THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE
Armstrong's Empire Exposed
(Published in 1981)
THE SAME DAY, FRIDAY JANUARY 5TH, A HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE
Judge Vernon Foster, with attorney Allen Browne moving for a
lifting of the receivership.
He said; "Checks are bouncing like crazy. As these checks go
bouncing along, this Church is going to be ruined."
To support this courtroom maneuvers, Rader had seen to it
that bus loads of Ambassador College students, employees and
Church members were on hand to create a sensational media event.
Judge Weisman testified before the court that he had been totally
unable to obtain Church documents for protection during the
investigation. He said that the college facilities manager, Ellis
LaRavia, was reluctant to cooperate. Chodos, in his pleadings
before the court said, "If the receivership is dissolved, the
Church will be gone by the time we are back in your courtroom."
He was referring to the upcoming hearing of January 10th, which
was the return date on the subpoena. Chodos said; "It will only
take Rader twenty minutes and a pack of matches to do away with
crucial evidence." Then in a dramatic presentation, he produced a
shredding machine from Rader's office which had been confiscated
by court officials while Church employees, including Rader's
secretary, Virginia Kineston, were allegedly in the process of
using the machine. As an indication of the type of evidence they
hoped to still uncover, Chodos produced an executive payroll
checkbook for the Church which had been confiscated at the
Worldwide Advertising Agency offices in Century City. The day
prior to the imposition of the receivership, checks had been
drawn as follows:
2,500 (marke bonus)
35,000 (marked bonus)
Judge Foster, at 8:30 P.M., well past sunset and already
into the Sabbath, issued an order modifying the receivership
wherein Weisman was to not interfere in the normal day-to-day
operations of the Church, pending the hearings on January 10th.
However, the receivership was maintained.
The following day, on January 6th, a most unusual Sabbath
service took place at the Ambassador Auditorium. For three and a
half hours, the Church members were subjected to the rantings and
ravings of Ellis LaRavia, Rodrick Meredith, Rader and Rader's law
partner Ralph Helge.
Meredith said, "We are in a war. Let's see if we are
faithful warriors." He must have forgotten what he had written in
the September 1964 issue of The Plain Truth regarding civil
disobedience. He said that a Christian's obligation to civil
power was in accordance with the statements in the 13th Chapter
of Romans as quoted only a couple of days earlier by Wayne Cole
in his statement to Church employees. Meredith went on to state
in his article, "Those who resist the civil power shall receive
to themselves DAMNATION! They are resisting GOD HIMSELF who
allows that authority! Your Bible proves government authority and
power are ORDAINED OF GOD! - Yes, your Bible reveals that it is
God who has ordained human officers of government and those
officers must be RESPECTED."
Meredith is condemned by his very own words. The fact that
he made that statement in 1964 makes it quite plain that he knew
he was wrong now. In 1979, he was calling the Church members to
be warriors against civil authority. At the end of his sermon
Meredith then announced that Wayne Cole, David Antion, Robert
Kuhn and Ben Chapman were all being disfellowshipped. He claimed
that all of these men were part of a satanic conspiracy to
destroy the Church and overthrow Herbert Armstrong. Ben Chapman
was apparently included, as due to his past executive positions
in the Church, he was able to verify and authenticate financial
statements that were included as part of the court filing. As a
result of his verification of those documents, he was considered
to be a traitor. His involvement in this way also served as a
basis for the claims that later would be made that Garner Ted
Armstrong was the moving force behind the entire lawsuit. Those
claims were partly based on the fact that Ben Chapman's wife,
Lois, is the widow of Richard David Armstrong, Garner Ted's older
brother, who had been killed in a car crash in 1958.
In the entire three-and-a-half-hour service, most of the
speaking was performed by Helge and Rader. They are lawyers, not
ministers. What a strange parallel to the days two thousand years
ago, when religious leadership had fallen into the hands of the
legalistic Pharisees, the lawyers of their day. Helge claimed
that the judge and the courts were all agents of Satan and "we
are fighting Satan." He was only partly right. This was a satanic
struggle; however, whether he realized it or not, he was among
the collaborators with Satan.
