The Plain Truth - A Truly Unique Magazine
Telecast Date: February 15, 1984
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   You live in a world that is now in its final crisis, a world that is leading to its final doom, believe it or not. Let me repeat. Once again, the atomic scientists have now set the doomsday clock forward one more minute, from four to only three minutes to midnight. And in their judgment, they say that we're just that close to the end of this world. They know that the weapons now exist that can blast all humanity out of existence. And I want to tell you that most people in this world are asleep to conditions.

   I've just returned from a trip through New Zealand, Australia, and several countries in Southeastern Asia. And I find so many of the people over there seem to think that they're so far away from the western world and things that they're not concerned about nuclear warfare, they don't realize it's going to involve them. It's going to involve the whole world and the weapons now exist that once started. There is no stopping, and if it is not stopped supernaturally by the eternal God, every man, woman, and child on the face of this earth is going to be wiped out of existence.

   The World Tomorrow, the Worldwide Church of God presents Herbert W. Armstrong, internationally recognized ambassador for world peace, visiting prominent leaders around the globe, discussing the cause of world problems, and proclaiming the good news of the World Tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Now world leaders themselves are perplexed. They're bewildered. They don't understand, they know what is happening but they don't know how to stop it. They don't know the cause. They don't know where it's going to lead except they see doom ahead. Now, it's only a few years ago until anyone talking about doomsday was regarded as a long-haired, wild-eyed religious fanatic, talking about doom. Today, the most intelligent and highly educated scientists are talking about it and it's about time that many of us wake up.

   Now, in connection with this program, we try to keep you awake to the seriousness of conditions. But in connection with this program, we do more; we publish a magazine that is the most important magazine in this world today. And I think that most of my viewers do not realize the importance of this particular magazine or its magnitude or its size. It's not just an ordinary magazine, it's not celebrating its 50th anniversary, the golden anniversary, it's called The Plain Truth.

   Someday we're going to realize it is by long odds, the most important magazine published on the face of the earth today, with a circulation of over six and one-half million copies a month. It goes into the meaning of world news. What it really means, where it's leading, and what is going to happen. Also, the meaning of life itself and of personal problems that beset you and every family, between parents and children, families and the problems in the home, and all of the conditions of life.

   I want to tell you some of the amazing facts about this magazine, The Plain Truth. It's one of the largest mass circulation magazines on Earth. In the United States, one out of every 20 households are subscribers to The Plain Truth. It's published worldwide in seven different languages. Its circulation is larger than the mass circulation news magazines. Its circulation is larger than Newsweek, than Time. It's larger than McCall's. It's larger circulation than Ladies Home Journal, larger than the Red Book magazine. Just to give you an idea. It's not some little pamphlet, it's a big magazine and full color, The Plain Truth.

   And I want to tell you now something about it on its 50th anniversary, and I have here a copy of the 50th-anniversary number of The Plain Truth. One-half century old. Now, it's not some new fly-by-night magazine by any matter of means, it's published by the Worldwide Church of God. But it was founded by myself, and I had the vision of this magazine seven years even before it was founded 50 years ago. And that was after I had spent 26 years in the field of magazines and newspapers.

   I remain. However, even today, though we have a large editorial staff today, I remain the editor-in-chief still today. I know now that God was preparing me long before the magazine started, all during that 26 years of experience in the field of newspapers and magazines, for the publication of this and also the publication of our magazine Youth 84 and other publications that we issue.

   And now I want to give you some amazing facts about this magazine. Listen.

   The Plain Truth magazine has had phenomenal growth since its modest debut in February 1934. For the first issue, 250 copies were duplicated. By November 1958, circulation had reached 175,000. In July 1967, the 1 million mark was passed. Worldwide circulation in 1973 stood at more than 3 million copies, and now in February 1984, after 50 years of publication, The Plain Truth has a circulation of 6.4 million worldwide.

