The Plain Truth please - Did Herbert W. Armstrong lie about Worldwide?

Now that we have covered the reformed bylaws of the Big Sandy Church of God in some detail (see By Law! below), perhaps a closer look a the bylaws of the Worldwide Church of God California corporation might be in order. If Worldwide has an inspired set of "God's auditing procedures" to uncover tithe theft and fraud, would there not also be a set of divinely inspired bylaws, let us say, bylaws handed down on Mount Sinai - in a manner similar to when Charleton Heston received the stone tablets under thunder and lighting in the movie The Ten Commandments?

A brief aside: I was fortunate enough to meet actor Charleton Heston several years ago in a reception line at a meeting in Alexandria, Virginia. He was one of the most gracious, personable, and friendly persons I have ever met. It was almost as moving as his dramatic portrayal of Moses at Mount Sinai in The Ten Commandments, but in an entirely different way, of course.

Back to the Plain Truth about the bylaws. A couple of questions that demand an answer:

1. Did Herbert W. Armstrong break the bylaws of his own California religious corporation in falsifying a required quorum vote of 5,051* by RCG members for renaming to WCG and then lie about it?

2. Did Pastor General Armstrong, by filing a falsely sworn corporate document with the state, in fact commit criminal perjury?

Over at Ekklesia you'll find a number of most interesting organizational and historical documents related to the Worldwide Church of God, including a copy of the 1946 Articles of Incorporation Armstrong filed with the California secretary of state to create a California religious corporation. When the Tkach family took over, the Tkachs made major changes to their church corporation's organizing documents to their liking; legally portraying the 1987 changes made as just a mere "restatement" of the corporate articles, to avoid what would likely be a vexatious vote by the members, who might not support them for life.

You will also find a link entitled "1968 HWA Commits Perjury with Church Name Change" which states, in part:

"2. That at a meeting of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS of said corporation, duly held at 363 Grove Street, Pasadena, California, on January 5, 1968, the following resolution was accepted:

RESOLVED: That ARTICLE I of the Articles of Incorporation of this corporation be amended to read as follows :

"The name of this corporation shall be WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD."

3. That at a meeting of the MEMBERS of said corporation, duly held at 363 Grove Street, Pasadena, California, on January 5, 1968, a Resolution was adopted, which resolution is identical in form to the directors' resolution set forth in Paragraph 2 above.

4. That the number of members who voted affirmatively for the adoption of said resolution is 5,051*, and that the number of members constituting a quorum is 2,500.

(Signed) HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, President"

* No meeting was ever held for members to vote on this change. Best evidence available indicates the officers commited perjury with this document."

In this case, it is unimportant what the name of the church is from a purely legal (meaning not religious) standpoint - it could be anything imaginable. What is crucial that the church corporate officers properly followed the required church voting procedures to change the name of the corporation from Radio Church of God to another, following proper notice, and other due process voting procedures found in the corporate bylaws. One due process protection would be having enough members present to form a quorum to cast a vote. Without that, the vote would not stand. Corporate officers and directors have certain minimum statutory, fiduciary duties to uphold the bylaws of the corporation, such as following required notice and balloting procedures to cast a vote. The problem is, the entire member vote mentioned in the board of directors resolution of the church corporation filed may have been completely falsified by Herbert W. Armstrong!

Can anyone out there please explain how this Church of God member vote might have in fact occurred, at about that time, according to the official bylaws regulating votes within the church corporation?

Are we to believe that more than five thousand members voted for the name change from Radio, and today no one remembers voting for Worldwide, or any member quorum meeting about the subject?

Where was Roderick Meredith that day - what was his role in approving this corporate vote - and what does Meredith know - about this corporate board meeting at 363 Grove Street, Pasadena, California, on January 5, 1968, when the perjured resolution in question was accepted?

Ambassador Reports would be interested in finding out if anyone has a legally sufficient, sound explanation as to why Herbert Armstrong did not criminally perjure himself in filing these false corporate documents with the State of California.

Questions to Bob Thiel: As you are an apologist for Armstrong, Ambassador Reports would be interested in hearing if you have any facts on how the 5,051 members noted allegedly voted for this 1968 resolution. Where did this vote occur? How were the votes counted? Prove Armstrong didn't lie, falsify and perjure himself about this church member vote.

Questions for Roderick Meredith: Were you sitting as a director on the Radio corporate board at this meeting Jan. 5, 1968?
Can you then explain how the mysterious 5,051 thousand member vote is in fact legitimate and proper, in supporting your own director's vote, in favor of the board resolution your own boss may have falsified?

If anyone has memory of the voting procedures - on the name change resolution Armstrong filed with the state (or any member votes for that matter), or how Armstrong did not commit criminal perjury by signing and filing this corporate document with California. please comment if there actually was such a vote. Get get Herbert W. Armstrong off the hook - otherwise, with no vote, Herb's proven to be a lying, perjured crook!


DennisDiehl said...

I can barely read this small font. Please enlarge it a bit. It's very distracting.

Stan said...


Sorry for the fine print.

Thanks for the heads up. Enlarged the small font and changed to a new template, but there is plenty of room for improvement on the visual aspect. Hope this helps for now.


Questeruk said...

Hi Stan,

I made this comment on Ambassador Watch, thought I would copy you in here, as this is where the info originated from:-

I do remember when the name change happened.

It was announced casually in services – ‘Oh way the way, did you know that we have changed our name. We are now the “Worldwide Church of God”’, followed by bits about it better reflecting our ‘worldwide work’.

