OIU Volume Three - Pt. 3 of 5
OUTSIDER'S INSIDE UPDATE™
Next to OIU 3, pt. 4 of 5
The WCG goes The "UNITED WAY"
As the ministerial exodus from the WCG Corporation continues around the globe, the UNITED CHURCH OF GOD (UCG) grows in strength with newly formed corporations coming together to reinstate the WCG that once was. There are, however, a few modifications regarding the "government" structure. We find this particularly noteworthy in lieu of the strategy discussed above. For that reason, an overview of the new UCG is outlined below.
Remember that verbiage piped into your eardrums week after week? Your life was completely restricted from expanding your horizons, because if it didn't gel with whomever was lording over you at the time you were in trouble. The rules and laws were passed down from HQ to the Ministers, to the Deacons and then to you. The order of command was strictly forced upon the members. Deviate from the local law and you were out. Strict adherence to obedience and to GOD'S GOVERNMENT was mandatory. This extremist overture led to people following their leader like sheep to slaughter. Who dared to question? Who dared to act on self-thought? Who dared to tamper with God's plan of Salvation? Wow! Pages could be written on this one topic, but the point is, "God's Government from the top down" didn't work. The WCG leaders learned that the hard way. History and current events teach us how dictatorships fall. The Hitler approach ends in the infernos. The WCG leaders (HWA/Rader included) employed every totalitarian, authoritative and dictatorial method available to control a mass of people. As we view the tactics of secrecy, information control, thought control, behavior control and emotional control, one is reminded of the intense guilt and fear that was felt if one dared to tamper with the controls. These methods (also noted as mind control) were employed to obtain results for the leaders. The usage of the image of God served a vast purpose, which allowed the controlled member to submit his will, vanity, and self-purpose to an organization. On the surface it appears that the individual is exercising his own free will, but nothing is further from truth. The methodical process of mind control equals coercion. The victim is then manipulated into complete submission.
These cult tactics are useful to the cult leaders and serve the goals of power and money. There is, however, a great flaw to the program. People are humans; therefore, they are subject to error. The cult leaders (CL's) can only get so much run for their money, so to speak. The duration of a cult induced recruit can vary, depending on his personal situation and strengths. It could mean immediate dropout to a lifetime member. As cult leaders are well trained to spot those "waking up," they immediately cut off the member by disfellowshipping him, shunning him, setting him up for personal failure or ignoring him. Once one starts the wake-up process, there is usually no return to the intense programming application. Because of this "programming flaw" it is essential to concentrate on fever pitched recruiting methods. The WCG was an organization that ran amuck with recruiting because of the type of control system that was built in place from its inception with HWA. The "Apostle" or "Prophet" setup is not new to cults; all Bible cults have their "one man in charge" on top and directly linked to God. Where the HWA/JWT regimes failed is with the members. Instead of working through the members to obtain results (money and control), the HWA/JWT regimes required strict obedience, conversion, transformation and a personal destruction of the will and the identity. After awhile, the obedient WCG member became a clone to the style of the group. Very often, the members grew quiet, submissive, emotionless, non-thinking, non-creative, depressed, alcoholic, repressed, hopeless, aimless and with nothing to look forward to but the dream outlined by the leaders about the World Tomorrow, which often read like fantasy or science fiction. Now this psychological syndrome outlined here may keep the members anchored to the organization as if they were paralyzed from making a move, but the fact is, it prohibits creativity, enthusiasm, and energy which are the essential ingredients needed to evangelize or fund-raise.
The already failing WCG in the 1970's had no alternative but to gamble on different market strategies in effort to recoup recruiting of the 1960's. The Incredible Human Potential and Mystery of the Ages campaign combined with the "Mr. Armstrong's return from Tucson to get the church back on track" propaganda of 1979 did seem to squeeze the last possible run out of the already exhausted membership [sort of like a shot in the arm effect], but the result was short-lived, as previously outlined.
In business (church), in order to obtain results through people (members), the manager (minister) must apply good managerial techniques (leadership). That would include creating an environment for the employee (member) to have a good positive self-image (self-worth). If the employee (member) considers himself garbage in his boss's (God's) eye, the prospect of any successful accomplishment is doubtful at best.
