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OIU Volume Four - Pt. 2 of 5



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What You Don't Know--Did Hurt You! So Where Did It All Start?

"It was 1969 when The Plain Truth took on a secular appeal for the first time. I recall being asked what my thoughts were regarding the fall of income. It was the beginning of a turbulent decade and the demise of the church." --J. W. Robinson, assistant Editor to Herman Hoeh. [ESN interview with J. W. Robinson on file]

The WCG groupthink trains one to look ahead for the coming of Christ--for the Great Tribulation. For His elect will be changed, in the blink of an eye, into a spiritual being and joined with Christ on the Mount of Olives in preparation for the 1000 year reign. The committed members glued themselves to the gloom and doom news in anticipation that the end would be soon and they would not endure physical death. Each news event would be translated as part of God's plan and proof text that the world was going to end--very soon. This mental outlook mandated a "here and now" attitude. The past was insignificant; the future was described in the Mystery of the Ages, or The Wonderful World Tomorrow-What Will It Be Like? All the thinking was done for the member. The repetition of apocalyptic spin assured the ministers that the flock would not have ears to hear, or eyes to see, what was actually going on, or reveal that the ministers were doing the opposite of what they were preaching. "Learn to discern," and "prove all things," were merely words with no meaning. It was this same thinking that propelled people to forego dental work, education, careers, retirement savings, purchases such as homes or cars and all other investments into personal futures. The daily message was, "all is vanity." To understand the past or to plan for personal physical future was considered casting pearls to swine. It was (and continues to be) this same groupthink that has fueled the energy for the deceivers to carry on their daily covert activities under the guise of a church.

To understand the current THOUGHT REFORM, we must take a closer look into the history of the WCG as an organization and stretch beyond the current doctrinal distraction and onto the real story that destroyed the WCG empire. The ESN has assisted over one thousand WCG affiliated members over a two-year span. Our one-to-one work with victims clearly demonstrates that members struggle to view past their own personal experiences within the WCG. The WCG destructive system strips adherents from critical frame of reference, pilfering the thinking tools to view the "church" from other perspectives. The limiting, "here and now," thinking destroys abilities to objectively view chronological events of history and compare them to current strategies being used by the controllers. This is a serious problem for victims under the mind control of deceivers.

We will be delving deep within the history surrounding the WCG and its leaders in future OIUs and on the ESN R&I Audio Outreach. For now, we will state an overview prior to 1969.

Recapturing True History

The 1970s followed two financially productive decades. The British-Israelism (BI) -- Lost Ten Tribes message gathered momentum as it sailed its way through years of depression, racial unrest, World Wars, Civil Rights movements and the escalating trauma of nuclear war threat between the U.S. and Soviet Union. By 1973, the once small Radio Church of God (RCG) grew to its all time high, 52,000 members.12

What many fail to acknowledge, or realize, is that the main Armstrong message was twofold: white supremacy and the pending Great Tribulation. God's people were the Aryan white race--the chosen ones who were selected to escape the fiery torture soon to demolish the land they inhabited. God's great plan, as outlined by the WCG writers (and documented throughout the archive of printed materials), consisted of shipping all the blacks back to Africa, Japanese back to Japan, Asians to their perspective countries, and so forth. [Also read: Herbert Armstrong's Racial Views]

Without intending to do a detailed report on United States and Britain In Prophecy at this time, it is important to parallel the church's events with what was occurring in society. HWA's main message from the beginning of his ministry capitalized on society's unfolding events as it girdled the Aryan belief. His timely message rang out through the newly popular radio industry.

By the 1930s, the United States was in a major depression. The turbulent and corrupting 1920s left scars on the hearts of the U.S. people. The unpopular immigration laws fueled many secret societies and rebellions, such as the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly following the rebirth of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), its organizers incorporated Fundamental Protestant Christianity into its agendum empowering its sinister and evil behavior with credibility. The little KKK group of a few thousand swelled to seven million under their new Biblical format. By 1924, the KKK and Freemasonry13 worked as one group with one main goal: One government, one race, one religion! The KKK was anti-Catholic, anti-Jew and anti-black--in that order. By 1927, the KKK lost its popularity due to the exposure of abuses and atrocities it inflicted on the people of the U.S. By the late 1920s, Freemasonry distanced itself from their brothers in the KKK. Meanwhile, not less than forty thousand KKK members became Protestant ministers and continued to carry their main message throughout the land--British-Israelism.14

The largest proponent of British-Israelism during the 1930s to 1970 was Herbert W. Armstrong.15 His message of anti-Catholicism (Romanism) and Lost Ten Tribes attracted those steeped in the racial thoughts from earlier decades. The BI system chose specific Scriptures to validate its belief and behavior. It is often stated that HWA said things that made sense--and for many Radio Church of God members, HWA was telling the world what it wanted to hear.

