Time Magazine (1927) - Rutherford a Circuit Judge for 14 years!!

by VM44 22 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • VM44

    Here is an article published in the August 1, 1927 issue of Time magazine. The footnote says concerning Rutherford that "He was for 14 years a circuit judge in Missouri".

    Where the the Time reporter get THAT information From Rutherford?

    More accurately it should have said, "He filled in temporarily as a Missouri Circuit Judge for a total of four days".

    This is another example of Rutherford bluffing and inflating his credentials to make himself look good to the public.



    Judge Rutherford

    Monday, Aug. 1, 1927 "Through the gracious providence of Jehovah," the voice of Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford, president, the International Bible Students' Association, boomed from Toronto last week to pass out from 53 separate radio broadcasting stations. The "hookup" was the widest in radio history and was the result of a goading which Judge Rutherford several weeks ago drove at President Merlin Hall Aylesworth of National Broadcasting Co.

    It was at a hearing of the Federal Radio Commission in Washington. The commission had given the radio wave length of WBBR, Judge Rutherford's station, to WJZ of the National Broadcasting Co., and had refused to allocate any wave length to WBBR. WBBR was considered an unessential station.

    That was complot, cried Judge Rutherford. The "regular" churches were seeking to destroy his sect. In 1918 they had him sent to Atlanta Penitentiary for obstructing the War draft. But the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, after he had spent eight months in jail, had ordered him released. The present exclusion from the air was another "frame-up." Mr. Aylesworth was in cahoots with the preachers.

    "I dare you to let me speak from your station," Judge Rutherford had shouted at Mr. Aylesworth during the Radio Commission hearing.

    "You may speak, sir, for one hour on any day and at any hour you may select," Mr. Aylesworth exclaimed angrily.

    "All right. I choose 3 p. m., Sunday, July 24 next." Astute, the Judge chose the hour during which the New York Federation of Churches had been broadcasting the past four years. He would reach the ears of his "enemy" congregations; he would make the "devil's" spear serve as the staff of Jehovah, whose aid-de-camp he pictures himself.

    Last week he was in Toronto to lecture to the International Bible Students' Association convention there. Mr. Aylesworth, better than his promise, gave his sharp goader all his radio facilities.

    The International Bible Students' Association represents a religious phenomenon now about 50 years old. It began with "Pastor" Charles Taze Russell who organized the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society in Pennsylvania to spread his interpretations of the Old & New Testaments. Moving to Manhattan he incorporated the People's Pulpit Association for the same purpose. Later, in London, the International

    Bible Students' Association took form. His followers were called "Russellites." Since his death in 1916, when Joseph Frederick Rutherford took charge, they denominate themselves Bible Students. Their membership they claim is in the millions; they have tens of thousands of local associations, called "ecclesias" and ruled by "elders" and "deacons"; publications are in 37 languages. They have no paid ministers. Workers receive bare expenses. Excess money gathered from believers go to further their spread of "Pastor" Russell's, now Judge Rutherford's, ideas.* Those ideas are that the Bible, the Prophets and Revelations especially, forecast and prefix all earthly doings. By judicious use of Biblical excerpts Bible Students have "established" that three periods of time, termed "cosmos," have governed human affairs. Cosmos I is assumed to have begun with Adam and ended with the Flood, at 4128 B. C. Its duration was 1,656 years. Cosmos II is assumed to have begun with the Flood and ended with the War, at 1914. Its duration was 6,042 years. Cosmos III is assumed to have begun with the War and to end in 2874. This is the time of "Christ's invisible reign." The "Kingdom of God" will have filled the whole earth. His 144,000 true members of the true Church of Christ will be sorted out and lifted up "to reign with Christ" for 1,000 years." This selection is supposed to have been going on since 1874. The War was one great proving of the chosen ones. By 1928 will have come, the predictions go, another great cataclysm, a grand bust-up. "Nations will battle; the dead will be dung on the earth."