With all that said, one may understand why WCG had to make radical changes. GOVERNMENT FROM THE TOP DOWN--FAILED, for the long run! Crisis management also took its toll on success possibilities. In PLAIN English the name, Worldwide Church of God, could never recover from its massive and highly exposed trail. The PLAIN TRUTH is a finished name also. They both had their run. As the Armstrong image lives in the minds of the legalists, the new UCG recruits will be anchored to a modern semblance. The UCG ministers have now been trained by the Stephen R. Covey method of management. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People served as a guideline book these past few years while ministers learned, "Powerful Lesson in Personal Change."
The UCG has been set up to reap the benefits of the past, but not repeat the failure that restricted growth and led to the collapse of its Government structure.
Way back on March 18, 1995, Pastor Ray Wooten held his first meeting with 195 members newly transferred from the WCG. In a letter to the ministry of the Church of God, Ray Wooten states:
"As God's ministers, we must realize that we do not merely have a profession or a career; we have a calling from God our Father. Our calling entails two fundamental responsibilities:
- Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.
- Feeding Christ's flock--those whom He has called for us to serve to nurture.
"We have, in the past, concentrated more on the first responsibility, enabling only a few people to do most of the evangelizing. The majority provided direct financial support, but were only vicariously involved with the evangelistic efforts."
"Historically, our relationship with God's people has been one of keeping them encourage to "pay and pray." As a result of this attitude and hierarchical structure of government, we have not seen the overwhelming need of God's people to be properly nurtured and respected for the gifts they have been empowered with by the Holy Spirit. Many ministers have tended to function as lords or governors over their congregations, which is abiblical."
[Note: The words "God's people" as spoken by Ray Wooten is a buzzword used often by those who were in WCG.]
He goes on to say:
"Times have changed--for the world and for God's people. In this age of rapid technological change, corporate and business decentralization--and of empowerment--the church simply MUST understand the importance of a SHARED ministry with ownership at a local level."
"God's people do not need a hierarchical structure where a central headquarters receives all resources and then doles those resources out..."
"There is no single human voice that God's people are hearing. Rather, they are hearing the voices of a group of God's ministers who stand loyal and faithful to the Truth."
"By reorganizing and nurturing God's people in a proper and peaceful environment, we will perpetuate and expand the preaching of the gospel through a SHARED ministry!"
Mr. Ray Wooten's assistant, Mr. Mercer, spoke at length with the ESN regarding the initial start-up of the UCG. Listed here are some of the points and opinions relayed to the ESN:
- Mr. Wooten was fired on March 1st and agreed to Pastor the congregation shortly thereafter. He was not involved in setting up the corporation.
- Corporation was originally set up for members to bank tithes and help ministers who were being fired with no provisions.
- Church development took on a life of its own.
- Corporation packages are being sent out to other ministers to explain how to organize and incorporate.
- The 1939 article that Mr. Armstrong wrote shows how the WCG government structure was wrong.
- We believe God's people have to be served and nourished with no one lording over them.
- We want no organization that breeds carnality, political infighting, or bureaucracy and being more concerned about some message that may or may not be relative to God's people. The work of HWA is over. Now we have distressed people out there that have to be nurtured and served.
- We have no agenda, no HQ movement. We're willing to support a central association. We do not want to be a part of any other big organization. · The people aren't willing to pay or pray any longer, and be fed garbage.
- What we did we tried to do ethically. No WCG member was involved in it.
- We have never been a member of the Worldwide Church of God. We've been members of the Body of Christ.
- The people want to be involved and fed the truth. They don't want the contention or satanic attitude.
- We are very against exploitation. The locally administered distinction will provide the Pastor to serve his people.
- Global and International are brothers, but we are not part of the spin-offs that have the more radical messages.
- We propose that churches go ahead and incorporate with tithes kept locally and get up and start running.
- The peoples' needs are more important than trying to have a work.
- We want what we're involved in to have the right attitude and spirit.
- We're not an elitist mentality. In AU we've seen the cream of the crowd. There are talented people in our Birmingham church and they can be used to serve.
- We have nothing to hide, if we're wrong we'll admit it.
- We've sent our packages to Australia and Scotland.
