Those who knew the late Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA) and are familiar with his Worldwide Church of God may recall Mr. Armstrong’s approach to his organization and all who he encountered. Truly, HWA was sole spokesperson and “Apostle” having an exclusive direct line from God. It is therefore in the truest sense of the word “appropriate” for him to continue to be the sole spokesperson in this satire.
“Oh it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood …blah…. blah….blah…humm… .hum… What have we here? Oh! If it isn’t my old buddy, old pal, how the hell are you, you old son-of-a-gun! Will wonders never cease? Will I wake up and this will all disappear? Hey you over there! Dick! Dick! It’s me, Herbert W. Armstrong. How’s it going, buddy? Haven’t seen you since the last time we had our pictures taken together…..when I was on my tour to preach the word of God, yeah. You don’t remember? You were busy because of Watergate? You don’t remember me? Oh, you do remember me? Great! Not great? It was easier dealing with the Democrats? That’s not fair, Dick. I never broke into your headquarters. You heard someone took over mine at Pasadena? That’s where WHO? got the idea??? Pay off the authorities? Because I persuaded them to give up the receivership you think I paid them off, Dick? Well it worked, didn’t it!!! So what’s the big deal, Dick? Dick? Where’d you go, Dick.? Damn him! Can’t take a little reminiscence of the good-old-days.. what a sore loser. That’s a Republican for ya.
“Don’t speak like that of the dead, you say? Who the hell are YOU to tell me how to talk? Jesus Christ? Damn! It’s you again! What the hell do you want with me, you sandal footed, effeminate flunky? I am NOT arrogant!!! God hates arrogance? So what’s that got to do with me? I’ll meet my match? He who gets the last laugh, laughs best? Stop laughing!!
“I wish you were here, Herman. At least I’d have somebody to talk to who spoke my language and didn’t PULL RANK on me. I’d even settle for a few minutes with the windbag. At least Gerald treated me like an apostle. These old-timers here got no respect for a man of God. Oh shit! Here comes John Trechak again. Hey, John! How were the pork chops? Best you ever ate, you say? Stop laughing, John. I don’t think you’ve very nice…stealing food from an old man. You don’t think I’m very nice either? Nobody likes me. I don’t get any respect. You’ve heard that before? There’s more than one Rodney? One earns his living as a comedian, the other never intended to be, but is a hoot? No RESPECT, John. You don’t give me no respect, or you wouldn’t talk about my right hand men that way. STOP LAUGHING! John! Dammit John.
“Didn’t it ever occur to you people around here that I’m a self-made man? I tried everything to make a living when I was a young man, and it wasn’t easy. Even tried to sell mud for facials. Why do you think it pisses me off when women wear makeup? They wouldn’t buy my beauty packs when they had a chance, so they don’t have to wear that paint on their faces now. I wasn’t talking about Rod. Still another Rod out there? This one wears makeup? Oh that basketball star? What a show off, John. He acts that way because he’s a show off. I’ve out ‘show-offed’ him? What are you saying, John? You think I’m more of a celebrity? Oh, in a smaller circle. Just to the brethren? I’m not a show-off John! I’m God’s apostle. Stop laughing!
“You again, Pete? What the hell do you want. Stealing your title? You’re the real apostle. Yea, and I’m Tiny Tim! The ukulele player who married Miss Vickie, you idiot! Not the little cripple! You’re who you are and I’m who I am? Can’t change that? Take responsibility for everything I’ve ever done? Oh, get a life, Pete! Aren’t you supposed to be tending the pearly gates?
“What a jerk! Can’t get off my back! And who the hell are you looking at me that way? Charles? I don’t know ya, chuck. Dickens? Hum…have we ever met? But I never meant any harm Chuck when I talked about Tiny Tim. I was referring to that 60’s kook with the long hair who strummed a ukulele and sang ‘Tiptoe Through The Tulips’. You want me to shut up my ‘two lips’. Excuse me? You’d like to send the ghost of Christmas past to give me a life review? Hey Chuck, old Pete and his nutty buddy Jesus Christ have been doing that every day. There were lots of Tiny Tim’s left in my wake? What the hell does that mean? Sure I preached that parents should trust God and not doctors, send me their tithe money and not buy health insurance. Big deal! It’s their problem, Chuck. Kids died? Parents died? Just because they refused medical treatment. So, Chuck, what’s your point?
