Herbert W. Armstrong
Tucson, Arizona 85702
April 16, 1979
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
The persecution continues. Nevertheless we are winning round after round in this monstrous court battle of the State of California trying to take over and operate the CHURCH of the living GOD!
Could the politicians of the State of California teach YOU what to believe about GOD? Could scheming, mercenary politicians direct the preaching of Christ's Gospel to the world, when they don't know even what that Gospel is? Ridiculous? Yes, but that is precisely what the State government of California is trying to do!
And NOW the top-rated, most listened-to program on television, "60 Minutes," takes a below-the-belt swat at the Church and Work of the living GOD! I'm sure many of you saw this program, aired last night, April 15, over CBS.
I could not resist thinking, that if Mike Wallace, chief spokesman on "60 Minutes," were to have an interview with me (which he wanted, but I flatly refused), I should say, "Let me say this first, before you start asking questions. Both you and I are before the public, carrying messages to masses of people. But there is THIS DIFFERENCE" I try to reach the people with the message of the world's ONLY HOPE -- and the SURE hope of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD. This will usher in a NEW WORLD OF PEACE, HAPPINESS, JOY AND ABUNDANCE FOR ALL!
"You try to ferret out sensational BAD NEWS -- to reach the public with an exposure of what you can paint in a bad, evil light. You are out to ACCUSE, TO EXPOSE what you (often falsely) represent as wrongdoing.
"Those are two opposite motives -- my motive is to know and declare to the public the only UPLIFTING GOOD NEWS of GOD'S WAY of 'GIVE' rather than Satan's way of 'GET.' Your motive and mine are as far apart as the poles. So now go ahead with your effort to ferret out of me something you can paint to the world as 'BAD.'"
Well, I have not granted any such interview or press conference. One reason is that only ONCE, out of hundreds of times I have been questioned by reporters, have they reported what I said. All other times I was misquoted. I think that once was a daily newspaper in either Ghana or Liberia in black Africa.
But Stanley Rader did grant an interview with Mike Wallace, in Garner Ted's former office. The interview lasted some two hours or more. TV cameras were present. They used only a small portion of that interview on the air -- just the portions they felt would make the Church of the living GOD look BAD.
To reproduce for you, here, the entire interview would take some 75 pages. But I do reproduce for you here the beginning, and I have left off when the conversation got into private personalities.
Following is the real essence of the televised interview between Stanley R. Rader and Mike Wallace of the "60 Minutes" CBS show:
MIKE WALLACE INTERVIEW
WITH STANLEY RADER
FEBRUARY 7, 1979
S. RADER'S OFFICE,
ALLAN BROWNE ALSO PRESENT
WALLACE: Mr. Rader, why is the Worldwide Church of God apparently in such turmoil right now?
RADER: Well, I don't really feel that the Church itself is in turmoil. I think that the State of California has brought an unjustified legal action against the Church that has caused us some difficulty.
WALLACE: Why would the State of California be interested in causing trouble, if you will, for the Worldwide Church of God - you do good work?
RADER: Of course we do. And that's what makes their action so unconscionable. But, you must look at the composite, shall we say, picture at this time. You not only have the State of California acting through the Deputy Attorney General but you have a small group of dissenters who would like to change the government of the Church from a hierarchical system to something like a congregational system. Then you have some people such as the plaintiff's lawyer and others who would like to be receiver who are in it strictly to make money.
WALLACE: The receiver is in it to make money?
RADER: The whole receivership business is a money-making business. They are the vultures of the economic world.
WALLACE: Wait a second. About whom are you speaking specifically?
RADER: I'm talking about the receiver.
WALLACE: Judge Steven Weisman, who just resigned.
RADER: Judge Steven Weisman who just resigned (WALLACE: As receiver?) as receiver was what we considered from a Church standpoint as an abomination, but besides that, he was an economic vulture. He came in here and the first thing he did is he took $150,000 of our tithes and put it into his own pocketbook.
WALLACE: Well, that at the rate of $150 an hour, I believe, (RADER: That's right.) he was appointed by the court, he didn't just come in on his own free will and accord.
RADER: No, but he was hand-picked, hand-picked.
RADER: By plaintiff's counsel. Hand-picked.
WALLACE: And when you say, plaintiff's counsel, the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Tapper and Hillel Chodos, who was deputized as an Attorney General.
RADER: Well, Mr. Tapper would have to approve, it appears, Mr. Weisman as the receiver. Mr. Chomos, on the other hand, undoubtedly, picked him deliberately out of all the other possible receivers.
WALLACE: Ah! Weisman (RADER: Weisman.) for the purpose of?
RADER: Perhaps helping Mr. Weisman. Mr. Weisman is a retired judge, had never had a receivership before, had been seeking work of this kind for some time in the community.
WALLACE: Are you suggesting that Tapper, Chodos, Weisman, are in cahoots, if you will, to milk the Worldwide Church of God, for their own benefit?
RADER: I am more than suggesting, I'm stating it emphatically so no one can misunderstand it.
WALLACE: That is a money-making operation for Chodos, Tapper, Weisman?
RADER: Not Tapper. Tapper is a Deputy Attorney General, he has his own problems that he's going to have to account for. Chomos is in this for the money ...
RADER: Chodos. (WALLACE: Chodos.) Oh, I always referred to him as Chomos, thank you, Mike. He is in it for the money as was the receiver. And the dissident group, I think we will find out is a small group, a very small group of church members who are simply
WALLACE: Well, now [there are] some people who are not in the so- called dissidents group, who are also disenchanted, who say, 'Why don't we simply open up our books, we have nothing to hide.'
RADER: I say that. And I'm certainly not a dissident. I've opened up the books of this organization eight separate times to the Internal Revenue Service -- eight separate times -- and received a complete bill of health. And they start with the same basic question: 'Are you a Church and are you continuing to operate exclusively for the purposes for which you were established?' The last time the IRS was here, they stayed eighteen months (WALLACE: Looking for ...?) looking over everything.
WALLACE: And you got a clean bill of health?
RADER: A clean bill of health.
WALLACE: So you are satisfied that the...there are no financial improprieties (RADER: None.) involved.
RADER: It's a red herring. A total red herring. And everyone who has been responsible for bringing those false allegations will rue the day that they did.
WALLACE: But, I have here a press release saying on January 3, 1979, signed by Mr. Armstrong, which says if any improprieties have existed in either institution -- that's the Church of God or Ambassador College -- 'I want them to be known and I will take every effort to cooperate with the Attorney General's office. We are an institution of forty-six years standing ...'
RADER: Exactly, and I will state the very same words again and I have shouted them practically from the rooftops and I have laid the gauntlet down at the Attorney General's feet. If there are any improprieties we will deal with the Attorney General. We will deal in the proper forum at the proper time, but get the receiver out of here. Get the dirty hands and the dirty feet of the receiver out of this Church. There's a big difference; Mr. Armstrong does not mention the word 'receiver' in there (WALLACE: No.) He mentions cooperation with the Attorney General. I am appealing right now to the United States' Attorney General, to Griffin Bell, to come in here and put an end to these illegal, unconstitutional state proceedings. I welcome [an] investigatory agency of the government as long as they keep their hands and their feet off the Church property. They have no right to try to run this Church and to take the property from the people and from God ... Because, Mr. Armstrong did not have this Apostleship devolve upon him some forty-six years because God makes a habit of picking the wrong people. This piece of paper that you have in front of you was something they asked him to sign at 3:30 in the morning in Tucson record now. And this was the set-up. This is what he gave them to expose them. The next day, they came back and the receiver in front of Mr. Antion and in front of Mr. Cole and in front o