The Bathsheba Syndrome
[UNDERSTANDING WHY THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD ENDED]
We have a telephone conference line that allows us to place a fifteen minute message on this system daily - - which we call “The Daily Bread.” Different speakers from different states give this message and people can call in and receive this daily inspirational message. My message for the date of, Saturday November 17, 2012 was titled “The Bathsheba Syndrome” but the message was NOT about Bathsheba but about salvation and the abuse of power, as we will see in this article.
Just what is the “Bathsheba Syndrome?” This is a term that some psychologists have coined primarily in their studies of misbehavior among military personnel - - especially leaders. But to coin such a phrase (Bathsheba syndrome) to describe the misbehavior of men in leadership positions is a definite misnomer and misapplication that tends to blame Bathsheba for the lusts and sins of king David of ancient Israel. We should all know the story. Bathsheba was merely the hapless victim in this story. She was the wife of one of David’s top soldiers. Her only problem was that she was a very beautiful woman (the story is recorded in 2 Samuel 11 in the Old Testament of the Bible).
We will deal with David later in this article but first let us understand what the “Bathsheba Syndrome” is. Following is the psychologist’s interpretation of this syndrome. “The Bathsheba syndrome asserts that the ethical failure of powerful leaders is often not the result of an individual’s low morals but the produce of success. Can you even remotely accept such a concept? How stupid can some men be even if they profess to have degrees in science? I dare say that is was a male psychologist who conjured up such a ridiculous philosophy, but let us go further.
Think back on the many high profile leaders who have succumbed to moral failures that most of us know about. Here are only a few: General Petraeus, Tiger Wood, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Lyndon Johnson and so many others. But these male psychologists who conjure us this definition want to place the blame on Bathsheba. Let us understand how these rogue leaders actually think and then seek to cover their mistakes by blaming others.
Continuing with the article: “Anytime someone is promoted or even catapulted into a leadership position it can (and often does) engineer a sense of privilege, a sense of power and generate a need or motivation to cover one’s tracks.”
To quote Tiger Woods: “I felt I was above the moral rules of society - -that I had earned the right since I am Tiger Woods and exempt from the moral rules imposed by society - -I am the best golfer in the world.” Such a person cannot claim innocence or ignorance. They know their actions are wrong but feel their station in life accords them the right to break the rules, as Tiger claimed!
Let us return to the case of King David to illustrate this philosophy. Here we find that David allowed his sexual lust to cloud his judgment and cause him to steal another man’s wife and get her pregnant (like John Edwards) but then go on a campaign to cover his sins to the extent of lying and even murdering the woman’s husband, as David did. Going back to the article again we find: “It is very common that leaders can fall into the trap, believing they can get away with things because of who they are!” It was this attitude that enabled David to try and get around the consequences of his actions. But let us allow David himself to expound this human reasoning. His reasoning is set forth in 2 allow David himself to expound this human reasoning. His reasoning is set forth in 2 Samuel 11:25 where David said to his captain, Joab: “Don’t let this upset you (just forget about it); the sword devours one as well as another!” In other words he was saying that Uriah’s life was NOT worth even considering since he was only a soldier whose life did not have that much meaning! In other words, since I am the only one who counts here and since we always seem to have “friendly fire” casualties, we can just forget about it and move on as if nothing adverse really happened so we can avoid any adverse consequences. Or, let this be our “little secret” and move on. [NOTE this point will be dealt with in greater detail later on this article.}
But God did not consider it that way and used Nathan the prophet to illustrate just how serious the situation really was (study 2 Samuel 12). God inspired Nathan to use the analogy of two men - - one very rich and the other very poor - - relegated as an unimportant person. The rich man had many animals from which to choose but the poor man had only one ewe lamb. The rich man had a visitor but rather than choosing one of his own animals he stole the one little ewe lamb from this poor man and used it for his own selfishness in feeding his guest (verses 1-4). Once David heard this account he was extremely angry (see verses 5-7). Suddenly the full impact of his sin hit home with David while he thought this was someone else’s sin (someone less important)- - he knew what such an evil person deserved and immediately pronounced the death sentence on him (actually on himself). He was truly shocked when Nathan said “You are that man!”
As we find in Psalm 51, David bitterly repented of this terrible sin and God forgave him. This shows the necessity for us to repent of our sins and seek God’s mercy. But, even though God forgave David’s sins, David still had to bear the humility and stigma of having his sins revealed not only to ancient Israel but written in the Bible so that we today can read of these and learn valuable lessons. Notice that God allowed this additional penalty to fall on David. As we find recorded in 2 Samuel 12:12, God said “You did this in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight (public humility) before all Israel (and the entire earth). He needed to learn that such a seemingly “unimportant person” is someone who belongs to God and is very valuable to God. We will come back to this important point later and see how it applies to us today.
I find it rather tragic that “Bathsheba” gets the blame for the moral decay of David and other leading men. She was a victim in all this. The same is true with all the different women caught up with these morally bankrupt leaders who get caught - - not even counting the many other men who managed to get away with these sins AT THE TIME but no one ever “gets away with sin” since everything that is done in secret will be revealed openly! All the women Tiger Woods had sex with were either prostitutes or women with low moral standards themselves. So, much of Tiger’s moral bankruptcy was seemingly mitigated by the public and blame was attributed to these women (or others). The same is true with the others mentioned here. If the public likes the wayward leader then it finds ways to excuse him or minimize his sins. I could go on and on with how this same scenario was played out with the other leaders mentioned here but will use another modern situation to make the point. These rather recent true situations that I will recount have more far reaching effects on the physical and spiritual lives of literally thousands of people and has caused unbelievable and almost incurable psychological damages to these people, many located in several countries.
During my younger years as a minister I worked out of the headquarters of a church in Pasadena, California - - a very large and popular religious organization called the Worldwide Church of God founded and run by a father/son combination [Herbert and Ted Armstrong]. This organization had both radio and TV programs that were glamorous and reached many countries and produced two glossy magazines called The Plain Truth and The Good News distributed around the world. Also, this organization sponsored three colleges (Ambassador College)- - two in the United States and one in England. These colleges had many young women in attendance. The son in this case [Gartner Ted Armstrong] held the title of “vice president” and top “evangelist” in the church organization his father began. He was truly a handsome fellow with tremendous charm, personality and talent that women fell for. But there was a very major problem - - he had an insatiable lust for sex and these three campuses presented pickings of young virgin girls with luscious figures from which to choose his victims. As soon as he tired of each victim he seduced he went for the next flower that he could deflower. It became a real contest to see how many women with whom he could have sex. This fact is undeniable as his actions were well known by other ministers.
The real problems arose as each of these sexual victims realized they had been victimized and were nothing more than a sexually gratifying trophy for this man dressed in religious garb - - a pedophile being enabled by a religious cult that cared nothing for the mental, emotional and spiritual well being of the people it ruled! But they were all young and their lives ahead of them so they sought help. I happened to be someone that 24 girls [that I personally knew and worked with personally], who just happened to come to me for help in rebuilding their lives. They were desperate for help but which one of these “leaders” in that “upper class” of so-called “ministers” could they trust?
Eventually, one of these victims (a girl by the name of Karen) told Ted that she was working with me to help her rebuild her life. He telephoned me and asked me to meet him in his office (about 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night after a Bible study which he conducted) - - and I went. For the first hour he talked in circles and never brought up anything remotely related to why he called me in. Finally he said “You realize that I have enemies who are trying to destroy me?” (I said nothing!) He rambled on for some time and then he said “There is this girl who hates me and is trying to destroy me!” (Again I said nothing for he had NOT asked me any question). Eventually he brought up this girl’s name and said “You realize she is trying to destroy me, don’t you?” Since that was a direct question that needed an answer I replied “Well, sir, it is true that I have been working with Karen BUT, WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON ARE NOT LIES!”
That stunned him as he realized that he was not going to be able to bluff his way out of this mess. He then changed his mannerism from bluffing to a feigned humility and pretended remorse. [Let me set the stage for this meeting. When I arrived at his office he met me with an open sixteen ounce can of beer in his hand - -trying to be his macho self. Here he was meeting with a man whom he knew held his lucrative and salacious future in that organization in my hands and yet he was going to try and bluff his way through this threat with his charm and bravado - - and he did not even offer me a beer - - smile].