“Loma? Whatda ya know about Loma, Chuck? It was her choice, Chuck, not to get a doctor when she was sick. It’s not my fault she suffered a bowel obstruction and died, even though a simple procedure would have saved her. God let her die. My son? What do you know about my son? Oh, that one. Not many people knew about Richard. My fault? Get off it, Chuck. God’s will. I ain’t takin’ no blame for nobody dying!!! It was God’s will. God was punishing them for not having any faith. That’s the way it is Chuck! Who are all those people out there, Chuck? There’s enough to fill Ambassador Auditorium. Who are they all? Here to see me? What the hell do they want to see me for? Go and see? But I don’t wanna!!! No choice. God said?
“These are all former members and children in the Worldwide Church of God? Howdy folks! Here I AM. HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG. FOUNDER AND APOSTLE OF GOD’S ONE TRUE CHURCH ON THE PLANET EARTH! Oh…the hell you say….this isn’t earth….oh yeah….I heard that the other day…..YOU WHAT? Have all those who died because they refused medical treatment because of my doctrine? So, Chuck, what’s your point? Stop swearing, Chuck. Show me some RESPECT! Whatda ya mean I don’t deserve the respect of a snail? Whatda ya mean I’m a murderer? Have you lost your marbles? I can’t help it if the dumb sheep are too dumb to go to a doctor. You know I had the very best doctors money could buy when I was sick before coming here. I didn’t ask anybody’s permission to get a doctor. I just hired the best! Oh…whose money you ask? Well, out of my salary of course, Chuck. From the church! You criticizing me for using the tithe money these dead people paid to me to pay my doctor bills? Outrageous? Get a life, Chuck. What’d you say? Can’t hear ya Chuck! Too much booing from the crowd. I’m outta here. Gonna have some lunch. Chuck, where’d you go?
“Hey John, wanna go to lunch? I’ll buy the pork chops. Maybe if I buy you some you’ll not steal mine!!! I’m getting the idea? What idea, John? There’s enough for everybody if the hogs don’t hoard it all? They got pigs here, John? Let’s go eat, I’m hungry.”
“Those sure were good pork chops, John. We’ll have to do lunch again sometime! Now be honest with me, John…was that really bullshit you were feeding me the other day? Oh, you would never do such a thing! It was only brown bread in the shape of a cow pie…what a relief, John. You’d never shove bullshit down anybody’s throat like I did? That’s not nice to say, John. Not nice at all. I was just feedin’ the flock, ha ha. Just feeding the dumb sheep.
“Did I tell you John, that I met Charles Dickens the other day? Yeah…he was really pissed off at me for what he referred to as the Tiny Tim fiasco. Brought all the folks together that he said died because of my doctrine against medical treatment. What a wimp! He even talked about my son Richard. You know, John, I didn’t cause the car accident that Richard had. I didn’t cause him to go into shock. And I didn’t allow him to have the injection that the doctors in the emergency room said would bring him out of shock. I don’t know where anyone got the idea that I had anything to with his death, John. It was the will of God. I just did not intervene in God’s will, John. Oh, you heard about this from Pastor MaGee? What else did he tell you, John. John? Who’s that with you now, John? I’ll be a son of a bitc………..RICHARD! You won’t let me shake your hand? But son, I’m your father!!!! How dare you call me such names. You are to HONOR your father and mother, Richard. HONOR!!!!! Whatda mean I haven’t a clue what honor is? You ungrateful mouthy little son of a…..
“Oh who cares anyway. I’ll just mosey on over to this little park and see what all the excitement is that’s going on. Hum….that black guy looks familiar….oh, I recognize him now. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights guy. Wonder what he’s up to…I’ll see if I can get closer to him. I don’t ever remember having my picture taken with him, but maybe I can weasel my way outta this mess if I kiss up to ’em. Oh! Listen to that! He’s just had an audience with God and asked that his grandchildren be spared. From what I wonder. I can’t hear him very well. He doesn’t want Herbert W. Armstrong and Joe Tkach reincarnated as his twin granddaughters??? He’s gotten a special dispensation from God for all the civil rights work he did on earth and his request has been granted. Well I guess that saves my ass too! I’ll have to tell Joe when I see him. I don’t think he was too enthusiastic about the idea either.
“Oh there’s Joe….Oh Joe, did you hear the news? We aren’t going to reincarnate as Martin Luther King Jr.’s twin granddaughters after all. God let us off the hook!!! The rest of the story? No Joe, I didn’t hear the whole thing. What are you talking about? You’ve got to be kidding!!! Mike Tyson and who?
