Sunday, February 1, 2009

Resources on HWA's Incest

There has been a bit a buzz out there about the HWA incest. This is a terribly sensitive topic, but alas, because HWA had set himself up as the sole man through whom God is working through on the earth it is necessary to discuss even this most shameful and secret topic. This information is offered in order for the reader to understand why so many people are convinced that the man said to be God's Apostle was able to do something as dreadfully foul as this.

Ambassador Watch has brought up evidence from Ambassador Report, William Dankenbring and David Robinson, and responded to Bob Thiel's attempted rebuttal. Ambassador Reports has brought out that HWA's legal minions did not actually deny it, but claimed that his privacy was invaded.

Here I wish to bring the reader's attention to more accounts about this topic that are out there on the Internet.

The atheist/agnostic/deist Painful Truth also has extremely intriguing correspondence by Bruce Renehan on this topic where he reveals that he learned of it after talking with two COG7 members who knew HWA back in the 1920s and 1930s (Robinson did not invent this story), and that a friend of his in Pasadena who was closely linked with Tkach, Sr plainly stated that Tkach, Sr knew of it, that HWA admitted it to Robinson, and a former headquarters minister friend knew of it as well.

Also relevant is David Robinson's obituary in AR61, March 1996 ("David R. Robinson 1922-1995"). Here John Trechak reveals how he first learned of Robinson's work, that Robinson was one of the most honest men he knew, and how Robinson suffered terribly for telling the truth, losing close friends, losing $86,000 in WCG's attempt to suppress the truth, being fired by HWA with practically no saving for him and his wife to live on, and being forced to become a humble painter; yet despite all that he never recanted. I wish he was still alive, then I could thank him for telling us the truth despite such adversity.

Exit and Support Network has a useful archive of material which led me to discover most of these links. There one can read chapter 20 of Robinson's book, an 1997 expose article which has Robinson's son saying the following: "It was a shattering experience for my dad [discovering about the incest]," says Mark Robinson, a Dallas-area businessman, whose father died in 1995. "Until then, he had no reason to doubt Mr. Armstrong's spirituality." Why would he lie about this matter? It also links to a letter that has Gary Antion confirming that David Antion learned of it, and the former acknowledge that it happened; see Jack Kessler (1981) mention it; a testimony from one who looked through HWA's court records and discovered him giving hush money to Ramona over this; the topic is also used to prove that he could not be an Apostle; and one can even find a 'how to' guide on how to talk about this sensitive topic to your Armstrongite mate.

The Ambassador Report on the Painful Truth also has information on this topic. ESN, in its except of the Robinson's chapter has a helpful little guide to AR, showing that it was discussed in the following:

It is in AR#40 that Trechak discusses the curious tale of HWA getting young Richard David to disappear while the two of them were down in Hollywood with Dorothy. This curious tale of HWA's may be seen in chapter 42 and chapter 43 of his autobiography. Here Dorothy goes with HWA to Hollywood in April, 1942. The rest of the family were left behind in Eugene. This trip would last almost four months from mid-April to July 31. HWA gave the following pretext for Dorothy's prescence in the visit.
After boot camp, Vern [Mattson, who would later marry Dorothy] was sent back to Quantico, Virginia, for final training for overseas fighting. In April, 1942, Dorothy received word the Marines were shipping out. Vern didn't know where, but thought likely they would sail through the Panama Canal, with some possibility of a very brief stopover at San Diego, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Immediately Dorothy demanded I take her to Los Angeles to be on hand if there was a brief landing at one of these three ports. Vern would not be able to get word to her until they landed. There might not be over twenty-four hours-or even less. It would be impossible for her to reach any one of these ports in time from Eugene. (Chapter 42, Heading 'At Last--LOS ANGELES!' Emphasis mine.)
And so we are supposed to believe that Dorothy went into a four month trip away from all other family except HWA just for a very faint chance to meet with her fiancee for twenty-four hours? And he was actually stationed in Virginia as well. And then Loma sent Dick over to HWA and he proceeded to make him wander around LA all on his own, supposedly to build up self confidence. Trechak suspected this was done to hide what was really going on. Maybe this is what Garner Ted Armstrong meant when he told Bob Thiel to look up the Autobiography.

