"The PLAIN TRUTH"
a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
BOX 111, Pasadena, Calif. 91109
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Editor
November 24, 1968
Dear Friend and PLAIN TRUTH Subscriber:
Right now I'm a little excited! I have just finished revising, editing, and somewhat enlarging my booklet, "The Seven Laws of Success." So I felt I must get to my typewriter to tell you I am reserving YOU a copy -- no charge of course.
I feel a bit enthusiastic about it. You see, I'm my own most severe critic. Often I feel dissatisfied about something I have written. Then I have to do it over. But on reviewing this (first edition written in 1960), bringing it up-to-date, and with some additions, I felt you would really enjoy reading it, and profit from it. More about it later.
But I'm far more enthusiastic, and at the same time a little sobered, in an over-all way at what has taken place in this great Work these past six months -- since my last semiannual letter to PLAIN TRUTH subscribers.
Our new big-space mass-circulation worldwide advertising campaign has had TREMENDOUS IMPACT! The response has ASTOUNDED us! THINK OF IT -- just since last June, 225,000 people have written in to subscribe to The PLAIN TRUTH. By another month it will be more than a QUARTER OF A MILLION new subscribers -- that many additional copies to be printed and mailed. And since, on the average, as many as three or four people read every copy, our actual READERSHIP is increased by nearly a WHOLE MILLION!
But it has brought us new problems -- new obstacles to hurdle -- and even caused some DELAYS, for which we apologize.
For example, in the INDIA edition of Reader's Digest, we had to rush to them a special ad to replace the one previously sent to them for insertion in their December number. The headline of this special emergency ad said: "WE APOLOGIZE! -- but you swamped us!"
There was no other way I could get this message to 20,000 people in India in time. The ad explained our dilemma with these words: "Our first two advertisements in Reader's Digest brought an unexpected, overwhelming response! We knew some of the readers of Reader's Digest would be interested in our report on the worldwide phenomenon of the new HIPPIE movement. We knew some of you would be interested in reading the report in The PLAIN TRUTH of the recent changes that have taken place in the U.S.S.R. But frankly, we were not prepared to handle swiftly the avalanche of requests for this free literature. So we APOLOGIZE for the delay in getting these reports to you."
We had expected perhaps a hundred requests from the people of India. We had rented a post office box in Bombay, and arranged for a friend living there (baptized by one of our ministers) to forward the letters to our office in Sydney, Australia, where all the Asian editions of The PLAIN TRUTH are printed.
But the first two ads swamped us with TWENTY THOUSAND requests. We couldn't afford to send such a huge shipment of PLAIN TRUTHS and other booklets by individual airmail from Australia. To send the literature by ordinary postage, it would go by ship and take six to eight weeks for delivery. We had no office staff in Bombay.
So how did we solve this dilemma? We flew the manager of our Sydney office to Bombay to study the situation and get all facts on what could be done; then flew him half way around the world to Pasadena headquarters, where our executives went into a huddle. The solution required that we open an office immediately in Bombay. Who could we send? We had a native citizen of India here on campus. He is a graduate of Ambassador College. We arranged for our man from Australia to go to Bombay with him, lease and establish an office, and make all necessary arrangements with postal authorities in India.
Our new Bombay office will pick up the mail as it arrives at the Bombay post office, forward it in bulk to Sydney. The subscription list will be kept in Sydney. The copies of The PLAIN TRUTH, and all requested booklets, will be addressed in Sydney, then shipped by AIRFREIGHT in large bundles, to the new office in Bombay. They will then be taken to the post office in Bombay, and mailed from there.
This gives you just a little glimpse into what this big new advertising impact has done.
Just since you received your June issue of The PLAIN TRUTH more than a QUARTER MILLION more subscribers have been added to The PLAIN TRUTH. Tens of thousands of these are in some of the poverty-stricken, disease-ridden nations of the world such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, parts of Africa and Central and South America.
These new subscribers answered our worldwide advertising campaign in such major publications as Life, Reader's Digest, TV Guide, major British newspapers, including London Sunday TIMES, EXPRESS and others, leading magazines in Australia, South Africa, the Philippines, Germany, Mexico and many other nations!
And they have stretched our printing capacity and manpower capability to the utmost. But we're all elated about it!
Think of it!
Just since June, literally dozens of THOUSANDS of human beings in some of the most wretched places on earth have been receiving, as a result of this huge, worldwide advertising campaign, the same fine quality, attractively printed booklets and magazines YOU have been reading.
We've sent them our free booklets on how to solve their marriage problems, on hippies and on crime. They've been receiving the same exciting articles in The PLAIN TRUTH magazine you have been reading these past months!
In Mexico, more than TEN THOUSAND responded to our first ad, and hundreds more are pouring into our new offices in Mexico City as you read this!
In Britain, more than 56 THOUSAND new subscribers have been added just since June! For all this, we are really THANKFUL -- and excited!
But we're also a little perplexed.
The unexpected demand has taxed our printing and mailing facilities to the bursting point. We're opening new offices as fast as we can -- in India, in Europe, and enlarging offices elsewhere. We're in the midst of installing and conducting trial runs on our huge new four-color Halley-Aller web-fed press for printing millions more of our attractive booklets, and The PLAIN TRUTH. This giant new press has been added to our big four-color Miehle web-fed press. And another Halley-Aller is on order.
Never before have our mailing lists Jumped so dramatically in so short a time!