In his feigned sorrow he pleaded “Oh, Bill, what do I do? You do not know how many times I have taken my pistol and placed the barrel in my mouth to shoot myself” - - yet, as he said this, there was not any sign of actual sorrow and certainly no tears [I will explain this point later]. I said nothing so as to allow him the chance to carry out his performance to see where it would eventually go!
Suddenly he changed directions and began to praise me saying “Bill I respect you and value your opinions. Would you evaluate me?” [seeking to learn if I was going to be friend or foe]. I replied “You are my superior in this organization and it would be totally improper for me to evaluate you” He insisted and each time I replied “Sorry, but I cannot do this!” [He still did not know where I stood in this]. But he persisted so finally I said “I would be willing to give an assessment of the situation that I now face if that would help” and he quickly replied “That would be fine!”
I then stated the following: “I am facing a situation that is incomprehensible for me to grasp or “get my head around” as I cannot grasp how a man in a very responsible position where literally thousands of lives would be greatly affected adversely (destroying them spiritually and mentally) could do things repeatedly for years and never change his ways or show any remorse or sorrow!” [Please note that I did not accuse him of anything or mention him by name - - as I did not need to since he knew what I was saying and why I said it the way I did.] He asked me if I was aware of other girls, naming several to which I replied “I have been working with them as well!”
When I said what I did he leaned back in his big swivel chair and stared into the ceiling for a long period. Suddenly he leaned forward and said “That is it, Isn’t it?” I asked what he meant and he replied “I do not understand, do I?” to which I responded “I do not know - - that is something you will need to personally take up with God Himself !” He stared into space for a few moments and grabbed the telephone - - it was then 2:00 a.m. He dialed a number and shortly his father, the founder of this religious cult and president of a three college system, answered. Due to the loudness of his father’s voice, I could hear both sides of the conversation. He told his father that he needed to talk with him and his father replied by asking “what time is it?” Then the father said “Can’t it wait?” to which he replied “No, it can’t!” He was then told to come over to the father’s house at 2:00 a.m. It was then early Saturday morning so I went home perplexed as to what God would do about all this.
Monday morning I was directed to go to his father’s office. Obviously the two had engaged in conversation over the matter. The first thing that came out of the father’s mouth was “Are you going to blackmail me?” [He never made inquiry as to how I was emotionally or spiritually handling all this and other serious sins I knew of. (NOTE: In all these cases with me and with my wife, he never inquired how I (or my wife) was coping with all these things that clearly were contrary to everything the church was supposed to stand for] My reply was simple and direct as I said “No, Sir, I do NOT function that way.” Even though this session ended then and there (I was merely dismissed from the meeting) but it set into motion events that cost me my sanity and nearly cost me my life.
About two weeks later he learned of another sexual seduction of another girl by his son and that I had been working with that girl too. Again I was called into Mr. Armstrong’s office. This time, without inquiring how I was standing up under what had been happening in my life dealing with these girls and helping them rebuild their lives, he merely demanded “What is it going to COST ME to get rid of you PERMANENTLY?” Again, I replied “I still do not function that way!” Again he dismissed me from this meeting without saying anything else.
Then I began hearing from the girls involved ABOUT HOW HE WAS TREATING THEM. He called them in and used every dirty and slutty word he knew to try and demoralize them trying to make sure these victims never talked to anyone else about these matters- - swiftly DESTROYING all the mental, emotional and spiritual progress they had made through counseling. He then teamed up with his wife (Loma) along with two other top officials [Rod Meredith and Dr. Clint Zimmerman] to conspire of ways they could discredit me [typical behavior in that church he founded and ruled with an iron fist - - and typical of all cults] in the event I told anyone what I knew about these horrendous sins. What truly devastated me mentally, spiritually and emotionally was the way and means he treated his son’s sex victims after they had made good mental, emotional and spiritual progress through counseling [that alone was a serious crime under California laws - - as we have seen in recent court prosecutions - - and tremendous sins against the Almighty God as these were God’s people who LEGALLY were supposed to be under the spiritual care of the leaders who were betraying that trust and also violating CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS]. I had truly believed this man was a true minister and “apostle” of God incapable of what I had witnessed with my own eyes - - that he knowingly did everything in his power to destroy these young girls who were supposed to be under his care, protection and help as the president of the three colleges and the pastor of the church - - HOW CAN ANYONE UNDERSTAND OR EVEN BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND OR EXPLAIN THESE ATROCITIES? [It should be remembered what happened to Catholic pedophile priests and also the Pen State University coaches and officials who used their offices to enable them to sexually abuse innocent victims. These people got stiff prison sentences and their organizations received large fines for sheltering and covering up the crimes of these pedophiles.]
Had I been so disposed, I had the proof that would have netted Herbert and Ted Armstrong (and those church officials who helped the Armstrongs cover these crimes and sins) lengthy prison sentences and millions of dollars in fines from the organization that sheltered these criminals under the guise of religious organization. The CIVIL authorities could at this time still go after the organization and all those who sheltered church officials who did this even though that church has since suffered a hostile take- over by the Tkachs.
At one point Tkach had corporate attorney Ralph Helge write to me with a threat that if I told what I knew that I would be sued in court. I did NOT bother to answer Helge but wrote Tkach personally stating that I would welcome any law suit IN ANY COURT - - FEDERAL OR STATE - - because if he filed such a suit, in defending myself, I would be allowed by law to depose under oath any person involved in this mess and they knew they could not afford bring such a suit and thus have to answer truthfully under oath lest they be jailed for conspiracy and perjury and other crimes. That I had no intent to challenge their hostile takeover of the organization (since it was already corrupt) but that they could force me to defend myself in a court of law and they knew they could not win such a suit. Tkach knew that I had established proof of all my claims including that Tkach senior was using his executive secretary for services in both the board room and the bed room which caused his wife to suffer a breakdown and become a recluse once she learned of his unfaithfulness to her and to the religion they claimed to follow.
During the time when the California attorney general’s office was trying to look at the books of the corporation, I realized that Mr. Armstrong would probably be able to buy his way out of his troubles with millions and millions of tithes of honest people paying financially for his sins against the state and against God. Realizing this, I called the best civil rights attorney in Sacramento and made an appointment so as to file a civil suit (which would have brought Armstrong’s house and church down but overnight I realized that such actions would be trying to do God’s business since Armstrong was arrogantly using and abusing the name of God to enable him to continue sinning. So, the next morning I called and cancelled the appointment. [NOTE: Some have accused me of being vengeful. If I were, then I could have become a millionaire and become famous for bringing down a cult and its leaders. But I believed that God would not approve of my trying to do His work in this manner. I also agreed with Gamaliel (Acts 5:33-39 in the Bible) that “If a religious work is of men it will fail but if it is of God you will find yourself fighting against God. So I left this in God’s hands for it was God’s name that was being used to carry on this cult. Thus, today, we have proof that Armstrong’s church was NOT of God for it has dissolved into about two thousand splinter groups some of which are trying to recreate Armstrong’s image and philosophy. Yet thousands of people refuse to accept the facts that have been reported in the news media and thus hang on to the image of Herbert Armstrong. Even the pornographic magazine HUSTLER (produced and published by Larry Flint) ran a feature article titled “IN BED WITH TED” in which one of Ted’s sexual victims was interviewed. Thousands of people read (or at least heard of ) this article but still refused to believe it. Remember, I can document everything I say!
[Special note: there is a very large portion of this story that I cannot relate in this article due to space but will be covered in other articles posted.]
Suffice for now, I will say I suffered a total break with reality due to a mental and emotional breakdown so that I did not know where I was for quite a while. My family moved to Oregon where my parents lived. However, during the time I was out of my mind, this church leader [Herbert Armstrong] had his chauffeur [Jim Simpson] drive him from Pasadena, California to Oregon for the sole purpose of alienating my wife from me in order to try and cover his own tracks. He preached a sermon at the church where my wife attended but after services had her brought to his car. He immediately began a tirade against me accusing me o making up lies about him and his son. Since my wife had known him back to age 2, she respectfully listened to his tirade for a while. Finally she could not stand it any longer and blurted out “Mr. Armstrong, you listen to me a moment” (possibly the only woman who ever yelled at Herbert Armstrong and got away with it) no one has been more loyal to you, the church and to God than my husband, Bill Glover - - besides, it was not Bill who told me those things, it was your own son!” [SPECIAL NOTE: During the time of the conspiracy by Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, Rod Meredith and Dr. Zimmerman Ted actually felt sorry for me and called my wife Esther and said: “Esther I feel I must tell you what is going on - - Bill is protecting us and then he went on to tell her of the sins. Actually Ted was wrong in that I was trying to protect the one hundred thousand members of the church who would have become devastated had they known what was going on in the church they loved and the men they trusted as “ministers.”] This left Mr. Armstrong in a state of shock having just been proven as a liar and deceiver! He was speechless! Once he gained his composure, his reply was short and to the point when he said “Well, Ted should not have told you!” as he dismissed my wife and had himself driven away.
He clearly demonstrated the same attitude that David had after he had stolen Uriah’s wife, lied to try and cover it up and then resorted to killing the husband hoping he could cover his sins. Clearly the other human beings who were either victims of these serious sins or those of us who knew about them were of no value whatsoever to Mr. Armstrong or to Ted! Facing the reality that this man, whom I had truly considered an apostle of God sent me over the edge. While I was being held in solitary confinement on a suicide watch and totally incapable of helping myself he hired the top law firm in Oregon to make certain I would be put out of his life permanently. After my mind cleared enough to carry on a half way decent conversation one of these officials in charge of my case asked “Why do those people in Pasadena, California hate you so much?” I inquired as to why he asked such a question and his reply was “They are spending thousands and thousands of dollars to make certain you never get the chance to salvage your life!” [Special Note: I fully realize that there are many who are still under the spell of this religious leader (even though he is now dead and so is his son) but there will be many who will not even allow themselves to even contemplate the truth of these things or that Herbert Armstrong and Ted could possibly have such total disregard for people God had chosen as His people. However, let me make it crystal clear that there are clear records of these things that cannot be refuted and I can prove everything I say here and in other articles.]
Let me set forth the following to show the extent that this cult went to gain and maintain control of its members. At one point in 1964 I was given a list that contained the names, addresses and telephone numbers of one third of the Pasadena church membership. Two other ministers were given the other two lists. We were instructed to visit the people on our list and then make out reports of everything discussed and turn our reports into the “Visiting Program Office” where the information would then be typed into the master computer in the office building.
I visited the people but did NOT relate any private or confidential information that came to my attention. In the “comments” section I merely stated “general topics discussed and progress seemed to be evident.” Within a short time I was called in and the man supervising this section of the program said “Bill, we notice that you are NOT relating specific subjects discussed and that is what we want.” This man’s name was Selmer Hegvold whose job was more clerical than anything else. I responded: “Selmer, what I discuss with members is usually of a private and confidential natured (sometimes involving mistakes). Since these things were told to me in confidence then they will remain in confidence between the person, God Almighty and me and will not be written into reports to be inserted into a master computer so that many people (including secretaries) can have access to and know about very private and confidential material.”
Selmer, a very humble and dedicated man, took it on himself to tell me that I could continue as I had been doing - - for which I was thankful. Such action was unheard of in that organization - - that a man would go contrary to “policy” and instructions given. I had told Selmer that if it was necessary to remove me from this program that I would understand but that I could never follow such instructions. [Maybe it was things like this that prompted my sister-in-law (Mrs. Wayne Cole) to say: “Bill Glover, you are the most “on again - – off again” person I have ever known. She said this because I seemed to always be in trouble with the “upper authorities.” In another situation with Wayne Cole (my brother-in-law), just about three years ago he asked: “Bill, you had four brothers-in-law, ministers in the church - - why did you not come to one of us for help when these things were happening?” I asked him, “Which one of you could I have gone to - -which one of you could have personally handled what I was forced to deal with during those times? Could you have handled it back then?” He paused to give that question consideration and then replied “You are right, I could not have handled it at that time.” He has since learned the truth about these things but not from me personally! He now knows how far the organization had sunk into sin. [Special Note: Please read the one letter posted which I received from Ted Armstrong where he admitted the corruption in the Worldwide Church of God]
Now getting back to the article I began with. The psychologist said: “It is very common that leaders can fall into the trap, believing they can get away with things because of who they are! Powerful people feel they are entitled to these privileges - - that their conduct should be accepted and or ignored. As these people gain power, their personal self evaluation of themselves grows more favorable toward themselves (their EGO) while their evaluation of others grows more negative. Studies show that individuals who have this power of their position are more likely to surround themselves with “YES MEN” preferring those who readily agree with them over others who might challenge them by asking questions or challenge their ideas or actions.”
