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Co-Worker Letter – April 16, 1979

Herbert W. Armstrong Box 431
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:


FEBRUARY 7, 1979



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.

BROWNE: Right.

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 …

WALLACE: Chodos.

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 of other brethren, and there’s a transcript and it was taped. He [the receiver] fired Mr. Armstrong, appointed Wayne Cole as the new head of this Church and with that Mr. Armstrong was able to crush the conspiracy. The next day, he disfellowshipped them. In his own language to the entirety of the Church.

WALLACE: You say he fired Mr. Armstrong?

RADER: The receiver fired the head of this Church. A man of alien faith, a totally alien faith.

WALLACE: When you say ‘alien faith’ …

RADER: Not of the same faith.

WALLACE: Jewish?

RADER: Makes no difference. He was not a member of our Church. He came out here and fired the spiritual head of this Church and then turned around and anointed Wayne Cole.

(Cameraman cues)

WALLACE: The Attorney General says that California has the right, indeed has the duty, to protect the assets of a charitable trust.

RADER: He says much more than that, Mike and I’ve promised the congregation of this Church that I’m going to make him eat every one of the words. He has said the property of the church belongs to the State. He has said the Church belongs to the State. He has said the Church has no rights, the brethren have no rights; the Church doesn’t even have a right to defend itself.

WALLACE: I, I, I didn’t understand him to say that. I understood him, correct me if I’m wrong, I understand him to say, look, afterall, these are monies given by other people for charitable purposes. If we believe that these monies are being expended for other than charitable purposes, or dishonestly, or foolishly, then, we, under the California book law, have the right to step in and say, ‘Wait a minute, let’s find out where this money is going.’


The object and purpose of this Church of God according to Constitution and Bylaws says in the very first paragraph: in order to carry the great commission of Jesus Christ, to preach and publish the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations as a witness. That is the main purpose of the whole Church. And that requires the expenditure of money for:

  1. radio broadcasting;
  2. television broadcasting;
  3. magazines, booklets and other means in print;
  4. personal evangelism, even around the world into all nations.

The Church was established in order to do those things, which requires the expenditure of money.

RADER: Mike, that isn’t what he has said. What he has said is so shocking that if he hadn’t said it, we would not have been in such a good position today. The statements that he made, twice in state court, once in federal court have brought the brethren of the Church closer together than ever before and closer to God because this irresponsible member of the State Attorney General’s office has stated, and I repeat it, that the Church and its property belong to the State of California. The Church has no rights in the property, doesn’t even have a right to defend itself. That is what he has said and I repeat it, he’ll eat every word of it.

WALLACE: In courts, he has said this?

RADER: He has said that, and if I have misquoted him in any substance or form, let him sue me.

The entire court suit, it seems to me, is centering on whether we are expending funds for the PURPOSES for which we incorporated. That’s why I had those PURPOSES included above in this letter – to proclaim the Gospel to the world, by radio, TV, print, personal evangelism. When we have expended the smallest amount of money of ANY DEPARTMENT IN THE WORK, ON OUR BUDGET, for proclaiming Christ’s Gospel Message around the world by my personal evangelism, they try to MISREPRESENT that as siphoning off money for my own pocket. Perhaps I will have a steward on our jet plane write an article of what he actually SEES me and Mr. Rader do on trips around the world. We are busy every minute. I am writing articles, letters, or proclaiming THE GOSPEL on my typewriter on the plane, in my hotel rooms almost every minute I am not out preaching to big crowds in Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, India, Japan, Thailand, Holland, South Africa, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Philippines (many times), Costa Rica and many other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America.

Am I too old? Am I “senile”? Who else do you know at near 87 years of age who in one year turns God’s Worldwide Church around, rooting out the dissidents, the false doctrines, being used of GOD to set His Church BACK ON HIS TRACK? IT IS NOT I WHO DOES IT – IT IS GOD using me as His instrument. God brought me back to life from complete heart failure and death, in August 1977 FOR A PURPOSE. That PURPOSE is to FINISH proclaiming His Message around the world – to be used in setting His Church back on His track – and in leading you brethren of His Church into a condition where you are finally PREPARED, and MADE READY, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but HOLY – the Bride of Christ who shall have made herself READY! I will have MUCH MORE ABOUT THAT to write you or say to you later.

Brethren, we need right now to TAKE ADVANTAGE of this tremendous publicity, and run FULL PAGE ads in many metropolitan newspapers, in TIME, in NEWSWEEK, in TV Guide (double pages or 4- page inserts there), and also Reader’s Digest, beside such overseas publications as Der Spiegel in Germany, and others.

But the truth is, we do not have the money – such full page ads cost a lot of money – but produce a MASSIVE IMPACT on many MILLIONS of people!

I want to run full page ads with headlines like these: WHO IS LORD? CAESAR OR CHRIST? and, JUST WHAT IS THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD? And WHY is it suffering so much PERSECUTION?

And many other big-space ads with such headlines – showing that, of all the many religions of the world, and sects or denominations in “Christianity” we STAND ALONE in knowing and proclaiming, “WHAT, and WHO is GOD?” No other Church knows! Again, “WHAT is the true Gospel that JESUS CHRIST BROUGHT TO EARTH?” No other Church knows!

BRETHREN! We, and we ONLY, have these precious TRUTHS of GOD! I want now to begin proclaiming them more powerfully than ever to the world!

I have many plans I will announce later.

God’s Work is GOING FORWARD now, as never before IN SPITE OF PERSECUTION!


The need is VERY great! PRAY as never before. Continue sending all tithes and offerings to me at the TUCSON address. A whole team of people from the Mail Processing Department have been moved here. That part of the Church operations, because of these heinous unconstitutional attacks, is now conducted AWAY from Pasadena. But the same tried and proven and loyal workers handle it, and we are GETTING CHRIST’S JOB DONE. GOD IS NOW STARTING TO MOVE HIS WORK FORWARD IN MIGHTY WORLDWIDE POWER!!

With deep love, in Jesus’ name.

Herbert W. Armstrong