At first I encountered Armstrongism through LCG. It took awhile for me to piece together that LCG was largely imitating the writings and teachings of one Herbert W. Armstrong. At first I was unaware of him and did not know where to read his writings. Later I finally found a copy of The Plain Truth About Christmas at Pabco's Home Page. It took a little longer for me to find the website itself.
Even today, when I link to one of HWA's writings I usually link to Pabco's Home Page because I usually read it there.
Pabco's Home Page appears to align itself with the Church of God - An International Community, David Hulme's splinter group.
Several articles maintained at Pabco's Home Page (The Bible Story and Hoeh's church history booklet for instance) gives grateful thanks to Church of God Cyber Auxiliary (a Montana non-profit).
Although this internet archive appears to be run by a member of the Church of God, An International Community, David Hulme's splinter group, I can distinctly recall when Pabco's Home Page included a gloss on Mystery of the Ages, chapter 6, that said the work of WCG is now being continued by the Global Church of God. Presumably that was written in before the split of 1998. Seeing that only further persuaded me to choose LCG over any other COG. Back then Chapters 6 and 7 (in contrast to the rest of that book) of Mystery of the Ages were COG Cyber Auxiliary pages, noticeable due to the sky blue background of those pages, but they are not now and are simply regular pages, with the old paper background like the first five chapters.
I devotedly read many of the articles and books stored at Pabco's Home Page. I did not read everything but many of the most important and memorable writings by HWA I read there, including
- The Plain Truth about Christmas. This was first of HWA's booklets I found on the Internet. I was already aware of LCG's prohibition of Christmas, but this was the first time I heard about how he said it was derived from a pagan festival celebrating the rebirth of Nimrod. At the time I was unaware that HWA simply based this idea from Alexander Hyslop's The Babylons, a book from the 1860s which is now totally discredited.
- A True History of the True Church. The second booklet I read on this website. Herman Hoeh's booklet utterly bedazzled me with its retelling of Nimrod, how Shem pursued him all the way to Rome and killed him, how Saint Peter's Basillica is built upon Nimrod's grave.What astounding revelation, I thought. Then I was further amazed at how Hoeh described the Bible predicted that "God's Church" would be cast into the wilderness for 1260 and that this started with the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. (I was disappointed to see that Hoeh did not cite anything happening 1260 years later as a sign the church came out of hiding.) This booklet is also invaluable because it also details some of the false reasoning behind HWA and Hoeh's false prophecy of 1972-5. I did not make the connection for quite awhile after I read it. Essentially Hoeh was insisting that the Apostolic church was only allowed to operate two 19 year time cycles (AD 31-69) and the same thing would happen to the Radio Church of God (1934-72).
- Mystery of the Ages. COG people talk about this book a lot. The fact that it was HWA's last adds a note of poignancy not to be found with his other books. I was very excited to read this book. It did its work well further bedazzling me into believing that HWA was a special man. In fact the book has many inaccurate teachings and is filled with nonsense, not least his assertion that the true Gospel was suppressed in AD 53 simply so he could say he restored the gospel to the world 1900 years later in 1953 with the first broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.
- The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. When I read this I was struck by how HWA did not appeal to extra-biblical evidence as much as LCG's booklet did, but I was so bedazzled by HWA's teachings I ignored that disquieting thought. It was also very long. However the DNA shows clearly that British and white Americans are not related to the Jews. Also I was quite struck by his assertion in this book that those who observe the seventh day Sabbath are set apart from society. That statement seemed most profound to me. Today I now see that he is simply mentioning how his teachings were isolating his followers from the rest of society in order to better lord it over them. Getting isolated from society is a sign you are getting in a cult.
- The Incredible Human Potential. One of the last books of HWA's I read. I already understood the doctrine of the God Family from LCG's Your Ultimate Destiny and their so-called Bible Study Course, so I was reluctant to read this for a while because it seemed slightly redundant to read this as well. But I read it anyway. I recall once hearing how LCG's Mario Hernandez got HWA to autograph his copy of this book. I was somewhat disappointed to see that sections of this book appear in Mystery of the Ages, which I had already read.
- The Wonderful World Tomorrow. Here HWA describes what the utopian 1000 year reign of Christ upon the Earth will be like. I heard LCG's leader say that he caused HWA to temper his statement that various Biblical will fulfill certain roles in the World Tomorrow and instead persuaded him to only say maybe so and so will be assigned to do this and that. Having already read Mystery of the Ages I was somewhat disappointed to see that sections of this book appear in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7.
- The Autobiography of HWA. When I read in LCG's Tomorrow's World that this (then) mysterious figure, HWA, had even written a two volume autobiography I greatly yearned to read it. When I discovered that it was available on the Internet I read it. HWA bedazzled me with his account of how God helped him out in many ways and places. I did not know then of the great harm he had inflicted upon so many people.
