To Set The Record Straight

The credibility of the WCG is at issue again. The WCG published two sets of differing member numbers in the same January 2008 edition of Together.

Some of the numbers are consistent between the two versions, such as in the following table collated for Ambassador Reports from Together. WCG does claim these consistent membership totals within the article:

WCG Membership

Canada.................... 4,476
Latin America...............757
New Zealand................183

Together claims no new WCG congregations for the UK, France, or Germany since 1995. But some selected new congregation plants supposedly founded since 1995 number: Bangladesh-12; Italy-8; Kenya-28; Zambia-15; Mexico-4; Canada-4; Philippines-23; and the United States-23. Adding up these congregation plants from all areas, the WCG claims 194 new WCG churches or small groups began since 1995.

But some of the claimed membership numbers differ widely in the same issue, between a pdf spreadsheet and a web page report. Take the UK and Europe for instance. This area is a region where membership ought be counted with reasonably reliable accuracy.

In the web page Together version, the UK has 1,467 members total. In the pdf Together version, same issue, the UK membership has shrunk down to only 871 members. That's 596 missing members in the UK! How can the WCG lose 596 members - more than forty percent of the UK church vanishing- in the same issue? Hmmm....

The European numbers in the industrialized countries also differ. Switzerland, for example has 143 members in churches in the pdf version, but shrinks down to 79 members on the web page version. Belgium has either 23 members in 1 church or 36 members in 2 churches. Take your pick. Germany has 6 churches with 163 members or 5 churches with 157 members. Italy 132 members or 114.

By the time all the Together article differences are accounted for in Europe, Europe has either 2,535 WCG members, or might be downsized to 1,980 members. A substantial difference on the record, perhaps amounting to losing 555 members, or downsizing 22 percent on paper, this of course depending on which figure is correct!

Then there is Africa. African membership numbers, interestingly tend to be rounded. WCG memberships are rounded off by country to even numbers, ending in zero: 350, 350, 900, 500, 200, 200, 450, 400. The rounded country totals just listed were for Angola; Cameroon; Congo; Ghana; Liberia; Madagascar; Nigeria; and Rwanda respectively. Zimbabwe has 399 members. Can't Zimbabwe demand a recount or find just one additional WCG member for an even 400?

South Africa has 771 members, 25 congregations and 9 new congregations on the web page, while the pdf version shrinks South Africa to 696 members, 19 congregations and 3 new congregations emerging since 1995.

All of these nice, rounded figures help make up for an even number African total of 6,600 members. That rounding really helps out when Tkach is trying to prop up a touted worldwide membership number of no less than 34,500 WCG members in 911 established congregations.

But 34,500 is not high enough a number to square with Tkach's claims of 43,000 WCG members. The numbers quoted in Together are based on average weekly WCG attendance. The article says, "But since not every person attends every week, the number of people who attend regularly is higher." That's why the WCG inflates the number of members quoted up by 24 percent, or by an additional 8,500 members. So irregular WCG attendance accounts for why Tkach inflates these 34,500 members listed in Together into the 43,000 figure he quotes for worldwide membership. Regardless of the real number of WCG members, you can bet your bottom dollar by law none of them has yet voted to retain Tkach's Jr.'s services either as lifetime worldwide Pastor General of the church or as the well compensated, all expenses paid president of the California WCG corporation.

It is difficult to believe in the accuracy of these contradictory, over inflated WCG membership totals, so reminiscent of the story of Pinocchio. How much more difficult then, is it for anyone to believe Tkach's unaccountable financial reporting shenanigans from Glendora.

The Story of Pinocchio


purplehymnal said...

Whatever the numbers, they're low enough per congregation, to indicate Junior's holding on by his eye-teeth -- and hopefully signals the demise of the church in the near future. Junior wants them all to wait until he's got his retirement package settled nicely of course, which accounts for the numbers-fudging.

Now! All we have to do is sic the real counter-cult organizations (not CRI) on the various splinters, and we'll be set! The world will be free of Armstrongism, for once and for all!

And I've a really lovely bridge to sell you............

nelson said...





Stan said...

The allegation you refer to is that a former senior accountant at Oral Roberts University alleges that more than US $1billion annually was inappropriately funneled through ORU. Trent Huddleston claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that he discovered an "unrestricted" account used to funnel "unusually large" sums of money through the university each month _ which would exceed US $1billion on an annual basis _ that was not used for any legitimate university purpose. University spokesman Jeremy Burton dismissed any wrongdoing, saying the allegations had "no basis in fact." John Tucker, an attorney for the university, said the petition appeared to be "grounded in fantasy." Of course, similar things were said about Watergate in the beginning, but that doesn't make these ORU allegations true. Huddleston, who was hired in 2006 and spent 15 months at the school, said he was discharged because school officials feared he would reveal that the account existed.

If there is any substance to this allegation by Huddleston, it may be well worth pursuing. It may be difficult to find out the truth about this alleged ORU account, even with the government asking the questions. You can bet it caught the eye of Mort Green who is now on the ORU board. As far as I can tell Green is a "straight arrow" who is trying to clean up the place, if such a thing is possible. Richard and/or Oral Roberts may have stashed plenty of cash and valuables aside in advance in various places in the event either might be ousted from ORU.

These evangelical churches and colleges raise so much loose cash it is a perfect setup for an undercover money laundering operation, especially with long range jets to smuggle contraband in and out of the country. There could be rolls of WCG cash, bank accounts and valuables in safe deposit boxes or hideaways still out there, anywhere in the world.

Money laundering is another good reason Tkach Jr. should explain to the church's satisfaction what happened to the WCG financials after Armstrong died in 1986. Even GTA was able to covertly get money out of the church corporation for Ray Wright to secretly pay attorneys to investigate the WCG-Rader corporate structures and self-dealings going on.

Until Tkach publishes these WCG financial operations in detail, his salary, and gets himself elected to his job, he will continue to have severe credibility problems as a ministry leader.