Ambassador Review Introductory Letter
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P.O. BOX 661 SOUTH PASADENA, CA. 91030
AMBASSADOR REVIEW is a brand new, frank but exciting publication published by alumni and students of Ambassador College. It will dare to stand up for truth and honesty and report the facts. AMBASSADOR REVIEW has the following purposes:
· It is a forum for assessing the teachings of Ambassador College and their effect on Ambassador College students. In short, it will examine the "Ambassador Experience.''
· It is dedicated to prodding the leadership of Ambassador College and of the Worldwide Church of God which supports and controls Ambassador College to change the practices and policies which are bringing discredit to Ambassador College worldwide.
· It is a publication which will bring to light some of Ambassador College's biggest problems which have been too long covered up.
· It will present solutions to Ambassador College's problems and take firm and direct action to initiate drastically needed changes at Ambassador College and in the church which so heavily influences it.
· It is solidly founded in the belief that Ambassador College was built by and continues to exist through the combined efforts and contributions of many selfless, dedicated people. NO ONE MAN CAN TRUTHFULLY SAY, "I am Ambassador College". No one family clan or clique should ever be allowed to monopolize the Ambassador entity.
The AMBASSADOR REVIEW is a journal by and for the students, alumni, and friends of Ambassador College. Its purpose is to provide an open forum for those who have shared in the "Ambassador Experience". It has grown out of the increasing need for a response to the censored and ideologically-controlled articles found in official Ambassador College and Worldwide Church of God publications.
The REVIEW is intended for thinking men and women. It is not designed for those who may, by their own choice, prefer to remain ignorant, intimidated, or amnesiac.
The AMBASSADOR REVIEW intends to communicate more than just opinions. We intend to communicate solutions and work to see that problems are solved. We believe in the essential dignity of man and therefore in a free, open and democratic society - with free, open and democratic institutions. Therefore, we want Ambassador College placed in the hands of responsible people - people who have demonstrated their integrity in both their words and their deeds.
We welcome and encourage literary submissions from our readers regardless of political, religious, or philosophical persuasion. We welcome any articles or letters that will help our voice to stimulate others to pause and ponder the cries of conscience in our pages.
We seek to establish the AMBASSADOR REVIEW as a permanent journal to analyze and review the total "Ambassador Experience'', and to help stimulate those of the present Administration to make a complete turnabout from their folly.
Needless to say, the publishers of AMBASSADOR REVIEW are deeply concerned that the institution(s) to which we have all given so much are now showing signs of deterioration.
Consider for a moment: Why a closed Bricket Wood campus? Why a cancelled Imperial schools program? Why the "dismissal" and departure of many of Ambassador's finest faculty and administrators? Why the liquidation of the Ambassador College Press? Were these changes due to "severe shortages in funds", as we were told?
Yet all of these cuts occurred while millions were being spent to finance the A.I.C.F. concert series and Chancellor Armstrong's lavish banquets - a ''SECOND GREAT DIMENSION" [emphasis his], as he puts it.
Consider also, how many of Ambassador's most loyal friends have discontinued support of the current administration for reasons of conscience!
The list of these people, which appears in our first edition, is staggering. It is composed entirely of individuals who were not only longstanding leaders, but in most cases ordained ministers. The list includes former Plain Truth editors and writers, staff members of the World Tomorrow
broadcast, four former evangelists, a chairman of the Department of Theology, three vice presidents of the corporation, a Dean of Students and the brother of the college's founder - Mr. Dwight Armstrong. In addition, we know from personal discussions that many current AC faculty, students, and administrators intend to depart in the near future.
When individuals of such outstanding character and long service are compelled by conscience to withdraw their support of the Armstrongs and resign, we think that our deepest apprehension is confirmed, and the future of Ambassador is imperiled!
The publishers of AMBASSADOR REVIEW intend to make our voices heard by both the Administration and the local community - and will, if necessary, undertake direct mail campaigns to newspaper editors, columnists, and free-lance writers, radio and television producers, civic leaders, foreign embassies, educators and other organizations....
The publishers and editors of the REVIEW, however, always intend to keep the above actions at the highest levels of honesty and integrity.
AMBASSADOR REVIEW's program of direct-action is brought on by our deep concern for those of the future who stand to suffer the same personal grief and dashed hopes which we have "experienced". The mental damage already inflicted upon sincere and trusting individuals cannot go unchallenged. The injustices of the past and the present must be rectified!
