Thursday, September 17, 2009

Front Organizations

In the 1970s Herbert Armstrong, under the influence of Stanley Rader, set up various corporate bodies which could be called front organizations, such as the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Ambassador Auditorium and Quest magazine.

Quest did not live up to the standards of the Worldwide Church of God. Infamously it took the Lord's name in vain in the first issue, and sold book catalogs which included works promoting the occult and other practices which WCG condemned.

Quest was a severe financial drain on WCG and turned out to be a publishing failure. The leading editor resigned because HWA wanted to crudely inject a fluff piece about his visit with President Sadat of Egypt. Eventually HWA had to ignominiously abandon it and sell it off. It went into forgotten oblivion.

PCG is trying its best to imitate HWA's lackluster efforts at forming front organizations with its Armstrong Auditorium, Armstrong International Cultural Foundation and sending students to excavate in the Holy Land.

Now other religious organizations have been able to create viable organizations which they own. Examples include hospitals owned by the Roman Catholic Church, cereal companies owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church or founded by its members.

Other religious organizations that have also been able to produce long running secular publications such as the Christian Science Monitor owned by Christian Science, a pantheistic/gnostic religion, or The Epoch Times published by Falun Gong.

All of these have been far more successful than WCG's pitiful attempt with Quest.

However out there is another organization that has been able to far out do what HWA amateurishly tried to achieve.

The Unification Church, led by Sun Myung Moon, who are often called Moonies, established The Washington Times newspaper in 1981. Like Quest they appear to have had some editorial problems with their owners. Like HWA Moon has claimed that this newspaper is God's will. Unlike Quest The Washington Times has endured to this day, although like Quest it seems to have trouble being profitable. Moon has subsidized that newspaper, it appears, to the tune of $3 billion over nearly thirty years. Moon has not yet given up on it, unlike HWA.

More on the Unification Church may be seen at Steven Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center and Scoobie Davis' The Real Sun Myung Moon blog. It really is an amazing organization that Moon has made, a story I feel more should be aware of.

This is far more impressive than what HWA was able to accomplish in this area and serves as an example of what HWA could have tried to do.


  1. OK, you've stumped me. What cereal company is owned by the SDA's?

  2. Does this mean that both Kellogg's and Sanitarium are owned by the SDAs?