Pastor's Report Staff  

   The following news release was distributed at a press conference held by Mr. Stanley Rader at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, April 4th:

   Attorneys for the Worldwide Church of God today charged that the Attorney General's office is in possession of stolen documents. The Church further charges that those documents, containing vital, pertinent information, on the Church's behalf, have been concealed to cover up the State's illegal actions.

   The apparent cover-up, initiated to make the State's charges appear valid, only served to break down any possible negotiations between the Church and the State.

   The Church is petitioning Governor Jerry Brown to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the actual motives behind the Attorney General's actions and for the return of all stolen documents.

   Included with the press release was a copy of a telex message from Mr. Rader sent to Governor Brown on the same date. The complete text of that message follows:

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Sacramento, Calif.

Dear Governor Brown:

   Serious events transpired today in the Los Angeles offices of the Attorney General that require your attention.

   During the course of a deposition in the matter of The People of the State of California v. Worldwide Church of God, it was discovered that the Attorney General has in his files voluminous, stolen documents containing detailed accountings of all Church activities for the past 27 years. These documents were exculpatory, yet they had been suppressed by the Attorney General and not shown to the Los Angeles Superior Court in any of the proceedings. Moreover, it is now apparent that not only were each of the allegations in the complaint false, but the Attorney General knew them to be false.

   Because the Attorney General's office has concealed this and is covering up the enormous wrong of continuing this action, we now feel compelled to ask that you appoint a special prosecutor to investigate this incident of official corruption.

(Letter to follow.)

Respectfully submitted,

Stanley R. Rader
Worldwide Church of God

   During the taking of his deposition by the Attorney General on April 3rd, Mr. Rader and Church lawyers were shocked and outraged to learn that the Attorney General has been "covering up a theft of major proportions." During his examination at the Attorney General's offices, Mr. Rader was shown a 28-page document by the Attorney General which contained most detailed financial information covering 27 years of past operations of the Work of God.

   Rader said that this document was prepared by the Church. "The irony is that this document disproves the very allegation that had been made by the Attorney General in this case from the beginning," Mr. Rader declared. "In addition, the information disclosing every single penny received and every single penny spent completely - and conclusively demonstrates that there never has been any pilfering or siphoning of church assets by any defendant!"

   But why was this document and others in the Attorney General's possession not disclosed earlier to the court or to Mr. Rader? Why were they not included in the court-ordered inventory of records originally taken by the first receivership?

   "First, it was stolen," explained Mr. Rader. "This accounting — confidential and protected by the first amendment from disclosure to the state — was never produced by the Attorney General for examination. The Attorney General was embarrassed to admit that he even had possession of this stolen material. It came out inadvertently yesterday during my deposition. What is more outrageous is that the Attorney General now refuses to disclose the origin of these documents."

   In addition, Mr. Rader felt that the purloined material in the possession of the Attorney General would politically embarrass that office since it disproves the grandiose and unsupported previous claims made to the press by the Attorney General. "Cover-up and create confusion, rather than admit the mistake," said Mr. Rader, "is the mentality of the Attorney General."

Dissident Ex-Members Avoiding Compliance

   Our ability to further discover how this invasion of the Church was perpetrated has been frustrated at this point since two of the six dissident ex-members who are relators in this case have fled the state and the others are avoiding being served court papers so that their oral depositions [testimony - of a witness taken under penalty of perjury, but not in court] cannot be taken! Moreover, the Attorney General refuses to state that he even represents the dissident members and refuses to accept the burden of producing these people for examination. And so Mr. Rader has appeared for his deposition, but the ex-members who started the lawsuit in conjunction with the state have refused to do so.

   Once having been confronted with the theft of Church documents, the Attorney General retaliated by advising Mr. Rader of his rights as in a criminal proceeding instead of the civil proceeding that it is. "The absurdity of this tactic is patent!" he exclaimed, "since the deposition had already been in progress for more than one day without any such warnings by the Attorney General. Clearly it was an attempt to retaliate and intimidate me based upon a vindictive motive, having been caught concealing the stolen documents proving the innocence of everyone. This outrageous conduct resulted in my leaving the deposition during the second day of examination.

Special Investigation Needed

   Since Mr. Rader did not believe that the Church could allow "This raw arrogance of power to continue," he expressed the need for a special investigative agent "to look into the Attorney General's office, and find out why this outrageous cover-up continues — and what other improper and illegal exculpatory [clearing from blame or fault] evidence he still holds in his possession. A government office with unbridled power is a menace to the rights of every individual that resides in this state."

   During the news conference Mr. Rader further revealed that the comprehensive 27-year financial report on the Church, College and even the Foundation since its inception, was prepared at his request in January 1977. It showed the Work's financial history since 1950 "in every conceivable manner so we could understand what the trends were and what we could predict for the future from what we may learn from the past. Originally only three copies were made — for my eyes, Mr. Herbert Armstrong's eyes and Mr. Ted Armstrong's eyes."

