announcement, the leaders contacted the LA Times to place an article about how financially destitute the WCG had become due to their new doctrinal changes. The members were being blamed for the supposed financial stress due to holding back their tithes. More deception permeated the media that the members were rebelling from the changes and the income was desperate. The next PR ploy given to the LA Times was that UCG was breaking away in rebellion to the Church turning to Christ. Once again, it proved to be ultra propaganda and timed to the strategy of the Tkach leaders. I spoke with Larry Stammer of the LA Times and he told me that the leaders contacted him and basically told him what to write. He said he had no other way of confirming things and no documented materials to substantiate the leaders claim of change. He stated that it was impossible to get any financial accountability from the church and that he could not investigate their allegations. The propaganda that the church was losing members and money started within two weeks of the breaking news to the members that the church was moving into "some" new teachings. Meanwhile, HWA was highly esteemed and it was even stated that these were the teachings that HWA requested before he died. [Read: Deception Surrounding Worldwide Church of God Changes to see how this was so.] Lie after lie was piped toward the members.
The Tkach leaders wanted it publicly known that the church was doing fine until they bravely embraced Christ's lead and made the necessary changes despite what the outcome might be. Once the sudden news of change was finally delivered to the members, the leaders capitalized on this event to blame the members on the church's financial decline, when in fact, it was declining for years." Fortunately for them, those following the turn of events had no critical information or way of discerning the strategy while it played out within the cult. Because of the secrecy and withholding of information by the cult leaders, it is near to impossible to counter the propaganda pouring from the church's headquarters. The dual messages piped into the evangelical cult-watching arena for the first quarter of 1995 was, "Look, we are no longer a cult, but now we are moving into true Christianity and look what we are sacrificing because of our obedience to Christ." In reality, the WCG corporation wasn't losing any more money or people than they lost on a routine basis. While that may have seemed impressive to some in the evangelical arena who had no other facts, the truth is, the WCG leaders were liquidating the assets and doing God only knows what with the millions of dollars for years prior to this event. The many foreign bank accounts received millions ongoing while the leaders lived like KINGS in all their power and glory. Equally important to note is that leaders have always inflated the number of members in the Worldwide Church of God. Careful calculations based on the factual data available from the head of Data Processing in 1973, Mike Hollman ["Armstrongism: An Insider's View"], along with lack of recruiting from that point on to 1995, and consideration regarding the massive attrition rate in 1974, 1978-79, and again following the death of the beloved leader, HWA, calculations indicate that there could not have been more than 40,000 members prior to the UCG split and that is a liberal estimate. The UCG started with approx. 17,000 members, which in turn, left the WCG with a possible 20,000 members remaining.
The hasty blame on the members regarding the "sudden" financial problem in the WCG was another tactic that helped the leaders look as if they were sacrificing deeply for their quest for truth. The newly generated PR from the WCG leaders was also indicating that they had to sell assets such as the jet airplane, the ministers fleet cars, eliminate programs, cut back jobs etc. What the outsider's didn't know, is that the leaders were planning for an entire business and marketing restructure for the past several years in hopes to recover from the past two and one half decades of massive decline.
But what about the multi-millions of dollars in income? In plain English, your guess is as good as ours, although be assured we are working on the truth behind who and what has been supporting this organization all these years. You may be aware that the pounding law of triple tier tithing was commanded without exceptions. Despite the fact that the current leaders were approached for years by outside Christians and ex-members who learned the New Testament understanding regarding the faulty tithing system and the burden it placed on the members, the leaders continued to exploit the members through guilt and fear tactics to give, pay and pray. Even though the members would strive to obey each rule (as their salvation depended on it), it would have been impossible for the church to accumulate wealth to the stint of $225,000,000 in income as it did in 1989 and 1990. Even if the members totaled 50,000 in number, which would again be a very liberal conclusion and considering the average income per capita, the most the church would have generated would be $100,000,000 each year. When we consider that Billy Graham's income is more in line with the latter figure and Focus on the Family with all its product development grosses approximately the same, we can see that scrutiny and question is in order as to how the WCG is masking such great wealth and better yet, what in the world are they doing with it?
