KEYWORDS: pictures, picture, shots, camera


David Berg

—MOSeptember 1971NO.104—LTA

One picture is worth a thousand words! A sample is better than a sermon!


One picture is worth a thousand words! A sample is better than a sermon! I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;

I'd rather see a sermon

Than hear one any day;

I'd rather one would walk with me

Than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil

And more willing than the ear;

Fine counsel is confusing

But example's always clear!

The best of all the preachers

Are the men who live their creeds.

For to see good put in action

Is what everybody needs!

I soon can learn to do it,

If you'll let me see it done;

I can watch your hands in action,

But your tongue too fast may run.

The lectures you deliver

May be very wise and true,

But I'd rather get my lessons

By observing what you do.

I may misunderstand

The high advice you give;

But there no misunderstanding

How you act and how you live!

When I see a deed of kindness,

I am eager to be kind.

—When a weaker brother stumbles

And a strong man stays behind

Just to see if he can help him,

Then the wish grows strong in me

To become as big and thoughtful

As I know that friend to be!

All travellers can witness

That the best of guides today

Is not the one who tells them,

But the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many;

Men believe what they behold.

One deed of kindness noticed

Is worth forty that are told.

Who stands with men of honour,

Learns to hold his honour dear;

For right living speaks a language

Which to everyone is clear.

Though an able speaker charms me

With his eloquence, I say,

"I'd rather see a sermon

Than to hear one any day!"

("A Sample, Not a Sermon!"—From Grandmother's Scrapbook)


1. PICTURES HAVE ALWAYS HAD AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN GOD'S PLAN. The earliest religious ceremonies were actually pictures of spiritual truths—illustrations of Eternal realities. As the Apostle indicates, that the Tabernacle and Temple worship of the Jews, with all its symbols and ceremonies, were merely a "picture of the true". In fact, he says that these things were not only written for our benefit‚ but actually happened to them as an example to us—a sample, not just a sermon. In fact‚ MOSES AND THE JEWS IN THE WILDERNESS WERE THEMSELVES ACTUALLY PICTURES OF MUCH GREATER SPIRITUAL FULFILLMENTS TO COME—Moses, a picture of Jesus; and the Children of Israel, a picture of God's True Church; and their Wilderness Wanderings‚ a picture of the Church's various vicissitudes. Every object used in the Tabernacle worship was a picture or illustration of some spiritual truth—even the Tabernacle itself, or the Temple, was an illustration of His True House—the People of God. But when they got to worshipping the buildings more than the Builder, the Creation more than the Creator, and forgot what it stood for—what it showed—what it illustrated or pictured, then God had to curse and destroy it!

2. NOTHING IS EVIL OF ITSELF, AS THE APOSTLE SAYS, BUT IT'S ALL IN HOW IT'S USED, or misused, which makes it good or bad—like your own body‚ or almost anything else in this world, including church buildings. They could be used for great good, if they'd let us use them the way we should use them—great numbers of us live in them together, sleep in them, eat in them, have classes in them, be sheltered by them, and use them as a base of operations for an active witnessing programme.


3. BUT‚ NO! THAT WOULD MESS UP THEIR PRETTY BUILDINGS TOO MUCH! They wouldn't want a bunch of "dirty hippies" sleeping in the aisles, and on the benches and on the platform, and dirtying up the kitchen by using it fulltime, instead of once a month, and keeping the basement busy with massive prayer and praise meetings, happy dances, loud music, and true joyful worship to the Lord. This might break up some of the furniture, or scratch the floor, or disturb the neighbours! Besides‚ what would it look like to the rest of the world‚ to have such a motley crew running in and out of that beautiful "Gate of Heaven" front entrance at all hours of the day and night, yelling and screaming at each other in joyful noise! Besides‚ think of how scandalous it would be to have both boys and girls sleeping in the same building!—Despite the fact that God himself created both sexes, they think it's a sin to use them. And not only that, it would run up the light bill and the phone bill and the gas bill, and raise the insurance rates! And besides, you'd have to get a special dispensation from the City to use it for such purposes. According to most City Ordinances, only God is allowed to dwell there, and He doesn't make a mess or a lot of noise, and wear out the rugs, or break the furniture. In fact, though they don't know it, He doesn't live there either—because it would be too lonesome, being in there all alone all week long, and only seeing your family once or twice a week for an hour or two. So it's no wonder He doesn't want to live there! Acts 7:48. He doesn't dwell in Temples made with hands!

4. SO THE WORST THING ABOUT CHURCH BUILDINGS is not only how they're abused on Sunday mornings by so much false doctrine and hypocrisy, lies and heresy, damning people to Hell—but the worst thing IS HOW THEY'RE HARDLY USED AT ALL for the wonderful good that they could be used for, in housing a fulltime soul-winning Army like the Children of God.

5. WELL‚ THAT'S A DANDY-BAD EXAMPLE OF A BAD PICTURE, or how a picture can be misused, or worse yet, not be used at all, or good for nothing! It reminds me of the time two of our boys sneaked into a church one night to get a good night's sleep, although they said it was so full of evil spirits they couldn't rest too well, and the next morning when the janitor woke 'em up and asked them what they were doing there, Aaron asked him‚ "Isn't this God's House?—Well, I'm one of His Children!" Which reply so astonished the janitor, they managed to get away before he could call the police. That's an example of a good use of a picture!

6. YOU SEE, IF A PICTURE IS NOTHING BUT A DECORATION, LIKE MOST CHURCHES, IT'S NOT GOOD FOR MUCH. It's gotta have some useful purpose, and be used constantly in order to get any benefit out of it. You have to have a motive in your picture taking. You must have a purpose. Like us, it must not just tell‚ but show a story! It's gotta be a sample, not a sermon! IF IT NEEDS EXPLAINING, THEN IT'S NOT MUCH GOOD. It's message must be plain and simple and self-evident, even without title or explanation. That's the best kind of picture.