The above is a classic description of the hierarchy that was perfected by Herbert Armstrong and passed on to his minions. Mr. Armstrong chose a Board of Directors who did not dare question anything he said or did and had key men - - such as Rod Meredith, Herman Hoeh, Benjamin Rea and several others who would never oppose him in anything.. Ted chose his close friends among those who supported his actions and lifestyles such as Jon Hill, Les McCullough, Ron Kelley, Jim Thornhill and other parasites striving to feather their own nests and their own-future in the organization.
When new men were trained in Ambassador College, they were indoctrinated into this CONTROL AND AUTHORITY MENTALITY [CHURCH GOVERNANCE WHICH SOME SPLINTER GROUPS TENACIOUSLY HANG ON TO WHEN CHRIST HIMSELF CONDEMNS SUCH A GOVERNMENT] and even though, when Mr. Armstrong originally started his church, he admitted that such authoritarian church rulership doctrine was contrary to the Bible but that he feared losing control of his church if he did not adopt and exercise this authority doctrine perfected by Satan’s Catholic Church. The Bible calls this “Church Authority doctrine” that of the doctrine of the “Nicolaitans” - - meaning the assumed authority of the so-called saint known as St. Nicolas. Nicolas” which is another name for Satan the devil. So, Mr. Armstrong adopted and enforced this satanic rulership doctrine that was in total contrast to the clear statements of Jesus found in Matthew 20:25-28). This clear instruction from Jesus Christ came because the apostles were arguing over which one was the “greatest” - - a very common argument among the many splinter groups that rose out of the ashes of the Worldwide Church of God.
All we need do is look at the “fruits” of this satanic practice. Evaluate all the many (almost two thousand) groups that have grown out of the ruins of the Worldwide Church of God where many petty dictators rose up to form their own churches.
I had another brother-in-law (Raymond Cole) who was a minister of the church. After he learned of the many sins of the church he asked me to verify some of them - - which I did with evidence. He was shocked that these things had happened.
When the full evidence of Ted’s sins and Mr. Armstrong covering them for 20
years became evident that threatened the entire organization then Mr. Armstrong realized he had to get rid of Ted (I heard him ask Ted if he were going to trade salvation for a “little piece of flesh”) and, for the moment, decided to fire him from his position, remove him from the ministry and excommunicate him. I was present to witness Loma Armstrong telling Mr. Armstrong in no uncertain terms that he was NOT going to do that at all. Mr. Armstrong backed down to his wife and allowed Ted to continue. But they all intensified the conspiracy to discredit me in the event I talked. Mrs. Armstrong literally hated me for what I knew about her and her life. Maybe it was mere coincidence but very shortly she became ill with a blocked bowel that was so severe she puked up her own fecal matter before she died a horrible death. I cannot help but wonder if God was trying to tell Mr. Armstrong that such conduct was not acceptable as he did when Dick Armstrong died that horrible death as well as many other occurrences such as his wife’s death that I witnessed. I personally have come to see that one must NOT mess around with God like this (study 1 Samuel 2:12, 22-25, 27-30, and 3:12-14 to see how God considers those who show no regard for His laws or the people the Father calls)!
You may wonder why I am relating all this and willing to open myself to severe criticism. I have learned how valuable human beings are to God and the terrible price Jesus paid to make it possible for us to become literal SONS OF GOD, HEIRS OF GOD, JOIINT HEIRS WITH JESUS CHRIST TO BE GLORIFIED WITH THE GLORY HE NOW HAS (Romans 8:14-17). What kind of person is God going to allow into HIS VERY FAMILY? How can it be the kind of people described in this article? Should we not all (those God the Father calls - - John 6:44) make certain that we are doing the things God requires of His sons? [MORE TO COME IN ADDITIONAL ARTICLES]