Mr. Mercer was very helpful and cordial and appeared to have the welfare of the membership at heart. As almost two months have passed since our conversation, I can't help but wonder if he still carries the same thoughts as some the facts above state. The innocent attempt to protect the WCG membership from being led astray has started to mold into a newly devised conglomerate of Churches of God with more and more demands targeted toward the "corporations." It is questionable whether Mr. Mercer had all the facts about who would be the "key players" or new leaders. What seemed to Mr. Mercer to be a "grass roots," "chips fall where they may" approach to saving a like minded people, actually, turns out to be a very organized and methodical strategy toward a brand new Worldwide Church of God type organization. The only difference is how the corporations are set up, and the intention to utilize the members in recruiting efforts. Several UCG ministers have told the OIU, they are not happy with some control problems they see surfacing. Some were quite surprised that the leaders of UCG plan on writing the ministers paychecks. "This, will mean they own us," said one minister.
THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT REORGANIZATION
The UCG uses the America Online to communicate with their ministry. As one insider stated, "You need to have the special code to access the special network." It is on this network that much material is relayed to the reorganizing ministry.
MARCH 17, 1995 Excerpts from The "The Plain Truth" about Reorganization:
"There is no need to document the failings of the Worldwide Church of God. Differing agendas require different actions. We can leave it at that."
"It is very important that each of us strive to have a RIGHT SPIRIT and ATTITUDE so that Christ can unify us through his Holy Spirit"
"It is very important, that we each strive to be agreeable, because the obstacles to our unification are great and the physical resources (at least at first) will be limited. We must learn to agree and to work together to serve God in a spirit of cooperation."
"The reorganization will involve local congregations having a much more important role. In fact, they will have autonomy. There will be no large headquarters and other carnal behavior. The local churches will each incorporate separately, collect tithes and offerings locally and have their own Board of Directors."
"There will be a central association (CA) that functions as a service provider for the local congregations located around the earth. The central association will be very small and will only have those employees that are absolutely necessary. The CA will receive a portion of the funds by the local autonomous congregations, which will be given as the local congregations see fit. The CA will provide the following kinds of services:
- Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
- Recreating a body of literature.
- Helping with legal matters, particularly in the international area.
- Publishing a magazine, church newsletter and materials, which help local congregations.
- Possibly help provide services, which are more inexpensively purchased collectively, e.g. general liability insurance.
- Providing "how to" advice to local congregation who request it.
- Establish Feast sites.
March 24, 1995-- "General Statement"
This statement is from a 10-page document and intended for the ministers contemplating leaving WCG for UCG. [Excerpts only]
"The leading ministers are not trying to limit God, or what he can do. We are simply trying to follow Mr. HWA's classic and timeless advice, which is, Pray like it all depends on God, and then work like it all depends on you."
"If God were to choose to miraculously intervene and cause the leadership of the WCG to repent, or in some other way remove them, no one would be happier than us. We would very much like to go back to being able to live some semblance of normal life."
"This movement would be MUCH FARTHER ALONG, except for the fact that all the principal leaders are DEEPLY CONVERTED and have not wanted to seem as if they are trying to put themselves forward. But the sheep are being slaughtered and so now we must act."
"Some of the people who are being used as examples of excellent conservative leadership, within the WCG are fully aware of the need to separate and consider a separation imminent. They are preparing now both to separate and to work together toward the goal of helping God's people be united. We simply cannot be more explicit than that at this time."
"Do we think UCG has the only Christians? Of course not. There are Christians in the WCG, UCG, PCG, CG International and COG 7th Day to name a few."
"Let's be honest. The basic choices to most of us are as follows:
- Stay in the WCG
- Go with UCG
- Go with Global
- God intervenes and makes his will so abundantly clear that we can all see what to do and then do it."
The perils of local autonomy:
"It is not for the faint of heart. Local autonomy is an effort to avoid a large headquarters complex mentality and all the politics and other carnal behavior that tends to be exhibited there. Are there problems with a local body of believers having the authority to hire and fire ministers?" Yes there are."
"If you want another headquarters complex and like that kind of government structure and if you feel that you would be more comfortable with Global, then that should be YOUR personal choice. We would not feel negatively toward anyone who did join Global because we feel they are our brothers. But we do feel UCG is the best way for us."
"It would certainly be foolish to be out there on your own. Satan will pick you off, with relative ease. All of the leading ministers of the UCG believe that UCG and Global will eventually be together. And the olive branches have already been extended in EACH DIRECTION. Only God knows."
"A central point is that the members (and ministers) have been taken for granted and their talents have been under-utilized. Local autonomy can work, if converted individuals have the RIGHT SPIRIT and ATTITUDE and set their minds to agree to agree. The spirit of Christ can and will unify us, if we will get our carnality out of the way."