[I stress at this point that the tithing money and offerings were being coerced from the membership through fear, guilt, and threat all while it was a known fact that the system was false. In many cases the money was used for despicable, sinful means under the false pretenses that a Gospel was being spread to the world. In legal terms, it is called fraud. Every trick in the book was used to squeeze the last dime out of the unsuspecting members. Thousands, to this very day, live in poverty, as they are unable to recover what was knowingly stolen from them through deception. Every member was expected to contribute what amounted to approximately 27% of their gross income to support: first tithe, second tithe, third tithe, offering, building funds, SEP camps, special collection, and anything else that could generate money.]
Watching the WCG events unfold from the inside out and vice versa allows one to assemble the fragmented pieces together regarding the WCG agenda or plan. One cannot step into the current events and critically weigh the reason behind the events. The history of the WCG, its leaders, its doctrinal origin, its past endeavors with foreign country leaders, international dealings, its multitude of business adventures--many of which were quite "unchristian"--and other aspects of consideration are necessary to scrutinize before one hastily accepts the current leaders' words (which we strongly consider propaganda laced with verbal flavorings of "Christ!"
The pivotal year of 1995 continued with more pronounced doctrinal changes, again with total contradictions in church writings, blame on the membership, duplicity and spin control at every level. One month the publications would state one thing; the same month the opposite might be stated in a sermon. I cannot stress the negative impact toward healthy thinking these techniques caused on the remaining members at large. Until this very day, newly exiting members report to me that they are told by insiders, "nothing really changed." The best description for the very thought out approach to the leaders' strategy is called spin control.
Throughout the 1995 summer months, the members were being told many conflicting stories about the illness of Joe Tkach, Sr. The manner in which everything is told to the obedient members is with conflict, which in turn leaves one unbalanced, indecisive, in fear arid traumatized. Joe Tkach, Sr. died in September (9-22-95) supposedly from cancer complications I say supposedly because of the many conflicting stories that surrounded his death and generated from the Headquarters church. This event also marked the beginning of the real "coming out of the closet" as Hank Hanegraaff and Joe Tkach, Jr., the newly appointed Pastor General, embraced each other at the cult leader's funeral. [This picture is displayed in the October 3, 1995 Worldwide News2 on page 8.]
The Christian Research Institute
At this time, allow me to back up and give you an overview of some of the PR maneuvers that transpired these past few years. As I mentioned earlier, 1989 marked the beginning of the WCG reach out to the counter cult community. The initial evangelicals recruited were Ruth Tucker, Alan Gomes, Kurt VanGorden, Josh McDowell, among others. David Hulme, head PR man, was attending Tanner Lectures and writing notices often with polite threats to all who were placing WCG as a cult in their publications. Verbiage such as, "We don't teach Armstrong doctrines anymore," would be told to whomever. Mark Kelner, writer for Christianity Today (and ex-member of the WCG), stated that he believed the leaders at face value and that was all the proof he needed to know that they were changing.
I personally spoke at length with Alan Gomes and Eric Pement from Jesus People USA who also claimed they were watching and scrutinizing the change. Time and again, these people claiming to be cult experts had nothing to substantiate their allegiance to the WCG leaders, other than the cult leader's word. These same people flatly ignored ex-members and their personal testimonies. While so many wonderful Christ seeking exiting members reached out to the counter-cult services for help, they were turned away and labeled "bitter" or "angry," which is the exact same brain-washing dogma that is used within the cult to keep the members obedient to the controllers while they shun and discredit those who speak out.
