"The PLAIN TRUTH"
a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
BOX 111, Pasadena, Calif. 91109
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Editor
November 19, 1969
Dear Co-Worker with Christ:
Just a few hours ago this afternoon, as I write personally to you as a subscriber, I watched a foot step down on the moon for the third time by a human being. I'm writing in my study on our English Campus of Ambassador College.
This second moon landing started a train of thought. That's why I'm writing now.
I simply have to reflect -- HOW TREMENDOUSLY GREAT is the human mind! Not only can it devise and produce the means of flying to the moon -- but think of all the marvelous and intricate mechanisms the mind can produce. Your name and address is one of more than two million subscribers listed on the $2,500,000 computer at the Data Processing Center on our Pasadena Campus. The things that computer can do are almost beyond belief!
Think of It! Man can accomplish all these marvels -- yet he cannot solve his own problems here on earth! This moon landing made me realize, as never before, the REASON for the fantastic growth in the circulation of this magazine!
I felt I simply had to sit down to my typewriter this early evening to tell you about it -- and THE REASON for that amazing growth.
A year ago I told our subscribers that in six months an additional quarter of a million people had subscribed to The PLAIN TRUTH. Then six months later, May 27th this year, I informed our subscribers of another whopping quarter-million subscribers added -- making a half-million new subscribers in one year.
But now, in another six months since May 27th, this year, more than a third of a million new subscribers -- 386,000 -- have been added. The November number had a circulation of 2,136,000 copies. The PLAIN TRUTH today is one of the largest mass- circulation magazines in the world. In just 18 months its circulation has almost doubled -- growing from 1,225,000 to 2,136,000 copies -- with an actual readership of more than six million people!
But the important thing is the REASON!
I stated, just above, that man can accomplish all these marvels, yet he is unable to solve his own problems here on earth! And today people are becoming more and more concerned over these conditions -- their own and humanity's serious problems.
Let me illustrate; while I was watching the TV coverage of today's moon walk, by Apollo 12 Lunarnauts Conrad and Bean, the BBC gave viewers a street interview questioning several people. The interviewer was asking people how much they were interested in the moon walk. The lack of concern was surprising. Most were more interested in personal and general problems of humanity here on earth.
But people are bewildered.
With all his vast knowledge and know-how, man still doesn't know the way to PEACE -- to happiness -- to universal abundant well-being! He could know! Some few do.
But science doesn't know! Nor technology! Government has never brought peace, nor solved individual, national or world problems. Religion has failed utterly to make this a better world. Education has not taught THE WAY! Psychologists can't point the way. Even the experts in the very field of society's ills -- the sociologists -- don't know!
The crying need of this hour is a VOICE that can explain WHY -- that can GIVE THE ANSWERS -- that has the solutions!
And The PLAIN TRUTH is that VOICE!
That is why our circulation is growing so fantastically!
No one of the organized facets of society -- science, technology, industry, government, religion, education, sociology -- is giving the people what they need! All seem to be trying! All are seeking peace! Yet not finding it -- because they don't know the way! These organized facets of society are all trying to give the people better things -- to do things for the people.
But no one of them is helping the people to live better lives! No one is showing the PEOPLE how to solve their own problems! How to stand on their own feet!
For example. A man came to me with a real hard luck story. I knew the man well. He was not a stranger or a beggar. He was a poor manager who was always trying some new scheme that was going to make him rich. His electricity had been shut off, his telephone disconnected. He was three months behind in paying his house rent and was to be evicted the next day. I told him that if he'd go out and get a job that paid real wages before the next day, I'd help him. Of course he hated to give up his get-rich-quick schemes and actually go to work for wages. But necessity drove him to it. I offered no help until he did.
Then did I just give, or loan him the money to pay up all his bills at once? That would not have helped, but would have injured him. That man would forthwith have chucked his job and gone back to his impractical schemes of getting money without effort. I gave him just enough to stall off the eviction and keep his running water turned on (he lived in a city). I told him to go to his creditors, tell them he now had a steady job, he could pay a little on what he owed, could keep up his payments regularly from now on, and each week pay a little on his debt. Of course he thought he had to pay up in full or be evicted. I was sure his landlord would accept it as I offered. And of course he did.