- The Missing Dimension in Sex. What is the missing dimension in sex anyway? I, HWA, as the only true representative of God, have the right to tell you what to do with sex, as revealed in the Bible. HWA says this as though every other religious writer does not do the same thing. At the time I was unaware that Herbert W. Armstrong committed incest for ten years with his daughter. Somehow I think listening to an incestuous man telling you what to do about sex is a bad idea. Also it only came to my attention this year that HWA did not write it alone. It's first edition, entitled God Speaks Out on the "New Morality", was written by several men, including Roderick C. Meredith, Ernest Martin, and Dr. Ralph Merrill. Apparently it was Merrill who made the diagrams in the book. So it seems to me that HWA was lying to WCG members by pretending he was sole author of that book in its later editions. I find it odd that even Meredith got his name scrubbed out of the book. And despite that rebuke to him Meredith continued to play along and continue serving HWA and getting his paycheck from the organization HWA started.
- The Bible Story. Many people recall the illustrations. However because I read it here I never looked at the illustrations until long after I had read it. Therefore my memory of this retelling of the Old Testament is not blighted by those illustrations unlike most others.
- Pagan Holidays or God's Holy Days - Which? Here HWA condemns common festivals in order to isolate his followers from the surrounding society so that they will spend more money and time on his organization.
- 1975 in Prophecy. Here is HWA's infamous false prophecy. As a believer in HWA's teachings I did not want to believe that he was a false prophet. Later I read his damage control article in Tomorrow's World, published after the Great Tribulation failed to start in 1972 as he prophesied, and HWA insisted that 1975 only referred to the prediction of other scientists on when humanity would create a technological utopia. If you only read that booklet you could believe him because, oddly enough, the booklet does not explain why the date for Christ's return was set at 1975. But Hoeh's booklet on church history exposes HWA for the shameless liar he is. That booklet discusses the prophecy that the Great Tribulation would start in 1972, saying it is dual with apostolic Christianity only having 38 years before fleeing the Roman army in AD 69. HWA was lying. HWA did predict Christ to return in 1975. That is a major reason why the Radio Church of God expanded so much in the 1950s and 1960s, and why there was little turmoil until the 1970s because the WCG members and ministers were united by the urgency to get the work done before 1972. Whatever problems existed would only have to be endured until 1975 when you would get to become a God being, as fully God as God is God. It would be a long time before I woke up to HWA's deception.
- The Proof of the Bible.
- The Truth about Masonry. Anti-Masonry polemic. Asserts legend of Hiram Abiff is really about Nimrod.
- The Plain Truth about Easter. Like the anti-Christmas booklet I was utterly bedazzled by HWA's descriptions of how Easter is the name of a pagan goddess, that lent came from "pagan devil worshippers", that eggs are pagan symbol, that Easter was introduced as part of a vicious conspiracy involving suppressing knowledge that Christ was resurrected on Saturday, that it was Sixtus I who wickedly introduced Sunday worship in Rome around AD 110, that Communion used to be universally observed on Saturday, etc.
- Who or What is the Prophetic Beast?
- The Resurrection was not on Sunday. I was most fascinated when I first heard of this teaching. How amazing is that? I thought. All this time I thought Jesus was resurrected on Sunday morning. Now I learn that he was resurrected on Saturday evening and was actually crucified on Wednesday. Actually, like many things, it appears HWA did not know what he was talking about.
- Did God Create a Devil?
- Are We in the Last Days?
- Has Time Been Lost? Apparently HWA plagiarized this booklet from a COG7 booklet.
- The Book of Revelation Revealed at Last!
- Is Jesus God?
- What is a Liberal? Here HWA labels dissident ministers and members as 'liberals' and falsely accuses them of trying to seize control of WCG and overthrow HWA for selfish gain, instead of seeking to address the serious issues these brave people were trying to address.
- How to Prevent Sin.
- Does Your Child Lie?.
- Lazarus and the Rich Man. One of the first articles I read.
- The Seven Laws of Success.
- The Origin of Halloween. Here the Papacy is blamed for inventing this holiday.
- The Middle East in Prophecy, I was perplexed by how HWA here identified Ethiopia as the King of the South, because LCG said that role would be fulfilled by an Arab-Muslim power yet to arise.
- The Greatest Story Never Told! Adds details to the Nativity story top support the Armstrongite dogma of British Israelism.
- Did Christ Reorganize the Church? Old 1939 article in which HWA condemned a specific way of church organization then being practiced by Andrew Dugger's splinter group from COG7. While doing so HWA condemned one man rule as like the image of the Beast, meaning like the Papacy. Later cited by brave dissidents to question the necessity of HWA's one man rule which he called 'God's Government' and expose how HWA appears to have opportunistically created an authoritarian dictatorship for his own selfish ends.
- Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? Here HWA asserts that Christians are to observe the Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) and must not worship on Sunday.
- Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era. Here HWA lists eighteen 'restored truths' he claims to have restored to 'God's Church'.
- No! I was Never a Jehovah's Witness or Seventh Day Adventist. Here HWA insists he was never a member of those organizations in order to obscure the fact that he took a lot of his teachings from them. It is priceless for his deceptive assertion that he learned his teachings direct from God through the Bible. This was not true.
- The Mystery of Melchizedek Solved! Here HWA claims Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Christ. This idea is fairly within 'fallen' Christianity. My copy of The Amplified Bible also teaches this idea. This is not an idea unique to Armstrongism.
