Monday, December 26, 2016

HWA's WCG Scare Mongering About "Race War"

Nowadays PCG has a nasty habit of promoting the idea that African Americans will soon launch a wave of riots to attack the white majority. Where did they get this idea? From the old Radio Church of God led by Herbert W. Armstrong.

World War II

HWA first talked of a "race war" in print during World War II in late 1943. At first he mentions the idea of racial supremacy being used by the Nazis and Imperial Japan then later he somewhat unexpected insinuates that Stalin was plotting to somehow replace Japan as America's antagonist in some future  "race war" presumably against America.
But this also has been partly a RACE war. Hitler has employed the "race" argument continually. The Japs justify their plan and religion by saying: "It's the destiny of our RACE." And so the "Race War" idea has been introduced, and will become the main idea in the still bigger war of the future. ... 
Is he [Stalin] preparing to run a RACE with Japan to see which shall sit in the driver's seat in the vast RACE WAR of the future? (Herbert Armstrong, Russia and the War at the Moment!, Plain Truth, November-December 1943, p. 3-4.)
How strange it is to note that HWA first started scare mongering in print about a "race war" while discussing Hitler and Imperial Japan.

Civil Rights Movement

Later the civil rights movement arose against racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans. At the same time European colonial rule over Africa was coming to an end. During this time Radio COG scare mongered that these events would lead to "race war."

What a "race war" is exactly tended to be left to the imagination. In one passage HWA equated it with "mob violence," presumably violence of African Americans against the white majority. The phrase is emotively used as a sort of culmination of bad things. It seems to fit what anti-cult author Steven Hassan would call an "indirect suggestion" in which dire things are mentioned vaguely so that the listener or reader will insert his or her worst fears into these dire words. Often it is insisted that Communists were behind attempts to end racial segregation in a McCarthyite attempt to demonize those who yearned to end racist discrimination as Communists.

In 1957 Herman Hoeh wrote one article scare mongering that some sort of "race war" was coming. He condemns idealists and "social "do-gooders"" as influenced by Communists. He also condemned racial intermarriage and makes the ridiculous insinuation that racial intermarriage would "stir up racial tensions into race war".
Trouble is already brewing in Kenya and South Africa. Within another twenty years Negroes in the whole of Africa will be in ferment! The problem will fast become an international contest, not only for international supremacy, but for racial supremacy! MAN’S solution is plummeting us straight down the road to RACE WAR! Idealists and social “do-gooders,” without realizing it, have become helpless tools in the hands of communist propagandists inciting RACE WAR in the name of the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN! It is time we fully realize the tremendous implications lying behind the communist cloak of “HUMAN BROTHERHOOD.” Western civilization is at stake! .... 
Here is how they reason: To quell racial tension and make “the brotherhood of man” a reality, the entire nation must first desegregate schools and encourage social intercourse between the races. This would provide sufficient social contact to allow both races to become mutually acquainted so that intermarriage may naturally follow. And with intermarriage freely permitted all our racial problems would be solved. There would be no one left to discriminate against. All that‘s necessary, reason our leaders, is to “cooperate with nature.” But will this plan work? Is this the way to genuine happiness? Will it bring tolerance and harmony? Or will it stir up racial tensions into race war? (Herman Hoeh, The Race Question, Plain Truth, April 1957, p. 4-5.)
Soon after Hoeh returned to this theme by insinuating that a "race war" was coming.
One half of Africa is in ferment against European colonial rule. A “dirty war” rages in Northwest Africa between French and Algerians. A three-way struggle between whites, blacks and brown men divides South Africa. Where is it all leading? What is going to happen next? Is A RACE WAR COMING? (Herman Hoeh, The Truth About the Race Question, Plain Truth, July 1957, p. 3.)
Later in 1963 HWA made a dire proclamation that integration was bad and would lead to violence, "race riots," "race war" and "mob violence" against the white majority.
Make no mistake! This is no light matter to pass over casually! RACE WAR is coming! Racial tensions, passions and hatreds are being deliberately stirred by ORGANIZED PLANNING. It will explode into mass VIOLENCE that will stagger the imagination! It will be whipped into an accelerating crescendo until human blood runs like rivers!

