Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dave Pack's Account of the 1979 Receivership Crisis

The following is how Dave Pack and Bruce Ritter describe the crisis of the receivership to RCG members and co-workers in Herbert W. Armstrong - His Life in Proper Perspective.

Chapter 7:
In the fall of 1978, a group of conspirators hatched a sinister plot to attack and destroy the Church. They armed themselves with a class-action lawsuit. Mr. Armstrong explained, “This resulted in an ex parte order by a judge. Secretly without prior notice, deputies on order of the [California] Attorney General’s office swooped down on the Church on the morning of Jan. 3, 1979” (“Recent History of the Philadelphia Era of the Worldwide Church of God,” Worldwide News, June 24, 1985).
That accusation is complete nonsense that simply regurgitates HWA's self serving propaganda at the time. The six who initiated the lawsuit were not trying "to attack and destroy the Church." They were trying to stamp out corruption within WCG HQ.

The ecclesiastical affairs of WCG were not to be affected by the State of California's receivership. WCG was never in danger of being dissolved because of the receivership. The receivers never threatened to forcibly change church doctrine.

The receivers were concerned over financial matters, fearing that the leaders of WCG were misusing church funds for their own personal benefit instead of using that money for the welfare of church members.

In fact the conspirators were so reluctant to initiate the lawsuit they seriously contemplated presenting the facts they had gathered to Stanley Rader and use it as an ultimatum to force him to leave WCG's leadership and get him away from influencing WCG's leadership. What sort of "conspiracy" is that?
The state dropped the case months later, and an appellate judge ruled that the lawsuit was groundless.
Just like HWA they bring up this detail but neglect to mention that the court case ended because the State of California passed a law forbidding law suits of that nature to be used against a church. WCG was not vindicated in court, as is implied here, but simply persuaded the law makers of California to change the law to WCG's benefit. 

Chapter 8:
The crises of 1974, 1978 (when Garner Ted Armstrong left), and 1979 (the attempted coup bringing the State of California against the Church)
Here it is implied that C. Wayne Cole was trying to lead a coup against HWA. Nothing could be further from the truth regarding C. Wayne Cole. As has been seen previously, at first HWA decided to co-operate with the investigation. In pursuit of this he appointed C. Wayne Cole his number two man. Cole was so reluctant to accept this position he was physically sick. But in the end he chose and tried to execute his new duties in fulfillment of HWA's wishes. Unfortunately for him HWA soon changed his mind, apparently under Rader's influence, and decided to resist the receivership and hinder the investigation of misappropriation of funds. Behind Cole's back he appointed others in his place and kicked Cole out of the church and he and his minions demonized C. Wayne Cole as an enemy of God who had attacked the work of the living Christ, falsely implying that he was trying to lead a coup and seize power for himself. In fact C. Wayne Cole was callously betrayed by HWA.

It is sad that RCG's leadership continues to perpetuate misleading information regarding these events to its members in order to idealize HWA as a man of noble character and ignore the many terrible flaws about the man which caused so much trouble to WCG members and to WCG as an institution.

The authors of this book, Pack and Ritter, may be sincere, but if so, they are badly misinformed about what really happened in those turbulent days and, alas, are continuing to misinform people within RCG about these events.

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