Saturday 19 March 2016

Yesterday's Wonderful World Tomorrow... tickets expired

The lion shall lie down with the lamb, and Herbert will be God's right-hand man.

The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What It Will Be Like went through several editions. My 'favourite' is the original 96-page version which rolled off the presses way back in 1966. It begins...
Where will YOU be, ten years from now? You can know what is going to happen. In this booklet you are going to take an astonished glimpse into this world as it will be - in just ten or fifteen short years.
Astonished indeed, as a little mathematics demonstrates. 1966 plus ten brings us to 1976. Add on that 5-year safety margin and you're at 1981. Bear in mind that you'll need to subtract three and a half years for the Great Tribulation. Clearly time was of the essence.
It's GOING TO SOUND INCREDIBLE to you - yet it is SURE! This advance news of Tomorrow is accurate! It is as CERTAIN as the rising of tomorrow's sun! 
Incredible is understating it. That was fifty years ago.

The other interesting thing about the 1966 version is that it bears two names as joint authors, both Herbert W. Armstrong and his then anointed heir Garner Ted Armstrong.

Subsequent editions, beginning in 1973, airbrushed out the date-setting. Date setting? Who, us? And Ted quickly disappeared from the credits never to reappear.  In 1979 Everest House released a hardback version, and by 1982 it was back in booklet form, revised with a new cover.

(In 1999 Scott Lupo, a former member, wrote a paper entitled The Wonderful World Tomorrow: Herbert W. Armstrong's Vision of Life After the Apocalypse. It was subsequently published in the Journal of Millennial Studies, and is still available.)

But, of course, imitations were bound to follow. To mention just one, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? by the ever-original Roderick C. Meredith in 2008.

I'd venture to say that in 1970 Roger Whittaker had a better handle on the 'world tomorrow' than Herb, Ted and Rod put together.
Everybody talks about a new world in the morning
New world in the morning so they say
Now, I, myself don't talk about a new world in the morning
New world in the morning, that's today
And I can feel a new tomorrow comin' on
And I don't know why I have to make a song
Now everybody talks about a new world in the morning
New world in the morning takes so long
I met a man who had a dream he'd had since he was twenty
I met that man when he was eighty-one He said too many
folks just stand and wait until the mornin',
Don't they know tomorrow never comes
And he would feel a new tomorrow coming on
And when he'd smile his eyes would twinkle up in thought
Now, everybody talks about a new world in the morning
New world in the morning takes so long
And I can feel a new tomorrow coming on
And I don't know why I have to make a song
Now, everybody talks about a new world in the morning
New world in the morning takes so long.
More perceptive by far, you could whistle or hum along, and he didn't need 96 pages to say it.


Anonymous said...

Hello Gavin,

If you leave out all of the biblical mumbo jumbo and treat the booklet as a policy paper or forecast in the manner of prof Tetlock (forecasting).

Looking back at the Club of Rome, Cold War and all other secular dire predictions on World conditions for this time in the sixties and seventies.

Would you not say that the booklet is amazingly accurate.

Of course a lot of work needs to be done still but looking at UN numbers. I have not seen starving children like the sixties - eighties. There has been a tremendous increase in food production through the likes of monsanto or cargill. etc etc etc
If a deadly disease arises, world health orginazition is quick to contain it in Brazil or Africa. (or Aids in the West).

Ok, no world government yet. But still increased world coordination would you not?

And I'm not even discussing economics and haute finance.


The Skeptic said...

As nck says ... we're well on our way to achieving that "Wonderful World Tomorrow". WITHOUT any help from God!

Stephen said...

"Would you not say that the booklet is amazingly accurate."

Forget the adj. "amazing." Accurate in what conceivable way?

Byker Bob said...

On the topic of dates, it is always good to have solid evidence such as this in the forefront. Because it has been approximately 30 years since HWA's death, there are numerous members of the splinter groups who have little or no direct memory of Herbert W. Armstrong, or whether he in fact did set dates. The WCG often officially covered their activities through revisionism, purging or editing written materials which had proven by the passage of time to be false and inaccurate. Then, it became easy to spin failures. The mantra "Mr. Armstrong never set dates", apparently has great credibility in the splinters, and those of us who know the truth about the date setting are seen by the stalwarts as being disgruntled liars. Probably, with the dropping of GTA's name as co-author, some even assume that it was he, and not his pure as driven snow father who had set the wrong dates. But, GTA didn't concoct 19 year time cycles. That little gem was purely an Herbal touch.

Also, know how fundamentalist marketers have co-opted popular slogans from the secular world, such as "Jesus Christ is the real thing!", or "The Force is Jesus"? You see these things on baseball caps, T-shirts, and bumper stickers all the time, depending on what has most recently captured the public's fancy. HWA, coming from the advertising industry, was an early pioneer of this sort of usurpation. He took many of the ideas of a future world, as expounded by various visionaries and acclaimed thinkers of that day, and combined them with his own teachings, correcting or slightly modifying them along the way to suit his own purposes in his recruitment literature. He was a shameless plagiarist. The late John Trechak recognized this, and, in one issue of Ambassador Reports posed the question "What if some of the events HWA forecast, actually begin to unfold as he said they would?" John knew that limited fulfillment had the potential to make HWA appear prescient in retrospect. HWA was merely a cunning co-opter or exploiter of finer minds than his.


