THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE
Armstrong's Empire Exposed
Continued from previous page:
THE RAID - PART TWO
I outlined the entire reason for the suit and emphasized the
fact that this was an attempt to save the Church and that the
receiver was being placed in charge in order to protect the
assets of the Church. I told them that the Attorney General's
office has no right to interfere with the ecclesiastical affairs
of the Church and in fact has no interest in those areas. I made
it plain that this action had been in the planning stages for
quite some time and that it would be pursued aggressively to a
After explaining the entire background and purpose of the
lawsuit, I said, "Our interest here as relators is obviously one
more broad than that of the Attorney General's office. We want to
clean up the financial improprieties and also see the Church
relieved of the autocratic, dictatorial rule that has been
imposed, plunging the Church into a state of complete fear. The
Attorney General has determined from his investigation that there
are adequate grounds to proceed with this lawsuit, and their
interest is to see those responsible for wrongdoing are removed
and caused to make full restitution to the Church. I just hope
this doesn't have to go on very long. If only there was some way
that you can get to Mr. Armstrong and tell him the true facts
about all that is taking place. Perhaps he will act quickly,
remove Rader, and cooperate with this investigation."
My hopes were that if Armstrong could be reached, he would
see these things clearly and that he would act quickly, which
would allow him to remain in an honored position, having the
respect of the membership for taking swift and proper action. I
was concerned, however, that failure to do this could result in
lengthy proceedings, maybe even ultimately criminal indictments,
and while I didn't want to face up to it, it was quite avident
that Armstrong himself would probably not escape.
In discussing Rader's part in the entire situation, I said,
"Actually with all the concern surrounding Rader, and I don't
know what he may or may not be guilty of, when you get right down
to it, he is not the true cause of what is taking place today.
The problem is actually Armstrong himself and the autocracy that
he has created allowing such an individual as Rader to be the
effective head of the Church. I don't believe that Armstrong is
really capable of handling this man and he has not provided any
organizational depth as a means of safety against what appears to
be a total takeover."
At this time, I had no knowledge of the phone calls that had
been taking place between Armstrong and Cole regarding Rader, nor
did I know of Armstrong's encounters with Rader. Cole told me
that he was pleased that those of us who initiated the lawsuit
appeared to have the proper motives and he was so sorry that
things could not have been handled in another way. He said he
hoped that they could straighten everything out very quickly in
order to prevent the whole thing from becoming a national scandal
that would disgrace the Church. Cole and Antion both said that
they felt that the only answer was to immediately go to Tucson
and meet with Armstrong.
Cole then said, "Well, we've been talking about an hour and
I think we have the whole picture now. It seems quite clear what
we have to do. We'll discuss this further immediately here and I
will try to set up a meeting with Mr.Armstrong right away. Maybe
we can even get down to Tucson to see him yet this evening."
With that the conversation ended. Cole and his associates
planned how they would handle their meeting with Armstrong. After
Cole and his group discussed the situation thoroughly, Cole
phoned Armstrong. He told him that he felt it was very important
that he come with a few men to Tucson to discuss the
receivership. He reminded Armstrong that in the past Armstrong
said that he would meet him anywhere on the Rader situation, and
then said, "I think in view of the sensitive nature of this
entire problem it will be best if we do not meet at your home.
Would it be agreeable if we meet privately at a room in a hotel
Armstrong responded, "Of course."
Plans were made to meet Armstrong at a local hotel.
Armstrong then said: "You can catch the GII, I'm going to get it
out of the State immediately, so you can get on the GII. I would
like to talk to you about what is happening there."
Arrangements were then made with Captain Ed Black who
piloted the Gulfstream Il. At about 5 P.M., Cole, Antion, Wright
and Hoeh boarded the Church jet and were on their way to Tucson.
On arrival at the Tucson airport, Cole found a message waiting
for him from Armstrong stating that he had changed his mind about
meeting at a hotel, that he had a cold, was not feeling well and
he would prefer to have the meeting at his home. He assured Cole
that anything taking place would be totally private and would be
Cole and his party went directly to Armstrong's home. On
arrival at the Armstrong home, the group was received cordially
by Herbert Armstrong. They went into his family room for the
meeting and presented him with the afternoon edition of the
Pasadena Star News which carried the large bold headlines:
Armstrong then said, "Well, I've been talking to Stan a few
times today about this, he tells me that he'll have the whole
thing quashed and totally settled in the morning. He said the
whole thing will be completely reversed tomorrow morning."