   The copies were labeled "confidential" and were corporate property, so whoever took them from the Church clearly had no right to do so. And the Attorney General should have known that he had no right to the documents either since they were so labeled. This information is highly confidential and therefore protected by the first amendment from disclosure to the state. Even Judge Johnson recognized that the nature of the report is something that the public doesn't have a right to have. At the request of Church lawyers, the judge issued an order prohibiting the Attorney General or the court reporter from disclosing any part of the document.

   Meanwhile, our attorneys are deliberating as to whether the document should be released to the public anyway. It would definitely clear the Church of all allegations of "pilfering" or "siphoning of Church assets," but we must — be certain that by releasing the information ourselves, we do not inadvertently waive all our privileges and immunities as a church! As for Mr. Rader's request that Governor Brown step into the case, "whether he will or not," he noted, "is, of course, something within his discretion. We cannot force him to do so. But we would hope, out of fairness and consideration for the Church's brethren, as well as the Church leadership, that he will appoint a special prosecutor to look into the affairs of the Attorney General both in Sacramento and LOS Angeles."

   Mr. Rader said he appealed to Governor Brown because "I feel it is impossible to get to the bottom of this affair without the governor appointing, under his executive powers, a special prosecutor to investigate the activities of the Attorney General who otherwise, I am confident you understand, would be unwilling to investigate himself."


   In Los Angeles Superior Court, April 5th, over a dozen members accompanied Church attorneys to begin what they thought would be the first day of surety verification — a process which was expected to take many days, perhaps even weeks, of courtroom testimony to accomplish. However, Judge Eagleson decided not to waste precious court time and space in this manner. Instead, he ordered that the Attorney General's office first specify which suretyships he wishes to challenge. This is to be done by April 26. The Church then has until May 3 to contact the members involved and produce the documents necessary to verify the value of the questioned sureties. On May 8 attorneys for both sides are to be back in court to hear Judge Eagleson's decision on the exceptions and the Church's responses. Should the judge rule in favor of the Attorney General's exceptions, the Church will have more time in which to further respond, including the substitution of new sureties if necessary.

   Mr. Rader told members of the press outside the courtroom that he felt the suretyships "show their [the brethren's] love and devotion to the Church of the Living God. Because of the court's denial of rights of the church members, the Attorney General, in my opinion, has in essense inadvertently given [by questioning the sureties] the church members the opportunity to demonstrate just what it means for them to be members of the Worldwide Church of God — members of that spiritual body."

   Members were anxious to verify in court that they are acting in good faith and that the integrity of the sureties are above reproach. It is especially repugnant to California brethren that the Attorney General is trying to throw out most, if not all, of the sureties as "questionable" — as if to imply, perhaps, that church leaders falsified sureties by taking names off tombstones, or obtaining them by some other spurious means. Or, rather, that brethren themselves, as members of the Church the Attorney General has falsely accused, are not - to be trusted!


   Some have wondered about the status of the 700 million dollar suit the Church filed against the state of California. It was denied by Judge Firth in Federal District Court a few weeks ago, so the Church has refiled it in amended form. This revised suit has been expanded to include others whom the Church has proof are involved. Judge Firth has taken the amended suit under advisement.


   A major blow to the Attorney General's office and dissident ex-members was struck late today, April 9. Benjamin Chapman, disfellowshipped ex-minister of the Worldwide Church of God and a major link in the conspiracy and planned take over of the Church, buckled under cross-examination by church attorneys.

   In a deposition being taken today, Benjamin Chapman (considered by the Church as one of the conspirators) under close questioning by one of the Church's attorneys, Marshall Morgan, panicked and said he now needed a lawyer to represent him. Mr. Chapman had earlier stated that he didn't have a lawyer present, and had no need to have a lawyer present. Mr. Chapman was reminded that he was already in contempt of the subpoena and subsequent judge's order to appear, but he was allowed to leave upon agreement to come back April 23.

   Mr. Rader stated that during the deposition it became very apparent Mr. Chapman was a very much involved person in the conspiracy to deprive the Church, its leadership and its members of their constitutional rights.

   Also during the deposition, recounced Mr. Rader, Deputy Attorney General Lauren Brainard took exception to Mr. Rader having to remind him that (a) he did not represent Mr. Chapman, (b) that he had admitted he did not represent Mr. Chapman, (c) he, therefore, should not be advising Mr. Chapman, (d) our lawyers were getting tired of reminding him of what the law was, and playing "continuing education of the bar," whereupon, he threatened Mr. Rader with physical, bodily harm by his manner and by his statement, which was an epithet. Mr. Rader said that we are considering bringing an action of assault as well as an action to recuse him [challenge him as prejudiced, or otherwise incompetent to act].

   Mr. Rader commented that "our lawyers have been trying from the beginning to get the State to tell us who they represent, and who they don't represent. A month or so ago we learned that the state orchestrated a concerted effort to keep all of the witnesses that we had subpoenaed for depositions from appearing. And now we felt that Mr. Brainard, although he admitted he did not represent Chapman, was acting as though he did. We don't care if he does," continued Mr. Rader, "we feel it would be a break if he did. We even invited Brainard to represent Chapman, but the point was, he didn't represent Mr. Chapman; therefore, he should not have been constantly advising him."

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Pastor General's ReportApril 9, 1979Vol 3 No. 12