At the next Sabbath there were members turning in their Ambassador Reports. They were assuring elders that they did not look at it. It’s amazing how people will resort to blind obedience out of a distorted fear of God that is just driven into them by an autocratic ruler. This is nothing more than modern day book-burning.
According to the complaint, the church, being incorporated under a law which requires election of directors by member, failed and refused members to vote as required. The allegation went on to state: “that none of the directors of the aforesaid corporations actually votes on any matters affecting Church governance; but merely acquiesces in decisions and instructions made by the defendants Armstrong and Rader.”
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 here are adequate grounds to proceed with this lawsuit, and their interest is to see those responsible for wrongdoing are removed and cause to make full (pg 195) restitution to the Church. I just hope this doesn’t have to go very long. If only there was some way that you can get to Mr. Armstrong and tell him the rue facts about all that is taking place. Perhaps he will act quickly, remove Rader, and cooperate with this investigation.”
Armstrong responded, “Of course.”
(pg 198) 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 is getting kind of late, I’m tired, I have a cold, and I think we’ve met long enough on this now.”
(pg 199) While Cole was walking the streets of Armstrong’s neighborhood, Armstrong typed the following memo dated, January 3, 1979.
Rader then 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.”
Chapter 15 Propaganda and Sit-ins
(pg 225) Rader found that those who viewed Armstrong as the apostle would rally behind him. A show of complete loyalty on the part of the deceived members of the Church was all he needed. Through his manipulation of these people, he would be able to thwart and frustrate the authorities for quite some time.
Over the weekend, a letter over Herbert Armstrong’s signature was prepared for mailing to the membership. Dated January 14th, it was run off secretly late that evening and early the following morning in an attempt to circumvent the receiver. Earl Timmons was immediately made aware of the letter by one of his contacts within the Church. The letter was nothing more than a blatant attempt to circumvent the court order.
Starting with his traditional tactic of striking fear in the hearts of the members, Armstrong opened his letter: “Satan has struck his master blow to destroy God’s Church. We must now FIGHT as never before, knowing God will also fight our battles with us.” He then went on to claim that the State of California had appointed a receiver who’s purpose was to take over God’s tithe money and to destroy God’s Church. He also claimed that the State had given the receiver the right to remove him as Pastor General from the Church. That statement was a complete lie and totally contrary to the ruling handed down by Judge Title.
Claiming that the tithes sent to Pasadena would be used by the (pg. 226) State and not by the Church, Armstrong continued:
Regarding our attitude towards government officials, he said, “It is a common practice for people to resist government regulations and to accuse office holders, whether the president or the corner policemen. This supposed ‘right’ of the people is abominably misused. There is a righteous limit to the ‘freedom’ of speech.”
Starting on January 21st, all-day sit-ins were conducted in the Ambassador auditorium and the various Church office buildings. By the following day there were over 2,400 people gathered, including children whose parents were instructed to keep out of school. The buildings were locked and signs were posted on the (pg. 231) doors, “Worldwide Church of God Ecclesiastical Service.” Armstrong spoke to the gathered people over telephone lines from Tucson. He said, “Being subject to the laws doesn’t always mean to obey them. I wonder if people aren’t going to have to go to jail.”
Chapter 16 60 Minutes
Chapter 21 The Origin of the WCG