As part of the WT's recent push to get the R&F "to study and recount the history of the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization" there is a curious article in the From Our Archives featurette of the August 15th, 2012 Watchtower.
It offers a highly sanitized version of early JW history. But what is particularly strange is this revisionist history re-categorizing of an early Bible Student/JW, one Hugo Riemer.
Notice how this man has been promoted to a Governing Body member:
Beginning about 1894, the Watch Tower Society sent out traveling representatives to meet with groups requesting a visit. Later called pilgrims, these experienced, hardworking menwere selected for having meekness, Bible knowledge, and fine speaking and teaching ability, and for demonstrating fidelity to the ransom. ... After his evening discourse in a school, Hugo Riemer, who later became a member of the Governing Body, answered Bible questions until past midnight. -w2012 8/15, p. 31 - From Our Archives - [Emphasis Added]
Never heard of Hugo Henry Riemer? I'm not surprised. He was apparently on the Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania from 1943 until his death in 1965. He also served on the New York corporate board.
Apparently that now qualifies him to be considered a Governing Body member ... the only problem I have with this is that the Governing Body (note the capital "G" and the capital "B") was not formally established as such until 1971, six years after Mr. Riemer's death!!!
... the term “governing body” does not come from the scriptures at all. Rather it is a secular term that was first employed casually in 1944 to describe the Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Society. However, from 1971 onwards, the term was capitalized, and the new “Governing Body” came to take on a powerful new role as the religious leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A rare photo of the pre-1971 Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (Left to right) Lyman Swingle, Thomas J. Sullivan, Grant Suiter, (Sec’y.-Treas.), Hugo Reimer, Nathan H. Knorr (President), Fred W. Franz (Vice-President), Milton G. Henschel.
These guys just get kookier all the time!