Cole then said, "Mr.Armstrong, if this newspaper article
means what it says, I don't know, we're not lawyers, but it
doesn't seem reasonable that the whole thing will be just stopped
and thrown out the next day. There must be good reason for this
and it just doesn't seem likely that it can be thrown out the
Armstrong responded: "Well, I'm willing to listen."
It seems strange that only a few short hours earlier when
Cole had been talking to Armstrong there was no mention of his
having a cold and he fully agreed to meet the men privately away
from his home. Now, there suddenly appeared to be the problem of
a cold, and he didn't want to meet away from his home. One must
wonder if the phone calls with Rader already began to have an
effect on Armstrong, causing him to ignore the seriousness of the
lawsuit. Armstrong did not want to believe that there was
anything wrong, that there were any improprieties which would
give the Attorney General's office justification for its action.
He apparently could even delude himself into believing that his
own conduct and lavish standard of living, were not improper.
(After it was all overwith, there would be still the majority of
"paid" ministers touting the idea that "the apostle" was worthy
of such a wealthy lifestyle - Keith Hunt)
Ray Wright, having been so closely involved with the
financial matters of the Church, was a major factor in convincing
Armstrong that things were in fact very wrong. He said, "Mr.
Armstrong, there are improprieties. I don't know if there is
anything that is actually illegal, I'm not a lawyer, but there
are things that are very much improper. That much I know, I can
assure you of that. In light of that I feel that it would be best
to cooperate with the Attorney General's office no matter what
the results, no matter what the penalty. Let's take whatever
penalty we have coming, let's just let them come in and look at
the books, let's have a clean and open organization. Let's take
our slaps on the wrist for whatever we might have done in the
past that was not too good."
Armstrong then said, "Well, Ray, do you think there are some
things that they might find that could lead to penalties for us?"
Ray repeated what he had stated earlier, "Well, Mr.Armstrong, I
don't know if they'll find anything illegal, but they will find
Antion then firmly said, "Mr.Armstrong, just look at this
newspaper. We've got to do something to keep this bad news from
spreading all through the newspapers. It's the bad publicity that
will kill us. We'll lose the reputation that we have had in the
community for many years, all that we had worked for so many
years can just be wiped out by this bad publicity."
Cole then said, "Mr.Armstrong, please do something about
this. The Work needs it. You've got to do something." Cole told
Armstrong about his call with me earlier that day and outlined to
him what I had said over the phone.
Armstrong was angered. He said, "Well, all these people are
enemies, they're up to no good. Don't believe a word they say.
They're not any good for us, they're just out to destroy the
Work, that's all. They're just out to destroy the Work!"
The meeting continued until about 10:30 that evening, but
Armstrong just couldn't seem to come to grips with the situation.
He was fully convinced that this was a satanic attack on the
Church and it seemed as though the entire meeting was stalemated.
It appeared as though he was going to end the meeting without any
final decision regarding action on his part. He said, "It's
getting kind of late, I'm tired, I have a cold, and I think we've
met long enough on this now."
The point was made strongly by all of the men if they could
only have some sort of a news release to take back to Pasadena,
they could do a lot to offset the bad publicity.
Armstrong then said, "Well, it's late but I'll go ahead and
write something up. I'll appoint Wayne Cole as acting chief
executive officer while the crisis exists. I realize this may
wreck my relationship with Stan, but then again it really doesn't
have to because I just won't mention Stan's name anywhere."
Cole then said, "Mr.Armstrong, I don't want to be prominent,
I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm the second person in
charge. In fact, if you're going to put me in this position, I
will take it only for the duration of the crisis."
Armstrong went into his study, and sat down at his special
typewriter. Due to his failing eyesight, Armstrong, as well as
those who had to type messages to him, all had special
typewriters having double-sized type.
At this point Cole was nervous and upset to the point of
being physically ill, realizing the magnitude of Armstrong's
decision. He had not sought such prominence and now was finding
himself thrust into the position of being temporarily in charge
of the Church. He realized that this could bring conflicts
between himself and Rader, such as he had not had in the past. He
said, "Gentlemen, I'm not feeling too well, I'm nervous over this
whole thing. I'm going to go out for some fresh air."
While Armstrong typed his press release, Cole took a lengthy
walk around the neighborhood, as he tried to adjust to his new
responsibilities. He wondered what Rader's reaction would be. He
realized that while Armstrong had just only that very morning
discussed with him the removal of Rader from certain positions,
he was now concerned about a deteriorating relationship with
Rader. Cole now found himself in the most prominent position in
the Church, next to that of Armstrong's position as head of the
While Cole was walking around the streets of Armstrong's
neighborhood, Armstrong typed the following, dated January 3,
I have been shocked beyond measure to learn of the raid on our
executive offices in Pasadena this morning, initiated from the
State of California Attorney General's office. I know little of
the facts as yet. The Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador
College are both upstanding institutions and we are people of
integrity. If any improprieties have existed in either
institution, I want them to be known, and I shall take every
effort to cooperate with the Attorney General's office. We are an
institution of 46 years' standing. We have many departments, and
branch offices around the world. We employ many hundreds. I have
of necessity had to entrust responsibilities to various officers
under me. I am appointing Mr.C.Wayne Cole as Acting Chief
Executive Officer under me till this crisis has passed. Mr.Cole
is Director of Pastoral Administration over our ministry
Herbert W. Armstrong
After typing the press release, Armstrong discussed it with
the three men who remained in his study, while Cole was still
outside. Then Antion made several copies on Armstrong's copier,
and they prepared to leave.
Antion said, "Thank you, very much Mr.Armstrong. We'll
release this to the press in the morning and try to stop this bad
As they prepared to leave, Cole returned to the house from
his walk. Armstrong warmly thanked all four men for coming to
visit him and for their desire to help in straightening out the
problem. He warmly embraced each one and wished them a good trip
back to Pasadena. As they left, Armstrong's wife Ramona appeared
at the door looking very disturbed and upset. Antion noticed this
and wondered why she appeared that way. "Could it be" he
wondered, "that she's just concerned for his health and that
perhaps we kept him up rather late? After all, it is somewhat
past eleven o'clock. Or could she be disturbed because we came to
see him about these problems?" Her cold, upset appearance was
very disturbing to the men. One could only wonder if she was
truly concerned for her own husband's well-being or if her
loyalties were to someone else. After all, these four men came to
council Armstrong and to assist him in properly handling a
serious problem. Could it be that she saw in Armstrong's decision
to appoint Wayne Cole acting chief executive officer a serious
threat to Rader's position?
Cole and his group returned immediately to the airport where
they then boarded a 1 A.M. commercial flight for the return trip
to Pasadena. While they were on their way back to California, my
wife and I were soundly asleep at our home in New Jersey, unaware
of the events that had just taken place.
At 3:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, January 4th, we were
awakened by a phone call from Robert Kuhn. He told me that he had
received a call from the Tucson airport and that one of the men
with Cole told him what had taken place at Armstrong's home. Kuhn
then read to me the press release. How relieved I was! It
certainly appeared as though Herbert Armstrong was going to take
hold of the situation and act properly to cooperate with the
authorities and clean up the Church.
Kuhn said, "Don't get too excited yet, John, We're very
encouraged by this, but Mr.Armstrong is very unpredictable. As
long as he stands by his decision and gives Wayne the proper
backing, I'm sure that Wayne can handle it very well. We can only
wait now and see what happens. I've been told that Wayne is
actually physically ill, as he's come to realize the magnitude of
his new responsibility. He expects that one of the first things
he'll have to do is face up to Rader, and if Rader doesn't
cooperate properly Wayne will have to remove him. That's where
the real test will be, when we find out if Mr.Armstrong backs up
Wayne with the authority he's given him."
Kuhn promised to keep me advised through the following day
of any further developments. He said that the media coverage was
very strong, and that it was a major TV news item. Whether all
this publicity would be good or bad in the long run would depend
on how Armstrong and Rader handled themselves over the next few
The following morning, I was speaking with Gordon Muir by
phone bringing him up to date.
Regarding the news media coverage, Gordon said, "I'm just
afraid that they will not understand the whole nature of this
thing and will get everything distorted. Jack Martin is out there
to be in on the area coordinators meeting that had been scheduled
for this week. He told me that there's a lot of confusion and it
looks as though Rader's going to fight. Jack said that, he's
afraid that Rader may turn this into a church vs state battle."
No matter which way the situation was to go at this point,
one thing was for certain: A final wedge had been driven into the
false facade of the Worldwide Church of God and the corrupt
leaders would no longer have a place to hide.
