The following comments come from John Trechak's Ambassador Report, Issue 49, November 1991
Joe Tkach Jr.
After Joe Tkach Sr., the most visible WCG figure is Joe Tkach Jr. Although less visible than his father in WCG publications, Junior is actually running much of the WCG. As one WCG insider revealed to AR: "Basically, right now, Joe Tkach Jr. and Michael Feazell are running the church. Mr. Tkach Sr. trusts no one else!
Junior's official title is Director of Church Administration U.S.A. Those who remember him as a student at the WCG's Imperial School in Pasadena during the late 1960s and then at Ambassador College from which he was graduated in 1973, say he was not a brilliant student. Indeed, some classmates considered him "a goof ball."
After graduation he was a ministerial trainee in California, Indiana, and Arizona. Ordained in 1976, he was also cut from the WCG payroll that same year. Between 1976 and 1986, Junior took a few extension classes in psychology from Arizona State University, worked as a social service worker, earned an MBA from the small Western International University in Phoenix, and then worked for Intel Corp. for a couple of years. Since being lured back to employment in the WCG, his father has had him raised to evangelist rank.
Divorced from his first wife, Jill, in 1978, Junior remarried in 1980. Those familiar with Junior's first marriage say it was a tumultuous relationship. Friends of Jill say Junior was an habitual wife beater and Jill, now a born-again Christian, has told friends that Tkach Sr., himself, even struck her on two occasions. The following letter from a former member of Junior's Arizona flock reveals something of Junior's character and personality:
I knew both Joe Tkach Jr. and Jill, his first wife, in a personal way [because my wife and I spent considerable time traveling with them on church business].... It certainly came as no surprise when we were apprised of Jill divorcing this "Hitler"! Certainly I could not blame her for such overdue action. I say this not from hearsay, second-hand scuttlebutt, or rumor, but because my wife (who still clings to the cult) and I witnessed his outrages first hand.
On one occasion, Mr. T. invited my wife and I to ride along on their trip to Prescott, Arizona where he was to give a Sabbath sermon. Jill was driving while Mr. T. Jr. was in the back seat preparing his sermon. Jill missed the turn-off to Prescott from the Phoenix to Flagstaff freeway. She had driven about 10 miles past the turn-off when we realized that she had gone by the Prescott exit. Mr. T. Jr. blew his top, to say the least! He cussed and swore at Jill from that point, 10 miles past the turn-off all the way to Prescott, about 60 miles from the freeway as I recall. He called her every vulgar name in the book: "an S.O.B.," "a stupid imbecile," "a F---ing bitch,"; and he said "God D--- you!"- except he said whole words, not just the starting letters. He just kept screaming the epithets at her. While he continued to scream out those deplorable rantings and ravings, I wondered if I should tell him to shut up. But I knew that if I did I would be disfellowshipped on the spot. After searching for years to find what I most ignorantly assumed to be "God's One True Church," and being taught never to question, much less upbraid, one of "God's ministers," I bit my tongue and felt embarrassed that a fellow human being would react so disgustingly to such a trivial mistake.
It's interesting that the moment we pulled into the church parking lot, Mr. T. Jr.'s personality did a 180 degree somersault. He smiled and greeted the deacons in the parking lot, apologized for being late, gave his sermon, and acted as though none of the turmoil in the car had ever happened. Mind you, he had carried on in the car ranting and raving for over one hour straight! Jill was left in tears by his tongue lashing. I remember thinking at the time - if he would mistreat his wife so horribly in our presence, how far would he go in brutalizing her in private?
Some time previous to the above incident, we were visiting his home when my wife asked him a question about [erotic] fantasies. He told her that fantasizing was perfectly normal, that he himself did this, and that he even encouraged his wife to fantasize about other men!
I recall he said that he hated his Dad and that his father was a "little dictator" who had never shown him any love. The picture he painted of his father was nothing like the picture painted of Mr. T. Sr. in the Worldwide News where he is supposedly a family man who loves children. However, the description given by Mr. T. Sr. in the 7/17/89 WN of people in the WCG jockeying for position does fit perfectly my recollection of Mr. T. Jr. When Mr. T. Sr. became transformed from being a "little dictator" - as his son had described him - into being a "big dictator," he dangled a one-quarter to one-half million dollar carrot in front of his son's nose. That is what caused Mr. T. Jr. to want to gravitate to Pasadena in 1986. At his going away party, he told my wife that he had really changed. Well, I have to wonder. Someone who has, doesn't have to boast about it.
A considerable amount of evidence accumulated by AR indicates Junior has really not changed at all, but has only gotten better at concealing his leopard spots. Tkach Sr., however, doesn't seem to mind.