The Decline and Fall of the Worldwide Church of God — 1.


“Well, Greetings friends around the world. This is Herbert W. Armstrong bringing you the plain truth about todays’ world news and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow.”

That radio broadcast opening was and is familiar to millions of people around the world. Many millions of people sat glued to their radios waiting for those words to be spoken, signaling another World Tomorrow program had begun. Were you, like me, one of those people?

Today, those words cannot be heard DAILY on over 600 radio stations worldwide. There was at the time no other program like it. And, it created shock waves in the world of Christianity. Shock waves that were to create the total downfall of the organization behind the World Tomorrow. Some even claim today that nothing like it had ever happened to a “Christian” organization in history. The collapse sent new shock waves through the world of Christian denominations of all stripes.

The end result of this collapse is:

  1. No World Tomorrow Program.
  2. No Plain Truth Magazine.
  3. No GoodNews Magazine.
  4. Three colleges gone. The Ambassador Colleges became the Ambassador University shortly before the collapse.
  5. No more local churches around the world.
  6. No more international offices.
  7. No more Worldwide Church of God.

What happened? How could such a thing occur, seemingly overnight? Where did the ministers go? Where did the members go? What happened to the campus in Pasadena, in Bricketwood, in Big Sandy?

How could a church of thousands, and worth multiple millions, including millionaire mansions and college buildings, go under in such a surprising way? I’ve seen no satisfying explanations to what happened. Have you?

Well, that is the reason for the writing of this book. To explain what occurred from an “insider’s” experience who was there when it all began. And, by one who knew almost all the major players on a personal basis.

In this book you will discover the REAL reason for this major collapse of a worldwide Christian organization. And, you will learn for the first time of many, at present around 50, steps that brought down this giant organization.

I’m sure many interested individuals will be surprised at what really happened. Each of these steps will be explained mostly from an eye witness perspective.

I first heard of the Worldwide Church of God through the World Tomorrow radio program. At the time, 1956, the Worldwide was actually called the Radio Church of God.

At the time, the World Tomorrow program was “presented” on the air by Ambassador College, not the Radio Church of God. That first broadcast I heard was from Radio Luxembourg which could be heard in England where I was living at the time.

After graduating from high school in 1959, I was accepted as a student at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. In late July of that year I flew to Los Angeles, where the college sent a driver to pick me up, along with Betty Oden, and a couple other new students I don’t remember at the moment.

After graduating in 1963, I married Arlene Bunnell in 1964. During that time I worked full time for the college, and Arlene worked full time for Imperial Schools. In late 1966 or early 1967 we left the college and moved to New Jersey. There we attended the local church in Philadelphia. Later we ended up in Maryland, and attended the Baltimore congregation.

It was while in Baltimore that things began to really fall apart in Pasadena, and the local Baltimore congregation ended up in a great deal of turmoil.

Soon after that began, my family moved to Tucson, Arizona. Interestingly Herbert W. Armstrong also moved to Tucson during that time. Mel O. his driver, met me at the Park Mall where Mr. Armstrong would take walks during the hot days of summer. Having known Mel at college, he invited me to Mr. Armstrong’s home where he also stayed.

Sad to say, in 1978, Arlene and I left the Worldwide as members. We did not leave in anger, as so many did. We just simply walked out of one Sabbath service, and never went back. A year later we got a call from a local news reporter from the main newspaper, wanting to interview us. I couldn’t figure out why she would want to interview me. She explained that she was in services that Sabbath, and heard Larry Neff “disfellowship” Arlene and me. A year after we left, mind you. We gave her the interview which covered a full page and a fourth, as I recall. Wow, now that’s coverage. I agreed, on condition she promise me to write the story exactly as I explained it. She promised and she did. Three interviews were in that article. They were interviews of Garner Ted Armstrong, Stanley Rader, and me.

Oh, a few days after the interview I called Larry and asked why he had “marked” us. I said, “We left quietly, did not tell other people, and caused no trouble. So, why did you do that?” His response? “Well, you could have.” Now that’s a real reason, right?

About a year before leaving Ambassador College I had a discussion with Dr. Hoeh in his office. During the conversation he blurted out to me something that has always been an enigma. He said, “Bob, you won’t stay at Ambassador. You have something much more important to do.”

That statement still “haunts” me to this day. What did he mean?

I owe thanks to a lot of people from Ambassador and the Worldwide, including all of those who will be mentioned by name in the pages of this work.

Arlene deserves special acclaim and cheers for having put up with me all these years. FIFTY next month! See what I mean?

Now, let’s get on with it…


The SECRET Behind this Website

Why This Website is Different

Why, over the past two decades, have we called prophecy in advance accurately?

There is a reason, and it is very simple. At least simple to those who know what to look for. There is something different going on here, and you should know what it is. You should know why you will find accurate news in advance only on this website.

