|Autobiography of Herbert W Armstrong - Volume II
September 28, 1970 — April 12, 1971
September 28, 1970 Dear Fellow Co-Workers:
I'm writing you from 38,000 feet, over a desolate portion of Australia, en route from Sydney to Singapore. With two other officials in this great Work, we are on a very important round-the-world trip.
I have said for some time that the big world news from now on will be centered on and around Jerusalem. We haven't been getting full details of the present Middle East crisis in Australia. And because I'm so far away it is necessary to write this letter about a week before you will receive it ....
Events of the last few days could be leading into a chain reaction of events that would threaten immediate world war. Such a war could — except for supernatural intervention by the "unseen Hand from someplace" probably would — blast all human life off the earth ...
A day or two ago, the United States fleet in the Mediterranean moved quickly to the eastern Mediterranean, ready to fly large numbers of Marines, probably parachute troops, into Jordan. The guerillas threaten to kill all Americans, and destroy all American property in Jordan if the U.S. intervenes. Of course the principal reason the U.S. forces have moved up close to Jordan is to block the U.S.S.R. from moving in, as well as to be poised for any emergency. Meanwhile the Israeli forces are on instant alert as of September 23.
This is a serious world crisis. It could explode into a world war at any moment.
Meanwhile, we must put on the pressure, and speed up the great Work the living God is doing through us, for it is yet far from finished. Since we cannot know how much time we have left, we are laying long-range plans for ten years ahead — in case we may be allowed that much time — but also we are planning to speed up the Work as fast as funds allow, in case we may have no more than fifteen months or so remaining.
Now about the present trip ....
From England we flew on to New Delhi, capital of India. A conference had been arranged with the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi (daughter of former Prime Minister Nehru). However, she was at the time in Nairobi, in Africa, attending the Congress of Unattached Nations. So Dr. Singh, secretary to the President of India, V.V. Giri, arranged for me to visit the President. Even he was away at the time, in Bangalore, in the far south of India. We were entertained at a luncheon at Dr. Singh's official residence. Arrangements were made for us to fly to Bangalore, en route to Singapore. The President's personal car, with the presidential flag flying at mast in front, met us at the Bangalore airport .... There we had a nice visit with President Giri. I presented him with a small gift, and a copy of the college students' yearbook, The Envoy. He, in turn, presented me with a large photograph of himself, in a handsome silver frame with his special presidential monogram at the top. President Giri promised to come to Pasadena to speak before an assembly of our students. I have devoted my next Personal page in The Plain Truth to our visit in India. You may read the rest of it there.
Mrs. Gandhi had expected to see us, and I was told that if we could remain or return on the 18th, we could have a meeting with her. However my own commitments did not allow, and so we were invited to return in December.
At Singapore, we visited a number of top officials. The Prime Minister was in Europe, but while he was away the second in command was the Minister of Education. He already had a copy of our booklet This Is Ambassador College, and I presented him with a copy of The Envoy ....
At Singapore I was invited to be the speaker at a Rotary Club luncheon. I was followed by a very brief speech by a prominent local member, head of one of the colleges. I was surprised to hear him say he was a subscriber to The Plain Truth, praising it highly, telling the local Rotarians they should all become subscribers. I am also writing an article for The Plain Truth about Singapore.
We have just visited our offices in Sydney and our printing plant there, and we also flew over to New Zealand to see our office, and staff, there ....
While in Sydney ... we were able to host a reception in a private room in our hotel last evening. Present were about thirty executives of radio and TV stations, newspapers and magazines. One local newspaper had given us a rather bad image in Australia, and at this reception I was able to speak to all these executives for about twenty-five minutes, completely correcting all the misconceptions that had been given out by an uninformed hostile newspaper. Handling things in this manner is very vital to this great worldwide Work. Last evening's reception was of untold value of the Work.
Just now we are flying back to Singapore. I was to have had a conference with the President of Indonesia, but he was in Europe when we were in Singapore. So arrangements were made to see him tomorrow, at Djakarta, the capital of Indonesia. We preferred to go back to the same hotel in Singapore where we were a week ago, and just hop on over to Djakarta and back tomorrow — it's a short distance by our jet aircraft from Singapore.