A future report will closely scrutinize and detail the events listed above, along with an in-depth report on British-Israelism. This OIU issue is concerned with the history of the WCG in relationship to its current fragmentation and alignment with mainstream Christianity.16

The BI message continued in popularity throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The year 1952 initiated the first booklet on God's way of living. As the years passed, the booklets and titles increased with thousands of free publications circulating throughout the U.S. The Armstrong message started gathering much more hate and negativity by other Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues and organizations such as the NAACP, than it did in recruiting results. British-Israelism, while strongly supported by the wealthy and power elite,17 continued to cause no small stir among advocate groups and civil right activists.

By 1971, Civil Rights escalated to all time highs spurring laws to be written. One such law mandated that minorities were not to be excluded from non-profit organizations. A trip through the Envoys and church literature will verify that Afro-Americans were not allowed in the church, or the college. Even though the WCG started allowing a few black adherents to enter its system, repression continued and was joined by other problems, which prevailed and pushed the church on a downhill spiral.

The 1920s KKK anti-Catholic message was the bread and butter of Armstrongism. What fueled additional scrutiny and exposure from the Protestant community was HWA's message of disdain for all Christians. He crossed the line even with like-minded Protestants when he set up his own totalitarian system on earth calling it the one truth. HWA added fuel to the fire when he grouped the Protestants with the Catholics, as he labeled all other Christians deceived and of Satan. [A real no-no in decades past.]

By the mid 1960s, the total Armstrong message and empire was under strong attack by outsiders. As stated in past OIU Volumes, the Evangelical community was pointedly focused on the WCG and wrote very critical assessments of it--frequently.18

The 1969 introduction to the secular message in The Plain Truth was an indication to some insiders that the church was faltering. Ernest L. Martin, Head of the Theology Dept., was one of the first to confront doctrinal error. By 1974, he, along with several thousand members and ministers, exited the WCG, blaming "faulty doctrine" and gross corruption with its Apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong and his free-wielding son. [UPDATE: Ernest Martin died January 16, 2002.]

What Faulty Doctrine???

HWA's son, Garner Ted Armstrong, was disfellowshipped for "gross sexual sins" in 1972. This was just at a time when many high level evangelists and ministers were questioning the teachings of HWA. Previous OIU issues touched on the history of the 1970s and the significant part it plays in the current restructuring and dividing of the organization. It became strongly apparent to Ernest Martin, Kenneth Westby, David Antion, Al Carrozzo, and many others, that HWA was not espousing inspired doctrines from the Great Architect. As HWA, GTA, Rader and other elites from the WCG ministry were living in extreme opulence with several homes each, personal aircraft, opulent cars (Rolls Royce), endless bank accounts, real estate holdings, diamonds, furs, crystals, free college tuition, lavish expense accounts, all expense paid vacations to resorts, ETC., thousands of members were living in impoverishment, while giving their last dime toward HWA's pleas for income. Some were so poverty stricken, they could not afford meat or fresh vegetables, or other necessary basics of life. Detailed testimonies of abuse have found their way to the ESN, but the personal tragedy of the Canadian woman who was shoved onto the streets, along with her son, to live, homeless, following a long abusive intrusion into her personal life by the minister is a story that cries out for justice. The OIU will share this, and many other stories, in the future.