The lesson; I did not do it for him. I gave him just enough to help him help himself. I helped him get on his own feet.
Of course today the facets of organized society are always coming up with some alluring new idea to solve the problems. Actually the new idea proves to be another gimmick that doesn't work.
WHY? Because the human mind contains a spiritual element that confronts mankind with emotional, moral and spiritual problems, yet his mind is utterly incapable of receiving knowledge! The mind of man is incomplete! It has a spiritual content, but was made to need another Spirit! Lacking this, he is confronted with emotional, moral and spiritual problems which his mind -- great as it is -- cannot understand or cope with!
The human mind contains such tremendous capacity it actually seems incredible. Yet it is confined to receiving knowledge solely of the physical -- the material. I will explain this more fully in the "Personal" in the January PLAIN TRUTH.
Stop and think! Look at the tremendous accomplishments that have resulted from the marvelous human MIND! They are all confined to dealing with physical matter, with the use of mathematics, and entirely confined to the material sphere.
But man doesn't understand HIMSELF! He doesn't know what he IS! He doesn't know WHY he is! He doesn't know how he came to be placed here on earth! He doesn't know where he is going -- his true destiny! He doesn't know THE WAY! He doesn't know the way to peace -- to happiness -- to abundant well-being!
But, by the thousands, readers of The Plain TRUTH are beginning to understand some of these BASICS of right knowledge. Lives are being turned right side up. Lives are being enriched. Problems are being solved. They are finding the way to happiness. They are doing better financially -- by the thousands! They are learning better how to handle finances! They are learning HOW TO LIVE!
Look at the situation on college and university campuses today. Students see no hope for the future. So you see protest, long-haired bearded men, unkempt women. Morals are sinking into the cesspool. Students -- entirely too many of them -- are experimenting on taking LSD trips and other drugs. You see marches, sit-ins, violence taking over campuses. Student suicides are on the rapid increase -- now, next to accidents, the number one cause of student deaths!
Then visit one of the three Ambassador College Campuses! There you will see an astonishing difference! You'll see clean-cut, alert, animated young men and women who are actually happy! They radiate good cheer. They know how to smile. You'll be surprised at the absence of Hippie-type students. There is no student or faculty revolt. No protest marches -- no violence. You'll see students of purpose, who know where they are going and are on their way!
A businessman having lunch with me in our faculty dining room, here on the English Campus, noticing the attractiveness, the poise, the happy smiles of the waitresses -- all students -- said, "If I had never met my wife, and were a young man of college age I'd certainly enroll in Ambassador College and begin getting acquainted with those girls."
Well, of course, many young men do just that. Romances do develop. And out of hundreds of marriages of former students who met on an Ambassador Campus, there has, through these years, been only one divorce -- and that one contrary to advice of faculty guidance counsellors. To the best of my knowledge all the others are HAPPY marriages.
In the world today it seems almost no one is helping the people to live better lives! The PLAIN TRUTH is a notable exception. I had intended to quote excerpts from some interesting letters from subscribers who have written us of what this magazine has meant in their lives and in their homes. I think there is now not space. I'll try to put a lot of these letters in an article in a soon-coming number.
But before closing I want to tell you that I have reserved for YOU (no Price -- no charge whatever) a most important, highly informative booklet, titled "FAMINE! ... Can We Survive?" You probably live in a country of affluence, and if so you probably have little awareness of what a THREAT to YOU lurks behind this famine problem. I assure you, IT DOES CONCERN YOU!
Let me give you, here, the first short paragraph in this new booklet; "Inexorably, silently, ominously, the world's greatest single problem is crowding in on us. The population explosion is real -- it is happening right now -- it is going to continue." Then follows the explanation of WHY this book was written.
Chapter one begins with this; "How wealthy are you? How much money do you make in a year's time? Does your family have one or two automobiles? Color TV, stereo and hi-fi? Refrigerator, freezer, electric or gas stove, oven, dishwasher? Do you have adequate food, sanitary facilities? Few on this earth have any of these." This chapter shows that the population bomb is exploding now! Yet most are unaware!
This new booklet is highly illustrated in full color. It is carefully documented, with bibliography. It has been prepared and written by the Ambassador College Research Department, as a public service. It is highly informative. It contains facts every person ought to know to avoid being ignorant on the world's number ONE problem!