Today is Wednesday. Friday I have a conference set up with the President of the Philippines, at Manila. Then Saturday night we plan to fly across to Hong Kong, where a meeting is arranged with the Governor General. From there on to Tokyo. I have been informed that at Tokyo Prince Makasa, brother of Emperor Hirohito, has invited ... me, with his wife and my daughter who are with us, to be dinner guests of the Prince and the Princess, his wife. I am to address a group of some 300 college and university professors, which the Prince is arranging, while in Tokyo. Plans are now developing for the opening of our Work to reach the Japanese people ....
I am especially grateful that we have been provided with our own jet aircraft, for I could not make these important commitments otherwise. I have before my seat on the plane a built-in bookcase with an electric typewriter that lets down. I can write as we fly. It is my office in the skies. I arrive fresh and alert, but on smoke-laden commercial planes I have always been very fatigued at destination after long flights ....
It is certainly providential that I have been invited to meet so many world leaders, and heads of state in so many nations that are of prime importance right now, with world conditions moving as they are. I have sought none of these meetings, yet the invitations come. They are aware that through our media of The Plain Truth, our broadcasts, telecasts, etc., we reach and influence into the hundred millions of people worldwide, and it is significant that I have been given favor in their sight. Naturally they want to favorably impress me, for they know I am going to write about our meetings.
Co-Workers, I think this gives you an idea of the tremendous progress of the Work. As world conditions worsen rapidly, heading on into the grand smash climax that will end this age and this society, this Work is speeding up, as never before, to get the job done, before it is too late ....
We cannot know, now, just how much more time we have. But this we do know — we must get back of this great Work to our utmost, as never before! Our great reward is not far ahead, now. And in the meantime getting the job done is all that matters!
Thank you for your prayers — fervent, earnest prayers — and your interest and sacrifice.
October 28, 1970 Dear Fellow Co-Workers: returning from Sydney, Australia to Djakarta for my conference with President Suharto, of Indonesia. An appointment had been set, but he was unable to see me until the following day. On that following day I had an appointment with President Marcos of the Philippines at his palace in Manila. I felt it incumbent on me to keep that appointment, and so was unable to wait over in Djakarta.
I had an important meeting with President Marcos. And while in Manila, President Suharto tried personally to reach me by telephone to arrange a meeting the next day. Prior commitments did not allow time to fly back down to Djakarta. Result, I am now scheduled to meet General Suharto the middle of December.
In Tokyo we met Dr. Binyamin Mazar, Director of our big archaeological exploration in Jerusalem, and also Professor Werblowsky, of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is professor of Comparative Religions. They were invited with us to the dinner hosted by Prince Mikasa (brother of Emperor Hirohito), and his wife and daughter. Next day, at 2 p.m., we met the Prince at the palace grounds. He took us first to the palace office building, where a number of candid camera shots were taken. Then to the beautiful new palace, completed since I was there two years ago.
Then at 4 p.m. I addressed a group of the very top professors of several Japanese universities, arranged by Prince Mikasa. The professors invited were those whose principal area of interest is the Middle East. All were greatly interested in archaeology. After I spoke, Dr. Mazar showed them many slides of our archaeological project.
In my talk before them ... I mentioned the following:
About 150 years ago, leaders of science decided the human mind was so near perfect that society could safely discard its swaddling clothes, throw away the "crutch" of religion, and reliance on God. Science had come to the place it could deliver the world from all evils. Given sufficient knowledge, science could solve all problems, they believed. So gradually moral and spiritual values were dropped. Colleges and universities began putting emphasis solely on the intellect, and instruction in the professions, technologies, and sciences. World Wars I and II shot moral and spiritual values to the cesspool.
As scientists and educators added to the world's fund of knowledge, the world's troubles and evils increased. During the past ten years knowledge doubled — and likewise, troubles and evils have doubled in the same decade! Today world-famous scientists are frankly frightened. It is now possible to erase all human life from this planet. Human survival is the number one world problem. Scientists and heads of state say publicly the only hope is a super world government, and at the same time admit its utter impossibility ....