What might seem like a broken record for some readers is actually crucial information toward the discernment of the blatant lies delivered to the current members of the WCG and its extension groups. Few recall or know about the massive doctrinal upheaval that occurred in the early 1970s. HWA was, for the first time, challenged from within the church for further explanations of his teachings. These certain ministers, who at the time were most dedicated to pleasing God, were pioneers in exposing a goodly amount of the vast corruption that prevailed behind the HQ wall in Pasadena. Among many erroneous doctrinal complaints the following were of grave concern:

  • The splitting up of families and marriages.
  • Suicides initiated by doctrinal demands and manipulations.
  • The Tithing Fallacy: The stealing of New Testament "un-biblical" tithes from members.
  • The Israel Identity and Lost Ten Tribes-Identity Movement.
  • The Healing Doctrinal demands.
  • The dictatorial, authoritative control on "Gods' people."
  • Issues surrounding Grace vs. Law.

HWA's confrontation with his extreme financial opulence, misuse of funds, and corruption fueled the WCG turbulence throughout the 1970s and was compounded by the fact that the church did NOT have a doctrinal belief. Often misconstrued, as doctrine was a carefully crafted and borrowed system of theology known as "God's Way of Living."

Archival documentation carefully scripts the momentous events that caused thousands to flee from the Armstrong empire and its teachings during the early 1970s. Pertinent documentation and knowledge that the Tkachians chose to cover-up was replaced by layers of lies and gross deception toward the unsuspecting. As we continue to expose the twisted deception by the "current leaders" from all the groups, it will become very obvious to the most skeptical that the supposed "Christian" leaders of the WCG, UCG, GCG, CGI, CEM, PCG have knowingly and blatantly lied and deceived the WCG remnant and continue to do so this very moment.

The lack of recruiting and doctrine problems propelled Robert L. Kuhn (Stan Rader's friend and close relative of Mr. Kuhn from Kuhn and Loeb bank [Kuhn, Loeb and Co.]), along with GTA, to devise the Systematic Theology Project. Despite their concerted effort, which compiles about eight inches of printed matter, the project was quickly dismissed by HWA upon his return from abroad, as he labeled the designers of the "new theology" liberals.

The Pseudo Numbers Game

The membership peaked at 52,000 in 1973 (men, women and children). Following the multi-thousand member exit in 1974, there has been a membership decline ever since. Despite a few new recruits during the 1970s, Garner Ted Armstrong's sexual encounters, the church's public exposure of the corruption, dictatorial oppression on its membership and grave doctrinal upheaval, led to an increased attrition rate. Readers must keep in mind that the WCG management always used "numbers" to confuse and defuse issues.19 This tactic of contradiction of numbers, or inflation of the actual church membership, helped diffuse the financial imbalance, which could never support the actual member count. The church membership has always been considerably lower than what was propagandized. This is very significant, especially when one starts to scrutinize the "income" of the organization. The WCG's dual agenda has been cleverly disguised by mis-reporting actual membership counts and income. Had the actual membership count been honestly noted, it would have been too obvious that such an opulent empire on earth could not have been supported by the tithes and offerings from the meek and lowly. Furthermore, it was well known and documented that money was not pouring in from the "co-workers." Where did the multi-million $$$ come from? That is another layered rat nest. More on this crucial topic soon.

[NOTE: Read: Myth 1 and 2 - the greatest of them all (in OIU #6, Pt. 1)]

The ESN will issue a separate report on how and why WCG manipulates the membership count. It is imperative to understand that this specific issue is crucial to the ongoing waste, fraud and abuse under the guise of a religious institution. If it were publicly known that the WCG acquired its massive non-profit empire in multiple devious ways other than running a respectable institution, its leaders, current and past would be spending their physical lifetimes in the same type of cell Charles (Chuck) Colson, was given prior to his infamous Prison Ministries.

The constant use of propaganda and history revision inhibits critical thinking necessary to scrutinize the events. Few realize that HWA, Stan Rader, Osamo Gotah, Aaron Dean and other select persons were away from the HQ scene during the late 1960s and 1970s up to 300+ days a year. Their visits to highly speculative Communist countries had nothing to do with "bringing the Gospel throughout the world." Significant dissension and disdain arose when some members learned that these trips had zero to do with the Gospel and everything to do with "political agenda." Millions of dollars were poured into an International deception that was largely carried out by the very same leaders of the current WCG conglomerate organizations: namely, Global Church of God and United Church of God, An International Association!!