- The True Reason Why
the Jews Rejected Christ. Here HWA claims because the Pharisees were collaborators with the occupying Romans and feared
JesusChrist would overthrow Roman rule immediately thus leaving the Pharisees without a job and a source of income.
- Daniel Nine Proves Jesus is the Christ. Here William Dankenbring cites Daniel 9 to claim it precisely dated the first coming of
- The Plain Truth about Old Testament Polygamy. Here HWA denies that God ever encouraged or idealized polygamy.
- Must God's Ministers by Ordained by the Hand of Man? Here HWA asserts that 'God's Church' has, and must always, by led by men who have been ordained by ministers. This teaching is conviniently forgotten by some.
- Tongues: Is the Pentecost Experience Being Repeated? Here HWA strongly say no. He even implies that Pentecostals are being demon possessed. This is notable for being a reprinting and expansion of an article HWA wrote for the first issue of the The Plain Truth.
- How Subtly Satan Used Make up to get the Church off Track. Here HWA defends reimposing the makeup ban by claiming that WCG letting women wear makeup allowed Satan to enter the church and begin a campaign of watering down doctrines which would have brought divine damnation upon WCG unless HWA was 'resurrected' after his heart attack to bring WCG 'back on track'. In reality HWA used this teaching to try to alienate his wife, Ramona Armstrong (nee Martin, nee Crittenden) from him, hoping that she would divorce him. HWA failed and he later divorced her.
- Geology Reveals: Two Creations - Two Worldwide Floods. Also notable in that it dates the Great Flood to 2369 BC, which assumes that AD 1975 is 6000 after the creation week of Genesis 1.
- A World Held Captive.
- Predestination: Does the Bible Teach It?
- Does God Exist?
- What Do You Mean - The Unpardonable Sin? Here HWA asserts it is highly unlikely to commit it.
- Where are Enoch and Elijah? Here Herman Hoeh says Enoch died and his body was taken away by God to be buried in secret and that Elijah was taken up into a whirlwind to be deposited down in Judea where he served as a prophet.
- What Science Can't Discover about the Human Mind. Here HWA asserts that man has a spirit essence. It seems to me that Robert Kuhn helped develop this idea. Also says dinosaurs did not reproduce.
- Does God Heal Today? While looking around on the Internet I encountered the website of Harold Reiman, who insisted that doctors and medicines are forbidden by God. He cited this booklet. Later when I discovered Pabco's Web Page I read and indeed HWA condemned doctors and medicines. For a day or two I was distressed by his emotive assertions. However I was somewhat lucky in that I aligned myself with LCG which allows doctors and medicines. I told myself God's Church grows in truth, so what was said then has no relevance now because God's Church (LCG) now allows it. I did not then know that many people have died or had their health permanently impaired as a direct result of what is taught in this booklet. HWA got this teaching from the Jehovah's Witnesses, who were forbidden to use vaccines from around 1920 till 1952. Surely the most shameful legacy left behind by HWA. Alas, some COGs continue to spread this anti-medicine superstition.
- The Plain Truth About Healing. The 1970s update of HWA's anti-medicine superstition, made as part of HWA's drive to purge the reformers of the 1970s in order to secure his leadership over WCG members.
- They Didn't Believe What He Said. Here HWA reduces all the problems of the world to Genesis 3. It implies one should always listen to HWA.
- If You Had Lived at the Time of Christ. Here HWA asserts that if you presently believe in what WCG is teaching now, you would have believed Christ when he walked upon the Earth if you lived back then. I was greatly flattered when I read this article. Why would anyone care? I am alive today. I did not live then and it is irrelevant what I would have done then because I live today, not then.
Most of the writings stored here are writings produced by HWA's WCG, but there are a few eclectic other writings hidden within this archive.
- Except the Lord Builds the House. A compilation of quotes from HWA compiled by David C. Pack, before he went and started up his own COG personality cult.
- True Womanhood. This booklet was actually written by Roderick C. Meredith, but for whatever reason the author is not named here. Bob Thiel does the same thing on his archive of old WCG's writings.
- There is also the following article by Frank W. Nelte. Exactly What is Real Repentance? There used to be several articles by Frank W. Nelte in this website but they now appear to be gone except this one. I often wondered who this man was.
- There is also a list of sermons by HWA, Keith Brittain, David Hulme and Brian Orchard.
- The Nicolaitans. An article by J. H. Allen, who wrote Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright, the book HWA plagiarized British Israelism from. The article identifies the Nicolaitans with clerics wishing to seize power over their followers.
- Stark Prayer Sparks an Absolute Political Furor. A 1996 Washington Post news story about a minister in Kansas, Ray Wright, who caused a bit of a stir with a prayer he gave while speaking in the state capitol of Kansas.
- The Land is Sacred to Us. A mournful lament at how Native Americans were being cast out of their land and shipped into reservations for the convenience of white men.
Outside of the COGs not many people understand the intricacies of Armstrongism. It is in the hope of making matters regarding Armstrongism more clear that I am writing this blog. Having experienced what I have within Armstrongism I feel it is my duty to tell what I know about it.
So that place is where I learned HWA's teachings from the man himself.