   If each page of the February issue alone were laid end to end, it would nearly stretch around the earth at the equator. Placing these magazines, one on top of the other, would make a stack taller than Mount Everest. Printed in seven languages - English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Norwegian - The Plain Truth is circulated in 203 countries and territories on six continents. The various editions are printed in seven locations around the world: Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the United States. Truly, it is a worldwide magazine of understanding.

   In 1934, the first issue was printed on a second-hand Neostyle. Today, the US edition is printed at RR Donnelley and Sons, one of the largest commercial printers in the world. The Glasgow, Kentucky plant where The Plain Truth is printed covers 417,000 square feet, larger than seven football fields. It employs 1100 employees and runs 3, 8-hour shifts around the clock, seven days a week.

   In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The Plain Truth, Editor-In-Chief Herbert W. Armstrong flew to Glasgow, Kentucky, to observe the printing of the special anniversary issue. Upon his arrival at the Glasgow airport, Mr. Armstrong was met by several Donnelly executives, including the Vice President of Magazine Sales Worldwide from the Chicago home office and the Vice President of Magazine Sales for the Western United States. Among the members of the editorial and publishing staff who accompanied Mr. Armstrong on the trip were Dexter Faulkner, Executive Editor of The Plain Truth, and Ray Wright, Director of the Publishing Services Department.

   Mr. Armstrong, who has been involved with the publishing business since 1908, then took a tour of the press facilities. There are 13 mammoth presses at the Glasgow plant, towering 2 to 3 stories high. The huge rolls of paper weighing from three quarters of a ton to two and a quarter tons feed the massive web presses. In order to keep the presses running continuously, a second roll of paper is fused by the automatic splicer to the top roll as it runs out. The paper is printed on both sides simultaneously as it races through the press at 16 MPH. Each of the four colors used in printing - yellow, magenta, cyan, and black - are added separately.

   The magazine is printed in 3 16-page sections or signatures, with a separate full-page cover. The signatures are then stacked to go to the bindery, where the magazine is collated, assembled, trimmed, and wire-stitched. At the bindery, Mr. Armstrong was presented with the first three copies off the press.

   In order to protect the cover of the special anniversary issue, the magazine was sealed in clear plastic wrappers. As part of the tour, Mr. Armstrong also visited the shipping area where The Plain Truth is sent out by large truckloads. A long way from the beginning days when he and his wife, Loma, could carry an entire month's issue in their arms across the street to the post office.

   An illustration of the growth of The Plain Truth came when Mr. Armstrong stood before the 360 tons of paper used to print one month's edition, the equivalent of 20 acres of renewable forests when the paper is brought to the plant by train. It takes 10 large box cars to deliver it.

   After the tour, there was a dinner at the Donnelly facility. There Robert Myers, Vice President of Magazine Sales Worldwide for R.R. Donnelly and Sons, honored Mr. Armstrong with a special presentation.

   "It's a great honor for all of us, sir, to have you here to share with you the anniversary, 50th anniversary of The Plain Truth magazine. I have since learned today that the thought of The Plain Truth magazine actually originated five or ten years before the very first issue. I also understand that the very first issue could be carried around in your arms. And as everyone here knows, the worldwide print order now is 6.5 million copies, and it's unparalleled in publishing history. Not to mention the word that's being spread."

   "I have a plaque here, sir, that reads: 'Presented to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, founder, and editor-in-chief, The Plain Truth, 50th-anniversary issue, 1934-1984, by R.R. Donnelly and Sons, Glasgow Manufacturing Division.' And this is from everyone here, sir. This is the fondest day we've ever had in the 14 years we've been in Glasgow, and we appreciate so much you're coming."

   "Thank you, this is indeed a high point in my life. I have one more thing, sir, that is a little more of a personal nature. Our business involves magazines and catalogs and directories and books, and we have the privilege of being the largest printer of Bibles of anybody in the world. And we have a personal gift here for you, sir, that all of us, the 1100 people here in the Glasgow Division, would like to give you. This is the King James Version of the Holy Bible, and it's inscribed with your name."