It gives the FACTS, and the SOLUTION that will be made, leading to a peaceful and happy world tomorrow!
Then, also, I am reserving YOUR copy of the new revised edition of Garner Ted Armstrong's book on CHILD REARING. This is my son's real specialty -- if he has one more than several others. He practices what he teaches -- and his three fine sons are a living example. He goes into all the teachings of the modern psychologists on child rearing, and gives you the down-to-earth, practical, workable teachings that will produce the kind of sons and daughters all parents hope for. NO CHARGE -- NO PRICE!
Last May I offered all subscribers the attractive new booklet, "This is AMBASSADOR COLLEGE." Many new subscribers are asking, "What IS Ambassador College?" This beautiful booklet gives you the unusual story, briefly, to the point, and gives you pictures of much of the Pasadena Campus, and of other phases of our worldwide activities. Because of its worldwide educational Extension Program, fully explained, unique to Ambassador College, it is, overall, of a size and magnitude equal to many of the world's largest universities. IF YOU DID NOT ORDER YOUR COPY, I HAVE ONE NOW ON RESERVE FOR YOU!
Further, we are now bringing out a new booklet giving the FACTS about smoking. I am informed from Pasadena by Telex that it is now in page proof form, and will go on the presses almost immediately. I do not know the exact wording of the title -- but I'd like you to have a copy, if you desire. And, of course, NO PRICE -- NO CHARGE!
I'm sure you understand WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SELL! This is all a part of the worldwide educational Extension Program of Ambassador College -- and these are sent without any cost to you -- and there will never be any follow-up with anything to sell. There are no gimmicks in our Program.
I do not want to shove unwanted literature on you, no matter how interesting, vital, valuable I know it to be. Therefore I am simply holding these for you, awaiting your assurance that they will be welcome and are desired. These booklets actually and literally are PRICELESS -- you can't pay for yours! I know it sounds incredible -- you never heard of any operation like ours before. But I do hope you'll let me know, in the enclosed self-addressed return envelope, that you would like to have any or all of the booklets mentioned.
One further ANNOUNCEMENT: since The PLAIN TRUTH is a secular, not a religious publication, we are discontinuing "The Story of Man" in The PLAIN TRUTH, and it will CONTINUE, hereafter, in our NEW magazine, TOMORROW'S WORLD. "The Story of Man" is the HISTORY of man, as extracted from the historic portions of the Bible. It is written in a style applicable to all people from five or six years old up to 105. We feel it is exceedingly interesting.
The new magazine, TOMORROW'S WORLD is edited by the Graduate School of Theology of Ambassador College. It is a magazine of Biblical understanding. Not a sentimental evangelical magazine, but it is Biblical. For those who wish to continue the interesting and thrilling story of MAN, we invite you to send in your subscription -- already paid -- to the new magazine, TOMORROW'S WORLD.
Or, ANY who would like such a magazine, you'll find it sound, dynamically interesting, and helpful. Like The PLAIN TRUTH, you can't pay for your own subscription. It has already been paid by others. I repeat, we are totally non-commercial and non-profit. We have nothing to sell -- BUT A LOT TO GIVE!
THANK YOU, sincerely, for allowing us to serve YOU! And why not get that request for the free booklets into the mail immediately?
Once again I am reminded of a magazine article from which I quoted in my letter to Co-Workers a year ago. This article, written by a woman, appeared in a South African magazine. She hated MANY THINGS that take place at the Christmas season. I think just about all people -- if they will be honest with themselves -- feel the same way.
She wasn't attacking Christmas, but the overwhelming commercialism and hypocrisy connected with it. She deplored a world filled with war and killing that will pause for a few hours to say "peace on earth" and then go right back to the business of killing. She hated all the sham and pretense and hypocritical office parties, business soirees where people are insincere. She felt most of the "spirit" of Christmas came from a bottle. She dreaded the commercialism of lot-bought Christmas cards, the jostling crowds pushing shoulders, and the hands always out to get your money. She hated the economic hangover -- bills, bills, bills, come January 1st that sometimes take months to get caught up with.