For the most part, the little flock was shielded from the massive turbulence that gnawed at the very cornerstone of the WCG empire. Scandal following scandal permeated international newsprint exposing the core of deception. The gross WCG behavior cast deep shadows on what sheltered members wholeheartedly believed was God's one and only true church on earth. The volcano of 1970 events erupted in 1978 with the ousting of GTA. The WCG religiocrats™ continued displaying tacky, unethical behavior, as described and archived in hundreds of reports and resignation letters from high level ministers who dissociated themselves from the wicked corruption within the church. Less then a year following GTA's ousting from the WCG, several members approached the California Attorney General for assistance, which led to the infamous receivership and two year legal battle over Church and State. By the end of 1978, the volcano of pus exploded, introducing a fire drill management for the next two decades. The real story of the receivership crisis is deserving of its own book. Unfortunately, the only published account was skillfully crafted by Stanley R. Rader, author of, Against The Gates of Hell. This propaganda cover-up book was distributed through another Rader/HWA entrepreneur adventure called Everest House Publishers. Everest House publishing was supported by WCG tithes, but unbeknownst to the members, it carried hard-core occult publications. Ah, if the sheep only knew their hard-earned tithes were being funneled to corporations that espoused occult teachings and NEW AGE ways for living. 

Adding salt to the already wounded Worldwide Church of God of the 1970s, The Peoples Temple, hiding out in the jungle of Guyana (their Petra) and under the guidance of Rev. Jim Jones (their Apostle), followed their one true God-inspired leader (their HWA) to their deaths. More recent, as we prepare to print Vol. FOUR, we are triggered again by the horrific mass murder-suicide committed with the obedience of a cult leader promising a better kingdom. The Jonestown event introduced an onslaught of public awareness of destructive cults in our society. Following the Jonestown event, many WCG dissidents distributed Kool-Aid packets to their "dictator" ministers as a wake-up call. While the ministers ignored the warnings, the world was waking up to the 20th Century understanding of Cults In America.

[NOTE: Read this part in the Rules of Disinformation which talks about the CIA being involved in Waco and Jonestown. Our readers can do further research online concerning "Jim Jones being a CIA operative conducting mind control experiments."]

The Selling Of Assets and Loss Of Members

As pointed out in Volume THREE of the OIU, the Tkachians, in their heroic attempt to transform the cult into a church espousing Christ, blamed the sudden financial crisis on the heroic doctrinal change. Within two weeks of the famous January New Covenant sermon, the Tkachians (David Hulme included) were issuing news releases to the LA Times and Pasadena Star News regarding the severe financial loss due to members withholding of tithes and offerings. Headlines read: Tithes and offerings wane because of doctrine change. Who would have known then that the WCG PR of doctrinal upheaval was a conditioning device targeted at the duped in prep for the next big event: the United Church of God breakaway.

Readers unknowing of the real WCG history had no way of discerning the newly devised deception and propaganda being played out before their confused eyes. Few realized that the organization, which touted 90,000 members, in reality, had about one third that number and was falling quickly. Fewer realized that assets were being liquidated with breathtaking speed starting as early as September of 1978. The secretive manipulations of (international) financial dealings were never exposed to the unsuspecting members. Despite the array of allegations permeating the church's headquarters surrounding financial corruption, the lavish multi-member WCG legal team spearheaded then by Rader, Kuhn, Cornwall and Helge employed unseen measures to hide the real financial WCG story.

As desperate members depended on the spin from the propaganda riddled Worldwide News, the real story played more like The Godfather. As mentioned earlier, the WCG has two histories: the members' view and the actual history. Those who viewed the movie, The Godfather, may recall how peaceful and joyful the baptism and wedding seemed to be. The viewer, however, was entertained with the duality of agenda splattered across the screens. Simultaneously occurring with the joyous events of the Corleone "Mafia" family, were murders, plots, corruption and evils of every description. Get the picture?

Secret liquidation of assets continued throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. The church's financial condition cannot be determined by what is written to the members, or by the seldom-issued finance reports. Pastor General's letters trumpeting financial panic attacks were timely orchestrated like campaigns and always written in conjunction with pending "Holy Day" offerings. When one casually reads though forty years of member letters, the game plan becomes most obvious and quite unprofessional. One is able to discern many tricks to the WCG trade (scam). The few financial reports presented in the WWN were distortions of financial facts leaving nothing to be verified.