Gavin R said...

Gotta admit it nck that's a unique perspective.

Redfox712 said...

So that booklet was originally written by HWA and Garner Ted Armstrong. Never knew that before.

The same thing happened with The Missing Dimension in Sex. When it was first released in 1966 it listed several authors, namely Charles Dorothy, Herman Hoeh, Ernest Martin, Roderick C. Meredith, Benjamin Rea, HWA, and Dr. Ralph Merrill. The illustrations were attributed to Merrill. But this sharing of credit was later whitewashed to only credit HWA. Even Meredith's contribution was scrubbed away.

The same thing also happened in PCG. Some of their early booklets credited to Gerald Flurry contained acknowledgements that Dennis Leap contributed to the booklet. But later most of those acknowledgements got whitewashed away even though Leap is still there among PCG's 1%.

Pam said...

Thanks for the lyrics to Whittaker's New World song, Gavin! My parents (born in 1922) were very enamored of his music because it was so mellow compared to the rock music of the time, and pointed him out to me, so I had a greatest hits tape. ("Last Farewell" was particularly poignant and melodic.) But as I look at these lyrics now I am stunned to realize I NEVER paid attention to the message of the song, just the pretty tune! For those too young to remember it (it was played endlessly on US easy listening stations back in the day) here is a link to the video on Youtube.

New World in the Mornin'

I was a died in the wool young GTA junkie at the time this record was popular. I came into contact with the WCG in 1965 at just 18 and was baptized in 1968 at 21. I never could stand Herbert, he just seemed like a boring, washed up has-been by then when I was forced to listen to a sermon by him at the Feast. Ted was exciting and young and glib.

I was sold totally on the prophetic speculation, including the fleeing to Petra indeed it didn't occur to me to think that I could have any impact on the world to change it for the better by choices or efforts I made. Or that there was any value at all in looking at each new morning with gratitude and a positive attitude about being a light in the world. I was just biding my time until the Big One came and I could go hide my light from the world under a bushel in Pretty Petra while God spanked everyone who wasn't One of Us.

Pam said...

"But, GTA didn't concoct 19 year time cycles. That little gem was purely an Herbal touch. "

Actually, I was able to trace it back some time ago not to Herbert, but to Herman Hoeh. (You can bet if Herbert ACTUALLY had been the one to come up with it, he would have been sure to take all the credit for it. Instead, in the article excerpt below he credits Herman. Herman was also the first to publicly refer to Herbert as God's Apostle... clear back in the 1950s.)

(This is from my "Memoir" on my Field Guide website. Memoir of the Tribulation )

In 1953, Ambassador College thinker Herman Hoeh thought up an idea that really grabbed the attention of Radio Church of God (and Ambassador College) founder Herbert Armstrong.

Here is how Armstrong explained it to his supporters in a "Co-Worker Letter" 5/22/53:

Listen now to an ASTOUNDING fact! God has set TIME running in cycles of 19 years. Just once every 19 years the days, divided by the sun; the months, divided by the new moons; and the years, divided by the revolution of the earth around the sun, all come into exact conjunction. Thus God's NATURE runs in 19-year cycles. That is important. Now see what has happened.

It took just ONE COMPLETE CYCLE of 19 years for this work to grow from nothing until it carried the very Gospel of Jesus all over the North American continent in mighty POWER! That 19-year cycle ended, and the second 19-year cycle began, during the first quarter of this present year, 1953!

The very start of the second 19-year cycle marked the beginning of proclaiming this Gospel to ALL EUROPE and THE BRITISH ISLES! It must still go to Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. WHEN it has spanned the world, THEN the END OF THE WORLD shall come! The disciples asked Jesus WHEN this world would end, and His second coming occur. He said THIS Gospel shall go around the world, and THEN shall the end come!

Now HERE IS SOMETHING STARTLING! Herman Hoeh, in his eye-opening article you will read in the June number of The PLAIN TRUTH on the Times of the Gentiles shows that the Times of the Gentiles---if chronologies are correct---will come to their final end in the year 1982. Very few have ever rightly understood the Times of the Gentiles---what they are, or when they end. They are to last until all the Gentile nations come to ACKNOWLEDGE that God is the real RULER over all nations and men. They will not acknowledge that when Christ first comes. Instead, they shall fight against Him---at Armageddon---and resist His rule. Christ shall rebuke strong nations afar off UNTIL (Moffatt translation) they recognize these truths. Christ will have to send famine, and then plagues, in successive YEARS, upon the Egyptians, before they will acknowledge Him as rightful RULER (Zech. 14).

Now if this chronology is correct, that means Christ shall return some very few years PRIOR to 1982! ... IF THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES END IN 1982, in October, as Mr. Hoeh has it figured, THE INVASION OF AMERICA AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION MUST BEGIN NOT LATER THAT MARCH-APRIL, 1972!