I marvel myself -- at how millions of people will spend thousands of millions again this Christmas shopping season in the greatest commercial binge of history -- and MISTAKENLY supposing they are celebrating the birthday of CHRIST!
Will you be angry with me if I tell you that I learned THE TRUE FACTS years ago about Christmas -- that 1) It DOES NOT celebrate Christ's birthday, because you can easily prove He was not born even at that time of year! 2) The Bible NOWHERE teaches Christmas observance, but actually condemns it in Jeremiah 10:2-6! 3) Christmas came from paganism, honoring the Sun god and sun worship. 4) The wise men presented their gifts to the Christ Child MANY DAYS AFTER His birthday -- they WERE NOT birthday gifts, but rather, because it was custom to present a gift when visiting a king. And they presented their gifts TO CHRIST -- they did not exchange presents among themselves as people do today -- they gave their gifts to CHRIST! Wouldn't it be more appropriate if people did that today, presenting their gifts in form of tithes and free- will offerings for THE WORK OF CHRIST?
I am not condemning any of our Co-Workers if you believe in Christmas -- just telling you the FACTS and TRUTH I learned some 42 1/2 years ago. I wonder if you would not like to read our special free booklet on the subject of Christmas? It gives you the PLAIN TRUTH about it. I have not offered that booklet, I believe, for some years now. I don't believe the TRUTH really hurts anyone -- do you? Why not request your copy?
I do have to tell you that at this season of the year the Work of the living CHRIST always suffers -- because instead of giving their offerings to CHRIST for the Work which He actually heads, directs, and blesses, they exchange presents with other people, and FORGET ALL ABOUT A GIFT FOR CHRIST!
Dear Co-Workers, I have to tell you, this has been a very trying year in Christ's Work. Last year a substantial part of the money used to conduct this great worldwide Work came in the form of LOANS. They had to be put on our books as demand loans, and that hurt our financial statement. It could have hurt our credit standing, had I not virtually stopped accepting loans and urging our Co-Workers who had loans of larger sums on our books to either 1) Cancel the loan by turning it into a donation (deductible on your income tax) or 2) Changing it into a 5-year loan binding us legally to repay not more than 20% in any one year. I have given my word that with all 5-year loans we will consider it a moral obligation to repay more than 20% -- even up to the entire amount -- if for any reason you find it necessary to ask for It.
Loans are not real INCOME. This year has been a hard year. We have had a normal year in real INCOME this year, but so few loans, compared to last year that total funds made available have gone down from the usual increase.
So -- IMPORTANT! -- now, as we face the final month of the year, I have to make an EMERGENCY request -- a MOST URGENT request -- that every Co-Worker, according as you are able, send in the largest offerings for the Work you possibly can -- and even every week if that is possible. But, IN ADDITION, I have to say to those who have a larger sum not now being used, but which you are not free to give as a donation at this time, I do invite MOST URGENTLY the largest sums possible as LOANS. Please send them as 5-year loans unless they are of small amount.
We are now coming in on the HOME STRETCH for this year -- and even so far as the whole Work is concerned. We may possibly have only two more years to do GOD'S Work which Jesus Christ started in Person more than 1900 years ago -- and which He, personally, heads and directs today!
I cannot set dates. I know that events in the world, the Biblical prophecies, and what is happening in this Work all COMBINE to indicate that time is now VERY SHORT!
Contrast the commercial aspects of this holiday season with THE DIRE NEED to disseminate the vital LIVING KNOWLEDGE of THE TRUE VALUES OF LIFE around this unhappy world!
Remember CHRIST -- the living CHRIST -- at this season.
This year we have REACHED with His Message FAR MORE millions of people worldwide than any other year. THOUSANDS of lives have been turned right side up -- changed -- enriched through this Work this year! More thousands brought to Christ and God's Kingdom -- and baptized -- than any previous year!
This is the MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN THE WORLD TODAY. It NEEDS all the help you are able to give!
The eyes of the LIVING CHRIST are on YOU as a Co-Worker with Him (read Psalm 34:15 and also Psalm 33:13-14, and verses 18-19, and you will realize His eyes really are, this minute on YOU -- He is concerned for YOUR welfare, and He wants to bless you as HIS Co-Worker).
With love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong