Just how much was
Herbert W. Armstrong
a Doctrinal Fraud?
I thought the following material may be quotable for your Web site, if you see fit; however, please keep my name anonymous.
I cannot recall where I saw what I believe to be a true statement, that about the only "doctrine" Herbert Armstong could have claimed as "original" from him was the doctrine about the "spirit in man." Well, I would like to relate to you a brief, true first-person account related to this "doctrine."
As you might suspect, a person who is attempting to validate his idea would very much like to obtain independent corroboration, sometimes in the form of testimony by another person who was working on the very same idea, but independently of the first person. And if possible, from a different perspective. In this context, Herbert Armstrong was fond of quoting Dr. Robert Kuhn (sometimes referred to in Armstrong's writings as an independent scientist) as having been someone who was working on the concept of a "spirit in man" from a purely scientific perspective. And then, while Armstrong was being "inspired" with the idea (to be called a "doctrine" in his religion) of a "spirit in man" from an allegedly biblical perspective, Kuhn's work was brought to Armstrong's attention. What then grew from that was a multi-part series of articles co-authored by the two of them, thus validating the "new truth" (an oxymoron often used by Armstrong) of a "spirit in man."
Here's where I would like to relate to you Kuhn's version of the story, as he told it to a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God in New York City in the early 1970's. I was there and I heard this and at the time it seemed a bit of a sideswipe at Armstrong, something that one would not normally do from the pulpit, if one intended to be a longtime associate of Armstrong's church. It turned out that the church pastor who invited Kuhn to speak was on his way out of the church organization anyway; so that may account for the unusual procedure - but that is a supposition on my part. Here is what Kuhn related to all of us present at that religious church service. Kuhn first spoke of the scenario from Armstrong's account, which I related in the preceding paragraph. But then Kuhn did something curious, he proceeded to contradict Armstrong's account with what actually occurred.
Here is what Kuhn said:
Kuhn had NOT independently developed the idea of a "spirit in man" based on scientific evidence apart from alleged biblical statements. Kuhn told us that he first saw the idea in Armstrong's literature, THEN he started developing thoughts from a scientific perspective. Kuhn was very specific to detail this contradiction in his speech to us.
So, how much was Armstrong a doctrinal fraud as it relates to the possibly one original "doctrine" or "truth" he laid claim to? No independent scientific evidence had been developed. And, certainly not in parallel and independent research. So says the "scientist" Armstrong quoted as presenting such evidence, as Kuhn admitted to a congregation of Armstrong's church in the early 1970's.
I know because I was there.
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