Greetings, everyone. There is an envelope here — must be the winner of the Academy Awards.
This is a question that's been addressed to me by one of the employees, and it has to do with third tithe. I'm really not at all well versed in this area, but I will see that this question gets immediately to Mr. Cole. And he will address himself to it, and if it needs Mr. Armstrong's input I'm sure that he will get it.
I just wanted to share with you a couple of pages that are in this week's Pastor's Report November 22, 1978, which unfortunately you're not all privy to, although I think, perhaps, it might be a good thing that more of you would be. It's being printed now — this is a xerox copy. It's Mr. Armstrong's second contribution to this week's Pastor's Report titled, "Answering Smear Stories," so I guess it ties in pretty well with what Mr. LaRavia was just talking about. we didn't compare notes. He hasn't seen this report either. That's one of the reasons I was late — I was waiting for this, and also, while I was waiting, Mr. Armstrong called me. So, that conversation turned out to be more than five minutes. Mr. Rader proceeded to read the entire article. Maybe we will wind up having that reprinted in the GOOD NEWS — a very powerful statement.
So, here we are again. I've talked to Mr. LaRavia upon my return from New York. I told him I'd be leaving for the Middle East and Europe in a few days and, therefore, we wouldn't have another one of these sessions, probably, until right after the first of the year. So, for those of you who have some questions you might like to have aired, I'm here again. The questions that were raised and answered at our last meeting are now in the GOOD NEWS November 20 which was just published this week. Did you all receive your copy? Did you see those comments when you read them were totally unedited? The questions were there in their entirety, and the answers were there, as poorly phrased as they might be, in their entirety. So, who wants to lead off?
QUESTION: Mr. Rader, a couple of questions in regard to the news media and religion from the present time — what's happened to the Peoples' Temple. I've been noticing a write-up in the press now of people getting involved in checking up on so-called sects. In conjunction with this, there's going to be a demonstration at so- called Faith Temple in Los Angeles. I don't know if you are familiar with them, but they are the ones who own Channel 52, and they are fighting the State Attorney General's Office in respect to taxes. I guess they want to investigate books of any non-profit organization whether or not there is a hint of any wrongdoing. And so what I'm wondering is, how is this involving the Church and how do we foresee this involving the Church in the near future?
RADER: We don't really feel that there is a direct connection between the problems of this movement that has been in the papers the past few days, or any other reprehensible organization. If you read between the lines, you'll see that the news media treat certain organizations as "cults," rather than as sects, as a rule. And when they use the word "sect" they generally mean cult.
It's generally some very fringe, marginal group or one that has such way-out ideas that I would assume that any responsible member of the community might have some reasonable questions in their mind as to their social utility, their value to society. And therefore, they might become the legitimate targets of interest for those groups that tend to involve themselves in the activities of any organization which might be hostile to that which the overwhelming majority of the people in this country stand for, or should stand for. If we find a group that uses intimidation of one kind or another — coercion and the like — to bring people into their group, or to keep them against their will, that type of thing tends to leak out.
No one in the entire history of this work has ever linked us with any organization of that sort. I've done my best over the years to make it plain to everyone that we are not anything but a respectable institution in every sense of that word, or those words, with a particular belief that we feel we have a duty in the form of a commission to promulgate worldwide; that our college institution is not some organization that simply calls itself a college, but is one with a faculty in attendance, a curriculum and student body. And over a period of time we have managed, I'd say since the middle 50s when I became involved, to separate ourselves quite nicely from these other groups. And we've never really been treated that way anywhere.
If we've had problems, it has been, as Mr. Armstrong said here, because of the operations of a few individuals, as differentiated from an aberration of the institution itself. Does that answer the question?
Naturally, we are always subjected to inquiries that are routine and normal because, although our rights are many as a Church, there are also duties. So we fulfill those duties and, in the process of fulfilling those duties, we also manage to protect and broaden our basic, underlying rights.
