A few weeks ago, I published in both the Pastors' Report and the GOOD NEWS, some material specially prepared at my request by David Antion, to the effect that "GOSSIP AND ACCUSATIONS MUST STOP!"
I personally felt a little foolish when a minister called on the telephone to congratulate me on publishing that, mentioning that I myself had started a rumor that he had written an anonymous letter to the ministry some two or three months ago. What I had said to not more than two was said in confidence, and not as an accusation, or to start a rumor. Nevertheless, it got to him.
I admitted that, based on at least three circumstantial evidences, I had on two occasions mentioned the possibility the letter could have been written by this minister.
"I'm very sorry," I said, "but I thought I said what I did in confidence, and at least three circumstances indicated it could have been you. But if you say you did not write it, I believe you!"
"I did not," he said. I tried to apologize, but now I do it before all ministers. This man was one of our top-flight ministers, Mr. Ron Dart.
Fellow ministers, perhaps any one of us can be caught off guard and say something that reflects unjustly against another.
This has been done — and NOT by being caught off guard — in disseminating character assassination against Mr. Stanley R. Rader.
Friday he brought me a memorandum he had written to me. Among other things he said, "It was only last year in May that I discovered for the first time how vicious and totally unchristian was... an...effort to destroy my reputation within the Church of the Living God. At that time, even you suggested that perhaps you had done me a great disservice in not advising me earlier of his efforts to defame me and to destroy my ability to serve you and the living God...
"Again, however, when you were forced to admit to me only a few months ago that... efforts [to defame Mr. Rader] were so widespread that you could not defend me, according to some ministers, without doing yourself and your credibility damage..."
I had at that time told Mr. Rader that the same source had sought to destroy my credibility to the extent that I felt I could more effectively correct this character assassination of Mr. Rader if I waited a couple or three months until my own credibility had been restored. Whether that was the proper and wise course or not, I will hesitate no longer.
I say to you ministers, some (I know not whether only a few or many) have listened to this deliberate character assassination to the extent that two ministers, stationed in the eastern part of the United States, told me over the telephone about three months ago, that if I sent out a letter I had confidentially read to them, which I had written to clear Mr. Rader's good name, many in the ministry would turn against me — at a time when God's Church sorely needed their support as Jesus Christ, living HEAD of God's Church, was putting, through me, His Church back on the right track.
Perhaps I was wrong in delaying what I now write. Perhaps, regardless of consequences, I should have righted this gross wrong. I felt the delay was needful IN THE CHURCH'S INTEREST. If I was wrong in not speaking out sooner, I apologize.
This evil speaking, character assassination, and destructive gossip HAS GOT TO BE STAMPED OUT OF GOD'S CHURCH!
Fellow ministers, LISTEN TO ME!
I don't know how many of you have accepted without question this slanderous attack against Mr. Rader. Apparently it has taken root (as I sincerely hope) ONLY among the Ministry, and the lay members apparently think well of Mr. Rader.
But I feel, as Mr. Rader said to me some three months ago, that the scurrilous attack against his character was, IN FACT, an attempt to DESTROY ME — because Mr. Rader has worked with me as an advisor and an assistant, in the MOST IMPORTANT PHASE OF THE WORK, worldwide.
But you who have accepted these defaming innuendos against the character of Stan Rader, ANSWER ME THIS: What PROOF of evil or wrong doing on the part of Mr. Rader have you ever seen? You who have come to virtually HATE Mr. Rader, as I have reason to believe at least some of you do. YOU HAVE NO PROOF — NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER! Even in the courts of Satan's world a man is presumed to be INNOCENT, unless or until PROVEN guilty.
Is the PASTORATE of the one true Church of God going to descend to a standard lower than the carnal world?
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT STANLEY RADER! He came to us out of the world of business, of advertising, and of law. He graduated years ago from the U.S.C. Law School with the highest grades in history. He then became a professor in U.S.C. Law School. His services were sought by the faculty of Harvard and Yale Law Schools, but he gave up such positions to assist me in God's Work. He is a man of very exceptional talents and abilities, with an exceptionally keen and brilliant mind, and with a wealth of EXPERIENCE which has proved of inestimable value to GOD'S WORK. He has been of VALUE to me in my personal activities in the Work beyond description. DO YOU FELLOWS REALIZE HOW RARE SUCH EXPERTISE AND PROFESSIONAL HELP is — especially in the Work of God, where we get very little of the top brains, experience, and abilities of the commercial world?
