HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Chairman Publisher of The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine
EXTENSION DEPARTMENT An educational service at all levels for all people worldwide
October 27, 1972
Dear Family of Co-Workers:
I want to announce NEW and ENLARGED ACTIVITIES in this Great Work. It is the Work of the living God — and it is going forward in greater power now than ever before.
We have been given the GREATEST COMMISSION ever delegated to human beings on this earth. I think we tend to lose sight of that fact — of the MAGNITUDE of importance of this calling. It is no ordinary Work.
As I was writing this letter, newscasts and newspapers were shouting that PEACE in Vietnam was only a matter of days away! But do you think we are going to have REAL PEACE? There may be a cease-fire in Vietnam — FOR NOW. But do you think for a moment the Communists will stop PUSHING ON? The only "PEACE" the Communists will agree to now, will be one by which, later, once the United States is completely out of there, they can launch a sudden NEW attack, and take over South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and probably even Thailand and Malaysia.
World leaders and rulers have sought PEACE ever since there was a nation. NONE HAS EVER BROUGHT ANY LASTING PEACE! Leading scientists and heads of nations today ADMIT that the world's only hope of permanent world peace is WORLD GOVERNMENT — one single all-powerful government over ALL NATIONS. The GOOD NEWS of that very coming WORLD GOVERNMENT, bringing WORLD PEACE, is our Great Commission.
NEVER was any human activity SO IMPORTANT! The original first century Apostles had the same Commission. But they did not have OUR TREMENDOUS FACILITIES! There was no radio — no television — no printing presses, then. Where they could reach hundreds, WE ARE TODAY REACHING MILLIONS! We need to COME AWAKE to the MAGNITUDE of our great calling.
Moreover, we are very definitely, in a number of ways, PREPARING THE WAY for the coming of that great WORLD RULER! And THAT GREAT COMMISSION is going out to the world in GREATER POWER AND IMPACT right now than ever before.
The development and growth of THIS WORK is — I verily believe — probably the GREATEST "SUCCESS STORY" of our time, or of any activity carried on by human beings. And all the more so, because God did not call and choose, as His instruments for His Great Commission, the most highly trained and competent experts — the Great of this world. He says: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: ... but God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen ..." (I Corinthians 1:26-28).
Co-Workers and Brethren, if I had been one of the GREAT or mighty of this world, God would never have chosen me. The same is true of my son, Garner Ted Armstrong, of Mr. Albert Portune, Mr. Roderick C. Meredith, Mr. David Antion, Mr. Raymond Cole, Mr. Wayne Cole, and all the other men God has chosen to surround me, in highly important positions in His Work. Not one was among the GREAT and MIGHTY of the world. Not one was a highly trained and exceptional genius and specialist for his particular office.
No, God chose us who were lowly, who were willing to become HUMBLE, but whose hearts were loyal and dedicated, led by His Holy Spirit. He chose lowly and ordinary men SUBJECT TO MAKING MISTAKES! And WE HAVE MADE SOME MISTAKES — but because this Work is HEADED by the living CHRIST, He has never allowed us to make any MAJOR or FATAL mistakes.
God chose ordinary HUMANS. He delegated to us under Christ's direction, the GREATEST and MOST IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES on earth!
Not one of us was already TRAINED expertly for such a responsibility, in the professional sense. (True, God had previously prepared some of us, but in different fields.)
But what I am trying to say is this: This was GOD'S WORK, and it could not be developed and organized along conventional worldly lines. We could not DO THINGS in the orthodox manner. We had to learn to organize and function GOD'S WAY, and there was no precedent to go by — no pattern or blueprint — no guidelines except to apply the principles in the Bible. The world doesn't DO things God's way.
You judge a work by its FRUITS!
This Work, starting with only the backing of a handful of humble and poor brethren, able between them collectively, to subscribe only $1.35 per week to get the Work started on the air, has GROWN as no other work, activity, institution or organization I know of has grown.
Ask yourself, what company, enterprise, business, or institution ever experienced a GROWTH of 30% every year, regularly and steadily, over a 35-year span? THIS WORK DID!
Most organizations, businesses or institutions do well to hold about even over the years. But a growth averaging 30% a year, year after year, for 35 years? It must be a record unmatched! It means DOUBLING in size and scope of getting out the true Gospel every 2 2/3 years! It means multiplying itself in size and impact eight times over every eight years — a growth of 64 times every 16 years — and multiplying itself 4,096 times in 32 years!
Most, if not all, major corporate institutions began with sizeable capital. But this worldwide activity started GIVING God's Truth (reversing objectives and procedures) with absolutely no financial capital!
The few mistakes that have been made by lowly humans are as NOTHING compared to THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS! The GREAT COMMISSION has been GETTING DONE — at a rate of GROWTH that surely is without parallel!
So let's get our eyes focused on the BIG THING! God's Work is GETTING DONE! No one else is getting out the Gospel of CHRIST — the Gospel HE PROCLAIMED — the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD — to the whole world!
And now — let me tell you of the NEW and ENLARGED activities!
For some few months now, we have been testing out a NEW MEANS of getting out the Gospel. We have been testing it first in Britain, and now more recently in Europe.
That is by putting The PLAIN TRUTH on the newsstands! It was a real problem, at first. How could we avoid putting a price on it? And, to put a price on it would bring many complications, and depart from the policy of NEVER SELLING THE GOSPEL.