During my conversation with Gordon, he told me that he had
been successful in arranging a meeting with someone from the
television program 60 Minutes. I had been to visit a
representative of the show a few months earlier and left copies
of the "Pastor General Report" with them. However, nothing
further materialized, as they had no show if Garner Ted was not
willing to do an interview with Mike Wallace. Now the situation
was different. A whole new perspective on the story was emerging
with the imposition of receivership by the State of California.
Gordon Muir, Jeff Herrmann, and I met with Allan Maraynes one of
Mike Wallace's assistants, for lunch on January 4th. Maraynes
said that he was very busy and could give us only as much time as
would be necessary for a very quick lunch. As we layed out the
entire story to Maraynes, his interest heightened. He realized
that this was a perfect story for them. The short luncheon
meeting carried over into an all-afternoon meeting with Maraynes
in Wallace's office. Wallace himself was in Los Angeles at that
time, on his way to Thailand to do a story on the Mong tribesmen,
who were being driven out of Vietnam by the Communists. I recall
being so impressed by Maraynes and his ability to instantly see
through to the very heart of a story.
After reviewing the documents and listening to us, Maraynes
said, "This is a perfect story of good guys and bad guys. Now,
what do we have here? You've got to realize that we have about
twelve minutes out of a twenty-minute segment on the show during
which we can actually tell our story. In reality, we're kind of a
magazine. We have to tell people what the Church is, delve into
the problems, expose what we want to expose and make our point.
You know, as I look at this, Garner Ted isn't all clean either.
But here is what I see. I see a situation where we have an
organization where things appear to be wrong. Finally, Garner Ted
says, 'I've had enough. I'm not going to be part of this anymore.
Things have to change.' Then there's a final power play and
Garner Ted loses. Stanley Rader then is the key figure in having
him removed. The son is out and an outsider, so to speak, has
taken his place with the father. Garner Ted then goes off to
Texas, having learned his lessons, and decides to try to do
things properly. In the meantime, a few concerned members become
aware of what they perceive as wrongdoing and decide to do
something about it, resulting in this receivership. I think it's
a good story, we need Garner Ted to complete the story. Do you
think he'll talk to Mike now?"
"Yes", I replied, "I believe he's ready to give an interview
now. Why don't we call him right now and get that point
confirmed?" There then ensued a flurry of phone calls between
ourselves and Mike Wallace at his hotel room in California and
with Garner Ted at his office in Tyler, Texas. Garner Ted agreed
to speak with Mike Wallace. Wallace said that the receivership
was a major news story in the Los Angeles area, and that he would
immediately attempt to contact Stanley Rader.
On leaving the meeting with Maraynes, Gordon and I discussed
how we hoped that the combination of publicity over the lawsuit
and the 60 Minutes program would certainly put an end to
Armstrong and Rader and the spiritual and financial bondage they
had placed on so many people. Herrmann said, "Don't be so sure, I
think you'll be surprised when you see how people can have the
facts staring them right in the face, yet continue with what they
were doing out of self-justification for their involvement."
(Oh, oh yes indeed, more wise words have never been spoken,
correct insight form Herrmann. It would prove to be so so true
over the next decade. People - most of them would continue out of
self-justifaction for their dumb-sheep involvement, and ministers
who depebded on a pay-check - Keith Hunt)
That evening, Mike Wallace had dinner with Rader. Rader in
all his vanity actually invited Mike Wallace to do a profile on
him and his activities in the Worldwide Church of God. Here was
Mike Wallace hoping to find a way to film and interview Rader,
and Rader actually thought that his exposure on 60 Minutes would
enhance his position, and he extended full cooperation to the 60
I recall so well one minister's comment on the situation
when I told him what transpired with Mike Wallace and Rader. He
said: "Stan is like Satan himself, absolutely dazzled by the
brightness of his own vanity."
Over the next couple of weeks, the 60 Minutes filming crew
had the full run of the Church properties and had Rader's full
cooperation. Announcements were made that, finally, the
responsible media were going to show the Church in its true
light. That was exactly the intent, to show the Church in its
true light. The true light of the Church at this time, however,
was not the light of Jesus Christ but rather the brightness of
On January 4th, while we had been having our meeting in New
York with Al Maraynes, the receivership was running into severe
difficulty in Pasadena. There was resistance on the part of the
Church officials and Judge Weisman was unable to properly
implement the receivership. While Wayne Cole was in the process
of contacting Judge Weisman to advise him of Herbert Armstrong's
desire to cooperate, Rader was in the process of filing a
petition with the court claiming that the receivership was
unconstitutional. Cole phoned Judge Weisman and advised him that
he had been appointed as acting chief executive officer by
Herbert Armstrong. Weisman said, "This is the first ray of
sunshine I have seen since this whole thing started. Finally, I'm
speaking to someone who appears to want to cooperate."
