WORLD NEWS UPDATE 16:30 PDT: Hamas Officially Ends Two Year Truce With Israel.

WORLD NEWS: Last night and on Friday a heavy exchange of bombing and rocket fire took place between Israel and Gaza.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: This post ends with the death of Herbert Armstrong.  That does not end the series which will continue with the next post being on the development of the Liberal Evangelical movement within the WCG.  It may surprise you to learn that the roots of the Joe T apostasy began in the early 70′s. Joe did not accomplish his changes alone!



Stanley Rader, who still considered himself to be a Jew, was baptized into the Worldwide Church of God by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1975 using a hotel bathtub in the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.

This move allowed Stanley Rader to reposition himself as a high-ranking church evangelist in 1978, in an attempt to quell misgivings by many in the ministerial hierarchy, who felt that Rader’s undue influence was troubling.

Ted’s downfall began when he fired Rader and changed advertising agencies from one owned by Rader to an independent agency.

HWA had agreed to Ted’s proposal in early ’78 to hire a new advertising agency (other than Rader’s) and to separate the church HQ from the College by placing the college (AC) in Big Sandy, and the WCG HQ in Pasadena in order to be accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) as that was a problem (according to Ted-”Origin” pg 51) related to the desire of HWA to call Ambassador a coeducational institution while being under strict control of a hierarchy. WASC would not okay that. If the hierarchy was to be maintained, there had to be a separation of church and college. Student freedom of choice is imperative in a coeducational environment.

These moves by Ted in their power struggle prompted a Rader counter attack in informing HWA of Ted’s sexual sins, and feeding such information to the ministry and brethren, forcing HWA to take action against Ted.

In 1978 Stan Rader won the power struggle with Ted Armstrong and Ted was ousted from the WCG.

In his September 20, 78  co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong hinted that his life might soon be coming to an end (due to a heart attack in 1978). Within days, it was announced that Rader had been ordained an evangelist along with Joseph Tkach and Ellis LaRavia. Leroy Neff, another proven Rader loyalist, was also elevated to evangelist rank a little later.

A staunch Rader supporter. Kevin Dean was ordained a local elder. The Rader ordination shocked many WCG ministers. A few, including Fred Coulter, resigned over it.

To replace Ted, Rader then recommended and had HWA place his lieutenants, Joseph Tkach and Ellis LaRavia in high positions to control the ministry.

An interesting sub plot in the power struggle equation was Ramona Martin.


To seize full control of the church Stan recruited his secretary Ramona Martin to court and marry the elderly HWA.  Ramona 40 years his junior and coached by her boss, knew the way to Herbert’s heart.

In 1977 HWA, then in his 80′s, married Ramona Martin, then 38, a long-time member, divorcee and Rader’s secretary who had a 15-year old son from a previous marriage.  At first she played coy and refused to marry him unless he allowed the use of make up and she required him to move to Tucson, Arizona.

Herbert then reversed his makeup prohibition and agreed on the move; not understanding that this was a carefully laid plot by his friend Stan Rader.

Arizona has the most liberal laws in the United States regarding the declaration of persons as senile or incompetent and when HWA learned that Ramona was planning to have him declared incompetent and placed in a Nursing Home, in collusion with Stan; he immediately fled back to Pasadena and declared make up a sin, and suing her for divorce in 1982.

That ended the Honey Moon with Stan Rader; who’s “heir apparent” role from 78, ended abruptly in 82.

[Please take note of the dates involved as the Receivership [1979] takes place during the intervening marital years.]  The divorce was later granted n 1984.

Right after the Ramona affair, Aaron Dean replaced Bob Fahy as HWA’s personal assistant.


Refusing to give up the fight, Ted Armstrong backed a few other members/ex members of the WCG in filing a complaint with the California Attorney General’s office regarding the financial manipulations of Stan Rader in the WCG.  Joseph Tkach  also had connections to the complainants, Shirley and Earl Timmons.

C Wayne Cole, HWA’s representative in Pasadena rushed to Tucson for instructions when a receiver was appointed and took over the WCG in 79.  Herbert told Cole that they had nothing to hide and instructed him to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Upon hearing this Stan Rader rushed to Tucson and convinced HWA that he was being personally attacked and should fight back.  Then, armed with HWA’s new instructions; Rader returned to Pasadena and Cole was fired for being faithful to his instructions in cooperating with the State as per the scriptures and HWA’s instructions.

Rarely has any loyal man been so unjustly dealt with.

Stan, empowered to lead the fight by HWA; then removed those WCG leaders loyal to doctrine and placed his own trusted lieutenants in charge of the ministry to fight the receivership.  It was this political intrigue that Rod Meredith fell victim to, when he was forced out by Rader through HWA to a six months leave of absence.

First Roderick C. Meredith was removed as director of the WCG’s ministry. Then all WCG evangelists were stripped of their rank. The hierarchical structure of the ministry was reorganized with Joseph Tkach,  and Kevin Dean, were  elevated to top positions under HWA. (Both Tkach and Dean were proven Rader loyalists.) The board of trustees was purged of anti-Rader trustees (Meredith and Luker). (Raymond McNair remained, as he was now in the Rader camp.)

Rader then fought will all his might to prevent the receiver from exposing  his financial activities.  To the shame of the brethren in the WCG, they allowed themselves to be led contrary to the scripture into fighting the state authority which was working to protect them against such evil.

They, without knowing it; were misled into supporting and defending the very person who was destroying the WCG and its “work”.  The shameful thing is that they were doing this contrary to the scriptures which teach submission to the law of the land  insofar as it does not conflict with the law of God; they were defending a person who was stealing from them!

I confess that I myself was deceived into supporting the church against the state; not understanding the situation at the time.  If I had only been faithful to God’s biblical instructions; No deception would have moved me.  I learned a powerful lesson during those years which is why I am writing this history now as a lesson and help in the present situation.

Do not listen to men when they go against God’s commandments!

Eventually the state was convinced by Rader to back off; through alliances with the Roman Catholics and many other religious groups that the WCG considered pagan.

This is a pivotal event not just because it proved how gullible and how quickly the people could be turned against their doctrine, but it was also the launch point for the take over by Joe Tkach.

While the law suite was launched by friends of Joseph Tkach;   Joe then fought the hardest  against it and earned the gratitude of Stan Rader/HWA who made sure to reward him for his efforts.

When the dust settled after the receivership and the HWA/Ramona divorce in 82; Both Ted and Rader were history and Joe Tkach was IN.

Tkach then began consolidating his position by flattering the aging HWA who was getting slower and slower at understanding the situation; which he had never really understood anyway [having had his head turned by flatteries].

Tkach also began to set his supporters in key jobs, or winning support from those in such positions in preparation for the changes to come.

From the FOT ’85 and on, Tkach and Aaron Dean were in complete control of the WCG as HWA faded away.

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