    After 2874 the "Ages to Come" will begin.

    *He was for 14 years a circuit judge in Missouri; "consecrated myself to the Lord" in 1906. He is now 58 years old.

  • VM44

    And what are these "Cosmos" I, II, and III mentioned in this article?

    Russian space probles?


  • greendawn

    He was very narcistic so he wanted the best for himself, he presented himself as a judge and even it got integrated in his name, Joseph Judge Rutherford, and then it proved that he never really was a judge.

    Just the same he never really was the FDS.

  • VM44

    Time magazine also noted when "The Judge" died and when he was buired. --VM44


    Monday, Jan. 19, 1942

    Died. "Judge" Joseph Frederick Rutherford, 71, founder and guiding spirit of the energetically anticlerical, antiwar, anti-State Jehovah's Witnesses sect; in San Diego. A tireless orator, he was a youthful admirer of Orator William Jennings Bryan, affected a high-standing wing collar, string tie, capacious hat. He was legal adviser to Sectarian Charles Taze Russell, leader of the "Russellites," took over the organization after Russell's death in 1916, renamed it Jehovah's Witnesses, built it into a group claiming two million members. Rutherford was jailed in World War I for advocating war resistance, was released on appeal. The Witnesses got into trouble before War II for refusing to salute the U.S. flag. They believe that the Biblical prophecies control world happenings, Armageddon is drawing near, and the Prophets alone will live forever. Rutherford died in a Spanish mansion he had prepared for King David, Gideon, Samson, other Biblical luminaries. He landscaped it with palm and olive trees "so these princes of the universe will feel at home when they come. . . ."


    Monday, May 4, 1942

    Buried. The late "Judge" Joseph Frederick Rutherford (Jehovah's Witnesses); in Rossville, N.Y.; nearly four months after his death. His followers had lost a fight for permission to bury him in his San Diego orange grove instead of a cemetery.

  • Leolaia

    Article here:


    The three "Cosmos" are clearly derivative of the three dispensations of Russell (cf. the Divine Plan of the Ages), i.e. the antediluvian "First Dispensation", the postdiluvian "Second Dispensation" (consisting of the "Jewish Age" and the "Gospel Age"), and the "Third Dispensation" that begins with the parousia. I wonder if the use of the term "Cosmos" is an ephemeral attempt to break from Russellite terminology, abandoned as soon as it was first used. In Way of Paradise (1924), William E. Van Amburgh was already referring to "World Number One", "World Number Two", and "World Number Three"...Cosmos I, II, III seem to build on Van Amburgh's terms.

    As for a prediction that Armageddon would come in 1928 (on the basis of chronology), I know of no evidence of this in the literature.

  • VM44

    he FDS doctrine as applied to a "corporate" body came years after Rutherford died.

    When he was alive, ALL of the spiritual food dispensed by The Watchtower carried Rutheford's name. All the books, booklets, recorded sermons on records, radio broadcasts, talk advertisements, all these had Rutherford's name and even picture upon them.

    Rutherford's name and image were so prominent one would think that the Jehovah's Witnesses were Rutherford's own personal private religious group!


  • VM44

    Didn't someone here at JWD once try to find where Rutherford was buried?

    The only thing he couuld find was a grassy area with no marker, if I recall correctly.


  • VM44

    Hi Leolaia,

    The only other place that I have seen the word "cosmos" used in place of "worlds" was in this other Time magazine article. Perhaps "cosmos" is the word used by Rutherford when he spoke with the author of these articles.


    This 1930 article is mostly about Rutherford's new house, Beth Sarim.

    California Cults

    Monday, Mar. 31, 1930 Big, blue-eyed Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford, 60, lives in a ten-room Spanish mansion, No. 4440 Braeburn Road. San Diego, Calif. Last week he deeded No. 4440 Braeburn Road, an adjacent two-car garage and a pair of automobiles to King David, Gedeon, Barak, Samson. Jephthae, Samuel and sundry other mighties of ancient Palestine. Positive is he that they are shortly to reappear on earth. Said he: "I have purposely landscaped the place with palm and olive trees so these princes of the universe will feel at home when they come to offer man the chance to become perfect."

    Judge Rutherford's deed can scarcely be considered eccentric, for his conviction that the sunny boulevards of San Diego are soon to be trod by men with the light of ages in their eyes is presumably shared by the 1,000,000 members of the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, of both of which Judge Rutherford is President. In 34 nations these members have read his declarations as editor of both the Watch Tower and Golden Age magazines.

    Judge Rutherford was born on a Missouri farm, practiced law at Boonville, acquired a circuit judgeship, continued practice in St. Louis, Kansas City. He accompanied the late William Jennings Bryan on his first Presidential campaign tour, announcing him as "appointed by God to straighten out the problems of the world." Mr. Bryan's example inspired Judge Rutherford to wear habitually a black bow tie. In 1916 he succeeded the late Charles Taze Russell of Brooklyn, founder-president of the International Bible Students Association.

    Members of this organization designate themselves as Bible Students. Their creed holds that Biblical prophecies govern all earthly events. By careful scrutiny of Holy Writ, the Bible Students have discerned that three periods of time, termed "cosmos," prevail in human affairs. Cosmos I began with Adam, ended with the Flood. Cosmos II began with the Flood, ended with the World War. Cosmos III, begun in 1914, will end in 2874, when "The Kingdom of God" will fill the whole world. An erroneous prophecy that the year 1928 would provide a cataclysm— ''Nations will battle; the dead will be dung on the earth"—upset considerably the Bible Students' calculations, but the major tenets of their belief are as yet unshaken.

    Newsmen last week asked Judge Rutherford whether he would not be troubled by bogus Davids applying for admission to consecrated No. 4440 Braeburn Road. Said he: "I realized the possibility of some old codger turning up bright and early some morning and declaring he was David. The men whom I have designated to test the identity of these men are officers of my societies. . . . They will be divinely authorized to know impostors from the real Princes."

    It would be idle to deny that organized religion is sore beset in the present age. Agnosticism and atheism are on the rise.

    Protestantism is struggling for Unity. Catholicism reiterates its commands but has a hard time enforcing them. In Russia is the unprecedented spectacle of the Communistic anti-religious crusade. Thousands of persons, dissatisfied with the faiths of their fathers, seek new spiritual footholds. Thus, as always in such troubled times, there is a flourishing of cults, of religious novelties and new fashions in faith. Flowery, sun-drenched California, where Nature exhibits herself in mystical opulence, where plenty of people have plenty of money, where there are many invalids contemplating eternity, is particularly propitious for this flourishing.

    Recent years have witnessed a great burgeoning of California cults. Examples : The Rosicrucian Fellowship. In Oceanside is a fellowship founded by one Max Heindel who wrote a book called Cosmo-Conception while living in a Manhattan boarding house on a diet of milk and shredded wheat. Object of his cult: to distribute literature on Western learning, to practice spiritual healing through agents known as "Elder Brothers" and "Invisible Helpers." There are no public ceremonies; a maxim of the fellowship is in substance: "Know all things but remain unknown." Founder Heindel died in 1916. his work is now continued by his wife and her associates. The Rosicrucian Brotherhood in San Jose, directed by H. Spencer Lewis, Imperator for North America, onetime Jew ish salesman, is joined to an international brotherhood conducted, like Freemasonry, on the lodge system. It extols good citizenship, patriotism, scientific and cultural self-improvement. Its primary significance is not religious. It claims descent from an occult and ancient line supposedly including the Egyptian sages and Sir Fran cis Bacon. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson.* Its ritual is elaborate, archaic, Egyptian in symbolism. Imperator Lewis recently threatened suit against Mrs. Heindel of Oceanside because she employed the term Rosicrucian in connection with her fellowship.