The WCG totalitarian government and dictatorial ministerial control provided the perfect medium for gross deception and despicable behavior to go unchecked.

Following the death of HWA in 1986, the multi-million dollar empire continued with business as usual-but don't be fooled into thinking the church or its members were the main event with the Tkachians, anymore than they were under the image of HWA. The WCG membership, as small at it was, was built through a carefully fabricated image of one man; that image was fashioned and orchestrated through propaganda and marketing, which created the image into an idol. That idol was Herbert W. Armstrong. It is uncertain whether the Tkachians were prepared to deal with the loss of HWA's image in 1986. Had it not been for Rader's keen marketing strategy introduced in 1979 called, "Get The Church Back On Track," (GTCBOT) it is doubtful the declining membership would have sustained itself through the mid-1980s. The Rader plot did buy time and allowed for asset liquidation, while most members were distracted with the image. At the very least, the campaign maintained a holding pattern for the most dedicated and unquestioning adherents.

The newly devised image promotion of HWA is analogous to the same strategy used in Communist China with Mao Tse Tung. Huge picture promotions monopolized the presses as HWA's picture took center stage in every piece of literature shipped from Pasadena. The image of HWA was carefully carried out by God's ministers. A small increase in recruiting was noted following the early 1980s recession, but that, too, halted when Reagonomics spurred the happy yuppies era into financial oblivion instead of religion. The decadent 1980s showed more interest in Junk Bonds than they did following The Law. The death of HWA crushed the GTCBOT promotion leaving the Tkachians to handle the next fire drill. The Tkachians attempted to maintain the status quo, but soon found out that the WCG was a personality cult and the excitement from the sheep declined along with the "We Are "Family" membership. The declining membership did entertain a few baptisms mostly generated by fence-sitting members who believed that the Tribulation was closer at hand now that HWA was gone.

He Who Controls The Image Controls The Race. --Adolph Hitler

The see-speak-hear no evil mentality of members prevented critical questioning. As the leaders/ministers preached the party line to the church, they managed with a heavy fist to any who dared to buck their system The see-speak-hear no evil mentality of members prevented critical questioning. As the leaders/ministers preached the party line to the church, they managed with a heavy fist to any who dared to buck their system.

Tkach, Sr.'s role continued the image strategy with the "We Are Family" campaign. [Note: "The Family Album of the Worldwide Church of God" was distributed to all members in 1988.] The big message emulated the mission of HWA, while little notice was given to the cut backs such as discontinuing the international Sky Channel. While the Tkachians were propagandizing growth and "the power of the beast with ten horns," the duality was that The Plain Truth magazine, The World Tomorrow telecast and the HWA belief system was failing fast. There was no market for any of it. The presses cranked up the same old cold war propaganda booklets, but generated no growth or future perspective. The WCG may have been ninety-five percent corporate empire and political agenda, with five percent church, but how were the Tkachians supposed to continue the WCG duality if the five percent posturing as a church dried up?

At a time when the proposed income was looking healthy, shall we say, the "churchy part" was in steep decline. Because members were not included in on anything dealing with management matters, they were unaware of the depth of the WCG multi-faceted business machine. With hundreds of real estate holdings worldwide, how is one to track the WCG paper trail? How is one to investigate all the sub-corporations that seem to be dealing with everything but churchy things? Along with the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (AICF), the WCG business shenanigans are as thickly woven as rat's nest. The U.S. and International investments have certainly been fruitful for the overall WCG picture. The liquidation of real estate was actually a wise move as the real estate hey day crashed by 1987-88 leaving those holding non-income producing property, in the bag, as they say. But where is ALL the money generated from the discreet selling of assets over the past (almost 20) years? Considering the current assets remaining, the figure must be in the billions. Certainly a question or request for assistance from the Chase Manhattan Bank or Kuhn Loeb Bank in is order! Wouldn't you think? Maybe the Rockefeller Foundation could lend a hand toward the investigation. Just a thought. [NOTE: David Rockefeller, Chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank is said to be the prime mover in the secret Bilderberg and Trilateral Commission elite groups. The reader is encouraged to do further research.]