"In addition to destroying the WCG, he (Satan) wishes to splinter the COG into as many different pieces as possible. Denying us the collective resources necessary to do a Work, he will then try to pick us off one by one. The leading ministers believe that this splintering must be avoided, at almost all costs."
"A CA will have checks and balances on the local congregations. The local congregations will have to hold certain fundamental doctrinal positions to qualify for membership in the association and to have their members receive the literature, attend the Feast, receive collective legal/purchasing support, etc. The last thing a local congregation, with even a smidgen of wisdom would want, is to be out there by itself."
"It will definitely take a central association to effectively preach the Gospel. There is no question about that. And there will be significant moneys remitted to the CA to do so. This does not mean that there needs to be a large CA office. Television production can be contracted out, etc. Leading ministers can divide the writing responsibilities as we endeavor to recreate a body of literature and to publish a Plain Truth type of magazine. The Regional Pastors can be based in the larger cities so that the main incremental cost associated with them is travel. Only those employees who are absolutely necessary will be hired. And the services provided will be for a high quality and will be performed in a spirit and attitude of service, not in a controlling type spirit and attitude."
April 6, 1995 Legal--Accounting--and How to Memo: on how to organize and commence operations as a local congregation.
This 14-page document is very thorough and outlines how to set-up shop as a local corporation. The excerpts listed below are worth noting:
"We do not advise that you even consider the purchasing of a local church building for at least several years."
"Concentrate on establishing your local church and making it stable. Until you have that done, you are getting ahead of yourself in making plans for such a major capital asset as a church building. And there is another important reason. If the congregations with the surplus of cash, after paying for their own local operations, do not generously support the CA, so that the CA can also preach the gospel as a witness to the nations, but instead, spend all their surplus on a large local church building (and its maintenance), this "Work" is going to be ineffective at best."
"Also, the wealthier congregations are going to have to be willing to subsidize the smaller congregations because fixed costs (like minister's salary and hall rental) hit the smaller congregations so hard."
"For the UCG to establish an entirely different form of COG corporate organization is to obviously imply that the old form of hierarchical structure, with a large central headquarters complex is not acceptable. Let's not dance around this central point. Many, many ministers and members want nothing to do with COG corporate structure that has the trappings of HQ. We are leery of having one corporate form of church organization seized and then used against the church. We are leery of the wrong spirit and attitude which has so often affected too many (not anywhere near all) of those employed at HQ. For those who are more comfortable with the hierarchical form of government and a large HQ complex you will probably need to consider other alternatives.""It should be noted that the UCG does not seek to run like a fool out of the dictator ditch and into the pure democracy ditch."
[Under the heading of checks and balances the memo defines the corporate structure and specifies 10 points including:]
POINT 8: An additional check and balance is that the government will have a much more difficult time attacking the COG, like the State of California did during the receivership crises, if we are organized as local autonomous congregations.
POINT 9: We recommend that the central association, once formed, take steps to have its liquid assets located in at least two to three countries to further protect against any inappropriate government action against the COG.POINT 10: An additional benefit to local autonomy is it would be more difficult for the collective COG to be sued and have to pay a large judgment. It's far easier for a plaintiff's lawyer to attack one large target that has a lot of central assets. The start up package for corporations include several other documents explaining how to incorporate and in what state the best deal can be found, along with more "Discussion of Local Church Autonomy VS. Central Control.
For your own copy write to: United Church of God, P.O. Box 361334, Birmingham, Alabama 35236-1334,
(205) 822-8524, FAX (205) 822-8529 [This is not an endorsement]
After a careful review of the package; other considerations outlined above; and dialog with many individuals departing churches, we can plainly see that the old WCG is now fashioned into the new UCG with a government structure replacement that will do the job that the "Government from the top down" failed to do. The image of the UCG will serve to carry on the old WCG, avoid government investigation and scrutiny and prevent retaliation from those who sue for damages caused by the organization. Most likely, the cult watchers will also have a tough time tracking down the abuses and cult behavior.
The solution to pollution is
In April 1995, an Illinois congregation was entertained by a tape-recorded message sent to the minister from HQ. The tape was supposedly recorded from an impromptu meeting at the Festival Coordinator's Conference in Pasadena in March. Joe Tkach, Jr., Mike Feazell and Richard Rice answer questions from several ministers. This 30-minute dialog covers several major questions that most members have. The questions and answers are condensed for space. The message is available from ESN.
