It was an understanding of [biblical] prophecies that led Herbert W. Armstrong, our predecessor in this Work of God, to write in the April 1952 Plain Truth, at a time when the Russian boot seemed permanently planted on eastern Europe, that East Germany would be reunited with West Germany and that Russia would "be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria" (p. 16). (John Ogwyn, 'NATO at 50--Historic Past, Hopeful Future?', Tomorrow's World, May-June 1999, p. 11.)I saw this Ogwyn repeat this claim in his booklet, The Beast of Revelation.
As far back as the April 1952 Plain Truth, Herbert W. Armstrong had written that East Germany would be returned to West Germany and that Russia “will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria” (p. 16). In 1956, following Russia’s invasion of Hungary, when it seemed that the “Iron Curtain” had inexorably fallen on the nations of eastern Europe, Mr. Armstrong wrote: “The way is being prepared for a colossal third force in world politics—a European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States!… We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia’s ill-fated Empire in Eastern Europe” (Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3). (John Ogwyn, 'The Beast of Revelation', p. 2.)(Note: This is from the first edition which incorrectly identified the first article as coming from The Plain Truth instead of The Good News. LCG have now corrected this. Although the erroneous citation may still be seen in Ogwyn's 1999 article cited above.)
I believed him. I was amazed that these people had the power to see the future like that just by properly understanding the Bible. I believed that God was working with LCG.
Later as I discovered that HWA's writings had gone online I was somewhat surprised to see that there was no April 1952 issue of The Plain Truth listed.
Later it was mentioned in the pages of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World, that the April 1952 quote was actually from the Good News magazine. LCG corrected this in their writings.
In late 2008 I finally woke up and realized that I had been horribly mislead. Information that revealed the true nature of those quotes had not been explained to me. I realized that HWA was never a man used by God. I realized that he was a false prophet. There was no need for me to believe or fear that his words just might come true. They will not.
And now Exit and Support Network has a very fascinating article about these quotes that helped cause me to be deceptively recruited into believing in Armstrongism.
Turns out the 1952 quote was not even from HWA in the first place. It was actually written by Herman Hoeh, a man who remained with WCG after the Tkach changes.
Furthermore the 1956 article is anonymously written. In neither article is HWA listed as the author.
Ogwyn wrote "Herbert W. Armstrong had written" certain words in the April 1952 issue. In fact he was quoting Herman Hoeh's article.
Ogwyn wrote "Mr. Armstrong wrote" certain words he quoted from a December 1956 article. In fact that article was anonymously written. No author was listed. Ogwyn could not prove that HWA wrote those words. HWA, Hoeh and Roderick Meredith are listed as the editors of that issue but it is not possible for us to know who wrote what in that anonymous article.
And the ESN article also wonders why is it that this quote from Good News is incorrectly attributed to The Plain Truth? Perhaps it is partly because even as early as 1956 that quote was being incorrectly attributed to The Plain Truth. This may be seen in the December 1956 article that Ogwyn quoted.
Here is what we said nearly 5 years ago about the very nations that are now rebelling in Eastern Europe. From page 16 of the April 1952 PLAIN TRUTH: “Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans AND WILL BE FORCED TO RELINQUISH HER CONTROL OVER HUNGARY, CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND PARTS OF AUSTRIA to complete the ten nation union.”Turns out the 1956 article that is presented by Ogwyn as an astonishing act of prediction spends its time talking about a wave of unrest in Communist Eastern Europe culminating with the then recently suppressed Hungarian uprising. It is insinuated that this wave of unrest would lead to the creation of the European Beast Power but of course that did not happen. The anonymously written article boasts about earlier predictions, even as early as twenty-two years earlier to 1934, the first year The Plain Truth was published.
This prophecy is already happening. RUSSIA HAS ALREADY WITHDRAWN HER TROOPS FROM HER PART OF AUSTRIA. Open revolt against Communist control has flared in Hungary, exactly as we said it would!
Russia emerged the temporary victor in Hungary because we failed to aid the rebels as we had promised them over Radio Free Europe. Many Hungarians hate us for not aiding them. They now see their only hope is a strong, rearmed, militaristic Germany within a united Europe-a third force against East and West! ("FORETOLD 22 Years ago," Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3.)
The 1956 article contains the following boast about a 1950 article.
As far back as August 1950, we said: “But before Russia is ready . . . the world will be stunned to see Germany emerge suddenly in a power never equaled by Hitler-by a union of ten nations in Europe, probably including some at present puppets of Russia-in a gigantic United States of Europe. This definitely is prophesied!" (p. 3.)One wonder why Ogwyn did not use a quote from 1950 to make his claims about HWA look even better?
The 1956 article then cites HWA's writings from 1934 conveniently ignoring how HWA got his dire predictions about Mussolini and Hitler completely wrong.
And in August 1934 over 22 years ago-Mr. Armstrong wrote (on page 6) of “the Roman Empire . . . a ‘United States of Europe,’ or federation of ten European nations within the bounds of the old Roman Empire.”
Mussolini and Hitler began this union, but God cut their work short in order that this final gospel warning of “The WORLD TOMORROW” might be broadcast as a world-wide witness before the final league of ten fascist European nations is formed!Ironically China indeed revolted against Moscow in the 1960s. HWA's Radio Church of God once again made yet another false prophecy.
Here is the earliest record of them all -from the June-July 1934 issue of The PLAIN TRUTH. From the article entitled “What Is Going to Happen!” we quote: “Scripture prophesies TWO GREAT MILITARY POWERS to arise in the last days-one the revival of the Roman Empire by a federation of ten nations in the territory of the ancient Roman Empire; the other, ‘Gog,’ or Russia, with her allies . . . possibly China or Japan.”
China has become Russia’s ally. China will not revolt as the nations in Eastern Europe are currently doing!
Here is the testimony of over 22 years. (pp. 3-4.)
Oh, what nonsense have been presented in LCG's recruitment writings. Two articles falsely attributed to HWA. The 1956 is incorrectly presented as a prescient prophecy of Germany's reunification when the whole point of it was to exploit the wave of unrest in Eastern Europe to insist that a unified, German led Europe would arise out of that wave of unrest. At first the 1952 article was incorrectly presented as though it was from the Plain Truth.
Truly it is nonsense upon nonsense. There is no need to fear that anyone within the COGs can see the future. They cannot. Their boasts do not withstand scrutiny. They are but false prophets.