Rutherford admits why he stole control of WTB&TS

by Mythbuster 29 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Mythbuster

    I've been reading the trial transcript and I found this little nugget (page 1028). This comes while the prosecution is questioning Rutherford:

    Q. That being your view of it - that a man who was consecrated must not engage in war, then, that is your idea, that you are opposed to all war?
    A. If you ask me individually, I say my individual inclination is to go into war, because that has been my ambition from youth to lead an army.
  • thetrueone

    Another tidbit of info. supporting the fact that Rutherford was a power seeking opportunist trying whatever means he could find

    to establish this wanted desire and really what better way to achieve this than to become a President of a religiously Incorporated

    publishing house, even though it was built upon bullshit, ignorance and fear.

    Yep, you could see him gloating with self pride driving down the road in his Cadillac, he did good for himself, he really made it

  • pirata

    Good find! Another example of neutrality perverted by theocratic warfare?

  • jwfacts

    interesting find. Do you have a link to the transcript?

  • Mythbuster
  • Leolaia

    That's a mighty nice find. Very telling about Rutherford's motives and ambitions.

    BTW, it is on p. 993, not p. 1028.

  • JimmyPage

    Nice catch. Amazing how one asshole can ruin generations of lives.

  • Mythbuster

    Sorry, 1028 of the PDF file from the link I posted.

  • Leolaia

    "Brother Rutherford, happy is our privilege to be fighting shouler to shoulder with you in the mighty army of our Lord, under the Valiant Warrior, Christ Jesus. Joyful indeed to participate in his organization, now more closely-knit and better equipped to 'carry the battle to the gate'. -- Jehovah's Witnesses of Missouri Zone No. 2" (The Watchtower, 15 February 1939, p. 63)

    I think Rutherford got his army.

  • Mythbuster

    want to read about why Rutherford, in his own words, kicked out the 4 opposers when he took over? Read pages 1033 to 1039 (of the PDF, not the transcript page numbers).

  • slimboyfat

    He seems to be wishing to emphasize how becoming a Christian had changed his outlook.

  • donuthole

    Interesting find. This squares with another things such as how Rutheford began to rebrand the Organization with military designations. For instance congregations became "companies" (as in military units).

  • snowbird

    Meetings for field service were called a rendezvous.

    From Free Online Dictionary:

    ren·dez·vous (ränd-v, -d-)·dez·vous (-vz) 1. A meeting at a prearranged time and place. See Synonyms at engagement. 2. A prearranged meeting place, especially an assembly point for troops or ships. 3. A popular gathering place: The café is a favorite rendezvous for artists. 4. Aerospace The process of bringing two spacecraft together. ____________________________________________________

  • LongHairGal


    We should never underestimate the capacity of a very driven man who is hell-bent on domination.

    When I read things like this I am ashamed and angry at myself for the time I wasted in this sham. Too bad there was no internet for research when I came in. I couldn't find any library books about the religion either.

  • Mary
    Nice catch. Amazing how one asshole can ruin generations of lives.

    Ya, but those are overlapping generations, so it's really just one generation that the asshole ruined.

  • thetrueone

    If there was anything good about the man at least he pursued the resistance to bare arms.

    Of course there are other Christian based faiths that do so as well.

    Maybe it was the power of WTS. publishing Corporation that eventually drew to his calculable corruption ?

    The gospel end times was really a marketing scheme for the publishing company from the very beginning .

  • hamsterbait

    Mythbuster - can you PLEASE just cut and paste why he kicked the 4 opposers out?

    I cannot get it to download.


  • Mythbuster

    I can but the PDF text doesn't copy over as plain text. It would take a while to do it. The PDF file is HUGE, 150+ MB. Are you giving it enough time to download?

    I'll see what I can do.

  • Mythbuster

    This is Rutherford being cross-examined by prosecution attorney Oeland. But all the lawyers and Judge jump in and out of it.