[UPDATE: Richard Rice died suddenly July 27, 2003 of a massive heart attack.]
Joe Jr.: The Council of Elders was never established for doctrine. The Council was used as a body to support decisions that HWA made. It rarely met together, only on a few occasions, at the discretion of HWA, but they never had a say in doctrine.
Richard Rice: Elders came together for the passing of the baton to Mr. Tkach. When HWA was about to die he called the elders together, was breathing heavily and in great pain and could hardly speak. We all heard him pray aloud to God for the passing of baton to Mr. Tkach. We only met 2 or 3 times. We (the elders) signed the necessary documents.
Joe Jr.: My Dad would read the Bible, and study certain issues out and say, 'You know, I've seen for a long time that we've been legalists.' He'd assigned me and Mike to research and look things up. He's the one who got this thing going.
Does JWT lead the change or do Mike Feazell, Joe Jr. and Greg Albrecht make the decisions?
Joe Jr.: My Dad (JWT) is the one who got this thing going. These rumors that he committed improprieties and I (Jr.) hold them over his head is nonsense. He'd kill me before he'd let me blackmail him. (Everyone laughs)
My Dad is the first to admit that he's no writer. He's the one who directs this stuff. We (Albert--Feazell--and Jr.) are the presenters. We bare the major burden of presenting it. It falls on our shoulders.
Sometimes I don't explain it clearly, that's my weakness. We are all broken somewhere. I never claimed to be infallible in any of my presentations. I'm sorry, I tried to give you the package and the package is a good package and I'm sorry that I wrapped it poorly.
My Dad doesn't want to talk to reporters, he's gun shy, watching HWA all those years. It is my lot and Mike Feazell's lot to talk to the press.
Mike Feazell: Sometimes there is a theory, 'that they planned these changes sometime way back,' and that's just not true. One thing leads to another and demands another, and a lot of times it demands another because the implications of one thing bring too many questions from the field.
How did the changes come about?
Mike Feazell: We've been updating booklets all along. Mr. Tkach was checking the booklets. And questions arose. He saw they needed updating. HWA was too old to update, or out of the country. A lot of updating was done by Herman Hoeh. When JWT became aware that there were questions we started to research. [Gives example of contradictions with Revelations]
We saw things didn't make sense. The Spokesman's Club manual wasn't accurate. We saw holes in our arguments regarding doctrine. How could Mr. Armstrong have been wrong about this stuff? [Talks about how things surfaced that needed changing, i. e., Born Again, Two Gods, etc.]
We started to see there were Christians in other churches. I got that from Mr. Tkach, he didn't get it from me. We saw there were Christians that don't keep the Sabbath. [Gives examples of situations that arose in the past surrounding other Christians in other churches]
Joe Jr.: [Talks about Christians willing to go to Zaire] I'm not willing to go to Zaire or Rwanda to help carry the dead. How can I say these people aren't Christians? The idea that we're (not JWT) the ones driving this is ludicrous. We're the ones saying, 'don't know what to do here, Dad.' I think this is obvious to everyone that this hasn't been planned.
Mike Feazell: There were times when JWT would say what he was thinking to someone and then he would be rethinking and say the opposite in effect in another conversation. One day he would be feeling one way and the next day another way. So, then when he was confident enough to present the subject the way he was led to do it, someone would say, 'He just told me something different than that, so you guys are somehow deceiving us.'
Well, I guess it has to look like that sometimes, but that isn't what is really going on. [Explains away the duplicity regarding salvation, Sunday keeping, the covenant]
Like Joe says, 'If you plan something like this, you have to be nuts. [Everyone laughs] Why would you plan to disaffect and hurt your ministers and membership, erode confidence, cause income to plummet, why would you plan something like that.'
Minister: This will help more people than all the other information.
Joe Jr.: Did you get a tape to play to your members? [Responds to a question about the book, Sabbath in Crisis by Dale Ratzlaff] As of today I haven't read the book yet, I haven't had time.