Rader accused Cole of being comparable to a Nazi
collaborator for his efforts to cooperate with the courts. He
then went on to say, "We are going to have a ministry that is not
divided, we are going to have a Church government as it was here
up until about ten years ago. We are all going to know what the
doctrines are, and we are all going to agree."
If anything smacked of Nazism, it was statements such as
this from Rader, rather than Wayne Cole's attempts to fulfill his
Rader then went on to say, "The major problem is an internal
spiritual matter which is now under control because these people
have been fired. We cut off the head of this conspiracy, the
collusion between these people and the plaintiffs."
It was expected of Rader that he would attempt to promote a
conspiracy theory to divert attention from the real cause of the
entire problem, that, of course, being predominantly Stanley
Rader. By the time these men were done, they had so distorted the
minds of the people listening to them that had they decided to do
so, they could have instructed the people to commit just about
any act. By the time the tape recordings of the service were
played in all congregations the following Sabbath, the massive
brainwashing campaign of the entire membership was well under
Over the next few days there were constant confrontations,
lockouts, and attempts by Rader loyalists to illegally remove
documents from the Church property. One can only look at this
incredible turn of events and wonder what kind of an incredible
hold did Rader have on Herbert Armstrong. How could it be that
Herbert Armstrong had been soliciting Wayne Cole's help only a
few days earlier in an attempt to push Rader aside from his most
influential position? To appoint Cole temporarily in charge and
then suddenly do such an about face, leaving Rader more solidly
in charge than he had ever been before? Perhaps when Rader called
Armstrong's attention to the fact that he was not going to escape
this thing, Armstrong was convinced that he needed Rader's help.
But one must wonder if that could be sufficient reason for
Armstrong to literally turn over the reigns to Rader. Or is it
something else that Rader knew, something else that he could do
that would enable him to have an ever-tightening grip on Herbert
Armstrong? While there was much speculation on this, no one could
yet be sure at this time.
As a result of the notoriety surrounding the Worldwide
Church, Garner Ted Armstrong was now speaking out more in
interviews. He said in the Dallas Morning News that enormous
amounts of the Church's money had been spent on kings and
presidents and other rulers.
He said; "If the truth were known it would blow the lid off
the nation of Japan alone. Senators there would be literally
tossed out of office. I can't tell you how many around-the-
world-tickets were paid from Church funds and slipped to Japanese
officials in return for getting Church officials into the inner
circle of the country. I'm talking about tens of thousands of
dollars in trips alone." He stated for the Dallas Times Herald
that the things he warned his father about in the 1960s were
coming home to roost in the late 1970s. The Times Herald said:
"He said his father's mental and physical abilities have
diminished markedly with advancing age, and that the elder
Armstrong had fallen increasingly under the control of Rader and
a group of 'right wing reactionary ministers' who 'would have us
in uniforms and jack boots.'"
On January 10th, a hearing took place before Judge Julius
Title to determine if the temporary receivership would continue.
By this time the Church's problems were the subject of national
news coverage and the entire situation had become a major news
event in Southern California. The morning of the hearings, the
Los Angeles Times carried Bert Mann's story which included many
of the details from the "Pastoral General Report" that I had
given to Mann. He had sat on it until the right time and the
publication of those expenditures was a blockbuster. The
Ambassador Report referred to it as a "major scoop."
The article also stated that Allan Browne confirmed the
existence of a Swiss bank account, and of gold bullion. This was
in reference to a letter written in 1974 by Dennis Stauffer of
the Church business office to the Union Bank of Switzerland, in
confirmation of a Telex sent to that bank. The Telex had
instructed the bank to buy one million francs at the current
exchange rate and to debit the U.S. dollar account for the ten
percent margin requirement.