But never before has there been such a critical NEED to get this vital information to a violence-torn, war-sick, frightened world. All of us, here at headquarters in Pasadena, as well as on the other campuses of Ambassador College in Texas and England, and those in all our far-flung overseas offices, are striving to the utmost to place these fine magazines and booklets in as many human hands as possible. We have a whole list of exciting new subjects in various stages of preparation; publications dealing with the truly VITAL issues so personally concerning our private lives -- but our presses are running three shifts, night and day, 24 hours a day, to keep up with present demands.
So we hope you'll understand, if there should be a slight delay in receiving the two exciting booklets we have for you!
I am, as I said at the beginning of this letter, reserving YOUR free copy of this new revised edition of the booklet "The Seven Laws of SUCCESS." Even though you may have read an earlier edition, I'd like to send you this new, more attractively printed enlarged edition. WHY are the MANY failures, and only the FEW successful? NO ONE need ever be a failure. WHY are even those supposedly successful -- those who have STATUS in the world, heads of great corporations, those who have made much money, celebrities -- why are THEY seldom happy? Just what IS REAL SUCCESS? You'll find this interesting, I believe -- and HELPFUL!
Then there is a completely NEW booklet -- "Modern Dating -- Key to Success or Failure in Marriage." Dating (courtship), has undergone radical changes in the past 75 years. Has dating become a lost art -- or are the changes beneficial? What about "going steady?" What about "necking?" Pre-marital sex? It's time to come TRULY up-to-date -- with the facts, and with the truth! This booklet gives you just that. Some of the sub-titles: "The Staggering Statistics." "Are Housewives Happy?" "Young Marriages Today." "Illegitimate Children." "Are Today's Teens Really Worse?" "The Teen Influence." "Teen Sex and Violence Worldwide." "The New Morality." "Authority for Morals?"
We know these booklets deal with really vital and basic concerns of everyday living -- and are not pedantic, professorial, academic drivel treating with vague philosophical concepts. Your sons' and daughters' very LIVES are at stake -- and this booklet on dating could just SAVE LIVES from unhappiness and wretchedness, and make them HAPPY! Your own homes and businesses are CONTINUALLY affected by the changing economics of a shaky world -- and you need this down-to-earth, practical booklet on TRUE SUCCESS.
And so do all these additional thousands of new subscribers!
So I hope you will let us send you YOUR free copies. There may, due to the real strain we are under, and the usual clogged mails of Christmas time, be some small delay -- but we're working to get these fine new booklets out in spite of the difficulties.
And speaking of Christmas, that reminds me. In the same issue of Femina, in which one of our new ads appeared, was an article by a Miss Valerie Prestwich entitled "I HATE CHRISTMAS!" She hastened to explain. She said, "Lest I have the entire clergy of the country damning me to perdition because of the above title, let me say that this is not an attack on...Christmas, but rather a plea against its overwhelming commercialism and a stand against the hypocrisy which surrounds it."
She then proceeded to voice the same weary complaints that you hear so many housewives, businessmen, and store clerks give vent to during this time of year.
She marveled that a world so filled with killing and war could pause for a few hours to mouth "peace on earth," and then go back to the business of killing within moments.
She said, "I hate Christmas for all the sham and pretense and hypocritical cant that purrs along with office parties, business soirees, and end-of-the-year gatherings where praise is insincere and promises as unsubstantial as pie crusts come January 2."
This writer felt most Christmas spirit came from a bottle -- and dreaded the commercialism of lot-bought Christmas cards and jostling crowds with pushing shoulders and hungry hands.
She hated Christmas for its soaring accounts, wearing shopping trips, and economic hangover. She said, "Today, in the name of Christmas, we have terrifying grocery bills, tremendous butcher's bills, ridiculous toy bills, frightening florist's bills ... (and are) in the red for six months."
She had a special reason for hating Christmas unique to South Africans and Australians, of course -- that is; it comes at the hottest month of the year!
But isn't it a little strange, after all?
Millions of people will be spending BILLIONS again this year, in the greatest commercial binge ever in history -- to purchase tens of tons of plastic, tin and tinsel; miles of cigarettes in gay cartons; and all the dazzling, jingling paraphernalia of the season -- all in APPARENT celebration of the birthday of CHRIST!
They busily EXCHANGE and TRADE gifts back and forth among themselves -- and usually IGNORE TOTALLY the Person in whose honor they ostensibly purchased the gift! Wouldn't it look a little silly, should you arrive at a birthday party bearing gifts, to find all the guests totally IGNORING the one whose birthday it is, and trading gifts among themselves?
As always, this great worldwide educational effort to get the TRUTH to millions is seriously hampered in many ways. The mails are slowed down, not only with Christmas gifts, but with commercial sales literature. Our income is affected because so many regular Co-Workers give their gifts to other people instead of to the living Christ for His Work.
The frustrated, Christmas-weary mother who wrote the article in the South African magazine didn't mention, as we have in past issues of The PLAIN TRUTH, that Christmas time is always a hugely high crime time -- that suicides take an alarming leap upward because of unsatisfied lusts and disappointed hopes -- or that the accident rate due to drunken driving is many times larger than the kill statistics in Vietnam.
But Christmas rush or not, overwhelming response or not -- those of us in the great worldwide effort to reach the peoples of this world with a life-and-death message of really HUGE importance are continuing to strive to place in peoples' hands the greatest gifts of all; knowledge and truth!
So THANK YOU, for your interest in The PLAIN TRUTH -- because that's what it is, -- and for your patience through any delays!
To make it easy for you to order your copy of these free booklets I enclose an order card and self-addressed return envelope.
Herbert W. Armstrong