HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Chairman Publisher of The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine
EXTENSION DEPARTMENT An educational service at all levels for all people worldwide
May 28, 1971
Dear Inner Family of Co-Workers:
I am able, now, to disclose to you privately and confidentially the almost unbelievable manner in which giant doors have been opening before me. As you know, one after another, the doors have opened for personal meetings with presidents, kings, prime ministers — and many other high government officials, in many countries, around the world.
As I wrote you a month ago, all of a sudden this great Work has been catapulted onto a new and higher plateau! It has been moved into a TOTALLY NEW PHASE — the last and final phase of the Work for this age!
So many high-level personal conferences could not have opened to one in private life, in so short a time, by mere happenstance. I could not have planned them and brought them about if I had tried! As I now disclose these astonishing circumstances, I think you will see the providential guiding Hand maneuvering them!
As I mentioned in my previous letter a month ago, the Work of necessity had to begin by reaching the grassroots — the masses of the common people — the RULED. We now are reaching more than 150 MILLION of them. Think of it! — that is about one in every 23 of all the people on earth, or one in every 16 persons above age 14.
But we have reached the point where it has now become necessary that we reach ALSO the RULERS — those in the very top echelons of POWER in the world. Because, whether we have realized it or not, this Work is the GREATEST, MOST EFFECTIVE activity on earth for WORLD PEACE!
Actually this new phase in the Work began about three years ago.
Here is "Coincidence" #1: The wife of our office manager at Bonn, West Germany, happened to show a copy of the 1966 Ambassador College year book — "The ENVOY" — to an industrialist friend in Brussels. He was much impressed by the book, and the high character of Ambassador students, reflected in their photographs and action shots. This industrialist happened to be a personal friend of King Leopold of Belgium. He asked if he might show the ENVOY to the King. The King was quite impressed, and said he would like to meet the founder and Chancellor of this unique high-character educational institution.
His request was passed on to me through the manager of our Duesseldorf office. That was the first I knew of this. Through the Brussels industrialist a meeting was arranged.
That is how the first such meeting came about. On my first visit, the King asked me to come again. During the past three years a cordial, and warm affection has developed. And also a 50-50 collaboration in scientific expeditions between King Leopold's Belgian Foundation for that purpose, and Ambassador College.
Now, "Coincidence" #2: In September, 1968, Dr. Ernest Martin, Dean of the faculty at our English campus, and Dr. Herman L. Hoeh, Dean of Faculties at Pasadena, wanted Ambassador College to conduct an archaeological project at a location in Israel, some miles north of Jerusalem. I was personally not interested in such a project. But I consented to their visiting Jerusalem to see whether permission could be granted from the government authorities.
Dr. Hoeh happened to be acquainted with Dr. Benjamin Mazar, archaeologist, and former President of Hebrew University. He found Dr. Mazar at the time in charge of the most important "dig" so far undertaken, starting from the south wall of the Temple Mount. Three major United States universities had sought participation in this outstanding project. All had been rejected. But Professor Mazar offered a 50-50 joint participation to Ambassador College!
This was a far more important project than Drs. Hoeh and Martin had envisioned. They were elated, and telexed me the news, requesting that I fly to Jerusalem to inspect this opportunity. I didn't share their enthusiasm, and was unable to go to Jerusalem at the time.
However, about mid-October (1968) I did fly to Jerusalem to look over this project. The "dig" had been begun a few months before. I met Prof. Mazar and inspected the project.
It was much more impressive than I had expected.
I began to realize the scientific and educational value to Ambassador College. A luncheon was held in a private dining room in the Knesset — the government's capitol building. Present at the luncheon were five high-ranking officials of both the university and the government. And also, with me, were Dr. Hoeh, Mr. Charles F. Hunting, one of Ambassador's Vice Presidents in charge of finances for Britain, Europe and the Middle East, and Mr. Stanley R. Rader, our chief counsel.
It was a most memorable luncheon. The favor we were given in their eyes — the warmth of their attitude toward us — was inspiring, astonishing, and most unusual. The Israeli Minister of Tourism and Development, Mr. Moshe Kol, proposed that we build an iron bridge that could never be broken between Ambassador College and Hebrew University. After 2 1/2 years that "iron bridge" has been greatly strengthened.
I did not make final decision, however, at that time. We agreed to meet again in Jerusalem on December 1st, for final decision. Meanwhile, Dr. Mazar, with Dr. Aviram, Dean of the College of Humanities at the university, came to Pasadena, and visited also the Texas campus, to look us over. They liked what they saw. And on December l, at the official residence of Israel's President, Zalman Shazar, we made the joint participation official.
I did not learn until later that we were actually clearing away the decay, rubble and debris — some 50-60 feet high — over the very spot where prophecy says the returning Messiah — Jesus Christ — is to RULE THE WHOLE WORLD. Tremendous things have happened in this relationship since.