Buying foreign currency on margin is clearly a speculative
type of financial transaction and, while in itself not wrong, is
a risky venture. The chance of loss is as great as the chance of
profit. In handling fiduciary funds, this is a highly improper
transaction. Regarding the Swiss account of gold bullion, Browne
said, "Is there anything wrong with that, is this the beginning
of the State telling the Pope what kinds of robes he can wear? Or
that he should not live in such splendor in the Vatican?"
This was one of many comparisons that would later be made
between Herbert Armstrong and the Pope. It seems so strange that
the Papacy would be used as a benchmark against which the actions
of Herbert Armstrong and Stanley Rader would be justified.
In the court proceedings, Chodos claimed not only had money
been used for purposes other than for which the money had been
contributed, but now something even more ridiculous was taking
place. He said, "We have shown you, your honor, and I believe we
will show you today that the money is not being used for God's
work. It is being used to pay Mr.Browne to represent Mr.Rader. If
that is true, your Honor, the court ought to welcome your
supervision and not resist."
Only by hiding behind the shield of a religious organization
could an officer of an organization under accusation of
malfeasance use the funds of his employer to defend himself
against the charges of defrauding that very same employer. Browne
again justifying Armstrong's position as head of the Church said,
"He sits there as the Pope does."
Actually, Browne was stating a greater truth than he
realized. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church was at one time the
Church of God in Rome. This was two thousand years ago when the
apostle Paul was preaching in that part of the world. The Church
grew and finally became what it is known as the Universal Church
of God. Armstrong has often pointed out that the early Church,
now the Roman Catholic Church, and all of its daughters of
Protestantism went into total apostasy by the mid 300s, having
become spiritually corrupt and morally corrupt. Perhaps Herbert
Armstrong does sit at the head of the Worldwide Church of God as
the Pope does at the head of the Roman Catholic Church. However,
there should be no great honor to be known as the one who
initiated the descent into degeneracy and apostasy of this latter
day Church of God.
Chodos continued in his attempt to convince the court that
Browne was dealing with a conflict of interest by representing
both Rader and the Church. He said, "Mr.Browne should not be
permitted to get up on behalf of the Church and say that the
Church doesn't wart a receiver. Because when Mr.Browne speaks,
the hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice is the voice of
Jacob. That is the difference, Your Honor."
Chodos would often use references of this nature both in and
out of the courtroom. He fully understood and appreciated the
nature of the entire problem and had a definite understanding
that was totally lacking on the part of Rader's attorneys. In
fact, we could often see that the hand of God had moved in
working things out in such a way that we would have Chodos
fighting to save the Worldwide Church of God, while all the time
being accused of being an enemy of the Church and an agent of
Satan. We often wondered if it was more than just coincidence
that we would have an attorney who had also received intensive
rabbinical schooling. Chodos' first name, Hillel, means in Hebrew
"Praise God." He had been well named by his parents, for his very
conduct, actions, and sensitivity to the true nature of the
Church's problems was such that he did in fact praise God just by
his very daily conduct. More and more it would be seen to be such
a contrast to the conduct of Rader and his attorneys.
In the hearings which continued the following day, Browne
attempted to justify the expenditures by Armstrong and Rader on
various prominent government leaders. He said, "And it is true
they come here and visit Herbert Armstrong. He doesn't take them
to McDonalds and I hope that is not a slander, he takes them to
Perino's. He's proud of that fact. You can't take a head of state
to a mediocre restaurant. So there is no doubt about the fact
that he has done that. But that's the way in which he has
developed the Church assets. In order to make money, you have to
spend it. And the Church has made the money and developed the
word of Jesus by developing it in his style."
Of course one must wonder from such a statement whether the
purpose of the Church is to preach the gospel or to make money
and to develop assets. From Browne's own statement, the purpose
seems to be to develop assets. Such logic could get to be a
merry-go-round, as the statements of Rader claim that the
Church's assets must be spent on world leaders. It would be hard
to conceive of a better way to have a self-perpetuating money
machine than this. The lifestyle that the leaders of such an
organization can enjoy would strike envy into the hearts of not
only many corporate leaders, but some of the most prominent
government leaders, and members of royalty throughout the world.
