Saturday, February 15, 2014

David Robinson on HWA's Incest

David Robinson's book, Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Wed, is most well known for first relating to the public the fact that HWA committed incest with his younger daughter, Dorothy for about ten years (c. 1933-44). Exit and Support Network has long posted online Chapter 20 of Robinson's book in which he first revealed to the public HWA's most horrific incest. So I will not discuss that chapter here.

However, earlier in the book, there are several places in which he alludes to the incest which he only discusses specifically in the last chapter. In a way the revelation of HWA's incest is the grand climax of Robinson's narrative of horrors.

Here are what he also had to say about the incest earlier in the book.
Stories from HWA's past suggest deep troubles all the way back to his early life. ... His own son reports his dad's autobiographic account is at least 30% false. (Preface, p. 10.)
Robinson also alludes to the incest in discussing how HWA once pledged that he had never committed adultery. HWA said this in a meeting of ministers shortly after appointing Meredith as head of the ministry during the receivership crisis in January 1979. This was done as part of HWA and Rader's decision to oppose the State of California's receivership. HWA also made this declaration as a way to further belittle the deposed Garner Ted Armstrong, now his hated and feared rival.
Herbert Armstrong, in his own firm voice, pledged that he had never committed adultery. And he assured the assembly that if his wife Loma were to be raised from the grave, she would firmly deny any such charge as well. ... This very strong statement, given in a firm voice, was reassuring to those assembled who had very deep-seated reservations about the church leadership. 

Was this a higher duty Herbert Armstrong was performing? Was he lying when he said that? Since then, reports, many reports, have come from members of Herbert Armstrong's own family that show him gravely in error when he so reported to the ministers formally and officially! According to those reports, now widely circulated, he had conducted an adulterous relationship of long standing and of the sort that has traditionally carried the death penalty in many of the American states! (Chapter 4, p. 54.)
(Elsewhere in the book Robinson mentions how Stanley Rader told him that it is acceptable to lie in order to serve a higher duty. Robinson could help but wonder if that is why HWA made that deceptive statement.)

Robinson also alludes to the incest in Chapter 13. While talking with Stanley Rader about many things Rader began criticizing the deposed Garner Ted Armstrong. Robinson responded that he thought HWA bore a lot of responsibility for causing his infidelities to do so much harm to WCG by covering it up.
While talking to Stan I did not know how bad Herbert Armstrong's own sins were, from way back. He really was in no position to clean up anybody's sins unless he first cleaned up his own. (Chapter 13, p. 163.)
Later, it turned out that it was not only HWA's family who reported this was the case. Bruce Renehan interviewed some members of the Church of God (Seventh Day) who reported they were aware of the incest. This most fascinating correspondence is at the Painful Truth web site
I'm not exactly sure what constitutes proof to everyone. Before I began to author my book [Daughter of Babylon], my wife and I visited the Church of God, Seventh Day, both in Bakersfield and in Fresno. That is the church that Herbert Armstrong started attending in 1927. I first heard of the incest from some of their members, two of whom--Israel Hager and John Keiss--had known Armstrong in the 20s and 30s. Keiss, who was Armstrong's closest friend in the COG7 had actually discussed the incest with Dorothy Armstrong who confessed to him. Not wanting to believe hearsay from just one group, I placed a call to a friend of mine (Bob Mizell) in Pasadena. Bob was a very close friend to Joe Tkach Senior and, if anyone would know if the stories were true or not, he certainly would. Bob told me openly that both he and Joe Tkach had known about Armstrong's incest with his daughter and then he quickly brought up the David was a man after God's heart" ploy.
Also, recently, Robinson has been yet again vindicated as two of HWA's close family members, his niece, Deborah Armstrong, and his own grandson, Larry Gott, have both confirmed in interviews with Troy Fitzgerald, founder of Secular Safe House, that the incest did take place. (Written comments of these interviews by Head Usher may be seen here and here.)

Contrary to what some like the unordained, self appointed false prophet Bob Thiel would have us believe, this was not a lie. Instead this case of incest is a remarkably well documented relationship, confirmed by many sources, including two of HWA's own niece and grandson. How can Thiel and Co. delude themselves and others that even HWA's own family can be in error on this most serious matter?

More information about HWA's incest may be seen in this previous post.

[Update: March 29, 2014: You can access Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web from Exit and Support Network. Just email them and request it. It is well worth reading.]


  1. One very serious problem in all of this is that so much of the basis for Armstrongism is rooted in theories. These are theories which simply cannot be proven or substantiated in any way. In fact, they can be totally disproven.

    Most of the splinter leaders depict HWA as having been pure as the driven snow, while GTA is seen as having been a profligate pathological sinner who rebelled against "God's Apostle".