So that is the manner in which this VITALLY IMPORTANT leap forward in the Work was started. We have been given VERY GREAT favor in the eyes of both government and university chiefs in Jerusalem!
Now, "Coincidence" #3: After our mid-October meeting in Jerusalem in 1968, Mr. Rader and I caught a Pan Am round-the-world plane for Hong Kong and Tokyo, for conferences with advertising officials of Reader's Digest. We had begun purchasing double-page advertising space in many editions of their magazine around the world. Arriving Tokyo airport, we were met by our Mr. Osamu Gotoh, Chairman of the Department of Asian studies at Ambassador. I have explained previously the providential manner in which Mr. Gotoh came to us.
Mr. Gotoh's family had had very wide connections, not only in Japan, but around the world. He was acquainted with Prince Mikasa, brother of Emperor Hirohito. Unknown to me he had shown the 1966 ENVOY to the Prince, and the Prince had expressed a desire to meet me.
At Tokyo airport, Mr. Gotoh told me the Prince had asked me to be his guest at luncheon the following day. After the luncheon, Mr. Rader, Mr. Gotoh and I were driven with the Prince through the immense and magnificent Imperial Palace grounds. We also were introduced at that time by the Prince to his very charming and lovely wife.
This first meeting with Prince Mikasa has led to other important meetings. I did not visit Tokyo again until last September. But when Prince Mikasa learned I was coming, he, his wife and daughter planned a dinner in my honor. Also he arranged for a meeting with some sixty leading professors from various Japanese universities, which he invited me to address.
The meeting with Prince Mikasa has led to a number of things vitally important to the Work. It is paving the way for opening the Work in Japan on a big scale. And unlike all other nations so far, we are starting in Japan from the top down — and reaching the 100 million Japanese people as a whole will come later, hopefully by mid-year.
It led to further contacts with the most important educators in Japanese universities. Perhaps the highest ranking educator in Japan is Dr. Nobumoto Ohama, former president of Waseda University. His reputation is worldwide in educational circles. He is to speak at Ambassador College in Pasadena this coming September.
Incidentally, these meetings are beginning to result in bringing many world leaders to Ambassador College to speak before our students.
Also my acquaintance with Prince Mikasa led to my 45-minute private conference with Prime Minister Sato in December. Privately and confidentially, Mr. Sato requested me to go to Okinawa in February (the tension was too hot to go on the December trip). And I did go. This has already been reported in The PLAIN TRUTH.
I think it pertinent to say to you, here, that private meetings with heads of state on this high level are something vastly different than a handshake with a crowd of tourists — or, for that matter, even magazine or newspaper correspondents. A magazine correspondent or editor may, on occasion, have a private conference with a head of state. But he does not meet the ruling official on an equal level.
An interesting example of this, was an incident that occurred during a reception at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Nepal this past February. With Mr. Rader and Mr. Gotoh accompanying me, I had just returned from a visit with King Mahendra at the palace. We were hosting a dinner for important local men and their wives at the hotel that evening, but stopped off at the reception to which we had been invited.
The Ambassador in Katmandu happens to be a lady, and her husband is Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker at Saigon — U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam. He and his four or five chief assistants were in Katmandu for the weekend.
On learning that we had just come from meetings with the King, and with the Crown Prince the evening before — following meetings with President Giri of India, and Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel — and on the previous trip with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India — at which time King Leopold was traveling with us — and that two days later we were to have a private meeting with the King of Thailand (Siam) — this government official looked puzzled, and asked, "Well how in the world do you do it? We've been trying for six months to arrange meetings with some of these people, and yet we haven't been able." And they had the power and prestige of the U.S. government!
I couldn't tell him how I arranged these meetings — because I DIDN'T! Could you believe a Higher Power than the United States Government opened these doors?
I had been invited to visit Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, and visit King Mahendra, because my good friend Dr. Singh, official Secretary to President Giri of India, had wanted me to do so, and UNREQUESTED BY ME, had arranged it.
And that was "Coincidence" #4. And at that "chance" meeting with Ambassador Bunker he urged me to see him at his Embassy in Saigon. And that was "Coincidence" #5. That has been reported in the May PLAIN TRUTH.
I suppose most people could never realize how nearly IMPOSSIBLE it is to have a half-hour, a forty-five-minute or a l 1/2-hour personal meeting — as I have had with President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Mrs. Gandhi of India, and with Prime Minister Sato and Crown Prince Akihito of Japan, and with the King of Thailand, and Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel — and OTHERS — for example.
In Japan there are 100 MILLION people, but only ONE Prime Minister who is carrying the heavy responsibility of guiding the future of ALL OF THEM. Even many members of the Diet (Japan's "Congress" or Parliament) might not ever be able to have a 45-minute private and personal talk with Prime Minister Sato — his very heavy responsibilities simply DON'T ALLOW IT: There simply are not ENOUGH of him! And when a chief of state takes from a half-hour, or an hour-and-a-half, out of his exceedingly busy and burdensome responsibilities to talk to me, tell me his problems, ask me questions, exchange ideas — or even to ask my counsel and help — you can realize it is a matter of REALLY GREAT IMPORTANCE. There's only ONE head of state in each nation!