Later in the hearings, Stanley Rader was placed on the stand
as a witness. Chodos then introduced into evidence the contract
of employment between Stanley Rader and the Worldwide Church of
God, dated July 30, 1976. Chodos asked Rader, "Mr.Rader, who drew
Rader than answered somewhat uncertainly, "This contract was
drawn probably by a young associate in the firm of Ervin, Cohen
and Jessup after discussions with me. I think his name is Greg
somebody, I don't know his last name."
In further examination, Rader stated that this law firm
prepared the contract, based on information that he had provided.
This is the same firm of which Allan Browne is a member, and the
firm which represents Rader. Through further convoluted testimony
Rader attempted to evade the fact that he was counsel to the
Church and was in fact advising the Church on the preparation of
his own employment contract.
Finally Chodos said, "Who was counseling the Church and its
related entities?" Browne then objected and was overruled by the
Judge. Chodos then continued, "As I read this contract it
provides that Mr.Rader is to get $200,000 a year for acting as
chief advisor to Mr.Armstrong for a period of seven years. If his
employment is terminated for any reason, other than his own
death, habitual refusal to work, or if Mr.Armstrong becomes so
disabled or incapacitated where he can't receive advice, Rader's
status is to be converted to that of a senior consultant and he
is to get $100,000 a year plus expenses until the year 2003. Now
it seems to me, Your Honor, that is a three-and-a-half-million-
dollar employment contract that Mr.Rader had drawn up, and had
Mr.Armstrong sign for the Church a couple of years ago, when he
was general counsel, director, executive vice-president. I
believe it is pertinent to your Honor to note in terms of who
should be left in control of the financial affairs, whether Mr.
Rader in view of the presumptions of civil code, Section 2235 and
the sections which precede it, whether Mr.Rader has in the past
used his influence and his office as a trustee to benefit himself
to this extent, without getting independent counsel for the
Church and by telling, by arranging with Mr.Armstrong that they
should have contracts of this magnitude."
Continuing further in his questioning, Chodos said, "Mr.
Rader, who advised the Church about the advisability or the
propriety or the desirability of this contract?"
With further convoluted reasoning, Rader replied, "Mr.
Armstrong is God's apostle, he is Christ's representative here on
earth at this time. He by the powers that have evolved upon him
spiritually and which as I understand after constant review with
my cocounsel Mr.Helge, he has the power to hire and fire, set
rates of compensation, things of that nature, and has done so
consistently for thirty-six years."
Chodos: "Mr.Rader, he is not a lawyer, Mr.Armstrong, is he?"
Rader: "No, sir, he is not a lawyer."
Chodos: "Did he have any other lawyers advising him besides
you and Mr.Helge about this matter?"
Rader: "Mr.Armstrong calls upon lawyers when and if -"
Interupting, Judge Title said: "Mr.Rader, I think it will help us
all if you will listen to the question. You are a lawyer, respond
only to the question, all right?"
It was quite evident that Judge Title was annoyed at Rader's
evasive maneuvering, and his impatience was beginning to show.
Agreeing to cooperate, Rader asked Chodos to repeat the question.
Chodos responded, "Did he have any other lawyers besides you
and Mr.Helge advising him about entering into this contract from
the Church when he did so?"
Rader finally responded with a long sought after answer. He
said: "Not to my immediate first-hand knowledge".
It was becoming more and more obvious that Rader had
skillfully maneuvered himself into a position where he controlled
all aspects of the Church and was able to literally write his own
ticket and Armstrong would sign it.
Going further regarding his purchase of Church-owned homes,
Rader testified that Armstrong did not have any independent
counsel regarding any transactions between the Church and Rader.