7. ANOTHER THING‚ A TRULY GOOD PICTURE SHOULD BE ACTUALLY BEAUTIFUL—artistic, with good composition, proportion, perspective, framing‚ symmetry, balance, focus‚ lighting, relationship‚ and a good, clearly defined subject‚ obviously the focal point of the whole picture, and its entire message.

8. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY AND GOT MY FIRST BROWNIE BOX CAMERA, I knew I didn't know anything about taking pictures, so at least I had enough sense to buy a book about it. The book cost me a whole dollar—almost as much as the camera—which was a lot of money in those days—about like five dollars today—but I needed it‚ so I bought it.—And I'm glad I did, because I learned a lot from that book!—And guess what its name was!—Just plain and simple and straight to the point: "How to Take Pictures".—Which is exactly what it did. That's exactly what it told me! It didn't wander off on church buildings like I've been doing! But you know me!—CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE ONE OF MY PET PEEVES, and I'm bound to work 'em in somewhere‚ even in a lesson on photography!—And by the way, they make beautiful subjects, with their artistic lines and settings and so on, and lovely stained glass windows, with the rays of sunlight pouring through—that is, if you like church buildings!—Which I don't! I guess I've made that clear now, haven't I? They're such a poor picture of the true, and so good for nothing because you can't use 'em—like most of the pictures we take!—Just a waste of film, print paper, solution, time and effort—unless we know how to take 'em, and what for, and what of!

9. YOU SEE‚ I'VE THREATENED THIS LESSON ON PHOTOGRAPHY FOR A LONG TIME—but after looking through the last batch, I knew it couldn't wait any longer—or we're gonna run outta money, just buying film, and run out of time just developing them, when we can't even use 'em, and they're not good for anything! You see, this book I bought was hard-backed, glossy–paged, and full of illustrations and pictures which showed me how to take pictures!—And I'm sorry I can't do the same for you in this letter, and it's taking a thousand words instead‚ and even then, you'll probably get a poor sermon instead of a good sample!—SO I'M DOING THE BEST I CAN TO TELL YOU WHEN I REALLY WISH I COULD SHOW YOU! Maybe you ought to buy a simple little book like the one I had—or if you could look through my old photo albums, which I still have stacks of somewhere, unused, and virtually useless unless someday you want to illustrate my biography—and I could show you just oodles of examples—real samples—mostly dandy bad ones! And I'll admit, you do have to take a lot of pictures to get a few good ones!—But after all‚ Boys, forty-five of just one couple's betrothal, with only about three of 'em worth anything, is overdoing it a little, don't you think? Any good photographer who can only get one good shot out of fifteen is going to go out of business—particularly in our business, where we don't have the time‚ money, men or materials to waste—or we shouldn't have!

10. WELL, IN MY LITTLE BOOK I REALLY LEARNED A LOT, AND I STUDIED HARD AND TRIED HARD TO DO AS IT SAID, because I figured the guy who already knew how to take pictures certainly knew more than I did!—And he certainly had a lot of pretty pictures to prove it! I wish I still had that book—but I don't suppose you could even buy it now, since that was over forty years ago‚ when snapshot taking for the average person was a fairly new thing, and not everybody had a camera, much less the fancy complicated things they have today! Life was simple, cameras were simple, and picture-taking was simple. But today, most of the books I've seen on photography are so complicated, you'd have to have a college degree in science to understand 'em! This is the day of the expert and the specialist—and nobody simple minded like me can even figure out how to use one of these complicated new gadgets they call a camera! My little Baby Brownie just had one view-finder, no focusing‚ no timing, no light adjustment—just one little simple shutter that just went "click" when you pressed a little lever—and "presto"!—You had your picture, provided you had plenty of sunlight!

11. IN FACT, THE CAMERA I HAD BEFORE THAT WAS ONE I MADE MYSELF, since it was during the Depression and I couldn't afford to buy one. I learned out of one of the "Tom Sawyer" books how to make one. It was just a little black box with no light leaks, except for a tiny pinhole in the front which acted as a lens that spread an inverted image at the rear of the box‚ inside which we pasted a square of slow print paper, and could take pictures of almost anything in bright sunlight, providing it didn't move for about three or four minutes, which was how long it took to take these time exposures. But it took a good little picture—but of course, they didn't last, because, since we had no fixer, as soon as we got 'em out in the light they began to fade. So I was really a pioneer, Boys!

12. HOWEVER, I DID STUDY, I DID EXPERIMENT, AND I DID A LOT OF LEARNIN' BY TRIAL AND ERROR‚ UNTIL I DID FINALLY GET SOME GOOD PICTURES, as some of my albums will testify. Maybe I oughtta dig out those old albums, and include a picture sheet of a few samples with this letter! Would you like that? Everybody here says, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" I don't know!—It might even discourage you when you see what a skinny scrawny ugly little runt I used to be. Or on the other hand, that might encourage you! My Dad used to say, "Don't worry about it, Son. Wait till you're as old as I am." Well‚ I'm as old as he was now, and now I know what he meant. Sending you these pictures would certainly be no breach of security, because they don't look the least bit like me today. Well, I might do this if you promise to send me back the originals, as they are the only ones in history!