And when you realize the doors have opened before me for EIGHT such meetings in six months, you can BELIEVE it has been a series of providential or miraculous circumstances!
"Coincidence" #6: I will take space to tell you of just one more. On our December trip, King Leopold accompanied us from Brussels to Athens, New Delhi, India, Singapore, and Djakarta. At Djakarta, my planned visit with President Suharto had to be postponed because the King of Thailand (Siam) was there on an official state visit. This required President Suharto's entire time. He had scheduled a meeting with King Leopold (who was on a private, NON-state visit, with us), for the following Monday, and wanted to see me then. But I had meetings scheduled in Manila and Tokyo, and was unable to remain over that long.
But a special dinner was held on Tuesday night in Djakarta, attended by six or eight of the chief officials under President Suharto, and their wives. That night I was simply too exhausted to attend — the only such appointment on any of these trips I was unable to attend. My elder daughter has been accompanying me, since there have been many such occasions, and she takes her mother's place as my hostess.
At this banquet, my daughter became acquainted with Mrs. Sunirat Telan of Bangkok, who had accompanied the King of Thailand on his state visit. Mrs. Telan owns the Rama Hotel in Bangkok, besides at least two more skyscraper hotels, and some large Thai industries. When she learned from my daughter that we had never visited Bangkok, she insisted that we simply must see Bangkok on our next tour, in February. She wanted to host a dinner in my honor, and wanted me to meet the King.
And that chance meeting with my daughter is the manner in which the l 1/2 hour visit with the King of Thailand, this past February, came about. I did not seek it — I was invited!
This particular visit may lead to important results. For 1 1/2 hours King Bhumibol pleaded with me to help him with his problem of getting education to his mountain people. His government's program is not working. He said nobody can help him but me. He needs a complete new program, and the personnel to implement it. We have a number of graduating students this year we are unable to absorb in the Work. We may be able to work out a program that will help his people — get the TRUTH to them — and provide the needed employment to many of our graduates.
One thing more I will tell you, and then I must not make this letter longer.
Last November King Leopold, his wife, Princess Liliane and daughters — the Princesses Daphne and Esmeralda — visited us in California. They were dinner guests in my home. After dinner that evening the King and Princess Liliane asked for a private talk. We excused ourselves from the other guests and retired to a private room.
Then in subdued, solemn and hushed tone they told me that, after World War I had ended, the King's father, King Albert, had visited one of the battlefields. He was appalled, and emotionally sick at heart at the realization of the human slaughter that had occurred there. It moved him deeply. He had one of the iron cannonballs remaining on the field melted and cast into four watch cases — pocket watch size — to encase four fine watches. It was his intention to present these to the four men whom he felt had made the most significant contribution toward world peace.
World War I was the war supposed to "make the world safe for democracy" — the war to END ALL WARS! King Albert therefore felt the chief generals, and French Premier contributed most, and gave one watch to Field Marshal Foch, Supreme Commander in Chief over all allied armies. The second watch was given to General Pershing, Commander in Chief of all United States forces. The third went to Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France during World War I. King Albert apparently found no one he felt qualified for the fourth watch. It was passed on to his son, King Leopold to give.
In solemn and subdued voice the King said he felt the fourth watch, in a red leather case now showing age, should go to me. Both the leather case and the watch are embellished with a gold design with a royal crown in the center.
I feel it was the very highest honor the King could have paid anyone. Whatever contribution to world peace I may have made you have shared with me, and it has not been through war, but through EDUCATION, teaching millions worldwide THE WAY to PEACE! And I believe King Leopold feels, and that he SAW here, that we have SET AN EXAMPLE by the REAL PEACE that we do have on our three campuses! He has visited both the Pasadena and English campuses.
Co-Workers, something VERY GREAT IS being accomplished through this great Work, in which you and I are both privileged to be COWORKERS. It is a GREATER POWER working through us that is producing peace, and happiness, and abundant well-being in ever-increasing thousands all over the earth! And truly, this Work IS LEADING THE WAY INTO WORLD PEACE!
This GREATER POWER is opening more and more important doors for finishing the Work for this age. I am walking through them in faith and confidence. My life is dedicated to this Work, and doing my part diligently. But it takes YOUR PART, too — and the whole Work can go only as far and as fast as YOU do yours.
The financial condition, the past year, has been very serious. I feel we are slowly on the upswing once again. We have weathered a very serious financial storm — our rate of gain the past two years has been SLOWED — but the Work has survived, even grown slowly, and NOW it needs seriously the BIGGEST PUSH we can give it. Let's make every sacrifice to give it the BIG PUSH! God bless you for your part — I am very grateful — and I must remind YOU the NEED is now VERY GREAT.