A collection of Facts, Opinions and Comments from survivors of Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong,  The Worldwide Church of God and it's Daughters.
Updated 10/24/07 09:41 AM PDT

The painful truth about Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Arrmstrong and the Worldwide Church of God

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Richard Markland

(Note: follow this link to read the background of this story.)

The following email was received on October 22, 2007:

Hello:

I read the articles regarding Richard Markland in your web site at:

and

You wrote: 

The first thought that crossed our minds, of course...could this be the same Richard Markland who so recently graced our email pages?  A quick web search suggested that it probably is.  Assuming "our" Mr. Markland is the same Richard Markland who writes for 7times.org, he has been quite prolific in recent years on the internet.  We found several samples of his submissions [here  here  here  here] and quite a few others as well.  We also found two news stories (Dayton Daily News and WHIO TV) about the "Covington man" who had been convicted of rape, and this link tells us that "our" Richard Markland is probably the one from Covington, Ohio.

We're still not 100% sure we're talking about the same man.  But if we are, there seems to be a certain logic to it all.  Perhaps Mr. Markland, if he really is guilty, has more in common with Herbert Armstrong than we ever imagined.

------------------------------------------------ 

I can confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Richard Markland that graced your email pages and who wrote for 7times.org and www.worldnewsbulletin.com as well, was indeed a follower of Herbert W. Armstrong. Oh boy was he ever. He began attending when he was just 14 (he was born 7/25/51) in Ohio. He moved to Washington state to avoid the draft and from there moved to Pasadena, CA. where I met him in 1973/1974. I can also confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the same Richard Markland who was convicted of raping his granddaughter (his second wife's (Linda) son's daughter) and is now in prison. Leslie Turvey in Canada has a "Richard Markland list" in which he sends out periodic updates from information he receives via email from Richard's mother Treva. This is definitely the same Richard Markland (full name, Richard Allen Markland). How do I know this you ask? I am Mr. Markland's first wife.

Pamela
Texas


The following email was received on January 13, 2007:

Please keep my email address "private". 

I have been receiving on line "devotions" from Life Lines for about 3 years.  Leslie Turvey lives in Canada and mostly sticks to theory and lives his life according to Old Testiment Law (or so it seems).

When I received the following, I was confused.  I have never heard of Richard Markland.  It also is Mr. Turvey's opinion (his email...his opinion?)

I "Google-d" his name and found your website.  I will also forward Mr. Turvey's latest post to you.

I am also going to ask to be removed from any future mailings.

Thank You

K in NC


The attachment from Leslie Turvey of LifeLines contained the following (editorial commentary imbedded in red):

[W]hat about Richard Markland? Is his imprisonment truly the result of rape of an eight-year-old child, as the charges against him stated, or was he ... framed to silence him?

It is no secret that innocent men have been convicted in the United States.  Hundreds have been proven innocent with the advent of DNA testing.  Most of these have been honest mistakes, though many have certainly been the result of sloppy police and prosecutorial procedures.  It is also true that some prosecutors are corrupt, more interested in their "body count" than justice. 

 

I believe it is extremely rare, however, that someone is "framed" by the authorities.  Why would a county DA, a local yokel, seek vengeance on behalf of that "vast, secret conspiracy" that so many believe runs the world from behind the Curtain of Oz?

Richard is well known in many countries for his criticism of man’s governmental, judicial, and religious systems. But those in positions of authority don’t take kindly to people who expose the truth. Yet, in the free world they can’t say this person is making my life uncomfortable, so I’ll have him canned.

If speaking out against the U.S. government is that dangerous, then Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, and two-thirds of the actors in Hollywood (not to mention the Dixie Chicks) would be sitting on death row.  The percentage of those who have even heard of Richard Markland, compared to other critics, is several zeros to the right of the decimal point.  Herbert Armstrong was much more well known, and no one came after him. 


On the other hand, it’s easy to trump up charges based on a person’s weird religious beliefs – weird, that is, in the estimation of those bringing the charges. 
Good point.  When does Tom Cruise go on trial?  A little help from a child who doesn’t understand the impact her stories can have, can easily put a whistle blower in prison for years.  A little help from a child who was brutally raped can have the same effect.

Such may be the case with Richard Markland. Richard and his wife Linda had been long-time seventh-day sabbath keepers, and followed the laws of God as they were able. Some time before the charges were laid against him, Richard made it known certain of his in-laws blamed him for Linda’s death by cancer. But that accusation would never hold up in court. So did they, perhaps, entice a young girl to say Richard had raped her several times over several months?

