Friday, October 12, 2018

Notes from Plain Truth Issues of 1959-1961

Recently I took a look through some old Plain Truth issues that were published from 1959 until 1961. Let's take a look.

August 1959

This issue features a letter from what was then called Southern Rhodesia, namely modern day Zimbabwe.
Pastor in Africa writes  
“I am a trained pastor . . . and a regular reader of your interesting magazine, The PLAIN TRUTH. I would suggest that all God’s ministers who need both human and divine guidance in matters of true religion read this unique magazine every month. When I was reading the ‘Exciting News about Ambassador College,’ I became deeply moved by a desire to train in this unique college-God’s own college.”  
Gatooma, Southern Rhodesia
September 1959

This featured a letter from a person who seemed to be influenced by some sort of Adventists.
No More Truth Since 1844?

“Dear Mr. Armstrong:

“I hear your program over WKYB almost every day. We enjoy it so much. I have been writing you for sometime and asking questions, and I sure do appreciate the answers I have gotten. Since I first read your PLAIN TRUTH it has opened my eyes.

“I have been a member of a denominational Church for three years. Last summer my husband and little girl were baptized. She is eleven years old. And since we have been listening to your preaching and the scripture you read, we feel like they don’t have the message for today. We want to do the will of God above all things.

“My Pastor wanted me to say that we would stop listening to you, but I told him we wouldn’t. He says you couldn’t have the last message because it didn’t come about at the appointed time (1844) and that it wasn’t world wide. But we are reading our Bible and praying to have a clear understanding. God says if you want wisdom ask of God. So we are doing that. We have decided to send you our tithe.”

Woman from Paducah, Kentucky.

Editor’s Comment: Many scriptures were purposely closed and sealed until the “time of the end”-this 20th century, not 1844 during the Advent Movement! The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast is world-wide, reaching every inhabited continent with great power.
December 1959

This issue featured a letter from India.
From Far-off India  
“I feel so thrilled to read The PLAIN TRUTH. It is positively an eye opener. It was my husband who brought this magazine into our home, and I have been regularly reading it for the last many, many years. I have kept all my copies very carefully - they are very precious to me.”  
Lady from Poona, India
February 1960

This issue featured a letter from South Africa.
Man from South Africa  
“I have the pleasure of informing you how much I have benefited from your lectures, and am still enjoying them very much. I must say there has been a great change in my life since I have read and studied The PLAIN TRUTH.”  
Man from Johannesburg, South Africa
March 1960

This issue featured many letters from outside of the United States.

A letter states that one congressman from Alabama was quite impressed with HWA's recruitment magazine.
Congressman Impressed 
“Our congressman saw my December issue of The PLAIN TRUTH and was so impressed I gave it to him. In a few days I received a letter stating he really read and enjoyed every word. He is a true American.” 
Reader from Alabama
This issue also published a letter from Singapore during which the editor once boasted that their recruitment writings were free. The idea behind giving such writings away is that a certain percentage of people will respond by sending money to them. This marketing model worked quite well for HWA's WCG.
From Far-away Singapore 
“I am so thankful I came across your magazine not long ago in a fish-seller’s shop. It was while I was seeking some magazines I was very interested in that I accidentally came across your PLAIN TRUTH. So I bought some of the magazines (including The PLAIN TRUTH) from the fish-seller’s wife for 40 cents. I found it very interesting. It was so interesting that I kept reading them from the morning till midnight. I didn’t mean the whole day, I got to have my breakfast and lunch. It was a real blessing to my heart, I do thank God that I had found the truth from this magazine.” 
Editor's Note: This is the only way you can buy a copy of The PLAIN TRUTH. This magazine is sent entirely free to all who request it.

April 1960

This issue featured the following letter.
TV Out-Radio IN  
“Dear Mr. Armstrong:  
“We had our little radio for 12 years and didn’t play it much-only to get the news, because we had TV that kept us entertained. But my husband was out on strike for 8 weeks and our TV went out. Not wanting to get it fixed, we started playing the radio and happened on your program one evening, and have listened ever since. That was last September and the TV is still not fixed. We really don’t miss it and now we get to bed earlier.”  
Couple from Bell, California
Little did they know that HWA condemned workers' strikes and harshly discouraged his followers from joining workers' unions.

