Sunday, July 21, 2013

HWA's Visits to World Leaders

These COG people believe that HWA's many meetings with world leaders were a sign of how important he was. A sign of divine favor made manifest among us. I recall one time reading HWA claiming that Elijah, the one who lived in ancient Israel, may have visited world leaders as he did.

The truth is a lot of tithe money which was selflessly sent to WCG was squandered by HWA, Rader and Osamu Gotoh to arrange these meetings.

Contrary to what HWA claimed, he did not preach the gospel to these world leaders. He just muttered some inane comments about a strong hand from some place. He was just satisfying his vanity. Most who knew him remarked on how egotistical he was.

Often COGs will mention his visits to world leaders as though it was a sign of divine favor and glory. Rader and the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (AICF) will not be mentioned.

WCG members who stayed under HWA and left after the Tkach tend to recall these visits proudly.Some mention how HWA opened a children's playground in Jerusalem. They will say how the Israelis loved him so much they even named a square in his honor. Often these COG people will glorify HWA's visits to world leaders. One example may be seen in this Armstrongite website.

It proudly displays photos of HWA visiting five world leaders, that he was decorated by President Marcos of the Philippines with a Presidential Merit Medal, visited two judges of the World Court.

But this page makes no mention of Rader, Osamu Gotoh or the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, HWA's front organization he create to hide from these world leaders and dignitaries that he was a religious leader.

This is true with many COG peoples' account of these times. They tend to be more likely to mention the AICF but Rader and Gotoh are less likely to be mentioned despite all that these men did to make HWA's visits to world leaders possible.

Bob Thiel, the unordained, self appointed false prophet, mentions HWA relations with Israeli leaders in an article in which he condemns Martin Luther (and thus all of Protestantism) in order to glorify HWA. It is well known that in his last days Martin Luther made a shameful speech in which he demonized Jews and called for them to be persecuted. (Of course today most Lutherans and Protestants do not hate Jews in that way. Recently the Lutheran Church apologized for this.) In contrast to Luther's disgusting anti-Semitic speech Thiel cites HWA's friendship with Israeli officials.
We've been participating in this foundation for twelve years. A whole square in front of the main headquarters building in the newer area of Jerusalem is named ‘The Herbert W. Armstrong Square’ (Armstrong H. Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 2, 1986/1987).

Actually Herbert Armstrong was photographed with the Mayor of Jerusalem who showed him a plaque that read:
Herbert Armstrong also reported that the then Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin said to him, "Mr. Armstrong...we all do deeply appreciate your interest in Israel" (Armstrong HW. Keep Your Eyes on Jerusalem. Plain Truth. October 1976). 
Actually, as John Tuit argued in Chapter 3 of The Truth Shall Set You Free, HWA never dared to preach the gospel to them lest he offend his Israeli hosts. What is so great about a little playground? Many people do stuff like that all the time. Why is tithe money going to them and not to WCG members? How is the gospel being preached to the people in Jerusalem through this playground? Notice how the plaque cited above does not even mention WCG, Tuit lamented. The people of Jerusalem using this playground would have no idea that it was a church which funded it.

These are some of the insights John Tuit reached in his book.

The disillusionment caused by these expensive visits was a major reason for the various acts of resistance that occurred during the 1970s.

HWA was just grandstanding.

But the WCG members were deprived and left with inadequate resources to manage their local congregations.

In summary, post-1979 WCG Armstrongites tend to remember HWA's as a glorious sign of divine favor pointing to the greatness of HWA. They tend to make no mention of Stanley Rader, Osamu Gotoh or the AICF and the instrumental role they played in setting up these visits.

In reality his extravagant spending caused severe discontent within WCG, and despite the severe punishments WCG's leaders could impose many WCG members heroically resisted these abuses of authority.

1 comment:

  1. The Roman catholic church fits many of the cult identifiers. ..Has one man, head honcho claiming title ''vicar of Christ' stating God speaks through him.RC church: wealthiest church on earth; wealth includes $'s, land, property + mega material possessions! Pope + his priests dictate to their followers on everything from sex to finances etc. ANY INPUT?--Please.