Friday, July 26, 2013

Distortions of the 1986-7 Autobiography of HWA

Many of the historical distortions that HWA sectarians have regarding the latter days of HWA's rule stemmed from what WCG told them. One example of this campaign of remembering HWA's latter days favorably is the 1986 Autobiography of HWA that the Tkach led WCG produced in 1986-7.

It often discusses HWA's visits with world leaders in the later chapters, which are composed of extracts from his co-worker letters.

It mentions Stanley Rader, who was so instrumental in making these visits happen and for so long was the number two man in WCG, only once in Chapter 77.
March 12 [1973]: Due to my flu attack, several appointments were canceled for me. But my assistant Mr. Stanley Rader called upon our friend Mr. Adam Malik, the Indonesian Foreign Minister -- second man in the government, next to President Suharto, and until this year, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations at New York.
That is all it has to say about the man who was for a long time was the second most important man, the heir apparent, within WCG, particularly 1978-81.

A person reading this book would have no idea of how important Rader was within WCG in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Osamu Gotoh is also not mentioned.

The Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, a WCG front organization created to obscure the fact that HWA was a religious minister from the dignitaries he visited, is mentioned several times, but one would have no idea of the intense loathing it inspired among many WCG members  

Garner Ted Armstrong is also rarely mentioned. His instrumental role in preaching for WCG on the radio, that it was his voice on the radio that led so many into WCG, is left unmentioned.

HWA's second wife, Ramona Martin (nee Crittenden), is only mentioned in Chapter 81 in which HWA announces his marriage to her. No mention is made of the fact that he divorced her in 1981 and went through a long and messy divorce.

It also mentions HWA's absurd idea that the literal throne of David should be uncovered in Jerusalem before Christ's return in Chapter 75.
We are not only uncovering 3,000 years of buried history. We are clearing off the accumulated rubble, decay and debris -- some fifty to sixty feet high -- over the very throne of David -- in the original Jerusalem of 3,000 years ago, also known, then, as the City of David. The biblical prophecies of Isaiah 9:7-8, of Luke 1:30-33, and of Amos 9:11, say that the Messiah -- the returning Christ in supreme and total supernatural power and glory -- is soon, now, to rule the entire earth -- all nations -- from that very spot! What a providential thing it is, that we are clearing it off -- preparing the way for His coming, in this, as well as in other ways!
Of course people have long noticed the flaws and problems of HWA's Autobiography, as may be seen in Ambassador Report 38, April 1987.
In the past, Garner Ted Armstrong has referred to his father's 1967 Autobiography as "two-thirds fiction." We suspect the new version may be no better. Here is what one of our readers wrote us after reading the new Autobiography, Volume I:

Many times HWA said he would never dignify accusations with a reply. But he did! With reference to page 8 of your April 1984 issue of Ambassador Report: "That was the year [1933] HWA began abusing his own daughter. Is it any wonder he hasn't slept well since?" Note pages 546-547 of the new edition of his Autobiography: "The year and three months (Dec. 1931-Feb. 1933) spent in Astoria, averaging perhaps less than five hours sleep per night - with one ordeal of three days and three nights with no sleep - had left me in a condition which made it difficult to get to sleep at night."

I checked the September 1960 PT, page 5, and did not find that explanation in the original version. He inserted it in the first chapter not covered in the old Vol. I, at a time frame of late March 1933.

There are many, many sentences omitted in the new version, sometimes whole paragraphs and sections. In their place are a few new paragraphs. For instance, he omits some of the references to his having visited Baptist ministers.

On page 426 of the new edition, he omits the fact that it was Taylor, an ex-SDA minister, later a "pentecostal" minister who wrote articles against the Sabbath (pages 410-411 old 1967 edition, also omitted), who first suggested that HWA be ordained (page 398, old edition). On page 427, new edition, he omits the fact that he was ordained so that he could join Taylor in the campaign at Eugene (p. 399, old edition).

He deleted references to the "Sardis church," as well as references to the work GTA is doing.

It is interesting to note that the persecution he writes about did not start until 1933, and then it seemed to be universal. The ministers of the Church of God knew he was not one of them.

On page 567, he writes that Elder Dugger had invited him to join their church, but "I never did formally join it." The word "formally" is new.

 Not new, but interesting, is the comment on page 635, "All of us at Eugene church... severed all connection and effort at cooperation with those who had proved themselves willing to serve Satan and their own personal greed, and to injure the very work of God!" This was in August 1937, when HWA's ministerial credentials were revoked. He must have known it was due to his no longer being the husband of one wife, as his god had given him his daughter....

Alas, HWA sectarians to this day continue to enthusiastically follow the propaganda that the old WCG taught them in order to minimize and deny the severe personal flaws of HWA which greatly contributed to causing the turmoil of the 1970s.

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