Stanley R. Rader (August 13, 1930 – July 2, 2002), was an attorney,
accountant, author and, later in life, one of the Evangelists of the
Worldwide Church of God, then a Sabbatarian organization, which was
founded by Herbert W. Armstrong.
1 Before meeting Armstrong
2 First associations with Armstrong
3 Joining WCG
60 Minutes interview
5 Popularizing Armstrong
6 Business relationships
7 WCG placed in receivership
13 External links
Before meeting Armstrong
Stanley Rader was born and raised in White Plains, New York. He later
moved to California, where he met his future wife, Natalie "Niki"
Gartenberg. He graduated from UCLA in 1951 and became a Certified
Public Accountant in 1954.
First associations with Armstrong
In 1956 Rader met Armstrong, leader of what was then called the Radio
Church of God, at its headquarters offices in Pasadena, California.
Under contract with the Radio Church of God, Rader worked on improving
its accounting system, thereby creating a highly favorable impression
with Armstrong, who then urged him to attend law school at Armstrong's
expense. In 1963 Rader graduated from University of Southern
California Law School.
Radio Church of God had been previously incorporated on March 3,
1946, when it was re-established in Pasadena. Prior to this event it
had been an unincorporated voluntary association based in Eugene,
Oregon, and named after its radio broadcast. On January 5, 1968,
Armstrong, as president, together with the secretary of the
corporation, amended its Articles of Incorporation to reflect the
change of name to the Worldwide Church of God. (By then its radio
broadcast had also been renamed The World Tomorrow). By this time
Armstrong was considered to be more of a modern-day apostle by his
followers, rather than merely "pastor general," his title in the
church. After coming to terms regarding salary and compensation, in
1969 Rader decided to devote his full-time to the service of
Rader, who still considered himself Jewish, was baptized into WCG by
Armstrong in 1975 using a hotel bathtub in the Mandarin Hotel in Hong
Kong. This move allowed Rader to reposition himself as a high-ranking
church evangelist in an attempt to quell misgivings by many in the
ministerial hierarchy, who felt that Rader's undue influence on
Armstrong was troubling.
60 Minutes interview
60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace, Rader defended himself,
remarking to Wallace, "I don't take stupid pills." Wallace read to
Rader a portion of a letter Armstrong was drafting, asking Rader to
resign from any church positions that would make him Armstrong's
successor. Wallace then played a tape of Armstrong reading the letter.
Rader started to sweat, before finally declaring: "Now I say you've
acquired this by illegal means. I intend to have my attorneys today
not only sue you if you use this. ... Mike, look, I think you'd better
scrap everything because you're on my list. Okay? You're never going
to live it down, Mike, I guarantee it. ... you're contemptible. ...
I'd like you to get out of here, immediately!" Rader then stormed out
of the room, and accused the press of distorting the facts.
Whereas the plan of
Garner Ted Armstrong
Garner Ted Armstrong was to ease his aging father
into retirement, the plan of Rader and his aide Robert Kuhn was to
Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert W. Armstrong from an elderly evangelist into a more
secular leader, casting him as a vital "Ambassador for World Peace
without portfolio". Rader's plan required the creation of a totally
new and secular cover entity from which to operate, distanced from
Armstrong's Worldwide fundamentalist sect, which might prove
unpalatable to prominent world leaders as Armstrong played out his
role as quasi-ambassador. In 1975, therefore, he incorporated the
Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (AICF) which was actually
funded from the tithe money of members of the Worldwide Church of
God. In 1979, Rader was ordained as one of the
Evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God.
As a consequence, the AICF transformed Ambassador Auditorium, on the
Ambassador College campus, from a church auditorium, in which Saturday
Sabbath church services were conducted, into a "
Carnegie Hall of the
West", and launched a concert series featuring the top names in
classical music, jazz, and the performing arts.
PBS and other
television networks made use of this glamorous new venue. The AICF
also created a new, glossy, secular, coffee-table, commercial magazine
called Quest, with a circulation of several hundred thousand copies.