As if the death of the HWA image wasn't enough, look what lurked around the corner! 

The Evangelical Televangelist Scandal

"Please God, inspire 300 people to call with their credit card in hand to donate to your work." --Tammy Bakker

The Tkachians were well aware that the WCG propaganda picture was going to change dramatically as the 1990s unfolded. While the multi-millions were quietly changing hands throughout the previous decade, it would be a matter of time before the controllers were forced to radically change the failed religious product (traditionally known as Armstrongism), which concealed the multi-faceted financial pursuits. Some mistakenly think that because The World Tomorrow supposedly received high viewer ratings, that it generated tithe-paying recruits too. That was not the case. The telecast was a financial loss, as were all the other fire drill recruitment attempts with PT cardholders, PT magazine racks, junk mailings, etc.

Have you ever wondered why The Plain Truth did not feature an article about the deception in the Evangelical televangelist arena? Remember when Jim Bakker and Tammy were crying crocodile tears over the TV screens, only to be followed by Jimmy Swaggart with his "Forgive me, Lord, I have sinned against you" sobering routine for all the world to see? If that were not enough, Jerry Falwell was right on the transgressor's tails as he slid down that big expensive slide at Heritage Park to commemorate his proud purchase of the park. [UPDATE: Jerry Falwell died 5-15-07] What a display for all to see and what a learning lesson on human nature in the name of Christianity. Why, some wonder, didn't the WCG discuss this event the way it picked other events to capitalize? The answer is simple. Why would the WCG Tkachians want to draw attention to themselves? Instead, they used simple psychology as viewed in the WWN Dec. 12, 1988: David Hulme is quoted:

"Some astonishing changes are taking place in the religious viewing habits of the American public. The World Tomorrow is holding its own and even gaining ground in some age groups."

The article goes on to say the July Arbitron figures show that the religious audience is declining partly because of scandals. Out of a U.S. population of about 245 million, only some 13 million watch religious television. The top 10 religious television programs have lost more than 30 percent of their audience (2.6 million viewers) since November 1987.

Hulme adds:

"Meanwhile The World Tomorrow audience is proving to be stable. Audience levels for the telecast have generally remained at consistent levels, with slow but steady growth in all categories"

The article points out that Robert Schuller is the most-watched religious program, according to the Arbitron and has an audience of 70 percent women and 30 percent men. (Note: Robert Schuller died April 2, 2015.) Hulme states The World Tomorrow has even more viewers and attracts a younger group of people. Hulme defends the WT by stating:

"Other religious programs lost more than 50% of their audience and people are simply turning off, while The World Tomorrow audience is more broadly based than traditional religious audiences. Thus, many are exposed to God's truth that otherwise might not be reached."

Are we to believe the highly spotlighted WCG, with its corruption reports miles long, was not affected by the Evangelical corruption exposure? While New Ager Robert Schuller gathered no moss with his ecumenical message filling every seat at the famous Crystal Cathedral, the rest of TV "Christian" stars were having lots of problems. What is one to believe here? The reports given by Hulme shake out as mere propaganda leading members to think that The World Tomorrow is doing fine only to find the programming is pulled from television a few months later. Much could be expounded here, but the current point is that we should consider the implications that arose from the exposure of the Jonestown Massacre in 1978 to the Evangelical scandal of 1988. These episodes not only inspired (real) authorities to scrutinize supposed religious entities dressed in their multi-million dollar robes, but it started the viewing public thinking about Christian rip-off artists (for awhile anyway). The evangelical televangelist scam marked another event that worked against the already ailing Worldwide Church of God. By 1989, televangelists lost up to fifty percent of their TV income, including Pat Robertson's multi-million $$$ pursuit. The televangelist corruption exposure drew a mark for the WCG religiocrats™. Now the dung hit the fan and something had to be done to call off the dogs and attempt damage control.

The Five-Year Plan

and the beginning of The Cognitive Dissonance Campaign

Please take the time to review the next few pages, as the information is pertinent to understanding the reasons behind the events. Take special notice of the key planners. As you will learn through this and future OIUs, the very people in charge of the "breakaway" COGs are the same leaders who were highly involved in transforming the Worldwide Church of God into a New Age Ecumenical "church," espousing a mixed bag of unorthodox Protestant Evangelical teachings. To understand how the United Church of God was/is part of the overall strategy of divide and conquer the reader must assess the chronological steps that were taken and who were the designers of each step.