While certain supposed counter cult watchers were feeling assured that the WCG was going to embrace Christian Orthodoxy, the members were being told repeatedly that the "law was not done away with" or "the Sabbath is here to stay," etc., etc. No counter-cult ministry was more damaging to the thousands who were highly victimized and exploited from such a corruptive group, than Christian Research Institute. In April of 1994, the Network was called by Paul Carden of CRI. He was scheduled to meet with the WCG leaders that morning. He was very rushed and diligently trying to obtain questions to ask the WCG leaders. I was quite surprised, actually shocked to learn how unprepared and uninformed the CRI had been regarding the Worldwide Church of God. Paul Carden clearly stated that the CRI didn't have any inside publications on hand other than a few older booklets and they did not receive regular mailings of the publications aimed at "members only." I relayed that careful scrutiny regarding the WCG was of the utmost importance as many lives were at stake. Paul Carden promised to return my call, but never did. Hank Hanegraaff never responded to the Network letters of pleas for assistance nor did he return any other answers to many who flagged his help. All were rudely ignored. [See letters to Hanegraaff] His rudeness left many discouraged as they could not understand why they would be ignored especially if his ministry was honestly researching the reasons behind the events.
On May 5th, about one week after the meeting with Joe Jr. Mike Feazell; and Greg Albrecht; Paul Carden stated on the Bible Answer Man that the WCG embraced the Trinity. What a shocker to those who knew better as most members would not even remember how to spell the word after being in the Worldwide Church of God. The word "Trinity" was not once stated in any church area or any publication other than it being Satan's deception, and here CRI was promoting a cult on the airway and passing unfounded misinformation. What could have been their motive, we pondered.
With the exception of a few articles in the Journal and in Christianity Today (a very good friend of CRI), Hank kept a low profile for the following year with the WCG, until his "rekindled" relationship at the funeral of Joseph Tkach, Sr. At least this was the first public indication that there were dealings between Hank and Joe Jr. [Note: Christian Research Institute is also known as Christian Research International.]
The radio event served as a catalyst, which inspired the Network to research Hank Hanegraaff and CRI. To our shocking dismay, we learned many allegations waged in his direction surrounding abuse, corruption and financial improprieties. Included in this package of information is a compilation of material that will aid you in the awareness of some of the issues involving Mr. Hank Hanegraaff. I think it is important to mention, as you may already know, Hank Hanegraaff had a lawsuit brought to him by his ex-employees with many major allegations waged toward him. One of which was a possible layoff from another known cult to claim them free of cult status. The Hank Hanegraaff demise started in 1994, around the same time that the three leaders met with CRI, and the legal rage continued through 1995. This could very well be the reason why Hank kept a lower profile during this time. There are many details regarding this lawsuit and what transpired between the impoverished plaintiffs and the defendant's multi-thousand dollar defense. The lawsuit may have settled for reasons beyond control, but the continued allegations toward Hank Hanegraaff's behavior and practice has not stopped. The Network joins many true Christians who stand with courage and demand accountability from Hank Hanegraaff as his actions with the WCG have negatively impacted thousands of victims and he has demonstrated what many allege.
I mention that no other counter cult ministry was as damaging as CRI and Hank Hanegraaff for several reasons:
- He was/ and remains the loudest proponent of the WCG propaganda. He acted as the main PR spokesman for their position.
- The smaller ministries when interviewed repeatedly state they take whatever CRI says at face value and figures it has done research. I spoke with the Home Mission's Board and was told that WCG has changed its doctrines and is changing. I asked the gentleman how he knew this for certain, and his response was, "We follow the research of CRI." The fact is, CRI doesn't research! The deals Hank makes with cult leaders have nothing to do with research!
You will find several letters and pictures that will verify the relationship explained above. I include the testimony and document package because it is obvious that CRI and WCG will continue to engage in financial endeavors in the near future. Hank may sound the trumpet that his relationship with the cult leaders is about doctrine, but the evidence is showing that it is more likely about personal wealth and gain.
On a recent radio show Hank had Joe Jr. and Greg Albrecht as guests. Included in the dialog filled with distortions of truth, Joe Jr. states he looks forward to working on future projects together. Based on the history of the WCG and from what we have now learned about Hank Hanegraaff, as we continue to carefully monitor him and his actions, those projects will be about large sums of income.
I see this letter has expanded in unplanned length so I will attempt to sum it up for you.
