Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Ikons have never been a big deal in the WCG, in fact quite the contrary. So it's nice to know that this venerable piece of religious art endures. And somehow it's appropriate that it was gifted to us by Penthouse magazine.
Yes, this is the lead page to a feature article from thirty years ago, April 1977. My, how time flies. Thanks to Bill F. who forwarded a PDF version of "Reverend Doom."
He’s heard and seen by more Americans each week than Walter Cronkite. His magazine has more subscribers than Newsweek.
The silverhaired, silver-tongued talker is fast becoming an American institution, with far more spiritual clout than that of almost any other religious leader. He is late-night companionship to thousands of truckers, the voice of the morning to millions of farmers, the living-room preacher to a subculture of lonely, frightened, disoriented Americans. He is even better known in Canada, where the airwaves are saturated with his television and radio broadcasts.
Hard to imagine now. Within a year of the article's appearance Ted was fired and disfellowshipped.
But aside from its news reports, The Plain Truth is largely a right-wing propaganda outlet.
Perceptive! Pick up a copy of the most recent GN, TW or Flurry's Trumpet and... snap!
Martin E. Marty, professor of the history of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, says of the Armstrong phenomenon: ... Sects like Armstrong's probably drain off discontent into harmless channels among people who might be more dangerous without Armstrong's alternative view of history to grasp onto. This kind of religion makes elites out of the ignorant and the poor.”
Religious bromide for the unwary. Marty always was a smart cookie.
So two questions. First, how come America's most lecherous publication was able to see the true nature of WCG so much more clearly than the righteous brethren within (including yours truly)?
And second, do you reckon as a tribute to Dad, Mark Armstrong has a copy of that artwork hanging up in his office at ICG HQ (or failing that, a copy of the current Penthouse in his desk drawer)?