After I reviewed all of this material I, personally, sadly came to the conclusion that this ghastly thing must have occurred. What an abominable situation. Right when HWA (alledgedly) was giving birth to the Philadelphia era he was continuously committing this horrid deed. I feel that with so much information coming from so many different sources, and that HWA-and many who were in a position to do so-did not deny that it happened, I feel that it must have happened. It is a very sad indictment on what sort of man this alledged 'Apostle' and 'end time Elijah' was. No wonder none of his surviving children were on good terms with him.


  1. Incest is more prevalent than most people realize and it's not confined to the rich or poor. In fact, the more intelligent and religious a person is, the more likely this crime will occur.

    Talk with someone who works with the DHS and they'll tell you. They deal with it all the time and it is estimated that 9 out of 10 cases of incest are never known.

    Some of the women who are reading these blogs about HWA's incest know that it's true, because they were victims of incest and other forms of child abuse as well. AND, it's always the ones whose parents were the most devout of Armstrong's followers.

    I have read some real horror stories about it from ex-WCG women on the Painful Truth forum. It being a private forum I can't divulge the contents though.


    Living Armstrongism blogger,

    It isn't correct to call the Painful Truth web site "atheist". The first and second editors were atheists but not the third. The members of the PT are deists, agnostics, a smattering of Christians and a few atheists. A really diverse group with one thing in common, they are all ex-members of the WCG and its splinters.

  2. It is a given that incest continues in the cog'lets. Why do I say this? I have been told by one gal. She gave her real name to me and her fathers (pastor) name in which I am familiar. She checked out to be who she said she was. But it is up to her and not me to expose the crime.

    It will come out at some point.

  3. The nameless owner of LA blog thinks that supporting the baseless allegations of Robinson, by posting innuendos, speculations, conjectures and suppositions is irrefutable evidence that HWA had an incestuous relationship with his daughter.

    Naturally, his diatribe was followed by Corkey's impeccable logic thus:"In fact, the more intelligent and religious a person is, the more likely this crime will occur." Let me see if I understand this mindless inanity correctly? Higher INTELLIGENCE and devotion to a RELIGION are primary causes of incest! WOW!

    Well, if that is true, none of the people posting at AW or LA blog are ever likely to be guilty of incest! On the other hand, since they are very intelligent, but are not devoted to any religion, apart from self-worship, I wonder what Corky thinks they propensity is likely to be?

  4. I belonged to this Church as a child and know of at least 4 familes that incest was common. Also my best friend was forced to marry at 16 to a man his 40´s ( our bible study teacher)who proceeded to sexually abuse the 2 children they had together. Another close friend decided to leave her husband ( who did NOT attend the church) because he consumed drugs, Our minister told her she would excommunited and would be a spirital widow forever if she did. I still remember at a church dance ALL the members were instructed to NOT dance with the only black family because it was a sin for whites to dance with blacks... Why that family stayed in the church, I´ll never know. I left when I was 18 and never looked back. This IS and was a CULT and has damaged me and my family. My mother was called a spirital widow because my father was Catholic and we were considered spiritally orphaned by our father and treated as second class by other members. This Church preyed on insecure abused people and took their money.....with nothing in return.

  5. Dear Tom, I loved your choice of words above...supporting baseless allegations, posting innuendos, speculations, conjectures and suppositions as irrefutable evidence.... That is exactly how Herbert W. Armstrong made up his "Profecies"!!! You can´t take a sentence or a biblical verse from one book and randomly put it with another and so on... to make it appear like a hidden message! That´s a symptom of schizophrenia, not to mention thinking your God... I´ve listened to many sermans by HWA and many ministers and it was jumbled up scripture.

