the painful truth about the worldwide church of god

Incest And Inspiration
The Mystery of Herbert's
Revelation Revealed At Last!
Also Known As:
The Missing Dimension In Child Rape

By The Watcher

According to the most recently revealed information, Herbert Armstrong, when confronted by his angry son Garner Ted in 1978, admitted before many witnesses not merely to committing repeated acts of incest with his daughter Dorothy from 1936 to 1946. We are now learning that Herbert also admitted to gradually escalating his sexual involvement with her in the previous three years from 1933 to 1936, when she would have been between 13 to 16 years old.

The thought that the man who claimed to be the End-Time Apostle of God could have been capable of a single such act - let alone 13 years of them - would have been inconceivable to any of us who so enthusiastically swallowed all his wild claims. Most readers of this Web site now know better. But we also know there are still scores of thousands of people out there who remain influenced, wholly or in part, by the false teachers of that foul, contemptible old man.

The Watcher has found most extraordinary the way in which current members of outfits like Roderick Meredith's Global Church of God, or the United Churches of God, will even admit that Herbert did indeed commit sexual acts with his daughter. Yet these same people with their very next breath continue to claim he was a "true, called servant of God."

Psychiatrists can, no doubt, give a lot of explanations for the mental mechanisms at work here.

Even Jack Kessler, in his classic 1981 resignation letter included on this Web site said that, at that time, he still believed that God had called Herbert Armstrong to be His End Time servant. Mr. Kessler wrote that he and all other called members of the Worldwide Church of God were required by the Almighty to obey Herbert, even though by that point he knew Herbert to be guilty of sex perversions, gross financial dishonesty and many other crimes, as well as incest.

In other words, Herbert had brainwashed the lot of us to swallow his bunkum and imagine that God was working through him and him alone.

None of us imagined that the man we believed carrying out such a "wonderful" work could have been capable of such monstrous conduct.

What the scores of thousands of former victims of Herbert STILL need to realize is that the supposed "truths" he taught were the INEVITABLE OUTCOME of the "spiritual" teachings and "divine authority" he claimed to embody.

A social worker friend of The Watcher's has worked for many years in the appalling field of rescuing children from sexual abuse by their own parents, teachers and religious pastors. Listening to her stories has been quite an education.

Social services charged with the protection of children, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, work with personality profiles to help them recognize patterns of abusive and dangerous conduct. The Watcher's friend told him that one of the most common psychological models is the one that links the sexual abuse of children to the onset of religious mania in the parent or authority figure.

This kind of thing is far more common than almost anyone realizes. The American and Irish Catholic Churches have been rocked by documented examples of such abuse by priests, up to the rank of serving bishops.

The Watcher's friend told him that incest, child rape and brutal beatings also are far more common in small, extreme fundamentalist Protestant sects. When The Watcher was referred to Jewish social workers in East Coast cities, he found that ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles also suffered from this problem but, like their Catholic and Protestant counterparts, they tried to sweep it under the carpet.

At least the mainstream Christian and Jewish faiths do not recommend such behavior. But in the Shi'ite Iranian offspring of Islam, men are specifically encouraged to marry young girls before the age of puberty and have full sexual relations with them.

The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the mastermind of Iran's 1979 radical Islamic Revolution was a public and enthusiastic champion of such conduct in his "religious" teachings and practiced what he preached. He married his wife of 60 years when she was nine years old.

Goodness! But as Mae West used to say, "Goodness has nothing to do with it, dearie."

And so, back to Herbert.

Let us note, again, that the very years he was cautiously escalating his abuse of his daughter - step by step - during her early teenage years, were the very years that he was also launching his "World Tomorrow" radio broadcast. He started the radio broadcast on Jan. 7, 1934 (Christmas Day according to the Eastern Orthodox Christian calendar, though he never realized it in 52 years of celebrating that date to his own glory).

Early in 1934, Herbert also launched the "Plain Truth", his mimeographed answer to "Time" magazine. He also made his first false calculations as to when Christ would return. He concluded that would be in the year 1936.

In other words, Herbert was in a state of increased religious mania during that 1933/4-1936 period.

Was he heated up to that mania by his sexual desire to abuse his own daughter? Or was it his growing, crazed conviction that "God" really had called him to "do a unique work" that led him to believe that, as the favored and most loved "son" of God, all things were permitted to him? After all, when he told his daughter, "God gave you to me," that was just an extension of the language he was already using to describe his personal, supposedly crucial role in the Divine order of the Universe.

Readers of this web site should already be familiar with the insight-filled biographical sketch of Herbert by Douglas , and with the extremely valuable psychological profile by William Meyer. These works clearly establish that Herbert Armstrong was literally, clinically mad.

Herbert's always unstable and fragile ego, his inherent manic-depressive tendencies and his repeatedly documented business failures and utter incompetence in the business world all led, as Bill Meyer acutely discerned, to a total mental collapse in late 1926.

By 1933, Herbert was in turmoil again. He had crawled and connived to become a minister in the Church of God, Seventh Day. But he was transparently ambitious and obviously obsessed with ludicrous and heretical ideas.

He was making repeated efforts to introduce ludicrous, crackpot ideas which were not even his own but had been stolen from the likes of Joseph Allen (British Israelism) and G.G. Rupert (Jewish holidays as embodying the Christian plan of salvation, Sabbath keeping and only eating ritually clean meats). As a result, by the fall of 1933, Herbert - as he even admitted (in a manner of speaking) in his autobiography - was again in the humiliating position of being rightly despised and distrusted by most of his colleagues.

