Sunday, 13 March 2011

Two Peas in a Pod?

I hadn't seen this graphic before it appeared on Ben Mitchell's blog, but it's worth sharing. Mitchell is the author of an upcoming "autobiographical account" of his family's involvement in Herb Armstrong's religious empire.

I especially enjoyed his earlier post entitled "Mad magazine artist co-founded The Worldwide Church of God." To clarify, it wasn't that Basil Wolverton (the magazine artist) was mad, but that he produced his finest work for "Alfred E. Neuman" (the magazine 'Mad').
Mad magazine illustrator and comic artist Basil Wolverton co-founded The Worldwide Church of God, when in 1946, as an Elder for the fledgling cult, he signed the Californian corporation papers for the then named ‘Radio Church of God’. In 1956, Wolverton illustrated the horror of the End Time in a booklet produced by Herbert W. Armstrong called 1975 in Prophecy, in which Armstrong wrote of the coming apocalypse.
Not Herbert Armstrong!
I've never heard Basil described as a co-founder before, but I guess the description is fair enough. Mad magazine and The Plain Truth? Well, honestly there wasn't all that much difference. Tomorrow's World and Cracked!  The more I think about it...

A confession: I loved Wolverton's artwork, including the blood-curdling 'End Time' scenes. Then again, many (most?) of those who spent the tender years of childhood with Basil's bizarre fear-inducing artwork have a justifiably less appreciative perspective.

HT to Gary on the Banned blog.


  1. Hi Gavin. Thanks for the mention of my novel, The Last Great Day, and for this latest blog about the Basil Wolverton connection.

    I love finding websites and blogs like yours, sharing experiences and alternative viewpoints (like the truth) about Herbie and WCoG.

    It was a great day when I found a copy online of the 1946 incorporation papers, signed by only six people: Herbie, his wife Loma, two pastors, a woman called Esther and the one and only Basil Wolverton.

    I have recently ordered a copy of Wolverton's bible and am on the lookout for a copy of 1975 in Prophecy (though since Herbie ordered them all to be destroyed they're probably very rare!).

  2. Fun Fact #6 -- it's official then: All that has to happen is to get Scientologists to keep the Sabbath and Holydays with clean meats and tithing and we can have the new Worldwide Church of God.

    In many ways, the alternative science fiction history of British Israelism is exactly as credible as Lord Xenu and the Thetans. Neither have any basis in truth; there is no real scientific support for either one.

    The obsessive compulsion of both groups is very similar.

    Scientologists don't really seem that different from Armstrongists at their core.

    Thanks, Benamin. I've been saying it for awhile. It's nice to have it have credible exposure.

    As for Basil Wolverton: He claimed all those ghastly pictures in the "End Time" scenes were inspired and posed for by his wife!

    Yes, indeed! The Plain Truth produced by the usual gang of idiots!

    As for critics, What? Me worry!?!

  3. One other similarity - The Church of Scientology was incorporated exactly one 19 year time cycle
    from the year Herbert Armstrong began broadcasting on KORE radio in 1934.


  4. Speaking as someone who spent far too much time lurking on the Project Chanology website, I can absolutely, qualitatively say, the only possible link between El-Wrong and Herbert Armstrong is that they both died in January of 1986.

    The $cilons are a UFO therapy cult and, the Mad Dougie Becker's insane ruminations to the contrary (unless you're being sarcastic/satirical, which I sincerely hope you are, Becker), there's not much at all that's similar, between the $cilons and us. Not even close!

    Ben, if you're looking for copies of '75 in Prophecy, the only one I've managed to turn up is here.

    I will note, the only place "1975" appears as a fast-and-firm date, is in the title; if you read the article itself, the prophecy is non-specific.

    I have also posted, in the past, about the ill effects that The Bible Story allegedly had on youngsters reared from the cradle by it...I admit now, to one and all, I was only repeating what I read on the Internet, of people saying they had nightmares, about the Basil Wolverton illustrations, when they were kids.

    I personally never had any nightmares, ill effects, or bad dreams, from the illustrations in The Bible Story. Which I started reading back when it was the old grey version, until the new ones came out in '83 or thereabouts.

    I read The Bible Story, Basil Wolverton illos and all, from time I was 4 years old, right up until I was 12 or 13. I had no bad dreams, no nightmares, nor any other ill effects from reading those volumes as a child.

    Make of that what you will.