The Big Whopper!

What was HWA’s biggest whopper?

Seeing the remark by Reichsleiter Goebbels, and remembering the line on lies from Mein Kampf, I wondered, What was HWA’s biggest whopper?
He did like to repeat things – The Two Trees, Give and Get, 1900 years, his unique “training”; disregarding any doctrinal concoction, what about himself personally – something repeated, something said for a reason, something of which the truth was known only to himself, or to very few.

What about “Loma’s dream”? On its own, not really significant. That he was revealed the truth “by no man”? We know how HWA understood “revealed” –  as John Kiesz observed, it can mean reading an article in the Bible Advocate, checking the proof texts, and he was “revealed” some new truth. Perhaps “I was never a member of the Church of God, Stanberry, MO or Salem, WV” – he could have a esoteric definition of “member”. “I never tried to steal members from other churches” – some methods of siphoning off members may not be considered “stealing”. There was the car steering wheel incident, the story of his son Richard’s death, and many other tales vary in significance and veracity. I’d first like to consider something earlier – HWA the business tycoon.

An article in the Ambassador Report, Herbert Armstrong – Man on the Move, summarizes HWA’s accommodation situation during his affluent years. Where did all his supposed wealth go? It certainly wasn’t put into personal real estate, nor into good investments, as he was wiped out even before the crash of ’29. Why would he want to exaggerate his success? The same reason as his business failures – it is part of the “proof” he was called. In later years, the “early success” story was repeated, with alleged income always given as the current equivalent value.

Another repeated story is Loma’s bible study with Ora Runcorn that proved the Sabbath, and HWA’s challenge to refute it. It is possible that the “Sabbath challenge” may have been fabricated, but I’ve only read anecdotal evidence for this. From some WCG accounts (of the Tkatch Jr era) HWA went searching for religion, and encountered Andrew Dugger, a few years earlier than Loma’s bible study. Bill Dankenbring wrote that HWA was inspired to turn to religion (as a source of income) when he met a Seventh-Day Adventist minister who lived in a fine home paid for by his congregation’s tithes. It was also stated that HWA turned to writing and selling religious tracts. If these accounts are in any way true, it makes more sense that HWA needed a good cover story for his transition from failed ad man to religious con man.

The Sabbath challenge adds a nice touch  – even HWA’s critics mention it without question. And it is not unique in WCG history, appearing from time to time along the path from William Miller, a non-Sabbatarian adventist, up to COG-Seventh Day.

And I certainly wouldn’t deny the time spent in the Portland Public Library – others have documented that the library’s card catalog showed a good selection of resource material that could have “revealed” a lot of “truth”. And as for HWA’s unique training – yes, I doubt if any other church leader on earth received his training at Portland Public Library.

2 Replies to “The Big Whopper!”

  1. That is the real problem with the narcissist: How much can you trust when he’s talking about himself?

    But here’s a better question: If you know a man is a narcissist, why would you listen to anything he says?

  2. HWA’s teaching’s are the “precious” to his followers. Unable to see through to the truth of the man and the real legacy the scum bag made for himself.

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