What about the income?Joe Jr.: The income began the first month this year 30% below last year. That slowly improved to this point to 15% below and that's where it's at. We hope it stabilizes, we expected there to be some decline on income when we explained you don't have the tithe on the NET, when we explained tithing is really part of the old covenant and that under the new covenant the principal is the commitment that stewardship of giving is to advance the Kingdom. There are those who are committed of giving more. I appreciate the sacrifices over the years like those who never had their teeth fixed; you know the story, never bought a car, or whatever. I think that's appropriate to do out of commitment. Some people will continue that commitment, other will get their teeth fixed. That's all we have time for.
"ON HIS DEATHBED, MR. ARMSTRONG HIMSELF COMMISSIONED MY FATHER TO LOOK INTO THE VERY CHANGES WE HAVE MADE. THEREFORE, WE ARE FOLLOWING THE WISHES OF MR. ARMSTRONG AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, GOD." ~Joe Tkach, Jr.
(Read: Deception Surrounding Worldwide Church of God Changes to see the fallacies of the above statement.)
Comment: One can't help but question the validity of sincerity of this supposed impromptu dialog. The method of delivery not only leaves much to be desired, but when assessed on the backdrop of all the other data that is compiled these past four months, the tape more appropriately plays out as a staged event in effort to handle some major objections that have surfaced regarding:
- The council of Elders
- The passing of Baton (Gerald Waterhouse didn't mention this meeting when relaying the events of JWT's appointment in his [GW's] sermon, "What is Jesus Doing at this Time?")
- Why were the "changes" made?
- Who is the one who started these changes?
- Why was there so much contradiction with JWT?
- Why were the "changes so poorly taught or explained?
- Was this a plan and billed as "new truth?
- Why doesn't JWT speak with reporters?
- Who does JWT's writing?
- What is the income situation?
- Was there deception under all the reorganization?
Each of these points can be radically disputed, but for the sake of space we note that there is considerable documentation stating from HWA himself, that he met with the Council of Elders very frequently and they were in charge of overseeing all doctrinal issues. How Joe Jr. has the "guts" to make the statements he does is beyond our comprehension skills. Is the brainwashing so thickly applied to the members that he can make a statement in this manner, in his quietly smooth voice, and actually get away with it?
- The leaders will continue the great division by separating the legalist (conservatives) from the true followers of the Tkach Company (liberals). Ministers in areas that do not conform to the "the change" will be shuffled over to the UCG by being forced to retire or resign. Members have been treated with continued abuse in the latest sermons from Joe Tkach (note below), which has forced individuals to make decisions to exit. "While the rhetoric has been, "Stay where God placed you," the actions spell, "Get over to Global and UCG."
- The HQ will deny any involvement in the separation or reorganization maneuver.
- Joe Tkach will be removed from Pastor General position and replaced with the Joe Jr. /Mike Feazell /Greg Albrecht team. JWT will most likely exit under the guise of ill health, possibly with a leave of absence. [UPDATE: Joseph W. Tkach died September 22, 1995 of cancer.]
- The WCG will file for a bankruptcy type of protection, which will allow a closure to all negative connections to WCG/Armstrong Corporation. The main land holdings in Pasadena will be shifted under non-profit organizations for legal/tax reasons.
- The Tkach Company will continue under a completely new format: new name, new magazine name, new doctrines; new associations. Sunday keeping will be instituted, as well as other modifications with traditional holidays, communion and other traditional teachings clarified by Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, Methodists, etc.
- They will set up their government structure similar to the UCG's new structure. Local areas will incorporate with HQ acting in a franchise type relationship. The HQ will be moved from Pasadena into a new state such as Colorado, or Arizona. [UPDATE: In November 2004 the Worldwide Church of God moved its headquarters from Pasadena to Glendora, California.]
- The main market for the new (WCG) corporation will be the YOUTH. Local Fellowships will be initiated with a very high emphasis on recruiting through evangelism and fund-raising. Discipling methods will be employed for control management.
- The UCG will combine as a Church of God conglomerate. They will join hands with Global, International, Seventh-day Adventists, COG Seventh Day and others. They will modify their doctrines to coordinate well with other Sabbath keeping denominations.
Ambassador University, Big Sandy possibilities:
- Become universal and accepting of students from all corporations.
- Connect with the UCG conglomerate only. (That includes, Global and International.)
- Join with another organization, such as Azusa Pacific University.
