It’s a funny thing about money and success. If you have it, you flaunt it, and spread it around to those who sing your praises, then you’ll always find “loyalty” within your following.
Herbert W. Armstrong had the power over his cult-masters because Herbie had the money. He had the money because he had the control. He had the control because he continued to spread fear and perpetuate ignorance. And he got away with it all, lived in luxury, and crippled all opposition, because those at the top and those who might have changed Worldwide Church of God history for the better, never had the courage to go up against Herbert W. Armstrong’s formidable ego, his arrogance, his filthy temper, or the money machine that Herbert W. Armstrong had established and so rigidly controlled.
To keep his upper echelon disciples happy, he just gave them more. In essence, they were “bought off.” Before long, those benefits became too precious for any cult-master to give up. They were hooked. That also goes for the wives.
From time to time, administrations changed at the WCG. When a new administration entered, there was the usual jockeying for a favorite position so that the current beneficiaries could continue to receive all the favors that they so luxuriously enjoyed before – at the member’s expense, of course.
When Joseph W. Tkach entered the picture, many fell into disfavor, and all their expensive “perks” stopped. With only their salaries remaining, many decided it would be far better to actually become another Herbert W. Armstrong. They loved the power he had. They loved the money he worshiped. And they loved his sumptuous lifestyle. So, why not become another Herbie? In that way, they controlled ALL the money, they too could then have the power, and be worshiped like dead Herbert. Naturally, most of these dingle-dorfs figured that the church people would follow them. Since it didn’t happen that way, they started to sweat a little. Please remember, many of these cult-masters had lived in luxury with phenomenal expense accounts for years. The good life had been theirs, and now, it was all gone. Joey had it all.
Now, the lust to be another Herbie really hit the fan. Like their hero they all had to promote themselves as the one and only “God’s true servant,” and thus (it must be inferred), all the tithes must be sent to them, and them alone. “Would a man rob God’s latest apostle?”
No doubt, many had envisioned themselves as sitting as the chief pontiff, apostle, chancellor, and treasurer-in-chief of the only branch of “God’s” work. Naturally, there would be their own colleges following, and more homes for these pontiffs. In those colleges, they could then brainwash, mold, and send out a “new-improved” set of loyal, Worldwide Church of God+ androids who in turn would help brainwash a new membership, and point them to the most recent pontiff. The work would (naturally) grow at 30% per year, and they could go on TV, smiling, become celebrities, be worshiped, and with smooth words, they’d bring in the people and bucks. Or so they thought.
With all those megabucks flowing, they could now sit back a little and figure that since GOD LOVES QUALITY, why shouldn’t God’s “anointed” enjoy some of this wealth too? And so the purchases would begin. New artwork and opulent treasures would be discretely purchased and hoarded, money would be squandered, travels to foreign and corrupt dignitaries enjoyed, the upper echelon would splurge with their unlimited expense accounts, and the whole shitbox would start all over again. And the membership would be paying for it.
It’s a tribute to anyone who can have wealth and keep a level head. But for the HWA imitation cult-master it can be a heady experience. These clowns are not living cheaply, or surrendering their homes and future incomes for “the work.” Their lifestyles are well above the average persons level, and the duped membership is still patiently giving out their hard earned money in order to obey the obsolete Mosaic Law.
Judging from these cult-masters fruits, many still operate on the lower frequency end of the spiritual spectrum, as from what we’ve been told, many haven’t changed their spots since the days of the WCG. Many have become a lot worse.
In the old days of the WCG, the older folks knew Herbie to be a opportunist, while the younger group (like me) couldn’t yet see the criminal activity that was damaging so many lives.
Now days all you can hear is the cult-masters talk about money. They want money and lot’s of it. They even pray that someone like Bill Gates will be ‘called’ and shower them with that money. As they say, we need money to “increase the works effectiveness”. In the end what the members buy into is new campuses, a affluent lifestyle for the leadership, and a huge bill for the extravagant expense accounts that the leadership covets.
Armstrongism has always found a way to annihilate a person’s personality, individuality, will, and character. His legacy reaped a whirlwind of destroyed marriages, damaged children, and destroyed lives. Then there is the alcoholism that is so rampant in these organizations. This is not the alcoholism that we see within society where we have people homeless and living on the streets pushing a shopping cart. No, rather, it is a particularly recalcitrant form of alcoholism where the social order is compiled upside-down so that the dregs on the bottom become the scum on the top.
Will the membership ever learn?