It is no local matter. It is WORLDWIDE. It is not confined, in the United States, to the South. The smoldering flames of passion are being whipped up also in the North. It is at CRISIS-peak in the Republic of South Africa. It has brought war in the Congo and other pans of Africa. Race hatreds are stirring above the surface in Europe, Asia, Australia, and in Britain.

THE ANTEDILUVIANS WERE TRYING TO INTEGRATE! They, like we today, had a racial problem. They tried to solve it by INTEGRATION. They were going to DO AWAY with God's VARIETIES -His different, distinct races. They were going to mongrelize humanity into ONE RACE--one world of MAN'S making!


The SAME RESULT we are experiencing today-RACE RIOTS-VIOLENCE!

Notice! Read right on, in this 6th chapter of Genesis:

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil concinually. , , . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with VIOLENCE!" (Verses 5, 11.)

Yes, RACE WAR-MOB VIOLENCE! (Herbert Armstrong, The Real Cause of the Race Crisis!, Plain Truth, October 1963, p. 3, 26, PDF  p. 5, 28.)
While so many struggled to end racial segregation and even being killed for protesting against racial discrimination HWA and Co. were scaring their predominantly white readers into thinking that African Americans were somehow out to get them in some of sort of mass wave of riots. What a shameful way to behave in those times.

The October 1966 Plain Truth contains an article by Roderick C. Meredith calling upon Radio COG to prepare to be deified God beings ruling the world after Christ's return. But at the start of the article he scare mongers that "race war" is increasing in intensity.
THIS is a HELL-BENT WORLD! With the stark spectre of worldwide famine, with the increasing amount of brutal crime and violence of all descriptions - with the stepped up tempo of RACE WAR, the skyrocketing incidence of pornography and FILTH, and the breakdown of respect for all law and constituted authority - it should be obvious that this world needs straightening out! (Roderick C. Meredith, Prepare NOW to be a King!, Plain Truth, October 1966, p. 7, PDF p. 9.)
In 1968 the Radio Church of God was renamed the Worldwide Church of God.

The December 1970 Plain Truth contains an article talking about cities. One section talks about people of different races living together as a problem.
Possible health disasters are merely one aspect of the city crisis. Another is racial tension. With people of varying races packed together, some experts fear that out-and-out race war could be a reality. Cleveland, Ohio's black mayor, Carl Stokes, told ten big-city mayors - and the president of the United States - that "we are losing control of our cities. We can't stop the black violence - and the white violence will surely come next." Still, the frightening potential of smoldering racial flareups is only one of the many puzzling conundrums facing our cities. (Garner Ted Armstrong and Paul Kroll, Can Our Cities Be Saved?, Plain Truth, December 1970, pp. 4-5, PDF pp. 6-7.)
The May 1971 Plain Truth contains an article scare mongering about decolonization. Instead of explaining decolonization as a response against decades of being lorded over by a few powerful nation states this article presents the problems of decolonization as "race wars."
America and Britain also have their "race" problems. However, neither Briton nor American has yet experienced RACE WAR to the degree that other nations in our times have. But we would be naive to think Britain and America are immune from guerrilla race war. It would do us ALL good in America and Britain - white, black, brown, red, yellow - to pause and ask: Must we TOO have our cities and towns filled with the blood of millions of human beings in a horrendous race war?

Agitation for independence was the cry. In the late 1950's and 1960's, nation after nation in Africa was granted independence. Curiously with the departure of the white man's power, group and race war - against black, white and brown - increased. ...

It was race war. But the distinguishing characteristics [of "Hutu-Watusi" conflict in Rwanda-Burundi] were not specifically color. They were length of leg, eating custom, tribal affiliation. The ultimate cause, of course, was the historical relationship between Hutu and Watusi. ...

In the Sudan, race war with religious overtones has taken the lives of 500,000, according to one estimate. (Paul Kroll, Nations in Chaos, Plain Truth, May 1971, pp. 18, 20, PDF p. 20, 22.)
The insinuation that there would be mass violence in America and Britain between different races has not come to pass.

Apartheid South Africa

After the victory of the civil rights movements and the just end of racial segregation the 1% of Radio COG stopped harping on about some future "race war" by African Americans against the white majority. (At least in their published writings.) However the term "race war" was occasionally used in connection with the widespread struggle to abolish racist Apartheid in South Africa.

The March 1974 Plain Truth contains a little article discussing the turbulent situation in southern Africa. It is entitled "Southern Africa--Race War Ahead?" (p. 7.)