   "Well, thank you," Mister Armstrong replied.

   Mr. Armstrong then reflected on the importance of the printed medium.

   "I am now in my 92nd year, and I have been in printing and publishing ever since I was 18, in one way or another, starting with newspapers, then in magazines. And finally, now we print our own magazine, or rather, you print them for us. But I want to say that printing and in the printing business has been the whole lifeblood of knowledge and education in the world. We had virtually an illiterate world until 1450 when Gutenberg invented the printing press, and the printing press has made possible the diffusion of knowledge."

   "Now, today we live in a world of absolutely awesome progress, and that couldn't be without knowledge and technology, and the diffusion of education, and printing has made that all possible. And I just wanted you all to realize the type of profession you're in, what it has meant to humanity. Now, we have both truth and error. We have both good and evil in the world. But whatever good can be disseminated is disseminated pretty largely by the printing press. And that diffuses education and gets knowledge to the millions where previously it was only the very select few. And I thought you might not just think on something of that kind all the time, and you're in that kind of business and profession. I think all of you. I just thought you'd like to have me say those few words. Thank you very much."

   R.R. Donnelly and Sons have printed The Plain Truth for the Worldwide Church of God for the past nine years. Robert Brennan, Vice President of Sales for the West Coast, commented on the long-standing relationship between the two organizations.

   "And the one thing that I know that, in reflection, that you think about today on the 50th anniversary, is the number of people that are responsible, in addition to yourself and your wife, for The Plain Truth. A great number of people have come through your organization. And we just like to say that in our span of time, I have never met a more professional group of people that we've been associated with in the publishing business. And I know I speak for Chuck when I say that Ray and Roger and Dexter and Ron Taylor represent you well and are, I think, ideal as far as building a relationship that must be almost a marriage in a printer and publisher relationship. So, we think very, very highly of them. We are privileged, of course, to print The Plain Truth and want you to know that we will, we hope we can continue to do that for another 50 years and help you to continue to spread the word."

   Editorial and publishing services are the two departments within the church that produce The Plain Truth and the church's other publications. Each month's issue involves much planning and work before it is ready for printing. The process begins in editorial services. Three months before the publication date, the editors and writing staff meet to discuss assignments and what issues The Plain Truth should address. After the articles are researched and written, the copy is checked for accuracy and flow by the editor. Photocopies are made and sent to regional editors for translation. Today, we use the latest sophisticated electronic equipment to set the type. After the articles are input into the computer, the computer sets the type at the rate of 1000 words a minute.

   While the type is being set, editorials graphics personnel research to find suitable photographs and illustrations for the articles, and the magazine's cover, maps, and charts are designed as support material. At this point, the graphics editor can determine the design or layout of the magazine. After the copy and photographs are combined in layout form and a cover is designed, the magazine is sent to Editor-In-Chief Herbert Armstrong for approval. The approved cover and the page layouts then go to the publishing department to be ready for printing.

   Most of the printing is done by the lithographic offset process. The material to be printed is converted to film negatives by a large computer-controlled process camera so printing plates can be made, by use of special filters. Photographs are converted to four separate color negatives, a process known as four-color separation. After the film is assembled and the page is proofed, the negatives are then ready to be sent to printing locations around the world.

   The Plain Truth has, for 50 years, maintained a standard of excellence. It is a unique magazine that goes beyond just reporting the news. The Plain Truth explains the meaning of world events and deals with the problems facing today's society. Millions of people each month are now reading this high-quality full-color magazine of understanding. The circulation of The Plain Truth, 6.4 million, exceeds that of the other major news magazines. But perhaps the unique thing about The Plain Truth magazine is that, since its beginning in 1934, the subscription price hasn't changed. It's still absolutely free.

