Special thanks to gopher for the use of his WT CD rom, saving me alot of typing. I have edited and combined my posts here.
"Having up to December 1, 1893, thirty-seven hundred and five (3,705) voting shares, out of a total of sixty-three hundred and eighty-three (6,383) voting shares, Sisiter Russell and myself, of course, elect the officers, and thus control the Society; and this was fully understood by the Directors from the first. Their usefullness, it was understood, would come to the front in the event of our death." A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings 4-25-1894 (written by Russell)
"For more than thirty years, the President of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY managed its affairs exclusively, and the Board of Directors, so-called, had little to do. This is not said in criticism, but for the reason that the work of the Society peculiarly requires the direction of one mind." Harvest Siftings 8-1917 p. 10 (written by Rutherford)
So we see that during the period of Russell, the WTBTS Board of Directors was not much into "governing" the society. This would be fine, except for the fact that the WT magazine now seems to be re-writing the Societies history as seen below.
From the incorporation of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania in 1884 until 1972, the president of the Society exercised great authority in Jehovah's organization, while the Governing Body was closely associated with the Society's board of Directors. Watchtower 5-15-1997 p. 17
To give the Bible Students legal status, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was incorporated in 1884 in the United States, with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its directors served as a central Governing Body, overseeing the global preaching of God's Kingdom. Watchtower 2-1-1999 p.17
In fact the term "Governing Body" is not found in the Bible. I believe that it is a legal term, used to describe the directors of corporations as well as cities. In my home town the city directors are referred to in the news paper as "the governing body of the city of _______________ " The Watchtower Society has taken a modern legal term and has read it back into the Bible in order to make the early christians have the same arrangement that the WT Society does today!
Furthermore they have also re-written this same term and concept back into their own history in order to make the early "Bible Students" have the same arrangement that the WT Society does today!
*** w90 3/15 17-18 Cooperating With the Governing Body Today ***There were legal requirements involved in publishing magazines and other Bible study aids. Hence, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was set up and registered in the state of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. For years, the visible Governing Body came to be identified with the seven-member board of directors of this corporation established to publish the Bible study aids needed and used by the Lords people earth wide.
10 The Societys seven directors were faithful Christians. But their role in a legal corporation might have suggested that they owed their positions on the Governing Body to their being elected by legal members of the Watch Tower Society. Furthermore, by law such membership and its voting privileges were originally granted only to certain ones who made contributions to the Society. This arrangement needed to be changed. This was done at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation of the Watch Tower Society held on October 2, 1944. The statutes of the Society were amended so that membership would no longer be on a financial basis. Members would be chosen from among faithful servants of Jehovah, and these have come to include many serving full-time at the Societys headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and in its branches throughout the world.13 Until 1971 those of the Governing Body were still identified with the seven members of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The Societys president carried the main load of responsibility for making decisions affecting the operation of the Societys branches throughout the world. But epoch-making talks were delivered at the annual meeting held on October 1, 1971. The Societys president spoke on the subject "Bringing the Holy Place Into Right Condition," and the vice president on the topic "A Governing Body As Different From a Legal Corporation." What difference is there between the Governing Body and the legal corporation?
14As already mentioned, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has a board of directors limited to seven members. These dedicated Christian men are elected for three-year terms by corporation members totaling no more than 500, the majority of whom are not anointed Christians. Moreover, since the corporations existence is purely legal, with a fixed geographic headquarters, it can be dissolved by Caesar, that is, the State. (Mark 12:17) However, the Governing Body is not a legal instrument. Its members are not elected. They are appointed through the holyspirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. (Compare Acts 20:28.) Moreover, those making up the Governing Body are spirit-appointed men without any obligatory fixed geographic location or headquarters.
Here is a summary of points from the above arcticle:
1. From the incorporation of the WTBTS until 1971 the Governing Body was the seven member Board of directors. These were faithful Christians.
2. While the fact that the Governing body members were also on a legal board might have suggested that they owed their positions on the GB to their being elected, this was not actually the case.
3.The Governing Body members were not elected but appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.
Now for the punch line: The Proclaimers book on pages 66 through 68 gives the account of what happened during 1917.
Not everyone was supportive of the new president. C. T. Russell and J. F. Rutherford were very different men. They had different personalities and came from different backgrounds. These differences were hard for some to accept. In their minds, no one could fill Brother Russells shoes.
A few, especially at headquarters, actually resented Brother Rutherford. The fact that the work was moving ahead and that he was making every effort to follow the arrangements that had been put in place by Russell did not seem to impress them. Opposition soon mounted. Four members of theboard of directors of the Society went so far as to endeavor to wrest administrative control fromRutherfords hands. The situation came to a head in the summer of 1917, with the release of TheFinishedMystery, the seventh volume of StudiesintheScriptures.
Brother Russell had been unable to produce this volume during his lifetime, though he had hoped to do so. Following his death, the Executive Committee of the Society arranged for two associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, to prepare this book, which was a commentary on Revelation, The Song of Solomon, and Ezekiel. In part, it was based on what Russell had written about these Bible books, and other comments and explanations were added. The completed manuscript was approved for publication by officers of the Society and was released to the Bethel family at the dining table on Tuesday, July 17, 1917. On that same occasion, a startling announcement was made the four opposing directors had been removed, and Brother Rutherford had appointed four others to fill the vacancies. What was the reaction?
It was as if a bombshell had exploded! The four ousted directors seized upon the occasion and stirred up a five-hour controversy before the Bethel family over the administration of the Societys affairs. A number of the Bethel family sympathized with the opposers. The opposition continued for several weeks, with the disturbers threatening to "overthrow the existing tyranny," as they put it. But Brother Rutherford had a sound basis for the action he had taken. How so?
It turned out that although the four opposing directors had been appointed by Brother Russell, these appointments had never been confirmed by vote of the corporation members at the annual meeting of the Society. Therefore, the four of them were not legal members of the board of directors at all! Rutherford had been aware of this but had not mentioned it at first. Why not? He had wanted to avoid giving the impression that he was going against Brother Russells wishes. However, when it became evident that they would not discontinue their opposition, Rutherford acted within his authority and responsibility as president to replace them with four others whose appointments were to be confirmed at the next annual meeting, to be held in January 1918.
On August 8, the disgruntled ex-directors and their supporters left the Bethel family; they had been asked to leave because of the disturbance they had been creating. They soon began spreading their opposition by an extensive speaking and letter-writing campaign throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. As a result, after the summer of 1917, a number of congregations of Bible Students were split into two groupsthose loyal to the Society and those who were easy prey to the smooth talk of the opposers.
Here is a summary of points from the proclaimers arcticle.
1. Four members of the Board of Directors opposed Rutherfurd.
2. Rutherford used the fact that their positions on the Board of directors had not been confirmed at annual elections to dismiss them from governing the Society.
3. The arcticle admits that these members were appointed by Russell.
By comparing the 1990 arcticle with the Proclaimers account the following becaome obvious:
A Majority of the "Governing Body" opposed Rutherford. Rutherford used a legal-techniquality to dismiss them even though the 1990 arcticle says that they did not hold their positions on the Governing Body due to their being directors. Hense it was an unjust dismissal. The Directors which were appointed by Russell must also have been "appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ." Rutherford ignored this appointment (which came from Russell, holy spirit [sic], Jehovah, and Jesus Christ) and kicked them out anyway!
Edited by - hooberus on 5 February 2003 22:37:22
Edited by - hooberus on 7 February 2003 15:12:49
Edited by - hooberus on 7 February 2003 15:20:36