Ron Fraser (1941-2013)
Back in the early 1990s when the Trumpet magazine was in its infancy and before there was ever a website, editor in chief Gerald Flurry asked Ron Fraser to begin writing regularly, in addition to his other duties at the time.
“As the power to govern one of the world’s most troubled nations transfers from minority white to majority black rule, what does the future hold for this multiracial, resource-rich country?” So began Mr. Fraser’s first article, on South Africa, for the June 1994 Trumpet. He would go on to produce more than a thousand written contributions for the Trumpet editorial department over the course of 20 years of literary service.
On the evening of October 4, longtime Trumpet writer and columnist Ron Fraser died in his home, surrounded by family. Having lived with congestive heart failure for the past 19 years, Mr. Fraser lived life to the full, passionately driven to support a message he first heard proclaimed by Herbert W. Armstrong in the 1960s.
Mr. Fraser was the driving force behind the establishment of the Trumpet news bureau during the mid-’90s, a resource that has since become invaluable to Trumpet columnists, writers and staff, keeping them supplied with the most relevant news items for our message—particularly the lesser-reported items that are connected to Bible prophecy.
In addition, Ron Fraser fulfilled a significant editing role as the Trumpet matured from its infancy into a full-color magazine. He became a feature columnist as the Trumpet progressed to website and daily features. He was also a mentor and instructor to many junior writers and staff, a college lecturer in history and international relations at Herbert W. Armstrong College, and ran a summer class in predictive analysis for Trumpet staff several months preceding his death.
Mr. Fraser was a prolific contributor to publications of the Philadelphia Church of God, most notably the Trumpet and theTrumpet.com. However, the real value of his contribution amounts to much more than the 300-plus print articles and 300-plus columns for theTrumpet.com and is evident in the legacy of his impact upon readers the world over. He had an ability to reach out and challenge the reader to think—to really touch people, whether they agreed with his analysis or not.
Here are some of his memorable statements:
On Germany’s rise:
“This has been our consistent message for over 70 years—initially under the administration of Herbert Armstrong, and latterly under the direction of our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry. The big difference between the two administrations is that the prophecies that Herbert Armstrong publicly broadcast and published for over 50 years have, since his death in 1986, become, increasingly, the cold hard reality of geopolitics today” (May 7, 2013).
On Europe’s future:
“Watch for the U.S. to be replaced by the EU as chief negotiator of peace in the Middle East. … Watch for economic and social destabilization in Europe to rise in the wake of the launch of the euro” (January 2002).
On Germany’s position in the world:
“Germany is today far more strategically placed to initiate a sudden imperialist power grab than it ever was under Hitler back in 1939. … All it lacks is the type of charismatic, imperialist leadership to initiate it!” (Jan. 7, 2013).
On German militarization:
“There’s more than a sense of déjà vu about all this. There are certain uncanny parallels with the 1930s. But this time we have no Churchill to sound the alarm. We have no Roosevelt with the vision to steer the mind of a once great industrial nation to rise to battle against the prospective onslaught of tyranny” (May 5, 2013).
“It was a masterful piece of political subterfuge which served to demonstrate that the old Teutonic masters of the ancient, ever reviving Holy Roman Empire had learned much from their failure to win Europe in two great world wars. Simply let others fight the wars—preferably at their own expense—and always appear reluctant to enter the offensive; then follow along, cap-in-hand, and offer to be the peacemaker at the end of the major conflict. Fait accomplis!” (Nov. 3, 2005).
On European religion:
“What Europe presently lacks is a cultural identity. The concept of identity relies principally on memory. Thus, in order to bind its multifarious mix of diverse races, cultures and mismatched economies together into a harmonized whole, Europe will unquestionably be forced to look to that which has historically provided the singular source of common heritage—Europe’s traditional religion!” (July 2004).
“I am not an American. I live in America by the grace of God, for it’s where my job has taken me. I love the country, its tremendous variety of geographic features, its abundance of blessings, and the freedoms it offers to worship my God and be part of an effort to publicize His original message to mankind in a manner unmatched and unwanted in most countries of the world. But something has gone wrong with America—gone terribly wrong!” (July 4, 2013).
“[H]uman beings with their weakness for hatred of a person different to themselves … too often ignore the reality of the common God-created blood that they share—proof of a common Creator of all humankind …. I worked for six years with Australia’s black community, developing a number of real friendships with those of a different skin color to myself. Yet those six years awakened me to the reality of hatred that is stimulated by the politics of race” (Aug. 22, 2013).
“The creeping moral relativism of liberal socialists … has produced a deep-seated canker of immorality and an unfeeling nature into the way that America regards human life. Something is destroying America’s natural affection (2 Timothy 3:1-4) and respect for human life. Something has hardened this nation’s heart to the point where little newborn human beings can be trashed in public toilets and dumpsters and it all so easily becomes just yesterday’s news” (July 1998).
On behavior disorders:
“adhd has been an identifiable childhood ‘illness’ for decades. When I was a child, the schoolteacher quite correctly identified such behavior as resulting from poor parenting. … Ill-disciplined children remained ill-disciplined at home and school, with the result that they suffered from an entire lack of focus on the teacher. … We used to have a way of dealing with this that really did work. It is revealed in Proverbs 13:24” (May 30, 2013).
On errors in journalism:
“Google has certainly contributed to lazy research when it comes to seeking background for a story. To add to that journalistic weakness, the propensity for every man and his dog to get in on the act on a so-called breaking story has increased exponentially with the tidal wave of communications gadgetry that the average Joe and Jill Public now have at their tendonitis-prone thumb tips” (July 17, 2013).
“It has been said of the modern farmer that as soon as he mounted a tractor, he lost touch with the land. Modern techniques of farming have resulted in higher yields of product to the detriment of product quality and the raping of some of the most fertile land in the world. … Changes from traditional practices to methods designed for short-term gain are destined to end in land exhaustion, increasing desertification and heightened disease. Almost a century of land and stock abuse in the nations of Israel is rapidly leading to the destruction of the health of whole nations!” (August 1996).
“Yes! There is hope for mankind—there is hope for the myriads slaughtered at the hand of man throughout history, hope for the sick, the suffering, the persecuted, the poor, the blind, the lame! The knowledge of that wonderful hope is protected within the mothering womb of the one true Church that Christ established on Earth nearly 2,000 years ago. That Church, that one, true Church, still stands! Jesus Christ said the gates of the grave would never close over it” (May 1996).
On the warning message:
“[T]he signs are that the window of time left to those who courageously continue preaching, broadcasting and publishing this message from within the United States is fast closing” (July 4, 2013).