Herbert W. Armstrong Want To Bes
By this time, probably most of this site's readers have seen the newest addition to the "Graveyard Church of God" site.
From what I've seen and had reported recently, I've wondered whose head should have been on the Mini-Me character. Roddy? Gerry? A close contender? It's no doubt that many wanted the apostolic and pontifical job after apostle Herbert W. Armstrong croaked. Instead, an allegedly, innocuous little Joseph W. Tkach was chosen because he was exactly that - a no one in the eyes of the membership. Even in death, Herbert W. Armstrong couldn't let go of his ego to be revered above all and continue to be remembered as "God's" only apostle. So, a "forgettable" was chosen to replace Herbert W. Armstrong. Although, in life, he declined the title of "Reverend," he was, in fact, always treated as if he was. Some even blindly revere his disgusting legacy to this day. Maybe they're still trying to figure it out. Maybe they know better.
We all know the story. While all of the salivating wannabes were coffin-drooling around the time of Herbie's foreseeable departure, the new job of "Pastor General" went to JWT. So, all the indignant wannabes took their marbles, left "God's only true church," and started their own cults. Please note: They had all condemned Garner Ted Armstrong for doing this exact thing a few years earlier. Naturally, most of these bozos claimed to have the "anointing" now moved to them exclusively. There could be no room for any competition here. "God" had supposedly chosen a "new-improved" anointed one (and only one) to carry on His grrrreeeeeeaaaaat work.
Most of these splinter cults (referred to here and other places as Worldwide Church of God+), all appear to have this muddled, convoluted reasoning. Even though they're all ostensibly teaching the same doctrines, the same prophetic confusion, and many treat members with the same nazi approach, they can somehow deduce, within their own jumbled thinking, that they - and they alone - are now "God's" true leaders. Confusing? Not really.
The fundamental reason for their rationale is twofold. They are (1) Ego, and (2) Money oriented. Since money translates to power, then the old adage still stands of: "He who has the gold makes the rules." Herbert W. Armstrong had control of all the gold. Even though he lied and said he owned virtually nothing and everything belonged to the Worldwide Church of God, let's face it - he owned Worldwide Church of God. And he owned all the property (except what Stan Rader had). He owned all the art work, the treasures, and he owned the souls of the spineless cultmasters that continually groveled for their own share of ego and money. And Herbert W. Armstrong became like a "father" to all the wannabes.
Between the time we left Herbert W. Armstrong's cult and the time we joined with CG7, I had a chance to talk to some of the already departed wannabes. At this time, we didn't know what we believed or didn't. We were as confused as most people, and so, I called around to see what these "new kids on the block" were doing. In every case that I contacted, I was surprised to find a common thread. They all talked about money.
"We got $$$$ income last week," and "We've received $$$$ in Holy Day offerings," and "Our income has gone up 10% in the last few months," etc. There was not one word about the spiritual, psychological, or emotional condition of the members. Since these members were the ones that suffered, one could only ask as to why the wannabes were now slobbering over the bucks, while they simply ignored the actual source of all their income. As this was typical of Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong's methodology, it now seemed that Worldwide Church of God had increased and multiplied. Herbert W. Armstrong's toxins were spreading.
What also surprised me is that - in many cases - some of the CG7 ministers seemed to actually admire Herbert W. Armstrong and what he'd produced. In many cases, when Herbert W. Armstrong's name came up - several would gaze off into the distance with open mouths, and say something akin to: "Yeah, he really did well . . . didn't he?"
Some of the old timer CG7 members, who knew the "plain truth" about Herbert W. Armstrong, and knew him to be a phony, usually referred to him as: "Old Herb." The younger contingent usually referred to him as: "Herbert Armstrong." This alone, shows a different perspective of Herbert W. Armstrong with regard to respect. The older folks knew Herbie to be a opportunist, while the younger group couldn't yet see the criminal activity that was damaging so many lives. Far too many saw only the campuses, the affluent lifestyles, the huge expense accounts, and the success with increases in membership numbers and dollars. Many were actually jealous of Herbert W. Armstrong's success.