Yet suddenly, the opportunity of radio broadcasting opened up! And right after that, he had the opportunity to fulfil another long-cherished dream and childishly produce his own "dream" magazine on a mimeograph. From the depths of humiliation, Herbert was suddenly catapulted into the heights of achievement, at least in his own imagination. From being in the depths of humiliating despair, he would now have swung, as manic-depressives do, into manic exultation.

Two consequences would have rapidly followed this transformation. First, one new idea after another - all of them crazed - would have flowed from his overheating mind down into his fluent and facile pen. And, as manic-depressives also do, he would have increasingly thrown caution to the winds in another area, the expression of his darkest erotic dreams and frustrations.

Modern American history is full of examples of charismatic, psychologically unstable, indeed-crazed individuals who create religious followings by identifying themselves with some Biblical or sacred figure, and who then immediate abuse this immense power by using it to indulge extreme and bizarre sexual desires. There was Charles Manson and his "family"; L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientologists; Jim Jones and his People's Temple cultists in Jonestown, Guyana; and David Koresh at Waco, Texas. Herbert fittingly belongs in such company.

The pattern is also a very ancient one. Egyptologists were astounded to discover that Pharoah Akhnaton of Egypt's 18th Dynasty in the Late Bronze Age - long acclaimed for introducing a radical form of religious monotheism (worship of a single god) - had married his own mother, Queen Tiy. He even had children by her and sexually abused at least one of his own daughters. The king boastfully recorded all these activities in hieroglyphic writings on his own monuments.

Akhnaton's crazed state of mind was identical to Herbert's. He regarded himself as a divinely chosen and appointed servant of the one, great god. He claimed to be living in ma'at, cosmic truth. We all recall Herbert's obsession that he was always restoring and unveiling "NEW TRUTHS, BRETHREN!"

Akhnaton, like Herbert, was a manic builder, obsessed with raising new cities and new temples to his own glory. Shades of the Ambassador Auditorium! Like Herbert, he stole religious writings from anywhere he could lay his hands on them. His famous "Hymn to the Aten" (his Solar-disk god) is lifted straight from Psalm 104 in the Hebrew Bible, scholars have discovered.

Also like Herbert, Akhnaton was a physically contemptible wimp with no shoulders or chest to speak of and a protruding stomach. Like Herbert, he spent money like water and ruined his own country. And like Herbert, his wild and radical religious innovations were completely discredited right after his death. Like Herbert, however, his myth has attracted gullible fools over the years.

Akhnaton was the father of the legendary Tutankhamen, who was the Joe Tkach, Snr. of ancient Egypt. Like Old Joe, he immediately dumped the crackpot religious claims of his predecessor as soon as he took power. That's what explains Tut's wild popularity and the sumptuous funeral he received, even though he died young.

But King Tut was also like Garner Ted Armstrong in that he experienced first hand the warping effects of being the son of a religiously-crazed old pervert. He was married to his half-sister Ankhesenpaaten, but their father Akhnaton insisted on "enjoying" his daughter first. She had a baby girl by her own father who died quickly after her birth.

In case all this sounds too wild, The Watcher refers his readers to published studies on Akhnaton by H. Brunner and Charles Desroches Noblecourt.

As another writer dryly pointed out, "The discovery of this fact concerning Akhnaton's daughter diminished the choir of acclaim that was heard in scientific, lay and religious circles whenever the name of the great reformer and monotheist was pronounced." (I. Velikovsky - "Oedipus and Akhnaton")

In conclusion, we can see that the idiots who quote "The David Defense" to excuse Herbert have everything back to front, just like the twisted old bastard himself.

Herbert's incest cannot be ignored or excused because he was "used by God to reveal so many new truths."

Herbert was NEVER USED BY GOD AT ALL. All the "new truths" he claimed to "reveal" were either crackpot lies, or stolen in their entirety from dead men without the slightest acknowledgement.

Herbert's incest was NOT some unfortunate human weakness in a divinely approved servant. It was the CENTRAL DRIVING FORCE that inspired all his "revelations."

And once Herbert had gone all the way with his daughter Dorothy, he knew himself he had passed the point of no return. As Douglas so shrewdly observed, 40 years later, speaking in his Last Great Day address in October 1978, Herbert actually admitted that "if I wasn't the Apostle, I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for my chances of salvation."

At that time, no-one except daughter Dorothy and son Garner Ted knew what he was referring to. None of us would have dreamed of it. But we know better now, don't we? Indeed we do.


So, Herbert's incest was not some tragic, mysterious weakness that should not attract from his teachings. HIS INCEST DIRECTLY INSPIRED HIS TEACHINGS.

Singles sad and dumb enough to read and believe "The Missing Dimension in Sex" book in the 1950s and 60s (earlier title, "God Speaks Out About the New Morality") will remember that Herbert was particularly obsessed about the evils of masturbation. We now know he practiced it intensely into his 80s, as his son approaching 70 still does in front of prostitutes.

He was even more obsessed with condemning teenagers or adult singles from as much as touching the finger of their (single) girl friends. This, from a man who routinely and unrepentantly practiced the most repulsive and unimaginable forms of sexual child abuse imaginable.

Why was he so obsessed about the harmless act of touching one's boy, or girl, friend?

That must have been how he started out abusing his own daughter. A touch here and a touch there, slowly escalating his crimes over the years, always pushing the envelope, always trying to see how much further he could go.

There are no extenuating circumstances there. If the harsh, literal Old Testament law he endlessly preached was practiced in society the way he always shrieked it should be, Herbert W. Armstrong should have been doused with petroleum and the match thrown.

He earned nothing less.

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