13. ANYHOW, I DID FINALLY WORK MY WAY UP TO WHERE I HAD MY OWN DARKROOM AND WAS DOING MY OWN DEVELOPING AND PRINTING, some of the sad results of which you may see in the snaps I produced. However, later I got pretty good at it‚ and was even trained in colour transparencies; development of colour film, by an expert from Technicolour Studios in Hollywood, at which time I even produced some of the colour Bible In Pictures films, which you may still be using—a series of filmstrips on Bible Prophecy. I remember one was on Daniel and one was on Israel, together with a lot of other films on our travels. SO I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, BOYS! You name it!—I've done it!—Whether it's working in the Post Office, piloting an airplane, building a house, overhauling a car, high-diving, mountain climbing, or what have you. I've done 'em all! Jack of all—master of none!—But I guess the Lord let that happen so I could give you at least a little advice about a little of everything. Sometimes you probably feel like the guy on the courthouse lawn in Missouri who was listening to my Mother tell her life story. After about two hours, of it, he finally yelled out in exasperation and unbelief, "Aw Lady, you couldn't possibly have done all those things or you'd be a hundred years old!"

14. WELL‚ I CAN ALSO TELL YOU HOW TO TAKE CAMERAS AND MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS, CLOCKS, RADIOS‚ WASHING MACHINES, AND OTHER THINGS APART, and usually get 'em back together again—fixed, believe it or not—with the Lord's help—but we won't go into all that. I just wanna let you know I know something about photography. I used to take movies‚ too—but mostly stills, which are the most useful in our Work—at least at the present time. We're letting the networks and the news agencies, with their highly trained engineers and more sophisticated equipment, do our movies for us now, sound included! They've gone far beyond anything we could do. Great are the companies that are publishing us! I just wanna tell you how anybody can take a few good simple little pictures!


15. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN LEAVING FOR EUROPE‚ HOSEA GAVE US A VERY COMPLICATED AND EXPENSIVE LITTLE CAMERA that was supposed to work miracles, but it was so complicated that it immediately broke down and we had to leave it behind—and all we had left was Maria's little Instamatic Box camera. But I could preach you a whole sermon about "What is that in thy hand?"—Or how to do a lot with a little, or get the best possible use out of what little you have. AND NOW MARIA IS ONE OF THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS WE HAVE, and can take better pictures than most of you—better pictures with her little "Brownie" than some of you seem to be able to take with your fancy Leicas! In fact‚ I'M CONVINCED THAT THE BEST PICTURES BEGIN NOT WITH A FANCY CAMERA, BUT WITH A SIMPLE, COMMON-SENSE PHOTOGRAPHER USING THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE EQUIPMENT! You don't need a complicated camera for most pictures. In fact, if you have good light and a little common sense, you can take good pictures with the simplest of cameras under normal conditions, and even indoors with flash bulbs! In fact, the less complicated your camera and the fewer adjustments it has that have to be made before taking a picture, the better off you are, particularly if you're not a scientist with an A.S.C. in Photography. IF YOU'RE SIMPLE-MINDED LIKE MOST OF US‚ YOU NEED THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE CAMERA AND THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE PICTURE-TAKING CONDITIONS!—And I'm almost convinced that most of our photographers oughtta get their training on a simple box camera like the Instamatic! They'd learn a lot—that picture-taking is not in the camera, but in the picture-taker—the artful eye of the artist himself. Maria has now developed an instinctive artist's eye of picture-worthy scenes—and that's one of the first things you need—the eye of an artist! If you appreciate beauty, art, and beautiful scenery‚ and have a great deal of imagination for story-telling, you should be able to take good pictures, regardless of what kind of a camera you use.

16. I'LL ADMIT THAT A GOOD HIGHLY TECHNICAL CAMERA IS BEST UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS, if you know how to use it—but if you don't, for God's Sake don't use one! Just get out in the daylight and sense the scene!—And snap it!

17. WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO IS TO MAKE IT SO SIMPLE FOR ALL OF YOU THAT ANY OF YOU COULD TAKE GOOD PICTURES, so at least let me give you a few important pointers. After you've got your camera and know how to use it, and under what conditions it will operate—and the simpler the better—the most important thing a photographer can have, like the reporter's nose for news, is a sense for scenes. Maria has prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide and inspire her and show her what to take pictures of. You've got to know what you're looking for! You've got to have a motive for taking pictures. You've got to have an idea of what kind of pictures you need, and can use, and what you need to use it for!


18. WHAT ARE WE TAKING PICTURES FOR‚ ANYHOW?—Just for amusement?—Just to have something to laugh at afterward?—Or just to see or be seen on camera for our own entertainment? What is our purpose in picture taking? What do we need the pictures for? If Photography is not a real need of our New Nation we should dispense with it, as an extravagant hobby! But if we need it, we should ask God to supply that need, as He's promised.—And we need to know why we're taking pictures, and how we plan to use them. Is it just to preserve a memorable scene for the record? What record? Is it just to enjoy those happy smiling faces, as we thumb through the thousands of prints we've made? The Lord says, forget the things that are behind! What is our calling?—Our main excuse for existence? What are we trying to do as a group?—WE'RE TRYING TO SHOW OUR MESSAGE—GIVE A SAMPLE, NOT A SERMON.

19. PICTURES ARE IMPORTANT. Pictures are one of the biggest businesses of today for the World—the System. Where would it be without its television‚ newspaper photos, magazine illustrations, advertising, motion picture theatres, etc.—even signs, posters‚ billboards and the like? And what is the principal purpose of all of them?—To advertise and promote the Devil's business and goods, and propagandise the public, and to sell 'em a message and a bill of goods, to influence their thinking‚ inspire them to make a decision, and get them to commit themselves to buy the product, to forsake all the others for something better, whether it's a new product or a new politician, or a different way of life!

20. AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THAT'S EXACTLY THE PURPOSE WHICH SHOULD BE BEHIND OUR PICTURES and their use: Advertising, Promoting, Propagandising‚ Influencing, and Selling! This is exactly what Jesus meant when He commanded "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature!" (Mk. 16:15) He meant for you to go and tell everybody the Good News, advertise it, promote it, propagandise them with it, commit them to a decision to buy it, to sell all they have and follow Him‚ to forsake all and follow Jesus!

21. AND WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GIVE THIS MESSAGE?—PORTRAY IT, SHOW IT, PICTURE IT, SHOW 'EM A SAMPLE! Let 'em see it with their very eyes! Now the best way to do that is to know your market. The best way to sell a product is to design it for the customers you expect to buy it, so it'll sell. What is our business?—God's! Who are our customers?—Souls! What is our Product?—Jesus!—And His Love and Joy, Life, Happiness here and Heaven hereafter!

22. WELL THEN, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DISPLAY OUR PRODUCT—TO SHOW IT TO THEM—TO GIVE THEM A SAMPLE, SO THAT THEY GET THE MESSAGE, and will say, "I'll buy that!" The best way, of course, is to trot out your living Samples—and this is what sells most people who come to us—they all exclaim the same thing: they never saw such love, such peace‚ such joy, such happiness, such contentment‚ such satisfaction, such fulfilment! As the old saying goes, "There's no better ad than a satisfied customer!"—And that's certainly true of us! WE'RE THE MOST SATISFIED HAPPIEST CUSTOMERS IN THE WORLD, BECAUSE WE'VE ALL PARTAKEN OF THE BEST POSSIBLE PRODUCT!—Jesus!—And from now on, we refuse to accept any substitutes—any imitations—any counterfeits!—We've got the real thing, and we don't want anything else but Jesus!—He satisfies! He's the Pause that refreshes—The One we'd walk a thousand miles for—The One who really quenches your thirst—The One who truly never lets you down—This is the life!—You could take all the catch phrases—all the catchy jingles—and all the pet punchlines and roll 'em all together, and they still couldn't describe Jesus and how wonderful He is!—You've gotta show 'em—give 'em a Sample!—And if you haven't got the living samples with you, or one of our Colonies with you to show 'em our way of Life, or one of our best musicians to woo them with a tune—then you've gotta have the next best thing: Pictures!

23. WHEN WE WERE HALF A WORLD AWAY FROM YOU, AND DIDN'T HAVE YOU OR A COLONY OR YOUR MUSIC there to trot out a Sample, we found that the next best way to do it was by pictures! But we also found, sad to say, that we couldn't use most of the pictures you sent us because they were apparently designed for your own pleasure and enjoyment‚ rather than the benefit of the general public, or to help others get the Message!


24. SO THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO DO IS ANALYSE THE MARKET AND DECIDE WHO ARE YOUR PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS, AND DECIDE WHAT KIND OF PICTURES WOULD SELL EACH GROUP BEST! So who are we trying to sell? First, I would say, the poor little lost kids! They're our primary target to try to reach with our good Sample to save them from the System! So what are they looking for? What are they gonna buy and be willing to forsake all others for?—It's gotta be good!—It better be good!—Or they're not gonna buy it—And that includes pictures! What are they looking for!—Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Fulfilment, Purpose! How're you gonna show 'em that you've got it? Where is it best displayed?—By your own spirit, and that light on your face!—Plus, in the faces of others like you in your pictures! FACES ARE SO IMPORTANT; EYES are the windows of the soul! A happy smile doeth good like a medicine! Wear a happy face! It's your display counter—your show window, your best advertisement! And take pictures of happy faces—closeups—portrait shots‚ so they can see they're happy!—They're your Samples!—Make 'em good Samples, and close enough that you can see them—every line, every look! "Be not afraid of their faces!"

25. FOR THE LITTLE LOST LAMBS, YOU ALSO NEED NOT ONLY PICTURES OF OUR OWN HAPPY SHEEP, BUT ALSO OF THEIR BLISSFULLY HAPPY LIFE IN THE BEAUTIFUL GREEN PASTURES OF OUR COLONIES! This means good closeup shots of them still happy while at work accomplishing something useful, needful‚ and beneficial. You still need those smiling, happy faces, but this time with a saw, wrench, soldering iron, cooking spoon‚ paring knife, typewriter, schoolbook, baby bottle, plow, type font, microphone, steering wheel, sewing or adding machine, guitar, Bible, or even camera in their hand, and looking like they're doing something helpful with it. You not only need shots of them at work, but also at play‚ showing the various recreations they enjoy, and how they spend their freetime! Also, their happy housing, joyful eating, and colourful clothing—obviously with happy faces in them. PEOPLE ARE STILL MORE INTERESTING THAN ANYTHING‚ EVEN MORE THAN BEAUTIFUL SCENERY, OR INTERESTING BUILDINGS!—BUT NOT unless they're close enough to see who they are and what they're like and how they enjoy it—preferably only one or two or very few in each picture, unless you're trying to portray some kind of a mob scene, demonstration, massive invasion, march, riot, sit–in, rock concert, skit, or dance, etc.—Even in these‚ you should get one of your subjects—at least one, and their happy face—in the immediate foreground‚ in good focus, with all the others in the background. You'll notice that the newspaper photographers best shots of our vigils were closeups of individual faces, and stepping just enough to one side to catch the other long line of faces.

26. SO IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO: YOUR CLOSEUP CHEESECAKE, with other delicious-looking scenes in the background, of larger action. But these long distance shots of nothing but a mass, or even mess, of bodies, and usually (mostly backs, are not good for much unless you're just trying to show our numbers—and usually) they're too far away even to count 'em, or tell what they're doing. So many of these group shots are so far away that you can't even tell they're our kids, or the difference between them and the rest of the kids! You've got to get closeups of somebody, or they're going to miss the whole message, even if you get everybody else in the background. Crowd shots are no good unless somebody is closeup in the foreground and you can see their face, their actual expression, and it does something for you, even if you have to say, "One, Two, Three-Smile!" Even with that three–second warning‚ it would at least give your subject a chance to put on his best happy face and bright smile!

