Stanley Rader on "Sixty Minutes" with Mike Wallace
Here is an introduction to this affair from the Ambassador Report:
Rader Meets His Match: Mike Wallace
After he disposed of Garner Ted in 1978, Stan Rader began swaggering around like he owned the world. After all, he was the right-hand man of "God's Apostle." Even the court action brought by the California attorney general's office did little to stem Rader's arrogance. When he heard Mike Wallace of the top-rated "60 Minutes" CBS TV program was hot on his trail, that should have sobered him up a little. But it had the opposite effect. Rader, viewing himself as righteous David - the defender of the faith - was determined to "slay" the Philistine giant Mike Wallace, who represented the "big bad press" that always supposedly distorted facts about the church.
Upon meeting Mike Wallace, Rader turned on his charm. and gave him the royal treatment, determined to "use" Wallace to tell the church's (i.e., Rader's) side of the story on national television. At this time evangelist Raymond McNair was recommending "60 Minutes" to his students as one of the top programs on TV - a first-class news documentary. Meanwhile, word was circulating, that Rader was even hoping to turn The Plain Truth into a news magazine TV format similar to "60 Minutes" and that Rader hoped to lure Mike Wallace onto his staff to host the program.
Finally after Rader's long courtship, Wallace popped the long-awaited question, asking Rader if he would consent to an on-camera interview to tell his side of the story. Sensing imminent victory, Rader graciously agreed. At last, Rader evidently thought, he could put to rest all the rumors and charges against him and the church. Meanwhile, though, Wallace's professional staff did their homework. They conducted an extensive fact-finding hunt, interviewing everybody who had any relevant material on Rader and the Worldwide Church of God. Soon they had compiled briefcases full of vital information plus over 90 hours of film footage. Wallace digested the key information and proceeded into battle with Rader before the TV cameras. Rader seemed surprised at Wallace's preparation and tried to act undaunted, but he begrudgingly gave ground before Wallace's onslaught.
After Wallace pulled everything out of Rader that he wanted, he pulled the plug on Rader. Here's what happened in the final minutes of the interview:
Wallace told Rader: "Just a little while ago you were the bete noire [a person strongly detested] of Herbert Armstrong. Did you know that?" Rader: "I?" Wallace: "Yes." Rader: "When was this?" Wallace: "Oh, early January." Rader's reply: "No." Wallace: "Don't you believe it?" Rader: "Positive" Then Wallace offered to quote Herbert saying that Rader was trying to put himself into the leader's shoes. Rader replied in disbelief that he didn't think Herbert ever said that.
Next Wallace read a portion of a letter Herbert was drafting to send to Stan Rader. Rader still didn't believe Wallace could possibly possess such a letter from Herbert. Now Wallace played his trump card by offering to play a tape of Herbert reading the letter. (The tape recording Wallace played was a portion of two telephone conversations with Herbert that a source had recorded surreptitiously before "60 Minutes" began their investigation of Rader and the Worldwide Church of God.) In the letter Herbert asked Rader to step down from any church posts that might put him in line as successor to Armstrong. As Wallace played the tape, beads of sweat were visible on Rader's forehead. He tried to appear calm but looked slightly shaken. He was doing a slow burn. Finally Rader exploded, his voice cracking: "Now I say you've acquired this by illegal means. I intend to have my attorneys today not only sue you if you use this.... Mike, look, I think you'd better scrap everything because you're on my list. Okay? You're never going to live it down, Mike, I guarantee it.... you're contemptible.... I'd like you to get out of here, immediately! Then Rader stormed out of the roon and went down to a press conference where he acted like a raving maniac, accusing the press of distorting the true facts.
The "60 Minutes" program about Rader and the Worldwide Church of God aired on April 15, 1979 - Easter Sunday. Rader had originally hoped to use the program to resurrect his and the church's badly tarnished image, but it turned out to be his crucifixion. As the segment of the program about Rader drew to a close, Wallace remarked that Rader is "currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division of Internal Revenue for alleged tax evasion."
Following the interview, Rader and the church objected to Wallace using what they called "illegal tapes." The following week, "60 Minutes" dropped another bombshell as Morley Safer read letters commenting on the previous week's program. He quoted a letter from a Worldwide Church of God member objecting to the "illegal tapes," then said: "While we were playing those tapes for Mr. Rader, he was taping us with a mike under Mike's chair. He didn't know that we knew, but now he does. We've got the tapes!" (So does Ambassador Report.)
In an April 16 letter to brethren and coworkers, Herbert complained bitterly that "60 Minutes" had "used only a small portion of that interview on the air - just the portions they felt would make the church of the living God look bad." Then, Herbert claimed, "I do reproduce for you here the beginning of the taped interview, and I have left off when the conversation got into private personalities. Following is the real essence of the television interview between Stanly R. Rader and Mike Wallace...." But what Herbert wrote was not the "real essence" of the interview, but carefully edited excerpts from the first 20 minutes of the three-hour interview. So Herbert was doing the kind of deceitful editing he accused "60 Minutes" of doing.
The full three-hour tape of the interview is a shocking revelation about the inner workings of the Worldwide Church of God. When the Hawaiian Worldwide Church of God members heard a copy of the tape, over 90% quit the church in disgust. We hear that many more members worldwide left the church upon hearing copies of the tape - and remember, the tape being circulated came from Rader's "secret" tape recording, not from CBS.
During this crisis in the Worldwide Church of God, Rader's attempts at generating favorable publicity have all fallen flat on their face. Now Rader is even having difficulty coaxing newspersons to attend his often-called news conferences. One news-service official told the Report: "Rader's trying to use us to arouse public opinion in his favor. He wants his case to be tried in the papers instead of the courts. We're just not interested in giving him free publicity. Besides, he's been downright nasty to the press."
Politicians too seem reluctant to come to Rader's assistance. A recent telegram from Rader to California's Governor Jerry Brown asking for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the state attorney general brought no response. What prompted the telegram was the fact that during depositional interrogation Rader "discovered that the attorney general has in his files voluminous, stolen documents containing detailed accountings of all church activities for the past 27 years." But Governor Brown did not provide Rader the relief he sought. In fact, Brown has apparently ignored the whole thing."
Mike Wallace Interviews Stanley Radar
Below, you can download an audio copy of the interview with Stanley Rader on the American TV show "Sixty Minutes."
Right click and save to your computer.
Yes, this is "old news", for many. But it's important to beat this dead horse, I'm afraid.
Lest we forget......
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