QUESTION: As mentioned in Mr. Armstrong's letter read by Mr. Rader at the beginning, could you comment further on your present health?
RADER: Oh, it's good. It's not really very, very bad. It's just that I have been working very, very hard over a very, very long period of time. And I've been told, you know, that it would be better that I didn't work that hard. The things that afflict most of us human beings, unfortunately, can even begin to afflict me. I had always assumed, like most of us when we're young, that we're immortal. And I've always acted as though I were. And then when I met Mr. Armstrong I naturally assumed I was operating from that day forward under a special type of umbrella — a protection. I had all kinds of shields against bad health, airplane accidents and what have you. And seeing all the places he and I have gone and the things we've done, I guess that umbrella shield has been pretty good at that. But it isn't good, really, to work 15 and 16 hours every day, and be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I think anybody could tell you that.
And my blood pressure has been finally affected. And I was told that it would be better if I could cut down on those activities, and cut them down quite substantially to something more normal. And at the time that I wrote the letter to Mr. Armstrong I was also, in addition to those things being on my mind, feeling a little bit like I might have been (I think I did mention in one of my talks) a little bit like the fellow in the "Jack story," and a little bit more resentful than usual. And I told Mr. Armstrong that, you know, you get to the point where you're being kicked around. And you want to do one of two things. You want to kick back — hard. And that's not so pleasant for the person who's going to get hit with that kick. Or you want to say, "Well, why don't we let somebody else take the beating for a while?" and go away quietly.
So, being in that mood and also being concerned that I have been advised for some considerable time to take it easy, I wrote Mr. Armstrong another one of my letters that probably shouldn't have been sent but was. But we talked at great length over the weekend. And we both promised that we wouldn't work so hard. So he worked another 15 hours yesterday and I did the same thing. It's not that we're trying to set ourselves up as martyrs, but it just seems that it's the nature of the job. And there's just no end to it. And you know you're not doing the right thing by working that hard, but there just doesn't, for the moment, seem to be any way of easing off. But maybe with the trip coming up I'll find it a little bit easier to relax. And when I get back, we'll see if my blood pressure's gone down.
QUESTION: For the last two years we have been hearing about an employee pension plan. Could you comment on this?
RADER: we're working on it. we have a very, very outstanding Personnel Department now. Mr. Gould and Mr. Warner — they're right on top of that situation. And they're constantly working with it and we would hope that, within not too long a period of time, they will have some very definite programs to submit to Mr. Armstrong. And we would hope, at that time, we would be able to move into a pension plan that will give most of the people here who have a bona fide concern for their needs in the future if the work doesn't end within their lifetimes, or if, for one reason or another, they find there is a bit more time to go before they can consider themselves as in no further need of those material things. So we're working on it, and we really have a well-staffed personnel department now. And it's building and I think becoming as knowledgeable as any in the country, and matching the knowledge they have with the resources we have, I think we'll be coming up with something within the near future.
In the meantime, of course, with persons who for one reason or another have been separated from the service, I think you'll find that we have been meeting, in most cases, the industry standards.
QUESTION: Could you give an update on the New York trip and the Foundation?
RADER: Yes, that's a good question, but I hate to preempt Mr. Armstrong. And he has just written a very beautiful, comprehensive letter to the entirety of the Church and I would suggest that you wait to get that letter. It will cover all of your questions, I think, much better than I could do.
QUESTION: There was an article in the Pasadena Star-News that Mr. Armstrong might have to appear in court for the Bagley case and I wondered if there has been a change on that, or if we are going to appeal that to a higher court?
RADER: Well, this is another area where, let's say, there's evidence that the Church tries to do the right thing by everyone. Mr. Armstrong and I feel we don't want to testify in such a trial because what we would say would only further make apparent to the entirety of the world all of the reasons why Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong has been forced out of the Church. So we're going to fight the matter as vigorously as we can, not to hold Mr. Ted Armstrong up to the world for what he is and what he has been. And we are still, in essence, doing what we can to mitigate the situation in what I consider to be just Christian charity. We are actually spending Church energy, Church funds to keep ourselves from going into court and telling everyone what the defense (in that case) wants us to say, which is the full story about Garner Ted Armstrong, which we don't feel needs to be aired any further. Mr. Belge and I are working on the case and will continue to work on the case. And I would say that we'll probably prevail in the long run.
