The Herald of Truth And Its Claims
Dudley R. Spears
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Propaganda has always been a technique of those who seek to foist their whims, ideas and notions upon others. It is a way of seeking and getting support or carrying out plans. The Herald of Truth is perhaps the most audacious promotion that we have known in our day. The claims made become preposterous and extravagant, and sometimes a bit stretched! Many good brethren have become convinced that the Herald of Truth is really going strong and building up the Lord's cause. A closer look at some of their claims will reveal something of a different picture than that which is painted by the chief propagandists of the Herald of Truth.
1. Claims of baptisms: They claimed according to one of the speeches made in a recent workshop (convention, DRS) for the Herald of Truth that they "conservatively estimate that they have baptized over 100,000 souls into Christ as a direct result of the Herald of Truth." This is the only thing "conservative" about the Herald of Truth --- their estimates! But this, they aver, has been the result of fourteen years of effort via Herald of Truth. They have had the financial support of over 3,000 congregations in the past fourteen years along with 28,000 "interested individuals." Think a minute, dear friend. One hundred thousand baptisms in fourteen years amount to an average of about three baptisms a year in 3,000 congregations. What congregations do not AVERAGE over three baptisms in FOURTEEN YEARS?
2. Claims of Listening Audiences: They have in the past claimed that they can preach the gospel to 417 people for only one dollar. Thus, they insinuate that they can preach to an audience of 100,000,000 people. Brother Cecil Willis, Editor of Truth Magazine, made this observation: "The famous Kennedy-Nixon debates were seen or heard by 65-72 million people. Did 30 million more watch the Herald of Truth the Sunday before? Seventy million heard Kennedy's speech on the Cuban Crisis. Were 30 million more listening the preceding Sunday to the Herald of Truth? Probably 45 million watched the World Series. Did more than twice that many watch the Herald of Truth the preceding Sunday." (Tract, "Is the Herald of Truth Expedient?")
3. Claims of Homes Entered: just recently they have claimed the following: "We can open the doors of the church to 100,000,000 homes in America by accepting the challenge of the Century. Carry the truth by means of the Herald of Truth." (Brochure) Brother E. L. Flannery wrote: "Brethren, let us return to scriptural arrangements in evangelizing. And let us return to sanity, ceasing to make such wild, unfounded claims as the H. 0. T. reaching 100,000,000 homes in U.S.A. Even as late as 1964, the U.S. Census reports only 57,251,000 homes in the U.S.A. (World Almanac, 1966). How can the Herald of Truth reach 42,829,000 homes that do not yet exist?" (Gospel Guardian, Sept. 22, 1966)
Think of the churches that have been split asunder by the innovation of the Herald of Truth. Think of the gigantic growth in its ecclesiastic power and control and then consider that this has been done in only fourteen years of operation. If it could reach this power and organic structure in these fourteen years, think of what it will be in the next fourteen years.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 6, p. 18