Along with Herbert Armstrong's news release, Cole issued a
memo to all employees of the Church. He stated, "We are to be the
light of the world. Our light is to shine forth to the world. As
God's people we must never do anything we have to be ashamed of.
We need not hide out, act clandestinely or furtively or sneak
around peering out from behind closed doors. Let us place our
faith in God and seek to please Him spiritually. We will rely on
Him to bless and protect us because of our spiritual and moral
righteousness and our dedication to doing His work of preaching
the Gospel. Let us remember our calling, to be about that Work
Cole also issued a press release, stating, "I have already
implemented Mr.Herbert Armstrong's request that all employees of
the above corporations (referring to the Church, the College and
the Cultural Foundation) be instructed to cooperate fully in all
respects with the Attorney General's office of the State of
He went on to state, "God's Word states that we are to be
subject to the powers that be. The governmental officials are for
our good - 'the minister of God to you for good' - and if
anything has been improper in the Work we want it corrected and
will submit to the powers not only because they have authority
but also because of 'conscience sake' toward our God which is our
guide in living. For rulers are not a terror to good works but to
the evil. Further, 'Do that which is good, and thou shall have
praise of the same, for he is the minister of God to thee for
good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, he beareth
not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger
to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must
needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience
sake.' (Romans 13:3-5) God's Word reminds us that He is the
ordainer of the powers that exist. (Romans 13:1) Christians are
not to resist them in the carrying out of their civil
It was quite clear that Wayne Cole in his position was
determined to comply with God's instructions to His people as
written in the Book of Romans. He made it clear to everyone that
there should be full cooperation with the authorities in order
that should there be any wrongdoing uncovered that it may be
dealt with and corrected. Cole knew that only then could the
Church go on and fulfill its calling. This was clearly stated in
the closing paragraph of his press release.
"My responsibility as Director of Pastoral Administration focuses
on the spiritual growth and sustenance of the ministry and
membership of the Worldwide Church of God. And this is precisely
where the Church must direct the full thrust of its efforts
preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ - thereby fulfilling the
Commission given to the Church of Jesus Christ."
(Wayne Cole, did have the right attitude, but he was battling a
force that was stronger than his right attitude - Keith Hunt)
At the same time that Cole was making his statements to the
press, Rader made the following statement to the press: "The
Church will not permit any activities of a government agency that
violates our constitutional rights or duties to our brethren."
It was quite apparent that Rader was not about to accept the
fact that Herbert Armstrong appointed Wayne Cole as the man in
charge. While Cole was trying to stabilize the situation and set
a proper Christian example before the world, Rader was mustering
his forces for a massive resistance against the authorities.
At a meeting on January 4th for all the Church employees,
Judge Weisman explained Herbert Armstrong's appointment of Wayne
Cole. He then said, "This is not an adversary proceeding, I'm for
you, I'm here to protect the assets of the Church. I'm here to
assure that the money you send in for the Church, goes to the
purpose for which you sent it." Weisman then explained how he had
been appointed by the State as the one in authority over all
secular matters of the Church, with the authority to hire and
fire. He went on to explain further that he had no authority over
the ecclesiastical matters of the Church and could not and would
not interfere in any way in those areas.
Dr.Herman Hoeh, realizing that Armstrong then was not any
longer in charge over the secular affairs of the Church, thought
it best to get the matter of Cole's appointment clarified in a
legal sense. He asked at the meeting, "Does Mr.Armstrong have the
authority to appoint Wayne Cole to the position of acting chief
executive officer, since you have the authority to hire and
Weisman answered, "Whether or not Mr.Armstrong would have
had the authority, I would have chosen Wayne Cole as well. So on
that Mr.Armstrong and I are in agreement."
