Pastor's Report Staff  

   An Employee Meeting was called Thursday, April 19, to which Mr. Rader had invited the news media. He read a news release concerning his being investigated by the IRS for "criminal tax evasion," and then opened the remainder of the assembly to questions. The majority of those present indicated they had seen "60 Minutes" the previous Sunday, and Mr. Rader asked the TV Studio to make the video tape of the show available to any who missed it and would like to see it.

Mike Wallace's "Tagline"

   Those who saw last Sunday's "60 Minutes" segment relating to the Church will recall Mike Wallace's so-called "tagline," in which he stated that Mr. Rader was under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for criminal tax evasion. According to Mr. Rader, "This statement was no doubt intended to somehow bolster the thrust (both expressed and implied) of the segment, namely, that there is some merit to the patently ridiculous charges made against the Church, Mr. Armstrong, myself and others by the State Attorney General, George 'Duke' Deukmejian."

   What Mr. Rader felt was most instructive and revealing about the so-called "tagline" is that which was not said, or more aptly, that which was deliberately left out. First, although Mr. Wallace saw fit to tell millions of Americans that the Internal Revenue Service is "Investigating" Mr. Rader for "tax evasion," he failed to disclose that, quoting Mr. Rader, "I have VOLUNTARILY GIVEN the Internal Revenue Service complete access to all of my financial records as well as my permission to look at the Church's financial records relating to ME, and that the Internal Revenue Service has been conducting its examination for approximately 2% months and has found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Moreover," continued Mr. Rader, "Mr. Wallace also failed to state that the investigation relates in substantial part to several years in which both I and the Church were audited and given clean bills of health. I kept it [the latest IRS investigation] quiet because the IRS keeps it quiet also. They come in like gentlemen, without fanfare, and do their work, and they leave."

   Second, although Mr. Wallace stated that his information regarding the so-called "tagline" was gathered from "(his) source," he failed to disclose, either during the main segment when Mr. Rader asked him or otherwise, WHO that "source" is. Mr. Rader said, "I have no doubt in my mind that the 'source' also was responsible for (a) the surreptitious and unlawful recording of Mr. Armstrong's telephone conversations, (b) the instigation and initiation of the Attorney General's baseless lawsuit, and (c) initiation of the Internal Revenue Service investigation itself."

   Mr. Rader reminded us that he has repeatedly said that he has nothing to hide from the Attorney General or the Internal Revenue Service. He has given all there is to give to the IRS regarding his financial activities. But then he asked, "Why have I not done so to the Attorney General? Because contrary to the professional behavior of the IRS, which rightfully has left the Church and Mr. Armstrong out of the matter, 'Duke' Deukmejian has confused himself with 'Duke' Wayne and ridder! in, guns blazing at everyone in sight, but, in reality, only firing blanks. On more than one occasion I have offered to provide to the Attorney General the access I have given to the IRS on the condition that he dismiss his action against the Church, Mr. Armstrong, and the other defendants and focus his attention on me if he feels I have done something wrong: my offers have been refused."

Why all the Harrassment?

   In the news release, Mr. Rader gives three major reasons why we have suffered harrassment in the past as well as at the present. First, government officials sometimes abuse their powers to oppress those who do not share their beliefs and biases. Second, government officials and agencies sometimes act on doubtful or spurious information out of selfish motives for gain of one kind or another (political primarily). Thirdly, in its own inimitable way the media, whether intentionally or unwittingly, frequently serves as the primary instrument of oppression. And this in the name of "freedom of the press."

   The Church and its leaders have been subjected to frequent IRS audits over the years. But why? Because people have been provoking these various agencies to wonder about the allegations told to them. Yellow journalism, crank letters and dissidents have all contributed over the years to this hassle God's Church has had to endure. Of course, we always come through it alright and there has never been a real problem — until recently when the State labeled us as wrongdoers and then set about attempting to prove it so. Unable to do this, they hoped to rummage around until they could find something somewhere in our records that they can put a slant on or attach a color of wrong to.

   Mr. Rader told of the U.S. Customs Service hounding Mr. Armstrong's entourage during their travels for several years. It all started in 1974 when rumors reached them that the Church and its leaders were smuggling drugs, gold and diamonds into the country. After three years and thousands of dollars and manhours were spent by the agency, the charges were proven to be false and we never even got an official apology!