27. WITNESSING CLOSEUPS‚ of course, can be sober or serious—even intense— but you still must look like you have something good to offer, that makes you look better than the other guy who hasn't. In some of your shots, the lost look happier than the saved‚ and you wonder what he's got to offer that could make him look so miserable! But most of the time, you can tell the difference, thank the Lord, and some of your witnessing closeups are very good, very expressive‚ really show a story. But remember, such pictures are not usually good to use with other kids. They're better to show the Systemites what we're doing. The kids are not going to be too interested in witnessing before they're even saved. Witnessing shots are good for church systemites to put 'em to shame.

28. THE LOST KIDS WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL and how you live and what you do in your Colonies that would interest him, including those work shots showing he can learn a trade he's interested in, or finish his high school education, or study the Bible, or go swimming, or ride horses, or hike, or play football, or even dance, sleep, or make love!—You could at least show a couple holding hands, or even kissing—a good closeup where you can see their faces and even their mouths connecting. It took you about forty shots to get that far with that betrothal! Somebody here suggests that maybe you could show two in a sleeping bag, or at least a happy couple in their quarters, to show we believe in love and romance,—and practice it‚ too! That candid shot of Miguel and Becky caught in bed together in their room in L.A. always gets a lot of laughs from our viewers—and they get the point that we're not prudish about sex—one of life's major enjoyments that you can still enjoy even more as Christians!

29. SPEAKING OF SEX SOME OF THOSE SEMI-NUDE PHOTOS, like the guy in the shower, or mothers visibly nursing their babes, or even birth sequences, can be very interesting to kids, and to show them that we're perfectly normal sexually—although I don't know why we can't get one of our pretty girls in that shower, if discreetly taken, without too much showing! If it weren't for the God-damned System's self-righteous and hypocritical pornography laws, we wouldn't care how much you showed, as long as it was beautiful‚ artistic, and inspiring—but you'd better make sure its art, or they could get you! THIS SORT OF THING WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE KIDS, BUT CERTAINLY NOT FOR THE SYSTEM, to illustrate our freedom and openness of mind, and a normal, healthy, attitude towards God's creation—without inhibitions‚ phobias, and frustrations! Some of our girls bathing in one of the ponds would be decorative, but you might have to put suits on 'em, or not get too close‚ in this one case. Bikinis are legit and acceptable to most‚ except some very narrow–minded church Systemites, although I personally think the thin, one-piecers are sexier. Why not LET THE KIDS KNOW THE DEVIL'S NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS SEX TO OFFER! IN FACT, YOU OUGHTTA REMIND THEM THAT GOD ORIGINATED IT, and created it for us to enjoy each other even more. Let's not be afraid to advertise it! I've even threatened to include a fascinating center-fold for the New Nation News—a "Praymate of the Month" for each edition—some beautiful artistic portraiture of some of our very beautiful girls in artful poses that help to reveal their beauty of both face and figure! You can even do this in some of those gorgeous long gowns‚ with the armless tops or low-cut necks, or even a bare leg here or there! We might as well let 'em know that there's nothing the Devil has to offer that God can't do better!—Especially since He made it! Make it!

30. FINALLY, I KNOW YOU LOVE THOSE WORSHIPFUL WONDERS, where everybody's on their knees‚ hands in the air, eyes closed, and ecstatically praying or praising God—and they'd certainly be good for the Pentecostals to show that we've got that, too, and that there's nothing that anybody's got that's good that we haven't got—but I'm afraid it would mystify most of the kids, until they, too, are indoctrinated, and it would certainly offend some Systemites. I think they're strictly for your own use and enjoyment! If were to judge what you like the most by the number of shots you take of it, I would say that these worshipping and witnessing crowd shots are your favourites, as you seem to take 'em by the barrelful! Again, I say‚ there is not much use for them—I mean, there is not much we can use them for except to enjoy ourselves, for which we thank you! To show them to most people would scare them half to death! We know! We've tried it! SCENES OF MUSIC AND DANCING, HOWEVER, I THINK ARE GREAT FOR THE KIDS—but they just don't understand prayer circles—except one very significant shot—I think it was from San Diego—where the photog was a real artist and got real meaning into it!—In the center foreground right up close—biggest thing in the picture and the central theme of it all, were the clasped hands of two brothers standing in the circle—but beyond it in the background you could see a large section of the circle itself with everybody holding hands‚ and carrying out the central theme. It was an almost perfect shot, with terrific impact! You really got the message of love and unity! It was beautiful! It needed no explanation! The message was there, loud and clear: we love each other, and we stick together, even in prayer! That photog was inspired! Give him a medal!


31. THE SECOND MAJOR USE WE HAVE FOR PICTURES IS TO PRESENT US AND OUR WORK FAVOURABLY TO THE SYSTEM IN NEWSLETTERS‚ BROCHURES, ETC. for use with our mailing list of friends and parents and visitors, and for the use for our procurers and public relations men who have to deal with the merchants and officials of the System. David H., your latest brochure was a classic example of a beautiful product in this regard! It was well done, classy, and beautiful to see, both inside and out! And although some of the pictures did not come out well—perhaps due to insufficient ink—they‚ too, were beautiful! The whole thing was a good sample from cover to cover, with just the kind of emphasis the System loves—good clean hard work, useful training‚ everybody busy, everybody happy—and I'm sure that hair-cutting will thrill their Systemite souls! And there was just enough of the religious angle of witnessing to the poor lost hippies‚ to please the church people, especially since it showed we cut their hair! I'm sure that thrilled 'em more than saving their soul! The kneeling down in a parking lot to lead a soul to Christ might have been a little strong for the Baptists and Presbyterians, but I'm sure they got the picture—that we're reaching the people they're not reaching—that we're saving those terrible, radical, long-haired, young people and dope addicts from the horrors of Communism, and making them useful, hard-working‚ clean-living, and almost Systemite–looking junior citizens! It's a masterpiece, and the Message is short and sweet!