“I don’t like this place, Joe!!! Who are those kids with you? They were in the Worldwide Church of God when I was still in charge? Hi girls, do you know who I am? I’m Herbert W. Armstrong, God’s apostle and founder of His church! Stop that! Stop spitting on me! Where’s the security guards? Get these little wenches offa me!!! Whatda ya mean they lost their lives because they couldn’t have appendectomies? Died of burst appendixes? And you say it was my fault? Oh that one lost her hearing because of a mastoid infection that went untreated? Like I said, Joe, I had nothing to do with it. It was God’s will!!! Those people didn’t have enough faith that God was going to heal them and THAT’S WHY THEY DIED. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, JOE!!!! Joe? Where did you go?
“You think you’re disgusted!!! I just come here, not even of my own free will, and all I get is flack! Flack! Flack, flack, flack. What a bunch of idiots, blaming me for all their problems. I don’t get no respect. I don’t even get to eat my pork chops when I call for room service, Trechak jumps the gun on me. I’m sick of this. I just want to go to the World Tomorrow and get the kingdom set up. I just want all my boys back workin’ for me…
“No, I was just talking to myself! Who are you? Tiny Tim? Where’s your ukulele, bub? heh heh heh. You look just as dumb in that long hair as you did on TV, Tim. How do you think God feels about that long hair, man? Don’t you know God hates long hair? Who? Jesus Christ? Naw, his hair wasn’t long, that was just a lie. Believe me, Tim. Oh you know for a fact that Jesus Christ had long hair? Still does, you say? Oh I can’t win ’em all, Tim. Didn’t mean to insult you, Tim. I should tiptoe through my own tulips and stay out of your garden? Whoops! I didn’t realize I was stepping on your flowers. Whatda ya mean that at least your fans got what they bargained for and you never claimed to be song bird! NO! I AM NOT A BIRD OF PREY!!!! Whatda ya mean I ain’t no bird-o-paradise? A VULTURE? Damn you, Tim. Just damn you. Stop laughing.
“I don’t know what this place is coming to. I just walk around looking for headquarters and I meet up with the damdest people. All I’ve done is mind my own business and all I get is flack! Flack, flack, flack!!!! I hope they were kidding about having to be born again to Mike Tyson and some babe, that sounds like torture to me. Can’t I at least be white. What about my autobiography? I’m descended from King David’s seed. I’m heir to the royal family and the British branch of Israel. Doesn’t anybody know who I am here? Oh, you do, huh John? Yeah, and you tattle on me at every turn! Oh you wouldn’t do that if the truth was in me? John, you know damn well that I’ve always told the plain truth! John! Stop laughing. Get up, John! Tim gets mad when you flatten his flowers!! John! Quit rolling on the ground! Damn him!!! He’ll get me in trouble all over again! I outa here….”
“Well, well, well!!! Who do we have here!!!! My right hand man twice removed!!! If it isn’t John! John Robinson!!! How the hell are you John? Haven’t seen you since you left the nest!!! Aren’t I meaning the web? Naw John, I mean God’s church, the Worldwide Church of God! No, John, it isn’t a tangled web. It’s the one and only true church on the face of earth! Whatda ya mean it’ll get untangled on the worldwide web? I think you’re nuts, John. It’s not the worldwide web, its the worldwide ch……oh you heard me the first time and I should listen to you? Ha ha John! Whatda you know that I could give a damn about??? I’m the apostle! God talks directly to me!!! I should have gotten an “Oscar”? How nice of you to think that highly of me, John! Because I put on a pretty good show? Fooled a lot of people into believing a tangled web of lies? Now, John, that isn’t nice! You should respect your elders. That isn’t nice to say, John. No, just because I’m older doesn’t mean I’m wiser. But I’m a not a senile old fool! Whatda ya mean its better than being called a diabolical, evil, murdering, narcissistic, egotistical old fool!? Shut up, John. You’re talking to ME. Remember WHO you are talking to!!! Whatda ya mean you know and you’re not the senile one! Damn you, John.
“What are you doing here anyway, John? Give up selling books? Oh, you haven’t given up selling books, you’ve passed the baton! I’ve heard that story before! Joe Tkach told everybody I was passing the baton to him and all he did was take over the position of God’s apostle when I was too weak to stop him! The only thing I’d pass to him is gas…….Whatda ya mean I expelled enough hot air to pollute the whole planet? And that’s why you wrote a best seller John? Delusional? Who me? John, if anybody is delusional it’s you. I’m the apostle here, not you and anytime I call on Jesus Christ, he’s right here to…….see, John. Howdy Jesus Christ! Got new sandals? Those old ones look like something the cat dragged in, har har……..Hey Jesus, this is my old friend, John Robinson from Tulsa. John, stop denying that we’re friends! Whatda ya mean you thought you were in hell when you saw me? Whatda ya mean I preached a gospel contrary to Jesus Christ? Hey John…..Jesus…..where are you going without me? Damn it!!! Fair weather friends!!!
