Those Incredible Worldwide Church of God Tithepayers
By The Skeptic
It was one of those remarkable events of the 20th Century; the people of the Philippines had taken to the streets in unity to protest the 'endless reign' of one of this century's most greedy dictators. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, in a bizarre counterpoint to this event, members of the "Worldwide Church of God" (WCG) engaged in spontaneous public protest when their equally greedy leader was under investigation by the state of California. Such is the legendary self-sacrificing and self-destructive loyalty of the Worldwide Church of God members.
Why are Worldwide Church of God members the "world's best" financial contributors to the "world's worst" church? Why do they continue to give such high percentages of their meager incomes to a discredited coterie of leaders who, though they have done their best to keep it secret, pay themselves huge six-figure salaries ? Some of the mystery of these questions clears when it is considered that between one and two billion dollars was spent on media and other propaganda to find these people. Furthermore, a stringent filtering process was applied to select only the most loyal and unquestioning candidates to be invited to full membership. In addition, once on the inside, members were closely monitored for loyalty and swiftly eliminated and "marked" at the first signs of independent thinking or discontent.
It's no wonder that those who remain today are the 'creme de la creme' of Armstrong's original amazing self-sacrificing suckers. They are literally the world's most valuable mailing list which, understandably, is highly prized and closely guarded by the present Worldwide Church of God executive team. These remarkable tithe warriors have withstood the test of repeated scandals, expos,'s and political power struggles in the top ranks of the Worldwide Church of God's power elite. To the amazement of religion watchers and cult specialists, they continue, to this day, to financially crucify themselves for a small obscenely wealthy power elite living the high life in Southern California.
In a remarkable article entitled "A Special Thanks for 1998" (WN 2/99 ) highly compensated Worldwide Church of God executive and money counter, Ron Kelly, is in a state of euphoria over the stunning performance of his tithe warriors for the year 1998. Here's what he had to say: "...The other day when I was working on our annual report for the board of directors, I had lunch with a well-known Christian radio personality. (Hank Hanegraff ? ) He had heard about the changes in the Worldwide Church of God and wanted to come by and see for himself.
"It just so happened that when he arrived at my office, I was calculating the funds our members sent during the calendar year.
"Of course individual member contributions are confidential, but our monthly statements are published for anyone to read in The Worldwide News.
" He did a couple of quick calculations and easily demonstrated that members and co-workers who donate to the Worldwide Church of God are among the MOST GENEROUS IN THE ENIRE WORLD.
"My friend sat in amazement and respect (and jealousy ?) for the dedication of members who give so generously. (Sorry, can't have 'em buddy. They're the hottest mailing list in the world, and they're all ours !)
"He said to me, ' There's not a church in the world who would not be turning cartwheels of delight to have their members contributing so generously.'
"Coincidentally, the next day I read a magazine article about charitable giving. The writer lamented that the average donation to charity for families earning more than $100,000 per year is less than 3 % of income. YET FAMILIES EARNING LESS THAN $10,000 GIVE A LARGER PERCENTAGE." (By using this, Kelly shows an amazing lack of discretion. Since he obviously falls into the former category, he is nicely 'hoist with his own petard' !)
The pending sale of properties in Texas and California will mean another big financial windfall for Worldwide Church of God executives, district superintendents and ministers in that order. Obviously the higher the salary scale, the higher will be the "retirement package" from these monies. Unlike Worldwide Church of God members, at least the people of the Philippines will see some of their money returned. Recently it was announced that a $64 million "tranche" (as the bankers call it) of Ferdinand Marcos's wealth will be transferred from Swiss banks back to the Philippines.
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