Of course our forecasting can fall short or miss the mark, only time will tell. Whichever way the "dust settles" the leaders of the WCG conglomerate and operandi are extremely rich with holdings in many countries. The multi-million dollars in assets sit in the pockets of the Tkach Company. As several researchers view from all directions and scrutinize the propaganda machine at work, we think of what "Goebbels," Hitler's propaganda minister, said, "All it takes to sell a lie is to take a little truth, mix it with false information and repeat it often enough, until the people believe it."
[Note: Joseph Goebbels is often quoted as saying: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."]
The people have become overwhelmed and unable to tell the truth from the lies, as they have been victimized by purposeful misinformation from a propaganda machine bent upon the exploitation of the inalienable and inherent rights of the people. The gifts of pure spiritual fulfillment have been replaced by leaders who have set themselves up as speakers for God, while they deliver religious mumbo jumbo mind games and use psychology to attempt to outwit the converts and those in the cult-watching arena. The WCG PATRIOTS stick to their Klan and emulate their leaders as they are swirled and whirled into new directions with questionable destinies.
Divide and Conquer was the tool used in the past decades, and it remains to be the choice method used to fulfill the goal at hand---POWER, MONEY and CONTROL.
The End of Part Three...To Be Continued
Note: The OIU does not take any position in doctrinal matters. Personal belief is an individual matter. The OIU attempts to explain how doctrine has exploited as: 1. A massive propaganda tool, which in turn provides gross distraction to what is actually occurring within the organization 2. A way to elicit control and obtain specific behavior from spiritually minded individuals that financially pay extreme amounts of money into the organization.
As we are about to print, we learn of the latest development with the WCG/UCG connection.
A Southern states minister read a memo to his congregation on June 2nd, stating that Mr. Tkach has decided to award all exiting ministers a "generous" severance package. For those (which is most), who have started their own corporations will receive funds equivalent to the percentage of members who accompanied that minister to the UCG. In other words, if the minister took 50% of the local membership with him to UCG, he would be entitled to 50% allocation of the local church funds. Mr. Tkach states that it is the "Christian thing to do."
This shocking statement comes on the heels of so many ministers being disfellowshipped? Why, some question, in the world would JWT Co. hand over more money to the so-called dissidents that have rebelled together to divide the church? How, others wonder, can the church possibly afford to pay the UCG organization, more money? It was already reported by Joe Jr. that the UCG ministers were stealing the computers, other church property and local funds. All this doesn't make sense! OR DOES IT?
If the WCG is anxious to remove its money out of the WCG name, possibly the UCG is the appropriate place to store it. Does that mean Big Sandy Ambassador University will be positioned under the UCG umbrella anytime soon?
EVENTS CONTINUE TO UNFOLD
LA TIMES, May 12, 1995
"Faced with a deepening financial crises, the Worldwide Church of God has quietly auctioned off a trove of sterling silver purchased by its late founder Herbert W. Armstrong. The "high quality silver," used by Armstrong during formal dinner parties for heads of state and other luminaries, was sold for an undisclosed price last month by Christie's auction house in New York, the Pasadena-based church confirmed Thursday. Silver candelabra, wine buckets, platters, creamers, silverware and silver decorative items such as a miniature ship and horse were among the goods sold at the auction, said Tom Lapacka."
"Lapacka emphasized that the sterling silver was purchased by Armstrong for official dinners. I think that's important, least someone think Mr. Armstrong was buying this stuff just so he could have his scrambled eggs and toast in the morning," said Lapacka."[Not Mr. HWA!!! NEVER!]
The article goes on/to say the money raised by the auction was definitely connected to attempts by the church to shore up its sagging financial condition. Other assets to be sold are the 54-acre Pasadena campus, church's private airplane and limousine.
Lapacka states that the church was undeterred from its new course, which moves the church closer to mainstream Protestantism. He stressed that most members accept the changes and the new course has been greeted with great rejoicing by members of other Christian denominations.
It has been relayed to us that the Christies sale apparently netted around $6 million--some of which went to the UK subsidiary before questions were asked, and not necessarily with JWT's approval. Once again, another opportunity to make it appear that the church's financial crisis is because of the doctrinal changes as the Tkach Co. creates the problem and offers the solution of choice. The following message appeared on the Internet, May 24, 1995.
"A teleconference transpired on 5/21/95 involving certain high WCG officials and was (unknown to some) video-taped. It has already been viewed by several people (one of whom is part of a non-profit group that is currently in negotiations with the WCG over some of the assets and took part in the video teleconference.)