I told them how, if we are to place credence in the Hebrew Bible, the entire fault in the production of knowledge took place in the Garden of Eden, in the account of the "forbidden fruit," or the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." The Creator had set in motion an invisible but inexorable law to cause every good result. That invisible spiritual law is the cause of all good. Its transgression is the cause of all evils. When Adam took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he took to himself the divine God prerogative of producing the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Rejecting the revealed knowledge of God, and disobeying that Law revealed by God, man became an adversary of God, and always has tried to decide for himself what is right and what is wrong. All his knowledge production has been of the way of life that transgresses that cause of all good. Consequently his knowledge production has brought only evils. As knowledge increases, so do the problems and evils.
I told those scholarly professors that they are betting their very lives on the existence of the Creator God, and His soon supernatural intervention in world affairs, to save humanity alive. No one sneered or jeered. Those high-ranking professors were sobered. They know world conditions. They knew what I said made sense — it was the truth.
Afterward, Prince Mikasa talked to them for some fifteen or twenty minutes, saying some very nice things about my address.
Co-Workers, this new turn of events throwing me personally into direct contact with heads of state of many great nations is highly significant. It is a door through which God is, I feel, using me to get His warning message to the leaders of nations. It is an additional signal of the fast-approaching end, and the soon coming of the living Christ as King of kings, setting up the government of God to rule all nations.
World conditions are worsening as never before. You know that! This great Work of God must now leap forward as never before! ...
Tokyo, Japan - February 27, 1971 Dear Co-Worker with Christ:
I have just returned to my hotel from a forty-five-minute audience with His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan. Last Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Okinawa. I had gone there at the suggestion of Prime Minister Sato of Japan. It may well be called one of the trouble spots of the world.
When I was here in December an anti-United States riot occurred there on the day of my arrival. Okinawa is the principal U.S. military base between the U.S. and the Vietnam war. Entire island is under U.S. military government. Some 800,000 Okinawan citizens are Japanese people. The whole government is scheduled to revert back to Japan next year.
I interviewed the Japanese Chief Executive there, Lt. General Lampert, who is High Commissioner and President of the University. I also spoke at a banquet there to some thirty-five leading citizens and their wives. I will say to you what I said to them:
I am now completing my third round-the-world trip in six months. Everywhere I find troubles, high tensions, frightening evils, problems that governments cannot solve!
In Jerusalem I had a long talk with Mrs. Golda Meir, the Prime Minister. She explained the high tensions between Israel and the Arab nations — they are merely in an armistice. Actually the '67 war has not yet been settled. Jerusalem, as I have told you before, will become the number one news issue in the world.
At New Delhi last December, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister, explained to me in a half-hour interview the overwhelming problems of starvation and death, poverty, illiteracy, filth and squalor. And besides, thousands of refugees were pouring daily into India from both East and West Pakistan — poverty stricken and needing to be taken care of. It is a pitiful and hopeless situation.
In Nepal I had interviews with both the King and the Crown Prince. They told me of their insolvable problems of getting education and other help to the isolated mountain people.
At Bangkok I had a fantastic audience with the King of Thailand — formerly Siam — in which for an hour and a half he poured out his heart to me of the problems in his country. It was a heartrending, emotional experience, difficult to keep the tears back. He said nobody could help him with these overwhelming problems and burdens unless I, perhaps, personally could. He said, with some emotion, he would welcome any ideas, suggestions, or help I might be able to give and asked me to come again.
At Manila, in September, President Ferdinand Marcos told me of the serious problems they have in the Philippines and what he is doing to help. But, of course, it is only a start. Everywhere I find on personal contacts with heads of nations, the world's troubles, problems and evils are completely beyond the human ability of kings, presidents, prime ministers or their governments to solve ....
You and I are shouldered with that gigantic commission to prepare the way for the intervention of that strong hand that will usher in at last the happy, joyous and peaceful World Tomorrow. You and I are having a part in changing the world and in saving the whole world before all human life is blasted from this earth!
Isn't that honor and responsibility worth sacrificing for? Nothing else is important anymore.