32. YOUR PRAYER LETTERS, TOO, ARE ALSO EXCELLENT FOR THE SYSTEMITES, especially those who are Christians and supporters, or prospective supporters—and the idea of the little testimony sheet with the kids' own sweet portraits on them oughtta really touch their hearts—their selfish little Systemite hearts—and help loosen and enlarge them! WE HAVE FOUND THAT, FOR THE OLDER SYSTEMITES, WORK SHOTS, CLASS SHOTS, AND DRESSED UP SHOTS GO OVER GREAT. Those are the things they worship: Work‚ Education and Looks. They also love children and churches, so don't be afraid to show lots of little kids, and a little religion. They also love buildings, things, and property. We don't have many buildings to brag about, but you can sure show 'em a lot of trucks and buses‚ tractors, cars and various kinds of equipment, such as radios, machinery, printing presses, school books and school equipment, office equipment, nursery facilities, etc. Their motto is: "To him that hath, it shall be given"—so the more you have, the more they like to give to you‚ feeling they're really helping something big and important that's really got something going. Nothing succeeds like success—and they like to give to it!

33. SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO HAVE THE IDEA THAT THE RATTIER WE LOOK, (AND THE POORER WE LOOK), THE MORE PEOPLE WILL FEEL SORRY FOR US, AND BE APT TO GIVE TO US—BUT YOU'RE MISTAKEN! The System loves the rich and the successful—and they love to help those who might even help them or their own children—but they hate the poor and despise poverty and prefer just to ignore it. So the better front you can put on for the System‚ the more impressed they'll be. They love that outward appearance—those good clothes—that plush office! The more you look like big business to them, the more they'll love you, even if it's God's Business. That's why they build those fancy churches. God forbid that we should ever go that far with 'em, but at least we should try to look the best we can to the System!—And you photogs can help us—even if it's only for one picture! THE GUY WHO DRESSED A HUNDRED OF YOU UP IN TUXEDOES FOR THAT ORDINATION GROUP SHOT REALLY KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING, believe it or not—and he really knew who he was working with and trying to appeal to!—The Systemites! They're still marvelling at how he got all those long-hairs cut‚ shaved‚ and into tuxes! They know it must be a miracle of God or a miraculous demonstration of the efficacy of our methods—and to them, turning hippies into Systemites, or what looks like it, is a greater miracle than water into wine; although as far as I'm concerned, it sounds more like turning wine into water!—And made them so happy! It didn't matter to them, that beneath every tux beat a rebel heart, just as long as they looked like Systemites! That's all the System cares about is the looks of things. It doesn't even matter to them that their own churches are stinking sepulchers full of the dead, as long as they're nice and pretty and whited on the outside! Remember, the Systemite man looks on your outward appearance only; he doesn't give a damn about your heart! So you shutterbugs keep this in mind when you're taking pictures! Dress up!


34. THE LAST, BUT NOT NECESSARILY THE LEAST IMPORTANT USE FOR OUR PICTURES IS FOR OURSELVES and our own encouragement, inspiration, and enjoyment of our own Children of God. Here you can use all the Glory, Hallelujah scenes you want—even Holy Rollers, bus greetings, hugging sessions, prayer circles, witnessing invasions, and mass shots to show how many of you there are! But personally, I'm still more interested in you personally—and would love to see more closeups and portraits—real mug shots, so I can see what you look like‚ read your character, that certain intangible something that's written all over your face, if I can get a good look at it. Your eyes tell me something, even in a picture! SO FOR GOD'S SAKE, LOOK STRAIGHT INTO THAT LENS—LOOK AT ME! I not only wanna see what you look like, but how you look—whether you're shifty–eyed and afraid of me because of a guilty conscience, and half-heartedness, or look me straight in the eye with frankness, openness, straightforwardness, love, and trust. We read so much about you in the reports and logs we'd like to see what you look like. IT'S ABOUT TIME WE GOT OUT A CLASSBOOK WITH EVERYBODY'S MUG AND MONICKER! That's no breach of security as long as you use your Bible name—that's all we see in the logs anyhow! I've even forgotten most of your system names. In fact, most of you I never even met—but I'd love to meet you even by picture. The only picture I ever got from Zion was a posed group shot of the first fifty there‚ but since I didn't know most of you, I pored over that thing for an hour with a magnifying glass, asking someone who knew you‚ your name and all kinds of questions about you, I'm so eager to know you better. I'm sure some of the rest of you feel the same way about those you haven't met. So there's a project for you, Gad! A CHILDREN OF GOD YEARBOOK! Amen? You could include all two thousand of us in this collector's edition, with a copy for everyone of us—a picture and word of greeting from each of your leaders—I'd even send you one of me—maybe when I was about five—Or a baby picture. Someone here suggested that maybe all the leaders should just use baby pictures—either that, or we could just scatter them throughout the rank and file with no designation.—Only you and I would recognise them! We could even group them like classes—you know: maybe the original seven, then the H.B. fifty, or the first Texas 100, then first busload‚ second busload, Atlanta busload, etc., etc. By the time you're ready to go to press, everybody should have picked an identifying last name to show who he is or where he's from or what tribe he's in, or something, so we'll know the difference, and you can include the full Bible name, or new name—Bible first name with identifying last name—under each mug shot, so we'll know who you are next time we read your name in the paper. Wish we had room for a little thumbnail life sketch as well‚ like, you know: Where joined, Where from (hometown, or at least home state), former job, work, condition, and religion, when joined, and present job or level of training. Of course‚ we'd have to issue a new supplement every month with all the new disciples in it—each Colony could send their monthly harvest of I.D. shots to GHQ (Gad Headquarters)for inclusion. Wouldn't that be thrilling!