   Mr. Rader said that the IRS audits, the occasional lawsuits that Mr. Helge has faithfully and quietly been winning (God's Work has never lost a case yet) "is a price you have to pay in order to do the Work of the living God." Mr. Rader explained, "We just have got to be willing to pay the price." When a person or an institution is prominent or in the public eye it will be subjected to the rumors and attacks of this world, especially when it's the very Work of God!

Nature of the Tapes

   Mike Wallace has in his possession a "hot potato" in the form of illegally obtained tapes which may bring him a lawsuit he very well may not win. The man who recorded it (indisputably C. Wayne Cole) was specifically told by Mr. Armstrong that one of the telephone conversations he was a party to was confidential. He surreptitiously taped Mr. Armstrong's conversation anyway on not one, but any number of occasions. At least two tapes were clipped, edited and spliced to make them seem to say something they did not. Thus leaving out portions, perhaps rearranging others, gave a different intent and import to Mr. Armstrong's conversations.

Why We Are Fighting the State's Lawsuit

   Mr. Rader said that he and Mr. Helge are fighting very hard to protect the Church of God from the invasion of its privacy guaranteed by the first amendment. Nevertheless, he observed that "We have some people in our own organization who are not able to grasp the problem as they should, especially for the positions which they occupy. But they do damage to the institution when they do not understand that the first amendment and religious freedom is all we have between us and destruction of the institution.

   Although the Attorney General keeps telling the uninformed public that all he wants is an audit, the lawsuit plainly says he wants a change in the board of directors leading to a change in governance. In order to preserve the rights of God's Church we must preserve the rights and prerogatives of the leadership of the Church. Allowed to run its course unchecked this could do away with the government of God in the Church. And all this to prove that the state has the right to control and supervise the affairs of all churches in California!

Fighting Fire with Fire!

   We didn't go to court, we were taken. We didn't start the lawsuit, but we are using the laws of the land to thwart any individual official or agency that would abuse the legal processes at expense.

   Mr. Rader reminded us that Mr. Herbert Armstrong has always said that if there is a conflict, we ought to "obey God and not man." He has never said to obey an illegal act on the part of the state. "It might be one thing to resist as assiduously as we have been if we were seeking to gain something from the state, but this should be distinguished from a situation like the present one where an unlawful activity is trying to do something to us and take something away from us that is fundamental.

   "I say, as Mr. Armstrong has said, we might be forced, somewhere down the line, to submit to greater physical force. He has said he is willing to go to jail, if need be, but he is going to use all lawful means to resist an unlawful act. Mr. Armstrong has been very strong on this point. He thinks that what he has done so far is right in God's eyes and he has proven it to himself scripturally," said Mr. Rader.

   An extremely interesting point was made by one employee. He observed that the dissidents have used the argument that we should trust in God to protect the Church rather than fighting the State in the legal arena. But he turned that argument around and asked, "Why do the dissidents have to go to the state in the first place? Why haven't they trusted God to protect God's Church instead of urging the state to act in their behalf?" Good question!!

Not by Might Alone

   Mr. Rader pointed out that the prestige and the tremendous resources of the State of California make the battle a formidable one. However, he reiterated that through our spiritual and physical resources we can prevail. Through God's help, Mr. Armstrong's inspiring letters to the membership and the collective effort of the members, he said, a victory is not only possible, but that God's Church shall prevail!

   The "fire storm" is under control now. Every court order is stayed. No one is in violation of any court order (if we were they would love to cite us for contempt of court) and meanwhile we are in the procedural stages of the lawsuit, taking our case to the appellate court. (If there were not mistakes made in the lower courts there would obviously be no need for the appellate courts to even exist.) Mr. Rader pointed out that since he is not hiding behind the 5th amendment (though he has a perfect right to do so vis-a-vis the Internal Revenue Service investigation), he certainly is not trying to hide behind the first amendment. It is a purposeless argument to think that Mr. Armstrong or anyone else is hiding behind the first amendment either. God's Church is merely refusing to agree to or comply in a clear abuse of power and flagrant violation of the public trust by the highest law enforcement agency in the State of California!

   (Editor's Note: Mr. Rader told the News Summary that the entire transcript of the over two-hour employee meeting will appear in The Worldwide News.)

   (See page 16 of PDF)

   (Editor's Note: The above cartoon appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, April 18. Conrad is one of the most famous political cartoonists in the world.)

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Pastor General's ReportApril 23, 1979Vol 3 No. 14