And they can be. - With your help!
As an example of the kind of articles you will be reading, we are enclosing a copy of one of the articles already submitted. The article points out major discrepancies in President Garner Ted Armstrong's January 14 address to the student body assembly.
Also in the first issue, you'll read about:
· THE UNCOVERING OF THE SECRET STRATEGY OF A.I.C.F. OPERATIONS
· THE INVASION OF PERSONAL PRIVACY
· THE EXISTENCE OF SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS FOR EXECUTIVES
· SEX SCANDALS
· INTERNATIONAL SMUGGLING
· THE CONTINUED RAPE OF CONTRIBUTORS
Such things have been and are being conducted by administrators and members of the Board of Trustees still in office at Ambassador College. We intend to publish their names in AMBASSADOR REVIEW.
All of this information has come about as a result of dedicated student and alumni research that finds its way to our mail box daily. The AMBASSADOR REVIEW is interested in stimulating continued improvement in the College and its standards.
To accomplish this and to restore proper leadership to the college, we need your editorial contribution.
We want to hear of your experiences. AMBASSADOR REVIEW needs your insight, because each of you sees the "Ambassador Experience" from a special viewpoint. As a result, your letter or article can contribute to publishing the real facts. Just one example: In April 1975, Bob Gerringer and his wife, Connie, put into writing a list of honest, straightforward questions regarding doctrines, interpretations, sermons, Co-Worker letters and "personal remarks" they had come across from ministers and evangelists during their many years of the "Ambassador Experience". As a result of their letter, many have begun to reevaluate the meanings of their experiences at Ambassador College. The "Gerringer letter" is being made available, upon request, as an adjunct of AMBASSADOR REVIEW.
So we, the publishers, hope you see how important just one letter can be to the thousands who may be affected tomorrow by what you are open enough to say today.
If you agree that the AMBASSADOR REVIEW can serve an intelligent purpose in your life, then we warmly welcome your contribution and your subscription.
AN OPEN LETTER TO GTA:
WERE PLACHE AND HUNTING PROPERLY ROASTED?
We wish to congratulate you, President Armstrong, for your brilliant castigation of Richard Plache's pharisaical and oppressive actions while Dean of Students (1968-1972). It truly was a stellar performance. We also wish to laud you for coming to the defense of freedom of speech and religion at Ambassador College, as evidenced in your statement: ''We do believe in freedom of religion and freedom of the press and freedom of speech at Ambassador College."
We would like to pose some questions, however. How, Ted, can you praise the virtues of freedom of religion and speech - which have probably never existed at Ambassador College - and at the same time tell the faculty and student church members that if they disobey the Worldwide Church of God's teaching about not associating with disfellowshipped members and go ahead and attend Plache's meeting to hear his side of the story, they ''do so at peril to" themselves? How can you promise freedom out of one side of your mouth and turn around five minutes later and use scare tactics to dissuade students from attending a lecture with which you personally disagree?
After all, when the Apostle Paul was teaching what some thought to be heresy, he was given a chance to address the whole church in Jerusalem (Acts 15). Interestingly enough, he too was addressing the problem of those who would impose the Old Testament legal system on others. This Jerusalem meeting - unlike the recent Pasadena doctrinal meetings - was not carried on behind closed doors before a group of hand-picked loyalists who already had their minds made up.
You, as a "minister'', have preached eloquent sermons upholding the Bible. The Bible you quote says to prove all things, and it warns that he who pleads his cause first will seem just (Prov. 18:17). How can we hear both men plead their cause if we are allowed to listen to only one of them? How could we come to a fuller understanding of the issues raised by Mr. Hunting and Mr. Plache when (1) you ridicule their past performances, emotionally denouncing them and all they stand for, and (2) then you proceed to use "church authority" to threaten and intimidate students who wished to honestly and objectively listen to Mr. Hunting's and Mr. Plache's side of the story. Ted, your tactics seem reminiscent of the Hitlerian and Stalinist eras and do NOT belong in a college assembly.
Furthermore, Ted, you conveniently forgot to explain some of the following points:
-- While it is true that the names of Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting were rightly equated with the term "super Pharisee", these two men were mutually
excelled in advocating yardstick religious practices by Herbert Armstrong, Rod Meredith, Raymond McNair, Ron Dart, Sherwin McMichael, Dibar Apartian, Dean Blackwell, Clint Zimmerman, yourself, etc., ad nauseam. Dormitory and room monitors - ever ready with their evaluation sheets - were prevalent when Jack Elliott was Dean of Students in the early 1960's long before Richard Plache arrived on the scene.