I am doing my utmost to carry out my part. Giant doors are being opened before me and I am walking through them. But I can only do my part as you make sacrifice and generously do your part. It is urgently needed in the most important work on earth!
I Visit the War Zone - Saigon, South Vietnam: March 16, 1971
At the suggestion of Ambassador to South Vietnam Ellsworth Bunker, I decided to visit Saigon, war capital of South Vietnam. You will ask the same question I first asked him: "Is it safe to fly into Saigon?"
"You are more safe than you would be on the streets of Washington, D.C.," responded the Ambassador. Actually, many government officials in Washington, and many senators and congressmen, have visited Saigon.
This is Tuesday afternoon, March 16. We flew over here from Manila this morning, arriving shortly before noon. En route from the airport to our hotel, I was surprised to see so little evidence of the war. I was mostly impressed by the congested traffic. Automobile congestion was heavy. But for every car there were two to four "Hondas" — Japan-made motor bikes.
"Before the war, everybody rode bicycles," said an American now resident in Saigon, who met us at the airport. "Now everybody rides motor-bikes and automobiles. They have to pay cash for them, too. No time payments."
"They must be sold at a low price," I suggested.
"No, they cost about three times as much as they would in the U.S., due to the heavy tax."
Since the partitioning of North and South Vietnam, the same thing has happened here that happened in East and West Berlin, East and West Germany, North and South Korea. Noncommunist South Vietnam has prospered economically — Communist North Vietnam has not.
"How much of this new South Vietnam prosperity has come from United States dollars?" I asked.
"About 99.98 percent," grinned my Saigon friend. It has come from American "aid," and from G.I. spending. Traffic moves slowly, through mid-day, and almost not at all during morning and evening rush hours. Saigon is a city listed in our aircraft atlas as having about 1,750,000 population. But locally they claim four million now. But the unbelievable thousands of motorbikes and automobiles are a spectacle to behold.
At 2:15 this afternoon we left, in company of our two American local-resident friends, for an interview with the Minister of Social Welfare in the Government of the Republic of Vietnam, Dr. Tran Nguon Phieu.
I asked Dr. Phieu — he's a medical doctor — what was the main social welfare problem in Vietnam, and what effect the war was having on it.
"Refugees," he responded quickly. "More than a million have been rendered homeless by the war. And then, orphans — that is, fatherless children, whose fathers have been killed in the war. They still have mothers, but most mothers, who formerly remained at home, are now forced to work, while the men fight — or, widows whose husbands have been killed. And this is destroying the Vietnamese family structure."
"And," I added, "when a nation's family structure breaks down, that is the beginning of the destruction of the nation." The doctor nodded assent.
Refugees — women leaving the home and working — family life breaking down — juvenile delinquency! I have found this, it seems, EVERYWHERE in the world recently ....
The drug problem is acute here in Vietnam, too. But although it is illegal to sell marijuana (or hashish) here, the bigger problem in Vietnam is opium. This is spreading among our American G.I.s even more than among South Vietnamese soldiers. There is a serious problem of education here, too.
There has not been, up to now, a system of compulsory education in the elementary grades, but compulsory education will soon begin. As it has been, many children will run away from home to avoid school. Then it becomes a problem after two or three drop-out years. They cannot start in again with others their own age. And often it is impossible for them to go back and start over.
Why is it? The most wonderful thing we can know in the material creation is the human mind. Why are so many mentally lazy? Why do so many resist educating their minds? Why do so many "blow their minds" with dope or drugs — ruining their minds beyond reclaim? Why?
Here, as elsewhere, there is a tragic shortage of teachers ....
And now I have to come back to my interview right here in Saigon with Dr. Tran Nguon Phieu, Minister of Social Welfare of the Republic of Vietnam.
"If the war should be over — or, looking toward mid-year 1972, when President Nixon says the American troops will be pulled out of here — what do you envision as the social welfare problems then?" I asked.
"They will worsen," was his grave answer ...