35. OUR SUPPOSED–TO-BE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER now seems to be becoming a tri-monthly‚ or quarterly—once every three months—our Good Gad Guys must be printing something, but we haven't seen much of it, except this brochure and the Prayerletters—but these are good enough to redeem them. However, if Texas can't do it, maybe California can! If the jobs are too much for one, let's spread 'em around. They've done some mighty good work out there in the West, and nobody's beaten them yet on that little Prophet Tract they got out—and California does send us proofsheets of all their photos, which is more than I can say for some of the rest of you. How about that, Texas?—And the East? Let's have 'em!

36. HOWEVER‚ WE HOPE TO CORRECT THIS NEWSPAPER SITUATION, which is a big operation, and which I told 'em in the beginning couldn't be done more than once a month at the most. We're planning to get out a weekly newsletter with the headline news of all newsworthy Colonies. Maybe we could even have room beside each Colony's news flash for a thumbnail photo of that news activity—Wouldn't that be interesting and exciting? We came up with this idea after spending all day analysing our seemingly insurmountable reading problems, in which we discovered the each Colony Shepherd, if he reads all the reports and things he's supposed to read, has been reading about 140 closely typewritten pages a week; the Regional Shepherds 200 pages; the National Shepherds 210 pages; and MO's Office, 359 pages! We wondered why we kept getting further and further behind, until we finally added it all up, page by page, and I came out with these amazing sums! I'm sure some of you guys must be cheating, because with all the rest you have to do, you couldn't possibly be reading that many pages a week!

37. SO WE FIGURED OUT HOW WE CAN CUT DOWN THE NUMBER OF REPORTS, LOGS‚ etc. that have to be read by each Shepherd to somewhere around only a hundred a week—pages, that is—so we can get something else done besides writing and reading reports! Maybe this'll give us time to take more pictures and publish more pictures for all to enjoy. Your offices will each be getting an Advisory on this soon—as soon as we have a chance to discuss it with your officers. I think you're gonna be happily surprised on the paper cutbacks!

38. WE THINK ALSO THAT GAD OUGHTTA GET BUSY, UNDER GOD, TAKING BABY PICTURES of the monthly progress of each of the nursery tribe‚ especially those who are separated from their parents—in fact, of all our children. I'd love to see 'em all myself—they're my kids! All these mugs of individuals—babies and otherwise—needn't be more than an inch square when published in the yearbook—but single photos for parents and kids could be larger—and when I say mug shot, I mean mug shot!—Nothing lower than the neck, certainly no more than a bust—and some of those might not be worth it—except for girls!—And the monthly centerfold of the "Praymate of the Month" which should be at least a full page pin-up! Of course, the girls would probably like pin-ups of their boyfriends, so maybe we'll have to alternate the sexes of our "Praymate Pin-ups"!—And No Neutrals! Of course‚ 8x11 prints for Prophets Buses, Greeting Room, Meeting Room, etc., are a must!—Not necessarily all pin-ups, of course!—Keep your minds on the Works, Kids! Nice work!

39. WHILE SPEAKING OF PICTURES FOR OUR OWN USE, we might include California's and Texas' latest developments: action shots of 10:36 scenes to use as evidence in our own self–defense and against parents' illegal actions‚ such as some good shots TSC got recently of some parents trying to kidnap their 23-year-old daughter‚ and of our firm, legal, preventive interference. L.A. also got some interesting personality studies of some of our worst enemies when they entertained the Free Paper Staff for dinner, including you know who! I would like to have seen a few more shots of our side, and their facial reactions during the confrontation, particularly if you could have gotten the two together, like they do on these panel shows—but the two sides sat so far across the room from each other, this was nearly impossible. However‚ nothing ventured, nothing gained: though they might have declined, L.A. could have asked the opposing participants to all stand together in a group for a nice group shot of both sides, side by side, like the newspaper reporters do, like the fighters shaking hands‚ or opposing politicians in a flesh press or a meat squeeze, as they call it—sort of friendly enemies pose. It would have made a good spread for our paper under the title "Old Hat meets New Nation", or some such—and it would certainly have illustrated our desire to make peace!


40. TO SUM UP THESE THREE TYPES OF PICTURES THAT WE NEED, it might help you to remember that pictures for Jesus, Others, and You spells JOY in picture taking! The ones especially for Jesus are the ones, of course, with which we try to win the kids for Him. The ones for Others are those we use with the System to try to persuade them to help us in His Work—And the ones you take for You are those just for our own benefit. Oh JOY!


41. ONE ITEM WE FORGOT TO MENTION WHICH COULD BE VERY BENEFICIAL WITH THE SYSTEM, is to take pictures of our own kids at work, study, or play in their new habitat for sending home to their parents and loved ones—like the ones we take of them receiving boxes. Why shouldn't we get pictures of them receiving checks? The parent who sends money certainly deserves a picture as much as the one who sends things! If they find they receive a nice photo of Junior in various poses or activities every time they send a nice tidy little check, it may increase the much needed flow of checks, or other donations.

42. MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE A CONTEST FOR THE BEST PICTURES IN THESE VARIOUS CATEGORIES, with the winners getting theirs' used in the brochures‚ papers, letters, etc. I'll be happy to judge the "Praymate" submissions! David H. can judge the Systemite offers, and you could vote for your favorite You. We might even have a Baby Picture Contest, or enter a baby picture of one of your leaders in each edition of the paper for you to guess who it is. …

43. WE COULD ALSO BE OPEN FOR SUGGESTIONS ON OUR PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE RANK AND FILE, and, of course, that could go for suggestions in any area of our Operation! How's that? Not that anybody would follow 'em, of course, but you could at least make 'em. I've been making suggestions along these lines for months, and nobody's paid much attention to 'em yet. We still get a lot of pictures that we can't use. Of course we don't get very many pictures at that, and the only ones I can criticize are those that were sent.—So God bless you at least for sending something. I don't know what TSC's using its darkroom for, so I'll just have to tell L.A. what I think about a recent batch they sent us. With these in hand, I'll make a few comments: The closeups were beautiful and particularly ones like Kishi, Woodsman and wife, Jeremy playing his guitar, Faith and Deborah‚ etc., although the stiff ones in the hard-back chair were a little formal, and the background was too light, and they could have been much closer. The witnessing shots—at least some of them—the ones which were close enough to discern the expressions on their faces, and which plainly showed the action, were great! A few of the meeting shots were good, but as usual, they were mostly people's backs, instead of their faces‚ because apparently some of you are still afraid to get in front of a crowd to take their pictures, especially if any of 'em are close to you. You prefer a distant, unintelligible mass of bodies. You still try to get too much, or too many, in the picture without specializing at least on a few up front. We're speaking of L.A.'s proofsheets Nos. 1 & 2, and 114 thru 120. In so many of your band shots, the mike hides the face‚ and on vigils‚ it was the rods. Your work shots really tell a story, and so did some of the raps.—Most of S.D.'s shots are too far away & action unclear, but a few are classics!

44. —Like the one of the clasped hands in the prayer circle, for which they get the credit. But to San Francisco go the greatest laurels—they still must have the best photographers in the whole Revolution, despite their less numerous contributions. We had a higher proportion of selections from theirs than from all the rest put together. Somebody there knows how to take pictures—like their video-tape‚ which I never got tired of playing. Their pictures really tell the story like it is—or like it oughtta be: faces, action, composition, framing, balance, depth—the works! Particularly their witnessing shots‚ in which they got not only the crowd, but the witnesses, with the witnesses close up and the crowd in the background. In this type of shot from some of the rest of you, we couldn't see the witnesses for the backs of the crowd, or the fearful distance from which you took it. REMEMBER, A PHOTOGRAPHER HAS GOT TO BE THE GREATEST WITNESS OF ALL—FOR THE WORD "WITNESS" MEANS "MARTYR". He can't be afraid to dive right into the center of the action, even if it looks like it might cost him his life! Why shouldn't you be willing to do for the Lord what the System's newsmen are willing to do for money? S.F.'s photog is not afraid to get into the thick of it, no matter how hot and heavy the action! And he likes pretty girls and babies, always good subjects for anybody's pictures. That one with the girl guitarist was lovely‚ and the lighting on the baby photo was inspired! Whose is that cute kid? Their dancing shots were good in close up too. Of course, S.F. has a big advantage over some of you larger Colonies: they are very few in number, and much easier to photograph, another one of the many advantages of the smaller Colonies. Just remember that for System witnessing shots, you've got to keep your shirts on! Some of our old lady friends don't like those bare-backed boys! As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't care if you showed some bare-fronted girls—it would certainly fascinate the kids, but surely offend the System! Most girls look a little more artistic with at least a little drapery, anyhow, which, if tastefully done, can be even more provocative!—And being provocative is perfectly Scriptural. As the Apostle says‚ we're to provoke them to jealousy—the System, that is. Trouble is, when they get jealous, they get mad and wanna run you in—And they sure will, if you don't use wisdom in your photography!—Some people just don't like our freedom—And they'd like to kill us to stop it! So if you have to use a little caution to stay free—Use it!

45. O.K., SEND ME YOUR "PRAYMATE OF THE MONTH" CONTRIBUTIONS, and I'll take 'em from there! I'm gonna get some pretty pictures of you girls yet! We oughtta be taking twice as many pictures of girls, since we only have half as many of them as boys. Besides‚ for some reason or other, they always seem to be more photogenic, or photogenetic! Amen, Boys?



(1). Unless you're a professional, START WITH THE SIMPLEST CAMERA POSSIBLE!

(2). CHOOSE THE BEST LIGHTING conditions possible, preferably sunlight or a flashbulb!

(3). GET AS CLOSE to your primary subject as possible—and get that face and expression!

(4). GET ONLY NECESSARY BACKGROUND that helps the picture tell the story—not too much! (If you want something large in the background, such as the whole front of your Colony house, be sure you get some people in the picture, but don't leave them standing in front of the house, if you have to go across the street to take it!—Take them with you and keep them close to the camera! A bunch of people in any scene means little if too distant!)

(5). FRAME THE PICTURE ARTISTICALLY in your viewfinder! Centre and balance subjects!

(6). USE GOOD COMPOSITION!—Relate your subjects proportionately, which means try to get your primary subject in the center foreground and only the related background necessary.

(7). GET THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE—subject in front, background in back!—And get in the forefront yourself. Don't take the picture from the background!! Angle shoot for depth. Use a wall‚ railroad‚ fence, sidewalk or street or your lineup at a sharp angle, with the nearest part of it close to your camera, but slightly to one side, the rest trailing off into the distance. This is extremely important in shots of vigil lines, marches‚ etc.—Anywhere you've got to get more than usual in the picture and need to give it depth.

(8). GET THE ACTION!—CLOSE UP!—Even if you have to get into it yourself! Reporters do! Use a fast enough shutter speed to stop it, not less than 1/125th of a second!

(9). TAKE FLASH SHOTS, CLOSE UP ONLY!—Remember, nothing over 10ft. away will be seen.

(10). DON'T WASTE FILM—take only one or two shots of the same scene!—Not 10 to 45!

(11). TAKE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT SHOTS! With good contrast—for publication.

(12). HOLD CAMERA STEADY, or use tripod. Count 1‚2,3, & squeeze—Don't jerk!

(13). PRAY! Keep your eyes open for good shots, get inspired, and ALWAYS CARRY CAMERA!