In these words Meredith, in his "wisdom," underlined the word 'disfellowship' twice. I cannot reproduce that here so I have italicized those words and others which are underlined in the original.
Mr. Armstrong has reminded us again that we are to disfellowship any members who attend GTA's [Garner Ted Armstrong's] campaigns, church services or other meetings. Some of our weaker members apparently do not realize that this man is in direct rebellion against God and His government! We must not allow them, or ourselves, to rationalize about this matter, to try to "help the underdog," or in any other way lend support to one whose gross immorality, whose long standing "play acting" and hypocrisy, and whose direct insubordination to the Government of God has long been and is now a source of confusion and DIVISION among God's people. So, as per Mr. Armstrong's instruction, I charge and exhort every one of you faithful ministers of the living Christ to explain this in no uncertain terms to your members, to warn them about this cause of division and then to disfellowship any who consort with GTA or any of his fellows.What a disgusting order! Look at these words!
We must not allow them, or ourselves, to rationalize about this matter, to try to "help the underdog," or in any other way lend support to [Garner Ted Armstrong.]This is particularly repugnant. Let me explain why I feel this way.
As far as I understand it post-traumatic stress disorder can occur when a person does something nasty to another, for instance murder. When a person murders another it can, surprisingly, be traumatic and distressing to the perpetrator as well. This is usually because when you see something like that happen you cannot help but imagine that happening to yourself as well.
Surely being ordered to disfellowship someone must also be traumatic, at least at first. I cannot help but think that enforcing such an order must also be traumatic to the perpetrator. (I am NOT saying we should feel sorry for the disfellowshipping ministers or "blame the victim," I am simply explaining why Meredith wrote the words above.)
It seems to me that some good hearted WCG ministers were reluctant to enforce such draconian policies.
But here HWA and Meredith are laying down the law and ordering WCG ministers to disregard any natural affection and feelings of sympathy for the victim and simply cast them out.
Don't let your conscience be your guide, HWA and Meredith are saying here to WCG ministers, do what we tell you. Don't let your body's natural warning systems trying to tell you that you shouldn't do that, or that you will feel terrible and traumatized about this. Just do what we tell you and cast them out.
One can only speculate how much misery and strife these words inflicted upon WCG members.
One can only speculate how much misery and trauma "loyal" WCG ministers inflicted upon themselves trying to fulfill HWA's and Meredith's orders here.
I find Meredith's words particularly disgusting because some good hearted WCG ministers were reluctant to enforce this draconian order because of their own consciences and HWA and Meredith are here ordering them to disregard their consciences and inflict traumatic disfellowshipping upon WCG members and to traumatize themselves as well.
Let me emphasize again, I am NOT saying we should sorry for those who disfellowshipped WCG members at this time. Rather I am explaining why I find Meredith's words above particularly disgusting and explaining how Meredith gave license to WCG ministers to be heartless and cruel towards WCG members.
Also note how vague this order is:
Mr. Armstrong has reminded us again that we are to disfellowship any members who attend GTA's [Garner Ted Armstrong's] campaigns, church services or other meetings.... disfellowship any who consort with GTA or any of his fellows."GTA's [Garner Ted Armstrong's] campaigns, church services or other meetings". What "other meetings"? Here WCG members are not just forbidden from "campaigns [or] church services" but even "other meetings". This insures that WCG members will have to be able do anything that could be considered "disloyal" to HWA's WCG. They will have to viciously watch themselves in fear that they could be accused and consequently disfellowshipped.
"disfellowship any who consort with GTA or any of his fellows." "Or any of his fellows"? What does that mean? The potential for abuse of these orders is so vast. It does not appear that Meredith is worried about any innocent victim getting cast out for false reasons. He wants any challenge to HWA and his authority viciously removed.
It is ironic that at the same time WCG was fighting the State of California's forced receivership claiming it violated their freedom of religion, HWA and Meredith were violating the freedom of religion of WCG members who attended any meeting associated with Garner Ted Armstrong or his organization, the Church of God International. What hypocrites HWA and Meredith are!
And right after the disgusting paragraph reported above Meredith reports the following:
On a more happy note, I am glad to report that Mr. Gerald Waterhouse has so far reached 68 churches on his tour across the U.S. He reports positive and encouraging response from ministers and members alike.What a fantasyland HWA, Meredith and Co. were living in at this time! Today many people remember Gerald Waterhouse's long winded sermons with loathing. It is strange to see how Meredith at the time seems to think all is well with Gerald Waterhouse. How wrong they are. When many WCG members moved beyond Armstrongism they remembered his sermons with disgust. He is now remembered as a sign of so much that was wrong in the authoritarian Worldwide Church of God cult.