This has been a challenging year for PTM, and based on your letters, phone calls and emails, it has been for most of you as well. We have discovered that PTM doesn’t have as much income as we used to, and, neither do many of you!
One of the things my wife and I have done at our house is to eat more beans. I know, it sounds like I’m going to tell a joke. No, it’s the truth! My wife and I have started to eat more green, red, black and pinto beans. Ironically, we’ve discovered that eating more beans and less meat and chicken is actually beneficial to our health!
Eating pinto beans for the evening meal (as the main course) takes me back to my childhood in Texas when "supper" in my family consisted of pinto beans and cornbread about 90% of the time. Tightening our belts, literally and figuratively, is not always a bad thing – there can be unexpected benefits!
My purpose of this letter is to let you know how PTM is squeezing every dime and pinching every penny, while still proclaiming God’s grace as powerfully and effectively as we can. Never, ever forget that lives are being changed by this ministry!
We at PTM are committed, by God’s grace, to continue to do what we can to minister to you, and many, many others. In order to continue this work, we believe that God expects us to make our needs known to you.
A) We believe that we need to “knock on your door” (Matthew 7:7-8) so that you will know and understand the needs PTM faces.
B) We believe that God wants PTM to make wise and prudent decisions about how we continue to proclaim his grace.
C) We also believe that we need to make those we are blessed to be able to serve aware of how we are pinching pennies.
What is PTM doing to pinch pennies? PTM is…
REDUCING EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION: Our diligent, hard working staff understands that we must reduce their compensation, as a necessary step in continuing to make this ministry available. We pray this is only a temporary measure…..
Oh the travail, the pain! Greg, onetime Herbal evangelist, reduced to beans. And we all know the effect beans have. Brethren, I implore you to go down on your knees and pray that the Eternal deliver Greg, Monte and the loyal staff of PTM from the perils of spiritual flatulence! Greg already has a problem with long-windedness, as we all know. This could push the poor man over the edge completely! And then there's the issue of increased carbon emissions over Duarte. This is a crisis brethren! Send Greg no money... but a love-offering of Alka-Seltzer may well be appreciated.
Now that Greg's readers understand his core need, they should send all future offerings in beans.
His "Evangelist" Salary under Tkach was $130,000 - that would be about $180,000 today. When these scumbags say they're "tightening their belts" it doesn't mean they have dropped below six-figures, it just means it's more difficult to maintain their Rodeo Drive Lifestyles.
It's just time he folds up the magazine and get a job driving a pick up truck. Least it's an honest way of making a living.
Wow. The pinto bean jokes are on the way.
Pinto beans for the main course at the evening meal makes for a lot of gut rolling all night long.
But, the PLAIN TRUTH is that there is now GOOD NEWS and its name is "Bean-o". Available at the grocery store or your local pharmacy. A little expensive but worth it if you happen to be married.
Which reminds me of what HWA said about not letting your wife see you with tousled hair etc in the morning. Pretending to not be human to your partner and other such nonsense as that isn't fooling anyone.
Of course, if you sleep in separate beds in separate rooms . . . well, that's another story - a rather silly story but evidently a favorite of HWA.
Anyway, swap that steak for some dried pinto beans and send the savings to me is what he's saying.
However, Banquet brand TV dinners are even cheaper than a pound of dried beans and they don't take several hours of preparation time like pinto beans do.
Just thought I'd let you know.
Reading Greg Albrecht's letter triggered an underlying question I always had about Christian ministries, including the various COG’s, and their almost-constant pleading for money to stay afloat financially. And I’m sure many others have often wondered the same thing:
If an All-powerful Creator God of the universe has truly raised up, and is behind and supporting such ministries, then why doesn't He keep them sufficiently financed so that His servants don't have to go through the embarrassing routine of pleading for cash from folks who, let's face it, aren't exactly rolling in it themselves? The vast majority of such ministries are supported by folks of quite meager incomes.
Such pleadings have become legendary in the shady industry of Christian evangelism.
It amazed me when HWA used to brag about how he never asked the general public for money on the old World Tomorrow broadcasts and telecasts. And yet, anyone can go out on the Internet and find every co-worker letter he ever wrote from 1933 onward (or at least there used to be such a site on-line several years ago), and a large part of most of these letters almost ALWAYS consisted of desperate pleas for money to fund "God's globe-girdling end-time Work!"
I like Greg Albrecht.
He was one of my instructors at AC, and was always willing to actually interact WITH the students rather than merely lecture AT them. And I must say that, what I witnessed of his personal life, for the most part he actually tried to live by the things he preached. I know, for instance, back in 1995 he would visit a church member and HQ employee down at an L.A. hospital who was horribly dying a slow and agonizing death of AIDS (acquired from his gay escapades down in West Hollywood) when many other’s abandoned the poor fellow’s plight. Greg may have even been with him when he finally passed away.
So there is much to admire in Greg.
But his letter somehow rings hollow.
I worked for the WCG for 13 years, but for the past 11 years I’ve been employed by a major telecommunications corporation – and I can say from experience that it’s just so much more satisfying earning a legitimate living contributing in small but TANGIBLE ways to the society around us, rather than depending on the good graces and generosity of the poor saps who are addicted to the bizarre and completely unfounded teachings of supernatural religion I once helped dispense. I truly appreciated my time working for the WCG, and have many wonderful memories of HQ in that regard. But in reality, aided by the 20/20 vision so common to reflective hindsight, I was actually earning my living back then not completely unlike a street-drug pusher earns his: off the addictions of ignorant, struggling folk with meager incomes who are just desperately trying to somehow make it through life.
And I can't help but believing that someone of Greg’s caliber can do much better than that.
Let's put beans in our ears! (click here!)
This is patronizing, insulting, and sickening. It is nauseating to see someone who has no doubt made a fortune over the years at the expense of WCG tithepayers past and present imply he is eating more beans because his personal income has dropped. F**k off, Greg. And same to you, Joe. If things are so bad, why don't you just reinvest some of your personal riches back into the family business? No, it is much easier to just cut the salaries of your few remaining employees? Of course, that is exactly what Jesus would do!!!
Don't forget to suck on the bag that your beans came in, for extra nourishment.
Heroin Jeebus of Megachurch
Maybe he should stop trying to make a living off the flock and go get a job.
Rice and refried beans isn't a bad combination. I often lived on that, or less, to pay tithes during my 13 years in the WCG.
Dear Greg seems to have a more joyful attitude though. That's because this is but a temporary sacrifice. The poor members will start donating food to him to earn extra points towards their position in the Kingdom. In any event, I seriously question how long he lives on beans. One night a week, maybe, for a couple of weeks, at most?
He was earning $130,000 in the WCG days ! Was that over and above the car allowance, the housing allowance, the festival allowance, paid health insurance, and all the other benefits & perks?
I like Greg Albrecht.
He was one of my instructors at AC, and was always willing to actually interact WITH the students rather than merely lecture AT them.
I take it that you never ended up in the Dean of Student's office for a 150 decibel brow beating because your dorm RA thought you weren't zealous enough?
And how could you escape his weekly lecturing at Student Forums on Thursdays?
One thing about the AC experience....after I left, there was no corporate executive on this planet who could ever intimidate me. They had none of skills and tricks of "God's servants"! So in a perverse kind of way, it was a boot camp for leadership, but not the way the folks on the 4th floor of the Hall of Admin had envisioned it.
Bamboo_bends, you raise some good points, and I agree with a number of them. And I have no respect whatsoever for the many “ministries” the WCG has splintered into (including Greg’s), nor the infamous excesses of the ministry before it broke apart, but all I can speak of is my PERSONAL experiences with the man.
