In chapter three David Barrett introduces Herbert W. Armstrong and provides some essential background to his early years. His role in advertising is mentioned, and Barrett goes as far as to say (and I thoroughly agree) that "The success of the Worldwide Church of God came from its professional marketing..." Whether in magazine publishing, television or radio, WCG's PR was a class act.
Armstrong's predilection to play fast and loose with the facts, however, is demonstrated in his claims to have separated from the parent body, the Church of God (Seventh Day), in 1933, foregoing any further salary from that organization. The impression is also given that Armstrong took a principled decision to leave his former affiliation. In fact Richard Nickel's research turned up evidence to the contrary: "A ledger book from the Church of God Publishing House in Salem, West Virginia, in 1937, also shows that Armstrong received pay at this time." In reality his ministerial credentials were revoked in late 1937 for "continuing to preach contrary to Church doctrine."
Barrett also relates the embarrassing incident over the Has Time Been Lost? booklet with the Church of God (Seventh Day). In 1965 the legal beagles at Ambassador College discovered that the mother church was also publishing a booklet with the identical title and very similar content. They then dashed off a letter requiring them to cease and desist. It probably seemed a reasonable case of righteous outrage, as Armstrong had copyrighted the content back in 1952. COG7 however kept excellent records, pulling a copy of their own title out of the files from the 1930s, and finding that it appeared on their literature list as early as 1925! Apparently they were more generous than Armstrong's lawyers, not pressing WCG to withdraw the plagiarized publication.
John Halford, current editor of Christian Odyssey, published by Grace Communion International (the name WCG now operates under), explained to Barrett that yes, there were problems with Armstrong's writings that justified their withdrawl from circulation. One of the issues was, he stated, that Armstrong "never went back and rewrote and updated." This is a kind way of letting the apostle off the hook somewhat. But Barrett doesn't have to look far to find examples to the contrary; for example the 1986 edition of the Autobiography in which most references to his son Garner Ted are carefully excised. Another example would be the 1960s booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What It Will Be Like, co-authored by Garner Ted but republished with minor changes some twenty years later soley under Herbert Armstrong's name. Contra Halford, WCG publications underwent regular revisions, but usually to paper over the many cracks in fact and failed prophetic chronology.