The WCG rightly deserved its well-documented title of a very destructive cult. In over sixty years of existence, it has caused nothing but destruction and has left a mass of ruination of lives of thousands in its wake in every capacity imaginable. The WCG corporate empire afforded the leaders the power to continue in the face of opposition time and again. The string of lawsuits and court cases, the suicides, the investigations, the receivership, the double lives of the leaders, the allegations of homosexuality and sexual deviance, and the financial opulence and waste under a deception and shield of Christ, may have played into the hands of the leaders for several decades but it caught up with the corporate empire and led to the demise of a smoke screen church.
The unique Armstrong message of Apocalypticism, British-Israelism, and One World Government ran dry as a product for the money men. It was dying on a continuing slide downward since the late 1960's. Doctrinally, the cult was always in flux as to accuracy of doctrines, which caused ongoing rebellions and steady attrition. While Apocalyptic churches espousing the Volumes of Fundamentalism1 will always be a part of the "religion" circuit, they will never attract a major following. It will hold a pinhead size share of the major Christian market. That pinhead share has not in the past, and will not in the future, pave the way for a $200,000,000 yearly income.
How did the WCG gain the financial backing to obtain some of the wealthiest land holdings in Southern California; to erect multi-million dollar lavishly designed buildings laced with Crystal and gold leafing; many jet airplanes customized as if for the King of Kings; multi-million dollars in Artwork investments; sprawling ranches and scattered real estate holdings; huge arenas owned by the WCG corporations such as the Wisconsin Dells; hundreds of acres of manicured land in Texas; along with scattered parcels unrelated to the college; maintenance of a beautiful pristine golf course; building upon building holding college related activities (enrollment averaging 700 per year); the beautiful Bricket Wood estate owned and used as a college in England (which was sold several years ago ); the funding of offices in other countries; the lavish ministerial salaries ranging from $60,000 per year to $350,000 per year (the reported salary of the Tkach leaders); millions of dollars in payments to corporate employees who have left the WCG with a signed contract indicating silence; opulent cars such as Jaguars, Limousines, Rolls Royce, housing allowances and perks to boot for ministers, and on and on and on?
The above doesn't detail the cost of managing all the land holdings and investments. It does not describe the additional corporations and businesses that are attached to the TAX-EXEMPT organization. There is so much behind the soft-spoken words that ring sounds of "Christ" that Joe Jr., Mike or Greg Albrecht do not mention. The WCG is a corporate empire! The leaders in the forefront today are the same leaders who have been running the show for the past ten years, very possibly under a higher layer of management such as Stanley Rader. Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. did not meet with the counter-cult groups or evangelicals. Often, he was not aware of what was going on. He had a ghostwriter and did a few sermons yearly, which he read from paper. The Sr. Tkach functioned more like a PR man, as do the three men who have replaced him.
The Articles of Corporation indicate the assets are under the Tkach men. Only randomly is any financial statement posted and it is, as Larry Stammer, L.A. Times indicated, impossible to find out what they are doing with the millions, impossible for those who do not have the financial means to hire the necessary investigators and full-time researchers. The WCG has an FBI file3,quite thick I understand, as we continue to pursue obtaining it. Stanley Rader is quoted by many sources as being a 33º Mason.4 It is fact that some of the WCG's closest friends, such as King Hussein, is also.
The WCG lost its product and had nothing to fall back on. That does indicate that it was financially dying. They set out years ago to downsize and change the non-income producing structure. The church, set up as it were, did not generate ANY additional income. When the leaders, current leaders included, squeezed every last dime out of the remainder membership, they set out to join the "religious market" that happens to be the fastest growing belief system in this country (SIRS survey: Is God Alive?). The WCG system did not allow for any means of growth other than the television show and Plain Truth magazine. When that stopped working, so did recruiting. No recruits, "no commanded tithes." Many do not realize that the church entity of the mega-million corporation is but a very small part of the whole conglomerate. However, the "church" with its few members, provides a shield of armor that allows the business moguls to grow with self certainty analogous to the "Gilded Age" before taxation chewed the wealthy alive.