From that simple clarification of the appointment of Wayne
Cole emerged a series of distorted rumors which finally escalated
to the rumor that Wayne Cole had maneuvered Mr.Armstrong out of
his position as head of the Church and that the receiver was
supporting this maneuver. Rumors then quickly began to circulate
that Armstrong had changed his mind about Cole's appointment and
that he was going to fire him. On hearing these rumors later in
the day, Cole immediately phoned Armstrong.
Armstrong was very upset that Cole had suspended Ellis
LaRavia, thinking that Cole had fired him. Cole explained that he
had not fired LaRavia, but had suspended him, as LaRavia had been
actively leading a resistance movement against the receiver.
LaRavia was a minister who was exhibiting very strong loyalties
towards Stanley Rader.
Cole then said, "Mr.Armstrong, Judge Weisman, the receiver,
is right in the room here with us. Why don't you talk to him."
Armstrong replied, "No, I won't talk with him. He's there to
overthrow the Church, to change the doctrines, and to change
God's government in the Church."
David Antion then got on an extension and together Cole and
Antion both pleaded with Armstrong to speak with Weisman.
Armstrong again said, "No, no, they're going to change all
the doctrines, they're going to wreck the Church, they're
enemies. I won't talk to him."
Cole and Antion then attempted to convince Armstrong that
the Church should not be represented by the same attorneys
representing Rader. They suggested that they bring
representatives of several law firms to Tucson in order that he
may make a selection. Armstrong said; "No, I won't do that. Stan
has picked the law firm that we will use, and that's the way it
will have to be."
An incredible situation was emerging here. In what would
appear to be a conflict of interest, the very same law firm that
was representing Rader would now represent the Church. This, in
spite of the fact that Rader was being charged with appropriating
Church assets to his own benefit, and as such had interests quite
different from the interests of the Church. It was quite clear
that Rader had by this time gotten to Herbert Armstrong and so
distorted his thinking by playing on the man's fears that
Armstrong was in no way capable of making rational decisions in
this matter. Armstrong did not, however, confirm the rumor that
Cole had been fired and, while that whole point was somewhat in
doubt at that time, Cole continued on the assumption that he
still held the position to which he had been appointed by
The following morning, January 5th, Wayne Cole was holding a
meeting in his office with a group of area coordinators and was
explaining the situation to them. Cole then received word that a
meeting had been called in the auditorium at 9:00 A.M. for all
the employees. This was very puzzling, as Cole who was supposedly
in charge had called no such meeting nor had Judge Weisman. The
group of ministers gathered in Cole's office decided to go to the
auditorium and see just what was happening. As Cole and his group
walked up to the main entrance of the auditorium, they noticed
several employees of the accounting and legal offices of the
Church guarding the doors. These were all men who reported either
directly to Stanley Rader or to his underlings Ellis LaRavia and
Jack Bickett. The ominous spectre of men guarding the doors to
the building where Herbert Armstrong has said; "God has placed
His name" struck these men as a very strange sight indeed. As
Cole attempted to enter the auditorium, Raymond McNair slammed
the door in an effort to prevent Cole from entering. McNair is an
evangelist with extreme blind loyalties to Armstrong under any
and all circumstances. Being one who has been known to side with
whomever he perceived to hold power at the moment, it became
quite apparent that Rader had been busy martialing his forces in
what was turning out to be his all out battle for continued
control of the Church. After his success in ousting Herbert
Armstrong's son, he was not about to be thwarted by Wayne Cole.
As McNair attempted to shut the door, Dr.Hoeh grabbed the
door, yanked it open, enabling Cole and the other ministers to
enter. Thus ensued a scene which shall forever be a blot on the
Worldwide Church of God. A group of men, all supposedly ministers
of Jesus Christ, began scuffling with one another. Robert Kuhn
was assaulted and an attempt was made to physically eject him
from the building. Cole was shoved and nearly knocked over. Jack
Martin received a strong blow to the stomach. Kuhn was resisting
the attempt by someone to throw him out of the building and
another minister came to his aid, attempting to pull his
assailant from him.
This horrible conduct by men who claim to represent our
Savior was later described by David Antion: "It was a scene of
pushing and shoving. It was a scene I'll never forget so long as
I live, and behind all this pushing and shoving were the words:
'Dedicated to the Great God.' Ambassador Auditorium, dedicated to
the Great God. And it just flew all over me that here are people
who are supposed to be loving God fighting with one another. And
I began to cry and I began to shout, 'Brethren, I plead with you
and beg with you, not to do such a thing. We're here in God's
house and here we are brother turned against brother, and all of
this to save Stanley Rader!' 'Is this house, which is called by
my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I
have seen it, saith the Lord.'" (Jeremiah 7:11).