Seriously, I never once witnessed or felt his anger when he was Dean of Students. I have no recollection whatsoever (and I have a pretty good memory) of him ever giving a “hellfire & brimstone” lecture to us during Forum time.
However, I DO recall Ron Dart once, angrily and with great gusto, accusing the AC guys at a specially-convened all-male assembly of having a “penile mentality” – but then again, most of us at that time were in our late teens and early twenties, so I suppose his overall argument was not entirely without merit!
And then, of course, there were the well-known Rod Meredith lectures, such as: “The problem with you young men is that the blood goes rushing from one head to the other, and that’s when you get into all kinds of trouble!”
And Rod’s ever-popular classic: "Breasts, Breasts, Breasts! That's all you young guys think about, isn't it? You just want to get down there with them and num, num, num, num, num!!"
But I recall none of this undignified sort of blathering from Greg Albrecht.
Once back in 1976 he did call me into his office, and gently pointed out that some zealous student had reported seeing me and an AC coed holding hands once together in some remote corner of the campus. But I must say he was very kind and understanding about it, and I accepted his kindly administered correction: the gal and I would just walk, talk and hold hands together somewhere OFF campus!
Hey, wasn’t it always a hoot the way his dark prominent eyebrows would move up and down with great velocity when he would speak? In fact, I once proposed that, as a fund-raiser, we might be able to talk Mr. Albrecht into climbing the Empire State Building with his eyebrows only, his hands tied behind his back! But the student leaders of the time decided to go with Rose Bowl film and hotdog sales instead!
Greg writes: Ironically, we’ve discovered that eating more beans and less meat and chicken is actually beneficial to our health!
Bullshit! You learned that crap from that old gasbag Herbie!
This gets me. Paraphrased, he said, "The Plain Truth is absolutely free as long as you send in a substantial donation." SSDD!
Speaking of Greg Albrecht’s financially floundering ministry, eating beans and flatulence, I’m reminded of a rather earthy but true story from my AC days.
The infamous event took place in the dorm I lived in my freshman year, happening a few years before I arrived. It went on to become a much-repeated story in the annals of unofficial Ambassador College history.
Apparently a rather enterprising young lad at the Pasadena campus was afflicted with, shall we say, some fairly odiferous intestinal distress. And in spite of a heavy load of classes, study, prayer, fasting, meditation, doing God's Work and preparing Spokesman Club speeches, he thought to supplement his experiences at God's College by adding to his already busy schedule a rather unusual extra-curricular activity: the bright idea of holding a lighted match to said expulsions of methane in the attempt to ignite the flammable substance!
He was from France, and, like many of his fellow Frenchmen, had a physique that was covered with considerable amounts of body hair. Not to be detoured, he persisted in recruiting several of his dorm mates as assistants, and the ingenious experiment was commenced.
Unfortunately, it ended quite abruptly with a rather unforeseen result: it seems after several failed initial attempts, a rather bulbous expulsion of intestinal methane was at last carefully aimed and successfully blasted into the lighted match, ignited into flame, then thrown out past his hairy buttocks and up the small of his back, managing to reach all the way to the base of his neck. Some of his body hair in the more immediate vicinities of the experiment caught fire, giving him some relatively minor skin burns.
Nothing terribly serious, mind you, and no annointed cloths were called for, but his wounds did warrant him having to be taken to the Huntington Hospital emergency ward to patch up the resulting damage.
But can you imagine him trying to explain the burns to the attending emergency physician?! And to the Dean of Students as well, whom I’m quite sure was promptly informed of the experiment the following day.
Just thought you all might enjoy this rather humorous example of “Recapturing True Values!”
Gavin, you mentioned the issue of flatulence.
Check out the first minute of this YouTube video - now this young man has some "staying power" if I ever saw it!
Interesting stories from AC. Glad to know that you guys were normal. I don't know why you would be surprised that the faculty attempted(!) to stifle typical youthful male impulses.
I went to a major state university. So all this stuff seems rather tame by comparison.
and he really thinks everyone will believe that they are living on beans?
maybe we should all send him a package of Beano to show our support for his suffering.