You may now understand why the term "propaganda'' is appropriate to describe the duel messages given to outsiders and the insiders. Yes, there is a reason behind the event, but how would any true Christian in Christ have the means or ability to obtain critical information, pertinent to the understanding of the whole agenda?
When the PR team set out to befriend the select few in the Evangelical counter cult arena, they appealed to vanity and ego. I say that sensitively, knowing how skilled these individuals, with their minimal degrees in psychology, are in the art of persuasion. They have made millions on duping the most skilled, most intelligent, most sincere people imaginable. After years of evangelical dissent toward the WCG, here come the "innocent leaders" claiming they too were victims of bad old Mr. Armstrong and now want to turn their life over to Christ. How can one not believe someone when they look one the eye, sound so sincere, and say all the right things? Thousands upon thousands who have been ripped off and destroyed by the same people, only with a different message at that time, have asked the same question, after the fact.
The ministers from WCG and its extension groups are dependent on the salaries provided by these organizations. Take away their current career and they have nothing. We have witnessed more than half of the WCG membership, move snugly into the UCG or Global organization without missing a week's pay. The whole process was smoother than words could describe. I do not contend that every minister on the local level was deceptively maneuvering a conspiratorial play; however, we cannot look at Rod Meredith and David Hulme, knowing much about their history with the WCG, without scrutinizing the possibility of deception. The Tkaches were quoted often that they didn't care if they ended up with 5,000 left in the Worldwide Church or God. I believe that was a fair statement. As over one half of the WCG membership was quickly positioned into an organization much like "home" if you will, those remaining in the WCG would continue to fall out, with the smallest percentage hanging onto the current leader's every move. As the saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," the actions of the leaders certainly demonstrated that their focus is on new young blood. Tom Lapacka, one of the current leaders once stated to several thousand in a sermon, "The WCG train is on the move and those hanging onto the caboose will be cut away."
If the leaders were to be honest about the actual membership, it would raise immediate questions as to how they are maintaining such an empire. If the evangelicals were to pose scrutinizing questions, it might be easier to obtain a factual read on the organization and cut through any whitewash or smoke screens. I have asked several individuals such as Dr. D. James Kennedy5, to request copies of all current booklets and literature, all Worldwide News copies for the past two to three years, all Pastor General letters sent to the members, any and all study materials given to the members over these "eight years of change." I especially recommend to those being currently "wined and dined" about the new WCG, request copies of all financial statements and income statements over the past fifteen years. Certainly, this is a small request for such a massive empire. I would also think that the leaders who profess to be true blue in Christ would be more than thrilled to show that there are no skeletons in the closet. There is much in the line of question or documentation that could be posed to the current leaders (who now claim that they too were Victims), but what I listed above would be a great place to start for solid research. The Articles of Corporation also demonstrate questionable behavior. You may wish to have them send you a copy, along with any amendments of all the corporate papers from the inception of the church. If you run into problems, I can send you a copy.
The leaders of the WCG have implemented a new market strategy and have beefed up their business tactics to match the 1990's and are preparing for the next century. Personal evangelism will be the main recruiting tool, under the guise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will provide a non-threatening approach to sign up new energetic, unsuspecting, Christ oriented people namely YOUTH. There will not be local churches, but replaced with home Bible studies. Slowly, a discipling method will be introduced that will manage the obedience in the church. The emphasis will be on bringing new members into "Christ's fold" (other words for recruiting). The newly recruited members will be highly involved in fundraising activities and all "the Gospel" activities will concentrate on bringing all the "tithes into thy (WCG) storehouse." The management setup will exemplify that of a multi-level marketing company. The sad difference here is that "Christ" will be used as the product of choice.
