Thursday, July 2, 2009

HWA and Begging

This is from the Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Chapter 7:
Arriving in Danville one morning, stone-"broke," not even a dime....

I had no money for lunch. I had no money for a place to sleep that night. I was too proud to beg. Actually, that thought didn't even occur to me -- I'm merely stating it now. My experience indicates that no honest man ever begs. I have given to many beggars on the street, and have put many of them to many different tests to see if I could find an honest one. Some had a "line" that sounded real sincere. But not one ever proved honest. I think the police will tell you there is no such thing as an honest beggar.

Perhaps some are like one I knew of in Vancouver, Washington -- though most are not as successful. This fellow could throw his body into a pitiful-appearing contortion, put a pleading, pity-arousing expression on his face, hold up his hat with some cheap pencils in it from his squatting position on a busy corner, and wring the hearts of passers-by. Then every evening he would get up, limp a few blocks to his Cadillac parked on a back side street, unkink his legs and spine, and gingerly hop into his car and drive home to his wife who wore an expensive mink coat!

King David knew human nature. He said, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Ps. 37:25). No, honest people just never do beg!
It is extremely hypocritical of HWA to condemn begging in this manner. HWA often begged for money in his Co-Worker letters, and tried to make his eternally abused flock feel guilty and even threatened them with damnation if they did not respond to his insistent calls for more money. He constantly insisted that "the Work" was the most important thing on earth thus causing the members to view their own vital needs as of secondary importance, impoverishing them.

He even has the gall to use Scripture to justify his hypocritical dismissal of beggars.

Pam Dewey has collected a fine collection of such memorable examples of HWA's begging.

HWA got as far as he did by begging. He has no right to condemn begging. He was an eternal beggar.

1 comment:

  1. HWA was an advertising man, and he knew how to beg in a convincing way that was just good advertisement of his system, and himself.

    I got the feeling that he actually looked down on those who listened and sent him money, because they were like the caged bird. And he knew how to keep them in that cage, and paying and praying.