    Because the only "proof" for the unsubstantiated theories is "Mr. Armstrong said..." if it were to be admitted that he were conducting an incestuous relationship with his daughter during the time period in which he claims that God was revealing His truths to him, then the entire basis for Armstrongism suddenly goes down in flames. You are left with what was taught by COG-7, much of which is questionable in and of itself.


  2. Let us not forget the testimony about the incest in the Ramona divorce proceedings in court.

    Ten year of incest to begin a ministry. Wow. How does that get a free pass?

    If we accept the New Testament (ignoring the Old for a moment, that a false prophet is to be put to death), Herbert Armstrong did not have the qualifications to be a minister. He was 100% carnal. He preached a "physical ministry" meaning that his cult religion stood upon physical rituals.

    The Radio and Worldwide Church of God was rooted in British Israelism as "The Key to Prophecy". We have successfully disproved British Israelism multiple ways, some of which would stand up in a court of law, particularly using DNA evidence.

    Moreover, the sacrifices were done away. It should be noted (and has been by the Church of God Seventh Day) that the feasts of the Lord were tied directly to sacrifices -- and could not have been kept (even for the Day of Atonement) without those sacrifices.

    As nearly as anyone can determine, ALL -- EVERYONE -- who attempts to keep the feasts does it on the wrong days and absolutely no one seems to have gotten the calendar right -- particularly the Jews upon which the Armstrongists calling themselves Christians, but act anything but, who (the Jews) themselves acknowledge their calendar is wrong and are waiting for a new Sanhedrin to fix it (it's been hundreds of years, good luck with that). The ONLY conclusion we can come to is that if God really was behind the feasts, He has not allowed anyone to figure out when they should be kept and therefore, God does not want us to keep them at this time. In any event, lies are told at the Feast of Tabernacles, predicting that the United States and British Commonwealth will fall because they are lost tribes of Israel, doomsday will proceed on target in 5 to 7 years (ever the sliding scale), the church (particular CoHAM) will flee to the place of safety (or have angels carry the elect there) and Christ will return in our life time. The likelihood of this happening is the same as being infected with an STD by a meteorite while sitting on a toilet seat. It's all utter nonsense and continues not to happen year after year after year.

    Herbert Armstrong as one of the worst religious criminals in history set a pattern followed by the Criminal Minds of the 700+ club of today, as evidenced handily by one crazy insane lazy lying false prophet convicted felon, Ronald Weinland (now referred to as Conald Swineland), while his PKG congregation continues to contribute to his Luxury Fund while he serves out his time in Federal Prison.

    We have fine examples of elders convicted in various parts of the world as pedophiles, some of whom are on the run.

    My daughter had a friend in the WCG whose father was committing incest with her.

    These are blaggards, not black sheep.

    The whole venue is absolutely disgusting and those who consider themselves Christians would well stay away from such Satanic creatures of the Dark.

    Is there anyone who can face the facts and still claim that Herbert Armstrong had the Spirit of God working within him? Particularly since he never exhibited the Fruit of the Spirit. There's no such thing as a Christian narcissist -- it isn't possible by definition.

    Keep moving -- nothing of the Spirit to see here.

  3. I heard that Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong accused his father of incest, but recently I heard him, in a recording, angrily deny that he ever accused his father of incest, so, without out proof what's your point? Even if if Mr. Armstrong committed such a vile act, if he repented what's the point? Are you saying that the blood of Christ is not worthy of washing aways his sins? If so, then we are all in trouble aren't we?

  4. Over the past years, we've seen many comments similar to the one above at 4:39.

    Here are the problems. While Mr. Armstrong's sins, like all of ours, can be forgiven, certain acts are so heinous that they disqualify one from the ministry. Can you imagine a pedophile counselling young girls?

    Also, do you seriously believe that God would choose an individual regularly practicing this sort of sin, and reveal His end-time truths to such a person? The timeline for the incest is the same timeline as the alleged revelations.
    We know that certain of the restored "truths", such as British Israelism, are preposterous and have been totally debunked. Taken together, we have some very serious credibility issues here to say the least.

    Also, although he may have actually changed his story, we don't need the GTA quote. Frankly, considering a lot of the unique teachings inherent in Armstrongism, any minister who would admit that HWA did this literally kills off the movement, and therefore, his own source of employment. But, we have the materials from HWA's divorce from Ramona, the unrebuttaled testimony of David Robinson, the materials from Bruce Renehan, and recent statements made by HWA's niece and grandson.

    I've stated many times that I really wish that this had never come out. The problem is, it has acted as a distraction on which people focus, diverting them from looking at the many other obvious false teachings of WCG. I sure wish my parents had lied to me about Santa Clause rather than lying about the Germans coming in 1975!