I cannot refrain from quoting here a part of a letter from a Tucson member who heard Mr. Rader address the local Church last Sabbath (8/12/78). I asked Mr. Rader to loan me this letter. It says:
"Dear Mr. Rader: I've never written to 'anyone like you' before but today I must — from my heart as I feel it... This is God's Church. God encourages quality. He has given us the best in you... I'm certain God wouldn't put some dingbat in His Church in your position... I'm personally sorry your reputation has been possibly hurt — but God and His way always wins — and God can erase from the mind of any President or King any trumped up garbage concerning you. There's no one on this earth who can choose not to use the tremendous mind you've been given except Jesus Christ through Mr. HWA. God bless you, Stanley Rader... may He personally protect your mind which He gave you...Thank you for being so faithful to God and His Apostle. Sincerely, Marilyn Packard Mullady."
Fellows, it was through Mr. Rader's activities that I've been able twice to borrow on my signature, with no security, one million dollars cash from a large Philadelphia bank. It is primarily through his intercession that our bank, the United California Bank, has had such confidence in God's Church — and in me personally — even when there was a financial crisis. It was through Mr. Rader's services — as well as God's intervention — that we were able to obtain, through insurance companies, 100% financing on the eleven million dollar Auditorium project. Do you know how hard it is for a church to borrow money? In nearly all cases, THEY JUST DON'T. Banks and insurance companies feel that churches are a very poor risk — and even if they hold a mortgage, they say, "We could never foreclose on GOD."
Mr. Rader has a good name, and unassailable reputation in the financial and business world — and he has used this personal good name and prestige to upbuild the good name and prestige of both the Worldwide Church of God, and of myself as its human leader.
One point of character that is GOOD is that Mr. Rader is one of the most devoted FAMILY men that I know. His wife has travelled with us, in our worldwide travels when Christ has SENT ME FORTH (the word apostle means "one sent forth" with the Gospel) to all parts of the world, fulfilling the GREAT COMMISSION which Christ committed to me. And without Mr. Rader's unique and valuable assistance, I could not have accomplished what Christ has accomplished through me in this important worldwide activity.
Sure, he came to us from the outside commercial, financial and legal world — and rendered vitally important assistance NO ONE IN THE CHURCH COULD HAVE CONTRIBUTED! But, perhaps being in almost daily continuous contact with me helped him spiritually — the fact remains that I could see him GROWING SPIRITUALLY, even beyond that of some of our ministers who now have come to hate him ON NO EVIDENCE BUT PREJUDICED AND DELIBERATE UNFOUNDED ACCUSATIONS intended to defame him. He came to UNDERSTAND and COMPREHEND the spiritual knowledge of God's Word, even beyond that of most in the ministry. And the carnal mind CANNOT comprehend these spiritual truths — it comes only through the Holy Spirit. And it definitely was not the Holy Spirit that led to this deliberate slander against him.
I was criticised for baptizing him. But he was with me daily, and I saw in him a spiritual YIELDING TO GOD — a repentance and changed life — and a belief and spiritual KNOWLEDGE greater than I have seen in some who willingly swallowed this HATE propaganda sent out against him.
One of the fruits of being Christ's disciple is, as Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also." Mr. Rader has SUFFERED PERSECUTION in order to SERVE the living Christ and Christ's Apostle! And that persecution from within Christ's MINISTRY. I think I should say, "Shame on us!" And on behalf of the charity minded in the Ministry, I do apologize to Stanley Rader before the entire ministry!
As most of you are aware, the Rader family has been living in Beverly Hills. When Mr. Rader came FULL TIME with the Church and its Work, he left behind — broke off — all social connections with important Beverly Hills people, including some movie stars.
As I did, 51 years ago on conversion, when I simply forsook this world and my former business associates and friends, and as the Apostle Peter "forsook all" in order to follow Christ, so did Mr. Rader — and his wife with him. They now have given up their large Beverly Hills home and moved to Pasadena. But I remind you that, in this world's society in Beverly Hills and in business relationships in Los Angeles, Mr. Rader was honored, well-spoken of, his reputation unblemished.