  6. I have 3 points. 1) I grew up in WCG and was close to many families, there was no incest I was aware of and it was a deadly sin type thing. Not something that would be tolerated. If it happened, it wasn't common or known. 2) reading the above, there is no proof that HWA committed incest. All there is is hearsay, and if you search the net there is hearsay on everything from HWA rising from the dead to Elvis being 100% confirmed alive. 3) the MOST obvious thing I can think of is why doesn't someone ask his daughter or grand-daughter? His brother's daughter Karen is youngish and still around/working, she may know. A denail from any of them would leave it open, but an admission from the woman concerned or her relatives would put the argument to bed for me.

    I find it a bit strange that there is these hours of interviews/research into hearsay and not a dickybird about 'I went to visit his daughter/grand-daughter and she said xxx'.

    If you bringers of truth worked for the police you'd be sacked and thrown out of court! :-0

    Finally, legal mumbo jumbo regulalry results in a 'no comment/no denial' stance for legal reasons, it has no relation to if someone did something. HWA could have denied it, but still may have done it. The legal defense has absolutly ZERO bearing on the truth - OTHER than a guilty plea or admission, which he did not offer.


    1. Why would God's modern Apostle not let his "yes" be "yes" and his "no" be "no?" A true prophet would never sacrifice the truth for personal gain.

  7. In my opinion the fact that Armstrong NEVER, indeed NOT ONCE, came out publicly to refute and deny the allegations proves to me that there must have been some truth to the allegations otherwise why on earth would any honest Christian person allow such slanderous remarks be published about them without any comment whatsoever!?!? I definitely wouldn't! (see 1 Pet 4:15)

  8. Unfortunately for those who have been bamboozled into following HWA for decades, including my own mother and most of her close friends over half a century, HWA has always played on the same old string. This is what I refer to as the reverse "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" principle.
    A couple of obvious examples from my own experience.
    1) We were forced to tithe as kids and adults. When we were badly off and struggling to scratch together enough to feed and clothe ourselves, this was justified on the basis that we were willing givers, ready to sacrifice everything for the Church and the sake of spreading the Gospel. Of course, if we did come into any money or lucked out with a job etc., then it was pointed out that this was a direct blessing as a result of tithing.
    2) Similarly, HWA preached that following the Bible would produce happy families, yet his own family were wracked by mental pain and tortured by their relationship with him. To both his own and members' families he applied the same principle. When happy and thriving, this was proof that God's way works; when miserable and down at heel, this was also proof that following God's way was the right thing to do, even if it meant being unhappy, making your spouse and kids desperately unhappy and splitting up the family.
    I can think of plenty more examples, all of which go to show that you can lie as easily with the Bible as you can with statistics, and prove just about anything if you so choose. As to the proof of the spiritual pudding being in the eating, HWA seems to have glossed neatly over that completely.

  9. If we do not believe the Herbert W. Armstrong was not sexually involved
    with his daughter . I think that we
    are just as guilty about being part
    of it as he was .Maybe he repented of
    what he was doing to her before he died.
    Maybe it was at that point that God forgave him .I don't know , Ches Gardner

  10. Replies
    1. I have removed your comment. Do not talk about my weird, little, twisted, bent dooey.

  11. It's strange how HWA always ranted and raved about corruption in high places, immorality and debauchery amongst public figureheads who should know better and ought to be living their lives as role models, including US presidents, various members of royal families around the world and, not least, POPES and archbishops, many of whom have been outed as child molesters and kiddy fiddlers (whether gay or straight!), and yet he seemed rather keen to keep his own private life out of the headlines, didn't he? But of course, he was God's only disciple on earth and, as such, inured to such criticism. He even used to quote the bible in his own favour, as I recall, something along these lines:
    "Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”
    And, well, we all know the tragic outcome of that little tale, just so that one lustful, power-crazed figure could satisfy his carnal urges at the expense of some lesser but happily married man!