Had I been asked, I would have definitely voted for the change, as I considered attending something called the ‘Radio Church of God’ an unnecessary embarrassment, so Worldwide was a definite improvement.

I would have been a non-runner for voting anyway, as (1) I was not baptised at the time, and (2) I was living in the UK, so obviously would not be consulted on such matters.

I don’t know what did happen. Assuming that a meeting did not take place, probably the reasoning would be – ‘If we did hold a meeting, and everybody knew what HWA wanted, they are all going to vote for the change anyway, so why bother having a meeting’. That was the impression I had of how things were often done. i.e. ‘This is God’s Church, so we don’t need to bother with “worldly” rules and regulations’.

Of course I could be proved wrong, but I would be surprised. Incidentally, I wonder why it is not stated how many voted against the resolution. Do we assume not a single person dissented?

Questeruk said...

Excuse my typo above.

It was years ago, but I do remember it being put across in a particulary causual way. I think that ‘Oh by the way, did you know that we have changed our name' was word for word of the way it was annouced.

I am fairly sure the person doing the announcing was John Portune, who was on the faculty at Bricket Wood. I notice Albert J Portune was the secretary on the document. Wasn't he John Portune's father? And didn't they leave because they were not happy everything was being done as it should?

This only occurs to me at this moment - could this be the reason he put it over in such a causual way, perhaps even without realising it himself? That he had chatted with his dad, and knew the way it had happened?

This is pure specualtion on my part some forty years down the line, but it would make sense to an approach that did feel slightly strange at the time, strange enough for it to stick in my memory.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely amazing that you are wasting your time with this.

Questeruk said...

Yes, falsifying documents is fine, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

@ I notice Albert J Portune was the secretary on the document. Wasn't he John Portune's father? @

Brother, I believe. JP was Radio Stdio manager at BW

Anonymous said...

Since 2000 some was supposedly a quorem...and 5000 some voted...it that to say that there were only 5000 something members in RCG at that time? Seems to me there were a lot more than that by then.

I was a teen at that time but also remember the Sabbath that the name change was announced. I would have to ask my dad if there was ever a vote among members, but I sure don't remember any talk about any such "vote".

Interesting thread...a "few" years too late

Anonymous said...

Albert J. Portune signed the Worldwide amendment after Armstrong did. As corporate secretary, he would have to know about the 1968 bylaws, quorum meeting and the 5,051 vote.

Is he still around?

Baashabob said...

I remember the change also, and it happened just like Questeruk said. It was announced after the fact.

We know that legally speaking we were not members. Only the ministry were considered members, and voting was a no-no back then. No one remembers a vote because we were never asked. Even if "members" refers only to the ministry there is still a big problem. As far as I know, there have never been over 5,000 ministers in WCG even at its height. Counting ministers wives still would not bring the numbers up high enough.

PS: As long as you are making adjustments to the web-site, how about putting a button next to that movie of the UCG Texas property, so that we can shut it off. Visually, it is very distracting.

Stan said...


The WCG UK has separate incorporation as a registered charity.

The corporate bylaws specifically refer to the church Association which is at the top apex of the WCG pyramid over the church all around the world.

It is Armstrong's church Association bylaws at the top of the apex - which we have so far been unable to obtain from any source.


Stan said...

"Only the ministry were considered members, and voting was a no-no back then."


The definition of a typical local church member in the WCG and a WCG member with voting rights in the corporation with a vote such as the one in question has changed over the years.

It is difficult to say exactly how the definition of a voting member has changed over the years. Tkach keeps the bylaws of the WCG church Association a well-kept hidden secret, just as Armstrong wrongfully did.

Without further information, it is difficult to imagine any scenario where a member vote of 5,051 is lawfully taken and accepted by the board of directors as legally valid.

Without consulting an Envoy, I believe Meredith was a director on the board in 1968. Who else would have been on that board in January, 1968 when the vote was taken?

The reason why I emphasize Meredith is that as a director he would be in a position to know and explain the 5051 member voting procedure to clear the matter up as well as get Herbert "off the hook" for perjury.

Officers and directors have a legal duty to obtain board meetings regularly, obtain sufficient information to do their job properly, exercise appropriate care, and make necessary inquiry when called for.

Unless there is a piece of the puzzle we are missing, Meredith should be able to explain how a vote of 5,051 was taken with the members adopting the resolution which he personally voted to accept as a WCG director January 5, 1968.

Anonymous said...

"In this case, it is unimportant what the name of the church is from a purely legal (meaning not religious) standpoint - it could be anything imaginable."

Uhh, how about "Age of Aquarius Church of God"?

When the moon is in the seventh house....

Hey, at least it sounds better than the Radio.

The Third Witness said...


Your site has always been eminently readable, but the enhanced visual legibility is a great improvement! (I always think the Holbein picture is a nice touch, too.)

And thanks for your relentless pursuit of "the plain truth". It's certainly not "wasting your time" to try to get some of these facts straight - not to mention helping to separate facts from opinions and hearsay (which, while sometimes interesting, would not advance anyone's case very far in the real world). Some of the implications of these particular "questions of fact" are potentially of enduring relevance.

I'd better sign off at this point, as too many Spokesman Club speech titles are popping into my head now...


Anonymous said...

That was an eventful month:

Jan 23, 1968 - USS Pueblo was stolen by North Korea and they've never given it back.

Jan 31, 1968 - Viet Cong launches Tet offensive against South VietNam