Pictured on the Pasadena end of the video were: Joe Tkach; Joe Tkach, Jr.; Mike Feazell; Steve Andrews; and Leroy Neff."
"The basis of this video was the negotiation with this non-profit group to gift away (yes, GIFT away) some or all of the assets of the church. Contrary to general understanding, apparently the tax and legal aspects of selling the properties may make it advantageous to give them away to another non-profit group. Primary assets discussed in this video as being under consideration (in this order) were: 1. Orr grounds, 2. Ambassador University, 3. Pasadena HQ."
The reporter relays that Joe Tkach, Sr. said the plan is to eventually dispose of all centrally controlled assets and become administered at the local congregation level. This would certainly point to a "plan" or "agenda" for the church to shift to a congregational focus.
As already stated above, the newly doctrinized mainstream church will possibly structure its government similar to the new UCG style. Lots of little fellowship franchises.
Along with the many cutbacks, cancellations, repositioning of ministers, PT and other publication withdrawals, more "work related" cutbacks are occurring on an ongoing basis, such as, the reading program for the blind. The cassette Services Department no longer provides literature on cassette tapes for the blind and instructs them to tap into the local churches for assistance. The May 18th PGR explains that the self-insurance fund is being temporality discontinued and ministers should investigate getting insurance on their own. In addition to the latest cutbacks we learn that a number of departments no longer have a receptionist and must rely on the voice mail system to channel calls. One wonders, what will be left under the WCG name for the remaining ministers to enjoy? While the New Covenant ministers are losing their benefits and bonus, the UCG ministers seem to be doing just fine, with no reduction in living standards.
While it appears to many that the WCG, as it was always known, is breaking apart and possibly vanishing, it becomes more apparent that the only thing busting up is the remnants and affiliations related to the name Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. As time goes on, The Plain Truth will also most likely take on a new name. The history cleansing operation might prove successful as the entire money machine lives on, under a whole new set of names.
"Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt,
Nothing so deep but search will find it out."
~Izola Forrester, Granddaughter of John Wilkes Booth
Joseph Tkach was reported to have had a gallbladder removal and was recuperating at home. Shortly after this report, congregations were told he had a tumor in the intestines the size of a grapefruit. Although benign, it required a new type of chemotherapy, which conveniently leaves NO side effects. As JWT is, in fact, in the Huntington Hospital as of early June, we do question whether this particular illness will lead to a timely announcement for a leave of absence for "illness reasons." This, in turn, could foster an early retirement for this very controversial man who was used as the agent of change. If the above does occur, it would pave the way for Joe Jr. and Brother Mike to assume the helm together and continue what they have started.
Medical professionals tell us that the possible side effects for such as large blockage in the intestines could include: constipation, restlessness, headaches, constricted thinking, anxiety, irrational behavior, poisons throughout the body and a host of other physical debilitation. While being unsure as to what side effects and symptoms JWT experienced, certainly he must have endured much progressive discomfort. Although, JWT has verbalized thoughts in recent sermons that members were praying for him to die, the ESN has never heard anyone state thoughts on this level (and we've talked to many). The ESN people join others in hope for a speedy recovery.
This recent illness incident reminds us of the time Loma Armstrong was ill prior to her death. HWA wrote a six-page letter basically blaming the illness on the sluggishness of the church and that God was using Loma's illness to rejuvenate the stagnant church. [Note: See March 2,1967 Co-Worker letter online] With many reminders that Christ will return in five years and those eligible will escape the terrible TRIBULATION and qualify for the Place of Safety, HWA goes on to focus on the MONEY. By the end of this guilt ridden exhaustive letter, he writes:
"We MUST have a spiritual AWAKENING! We MUST SPEND MORE TIME ON OUR KNEES with God in PRAYER, or stagnate, and be in danger of GEHENNA FIRE!" (March 2, 1967)
He goes on to manipulate the members about sending in special offerings, pledges and extra monthly offerings for property funds etc.
As this rambling despicable letter basically blames the members for Loma's illness, it offers a fine example of the treacherous abuse the victims of WCG endured throughout its duration. We can be assured the "illness" greatly improved the financial picture.
[UPDATE: Joe Tkach, Sr. died September 22, 1995 in Pasadena, California of cancer. Some insiders have said it was pancreatic cancer.]
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