The Tkach Dynasty :
Divine-Right to Wealth
By The Worldwide Church of God Skeptic
The more I study the mysterious, wealthy millionaire Tkach family, the more I'm convinced just how cold, calculating and driven by a systematic pursuit of ever-increasing wealth they are.
It should come as no surprise that Russians - or Russian-Jews - (Gerald Waterhouse claimed that the "Russian" Tkach family had Jewish roots - a big "plus" in the Worldwide Church of God back then) are the wealthiest segment of the US population (for more information on this, see my previous article: The Obscene Wealth of the Tkach Family). The Tkach's have great cunning when it comes to wealth accumulation and people like me didn't stand a chance - when I left the church, I was broke and Tkach was a millionaire. In fact, Tkach blew away all other top contenders - Meredith, Hoeh, Rader etc - for the big money, top job at the Worldwide Church of God.
Although we didn't know it at the time, top Worldwide Church of God executives were well aware of the $1 million salary (in today's currency) Herbert W. Armstrong was able to pay himself as "Pastor General". Tkach knew that the big money was to be made by having the absolute control that the top job enabled. So the first thing he did was to pay himself $500,000 per year plus the usual endless perks.
At this time the Worldwide Church of God suits launched a publicity blitzkrieg on the members giving us a larger- than-life "biography" of our new absolute leader. This bio included heroic war stories, heroic Joe-defends-the-sabbath employment stories, and enhanced claims of educational and vocational backgrounds. A subsequent investigation by Ambassador Report revealed this to be largely mythological. This was the first hint that Tkach would stop at nothing in his focused pursuit of Big Worldwide Church of God money.
At that time the Worldwide Church of God was hauling in "extra-ordinary" sums of money from very-ordinary people - hundreds of millions of dollars per year. The coffers were full, the top executive salaries were huge, but the "Public Relations" image of the cult was, as usual, abysmal. As chief executive of the Worldwide Church of God, millionaire Tkach's "creative" solution was to give a number of large donations ($200,000 I think it was) to the Red Cross. So while the members lived in poverty to pay the church 15 to 30% of their gross incomes, millionaire Tkach was paying himself $500,000 per year and giving away hundreds of thousands to charities. And a charity headed by Elizabeth Dole (thanks to political connections) who, herself, was getting paid $200,000 for this cherry job at the top of this "sacred cow" charity while her husband makes $150,000 as an idiot politician. So our money was being transferred from one bunch of parasites to another and the PR image of the Worldwide Church of God was none the better. It's funny, an investigative piece on ABC television last week regarding the Red Cross complained that excessive levels of donations were being channeled to executive largesse. The complaints involved Sept. 11, and Californian brush fire relief and how relief was not forwarded until the media got involved. Then the head of the Red Cross for San Diego was confronted and admitted before the cameras that she was paying herself over $300,000 per year - a very Tkach-like "salary". Then came the real zinger at the end of the piece: It was mentioned that only 30% of the donations that were received for the San Francisco earthquake relief made it to the victims. This was the one Tkach sent our money to! Way to go Tkach !
The next big surprise millionaire Joseph Tkach had for the saps who were still members of his cult came when it was time to appoint a successor. He left this decision to the very end when he was nearly dead from cancer (and unable to enjoy his new-found fabulous wealth). Skeptics knew that he could choose whoever he liked because the so called "Dummy" Worldwide Church of God Board (a bunch of Worldwide Church of God executives getting paid six-figure salaries for their loyalty) had no veto power. So how surprised should we have been when he handed the big money and authority to - who else - his son ? Even today there is yet a third generation Tkach heir being prepared to inherit control of the Worldwide Church of God money machine. You see, through modern business management techniques, the Worldwide Church of God executive team have stabilized the income and carefully cultivated the membership base of suckers to ensure indefinite reliable income (see my previous article Those Incredible Worldwide Church of God Tithepayers). They even bombard them with appeals to hand over their entire estates (to a cult that does not have financial transparency) and the suckers are doing it in ever increasing numbers rather than pass on their modest accumulations to their families.
The most disturbing Worldwide Church of God executive money grab has to be the disgusting Legacy Partners Project which destroys the beautiful Ambassador property for nothing else but money. Have you seen the model of this project ? It's an horrific stomach churner - a mass of inhuman high density housing. You've got to give Herbert W. Armstrong credit for one thing : He did have good taste - albeit expensive tastes with other people's money. The Pasadena complex is an architectural and horticultural jewel even if, like Greece and Rome, it was accomplished with slave labor (mental slaves in this case). The cultmasters have even run a five million dollar deficit in 2001 (no doubt to maintain their huge executive salaries and perks) in anticipation of this windfall sale. Fortunately, the Legacy Partners Project is under a curse due in part to significant community revolt. Let us hope that this curse continues, the project fails, and the Worldwide Church of God is stuck with that $5 million deficit.
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