Aloe Verily, Inc.

I fell asleep the other night while reading the Christian Yellow Pages and dreamed a wondrous dream. I was wandering about Wall Street in New York when I saw a big brass plate anchored by a white doorway, which read, Aloe Verily, Inc.

I entered and was greeted by a cheery lady wearing a small lapel pin that appeared to be a tiny flowering cactus with a cross rising out of it. She smiled.

“Pardon me,” I said, “I was looking for an …”

“Exciting career in the Aloe Verily Corporation?”

She had taken the words right out of my mouth. I felt awkward and slow of speech. “Yes,” I said at last, “could you tell me more about Aloe Verily? I’m a pretty shy person and I once tried selling New Life Vitamins and didn’t do so well.”

“Sir,” she said, “Do you have three friends?”

I smiled weakly, almost insulted. “Everybody has three friends,” I said.

“All you have to do is get them together for an Alpha Aloe Bible Study. An AABS, as we say in the trade!” She smiled broadly.

“Alpha Aloe?” I felt foolish asking her, for Alpha obviously stood for Christ and Aloe for the cactus balsam cosmetics that were making Christians everywhere more lovely.

“Alpha stands for Christ,” she said excitedly, “And Aloe for our cactus balsam cosmetics …”

“Never mind,” I said, “I have three friends—four when they’re all in town. I can get them together.”

“Good,” she said, “Once we get them together—after the Bible study—we will serve them a nice ice-chilled Aloe Vitalizer. Then we’ll give them a Radiant Aloe facial and try to sell them a New Life Aloette Kit, which includes their Bible-Alpha cassette study tapes to clear the inner mind as well as the Aloe Verily lotion control and nutrient program.”

“How much?” I asked.

“How much for what?” she replied, and then went on: “My dear, we at Aloe Verily never talk about how much—money cannot be considered in lieu of the total inner and outer cleansing of Alpha control.”

“How much will this cost my three friends?”

“Only a few cents per day.”

“For how long?”

“For three years.”

“What’s in this for Aloe Verily?” I felt shame in asking such a question.

“The question is not what it costs your three friends; you see, it could be free for them, just as it is for you.” There was a pause, I thought of Harry, Jake, and Bill. Would they go for Aloe Verily?

“Remember,” she said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness, and Aloe Verily means clean!”

It was a company slogan.

“How could it be free for Harry, Jake, and Bill?” I asked.

“Well, if they each have three friends and agree to have an Alpha Aloe Bible Study …”

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“Then they get a tall, chilled glass of Alpha Aloe Vitalizer and Radiant Aloe facial and New Life Aloette Kit …”

“Precisely,” she beamed, “And you get an override on all they sell.”

“Does this mean that if Harry, Jake, and Bill’s nine friends each have three friends that I could be swimming in Aloe Verily?”

“If Harry, Jake, and Bill’s 27 contacts all buy Aloe Verily and establish three contacts, you could eventually be making enough money that you could quit going to the Bible studies altogether.”

It was a lovely idea but I had to ask, “Miss, do you have three friends?”

She hung her head sadly. “I used to,” she said.


Money: Not A Cure-All

“The Other Side of Thanksgiving” [Nov. 26] points out an overwhelming truth: “Money itself is no guarantee of success in development.” Particularly among government foreign aid programs, money is too often regarded as the cure-all for the Third World’s massive problems. The facts point the other way.

This is not to say that gifts of money, food, and other commodities are not helpful as emergency measures. But we have seen low-cost development programs transform communities in Guatemala and Ecuador. A 50 percent cut in infant mortality, dramatically increased food production, safe water, better housing, waste disposal—all these have been realized with minimal funding on our part, but maximum investment in time and relationships by our field staff who work with the people.

Catalyst for these changes is the indigenous church, which ministers to the spiritual and physical needs of their people.


MAP International

Carol Stream, Ill.

I was very disappointed to discover your omission of the Salvation Army’s extensive work in the Third World countries.

It was indeed a blessing to discover the selfless and dedicated work that is represented by the numerous organizations mentioned throughout your article. However, your oversight of the Salvation Army was not only disappointing, but shows a lack of sufficient research before composition of an article.


The Salvation Army

Rock Island, Ill.