What jury would believe a child would go back time after time to be alone with a man who had hurt her?
Oh, I don't know -- maybe because he was her grandpa and she was too terrified to tell anybody.  Did the jury hear evidence of her withdrawal, her "irrational" fears, her nightmares?  Did they hear evidence that she threw up a lot and never wanted to leave the house?  Not too many eight year-old girls have their own cars, so she probably went to Grandpa's house when her parents took her there!  Or maybe he was her babysitter.  Still it seems an Ohio Common Pleas Court jury believed she did. And who’s to say some palms weren’t greased to obtain a declaration of guilt? Neither those who bribe, nor those who accept bribes, willingly admit to their wrongdoing.  Man, we are really reaching now!  Richard Markland simply is not that important.

[D]id Richard Markland, in fact, rape an eight-year-old girl? Only three people know for sure: Richard, the little girl, and God. The rest of us can believe what we want: our thinking makes no difference.

I've seen those words before.  Was it Mr. Turvey who anonymously wrote the Painful Truth a few weeks back?

“But,” you say, “if Richard is innocent” – and I believe he is – “wouldn’t God have convinced the jury to acquit him?” Not necessarily. God tells us we cannot understand his thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Why not? Because we think in human terms – It’s not fair; God wouldn’t do that; Why did God let my child die? – but God has a plan for all mankind, and it’s far beyond our comprehension.

There’s a wonderful story in Genesis 39:1-41:57. Joseph’s employer, Potiphar, incarcerated Joseph on trumped up charges. In our human way of thinking we might wonder why God didn’t reveal the truth to Potiphar. But all’s well that ends well. Through Joseph’s lengthy imprisonment and eventual release, he was used to save Egypt from starvation during a seven-year drought.

Oh, well, then -- if God wants Richard in prison, who are we to question His methods?  Perhaps God put a "lying spirit" in the little girl, or hardened the jury's hearts the way He did Pharaoh's.  If this is God's will, we should be rejoicing that Richard was framed!  Let's have a party in celebration!

Will Richard save the United States from starvation by being locked up in a state prison for the next ten years? Not likely. But God can use him inside the prison walls to bring God’s message of hope and salvation to his fellow inmates. Let that be our prayer.
Yep.  If old Dick can convert a few cons, then it's all worth it, and the USA will be safe until the Tribulation.  I'll pray for that.
 

Leslie A Turvey
   A servant of the only true and living God

 

------------

Giving Mr. Turvey all the respect he is due...how dumb can you be?  It is entirely possible that Richard Markland is innocent, but a jury did convict him and they saw evidence I have not seen.  I'm not willing to rule out the possibility that a mistake has been made, but blaming the child instead of the perpetrator is just about as low as you can get.

 

What's really going on here, I think, is that those who know and admire Richard Markland don't want to believe he did it, and are desperately seeking a straw that will let them hang onto their illusions.  We saw it with Jim Bakker, we saw it with Jimmy Swaggert, we've seen it with a dozen other high-profile "ministers" who have been exposed as frauds or criminals.  When the State of California confronted the Herbert Armstrong empire, thousands protested in the streets of Pasadena, and no one in the church (myself included) believed Herb had done anything wrong.

 

Richard Markland was apparently once a follower of Herbert Armstrong.  Perhaps he moulded himself in Herbert's image, for until recently he conducted his own ministry.  An interesting parallel is that Richard's wife recently died of cancer; some WCG insiders have said that, when Loma Armstrong died, Herb's behaviour became increasingly erratic, including sexual junkets to foreign countries.  Did Richard also sink into sexual deviancy with the death of his wife?

 

And finally, Herbert raped his own daughter for ten years...and got away with it!  Did Richard think that, because he was a "man of god", he was also immune to detection and incarceration?  I don't know.  But if he did, he failed to consider that Herbert would never have gotten away with it in the 21st Century.  And neither did Richard.

 

I don't know if Richard Markland is guilty.  The only contact I ever had with him can be found here...and his attitude is hardly what I would expect from a real man of God.  If he is as arrogant with everyone as he was in his communication to this website, then it isn't difficult to imagine that he might think the rules of society don't apply to him.  Certainly the rules of courtesy don't.

 

John B


 

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