It's understandable that CG7 would feel a little discouraged. At best (to my recollection) they had a maximum number of US members of around eight thousand. They had many more affiliates outside the US, but that money stayed in their own countries. Also, they didn't enforce tithing, but simply encouraged it. Also, they had no real evangelists to spread their own doctrines on radio or TV. All of this left CG7 kinda "out of it" when it came to living the good life for all the upper echelon. Salaries were stringent, expenses limited, radio time was restricted, and even with both minister and wife working, things were tough in many family cases. What Worldwide Church of God pulled in within ONE typical year was more than CG7 had seen in a century. I know it irked many of the old time CG7 members. And I have to wonder - how many Herbert W. Armstrong wannabes were there in CG7?
It's a funny thing about money and success. If you have it, flaunt it, and spread it around to those who sing your praises, then you'll always find "loyalty" within your following. Herbert W. Armstrong had the power over his cultmasters because Herbie had the money. He had the money because he had the control. He had the control because he continued to spread fear and perpetuate ignorance. And he got away with it all, lived in luxury, and crippled all opposition, because those at the top and those who might have changed Worldwide Church of God history for the better, never had the courage to go up against Herbert W. Armstrong's formidable ego, his arrogance, his filthy temper, or the money machine that Herbert W. Armstrong had established and so rigidly controlled.
To keep his upper echelon disciples happy, he just gave them more. In essence, they were "bought off." Before long, those benefits became too precious for any cultmaster to give up. They were hooked. That also goes for the wives.
From time to time, administrations changed at Worldwide Church of God. At times, it was like a zoo. When a new administration entered, there was the usual jockeying for a favorite position so that the current beneficiaries could continue to receive all the favors that they so luxuriously enjoyed before - at the member's expense, of course.
When Joseph W. Tkach entered the picture, many fell into disfavor, and all their expensive "perks" stopped. With only their salaries remaining, many decided it would be far better to actually become another Herbert W. Armstrong. They loved the power he had. They loved the money he worshipped. And they loved his sumptuous lifestyle. So, why not become another Herbie? In that way, they controlled ALL the money, they too could then have the power, and be worshipped like dead Herbert. Naturally, most of these dingle-dorfs figured that the church people would follow them. Since it didn't happen that way, they started to sweat a little. Please remember, many of these cultmasters had lived in luxury with phenomenal expense accounts for years. The good life had been theirs, and now, it was all gone. Joey had it all.
Now, the lust to be another Herbie really hit the fan. Like Herbie, they all had to promote themselves as the one and only "God's true servant," and thus (it must be inferred), all the tithes must be sent to them, and them alone. "Would a man rob God's latest apostle?"
No doubt, many had envisioned themselves as sitting as the chief pontiff, apostle, chancellor, and treasurer-in-chief of the only branch of "God's" work. Naturally, there would be their own colleges following, and more homes for these pontiffs. In those colleges, they could then brainwash, mold, and send out a "new-improved" set of loyal, Worldwide Church of God+ androids who in turn would help brainwash a new membership, and point them to the most recent pontiff. The work would (naturally) grow at 30% per year, and they could go on TV, smiling, become celebrities, be worshipped, and with smooth words, they'd bring in the people and bucks. Or so they thought.
With all those megabucks flowing, they could now sit back a little and figure that since GOD LOVES QUALITY, why shouldn't God's "anointed" (themselves) enjoy some of this wealth too? And so the purchases would begin. New artwork and opulent treasures would be discretely purchased and hoarded, money would be squandered, travels to foreign and corrupt dignitaries enjoyed, the upper echelon would splurge with their unlimited expense accounts, and the whole shebang would start all over again, with the membership paying for it all.
It's a tribute to anyone who can have wealth and keep a level head. But for the latest cultmasters in Worldwide Church of God+, it can be a heady experience. These guys (and their women) are not living cheaply, or surrendering their homes and future incomes for "the work." Their lifestyles are well above the average (and into the luxury level), while the uninformed members are still patiently giving out their hard earned money (according to the obsolete Mosaic Law), so they'll be: " . . saved in the Day of the Lord."
Judging from these cultmasters fruits, many still operate on the lower frequency end of the spiritual spectrum, as from what we've been told, many haven't changed their spots since the days of Worldwide Church of God. Many, we've heard, have become a lot worse. And it's not surprising if they're mainly Herbert W. Armstrong wannabes.
Just one of that particular breed was one too many.
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