QUESTION: I understand that there are certain plans to do a pilot for T.V. that will incorporate the PLAIN TRUTH. Is that true?
RADER: That was mentioned in services a couple of weeks ago when I spoke here in Pasadena. Also there are some excerpts from that in the Pastor's Report. The excerpts are for the benefit of the ministers. What we are intending to do, hopefully, is to have another television show — as it's commonly called, a program — in addition to Mr. Armstrong's weekly television programs that will bring the PLAIN TRUTH to television, just as PEOPLE magazine is bringing their magazine to television. "Twenty-twenty" is, I think, an ABC program. "Sixty Minutes" is really a magazine of the air, too.
We've had this idea for some considerable period of time. In fact, when QUEST was first started, several syndicators of renown and one of the networks wanted to know if we would be willing to engage in such an effort with QUEST, to take QUEST immediately to the television medium. we decided against that because we felt that if the television program didn't work for one reason or another, it would have a deleterious effect of almost an instant character on the magazine. They would both wipe one another out very quickly.
But the PLAIN TRUTH is a very powerful vehicle. It's the best religious magazine in the world, and can be made even better as time goes on. It has no competition. There's no other magazine published in the religious field quite like it. And with all of our efforts in the print medium, it' s a natural to try to bring it to television because there simply are people who do not read as much as they watch television. You have to use your resources as I've characterized them — spiritual, human, physical and financial — in such a way as to maximize their use, bringing them together in such a way as to try to do as much as possible with them. You must use each medium in a particular way to reach that audience that you might otherwise not reach. We're kidding ourselves if we think that, with the PLAIN TRUTH, we're reaching all of t hose millions of people who are glued every day to the television set. But if we can bring the PLAIN TRUTH to them in a very provocative, interesting, enlightening and entertaining fashion for 60 minutes or 30 minutes, depending on the format that we find most effective, we can really integrate our entire television and media effort, and really push the work forward to a higher plateau.
We'll be covering that during the ministerial conference. We hope that our pilot will be ready then. And if it's good and everyone at the conference which is taking place in January likes it, and then Mr. Armstrong likes it, then we'll share it, in maybe the pilot form, with the Church members in the area as we move forward. It would be something, if it works, for the 1979 and 1980 television season. And we'd be talking about programming time somewhere around October. Does that answer it fully?
QUESTION: What are some of the things you are planning to accomplish on your trip to the Middle East? And also, will Mr. Armstrong be planning a trip in the near future?
RADER: Yes. I'm going there just a little bit ahead of Mr. Armstrong to be sure that all of the arrangements are in order. As we've said elsewhere, this will commemorate ten years of very close association with various institutions and people in Israel. And it inaugurates the beginning of a new ten-year program.
Our newest archaeological project there is the project that is going to uncover the City of David. And we are working in a tripartite arrangement this time. Hebrew University, a South African foundation and the Church will share in the costs of the next decade, and the methodology, again, will be supplied by Hebrew University at Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society. They also want to honor Mr. Armstrong for his contributions of the past and anticipation of the future.
And then Mr. Armstrong will meet with Mr. Begin at a very timely opportunity. Hopefully, the peace treaty will have just been signed. Mr. Armstrong will see Begin almost immediately after Begin's return from Oslo. He goes to Oslo on the 10th of December to get the Nobel Peace Prize. And we're supposed to see Begin on the 17th, so he'll be back only a few days.
QUESTION: Is the Big Sandy campus finally sold?