    Q. On the 17th of July you had quite a celebration there or as one of the witnesses put it, a gala event?
    A I would not say it that way.

    Q. Were Mr. Woodworth and Mr. Fisher invited to be present?
    A . Mr. Fisher was appointed a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Woodworth accompanied him to Brooklyn.

    Q. Were they invited to be present?
    A. Mr. Fisher was; I don't know about Mr. Woodworth

    Q. Who else was invited?
    A Dr. Spill, Mr. Bohnet.

    Q. Was that the day set for the celebration of the beginning of the distribution of the seventh mystery?
    A. No, sir. Before they had gone out, before that, several days.

    Q. From where?
    A. From Hammond

    Q. None from Brooklyn?
    A No; they hadn't reached Brooklyn.

    Q. Wasn't that the day set, you had a lot on hand?
    A. They got there the night before.

    Q. You knew they were shipped before?
    A. Yes.

    Q. You had them there?
    A. Yes

    Q. On that day you removed four directors?
    A. I never removed them, because they were not legally there.

    The Court: They were physically there?
    The Witness: They were not physically at that meting, because they refused to attend.

    Q. Didn't you issue an order they were removed and other people appointed in their place?
    A. I filed a written opinion.

    Q. Four other men had been acting as directors up to the time you appointed these other four men?
    A. Yes.

    Q. You announced that they were removed and others had been appointed in their place?
    A. I announced the office was vacant and others appointed to fill the vacancy.

    Q. They had been acting up to that time, these four directors?
    A. They had been acting.

    Q. When were you elected a director?
    A January, 1917.

    Q. When were you elected before that time?
    A. I had been elected by the members of the board, but not legally elected.

    Q. I'm not asking legally or illegally.
    A. I have been on the board since 1910 or 1911.

    Q. One or two of these men had been on the board prior to your time?
    A. I think so.

    Q. One of these men, Mr. Hirsch, had been elected by the board at which you presided?
    A That is true.

    Q. After you elected him, January, 1917?
    A. Somewhere along there.

    Q. He kept acting?
    A. He acted in that capacity until he tried to upset the society.

    Q. I did not ask you about upsetting the society.
    A. I am going to assign a reason.

    Q. We will get a little straighter later on. You were acting as a director?
    A Yes, sir.

    Q. Mr. Hirsh was elected a director by the board in which you presided in January, 19171
    A. Yes.

    Q. He acted up until July 17th, 1917?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Mr. Ritchie, was he a director, too?
    A. Acting as such.

    Q. How long had he been acting as such?
    A. Three or four years or more.

    Q. More than that, didn't he?
    A. I don't remember; several years.

    Q. There was Hirsch elected by the board in January, at which you presided?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Mr. Ritchie had been a member, acting as a member of the Board of Directors, how long?
    A. Three or four years.

    Q. Who else?
    A. Mr. Wright and Mr. Hoskins.

    Q. How long was Mr. Wright acting?
    A. Before I did.

    Q. How long before?
    A. I don't know.

    Q. You sat with him in board meetings after you became the presiding officer of the board?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Who else?
    A. Mr. Hudgings.

    Q. How long had he been holding office?
    A. I don't know; the record will show; several years.

    Q. Acting as such?
    A. Yes.

    Q, And your charter provided directors should hold the position for life?
    A. That is in the charter in derogation of the statute.

    Q. Didn't your charter provide your directors should hold office during life unless removed by a two-third vote?
    A. That is part of the charter; it is understood it was all to be read together.

    Q. Is that a part of it?
    A. Yes.

    Q. You had been holding as a director under that charter?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Since 1911 ?
    A. Somewhere along there.

    Q. You came in after some of these men were put on the Board of Directors?
    A. That is true.

    Q. And yet on July 17th, you removed these four and appointed another four?
    A. I did not remove them; I took legal advice and they were not there properly.

    Q. They had been acting there?
    A Yes.

    Q. How long had Mr. Van Amburgh been acting in that capacity?
    A. Several years.

    Q. In the same way?
    A. No; he was elected annually.

    Q. As a director?
    A. As an officer which the charter provides, that makes him a director, because the shareholders elect the officers, not the directors.

    Q. Who else, you?
    A. Yes.

    Q. You were elected director, holding as officer?
    A. Yes, and Mr. Pierson.

    Q. Was Mr. Pierson an officer?
    A. Yes; he was the vice president.

    Q. Wasn't Mr. Ritchie the vice president before that?
    A. Mr. Ritchie was vice president in 1916.

    Q. You removed him and put in Pierson?
    A. No, sir; Mr. Pierson war elected in his place. Mr. Pierson was elected in January, the meeting of January, 1917.

    Q. Doesn't your charter provide officers shall be elected by the shareholders?
    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. Then you have these four men acting as directors, one of them elected by the board at which you presided, and you know the law to be that directors hold over until subsequent election in the event-
    A. If they are properly elected, yes; if not, no.

    Q. Where did you get your improper election from?
    A. I had no proper election until January, 1917, when I was elected at the annual meeting.

    Q. Who else was elected?
    A. And Mr. Van Amburgh and Mr. Pierson

    Q. You were elected not a director, you were elected president?
    A. I was elected president.

    Q. And Mr. Van Amburgh was elected secretary and treasurer?
    A. And under the Pennsylvania statutes that made me a director.

    Q. And you removed four acting directors?
    A. I did not move anyone.

    Q. Did you say you are out and I am going to put four other men?
    A. The record shows what I did. I made the announcement, being vacant, I appointed four men to take the vacancies.

    Q. Did you declare the office vacant on the 17th of July?
    A. No appointment was made prior, consequently-

    Q. When did you make the vacancy, exact?
    A. The record is the best evidence; I think the 12th of July.

    Q. You made it the 12th. You declared these men were not there and there was a vacancy?
    A. Yes, but this has nothing to do with "The Finished Mystery," as you suggested the other day.

    Q. You put in and had a meeting with your four new directors on the 17th?
    A. Yes.

    Q. And from the 17th the money was paid out of The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society for the publication of "The Finished Mystery"?
    A. I will answer that yes and ask to explain.

    Q. You have answered yes.
    A There was no connection with this, your Honor.

    Q. Is it true the money was paid out of the Watch Tower?
    A. After that $5,000 was exhausted.

    Q. It is true after the l7th the money was paid out of The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, after exhausting the $5,000?
    A. After exhausting--yes.

    Q. Is it true after July 17th-prior to July 17th not a dollar was paid out of the funds of The Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society?
    A That is true, but it had no more relation to this than the sun does.

    Mr. Sparks: I will ask you those questions.

    The Court: You have this one answered. To put off the explanation, which is the practice in a good many courts, I have always thought it loses its effectiveness. I think we will take the course, as on other occasions here, and if the witness desires to make an explanation he may do it, rather than to put it off until after; it would lose its effectiveness.

    Q. Will you explain, Mr. Rutherford?
    A. The four men whose places were filled had entered into an agreement to tie up all the funds of the society. Shortly after Pastor Russell's death we sent a man as a representative of the society to England, and while there he took everything in his own hands, instituted a suit in the High court of London, and tied-

    The Court: That wouldn't have anything to do here.

    The Witness?: Yes,he came here and started the same thing here with these men.

    The Court: What he did in london was of no concern.

    The Witness: It was our concern; we have a London office. He tied up alll the funds in London. I cabled our solicitor there and had them, after a hearing released. He was recalled, came back to the United States, and the four mentioned here had been disgruntled about other matters, they had nothing with reference to the seventh volume. The matter was never intimated. These four, together with the one who went to London, Mr. Johnson, were consorting together, and in a meeting in general, one stated he would see that they ran the matter to suit themselves. They had prepared a set of resolutions taking away from the president the management of the society, were to put one of their number at the Tabernacle to run it there, and another at the Bethel Home, and make the president sit down, notwithstanding the members had made him the general manager, and threatend to tie up all the funds so the president could not do anything, could not expend $100 unless they said so. I knew that was contrary to the wishes of our people all over the country-

    The Court: That would not be material, the wishes of the people. That was the part about the money.

    The Witness: They had threatened to tie it up. At this time, while the matter was being discussed, I received from Mr. Butterfield this check. Instead
    of putting it in the general fund, knowing he wanted it used for this purpose, I put it in my credit, instructing them we would use that first, so if they started legal proceedings to tie up the funds, we would have this money; to publish the seventh mystery, the publication was not concerned, they had no reference to it. As soon as this $5,000 was exhausted we drew on the treasury. They had not instituted suit, I did not know what they were going to do, and after the 17th of July they could not do anything. I took legal advice and had a legal opinion.

    The Court: We are concerned today with the management.

    The Witness: It had wholly to do with the management, and not the book.

    Mr. Oeland: Mr. Van Amburgh gave a different version.

    Mr. Sparks: Then I think we should have the whole story.

    The Court: Haven't you got it?

    Mr. Sparks: No; he says he submitted the matter to counsel.

    Thc Court: We can't go into the question of the advice he got. The only thing material is, another defendant having given a different version, it is the real purpose we want.

    Mr. Fuller: Another defendant did not give any different story.

    Mr. Sparks: Mr. Oeland, in his question, intimates that Mr. Rutherford, without any authority, and solely from his own standpoint, was dissatisfied with these men and threw them out.

    Mr. Oeland: He said so.

    Mr. Sparks: No, he did not say anything of the kind.

    The Court: I think be said they were consorting together to make trouble, to tie up
    the funds and shear him of his official right, and he put them out.

    Mr. Sparks: He took advice.

    Mr. Fuller: He didn't put them out; he found that they did not have the power to do it.

    The Court: That is grinding pretty fine. They were there as defacto officers. I think it was well enough to refer to putting them out.

  • Mythbuster

    See the previous page for the transcript, I didn't realize this would jump to a new page.

    As an FYI, here is why I couldn't just cut and paste it. I had to edit by hand.

    This is how it pastes from the PDF:

    Q. Mr. Ritchie, was he r director, too? A k t h g
    Q. HOWlo ng bad he brm acting u such? A Tbrce
    or four pars or morc
    Q. More than that, didn't he? A I don't rununkr;
    md yam
    Q. There was Himh elected by the board in Jamnry,
    at which you presided? A Yer
    Q. Mr. Ritchie had been r member, rdhy u r
    member of the Bwd of Dinctors, bow long? A
    The or four yeam,
    3101 Q. Who else? A. Mr. Wright and Mr. Hdciilr
    Q. How long was Mr. Wright acting? A Bdm
    I did
    Q. How long before? A. I donst know.
    Q. You rat with him in board mutinp after pa
    became the presiding &cer of the board? A Ya.
    Q. Who else? A. Mr. Hudgingr
    Q. How long had he been holding offkc? A I
    don't know; the record will rhow; vrd yam.
    Q. Acting PI such? A Ya.
    Q, And your charter provided directon should hold
    the position for life? A That u in the dmtcr 51
    derogation of the statute.
    3102 Q. Didn't your charter provide your dirrcton
    should hold office during life unless removal by a
    two-third vote? A. That is part of the charter; it is
    understood it war all to be read tog&.
    Q. Is that a part of it? A. Yes.
    Q, You had been holding as 8 director onda &at
    charter? A. Ytl.
    Q. Since 1911 ? A. SoAlewke dong there
    Q. You came in after rome of these men were put
    on the Board of Dircaorr? A. That is truc
    Q. And yet on July 17th. you rmovcd these four
    and appointed another four? A. I did not ransoe
    them; I took legal advice and thy were not there

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