Additionally, the AICF bought the book publisher Everest House, and
funded the motion picture Paper Moon starring Tatum O'Neal.[citation
Armstrong, in the company of Rader, began introducing himself to any
world leader who held political power and was willing to meet with the
aging, grandfatherly figure for a photo opportunity for The Plain
Truth, during which the leader would receive expensive gifts, such as
Stueben crystal. Armstrong sold his new AICF portfolio approach to the
church membership as being a new phase in preaching the church's
Rader used his own professional legal accounting practice, and also
incorporated new companies in order to conduct profitable business
enterprises on behalf of the Worldwide Church of God. The companies
largely owned and controlled by Rader included:
Rader, Helge & Gerson, which provided legal representation for the
Rader, Cornwall, Kessler and Palazzo, which provided accounting
services for the church.
Worldwide Advertising, Inc., which booked The World Tomorrow on radio
and television stations.
Mid-Atlantic Leasing, which leased light aircraft and a Gulfstream II,
to enable Rader and Armstrong to fly around the world meeting kings,
princes, presidents, and prime ministers, all paid for by the
Worldwide Church of God.
Wilshire Travel, which made the travel bookings for Rader and
Gateway Publishing, which printed books used by the church.
WCG placed in receivership
George Deukmejian had opened an
investigation into allegations that millions of dollars a year had
been stolen from the church by Armstrong and Rader. These allegations
resulted in WCG being placed in court-ordered receivership for more
than a year.
During this time, Rader was the point man for Armstrong, and rallied
other religious groups to his defense. With the backing of a
nonprofit, religious lobbying coalition formed to thwart state
intrusion, Rader successfully introduced a bill into the California
Legislature which restricted the Attorney General's authority to
conduct civil (but not criminal) financial investigations of
California religious and nonprofit organizations. Subsequent to the
bill's passage into law, the
California Attorney General's office
dropped its litigation against WCG.
In 1980, Rader wrote a book called Against the Gates of Hell: The
Threat to Religious Freedom in America, which was published by the
Worldwide Church of God's
Everest House corporation. It was about the
investigation by the State of
California into the finances of the
National Council of Churches
National Council of Churches praised it as "the seminal
work on church/state relations in the 20th century."
Although Rader appeared to have won the financial receivership battle,
his plan to create the AICF cultural empire had come to a halt. In
1981 he resigned as General Counsel and Treasurer of the Worldwide
Church of God. Armstrong paid Rader a special $250,000 bonus, after
taxes, in appreciation of his vigorous defense of the church against
the state receivership. Rader also received substantial pension
payments arising under his contractual agreement with the church.
By the time that Rader died on July 2, 2002, just two weeks after
being diagnosed with acute pancreatic cancer, the Worldwide Church of
God had terminated its former broadcasts and created a separate
ministry for its magazine, which had renounced its previous editorial
purpose. Rader was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena,
California (the same cemetery in which the Armstrong family is
buried). His funeral was presided over by Joseph Tkach, Jr.
^ a b c d Cartwright, Dixon. "Stanley Rader, WCG evangelist and
treasurer and confidant of Herbert W. Armstrong, dies". News of the
Churches of God. The Journal. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
^ "Rader Ordained - AR10 November 19, 1979". Ambassador Report. The
Painful Truth. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
Stanley Rader on "Sixty Minutes" with Mike Wallace". Ambassador
Report. The Painful Truth. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
^ "The Lawsuit - AR7 January 21, 1979". Ambassador Report. The Painful
Truth. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
^ "Petris Bill Passes", Ambassador Report, Issue 13, September, 1980
Stanley Rader, 71; Advisor in Worldwide Church of God - Stanley Robert
Rader, the long-time confidant of the late
Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert W. Armstrong of the
Worldwide Church of God, has died. He was 71. - Los Angeles Times/July
4, 2002 - By Larry B. Stammer
"The Devil and Stanley Rader" Article in The American Lawyer
Against the Gates of Hell: The Threat to Religious Freedom in America
by Stanley R. Rader Online copy of Rader's book defending Armstrong
and the Worldwide Church of God
Against the Gates of Hell by Stanley R Rader - Herbert W. Armstrong
Searchable Library & Archive - HWALibrary.com
Stanley R. Rader Resigns Article by Herbert W. Armstrong