The court-ordered receivership early last month of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God (WCG) set off a sequence of bizarre confrontations between loyal but obstinate WCG followers and California law authorities (Feb. 2 issue, p. 43). Retired judge Stephen Weisman, who as temporary receiver was responsible for seeing that WCG funds were being used correctly, said he was “getting no cooperation” from the WCG.
There were almost daily developments last month in the case, which was initiated when the California attorney general and six former WCG members filed suit charging that the 86-year-old Armstrong, top aide Stanley Rader, and other church officers had siphoned away millions of WCG dollars for their own use.
Weisman, who was maintaining an office at WCG headquarters at Ambassador College in Pasadena, at one point stopped Armstrong from mailing a two-page fund-raising letter, which requested donations from WCG supporters for “legal defense to save the work.” Armstrong intended that the money be sent directly to his Tucson home, but Weisman stopped 60,000 copies of the letter at the Pasadena post office since, he said, it violated the receivership.
WCG attorneys appealed Weisman’s decision to impound the letters, but he was upheld by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Julius Title. The attorneys also asked a federal court judge, Robert Firth, to award Armstrong and the WCG $700 million in damages caused by the superior court action that placed the church in receivership. Firth allowed further hearings concerning the suit, but refused to intervene directly in the case, ruling that state courts have jurisdiction for the time being.
Vocal WCG supporters have appeared at the ongoing court ...1
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