Future OIU reports about UCG will highlight the key players of the UCG development. These same players were the ones who placed the first slice in the WCG pie. Who said, "You can run, but you can't hide"? The incredible attempt to revise WCG history, past and current, is largely attributed to the key men who have been working together behind the scenes for decades. It is said, "Liars get caught because they trip over their own lies." Well, readers, there have been lots of falls, but sadly, few good people have been watching.

July 11, 1988 Worldwide News

"Bernard W. Schnippert, director of Media Production Services, was named coordinator in May of a task force to develop a five year plan for the entire work. Addressing the assembled group, Mr. Schnippert said the five-year plan is an organizational structure that allows for a planned approach. There is a danger of thinking it is set in concrete or in water. It will be reviewed and revised quarterly.... Satan would like us to think we can't get there from here, but we can and we will."

April 3, 1989:

"It's amazing what you can do when you have people working together as a team," Pastor General Joseph W. Tkach said when reviewing the final version of the new five-year plan he commissioned last May."

"Bernard Schnippert, coordinator of the team Mr. Tkach commissioned to develop the plan, presented it to him March 16."

"The plan is a 43 page analysis of projected growth in the WCG, the Ambassador Foundation and Ambassador College."

"It begins with a discussion of the importance of planning and how it relates to Christian faith. The introduction opens by quoting Proverbs 29:18 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' "

The article states the following:

  • The bulk of the report is devoted to analysis of present program and expenses as well as projection of future needs.
  • A natural consequence of preaching the Gospel, according to the plan, will be an increased and growing base of members and co-workers around the world.
  • "The plan," according to Mr. Schnippert, "shows that Mr. Tkach values teamwork and is a planner, but that he follows God's lead."
  • The task force put together a set of objectives that begins with a general overview and ends in specific details.
  • Since the plan is ongoing, the task force will continue to meet. Although the first completed version of the plan has been given to Mr. Tkach, the group will present a revised plan (1990-1994) next year and each year thereafter.
  • The task force included Dexter Faulkner, editor of the Church's publications; Barry Gridley, manager of Publishing Services; David Hulme, manager of Communication and Public Affairs; Joseph Locke, Ambassador Foundation vice president for international affairs; Leroy Neff, treasurer; Larry Omasta, producer of The World Tomorrow; Rick van Pelt, manager of Facilities Administration; James Peoples, manager of Computer Information Systems, Purchasing and Travel; Richard Rice, manager of the Mail Processing Center; Larry Salyer, associate director of Church Administration for international areas; Mr. Stevens, Joseph Tkach, Jr., associate director of Church Administration for the U.S.; Donald Ward, president of Ambassador College; Mr. Wright and Ronald Sower and Scott Weiner, who assisted Mr. Schnippert with the five year plan.

[UPDATE: Richard Rice died suddenly July 27, 2003 of a massive heart attack.]

July 3, 1989

Joseph W. Tkach states:

"As artisans we need to understand the blueprint to really begin to build the spiritual Temple that God is in the process of erecting."

"The mission statement of the church is "to proclaim the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to all nations, to preach the Word of God and expound the doctrines of the Church, to develop and maintain a qualified ministry, to establish and support local congregations, to teach and spiritually nurture the members of the Church together with the co-workers and all who desire the truth of God and to provide assistance for the Church needy."

"Our work must be seen as a portion of a long continuum or process in which every person will be granted the opportunity for salvation."

Larry Salyer adds:

"The mission statement is the foundation for all planning. It shows us where to go and to whom we go. Without planning we make decisions based on money, opportunity, and emotion,"

[UPDATE: Larry Salyer is now with United Church of God-AIA.]

August 28, 1989

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," Pastor General Joseph W. Tkach said in his keynote address to managers assembled for the five-year plan workshop Aug. 2, and 3. The workshop was the first stage in the development of the 1990-1994 Pastor General's Five-Year Plan.

"This is the first year that the operation managers laid the ground-work for the plan in a two-day workshop. Mr. Tkach called the new format an important benchmark for the Work."