Did these guys blow through $100 Million that quick? Anyone else would have invested it and could have lived off the interest for years. Its nice to see that the tithes and offerings of sincere people went down the tubes with these guys. Does this man have no shame at all. Unless Junior kept the money for himself....
Byker Bob? Flatulence stories? AC student experiences with same? 80 South Crass? Readings from the dictionary? BB, I know this is right up your, um, "alley".
Total revenue for tax year 2007 was $1,113,823.00 for the PTM. As the documents posted here revealed, this was split between 5 guys (one of them Albrecht). The break down of their salaries is also revealed here (Monte Wolverton makes 90K a year).
Do you have a link to the real begging letter, Gavin, or did he really and truly start talking about eating beans??
There are indeed lots of stories I could share, but I may have gone further in exploring that topic than some others here, and, alas, it has burned itself out.
I will share that during the final stages, my most recent ex-wife and I became heavily involved with stink bombs. During the ten years from about 1989 to 1999, we had some incredible experiences blowing them off in public places such as car shows, biker events, county fair, air shows, the bowling alley, company Christmas banquet and dance, Casinos and restaurants, and many other places. We laughed so hard on some of those occasions that there were tears in our eyes! One restaurant and a bus were evacuated, as we watched from a distance! We would purchase cases of these stink bombs and take them everywhere we went.
You'd get a slice of life impression from these stink bomb events, as there was an opportunity to watch the reactions of "important people", blue collar types, senior citizens, kids, bikers, sochie types, and just about everyone else you might be able to think of. One time, some kids had brought a whoopie cushion to the stock car track, and were "demonstrating" it throughout the stands. When they came to our area, we were prepared. My wife removed some stink bombs from her purse, and we stepped on them. It lent a bit of authenticity to what the kids were doing.
Obviously, this is stuff I cannot be doing anymore. It certainly broke the golden rule, at the very least! Our atheist buddies here are going to have a field day with this one, but hopefully everyone will remember that these activities occurred while I was a prodigal.
"I went to a major state university.
Yet another lame reminder of the great Larry's academic credentials - which he somehow manages to slip in to so many of his comments.
Larry cracks me up by his incessant attempts at having to constantly remind us of his academic background - as if somehow that will substitute for his extremely fuzzy and poorly-reasoned rantings about his self-proclaimed deep understanding of the plan of God.
But Larry, WHY such secrecy when it comes to specifics - such as the exact field of research you got your much touted PhD in?
Last week you again made your frequent boast to being a scientist - so why keep us in such suspense? Why do you seem so reticent to reveal any meaningful specifics?
Is such deceptiveness the way of science, or rather of fundamentalist religion?
We want to know The Plain Truth about Larry's doctorate. I'm talking about SPECIFICS now, not the usual meaningless boast, because I intend to "prove all things" and write a booklet called "Larry's Educational Qualifications - Revealed AT LAST!"
"anyone can go out on the Internet and find every co-worker letter he ever wrote from 1933 onward (or at least there used to be such a site on-line several years ago)"
At Pam Dewey's website one can find many examples of HWA's begging from 1934 to 1970.
For context one can read and/or download all of HWA's Co-Worker letters here.
Given the skepticism about your educational qualifications, feel free to email me privately with the details in condensed resume form. I'd be happy to attest to their relevance (without sharing any details) in any subsequent correspondence.
Poor old Greg.
When you are reduced to eating beans you have become a FLATUS symbol.
Nothing is of good report...refer to alternative meanings of the word.
Well,well,there are WINDS of CHANGE around the Albrecht household.
I just can't imagine why I think of BLOATED plutocrats.
So Greg and his are now eating THUNDERBERRIES.
Sure it will improve their health.
As one Anonymous has stated,Greg,associates and cohorts should invest some of their personal wealth into the "business" that gives them a good living.
But,this will never happen as we know.
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