   Now, once again, here is a picture, or I'm holding up a copy of this 50th-anniversary number of The Plain Truth. It started with an editorial by myself: "The Only Real Value of a Human Life". Do you know what is the only real value in your life or any human life? This will open your eyes. Then an article that is just really the first chapter in a book that I am writing, and it is beginning in this issue of The Plain Truth: "A World Held Captive". Next comes a page "Where We Have Been", that is the last 50 years, world events, and how The Plain Truth has handled those world events and what has been said about it in advance and how we have predicted what was going to happen for 50 years. There are charts and many things here illustrating it. Here is a map, a political map in color of the world as it was 50 years ago. Then an article on, "A Crucial Half Century of Religion", then over 50 years of, "The New Morality" and what that means, then, "Pollution, Why We're Not Winning the Battle?" we're polluting everything the man's hand can touch in this world. Then an article, "A Half Century of Technology". Then here is an article from the International Desk, "Why They Needed a Magazine of Understanding Fifty Years Ago", why this magazine was needed 50 years ago. Then here is another two-page map in full color, showing where The Plain Truth is circulated today. Here then is a two-page picture of our editorial staff, the men who write this magazine, the men who research to get the facts, no other television program that I know of publishes anything that will even begin to equal this Plain Truth magazine. Then here is another two-page color picture showing this very studio where I'm speaking to you. Here we come to the Ambassador Foundation and some of my trips around the world, the heads of governments that I have met, pictures in their offices. Here are two more pages of pictures of those and then two pages about the foundation itself.

   Here is an article, "Where We Are Going Now", what is going to happen in the world? Where is this world going? Another one, "This Is the Time of the End", this is the time of the end, the end of this world. You need to understand that and understand why and where we're going from here and what is going to happen. Next comes, Yes: A Brighter Tomorrow Is Coming", and that's the way that it all ends up. A brighter tomorrow is coming. I think that's a very nice conclusion of a magazine at the end of 50 years. And just before, as we're coming when atomic scientists say that they have set the final clock of only three minutes now to midnight, the clock of doom, we need to be awake.

   Now, there's no subscription price to The Plain Truth. You wonder how can we publish a magazine like that? And we don't ask the public for money. We don't beg for money on the air. You've never heard me ask for money, what we offer, we offer free. There are enough people that believe in what we're doing to pay for it and finance it. And we don't have to beg for money over the air like you hear on almost every other program of this type on the air. I hope you have noticed the difference.

   Now, just before closing, I've mentioned also a magazine for youths of all ages, not just teenagers but youths up to past 90. Because I find this magazine very interesting myself, "Youth 84". Next year, it'll be "Youth 85". Last year it was "Youth 83". There is a magazine for the teenagers, as I say, of all ages, "The Divine Purposes of Sex", teenagers are interested in sex, believe me. And this is giving them information that they need to know that is down to earth and common sense information. Here's an article, "Failure? I Am Not A Failure!", showing how to have the positive attitude and to be a success in life. Here's one, "Right On Time", that's a very, very good article on something they needed. Here's another article, "Explore the Great Barrier Reef." It goes into things and conditions in other parts of the world and things that young people are interested in. Well, it's just chock full of information. I wish there had been a magazine like this when I was a teenager. There was no such magazine then. Now there's no subscription price. And by the way, The Plain Truth is the only mass circulation magazine, in fact, the only magazine in the world that I know of that has not changed its subscription price in 50 years. Now, 50 years ago, our subscription price was zero. No subscription price in one-half century, 50 years, that has never changed. No other magazine can make that statement, I'm sure.

   Now all you do send your request to me, Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California. That's Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena California, and the zip is 91123. Or you call toll-free a free call 800-423-4444, 800-423-4444. So, until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong. Goodbye Friends.

   For the free literature offered on this program, write Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena California 91123 in Canada Box 44. Vancouver BC or in the Continental United States including California. You may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444 in Alaska and Hawaii call, collect 818-304-6111. If the lines are busy, please try again. The preceding program and all literature were produced and sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Telecast Date: February 15, 1984
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