The May 1975 Good News mentions that one G. G. Rupert prophesied of a "race war" with Japan. It is now widely known that numerous doctrines HWA taught including observance of the Holy Days came from Rupert.
Because his [G. G. Rupert's] understanding fell short, his prophetic interpretation (concerning a great race war which he supposed to be imminent and which would bring on the end of the world) eventually flopped. (Lawson C. Briggs, Can Prophecy Fail?, May 1975, Good News, p. 26, PDF p. 28.)
The April-May 1976 Plain Truth contains a small insert article entitled "Race War in Southern Africa" discussing the armed uprisings for majority rule in Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa (p. 3, PDF p. 5).

The December 1976 Plain Truth contained an article by Dexter H. Faulkner and Robert A. Ginskey that talked about the yearning for world peace
On the African continent, cries of "liberation," "equality," and "black consciousness" are the watchwords of the day, Especially in Rhodesia and South Africa, bitter animosities are being engendered between the minority white ruling class and the black majority. Escalating and increasingly bold guerrilla attacks launched from neighboring countries continue to probe the defenses of Rhodesia, while in South Africa, riots and strikes continue to wreak havoc on the economy and seriously disrupt the society. Many authorities speak of the "inevitability" of white capitulation. The alternative seems to be an ugly and bloody race war. (Dexter H. Faulkner and Robert A. Ginskey, Reflections on Peace, Plain Truth, December 1976 p. 24, PDF p. 26.)
The June 5, 1981 Pastor General's Report features an article by Gene Hogberg that quotes a study by the Rockerfeller Foundation that speculates on the ramifications for America of an open conflict between blacks and whites in South Africa (p. 9).

The April 19, 1985 Pastor's General's Report contains a commentary by Gene Hogberg that quotes a Sunday Telegraph article that mentioned the possibility of a "race war" in South Africa (p. 12).

The August 23, 1985 Pastor General's Report contains a commentary by Gene Hogberg concerning South Africa that quotes a Daily Telegraph article that mentions the possibility of a "race war" in South Africa (p. 12).

In time, following numerous struggles, the Apartheid regime was abolished. Democratic elections were held which elected the African National Congress to power.

After HWA

In 1986 HWA died and his successor, Joseph Tkach, turned WCG into essentially another Protestant church. Among those who wished to follow HWA's teachings as they understood it one group, Philadelphia Church of God led by Gerald Flurry, has continued to scare monger about African Americans launching a wave of riots against the white majority. This dire false prophecy was propagated in the wake of the LA riots of 1992. PCG continues to propagate this racist false prophecy to this day.


  1. It is difficult to understand why a direct parallel was drawn to Africa. There were totally different conditions on that continent. A white minority, because of more advanced technology and perhaps a higher level of education, was able to leverage the black majority, ostensibly "for their own good". Today, this is known as "white paternalism".

    We can easily imagine the implications for a white minority, at a certain point, if the black majority reached the point where they could overthrow this artificially contrived subjugation and rulership.

    Time after time, riots in the United States were quelled. The police, with the help of the National Guard, had no problem in returning law and order, the FBI infiltrated and neutralized the power and pressure groups, and the damage was predominantly restricted to the communities in which the rioters lived. A race war can only be some sort of existential threat if the rioters have superior numbers and more advanced weaponry. So, it is an exercise effective only on shallow thinkers to suggest that a race war would be any more devastating than the civil rights disorders of the past.

    Armstrongism has been nothing more than an apocalyptic think tank for its entire existence. The Armstrongites are absolute masters in the creation of worst case scenario "perfect storm" situations, to scare the unthinking into embracing their agenda.

    Mixing the races actually promotes greater understanding. HWA and his ilk seem to imagine that because there are distinct groups, they must always be kept at counter purpose with one another, or they will unite and rise up against God.


  2. Interesting that the Good News referred to G.G. Rupert. Beside the doctrines HWA lifted from him, he was likely influenced by Rupert's racist work, The Yellow Peril.

  3. Armstrongism has been nothing more than an apocalyptic think tank for its entire existence

    Byker Bob, do you think we could substitute apoplectic for apocalyptic? Herbert Armstrong and his legacy hirelings are so filled with anger... and racism is only one manifestation....

    Hoss, when did the Good News refer to G. G. Rupert. I missed the issue and would like to check.