We finally worked out a program, in which the British news dealers cooperated with us. We put a paper band around each copy, with words to this effect: "THIS IS YOUR COPY — already paid — no price to you. Look it over. If you like it, TAKE IT WITH YOU'"
This new way of reaching people is proving HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL! When we run ads in other magazines, we can only tell them ABOUT The PLAIN TRUTH, and ask them to write in for it. On the newsstands, they pick it up, hold it in their hands, LOOK THROUGH IT. It's already in their hands. No effort. No going to the trouble of writing in for it. Of course we do have to pay the news dealers a certain small price for each copy taken. Inside is a coupon readers can mail in if they want to subscribe and have a year's subscription come free by mail. And we are getting mail subscribers for less money, per new subscriber, than by any other method so far — BESIDES those who continue taking it every month off the newsstand.
I hope that soon we may use this method in the United States.
Let me give you the figures on results so far:
In the United Kingdom, we now have from newsstands 100,145 subscribers by mail, plus 68,129 monthly on newsstands — total 168,274 copies — a readership estimated at over a half million people! In South Ireland, which is almost totally Roman Catholic, 9,671 mail subscribers, 6,000 newsstand distribution — total 15,671, an estimated new readership of 50,000 people.
Norway, 5,618 new mail subscriptions, plus 217 copies on newsstands, total 5,835 — estimated new readership of 17,000. Sweden, 3,971 mail subscribers, 738 newsstand, total 4,709 — estimated readership 14,000. Denmark, 3,675 mail subscribers, 4,433 newsstand, total 8,108, estimated readership 25,000. Finland, 922 mail subscribers, 300 newsstand, total 1,222, estimated readership 3,600. Iceland, 100 mail subscribers, 51 newsstand, total 151 with estimated 450 readers. We even have 34 mail subscribers in Greenland.
I give you these to show you that we ARE now getting the Gospel into these Scandinavian countries, with an estimated new readership of 60,000.
Of course The PLAIN TRUTH circulation is heavier in Europe, with a total of over 20,000 new mail subscribers (English language edition) and more than 33,000 copies monthly on newsstands — an estimated NEW readership of more than 150,000 people.
In South Africa, 66,000 new subscribers from newsstands, plus 16,000 copies monthly on newsstands — estimated new readership close to a quarter million people.
THAT IS A POWERFUL BIG LUNGE FORWARD IN GETTING OUT THE GOSPEL!
Now an ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT and leap forward in the Work. An INTENSIVE NEW CAMPAIGN IS BEING PLANNED FOR REACHING THE ARAB COUNTRIES!
A man we have known well for five and a half years, has joined our staff. He is Mr. Adli Muhtadi. He is a graduate of the Jerusalem College of Journalism, Cairo. In the Ministry of Information, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, January 1, 1962 till March 1, 1972, he was Director of the Commercial Department Radio and Television. From 1965 until the end of 1970, he was also a consultant for R.T.V. International of New York and their operations in the Arab world. From 1965 until this year he was also consultant for Associated Business Consultants, Beirut, Lebanon. Having had contact with our Work since April, 1967, he is highly enthusiastic about our Message — has placed his children in our school in England, is enthusiastic over our plans of getting the Message to the entire Arab world. I have had close personal contact with him from 1967. He has close contacts in Arab capitals, and is in high standing. Recently he brought to our English campus a man now resident in Geneva, of high influence in the Arab world. He was acting chief adviser to King Abdullah of Jordan (King Hussein's grandfather). He was chief Controller and Director of Hashemite Government Broadcasting. He was Roving Ambassador for The Arab League, and has published 12 books. Has been editor of Arab newspapers. This man was enthusiastic about our new policies for the Arab world.
It is planned to get The PLAIN TRUTH into Arab capitals in the immediate future, and plans are already under way for an Arabic-language edition of The PLAIN TRUTH.
Plans are now developing more rapidly for a concentrated campaign in Japan. Plans are under way between Prince Mikasa, brother of the Emperor, and myself, at his suggestion, for establishing in Tokyo an Ambassador College Institute for Biblical Research. Already we have been carrying large advertising space in the Japanese edition of Reader's Digest.
The DAILY television program is beginning to take hold, and is GROWING. DAILY TV is the MOST EFFECTIVE medium for reaching people. We have had to start with morning time on many stations — which means we have to build our own audience. That takes a little time. But, in my son, Garner Ted Armstrong, we have one of the most effective television personalities before the public, and this program WILL GROW WITH INCREASING MOMENTUM!
This powerful expanding work needs a corresponding expanding income. The HEAD of this Work is the living Jesus Christ. He is opening new doors, guiding, blessing His Work. I am lunging ahead with full energy. Garner Ted is producing the most powerful and effective television and radio programs of his life right now. Our staff at Headquarters, and at our offices around the world are all pushing ahead as never before with renewed energy. WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS, and continuous financial help as never before. I pray for YOU daily, and often several times daily. I would certainly appreciate your prayers for me, personally.
Let's all get behind this great Work of God with RENEWED energy and inspiration. This great Work has grown CONSTANTLY in probably unmatched and record GROWTH. And right now it is getting out Christ's last Message to this dying world in far greater impact and power than ever before! YOUR generous part is needed, too!
With deep love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong