Pastor General's Report

(Editor's Note: Mr. Armstrong has asked that his opening remarks to the Area Coordinators last Friday, September 8, be published for all the ministry.)

I want to read to you one statement that I made in a memorandum to the Plain Truth staff. I said that I did not especially want to start QUEST/77, and QUEST/78, but reasons were presented to me why it could be a means of indirectly helping in the Great Commission and building for us a certain credibility in the publishing world. This latter has been accomplished. It is becoming recognized as the number one. magazine of excellence. So far as the high class field of excellence is concerned it is rated number one now. And I might say to you, if you don't already know, (and this is rather confidential by the way, but I think I can say it to you here) that both ABC and CBS are now competing where they would like to buy it. They're going into the publishing business, publishing magazines, as well as other products. Now magazines are branching out. For instance, Time, the Time-Life people are bringing Life back again, I understand. They also publish the magazine People. And let me see, I think there is one on the west coast that is being printed by either ABC or CBS the Los Angeles magazine. Well, both companies want to make QUEST their flagship, the top magazine of the line the one of excellence, of quality.

Now I have always believed in quality first and quantity second. Of course, quantity is good, too, provided you have the quality first. And QUEST/78 is quality. Its appeal is not to the rank and file of the world or the majority. Whether to dispose of it now hangs in the balance because of financial considerations beyond the current fiscal period. But at least it is the best and so recognized in the publishing industry.

Now I tell you I look at a copy of QUEST, and I see my name. Most magazines now put the publisher and offices down at the bottom of the masthead list, but I am at the top of that group as the founder and chairman, and I am glad that if my name is there, it's there on a high class, quality product.

I have always believed in quality. God believes in quality., Jesus Christ believes in quality. I have believed in quality and Christ has built through me and with me a quality institution here. We have twice been awarded an award for the finest, most beautiful, best landscaped and best maintained college campus in the United States. Now I am not ashamed of it. My son didn't like it. That's just too bad. I regret all of that. But I still have to say that I go along with God and I think most of you or all of you do too. And that's the way we have to go.

I just wanted to say that QUEST/78, now, is already recognized in the publishing industry as the number one quality magazine. And the very fact of our identification with it, you have to remember, does give us a certain prestige when you consider all the publicity that has happened to us, and you go back over all the unpleasant publicity that we have had.

Mr. Armstrong's comments made last Friday before the Area Coordinators should answer a number of questions concerning the future of QUEST/78. I do believe, however, that a little history of Everest House would be helpful at this time.

Last fall, Robert Kuhn and I engaged the services of an outstanding editor in the trade publication field. We knew that eventually it would be in the best interest of the Work that Mr. Armstrong's books be published and receive wide distribution amongst the reading public a public that has been increasing each and every year in the religious field. We also felt that a trade publication house would be a valuable adjunct to QUEST/78 and would permit us to penetrate even more deeply into a reading audience that otherwise would be unreachable by us with our regular publications.

Unfortunately, in January 1978 Mr. Gillenson, the editor of Everest House, carne to Pasadena in the company of a number of employees from the business side of QUEST/78. They carne to Pasadena at the invitation of Robert Kuhn for the purpose of meeting Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong who, again unfortunately, was introduced to Mr. Gillenson and others as the chief operating officer of the Church, the College and the Foundation. I was not invited to the meetings that were held in Pasadena and express instructions were given to the personnel in attendance, including Mr. Gillenson, that information was not to be made available to me in the future.

At the meetings and in subsequent correspondence between Mr. Gillenson and Headquarters, Mr. Gillenson received express authority for each and every project that he planned for both the spring and fall lists of Everest House. In a letter written to me on June 27, 1978, Mr. Gillenson stated: "In January I went to Pasadena for the express purpose of presenting the list of books that we had put together. I asked to see anybody in authority and was told to talk to the following people: Garner Ted Armstrong, Ray Wright, Wayne Cole, Brian Knowles, and perhaps one or two other people in addition to Jack Martin, Glenn Parker and Robert Kuhn. At the meeting I described every one of the books and invited comment. All seemed to agree that none of the titles would create problems.

"During the visit, I was asked to inspect the pre-publication facilities and was urged to use them. The meetings with Garner Ted Armstrong and the pre-publication meetings were arranged by Jack Martin, with Robert Kuhn's assent. I subsequently sent reports through Jack Martin to the west coast which I assumed went to the proper executives of the Foundation. In those reports I described the books in detail, inviting any criticism. None was made.

"It therefore came as a surprise to hear some books were being held up in shipment and production because there was something offensive about them."

This letter from Mr. Gillenson sent to me in June was a result of my telephone conversations and letters to him expressing great disappointment at the selection of some of the books on both the fall and spring lists. However, it was only in May that any of this came to my attention and I am thankful for the efforts of Mr. Lippross and others in his department to bring the matter to my attention. Unfortunately, by the time I learned of the more or less undesirable books it was impossible to delay their publication. I have, however, cautioned Mr. Gillenson that in the future all publications or intended publications must be approved by me (and I, of course, will approve none without Mr. Armstrong's approval) lest there be anything in any project that would appear not to meet the criteria that we have established for the books to be published by Everest House.

Mr. Armstrong and I both feel that Everest House will be a vehicle that will dramatically enhance the successful marketing of his books two of which are already in the hands of the printers and two more expected to follow very quickly. Mr. Cole and others have written very strong memoranda to Mr. Armstrong in total support of both QUEST/78 and Everest House, as valuable vehicles for fulfilling the Great Commission.

A special audio-visual presentation is being prepared for all the Feast sites. It will be introduced at the various sites by Mr. Cole, Mr. McMichael, and Mr. Robert Fahey. We are confident that the entirety of the membership will better appreciate what the Foundation, QUEST/78 and Everest House has, can, and will accomplish for the benefit of the Work.

Stanley R. Rader

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Pastor General's ReportSeptember 11, 1978Vol 2 No. 35