- Wasn't it HWA who personally approved the campus dating rules and designated certain men as approved marriage counsellors, not Richard Plache?
- Wasn't it you, Ted, (along with Mr. Plache) who called students in concerning the breaking of the dating rules in 1970? So, Ted, you did give support to the dating rules. It was HWA who called in several students in 1965 regarding "understandings" and removed the "leading'' students from the sermonette list, visiting program, etc. Handholding for students was declared to be sinful and forbidden. This was long before Mr. Plache became Dean.
- Wasn't it HWA who declared the wearing of makeup a sin?
- Wasn't it HWA, not Mr. Plache, who dictated skirt lengths, hair lengths, dress codes and who forbade the wearing of beards, etc.? True, Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting (under Raymond McNair in England) enforced HWA's dictates and clearly spelled them out, but so did you, Ted, and all the rest of the ministry.
- Wasn't it the Church Administration Department, under Mr. Meredith's direction, and the whole ministry who filled out visit cards reporting on attitudes, problems, the sex lives, etc., of members and prospective members? Mr. Plache did not initiate this practice in CAD, though he had a similar system organized to report on students. Ted, you allowed some of these things to continue
after you removed Mr. Plache. Why? Weren't you "in charge"?
- Wasn't it the Data Processing Center, under your auspices, Garner Ted, not Mr. Plache, which conducted and still conducts tithe checks on members, employees, men about to be ordained, etc.? For instance, in 1974 Mr. Dart made use of the tithing records of the Big Sandy employees to determine who to lay off during budget cuts. Interestingly, the impartial computer divulged that one Big Sandy evangelist gave no donations or tithes in 1973. (He was not fired, but later received a pay raise.) Why are you not zealously squelching this activity, Ted?
- In 1972 when you were removed from your position, the students were not told all the reasons, and when some possible reasons surfaced, Ted, you condemned this as "grave robbing", stating that "love covers past sins". Yet, you have brought every last skeleton (and invented a few) from Mr. Hunting's and Mr. Plache's closets to the student assembly and paraded them publicly so that all could gawk at them. Doesn't love cover their sins too, or are they different, Ted? It seems their "sins'' were based on the WCG's understanding of the Bible and Mr. HWA's college policy, not on some moral or spiritual lapse.
- When Mr. Hunting and Mr. Plache condemned their former deeds and the pharisaical practices of the church which they supported, they were branded as hypocrites. Since when is repentance "hypocrisy"? Would you also accuse the Apostle Paul of hypocrisy because he left the sect of the Pharisees and repudiated their despicable beliefs and tactics? Why haven't the remaining WCG ministers gone on record, publicly condemning (1) the spying on students and members, (2) the pharisaical, non-Biblical disfellowship policies which deny one freedom of religion, (3) the suppression of our freedom of religion on campus, (4) the checking of people's tithe records and (5) the suppression of doctrinal facts on tithing, holy days, binding and loosing, prophecy, church government, etc.?
- Why, Ted, do you always say the church has a problem with the administration of 2nd and 3rd tithe? For three years the issue has been whether or not any tithing is required of Christians.
- Ted, why didn't you answer the doctrinal questions Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting raised? Why did you only attack and destroy their past record?
- Why did you, Ted, tell us that you and the doctrinal committee were glad to finally get the doctrinal issues down on tape and paper when the committee has had many of the issues documented from two to five years? What ever happened to the mountain of doctrinal information taken down on tape and paper at the May 1974 doctrinal conference? Why have you and HWA consistently both ignored the myriads of doctrinal papers you have received for years and refused to consider or refute the material?
- Why did you, Ted, say there were three days of doctrinal hearings (Dec. 29, 30, 31) when Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting were given only portions of two days to present their views (Dec. 29 and 30)? Why was Mr. Plache fired from the ministry on Monday afternoon before even being given a chance to present his views fully?
- Why were you and HWA not even present Tuesday when Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting spoke? How can you claim to have heard both sides fairly when you did not even attend? How could you attack the beliefs of Mr. Hunting and Mr. Plache in a sermon before the doctrinal meetings got under way? You didn't even know for sure what they believed, Doesn't Solomon say, "He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him (Prov. 18:13)?