RADER: we hope so. we have just notified the offeror and have deposited a half million dollars in the bank, and we trust that the check will be good. And we trust that they will manage to close the contract up on or before December 31, as promised. So we're now in what we call the executory phase of the contract, that is, everything is in the works, promises have been exchanged. we promise to deliver: they promise to pay. Now, if you look in the law books you'll find sometimes it doesn't work out so smoothly. But we have reason to believe we are dealing with the people who want the property and the price is one that we consider fair. And if everything works out well, by January 1 the property will have changed hands. Just as of this morning we deposited the funds. Your question is very timely.
QUESTION: How concerned is Mr. Armstrong about his health?
RADER: It's all in the hands of God, as far as that's concerned because the future is His. None of us have any guarantee that we'll see tomorrow. But Mr. Armstrong has faith that God will keep him strong. And he works so hard now at what he's doing that. I have reached the point where I now believe that travel will probably get him working closer to a normal day, maybe something like ten hours. So he's changed his mind on that and I've changed my mind on that, too, that travel will probably get him away from his typewriter and the telephone.
QUESTION: Mr. Rader, are we planning to use the old broadcast recordings on a long term basis?
RADER: You mean radio? Well, radio's something that we're studying very, very carefully. Radio just is not the medium that it used to be forty years ago, thirty years ago, twenty years ago, even fifteen years ago. The costs of radio have escalated. We're now spending money on radio (daily radio) for 100 stations at the rate of 2 1/2 million dollars per year, which is an enormous figure when we consider what we used to spend on maybe 300 and 400 stations. And the radio audience is just not the same kind of audience, particularly in the kind of markets that we're on. We're not buying time on religious radio stations where hour after hour after hour all you're getting is religious programming. We're trying to buy time where the format is otherwise designed to attract a normal radio audience. How much time do you listen to the radio yourself?
QUESTIONER: Drive time.
RADER: That's right — drive time. Right. That's what it's designed for, drive time, maybe some shaving time, beach time — that type of thing. So it's music and it's news, that type of thing. You can see that the market's changed. That's why we want to shift as much money as we can ultimately from radio into television, and also the print medium. That's also why we want to build a second program, so we have Mr. Armstrong's sermon going out with great power, and also the PLAIN TRUTH if it works — if that pilot gives us reason to believe we're going to have a very uniformly good, outstanding television program which will present clearly and fully, graphically, vividly, but in a television, electronic way, the truth that's contained in the PLAIN TRUTH, you see, we will register with just that much more impact. Mr. Armstrong, if we stay on radio, will probably begin to make new programs, at least on a weekly basis because we would never leave radio completely. we would stay at least on a Sunday only basis regardless, but he would make programs designed for that. In the meantime, there's the whole public out there that's never heard the old programs. Those people who do tune in are getting something that they have heard for the first time. You may have heard it for the second time, but the program isn't designed for you. It's designed for the person who has never heard it before. But that audience has changed quite significantly. That's why the cost of radio makes us wonder whether we shouldn't try to spend the money to reach the audience where so much of it actually is.
It's kind of like accepting the conditions as they are rather than as you'd like them to be. My best example of that is of a man who jumps out of a plane and his parachute doesn't work. He's not going to be able to climb back in the plane. Gravity is a condition and we have to accept it. It's there and he's going to hit the bottom. And there's no way to change it. So we have to start recognizing things as they are rather than as we, perhaps, would like them to be. Radio is one of those things.
That was one of the reasons, for example, that an ill-fated, somewhat aborted effort was made to switch from the thirty-minute program to a five-minute program some time ago. There was a recognition that there was not any market that would warrant the expenditure of that kind of funds for thirty minutes. But the five-minute program didn't work at all so it was abandoned Very quickly.
QUESTION: What about the religious stations? Have you thought about them?
RADER: I've always been one who, over the years, always urged that. I've always said we shouldn't kid ourselves, that if there is a religious audience there and they're listening day after day after day, hour after hour after hour, we should try to get into those markets, and that by not being there, we are letting that market go by default. And so we will consider using those religion stations.