June 1960 features pictures noting HWA's first foray into radio broadcasting in October 1933. From 1953 onward the Radio Church of God was quite fixated on 19 year time cycles. It was taught that the Radio Church of God had been given two 19 year time cycles (1934-72) to preach their teachings before the German led European Empire would conquer America in the Great Tribulation. This time period was claimed to begin with the first radio broadcast of HWA on January 7, 1934. However they chose to ignore the fact that HWA began to broadcast over the radio back in October 1933.

July 1960 scare mongers about some sort of death ray was on the verge of being made. Seeing that article I could help but be struck that Armstrongism seems to make more sense in the Cold War era than today.

The issue also features a letter from New Zealand.
My Mind is Open 
“My knowledge of the quality of the READER’S DIGEST plus my respect for it assures me I should write to you again asking you this time to be so good as to send me ‘1975 in Prophecy.’ I do not believe, I do not disbelieve-my mind is open.” 
Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Here's another letter from South Africa.
Truths Are Shattering 
“Thank you very much indeed for sending all the booklets I have requested. These truths are shattering, but I think at last I have found, through God’s help, something I have been looking for for such a long time-the true way of God.” 
Woman from Transvaal, South Africa
August 1960

An individual from South Dakota wrote a letter taking HWA and Co. to task for demonizing Germans. This is a shameful and racist tendency that still continues to be promoted in some Armstrongite organizations.
“Dear Mr. Armstrong: 
“I have followed your broadcasts and years ago your T.V. lectures closely, and value the guidance I received in my lifetime search for the truth. However, I have been disturbed very much by one predominant factor in your teachings which is not compatible with the teachings of Christ. 
“In your magazine, The Plain Truth, Volume XXV No. 3 of March, 1960, your son Garner Ted Armstrong quotes on page 9 Lewis Nizer, in the last chapter, describing the German people as a whole to be determined in their criminality in waging aggressive wars against mankind. He emphasized this by stating that they always were, still are, and always will be, aggressors against mankind. And he specifically quoted that not the German leaders including Hitler were responsible, but the German people as a whole. 
“Even if this was not a distortion of true history, the accusation as such and the publishing of this accusation in your magazine, The Plain Truth, will influence people, good people, to hate rather than to love as Christ did when He stated dying on the cross ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’ . . . My wife and I were . . . born and raised in Germany, and our three sons were also born over there, and I can truthfully state that the bringing up of children is much closer to the Christian ideals and principles than the bringing up of children here in the United States. I personally was drafted into the war of 1914-18, and remember the strict disciplinary measures, including the death penalty we were threatened with if we were to plunder the dead or for committing any sacrilege; where when I came over here I was struck by the foul language that was used by the soldiers on this continent. 
“Notwithstanding the facts, even if the German people were determined aggressors, I do not believe that it is right to inject hatred into the Christian congregation against anybody, regardless of the reason. 
“I know, Mr. Armstrong, that you are very busy, but I would appreciate it if you could at your convenience, answer this letter personally, because it is so important to all of us. 
“Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

From South Dakota
There is then followed by a long editor's comment. This is letter and the response to it is all that is printed in the letters section in this issue. Clearly this letter struck a nerve at Radio Church of God headquarters.

September 1960

The recruitment magazine's serialization of C. Paul Meredith's narrative, "Satan's Great Deception," ends in the September 1960 issue. It is essentially an Armstrongite imitation of Alexander Hyslop's nonsensical anti-Catholic polemic, The Two Babylons, which was made in the 1850s.

