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.
However, the recent sky-jackings of commercial airplanes by Arab guerrillas, blowing up giant planes, holding the passengers hostage, and, as I write, civil war raging between King Hussein's Jordanian forces and the guerrillas, with Syrian forces joining in against-the Jordan government army, may be setting off a chain reaction that could bring us quickly to the final great world crisis.
I certainly cannot set dates for the much talked of "end of the world" — which means end of the present age, and beginning of the peaceful World Tomorrow. But I have said there are some indications of the possibility of the final world crisis beginning early in January, 1972 — just a year and three months from now. Actually 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.
I must tell you, dear friends and Co-Workers, these are SERIOUS times, and it IS far later than people think! I cannot know what shall have happened between now and the time you will read this letter - about a week from now. I will send it to our Headquarters office in Pasadena, California, and it will be mailed to you from there. Possibly my son, Garner Ted, may add a little to bring events up-to-date before it is mailed from Pasadena.
But here is what COULD happen — as we have been saying for two or three months now. Syria and Iraq could invade Jordan. Syria could take over the northern part of Jordan. The Iraqis take over the central part. King Hussein could be assassinated any hour now. The Israelis would then be compelled to take over the southern portion of Jordan.
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 guerrillas 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 15 months or so remaining.
Now about the present trip. It is very important that I speak to all our new incoming students each year in Freshman Orientation, to get them off to a right start. After Orientation on the Pasadena campus, and the opening Faculty Reception, I flew to the Texas campus. Then on to the campus in England, attending Orientation and Faculty Reception at each campus. We stagger the opening on each campus to make it possible for both myself and Garner Ted Armstrong to attend all three.
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, and drove Mr. Stanley Rader (our chief legal counsel) and Mr. Gotoh (Japanese member of our faculty), to the palace of the Governor of the State. 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.
He surprised me by saying he wanted to send his 19-year-old daughter to Ambassador College at Pasadena. I asked if I might interview the girl. He had her in his office within ten minutes. Although she had already missed two weeks of this year's school year, we decided at best to send her on to Pasadena immediately. We also have the son of a member of the Japanese Diet (their "congress") enrolled this year.
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 Mr. McNair, Mr. Rader, and Mr. C. Wayne Cole, one of our Vice Presidents in charge of all operations in the Far East and Australasia, and I were luncheon guests of the Reader's Digest at their own large office building in Sydney. Their four top officials for this area hosted the luncheon.
Then, through their good offices, we were able to host a reception in a private room in our hotel last evening. Present were about 30 executives of radio and T.V. 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 25 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 to 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 Mr. Rader and 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. Many of our booklets are now translated into Japanese. A number of students are now in their second or third year learning the Japanese language. Mr. Gotoh, our Japanese faculty member, is an experienced broadcaster. He has now been baptized. Soon we will go on the air in Japan, where there are 100 million Japanese people. We may even be able to issue The PLAIN TRUTH in the Japanese language.
And by the way, Prince Makasa has expressed his willingness to come to Pasadena, remaining for one or two weeks, teaching a class in the College.
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. With all the sky-jacking of commercial planes it would now be DANGEROUS for Garner Ted and me to fly commercial. Both of us have had a number of threats on our lives.
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 did hurdle over our own financial crisis last February-March, but the need to maintain all cutbacks has continued up to now. But NOW the time has come when we must go back to publishing The PLAIN TRUTH every month, beginning December. Also TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine. Also there are many radio stations we had cut down from seven days a week to one. We must put the Message back on the air DAILY. New television stations have opened to us in Canada, which I approved while in Australia, and so this gives us, now, coverage in EVERY market in Canada, coast to coast on television. New outlets are opening to us in the U.S.A. and Australia. We MUST be able to take advantage of them!
That means all whose hearts are in this MOST IMPORTANT Work on earth must make whatever sacrifices for the Work that we are able. NOTHING else is so important, now. We MAY have only another 15 months to go, until our voices will be silenced until after God sends the living Christ back to this earth to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all nations to bring us PEACE. On the other hand, we must be prepared to carry on another two or three, or five, or ten more years until we really do SHAKE THIS WHOLE WORLD with God's last warning Message!
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.