Academic Freedom Needed

As a witness at the Arkansas creation-evolution trial, I read with amazement your report [News, Nov. 26]. Does this mean the judge will now overturn his ruling, since that is exactly opposite of what he ruled on January 5, 1982 (see my Creator in the Courtroom, Mott Media, pp. 174–77)?

I did note that there was a catch in the reported words of Judge Overton. Evidence for a Creator will be allowed only when a majority of scientists believe it is valid. What about a 76 percent majority of the citizens who now believe it is valid to teach both? Since when did a scientific aristocracy take over our schools? Remember Galileo. Pray for academic freedom.

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Dallas, Texas

Misleading Reference

Thank you for the farewell interview with Kenneth Kantzer [“Reflections: Five Years of Change,” Nov. 26]. Among his perceptive comments there is, however, a misleading reference to a merger of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and the World Evangelical Fellowship as a “foregone conclusion.”

Actually, cooperation, not merger, is the situation. At the Consultation on World Evangelization in 1980, the desirability of a merger was thoroughly discussed, but not recommended. However, cooperation in mutual projects related to world evangelization, as for example, the Consultation on the Relationship Between Evangelism and Social Responsibility held last June, is not only possible, but much to be desired.

WEF plays a unique role as a membership-based organization that covers many important areas of evangelical concern. LCWE is an unofficial movement of individuals and groups covenanting together to stimulate world evangelization. Both groups have unique roles and vital futures, but their potential may be diverted by undue expectations of merger.



Charlotte, N.C.

The Great Noodle!

Regarding “Noodles: A New Symbol?” [Nov. 26], I would like to advance the following symbolism: Noodles clearly represent sermons! Eutychus says, “Noodles are plastic.” I have heard my share of “plastic” sermons. “Noodles are dry—often. Usually they are yellow.” A courageous sermon? Just how long has it been since you heard a sermon so bold that, unless his congregation is aroused to action, the pastor is a “squished noodle”?

As for the admonition to “beware the fellowship where they seem to be a congregational symbol,” if noodles represent sermons, you could be right! If you have noticed that noodles are “chummy when they are warm,” then let’s warm up the crowd with a little more of God’s Spirit and they won’t care what they eat, as long as it is “together.” I would rather meet a noodle that is “unable to stand firm in hot water” than the humans I have met in that flimsy, slippery condition!


La Mesa, Calif.

Pertinent Information

In reference to your article “Better Ways to Combat Cults Are Being Developed” [Nov. 26], the article puts Mr. Scharff in a positive light. Gary Scharff was invited to my home on November 9 to talk to me. The invitation came from my parents. The unusual thing is that I’m not in a cult. I’m a Hebrew Christian.

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The article seemed to indicate that these people were active only when people are in cults. Mr. Scharff made no distinction between cults and Hebrew Christianity.


Bronx, N.Y.

Patronizing Statements

Mr. Clark’s statements concerning Hispanics in “Hispanics: The Harvest Field at Home” [Nov. 12] were in general very patronizing. He states that there are over 12 million Hispanics residing in the U.S. The correct estimate is more like 20 to 25 million (Evangelical Missions, Oct. 1980). Hispanics become isolated because of the prejudice that exists in the Anglo churches. Furthermore, the Hispanic church is one of the fastest-growing churches in our large cities, while Anglo churches are moving away into the suburbs.

The basic factor that unites Hispanics is their culture and the way they relate to one another. Because one can speak a language does not mean that he or she understands a group of people. In order to accomplish a successful ministry you must be able to understand the language. But more important, you must be able to understand the culture.


South Hamilton, Mass.

Erroneous And Distorted

Your article on People for the American Way [News, Nov. 12] contained numerous factual errors, distortions, and false charges.

You quote the Moral Majority as denying any participation in censorship or book burning. Yet Rev. Falwell sends out thousands of letters urging his followers to scour their libraries and says “Books that don’t accurately present the American heritage must be eliminated.” And Rev. Tim LaHaye, who serves on the Moral Majority’s board of directors, endorses the public destruction services (record and book burning events) of the Peters Brothers on his nationally syndicated television program.

You suggest that the Moral Majority leader calling for executing homosexuals is an isolated incident. Yet the national secretary and first executive director of that organization have also made virtually identical statements. And Rev. Falwell calls on his followers to “stop homosexuals dead in their tracks.”


People for the American Way

Washington, D.C.

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