- It was not only Mr. Hunting and Mr. Plache who claimed the ability of God to judge attitudes. You, Garner Ted, were always complaining publicly about the ''attitudes" of people sitting in the audience whose facial "look'' bothered you. It was HWA who constantly equated disagreement with him and his policies with "having a bad attitude" or "being in the bonds of Satan''. Ted, why did you say concerning the recent events that ''it isn't flesh and blood we fight against"? Are you not judging Plache and Hunting and implying that Satan supports them?
- It was not only Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting who appropriated to themselves the title of "Matchmaker". Loma Armstrong and most of the headquarters and field ministers at one time or another have told lovers to postpone or cancel marriages or tried to match people up. Even the deans and counselors who succeeded Plache have continued this practice to a limited extent - to this very day. Why have you not put a stop to the continued practice of matchmaking if you so detested its practice by Mr. Hunting and Mr. Plache?
- True, Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting fostered some questionable policies. But Ted, in 1971 you wrote a strong letter to Mr. Hunting condemning his pharisaical tendencies, and then you yourself were removed from the ministry at least twice for spiritual and "alleged" moral problems.
- Why, Ted, do so many WCG ministers still live in luxury while the "little ones" go without? Why ask the widows to dig deeper into their pocketbooks when you live in ostentatious luxury and fly in college planes to appear on HEE HAW or go hunting?
- After spending half an hour denouncing and belittling Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting and exaggerating their sins, you, Ted, claimed you don't deal in personalities. If this is not dealing in personalities, what is?
- Why, Ted, did you attempt to make Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting the sole scapegoats for all the oppressive, dictatorial policies of the college and church? Have you forgotten that all the ministry at one time or another was guilty of the same tactics Mr. Plache and Mr. Hunting are accused of?
There is a grave need for AC speakers to accurately gather and present ALL the facts when speaking before the student body. We are sick and tired of attending forums and sermons and having to hear one-sided, inaccurate, emotionally charged diatribes masquerading under the guise of ''education'' and "truth". Demagogic harangues have no valid place in an institution of higher learning such as AC. It's high time AC's educational leaders start behaving more like educators and less like politicians and demagogues.
Let us hope that truth, openmindedness, freedom of speech and religion will be allowed to reside and grow at Ambassador College as they do at other institutions of higher learning. Let us hope that we will be given a chance to develop real character and to have freedom of choice as you said your dad has always wished.
By the way, Ted, we have learned that campus phones as well as classrooms have been bugged, off and on, for the last two or three years. Also, one of the "super" deacons in the HQ congregation - Bill Evans - was caught red-handed in the back of his van trying to secretly photograph people attending Dr. Martin's lectures. Garner Ted, we hope that you will, with the same righteous indignation you showed toward Mr. Plache's oppressive practices, put an end to these unethical, gestapo-like tactics. In fact, this deacon should immediately be removed from his position, as was Mr. Plache. Right, Ted? Furthermore, bugging of phones makes it somewhat
difficult for us to exercise the freedom of speech you so eloquently defended. Those engaged in these illegal and unethical tactics need to be severely reprimanded. How can a Christian take part in these things anyway?
Ted, why are you so fearful that even a few might hear Mr. Plache's side of the story? If our doctrinal "trunk of the tree" is as solid and strong as you and HWA claim, what have you to fear? If you have really proven your teachings once, surely you could prove them again without being afraid of what Mr. Plache or others say. Or is it true, as you admitted during the Pentecost change, that you just accepted what your father taught in many areas and wrote the "proof texts" in your margin without proving them. Could it be that you are using these tactics because you do NOT want your doctrinal ''tree" to be examined because you are afraid it is full of holes? Certainly Robert Kuhn and many on the doctrinal committee know that it is - but perhaps they put salary and status before truth.
by THE COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGION
[Editor's comment: If you would like to hear what the
AmbassadorCollege Administration forbade students to
hear - Richard Plache's talk before a packed house -
you can order a free tape of the meeting by writing:
P.O. Box 661
South Pasadena, California 91030
We encourage you to talk to graduates and employees
as the Coumittee did to get the complete picture of
who did what in preceding years at AC. You might be
surprised whose closets hold the majority of the skeletons.]
Copyright © 1976 by AMBASSADOR REVIEW
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