October 1960

This issue featured a letter from the Bahamas crediting an article from the recruitment magazine with helping her quit smoking. It is unfortunate that Armstrongism had so many other negative effects on people's health such as poverty due to tithing, authoritarianism, harsh treatment of children, fixation on World War III starting in 1972, avoiding doctors and medicine due to HWA's anti-medicine superstition, etc.
Desire to Smoke Gone!  
“I was in the habit of smoking for 21 years and after I read ‘Should Christians Smoke?’ it left a deep impression on my mind and from March the 6th the ‘feeling of pipe’ are gone.”  
Woman, Andros Island, Bahamas 
In response to the letter below an editor of this recruitment magazine insisted that India would have been doomed to be conquered by China except the Radio Church of God needed to preach to India first. What lunacy!
India Calling Out for Help  
“We, the people of this part of the world, will be very happy if you can make arrangements to have The WORLD TOMORROW sent to us. The number of religious broadcasts that come to our part of the world only mislead and confuse us. We, like the people of Macedonia, can only call out for help -we want the broadcasts, we want baptism, and we want to give you our tithes.”  
Family from Bombay, India  
Editor’s comment: The only reason Red China has not yet engulfed India is that the Gospel of the Kingdom must yet reach the people of India in power!
This issue also featured a letter from a person who wrote down 97 pages of notes while going through the Radio Church of God's indoctrination course.
Has 97 Pages of Notes 
“I really was glad to get hold of lesson #3. It is such a good lesson that I have 97 pages of notes to it. I could have got more in them but I wish to stay within the lesson and not get too far from it.” 
Man from Columbus, Ohio 
Editor’s comment: If you haven’t enrolled for the Correspondence Course send your request today!
October 1960

This issue contains a brief article insisting that the Radio Church of God is suffering persecution because some people happen to criticize them. It is shrilly insisted that such information is all untrue.
Other false accusations have been published with wide circulation. These have reached Britain, Australia, and other countries. Not one of these purported reports on this work or on Mr. Armstrong which has come to our attention contains true facts-every one we have seen has been an irresponsible and reprehensible piece of slander and defamation of character intended to injure, based on heresy and false reports, without having verified the TRUTH!  
If any readers wane the true facts, either as to the background of this work, the personal history of Mr. Armstrong, or as to what we believe and teach, the place to learn it is not from enemies who prove themselves irresponsible and careless with the truth, but direct from us. We will not lie to you. But it is well to remember that one who does not hesitate to misrepresent and twist the facts about us would also misrepresent and twist the truth of the BIBLE! (p. 13.)
One feature of cults is that they try to control their followers' access to information. One way to do this is to train their followers to instantly dismiss information contrary to group dogma as not worth consideration, as may be seen above.

November 1960

Garner Ted Armstrong wrote an article in this issue entitled "How to Rear Children." Later in 1963 the Radio Church of God would release a certain booklet written by Garner Ted Armstrong entitled "The Plain Truth About Child Rearing" which featured advice that encouraged parents to be harsh towards their children. This was a particularly dreadful aspect that Armstrongism that so many children raised up within this organization were forced to endure.

December 1960

This issue features a letter from New Zealand.
Birds, Strawberries and a Scarecrow! 
“I notice that a certain organization accepts no responsibility for the expression voiced in your broadcasts. The wise bird knows that the best strawberries are where the scarecrow stands.” 
Man from New Zealand
An individual from Canada then living in England took HWA and Co. to task for demonizing Germans, a shameful and racist tendency that is still present in some Armstrongite organizations to this day.
Regrets “Criticism” 
“I enjoy your challenging articles but regret your criticism of Germans. We should be glad West Germany has become strong for the West. Had the U.S.A. not helped her she would have fallen under Communist sway like East Germany and would have been made strong for the East. Let’s hold out a friendly hand to this ally and keep our criticism for the Communists who must enjoy your attacks on West Germany.” 
Canadian now living in England 
Editor’s Comment: This is a typical example of seeing only one enemy at a time. We have never “criticized” the German people; but on the contrary respect them highly. God‘s commission to us is to cry aloud and warn this nation of the destruction to come. If you are not aware of Germany’s role in these future events, write immediately for the booklet “1975 in Prophecy” and the article “Germany in Prophecy.”
January 1961

This issue featured a spectacularly xenophobic statement that (white) Australians wold soon become "slaves of the Japanese and Chinese" by 1967. Also a Plain Truth editor insisted that this statement was "absolutely right". What shameful foolishness!
Australians Face Slavery! 
"It is reported today chat George Bilainkin says in perhaps five or six years, Australians will be slaves of the Japanese and Chinese! The PLAIN TRUTH has already said it!" 
Editor's Comment: Mr. Bilainkin's comment is absolutely right except that it cannot happen before this work is completed. The gospel of the Kingdom must first blanket Australia!
This issue also contains an article by Roderick C. Meredith remarking upon West Germany's economic growth.


Seeing that around this time President Eisenhower was succeeded by President Kennedy this post ends here.

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