Jerusalem, Israel - April 12, 1971 Dear Co-Worker in the Greatest Mission on Earth:
Once again, I am in this remarkable "new" country, Israel. From now on, Jerusalem will be the pivotal center of world news. While here, I want to bring you up-to-date on the almost unbelievable, exciting, and momentous things now happening in this great Work.
Giant doors have been opening before me, one after another, with invitations for personal conferences with heads of state — presidents, kings, prime ministers — and many others in high offices of power, in many countries around the world. The remarkable thing is that I did not seek or initiate these meetings — not once! I was invited.
Do you realize how impossible it is for anyone, except those in official capacity, to initiate and obtain a personal private conference with a chief of state? These people occupy offices of great power in the world. They are all surrounded by the most effective and well-organized security systems. No one except their own closest secretaries or ministers is ever allowed to contact them direct, either in person or by telephone. Nobody, except those in official office with official business, ever gets to see them, unless personally invited by the head of state, or unless most carefully screened, checked on, approved by secretaries, and then, finally, approved by the chief of state. If I, by my own initiative, had tried to arrange all these many personal meetings and conferences, it would have been utterly impossible! ...
Even though the time has come, in this great Commission, when it is necessary for me to have these personal meetings, there is absolutely no way I could have taken it into my own hands and accomplished it. It had to come like a continuous chain of miraculous occurrences. And it is having tremendous significance to the finishing of the most important Commission on earth in 1,900 years!
Of course you've been reading, in The Plain Truth, of some of these meetings with the world's rulers. And many more such articles and reports are coming in future issues. Then later, I will take you into my confidence and give you the exciting facts of the incredible circumstances, and the surprising providential manner in which these giant doors have opened before me, one after the other in time order.
These very important meetings have suddenly catapulted the entire Work up onto a new and higher plateau! The Work has moved suddenly into a totally new phase! These providential new developments signal the warning to you and to me that we do not have much time left to get done the most important job on earth in 1,900 years! We have now been moved into the last and final phase of the Work for this age!
Before I tell you more of that, however, I want to inform you of the tremendously important happenings to the Work right here in Israel.
I am here this time to make final arrangements for the arrival in June of seventy-five of our Ambassador College students. They are coming to work for the summer on our huge archaeological project in Jerusalem. As you know, we are in joint participation with Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Archaeological Society in the largest, most important such project of our time — probably of all time.
We are not only uncovering 3,000 years of buried history. We are clearing off the accumulated rubble, decay and debris — some fifty to sixty feet high — over the very throne of David — in the original Jerusalem of 3,000 years ago, also known, then, as the City of David. The biblical prophecies of Isaiah 9:7-8, of Luke 1:30-33, and of Amos 9:11, say that the Messiah — the returning Christ in supreme and total supernatural power and glory — is soon, now, to rule the entire earth — all nations — from that very spot! What a providential thing it is, that we are clearing it off — preparing the way for His coming, in this, as well as in other ways!
And here's another exciting and important development: I am here also to confer with officials of the Hebrew University Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. Ambassador College now is in a joint-participation with this institute in a city-planning project, designing and planning the Jerusalem of the future! The probability is that for the remainder of this age, the government will adopt the planning we recommend.
Still another very important development here: I am here also to consult further with Mayor Kollek of Jerusalem. He was our guest at Ambassador College in Pasadena only eleven days ago ....
It's hard to realize how this Work — in which you and I are privileged to be Co-Workers — has grown to such worldwide power and scope! It is exerting tremendous impact on more than 150 million people around the world. That is about every twentieth person on earth! ...
Until recently we had reached, in this Great Commission, primarily the grass roots — the masses of the common people — the ruled. But in this greatest mission in 1,900 years, it now has become necessary that we get directly to those in top positions of power — at the top — the rulers! The Work had, of necessity, to begin where it did. The time now has come when those who wield the power must also be reached! Of myself — or with the human ability of our entire organization — it would, indeed have been impossible! ...
In the June number of The Plain Truth — and I hope we'll be able to print and send out such a vast number of copies — I'll give you my report on my conference with Mrs. Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, and also of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India. I will give you my own close-up personal portrait evaluation of those two outstanding women — sitting in seats of tremendous power in a very sick, war-inflamed world! ...