It could begin sooner. This date is hypothetical, not definite. But apparently it cannot begin LATER than that date. One chronology sets this disaster TEN YEARS from now! But March- April, 1972 is the LATEST POSSIBLE DATE.

[See the rest of this article at the link given above.]

Pam said...

I just looked at what I wrote above again, and see that what Herman came up with was not necessarily the 19 year time cycles... Herbert doesn't say exactly where he got that. What he declares in this article is that it was Herman who applied those cycles to set the detailed speculation on the timing of the Return, with 1982 being the latest possible date. (And they eventually decided that the incident of the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar somehow meant you needed to subtract 7 years from that to get 1975 in Prophecy. And a 3.5 year tribulation from THAT to get to the 1972 Fleeing to Petra.)

Anonymous said...

Reading Pam's comments
I am reminded of the december 2015 issue of 'the journal." In that issue david john hill discusses in casual manner how he and herman hoeh came up with "the present location of the israelite tribes" during a brainstorm. Then he dismisses it casually with how much fun he had concocting or elaborating the doctrine that was so fundamental to the entire creed. But that was what it was wasn't it? Providing people with a false sense of identity.

BB makes some valid points. I might add that there is a direct connection to the PR machine of Edward Bernays (freud's cousin and father of modern marketing) and the 1939 "world of tomorrow fair" in New York. A striking similarity to the name and purpose of a certain radio and tv show we are familiar with.

Actually if you are interested in the "art of forecasting" I would direct you to the work of Philip E Tetlock. His "superforecasters", (who are people like you and me) beat the intelligence services everytime, because of their flexibility of mind (and dates) if circumstances change.

Now Stephen asks, in what conceivable way. I said take a booklet. Cross out all references to biblical source. Then reread the booklet and think about : the skeptics remark. In between you might compare UNESCO or UNICEF or whatever relevant UN statistics from the sixties to this moment.

By all standards of the Club of Rome. Malthus or other scientists from the sixties, humanity should be dead by know. But guess what, there is Salmon in the Rhine, 7 billion people being fed, warren buffet investing hugely in solar energy etc etc

Just keep up the good work my friend.

Look at all the "man on mars" movies from hollywood lately. Our mind is being prepared by the powers that be to send man to the stars eventually. Just like "you awesome destiny" or whatever the title of the wcg booklet predicted. (perhaps not you personally but at least your dna will get there, at least if you fulfilled you god given duty on earth, as explained in "the missing dimension" LOL LOL and how much fun is that?)


ps gavin if you feel my remarks have no added value please say so. With all respect, I have no intention to intrude. Just trying to be unique as you said.

Unknown said...

RUBBISH! --My exhaustive research has discovered that the descendants of Jacob now EXCLUSIVELY live on PITCAIRN ISLAND in the South Pacific and are the descendants of Fletcher Christian, who was the last pure Israelite who was "perfect in his generations". There has been NO genetic research done on the Pitcarin's to date, and when they do, I will be proven right!

Anonymous said...

Well Connie,

with that posting you just did proud to captain James KOOK.


ps. The people there are sabbath keepers. But it's a sad state of affairs nowadays according to the British Foreign office. I wish them well.

Pam said...

Sad state of affairs in Pitcairn indeed. From Wikipedia... (The whole thing sounds like a clone of the Warren Jeffs cult...just SDA instead of Mormon. For generations, sex with girls as young as 12 was a culturally-accepted norm.)

"In 2004, charges were laid against seven men living on Pitcairn and six living abroad. This accounted for nearly a third of the male population. After extensive trials, most of the men were convicted, some with multiple counts of sexual encounters with children. On 25 October 2004, six men were convicted, including Steve Christian, the island's mayor at the time. After the six men lost their final appeal, the British government set up a prison on the island at Bob's Valley. The men began serving their sentences in late 2006. By 2010, all had served their sentences or been granted home detention status.

In 2010 then-mayor Mike Warren faced 25 charges of possessing images and videos of child pornography on his computer.

An "entry clearance application" must be made for any child under the age of 16, prior to visiting Pitcairn, while adults visiting the island for periods of less than 14 days are not required to complete any application or visa request prior to arrival.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not currently allow their staff based on Pitcairn to be accompanied by their children."

Anonymous said...


How American of you to, "in your face", publish the fate of Pitcairn I sensitively alluded at, being very "European", about the state of affairs.

At least you hint at the fact that the crime has probably more to do with the mixed cultural background of the inhabitants than them being sabbatarians.

I'm not criticising you, just pointing at an obvious difference in our two postings. (also keeping in mind the affiliation of our host)

On the other hand thank God for women like you who obviously care about the fate of children. I'm sure your reasons for the extra attention are sound.


Gavin R said...

Legal proceedings in the Pitcairn Islands saga have been held in NZ, so have been very well reported here. The whole thing is desperately sad. The SDA church seems to be pretending nothing has happened.

I'm intrigued by the comment "keeping in mind the affiliation of our host". Do you know something I don't?

Anonymous said...


I was just being sensitive to not say negative things on your hometurf on our first encounter. I would find that impolite. That's all.