The World Tomorrow may have been high on the Arbertron Ratings for awhile, but it didn't sustain new "bites" to its message, nor was is successful in the long run in recruiting. The WCG will attempt to penetrate the radio in the near future. It has already laid the foundation It has set up its own radio facility in Big Sandy, Texas and is filling the airways with messages of how the WCG is no longer cult but transformed into truth. The leaders desperately needed individuals such as yourself to stand up for them with credibility. The ploy is ingenious! After uniting with CRI and Christianity Today, the PR job became very easy and free of charge of course. All it took were a few words from the leaders, and many with publishing clout kissed the WCG with a good bill of heath. Many ministries also wanted to be credited as if they were the ones who helped bring this group out of apostasy. I wonder why they got that idea?
The leaders will continue to manipulate double messages, as they are not ready to embrace the full orthodox understanding. They continue the Sabbath meetings with the excuse that to change it would also be legalism. They will continue the "Holy Days" schedule as it brings in a chunk of income from the seven commanded offerings. No doubt the future will see a slow change away from the many old practices that continue, but only after they have recruited enough YOUTH and new members to where is does not make a difference. A perfect example of the duality is the tithing issue. Yes, the members are still manipulated to tithe, only now that they understand Christ died for them, they should want to tithe even more than in the past. And that's the way it goes.
Had the WCG "transition" been true, and for the right reasons, the conversion process would never have manifested such levels of lies and deceit. Christ would not have allowed the bulk of WCG members to be shuffled over under another Armstrong type corporation (or WCG entity) espousing legalism to boot. The leaders would have had true compassion for those they abused, rather than having placed blame and fault on the members for what was taught in the past. The Tkach Co. would have come clean regarding Herbert W. Armstrong as a false prophet and Apostle right from the beginning. They would have given a clean account of the doctrinal history, which they are fully aware, but still incorporate to some degrees. The multi-million dollar empire would have made financial restitution with those who were victims of theft in the name Christ, instead of blowing them off as dissidents, or bitter individuals without God's Holy Spirit. They would never have covered up the sordid true history of the WCG, nor would they have continued to employ some of the most abusive controlling men that have reigned and lorded over the deceived for years. Furthermore, every step implemented toward this multi-level marketing change that occurred these past few years, fostered trauma-inducing conflict, not Christ centered orientation. What transpired was not coincidence or by happenstance. It was engineered! They give the excuse they were trying to spare the church from undo loss, so the changes were made slowly; the fact is, the changes made are self-serving and intended to rebuild the new WCG empire. Allow me to sum it up by saying, Mike Feazell, Greg Albrecht, and Pastor General Joseph Tkach SR and JR failed your suggestions 1-11, starting on page 89 of your book, Out of the Cult and INTO the Churches. With all their money and publishing clout, why haven't they purchased 20,000 copies of your book to hand out to every remaining member? They could well afford it; one artwork piece sold would have paid the bill. The leaders live in the church mansions totally free of personal cost and make huge salaries; does their Christian love stretch far enough to give a little back to those they took so much from? Their computers log the names of all those who were disfellowshipped and cast out for questioning. They can freely send each victim a copy of your book, don't you think so? Or, how about the 30,000 ex-WCGers who have recently transferred to the extension Armstrong groups? What can they do to witness to them?
I could write pages of examples that show clearly, this "transition" had everything to do with the multimillion-dollar empire and not "true conversion to Christ." It will all be said within time. The current leaders are the same abusers of yesterday. They are still not accountable to anyone. 'They have now embraced the religion market of evangelicalism (a bit of a hodgepodge at that) and will use evangelism as their main recruiting tool. We will see Hank Hanegraaff and Tkach team up for some big financial ventures in some capacity. The massive mufti-million dollar WCG computers and printing offices in Pasadena won't go to waste, no matter where the headquarters will be moved. The WCG is in the merchandising business now, and it has a new and viable product!