    Also, I have "The Yellow Peril" as a .pdf. I have considered making it a flip book and putting it on, but I think that finding his booklet on the Law of God would be better, since that is the basic core of everything Herbert Armstrong taught. Putting that out there would be shocking enough that people might reconsider Armstrongism. The problem is that I had it and thought that I would save it later and later I simply could not find it again.

    If anyone could find a copy I could save, I would create a flip book for it.

    I think the entire anti / non Armstrongist community could benefit.

  4. Mikey: I'm just mentioning the linked reference given in the article, "The May 1975 Good News mentions that one G. G. Rupert..."
    I just downloaded the copy, and, sure enough, page 26, in an article titled, Can Prophecy Fail. And in Lawson Brigg's opinion, apparently "The Yellow Peril" was really "The Red Peril"...

  5. No, no, it's "The Yellow Peril or The Orient vs. The Occident as viewed by Modern Statesmen and Ancient Prophets" by G. G. Rupert, (Third Edition) entered in the Library of Congress, 1911, published by Union Publishing Co., Britton, Oklahoma, U.S.A. 31 chapters, 518 pages (not counting appendix and introduction. I find I'm missing pages 21 through 34.

    The Good News, Volume XXIV, Number 5, May 1975, containing Proof 6 of the Seven Proofs of the Church of God (Page 1); In the Image of God? (Page 6); Here's How You Can Change Your World (Page 10); Get to Know Your Bible (Page 20); The Tithing Principle (Page 24); Can Prophecy Fail (Page 26) with Update on Page 15:

    Biblical ignorance is a hallmark of our age.

    About right.

    Proof 6, Part Deaux: God's True Church is Organized! by Garner Ted Armstrong.

    If that's a proof, it came much too soon! Consider: Hundreds of splits. Just how is that organized? I think not.

    And changing the world by Charles Hunting:

    IT WAS just after the party - which one was it? New Year's, Christmas, a birthday or the weekend house party? - that we finally decided we had had enough.

    No more alcohol. We were going cold turkey. With iron-willed resolve we vowed never to overindulge again.

    Yep, that was it. The spirit of Carrie
    Nation and Billy Sunday would prevail from now on - not the spirit of Old Grandad. Same for the cigarettes -- out!

    But it didn't quite come off, did it?

    No it didn't because it was the Feast of Tabernacles!

    Concerning tithing: After much research and observation, we've decided NOT to go the ant! The poor thing stupidly works for the nest, giving it's life for the one at the top and dies anonymously! Actually, that's the way it's supposed to be in Armstrongism. This going to the ant is way too overrated.

    Lawson Briggs wrote the indictment of Armstrongism: "When human expectations don't come to pass as proclaimed, it isn't the Bible's fault. The problem is
    that human interpretations of what the Bible means are often in error.

    Take for example the written warnings and prognostications of G. G . Rupert. Rupert was a prominent American Holy-Day and Sabbath keeper of the first three
    decades of this century. His predictions
    about The Yellow Peril (the title of one of his books) proved to be somewhat prophetic in forecasting the coming menace of Japan, even while Japan and the
    United States were allies in World War I. Ostensibly his ideas came from the Bible.

    Like other prophetic expositors, he had built up an imposing theory by taking dearly held personal opinions about Bible prophecies and propping them up with a show of biblical verses. And part of them, through the '30s and '40s, and even the '50s, did seem to be coming or
    about to come to pass.

    But was his understanding wholly from the Bible? It was not. It was derived from his own interpretation of the Bible plus commonly held public opinions and fears, seemingly apparent trends, and a liberal dose of private and personal guess. Because his understanding fell short, his prophetic interpretation (concerning a great race war which he
    supposed to be imminent and which would bring on the end of the world) eventually flopped.

    Few people alive today have ever heard of G. G , Rupert. A few that continued to follow closely his thinking were finally compelled to understand the "yellow" Asian peril as being "red" communism, primarily that of the white Europeans of the U.S.S.R."

    Ooooh! That is telling. The same could be said for Herbert Armstrong's prognostications, except his weren't anywhere as accurate as G. G. Rupert's from which he took his whole religion, including British Israelism, the Key to False Prophecy.

    Yes, as he said, the gift of prophecy has failed and in the case of Herbert Armstrong was never present at all....