But when he left this world and former friendships behind, he has SUFFERED PERSECUTION — his character has been insinuated against with NO PROOF OF WRONG DOING. One would expect a member of God's Church to suffer persecution from the outside world. But it does seem to call for apology when one is persecuted from within for having FORSAKEN the outside world and former friends socially, in order to come into GOD'S CHURCH.
Mr. Rader was assailed and maligned at a meeting at which an area Coordinator was present. Mr. Rader wrote this area coordinator about remaining silent during this character assassination, and asked for a reply as to what this minister intended to do about correcting this unjust accusation. This minister, in an exalted position in God's Church, did not reply. I hereby apologize to Mr. Rader for the minister who allowed this character assassination to take place in his presence without lifting a hand against such injustice within the ministry. And this minister lacked the courage and common decency to even reply to Mr. Rader's letter. Was it because his superior was doing the unproved accusing, and the area coordinator was cowed by FEAR? Peter actually outranked Paul in the Apostleship, but when Peter (he was human too) did what was not right before Gentiles, Paul had the courage to rebuke Peter before all.
I have known for years the GREAT VALUE of Mr. Stanley Rader's services. The character assassination spread among some of the ministry against him was, in reality, intended to harm the personal representative and Apostle of Jesus Christ — whom HE chose, and for fifty years has USED, in building this entire great worldwide WORK!
LET ME ASK YOU — which one of YOU could render to Christ and His Apostle the RARE SERVICE and expertise Mr. Rader has given -AT THE EXPENSE OF HAVING HIS CHARACTER ASSASSINATED! Not one of you!
Mr. Rader thinks it is because he is not an ordained minister that some (or many — as the case may be) of you ministers look on him as some diabolical or evil person? 1st) What PROOF have you seen to condemn him, and 2nd) WHY have some of you been willing to THINK THE WORST of him, merely on the attempted character assassination of one who was really trying to crucify the credibility of the Apostle JESUS CHRIST CHOSE, AND HAS USED, WITH THE RESULT THAT YOU HOLD A PLACE OF HONOR IN HIS MINISTRY?
I am glad that God's people have been taught to highly honor Christ's ordained ministers — which is God's will. But you fellows are not a select hierarchy sitting high above all the UNordained! Sometimes we go overboard on extremes — to the extent of becoming RESPECTERS OF PERSONS.
There have been many of high ability who served in God's Church, who were not ordained ministers. Does a man have to be ordained to have your respect? Does he deserve your baseless contempt without it? I have written on this subject before — I cited such men as Jack Elliott — who rendered service equal to or superior to that of a minister! Is Mr. Rader of lesser value than anyone of you ministers to the Work? I asked you, above, WHICH of you could render service to God's Church equal to his? Whenever I find Mr. Rader a handicap and not a help to God's Work and His Church, I will terminate him — and I won't need your condemnation of him to do it.
Finally, listen to what God says to us:
"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law... There is ONE LAWGIVER" (James 4: 11-12) — and neither you nor I are that Lawgiver!
"... speak evil of no man" (Titus 3:2).
I apologize to Mr. Rader for the slurs, insults, and character defamation he has suffered in order to SERVE ME, and with me SERVE THE LIVING CHRIST!
Oh yes, one thing more. On behest of Garner Ted Armstrong, an attorney in Dallas was retained to CHECK UP on the original financing deal of the Falcon aircraft — about 1968. After thorough investigation this attorney reported to us that in no way did Mr. Rader profit from this transaction, and no factors were done "under cover." I have this attorney's letter completely exonerating Mr. Rader from any wrong doing as he had been falsely accused.
If any of you have EVIDENCE, or PROOF of anything, more than hearsay, against Mr. Rader, come forth with it, and I will deal accordingly. If not, and you still want to go along in condemning him, I will be happy to accept your resignation. I have spoken plainly this time. The one who spread this slander against Mr. Rader has been excommunicated. As God told ancient Israel to put evil away from their midst, Christ through me is going to put these evils out of our midst! I would appreciate a personal letter from each of you on this matter.