QUESTION: Has your interview with Michael Jackson already aired?
RADER: No. We'll get an air time. But we haven't received the air time yet. It will be sometime in December, probably about three weeks from now. They'll let us know when it will air. We can also watch the TV Guide, but that's not as reliable. They will let us know when it will air.
QUESTION: Are there any other archaeological projects that we have been involved in besides at Jerusalem?
RADER: Oh yes. we have the dig in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt where we're cooperating on a very minor basis with Waseda University. That's in the neighborhood of Luxor, just across the Nile. And that's quite a project, but our contribution is very, very limited. We are the total support except for the methodology for a very important dig in Syria. The team is there digging right now. Dr. Hoeh visited the area just recently. I think he reported it in one of our publications. Did anyone read an article that Dr. Hoeh wrote in the GOOD NEWS? I think he did. At any rate, it's a very important dig that, heretofore, was supported 50-50 by the Kress Foundation and Ambassador. The Kress Foundation chairman is Franklin Murphy. or. Murphy was the former chancellor of UCLA, and is now chairman of the board of the Times-Mirror Corporation. They're the publishers of the Los Angeles Times, one of the biggest institutions of its kind in the world. And for three years we shared the costs with them. The entire dig is carried on by the School of Archaeology of UCLA. But this year the bylaws of the Kress Foundation didn't permit them to fund their portion of the dig beyond three years. They'll come back in next year and they'll take over the entire funding next year. But to give the dig uninterrupted financial backing we picked up the slack this year while their bylaws did not permit them to fund, and next year we will drop out. And then we'll go back in on a so-so basis. But those results are constantly being published in areas where you might not come across it, not being a scholar in this field. But the findings also are on display at the museum in Damascus. It's very well received. It's a very important dig in terms of biblical tradition. It may be second only to what we've been doing at the Temple Mount.
QUESTION: Mr. Rader, will any of Mr. Armstrong's books be condensed into booklet form?
RADER: Yes, I believe they will be. The rest of Mr. Rader's statement concerning Mr. Armstrong's books and their distribution was garbled on the tape recording and the typist was unable to properly transcribe the comments.
QUESTION: What is the newsstand progress?
RADER: Doing very, very well. We have one of the most effective tools there in the entirety of the Work. Much of it has been as a result of a tremendous amount of knowledge and leverage that we've picked up as a consequence of being publishers of QUEST magazine. We can get rid of every issue, and there are demands for more. But we've not freed up the budget as yet to get out more, but we're getting rid of a million PLAIN TRUTHs every month, with a demand far outreaching the supply.
QUESTION: Are we still On newsstands in Europe?
RADER: Europe I'm not on top of. We don't have as much going out there at all. I'm talking about the U.S. at the present moment. The system of distribution is much different in the United States. It's a much bigger area, there are many, many, many more magazines. The competition is fierce, but we've had tremendous success. We just have a very, very fine group of people that are very, very much dedicated to doing the work in that area. And they just have been totally imaginative as well as energetic and thorough. If we could give them the budget for another million copies, we could get another million copies out. And we're going to be pushing toward that. Naturally, if we go into this PT television program, then that will immediately make the demand even that much greater. Any other questions?
QUESTION: Will there be any film coverage of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Begin?
RADER: We will have four of our people on their way to Israel almost any day. They're from our television crew under Mr. Dick Quincer's supervision. They'll cover everything in 16mm with sound, I hope, and there'll be camera and film where lighting conditions will be adequate. We hope to have full coverage and be able to use it, not only as part of our TV show, but to send out to the church as well.
QUESTION: This question had something to do with the possible reason Mr. Rader has high blood pressure. The question was not picked up by the recording equipment, but we have included the answer anyway.
RADER: No, I didn't say it caused high blood pressure. I think the work and the stress may have caused that. No, we have an organization that sometimes manufactures problems for itself. And I would say that's about as nice a way of putting it. And those problems surface and then we go to work on them, and we "kill the dragon." But since you know it's really not a real animal and it never really was a serious threat, there isn't any real sense of satisfaction of having slayed the dragon. It's kind of a futile exercise. But that's what we have to do periodically — kill the new dragon.
