Church Government and Spiritual Abuses
Response to WCG Leaders from David Antion and Al Corozzo
February 28, 1974
To: Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong
We both received your letter of February 27, last night about 11:00 P.M., Ted. When we independently read your letter, we were pleased with the friendly manner in which you replied and although your reply was obviously a refusal to adopt an approach which would, as we have stated, bring about a true solution to the church's difficulties, we both had resolved to at least continue for a short period our attempts to bring about the requests made in our prior memo.
It is obvious, however by the statements released by Stan Rader to the Star News, whom we must assume speaks officially for you both, that our suggestions and recommendations have been rejected out of hand and that our resignations have been accepted.
Notwithstanding we would like to reply in kind to your statements in your letter.
It is true that both of us stated to you that we would remain loyal to you and work with you to solve these problems, but it is also true that those statements were made in the context that you both would adopt the proper, Biblical and brotherly methods of seeking resolution of the difficulties.
We cannot support methods of public labeling of men and ministers of long standing as demon and Satan inspired whose alleged motive is to divide and destroy this Church and grab the tithes of the people and "gobble up" the congregations without a just and full hearing. We cannot condone clandestine breaking and entering into minister's private office files and the removal of files. We cannot be a party to massive termination of ministers -- and that without notification to them -- without allowing them some forum of defense.
As both of us have stated to you verbally and in written reports, these men are reacting genuinely to issues and circumstances that have been developing for a long period of time. Certainly these men are disturbed, distraught, and emotionally beset. But it is over bonefide issues that you yourself, Ted, have agonized over to both of us and before dozens of other of the Headquarters and Field Ministers for a long time.
You, Ted, yourself, have decried the dictatorial and unbearable rule and labeled it as being out of the dark ages. You, personally, have agonized and been one of the primary ones to repudiate your own father's methods and conclusions in the Divorce and Remarriage booklet. You, Ted, yourself, have been one of the most outspoken of us all about the opulence, ornate buildings and hundreds of thousands of dollars -- even millions -- spent on paintings, punch bowls, gold fixtures, vases, sculpture, jewelry, bric'-a-brac' and the like.
You, Ted, yourself, have spoken out before forums, assemblies, and in the pulpit about the dominance over the personal lives of students, ministers, and laymembers alike concerning hair styles, clothing, marriage and many other issues.
You, Ted, yourself, have agonized over the "inviolable" doctrinal issues that just could not be brought to your father because he would "just not go into them."
And we could go on and on.
Yet, because finally under the weight and pressures of these same issues (which you yourself have helped to create) many of the ministers have been pressed beyond measure in their lives and ministerial responsibilities. Now they are suddenly "demon-influenced, collusionists, detractors and defectors." This is simply not the justice of God!
You know before God that it was an absolutely "go to the wall" all out pressure issue of almost intolerable mental anguish that finally brought about the Pentecost change -- and yet now you are both saying you have always been willing to openly look at all these issues.
We are not making impossible demands. Is it unreasonable to ask for an official open forum to discuss these things? Is it unreasonable to ask you to openly restore the confidence of these men by showing true willingness to deal with these issues?
We did not request a forum of 500 men! That is an exaggeration and an attempt to make it look impossible. A forum of less than 50 would get the job done.
No, Ted, we can't stop it. Even if both of us did turn our backs on these men and the issues the problems wouldn't go away. But you can stop it by simply showing by fruits and acts that these problems will be solved openly and in brotherly love -- not by bringing the full weight and strength of this organization to bear to stamp out this rebellion.
We, nor the Church, can any longer ignore the issue of qualification for the office and position you hold, Ted. This is not a result of any personal antagonism.
Yes, I, Al, did say before the Regional Directors some months ago that I felt God had opened the way for you to be in your current status, but I did also say (or have you forgotten?) that I still felt you were on trial and that if God revealed by future circumstances and fruits that you should not remain in this office I would have to accept God's will.
Because of the final weight of all these things, we feel it is clear that you should be willing to abide by a Church decision based on multitude of counsel whether the Church or the ministry should have to bear the burden -- not of your sins which both God and we have forgiven you -- but of the constant black-eye and deterioration of credibility that it will continually cause.
How you, Ted, can say that Church Government and New Testament Organization was not known to you as an issue before a week ago is beyond understanding when both of us and literally dozens of others have heard you colorfully verbalize on these issues yourself.
Now, finally in your own words beloved and esteemed brother and father, with whom we have shared all life and hope, please, please change your hearts and reconsider and do what we ask. It will resolve all the problems and cause the Work to accomplish all God's purposes.
We are holding off the immense pressure of the press which urgently is wanting to publish "our story."
Give us the vehicle to make peace instead of this warfare you have begun to conduct against your own sons and brothers who would, we're sure, return if you would only give them the chance.
In deep sadness, but still in hope,
Al and Dave