Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The Enigma of Herman Hoeh
In case you missed Trader's posting in the comments recently...
Having known Herman Hoeh (like many others) for nearly 20 years and worked for him for part of that time, if someone had told me that he had adopted elements of the edicts of Zarathustra, I can't say I would be surprised. An intensely private man, Hoeh was an enigma in the truest sense of the word.
If he was anything (and I actually write this with respect), he was an apologist for whomever was in power at the time in WCG.
1) For example, when HWA announced in the 1950s/1960s that the Egyptian pyramids couldn't have survived the Great Flood, Hoeh responded by simply rewriting history. Borrowing heavily from Immanuel Velikovsky's controversial work, Ages in Chaos, Hoeh reworked traditionally accepted Egyptian and Babylonian dynasty chronologies so they fit HWA's Flood scheme. He subsequently published them as "new truth" in the first volume of his legendary Compendium. When HWA later allowed for the pyramids to actually have "survived" the Flood, Hoeh looked like an idiot.
2) The "theology" for HWA's title and rank of "Apostle" came directly from Hoeh. HWA actually initially rebuked Hoeh for calling Armstrong an Apostle, but as we all know, gradually accepted it (although HWA didn't use the title openly for nearly 20 years).
3) In the last months while HWA was dying, Hoeh basically either flat-out hand-wrote sections or heavily edited prior HWA works for the book that became Mystery of the Ages. (Sheila Graham also played a significant role in the production of MOA, which should give Flurry fits). Mystery of the Ages would be more appropriately title "Herbert Armstrong's Greatest Hits," edited by Herman L. Hoeh.
4) Hoeh heavily edited HWA's original Authobiography after Armstrong's death (again with aid from Sheila Graham), adding in HWA letters and the initial pieces about Joe Tkach. The result was a politically tinged tone that produced a quasi-"balanced" view of WCG's founder and made it seem like the selection of Tkach as successor was an orderly process (which it was anything but same).
I had a great deal of respect for Hoeh (particularly in how he and his wife were true servants of humanity), but truly to really understand what he "believed" at any given moment was like trying to nail a wet noodle to a wall.
AW comment: Sheila, I had no idea!