QUESTION: Are there any plans to gear up the Work in Europe?
RADER: Yes. we have a study of all of the European offices that was just completed. I haven't seen it yet, but I'll be getting it sometime today. And several men have been transferred to the European area who have worked there before, and will be doing more and more in that area.
You know, the press operation in England is the only place today where we have such an operation. And it is not only furnishing the foreign edition of the PT to the world, but it's also supplying Canada and it's supplying the eastern part of the United States with their PTs. It's a very important operation, and they're operating at a profit. They're taking in outside work and doing very well. So we'll have to beef up that entire European operation. And we're doing it at the present moment, making plans for the years '79 and '80.
QUESTION: Is there any possibility of reconsidering the Press operation here or was that a mistake?
RADER: Well, I don't believe it was a mistake. Mr. Armstrong was always very much opposed to it from the beginning. He never wanted to get into press operations beyond those smaller letter presses and the like, to do more or less in-house type things that any organization of our size would have. But very strong pressure was brought to bear and all the wrong reasons were stressed. Some of them were ludicrous. And Mr. Armstrong and I kind of together fought the movement, went on record that it was a mistake, but sometimes you just simply are compelled to make a mistake because so many other people are certain that they are right even though they are wrong. And we should never have been in it. It took us some time to get out, so I'm sure we would never go back into large scale press operations. The way I described it at the time is that, no matter how clean your dog is, the dog is going to attract fleas. There's no question about it. But you don't really take the dog and go out and deliberately seek the fleas so you could start having the flea collar and whatever else is needed to combat the condition. And with the press, that's all we did. We suddenly had labor-management problems. It cost us more to produce the magazine than it was costing us before, and we were having delays, and we were having problems of meeting paper shortages, of ink shortages and what have you because our own leverage wasn't as great necessarily as a larger printer. Some of the arguments that they gave were, as I said, ludicrous for the press operation, the idea being that we didn't dare trust our PLAIN TRUTH to an outside publisher. Some union member on the line might see it and refuse to publish it — just would refuse and wouldn't get it out.
And that was believed at one time around here, 17, 18 years ago. But the way the world really works out there is that printers stand in line to get such an account. It's an important account with any publisher, any printer.
And it's a problem dealing with the outside or on the inside, but it's much less of a problem dealing on the outside. But we didn't go into the press operation in England because we wanted to... The mistake was made by the same people, and they tied us up for 30 or 40 years. And we've tried unsuccessfully to get rid of the press and get rid of the long term lease, but we were unable to. So having it and being stuck, like the fellow falling out of the aircraft, that is a condition we have to live with. We tried hard to get rid of everything and just could not do it. And then we said, "Okay, now we have to make the best of it. Let's try to land on our feet. " And we did. So, having landed on our feet there, after that much effort, that doesn't mean we want to go out and try it again here. I don't think it would be a good idea. I think you see the quality of the PLAIN TRUTH and QUEST magazine and what have you. We don't have any trouble getting quality products at the right price. And, even though there are problems of getting paper and finding holes in the publisher's schedules to put in new publications as they might come along, we have a very able group of people here who, working in coordination with Editorial, do see that what we have to get out gets out.
QUESTION: Is there any progress on the employee suggestion program?
RADER: I don't think so. I thought that I'd said if there were no employee suggestion programs that were formalized by department managers and there were no such thing as an employee suggestion box, they could consider that I would be such a box.
Here's this question that came up the envelope Mr. Rader found on the podium earlier. I'll see that this gets airing immediately by sending it to Mr. Cole. And I imagine some decision will be made by his office very quickly, now that he knows it's a problem. Till this was raised, he wouldn't be aware of it. Time for one more. That's it, then?
Okay. Thank you very much. And we'll see you in about six weeks.