"This workshop "is one of the first times in God's Work that many of the leaders...have a forum to [discuss plans] as brothers in Christ, respecting one another, having tolerance for whatever differences of opinion might be, he said."

This article points out the managers and task force met in regular two-hour sessions to discuss goals and objectives for the Work throughout the previous year. Tkach explained:

  • "That meeting was more than a spring-board for the five-year plan and that it also promotes communication among the departments, fostering the kind of team spirit that will make the operations more efficient."
  • "For me to make decisions, I need to have accurate information funneled in to me."
  • "Wherever you see success, a certain plan of action was employed to accomplish the objective."
  • "Planning leads to success because it helps the planner focus on what he or she is doing."
  • "When you have a plan, it enables you to meet challenges and to succeed when the unexpected comes along. No general goes into battle without planning his strategy. In fact, no successful general would go into battle without a contingency plan that his troops could fall back on."
  • "Of course, one of the greatest benefits of right planning is that it involves teamwork. Two can't walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). Unless we plan, our operational managers won't be headed in the same direction. And what one department does affects the others."

February 19, 1990

"Bernard Schnippert, director of the five-year planning task force, presented the final version of the 1990-1991 five-year plan to Pastor General Joseph W. Tkach Jan. 12."

"The plan reflects presentations made by operation managers from many previous meetings and decisions based on the follow-up meetings Mr. Tkach conducted after he reviewed the outline of the plan in September."

"Mr. Schnippert explained that although the planning meetings and the plan itself are 'invaluable tools, the plan doesn't include every detail of every operation for the next five years.' It is rather a basis for decision-making and a springboard to more detailed planning on an operational level."

"The plan explains that the five-year planning meetings were a key element in a dynamic process that allowed the leaders of God's Work to identify the factors and conditions that must be considered and faced in the future. In addition, these meetings gave the managers a broader perspective, helping them see the future needs and challenges of the entire Work."

"The five-year plan goes on to say that the "Work will curtail the rapid growth in the media areas that it experienced in the mid- 1980s. As a result, US magazine circulation and television market penetration will decrease or remain flat."

"Farmers prune, or cut-back, to prepare for future growth. In the same way, the Church must prepare for future growth by cutting back in some areas, making it possible to upgrade the resources of the support departments."

August 13, 1990

"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible,' Pastor Joseph W. Tkach said in his opening address to operation directors and department managers assembled for the five-year plan workshop."

"Mr. Tkach summed up his thoughts about the need for Church management to be looking for new ideas and new methods to do the Work. People don't usually find things they're not looking for. If you're constantly looking for a better way, you're bound to come across it sooner or later."

"This workshop was the second stage of a three-stage process in the development of the 1991-1995 Pastor General's Five-Year Plan."

"Another reason the managers met for the planning workshop, Mr. Tkach pointed out, was 'to find better ways of doing their jobs.' "

August 27, 1990
Five-year reports emphasize conservative spending plan, says the main headline.

"Operation directors and department managers of the Work gathered for five-year planning meeting Aug. 1 and 2."

"This presentation was sobering, emphasizing the need for a conservative approach to spending," said Bernard Schnippert, director of Media Operations and leader of the five-year plan task force."

After an explanation of the sudden falling financial trend, Mr. Wright explains:

"In view of the present financial situation, the Church must build its financial base so it can preach the gospel message to the greatest number of people. That means first putting the message in the hands of individuals who can help support the Work in reaching others."

Evangelist David Hulme, vice president of Ambassador Foundation Domestic and Director of Communications & Public Affairs (CPA) "spoke about the public relations efforts of the Church. The two most important objectives are to support and improve the credibility of the Worldwide Church of God and its activities; and to deliver information about the Church and its activities in a timely and appropriate manner to the media, community officials and other individuals or groups."

"Discussing the difficulties of public relations, Mr. Hulme said, 'Staying out of the media is often tougher than receiving coverage.' But by using a proactive approach to provide personal briefings and information kits with accurate documentation, CPA helps the media better understand the Church and its activities."

"Because of this approach, during the televangelist scandals the Church was able to explain key positive differences between its activities and those of other religious organizations."

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