I thank you Janis, for taking the time to read this and embark on continued research regarding the Worldwide Church of God. I have watched what some may consider reputable cult-watching ministries succumb to the political pressure in the Christian Community. I can't think of any of the cult-watching ministries who have their research away from their armchair. At times it played more like a game these past few years. So many espousing evangelical faith, never having been in a cult, yet setting themselves up as judges over doctrinal matters while ignoring the very heart and soul of this destructive group. There is no doubt that WCG will continue to forge ahead, the atrocity is that they will continue to seek the approval and credibility from those who should stand back and do their homework before judging and esteeming the WCG and its leaders in the name of Christ. This is a serious matter! GOD was the money machine for Armstrongism; JESUS CHRIST is the newly appointed money machine for the current owners of the multi-million dollar enterprise.
I pray you are blessed with patience anti discernment as you attend the upcoming meeting. I know full well that much of what you observe and hear will be most impressive, so I leave you with this story.
One day, the Chief Financial Officer of the WCG was making a visit to the local area here. Two weeks prior to his visit, the members were getting prepared and drilled by the Pastor as to what to say, how to act, how to dress, where to stand, how to approach this "important" man in charge of God's one true church, and even how to smile. The following week, all the above was reviewed so there would be no slip ups by the members. When Mr. Neff arrived, everyone did a perfect job, just like the Pastor expected, everyone followed the directions so naturally. If I were asked at that time if anyone told the me how to act, I would have said, "NEVER! I'm completely in charge of my life."
God's blessings to you, Janis, and I extend much thanks on behalf of many.
L. A. Stuhlman
Exit & Support Network™
Plache Tape exposés from past
Ambassador Report reprints misc.
CRI letter to the members
Travel Agency Galaxy
Plain Truth--"Spiritual Weirdo"
LA Times Articles
Impromptu tape 1995
Pt. 1 | Pt. 2
UPDATE on WCG:
In November 2004 the WCG moved its headquarters from Pasadena to Glendora, California. In April 2009, they changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.) Today they have gone on to embrace New Age Teachers and philosophies. Read: Grace Communion International - New Age and Ecumenical Connections and Letter to Worldwide Church of God, Philippines (On Apostasy--A Radical Proposal) (this letter reached close to 350 WCG ministers, including those at Headquarters).
Footnotes by ESN:
1 Between 1920 and 1950, fundamentalists were preoccupied with fighting theological modernism. Between 1950 and 1970 they were busy opposing New Evangelicalism and ecumenism. Today the word "fundamentalist" has been given a bad name due to its extremism in abusive churches. ESN recommends our readers research the origins of neo-evangelicalism and the New Age Movement as WCG has involved themselves with such. (See links under Discernment & Research and Booklist under "Special Interest" and "The New Age Movement/Occult.")
2 As of February 2005 The Worldwide News in the United States changed to a new format and its name was changed to WCG Today (news of the Worldwide Church of God). In May 2006 it was changed to Together (Worldwide Church of God News).
3 Ambassador Report #48, May 1991, has a section entitled, "The FBI's Files on the WCG." A follow-up AR revealed that these files were later released with much blacked out. (Ambassador Report #51, October 1992) However, a researcher in contact with ESN saw a copy of the original FBI files. (Read 2006 letter to ESN) The files are also mentioned in this offsite report: The Conspiracy Was Strong - The Discernment Ministries. (search for the words "Worldwide Church of God")
4 While some may say that Jews cannot become Masons; therefore Rader, a Jew, couldn't have been a Mason, this offsite article Freemasonry and Judaism are Compatible by Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Applesays otherwise. Excerpts: "Jews have not found freemasonry to be incompatible with their Judaism"; "Especially in English-speaking countries, the movement has always had a high proportion of eminent Jewish members, including leading rabbis"; "To Jews, the right to join freemasonry became a touchstone of religious liberty, an agent of emancipation and social integration." (Also check out Freemasonry & the Cult Connection on our Catalog.)
5 Update: D. James Kennedy died September 5, 2007 at the age of 76. Few are aware that Kennedy was a member of the CNP (Council for National Policy). Much more on the Council for National Policy (founded in 1981), plus a list of members, can be found in this offsite report and in the exposé Let's Focus in on "Focus on the Family" by former FOTF employee Randy Shafer which documents the unscriptural and New Age direction that Focus on the Family is moving the Christian church toward.