“Oh John Trechak….too many John’s if you ask me……hi John. You’re the best friend I’ve got here. Whatda ya mean I’m pretty hard up if that’s the case! You’re only hangin’ around to write another issue of the Ambassador Report. Damn you, John! Stop Laughing!!!! Let’s go for breakfast…Whatda ya mean they’re all out of pork chops and we’ll have to eat pancakes? I’ve always dined ‘high on the hog’, John. Heh, heh!!! Whatda ya mean some hogs are pigs, John? Hey John, who’s the pretty lady over there? The one with the big smile and sooooo tall? Diana? Princess Diana. Oh, John, she’s my relation. Didn’t you read my genealogy in my autobiography? I’m a descendant of King David who is the ancestor of the family on the British throne and I’m a thirty-second cousin thrice removed, John…..John……..John! Get up off the ground and quit rolling around!!!! It isn’t THAT funny. A lot of ’em believed me!!!! Oh, Jesus Christ!!! You again!!! You’re the true descendant of King David? You think I’m full of what????? Oh, Jesus Christ! I never thought you’d say a thing like THAT!!!!
“Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Princess Diana. I’m Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, and God’s one and only apostle of the twentieth century. You won’t shake my hand, young lady? Its been in places you wouldn’t touch….clean up the mess I made?…..heir to the Devil’s throne? I make Charles look like a saint? Chuck who, missy? What the dickens? You back again? Chuck? Whatda ya want with me? We’re going were? You got permission from whom? Do a little past life review? Oh shit! Here we go again! Bye Diana. Look at that! She won’t even wave. Didya see that, Chuck? She spit on the ground where I was standing. What a wench!
“Where are we, Chuck? Pasadena? Why do you want me to look at all these Christmas decorations? Whose house are we in? This is what year? When I was Pastor General…..no Christmas here….no presents…..deprived children of their childhoods…..what’s this?? A woman lying on a bed? Sick and won’t go to a doctor because of my doctrines…….she’s dead, Chuck? Those are her little children that are crying? I don’t like it here, Chuck….lets get outa here…..where are we now? This place stinks, Chuck…..who are these old people sitting around in wheel chairs……..why are they screeching and reaching for me, Chuck? They’re the ones who I cheated out of their homes and they have to live in squalor? Why should I give a damn, Chuck. They’re nothing but ignorant fools!!! I want to go home……who are these people in my home, Chuck??? They don’t belong here! Where’s my good China? My expensive crystal? My ……… God …….. Chuck … …….everything’s gone. And if I don’t repent then I’ll have to live where??? And never be with God? No joy? No love? Nothing but misery? I don’t like it here, dammit Chuck!!!! Let me outa here!!!!!!!!!!
“Oh, we’re back to this, are we, Chuck….Chuck? Where’d you go Chuck. Damn him. Gets me all worked up and then disappears like Hoodeeny! And howdy-ho to you too! Who are you? I called? Whatda ya mean I called? Said your name? Yeah, so what? That was a summons? Oh, I don’t know the rules here? Better learn them or I’ll end up with some weird visitors? Whatda ya mean by that? Trickster? Worked magic? Mind control is like magic? Can trip a trigger and somebody goes into trance? You want to learn how I did that? Who-deenie? I never did that….never told a bunch of lies. Never preached…………….oh, you know better because you heard of me a long time ago. Braggart? Arrogant? Self Centered? Mean? Don’t you have anything nice to say to me? You don’t? Then shut up!!! You want to put me in THAT THING and make me disappear? Where do I go if I disappear from here? Whatda ya mean, Born again? Damn it!!! Is that all anybody can ask me around here?
“Cheap tricks? So you think I took lessons from some magician and…..oh…so you figure I did more than just Bible study in those six months in depth study I brag about…..most people spend not six months but six years or more in Bible study…and I thought I was an expert…….learned a bunch of crap and wove it together into a magic spell and hypnotized my audiences? Totalitarianism? Tyrant? Hitler buff? I studied Adolf Hitler, you say? You sure know how to say nasty things about an old man! I’m God’s apostle and God gave me the instructions…….aren’t buying it?……we have a visitor?…….called his name and he’s here? Oh Shit! Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Adolph. How the hell are you? Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ!!! Jesus Christ? Where the hell are you when I NEED YOU!???”
to be continued…