for the Benefit of Members and Ex-Members of the WCG
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The Deceitfulness of Herbert W Armstrong
When I came into the
Worldwide Church of God (then "Radio Church of God") in 1968, one of the
booklets which had caught my attention was The Proof of the Bible. Many
Worldwiders will remember this convincing little publication produced by Herbert
For decades, it performed a valuable function of pointing out some of the
biblical prophecies which have come to pass, and which could never have been thought up
and performed by human beings. What certain OT prophecies predicted, and which centuries
later came to pass with stunning accuracy, were proof that the Bible was not the product
of the mind of man.
But, what Worldwiders were not told was that the contents of this booklet were stolen
by Mr Armstrong from another publication produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Their version was entitled David Dare by Earle Albert Rowell, and contained words
and phraseology which was almost identical in many places to the one Herbert Armstrong
ostensibly wrote! Armstrong adapted Rowell's writing, and put his name to it. He didn't
give Rowell or the SDAs any credit.
Besides being dishonest, it was deceitful of Mr. Armstrong to then claim that God had
revealed these things to him a claim which was oft repeated
in the WCG to support HWA's alleged apostleship. He maintained that he was "God's
apostle on earth" that he was the only one to whom God was revealing
such things, so he was God's mouthpiece to His people.
Many believed him. I did too at the time. I was only 18, naive, and inexperienced. I
had no way of checking out his claims. Only much later was I able to come across others
who were being used by God, and when I compared "notes", I realised that what
Armstrong was putting across was a "con". He was cleverly getting acclaim for
himself by what he was saying.
Much later, the WCG withdrew this booklet. They said that it contained inaccuracies,
but they did not tell members what those errors were! Perhaps there was an ulterior
reason, too, why it was 'killed'!
It may have been Tony Badillo who first revealed in The Rising Star the real
truth about who wrote The Proof of the Bible. Like me, Tony was a one-time member
of the Radio Church of God. He left many years ago after he learned the truth about HWA's
trickery. [This information was reproduced later by a group of ex-WCG folk in England in a
small paper called Reunion News. I reproduce what these sources revealed on this
subject in a paper which is available from the address at the end.]
Other Work HWA Plagiarised
The Proof of the Bible was not the only publication HWA created by
plagiarising the work of others!
It has been shown that the booklet Has Time Been Lost? which HWA produced for
his church, was identical in many respects to one which the Church of God (7th Day)
produced. It even had the same title!
Tony Badillo asks: "Page, after page, after page, the two booklets read almost
exactly alike!.... The question is: WHO COPIED WHOM?"
The answer is revealed in a letter from Attorney William F Reynard, in Denver,
Colorado, dated 25th October 1965 to Robert Coulter, of the General Conference of the
Church of God (Seventh Day), a Sabbatarian group Herbert Armstrong was once affiliated
with, before he was dismissed in about 1931.
A photocopy of that letter is available [see address at the end]. It stated that the
original Has Time Been Lost? was produced by the Church of God Publishing
House without a claim of copyright placed upon it. Thus, it could be reproduced, but
not copyrighted. However, Armstrong reproduced its contents so precisely that it "was
next to an exact copy of the earlier pamphlets of the Church of God Publishing House"
and then sought to secure the copyright! Armstrong had no right to claim copyright for his
'version' since it was not much different from the original which he plagiarised for his
Not only Has Time Been Lost? but several other writings of other authors were
used by Armstrong to bolster his self-image. He even claimed divine revelation from God
for many of these aspects of Bible knowledge and understanding! He had the gall to
appropriate the works of others for his own glory, claiming God had directly revealed such
things to him!
He gave not one ounce of credit to the authors whose work he 'ripped off'! That was
utter deceit, arrogance and presumption! Those traits are not fruits of one who is a
servant of God, but of one who serves himself!
Tony Badillo was perhaps the first to learn about, and be willing to expose, Herbert
Armstrong's deceit. He gleaned information from another former Worldwider, Richard
Tony Badillo wrote:
Who became known for teaching the following?
1) Saturday is the Sabbath. 2) All the annual holy days of Leviticus 23 are to
be kept. 3) Seven church eras. 4) Tithing. 5) The "proper" name of God's Church
is the Church of God. 6) Easter and Christmas are pagan. 7) Man doesn't have an immortal
soul. 8) The annual holy days foreshadow God's plan. 9) There's only one true Church. 10)
Avoid eating unclean meats. 11) Electing church officers is forbidden. 12) Avoid singing
"protestant" hymns. 13) The British are Israel, etc.
Who taught these things first? It wasn't Herbert Armstrong!
ANSWER: G G Rupert.
Tony Badillo revealed this:
"Rupert (1847-1922) was publishing his writings in the Church of God's
Bible Advocate magazine long, long, before HWA ever came along. Historical researcher
Richard C Nickels states: 'Holy Day and British Israel teachings among the Church of God
(7th Day) did not originate with Herbert W Armstrong in the 1930's. Such ideas had been
presented to (and rejected by) the Church of God leaders in the early 1900's through
Rupert and his Remnant of Israel.' [p. 17 Analysis of G G Rupert and his
Independent Church of God (7th Day) Movement.]
But how can this be? Doesn't HWA claim that he did not receive the Gospel from
man nor was he taught it by man? Doesn't he claim that he, too, like Paul, received it
directly from God? And another question: What does this do to HWA's 19-year time-cycle
theories? According to HWA, the Philadelphia era started when the Church of God (7th Day)
rejected his British-Israel and (later) his Annual Holy Day views. The question is: WHEN,
WHEN, WHEN were such views rejected? Certainly not when HWA says so, for this can be
proven beyond doubt by looking through old issues of the Remnant of Israel.., and
the Bible Advocate! "
Nickels notes: "But Rupert was no ordinary writer. His articles in the Bible
Advocate on the Holy Days are amazing. A N Dugger, the editor, allowed these articles
to be printed.... Stanberry never accepted the Holy Days but was given a convincing
presentation of them in 1913 by G G Rupert!" No wonder that there are eye-witness
accounts of employees finding boxes of Rupert's works stashed away in HWA's basement.
NOTE: HWA apparently acquired his initial British-Israel views from G G Rupert's writings
but later fine-tuned his views when he plagiarised J H Allen's publication Judah's
Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright.
HWA wrote The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy but his
'research' was not original, as he made out! He took credit in the eyes of many
Worldwiders for this work, yet, he had gleaned it from Rupert, and also J H Allen's book Judah's
Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright. Allen wrote his work in 1902, thirty years before
HWA's 'masterpiece'. Armstrong "ripped off" Allen's work!
Not only was it deceitful of H W Armstrong to plagiarise the writings of others and
claim they were his own, but it was doubly deceitful to then claim GOD had revealed such
things to him, and to him alone!
These are the tricks of a man devoid of the Spirit of God and guided by demons! The
devil was a deceiver from the beginning. Do you want to follow deceivers? I hope not.
Malcolm B Heap
N.B. We are unable to reproduce here all the illustrations which prove that HWA
plagiarised others' material. The complete illustrated article is available from the
address above. When requesting printed material, please make a contribution to cover our
costs. Thank you.
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