Finally, Cole and his group were successful in entering the
auditorium and attended the meeting. Rodrick Meredith, another
evangelist sharing McNair's opportunistic ways, spoke to the
group. He announced that Cole had been relieved of his duties,
and that he was replacing Cole. A statement from Herbert
Armstrong was then read confirming Meredith's announcement. This
was the first official announcement anyone, including Cole, had
heard regarding Cole's removal. Meredith explained that the
Attorney General's action violated the First Amendment of the
Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion.
Speaking to the group, McNair said, "When the government of
God comes to earth, it will not be a democracy. We have the
opportunity to shake and move this nation more than has ever been
done." Armstrong's constant emphasis on the Church being the
government of God was soon to become a total obsession as he and
those loyal to him would more and more ignore the Gospel of the
saving grace of Jesus Christ. It had become the self-aggrandizing
promotion of the Church, and the human leadership of it, as the
government of God.
Near the close of the meeting, Cole mounted the stage and
approached the podium to tell his side of the story and also to
announce that if this was the latest decision from Herbert
Armstrong he would abide by it. Before fifteen hundred people on
the stage of Armstrong's monument to his own great ego, several
men prevented Cole from speaking. Loud music immediately began
playing and the microphone was quickly dismantled. Meredith and
others then escorted Cole off the stage with Meredith threatening
to call the police if Cole didn't leave. Cole and his group left
the auditorium as several of them hurled charges of "outrage" and
"travesty." These charges were surely an understatement in
describing the conduct of the men now firmly in charge of the
Worldwide Church of God. Now in charge of the Church as puppets
of Rader were Rodrick Meredith and Raymond McNair. Meredith, the
new head of the ministry, has always been noted for his
self-righteous attitude and harsh demands that loyalty to God
required loyalty to Herbert Armstrong.
(Later Meredith is banished by Armstrong to some other part of
the planet for a while. In the days after Armstrong's death,
Meredith was finally disfellowshipped from the WCG by those
appointed by Armstrong to rule and take command, which was a
minister just about nobody had heard of. Though Meredith pleaded
with them to keep him in the WCG, they said no, you are out, and
must go. Meredith was able to build a little Empire for himself
as what he considered the continuation of the work of Herbert
Armstrong - the Global Church of God, but after a battle with the
"board" - a power struggle - he moved on to form what is now
called the Living Church of God, from which with his frail health
he will be gone also in the history books of death one day before
Jesus returns - Keith Hunt)
The true nature of the man can better be understood,
however, by other characteristics which are not as widely known.
In a sermon he once went to great lengths to explain how people
should spank their children. He was proud of the fact that he
spanked his teenage daughter on her bare backside at least once a
week whether she needed it or not, just to keep her in line. His
penchant for X-rated movies and adult book stores has been
explained by him as a necessary part of his research in order
that he may speak out properly against such sins in his sermons.
This line of logic, then, would require one to commit murder in
order to speak out against such a crime.
McNair, the man who divorced his wife, Leona, because she
had been "disloyal" to Herbert Armstrong, which in his mind was a
sign of her being unconverted, was now to be chancellor of
This is the very same man who Herbert Armstrong had referred
to many times in private conversation as a "buffoon."
To be continued with "The Courtroom"
There were many nutty buffoons in the ministry of the WCG, but I
will say Wayne Cole and David Antion were NOT among them. I knew
of then in a somewhat personal way later. I spent the Feast of
Tabernacles in Victoria, B.C. with David Antion in 1981. A very
well dressed man but humble and very approachable. I have not
kept in contact with him since, so I do not know if he is still
alive or not. I've never heard. Wayne Cole joined Garner Ted for
a year or so, then left by 1982, and seemed to disappear into the
sun-set. Jack Martin also came into the CGI but also left after
one year. I contacted him at the time of his departing and asked
why he was leaving; he did not answer in any specific way, but it
was obvious he knew more about Garner Ted than others could see.
It would take another 12 years before the CGI found that Ted had
not given up on his sex addiction for other women. By 1982 God
had taken me and the congregation in Oshawa, Ontario, out of
affiliation with the CGI and into Fred Coulter's Biblical Church
of God, which I mention in my short biography on this Website.