Friday, September 4, 2015

Mark Armstrong Interviews Third Temple Extremist (Then Laughs About It)

In 1969 a man partly influenced by Armstrongism tried to burn down al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Tragically because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict al Aqsa Mosque is a point of contention in that terrible and tragic conflict. Another such conflict would occur in 1990. It so happened that around that time Garner Ted Armstrong and his son Mark Armstrong were visiting the Holy Land.

Back on October 8, 1990 a small group of religious Israeli hardliners named the "Temple Mount Faithful" announced that they were going to place a corner stone for a third temple to be placed on the Temple Mount and were planning to visit the Temple Mount to do this. The Palestinians, hearing of this, protested. Things got out of hand. By the time it was all over at least seventeen Palestinians had been killed. (Some accounts had the death toll as high as twenty-three.)

Sickeningly Mark Armstrong, the son of Garner Ted Armstrong, interviewed the leader of this group, one Gershon Salomon, the leader of this group, soon after this horrifying mass death of at least seventeen Palestinians.
I [Mark Armstrong] shot television programs on location with my Dad from the Mount of Olives with the ancient city of Jerusalem in the background, from the entrance to the tomb at Golgotha, and interviews with Mayor Teddy Kollek: ' We interviewed Faisal Husseini, one of the leading intellectuals among the Palestinians in Jerusalem at his home, only three days after he had met with former Secretary of State James Baker. We interviewed Yitzhak Rabin who was the leader of an opposition party at the time, but who subsequently became Prime Minister of Israel and was assassinated by a radically conservative Israeli unhappy with Rabin's posture of acquiescence to Palestinian demands. I [Mark Armstrong] personally interviewed military officers in the Israeli army, and many may remember, Gershon Salomon, head of the Temple Mount faithful, a group dedicated to the reconstruction of the Temple on the site where it originally stood, where the famous gold guilded Dome of the Rock and the (holy to Islam) A1 [sic] Aqsa Mosque currently stand! ...

There's probably at least a semester's worth of Middle East history contained in the segment you're about to read. References are made to some of the travels and the interviews I mentioned above. In fact, a sizable portion of the interview I conducted with the leader of the Temple Mount Faithful standing in the large expanse in front of the Wailing Wall, is also included. (Mark Armstrong, Source.)
There are long excerpts from this interview.

After the interview excerpt Mark Armstrong comments about how he and his father reminisce about this interview. They viewed Gershon Salomon as laughable.
The statements made by Mr. Salomon; were sometimes deep; and often very rich. Not the kind of thing you breeze through. Of course I was the one there asking the questions, and as I read the answers, I can still hear him clearly in my mind, in his accent, saying things which are undeniably true, but outrageous nevertheless. For instance, when he asked me what would happen if you went' to Mecca and tried to build a Church or a Synagogue! It's enough to make you laugh out loud.

We used some of the portions of this interview on the telecast some years back, and there were certain segments that never failed to put us into near hysterics. The interview was conducted in the expansive courtyard in front of the only remaining wall of the Herodian temple, known as the Wailing Wall: The Dome of the Rock was visible in the camera shot, rising up above and behind the Wailing Wall. In order to nail down the significance of what Mr. Salomon was saying I asked, "So, to build the temple on the mount, the Dome of the Rock would have to be destroyed?" And he'd answer, "Not Destroyed! REMOVED; piece by piece with a very great respect."

Absolutely no disrespect to Mr. Salomon, but he indicates that he believes the Arab world would sit still while the Dome of the Rock is dismantled "with a very great respect"?! Dad and I shared some hard laughs over that one. Not that it's funny or anything, but if Grandpa Armstrong had been around, I'm pretty sure he'd have gotten a kick out that one too. (Mark Armstrong, Source.)
Who is more laughable? The man who call for a third temple to be made, or the man who sought him out for an interview as though he was worth interviewing?

So they laugh at Salomon even though it was Mark Armstrong who interviewed him.

So they laugh at Salomon even though his acts had led to a protest that ended with the violent death of at least seventeen Palestinians.

And why is it that Mark Armstrong's instinct at that point is to interview Salomon and not the family members of at least seventeen Palestinians who died?

It is disturbing that after this terrible mass loss of life that Garner Ted Armstrong and Mark Armstrong would seek out a man like this. It just goes to show us just what potent extremism Armstrongism actually is.


  1. Here we have an example of false perspectives causing individuals to see humor where there is actually tragedy!
    It apparently never dawned on GTA and Mark that Palestinian lives have intrinsic value. Unfortunately, ACOG members hang on their leaders' every word, every little bit of body language, or even things implied as being "the right way", an example foreshadowing the kingdom.
    Even when those leaders are fomenting contempt and hatred.


  2. Agreed. If they laughed about him before the mass loss of life then it wouldn't be so bad. But to seek him out for an interview after the mass loss of life and then laugh at him is so grotesque.

    If they chose to share a chuckle then Mark Armstrong should have at least had the decency to not mention it in public, much less putting it in print and on the Internet where it can be seen.

  3. Do you think it ever occurred to Mark and his Dad that if Jesus were still incarnated as a man and had been there with them, He would probably consider these Palestinians in a similar way as to Samaritans?