In 1986 my wife and I began doing television on public access TV. At first, we just helped others produce their shows. Then, after a request, I hosted a show for a vacationing producer. Before he left, I asked what I should talk about on the show. He said, “Well, expand on your small book The True Messiah.” He had interviewed me about it a few weeks earlier. So, I did. After that, Arlene and I signed up for our own show. It was not about the Bible, but I began to occassionally mention it. Then, as programs passed, we decided to do a complete Bible series on a new program called Code Six-Four.

We mainly spoke about prophecy, and on occassion, some doctrinal issue. In our first show I explained that during the series we would be living through actual modern day prophecy. And, not surprisingly, we have. Not only that, we were able to describe events before they actually happened. At first it was sort of hit or miss. The reason being, I was learning new things as the program series progressed. After a decade doing the program series it dawned on me that finally, and for the very first time in modern history, actual prophecy was occuring. AND we were telling it before it happened! There was none of the “hey, let’s read the news and see if it fits prophecy” stuff. No. Instead, we were actually giving the news BEFORE the world’s news media knew a thing about it. This was the way I always believed prophecy should be. Everybody else was trying to tie in events that had already happened with the prophecies. That ain’t prophecy, if you don’t mind me saying so. That is pure guesswork.

Today, it seems almost normal to be able to tell the world what is coming in advance. However, when we first began doing that, both Arlene and I were in “shell shock”. It didn’t seem possible, yet, there was the proof on video done months and years before the events happened. You can see two videos on this site showing just a part of what was done.

Anyway, over the years my wife and I, along with others who are learning to do the same thing now, wondered why us?

You know, it is really exciting to teach the Scriptures accurately. It is also exciting to find information in the Scriptures first, and then find the backup proof after the fact. This goes totally against what normally happens to people who start learning the Scriptures. First, they are told what to look for, and then they try to find it in the Scriptures. But, what a difference it makes when you discover the information just by reading the Scriptures, and then find the supporting evidence afterwards. Once you do it yourself you will know what I’m talking about.

On top of that, just think of how exciting it is to discover you understand something prophetic in the Scriptures before the event, and before you heard it from someone else. THEN, see the event occur just as you understood it!

Now, the above is written about myself and my wife as an example. But, this difference is what makes this website different from all the rest. This is not an ordinary website telling you what everyone else thinks they have discovered in the Scriptures. We do not quote, nor teach, what the likes of Hal Lindsey, Jack van Impe, Pat Robertson and others teach. We are way ahead of that here. In fact, we are the only ones I know of who talked about Sept. 11, 2001 first. The others didn’t know it was coming. We taught correctly about Gaza, and none of the others did. Nor could they, nor can they about future events still ahead of us. They are locked into a limited understanding of Mt. 24, Mk. 13, Lk. 21, Rev. 6, and Daniel. Surprising or not, they did not warn the world about Sept. 11th., Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Arafat and how he would end up, and more. We did. Nor can they tell you for sure who the Woman in Revelation is. We can and do. And, a whole lot more. But, on this site we can, and do, and will continue to tell you the events BEFORE they come to pass. Plus, those who are learning how to do the same are beginning to help us with the site. Maybe someday, even you will learn to understand the right way to grasp Bible prophecy.

Having said that, is there a prophecy in the Scriptures about what we are doing on this website? Well, glad you asked. Yes there is. And, you will find it below. It is quoted from the Bible in Basic English for easy reading. So, take a look, it explains the “behind the scenes” reason for our being here on

The quote is from Isaiah Chapter 42. Enjoy. And, oh, now you have even more reason than ever to keep in touch on this site. There is no reason to be ignorant about coming world events now.

Chapter 42 1 See my servant, whom I am supporting, my loved one, in whom I take delight: I have put my spirit on him; he will give the knowledge of the true Elohim to the nations.
2 He will make no cry, his voice will not be loud: his words will not come to men’s ears in the streets.
3 He will not let a crushed stem be quite broken, and he will not let a feebly burning light be put out: he will go on sending out the true word to the peoples.
4 His light will not be put out, and he will not be crushed, till he has given the knowledge of the true Elohim to the earth, and the sea-lands will be waiting for his teaching.
5 YHWH Elohim, even he who made the heavens, measuring them out on high; stretching out the earth, and giving its produce; he who gives breath to the people on it, and life to those who go about on it, says:
6 I YHWH have made you the vessel of my purpose, I have taken you by the hand, and kept you safe, and I have given you to be an agreement to the people, and a light to the nations:
7 To give eyes to the blind, to make free the prisoners from the prison, to let out those who are shut up in the dark.
8 I am YHWH; that is my name: I will not give my glory [i.e. My Name and its attributes] to another, or my praise to pictured images.
9 See, the things said before have come about, and now I give word of new things: before they come I give you news of them.