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A New Leap Forward In Publishing
The Plain Truth – November/December 1982
A New Leap Forward In Publishing

from Herbert W. Armstrong

As Ambassador College, Pasadena, opened its doors for the 36th consecutive year, I was moved once again to recall the amazing growth of this Work.

Few realize the magnitude to which this worldwide Work of God has grown. It is now a major-scale educational program worldwide. Actually, the Work started in 1934 with just me and my wife Lorna.

The college, with an undergraduate curriculum and students in residence on campus, was founded later in 1947 with four students and a faculty of eight. Today there are two campuses and about 900 students.

The sun never sets on our offices, plants and operations around the world. Our full-time staff is nearly 2,000 and its expenditures into the multiple millions.

It is the intriguing story of making the missing dimension in education available to millions of people. It is the success story of something never done before – of a huge educational enterprise worldwide - seemingly incredible, yet an accomplished and living fact. And I didn’t build or accomplish it. No man could!

Here, in brief condensation, is the story from its beginning.

I had experienced an uncommon early training in business, in the specific field of journalism and advertising. This led to catching the vision of the missing dimension in today’s education.

I had toured the United States as “idea man” for America’s largest trade journal to search out ideas successfully used in business and in community development and social welfare. I had pioneered in surveys, by personal interview and by questionnaire, obtaining, tabulating, analyzing and classifying information on business and social conditions.

Through this intensive research covering many succeeding years in my own advertising business, I was being tremendously impressed with the unhappy fact that even in the affluent United States there was a tragic dearth of peace, happiness and abundant well-being.

I was aware also, of course, of the sickening conditions of poverty, ignorance, filth and squalor, starvation, disease and death in the lives of more than half of all the earth’s population - in many areas of Asia, Africa, South America - not to speak of some areas equally wretched in the United States and parts of Europe.

But WHY? To me it didn’t make sense. For every effect there had to be a CAUSE. I didn’t know the CAUSE. Nor was it revealed through education. Then, at age 35, I was challenged and angered into an in-depth study of evolution and of the biblical account of special creation. I studied the writings of Darwin, Lyell, Huxley, Spencer, Haeckel and Vogt. I researched into scientific evidence for or against the existence of God. From all sources, I found absolute proof, to me, of the falsity of the theory of evolution. And I found, of all places, in the Bible the ANSWER to the question of all the world’s evils.

I learned what it seemed neither science, education nor religion had discovered: there is in living, inexorable motion an invisible spiritual LAW that regulates all human relationships. I learned through this the cause of all world ills. The living, but invisible, spiritual law is simply the one WAY OF LIFE that is diametrically contrary to the way humanity has been traveling.

It is the way of love instead of lust, the way of giving, sharing, serving and helping, instead of the way of taking and accumulating in lust and greed. It is the way of outgoing concern instead of incoming selfish desire. The way of courtesy and consideration instead of envy, jealousy, resentment, bitterness, hatred. The way of cooperation instead of competition. The way of humility and exalting God, instead of vanity and exalting the self. The way of God-centeredness, constantly expanding one’s horizons, instead of self-centeredness, shrinking one’s horizons constantly inward.

I found revealed what neither science, education nor religion had seemed to find there or to know the PURPOSE being worked out here below - the REASON why human life was placed here. I learned WHAT man is, WHY he is, WHERE he is going, and the WAY to this transcendent potential, of which educators, scientists and theologians seem wholly unaware.

I found revealed the fact that the very foundation of education to fit one for happy and successful living is being totally ignored. That foundation is awareness of the purpose of life, knowledge of what man is, recognition of the true values as opposed to the false, and knowledge of the WAY which is the CAUSE of every desired effect. That knowledge is the dimension that is missing in today’s education.

This new knowledge resulted in a series of lectures in and near Eugene, Oregon, in the summer and autumn of 1933. Response was spontaneous. Later, an invitation followed to speak on radio station KORE. Frank Hill, the owner, suggested a weekly program expounding this MISSING DIMENSION on his station. Thus, the first week in 1934, the World Tomorrow program was born.

The World Tomorrow was designed to assist and educate those seeking positive answers to the “unaskable” questions presented by today’s tumultuous world conditions. It presents timely and challenging commentary on chaotic international relations and insight into world affairs. The analyses and answers to today’s world conditions offer a message of hope for those who desperately seek a better tomorrow.

In keeping our listeners abreast of important world events, the World Tomorrow television staff members have, over the years, traveled far and wide to achieve on the scene coverage. Firsthand information and opinions are gained through personal, in-depth interviews with world leaders and those making tomorrow’s headlines.

One month after the World Tomorrow broadcast was born, The Plain Truth, on February 1, 1934, made its most humble bow - an 8-page, mimeographed “magazine” printed by use of a borrowed typewriter on a mimeograph, the use of which was donated by the local mimeograph sales agent. I was the compositor, Loma D. Armstrong ran the press - by hand - and she kept the mailing list by pen and ink.

That first edition consisted of approximately 175 copies. The total cost of the stencils, ink and paper was probably less than $2.

From that almost infinitesimal beginning the publishing operations have greatly expanded. We are now taking a new leap forward with this issue. All English-language newsstand and subscription editions that have been 32 pages will expand to the full 48-page subscription editions regularly received in the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. And beginning January, 1983, those international editions of The Plain Truth that have appeared one month later than the U.S. and Canadian editions will now appear the same month worldwide. To make possible this publishing of the magazine the same month worldwide, we have combined in some countries the November and December issues. Our next step, hopefully by the middle of 1983, will be the appearance of full 48-page editions in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Meanwhile, our reader response is continuing to grow. On our Pasadena campus alone, 3,300,000 letters were received in the past 12 months and personally cared for by our staff. In one single day more than 50,000 letters were received. In the last 12 months our postal center employees sent out 48,000,000 pieces of literature in the United States alone. The scope of our work makes us one of the largest mailing operations on earth.

If the reader has opportunity to visit in person one of our campuses or foreign offices, he will experience this activity in its true dimensions. So remember, if you have an opportunity to visit one of our campuses or offices, you are welcome.