It appears that in all transactions between Rader and the Church,
Rader either directly or through his lawyers controlled both
sides of the deal. Rader also admitted that he kept well over one
million dollars profit on the sale of a home that he purchased
from the Church in 1972. This was a home, that according to Ray
Wright's statements to our attorneys Pearlman and Herrmann, was
essentially paid for with monies given Rader by the Church for
Chodos then proceeded in the matter of the leasing companies
in which Rader was a principal, which had been organized to own
jet airplanes and then lease them to the Church. After lengthy
questioning, Chodos was again being frustrated by Rader's refusal
to give a direct answer as to whether or not Armstrong had
independent counsel in the transactions between the Church and
the Raderowned leasing companies.
Finally Rader said, "I don't know whether Mr.Armstrong has
consulted independent counsel, but it's because Mr.Armstrong is
inclined to consult independently of everybody with other people
and I never know with whom he's speaking at any one time."
To this, Judge Title responded, "Your answer is you don't
Rader then said, "Yes."
And so it went, one intriguing maze after another which if
pursued far enough, always seemed to come back to Rader sitting
at the center.
The testimony of Jack Kessler seemed to confirm that Rader's
withdrawal from the firm in 1974 after Jim Johnson's complaint of
conflict of interests to the State Accounting Board, was somewhat
less than a true withdrawal. Kessler testified that the firm, now
known as Rader, Cornwall, Kessler and Pallazzo, was purchased
from Rader by the remaining partners for no money, just an
exchange of promises.
In explanation of the exchange of promises, he said, "Well,
we promised him that we would take up the current clients they
had and perform to the best of our ability. He promised us that
he would not compete with us and that we could use his name."
It is hard to imagine someone giving away his interest in a
prosperous business for nothing more than a promise on the part
of the purchasers to carry on that business. It appears that the
entire maneuver was nothing more than a sham, a means of taking
care of the problems caused by Jim Johnson's reports to the State
Next to testify in the court proceedings was Virginia
Kineston, Rader's secretary. Under questioning by Chodos, Mrs.
Kineston testified that she had on many occasions used a paper
shredder in the office. Chodos asked her if the paper shredder
had been used to and including the day that Judge Weisman entered
Responding in her clipped, tersely-worded testimony which
was her style throughout the entire proceeding, she said, "Of
course. I have never denied that."
Chodos then read to her a declaration that she had signed a
few days earlier. "At no time have I or any other person working
in this office destroyed any document, book, financial record, or
other matter generated or belonging to the Church, Foundation or
It was apparent that under Rader's pressure to sign a
document, she was quite willing to attest to whatever she was
asked to, but under the pressure of cross-examination,
inconsistencies were being revealed.
Chodos then presented as evidence reconstructed documents
that had been retrieved from the paper shredder basket and
laboriously pieced together by State officials. The documents
were messages that had been intended for Judge Weisman which were
never received by him.
Next on the stand was John Kineston, Virginia Kineston's
husband. He was employed as Rader's chauffeur and administrative
Chodos went right to the heart of the matter. He said, "Mr.
Kineston, is it correct that on Wednesday, the 3rd of January,
sometime in the middle of the morning or toward noon, you took a
limousine to the transportation building and took a quantity of
documents from the transportation building and put them in the
Kineston responded, "That is not true."
Chodos: "Did you take any documents from their usual
location, from the location where they were on Wednesday and
transport them somewhere else?"
Kineston: "I did not".
Chodos: "You didn't take any documents?"
Kineston: "I took no documents over to ... and my wife have
taken any documents, I don't know what they are in a sense. I
don't deal with documents."
Chodos: "All right. And do you have any recollection, Mr.
Kineston, of taking the limousine to the transportation building
on Wednesday morning and then going from there to the airport at
Kineston: "I have no recollection of that whatsoever."
And so the questioning went on with Chodos continuing to
delve into whether or not Kineston removed documents from the
premises with Kineston denying all allegations. In his closing
question to Kineston, Chodos said, "Are you telling us, Mr.
Kineston, you have never since you heard Judge Weisman was on the
premises, you have not taken or removed any records or anything
to do with Church records?"
Quite definitively Kineston responded, "Absolutely correct,
that is true."
Concluding his questioning of Kineston, Chodos then called
Chester Roberson to the stand. Roberson, a member of the Church,
had been employed by the Church for twenty-five years.
Originally, he had been employed as a gardener and, more
recently, a small engine mechanic for the past six years.
Roberson's testimony was in direct contrast to that of the Rader
supporters. While the Rader supporters seemed to be extremely
tense and always maintaining eye contact with Rader during their
testimony, Roberson spoke in his relaxed Southern drawl which so
set him apart from the Rader loyalists.
Chodos directed the questioning to Kineston's presence at
the transportation building on January 3rd. He said, "And did you
see Mr.Kineston at the building on that day?"
Very directly, Roberson stated, "Yes I did."
Roberson then testified that he had seen Kineston coming
from a parked car, from a garage, with record books in his hands.
He then testified that he saw a secretary hand Kineston a
transmittal envelope, the type used for inter-office
communications to Kineston.
Roberson continued: "Then Mr.Kineston handed whatever he had
in his hand to a man named Bill. Bill Whitman. He asked him to
place it in the Cadillac, then Mr.Kineston had to go to the
bathroom, and then Mr.Whitman replied: 'Do you want me to fill it
up with gas?' And Mr.Kineston says: 'No, I'm afraid I will be
seen on my way to Burbank. I will pick up gas.'"
Roberson then stated that a few days later, on a Saturday
evening, he again saw Kineston on the college campus. He stated
that he and one of the relators, David Morgan, saw Kineston
entering the Data Processing building.
Describing what he had seen, Roberson said, "First Mr.
Morgan and I saw four people, no, five people, including what
looked like a guard standing by a car, and they had a flashlight
over the hood of this car and at the time I didn't know who they
were. And then when we went around the block and came back again,
and by that time four of these men were up at the building
itself, the data processing center, off of Pasadena Avenue."
The guard that he had described was apparently one of the
Church's regular security guards. In his further testimony, he
stated that as he and Morgan drove around the block again, they
observed these people standing in front of the data processing
Roberson said, "Mr.Kineston was one of the men and Mr.Dave
Whitman was one of the others. The other man was a bearded man I
did not recognize, the other man was the guard."
Chodos asked, "What were they doing?"
Roberson responded, "They were ... we stopped the truck and
watched and they were entering the building."
In cross-examination, Church attorney Allan Browne asked
Roberson, "Are you aware of the fact that David Morgan is one of
the plaintiffs in this action?"
Roberson: "Yes, I am aware."
Browne: "You are aware of that?"
Roberson: "Now, yes."
Browne: "At the time you were driving with Mr.Morgan you
didn't know that he had been one of the persons suing the
Roberson: "Yes I did."
It appeared that whether or not Roberson knew of Morgan's
involvement with the suit was the main thrust of Browne's
questioning. The next day, Chester Roberson was fired from his
job of twenty-five years for "disloyalty."
Concerning the Saturday night incident, David Morgan, who
was later called to the stand stated, "I observed a security
guard standing in the door and I observed Mr.Whitman with a
flashlight and I observed Mr.Kineston and there was also another
party with a beard, but he was in the shadows you know, the dark.
I couldn't ... I don't know who it was. And when we saw this, Mr.
Roberson stopped immediately and when we stopped Mr.Kineston
turned and there was no mistaking it. He must have a twin brother
if he says he isn't there, because this party looked identical to
him as far as I could see."
The following day, on January 12th, the court heard
arguments from Browne and Chodos regarding the continuation of
Browne said, "I think the court would agree with me, I would
hope, that there has not been one shred of evidence implicating
Mr.Herbert Armstrong of any wrongdoing. The most the court could
say was that he was overly generous. I think that he was ... if
you were going to say there was any fault, that is what you would
have to say. Take that as very best. The man has spent forty
years developing this Church. If a receiver is appointed, your
Honor, he's the man that is most effective. He's the spiritual
leader of the Church."
After all that had been shown, Allan Browne was bold enough
to actually suggest that one of the foxes be put in charge of the
hen house. To make such a statement claiming that Herbert
Armstrong rather than Judge Weisman should act as trustee for the
Church's funds through the receivership was the height of
In Chodos's argument referring to Browne, he said, "Counsel
told you that a receivership is the most drastic remedy and that
may be where the court attempts to interfere with private rights.
This money is public money, the court is the guardian of it
today, it was the guardian of it last week and it will continue
to be the guardian of this money as long as the charitable trust
continues to exist." Going further, Chodos referred to Armstrong,
Rader and their henchmen, "who are part of the palace guard, who
have been brought here to court to foist their claims against
you, are the takers, not the givers. The givers are the people
all across the country who send in their tithes and their double
tithes and their offerings, and that, your Honor is not because
they have faith in Herbert Armstrong, but because I presume they
have faith in God and because they believed that Herbert
Armstrong and the man he has unfortunately chosen to deputize
with control of this Church are faithful trustees of God's Work.
And they themselves, as your Honor sees in the moving papers, do
not blush to remind people that this is God's tithe money. But
the real truth, your Honor, is when they come into court and they
talk about it as though it were their money."
Referring to statements that Rader had made later, Chodos
said, "And he comes in here and tells you it takes money to make
money. And Mr.Rader is saying buy low, sell high. I don't take
stupid pills. Well, he doesn't take honesty pills either, your
Proceeding on to the transactions and contracts that Rader
had with the Church, Chodos continued, "Now, Your Honor, the
problem in this Church is that nobody but Mr.Rader ever reviewed
Mr.Rader's transactions. When Mr.Rader wants some money, he draws
up an agreement or has his long-time counsel, Irvin, Cohen and
Jessup draw up an agreement. He takes it to the Church, presents
it, and shifts to the other buttock and signs it. Mr.Rader has
twelve hats in this Church and every time he changes hats, makes
a few bucks. And that is what has happened for the last I don't
know how many years."
After hearing the arguments from both sides, Judge Title
dissolved the original receivership and imposed a new
receivership naming Judge Weisman as the receiver.
In his order, he stated: "Now the receiver is to take
possession and control of the Church, including all of its
assets, both real and personal, tangible and intangible, of every
kind and description except as I otherwise provide in the order."
He then gave the receiver full right and power to monitor
and supervise all of the business and financial operations and
activities of the Church, including the right to hire and fire
employees. The receiver was also given the power to hire and
employ his own counsel, accountants and other personnel as he
deemed necessary. Judge Title made it quite clear that the
receivership was only to concern itself with the business and
financial affairs of the Church and not ecclesiastical matters.
He stated, "Now it is not the purpose of this court nor the
intention of this court to allow the receiver to interfere in any
way with ecclesiastical functions of the Church as distinguished
from the college or the foundation, and the receiver is ordered
not to do so." Judge Title went on to order that all books and
records be made available to the representatives of the
plaintiffs for use in preparing of the trial and the action.
Continuing in his order, he instructed that the receiver be
authorized to conduct thorough audits of the financial and
business dealings of the Church and to review all allegations of
malfeasance concerning the financial and business affairs of the
In spite of this clearly stated guideline by the court,
Armstrong and Rader claimed that the Attorney General was out to
take over control of the Church and remove Armstrong as its
religious leader. Rader was stunned by the outcome of the
hearings. For a short period of time he was virtually silent, and
when questioned by the press his only answer was "No comment."
That silence was short-lived however, as he was later to
become a champion media hound, as he would seek to distort the
facts regarding the case in order to gain public sympathy.
Chodos was more than satisfied with the outcome of the
hearings. He said: "We got 99.9% of what we wanted." Those
present in the courtroom who were sympathetic with the purposes
of the lawsuit were elated.
Later that evening I was awakened by a phone call from Earl
Timmons. As he related the event of the court proceeding to me,
and told me of the outcome, I could not control myself. I was in
tears of happiness as I responded with comments that finally now
perhaps the Church would be free of the satanic control of
Stanley Rader. None of us, however, anticipated how violently
Rader was to respond.
To be continued with "Propaganda and Sit-ins"