    Theosophists. On Point Loma is the International Headquarters of the vast Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, founded in Manhattan in 1875 by Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, long led by the late Katherine Tingley. The late Lyman Judson Gage, San Diego banker, Secretary of the Treasury in the McKinley and Roosevelt Cabinets, was an ardent Point Loma Theosophist. The cult attempts to harmonize with all great faiths, but is deeply colored in its observances and specific modes of thought by Eastern philosophers and prophets. In glass-domed buildings on Point Loma children may attend a Theosophical school. Excellent is the musical education obtained therein.

    The Order of the Star in the East recently established a 1,000-acre colony, one of four world centres, in Krotona, Ojai Valley. It is the U. S. headquarters of 82-year-old Dr. Annie Besant's Theosophical Society, a schismatic offshoot of the Blavatsky-Tingley cult. Constant is the conflict between the two; each is anxious not to be confused with the other. Dr. Besant's teachings are very closely linked with Eastern thought, occult and mystical. She has proclaimed her famed, sloe-eyed Hindu protege, Krishnamurti, to be the vehicle of the World Teacher (i.e. the divine spirit at times appropriates his physical organism, speaks through him as it spoke through Jesus, Mohammed, etc.). Once an avid tennis-player and tea-drinker at Oxford and on the Riviera, he arrived last week in Krotona to begin new vigils and meditations. The Besant Society believes that children born on the Pacific Coast, Canada and Australia (or other fresh, unexhausted lands) are creatures of a new, sixth race, capable of seeing ethereal spirits, possessed of clairvoyance. All other people living are said to derive from the fifth, or Arian root race. Another Besant belief: California is highly electrical, hence occult manifestations are frequent. Great is the hope of the Society that Krotona will prove a breeding place of strapping, golden children.

    The Apostle Faith Movement has a branch in Los Angeles, claims to heal by correspondence, dispenses blessed handkerchiefs.

    The Holy City in the Santa Cruz Mountains is for men only. Its inhabitants wear long hair, sell barbecued pork and gasoline to travelers, broadcast from their own radio station, post signs reminding the countryside of the likelihood of Death. Their hillside retreat includes a dance hall from which feminine shouting frequently echoes down the mountains.

    The Great Eleven lapsed after the imprisonment of May Otis Blackburn ("Heel of God"). From one Clifford Dabney it is claimed she stole $40,000, having promised to reveal universal secrets. Mr. Dabney declared that she told him he was the Christ but could not prove it.

    *Certain 17th Century religious reformers called themselves Rosicrucians: creditable historians, however, have discovered no evidence that they were fraternally organized.

  • VM44

    Or, rather, the part about Rutherford is mostly about Beth Sarim, the whole article is about, as indicated by its title, California Cults. --VM44

  • Leolaia
    The FDS doctrine as applied to a "corporate" body came years after Rutherford died.

    I don't think that's right. The association with Russell and the F&WS was so strong in the late 1910s and early 1920s that the only way Rutherford could adopt the role of the F&WS was to first generalize it to the Society, e.g. Russell was the F&WS < Russell was the Society in the fullest sense < Thus the Society is the F&WS < The FW&S survives in the Society after Russell's death < By being the President of the Society, Rutherford is most prominent in the F&WS. Meanwhile, he also redefied the "Society" as referring to the church. Yet he fell back on his role as merely the president of a corporation to prevent others from claiming he had a papal-type office. So viewing the F&WS as a collective was advantageous from this point of view. The teaching about the organization and the collective nature of the servant is already in place by the 1930s:

    *** w33 1/15 p. 19 His Loving-Kindness ***

    The Psalm reveals the “evil servant” in contrast with the “faithful and wise servant”. Upon both of these Jehovah turns his limelight. No longer will he permit Satan and his servants to work in secret and undisclosed and unidentified, and at the same time he will have his “faithful and wise servant” plainly and clearly identified. ....Jehovah makes known Zion, which is his organization and which gives birth to his servant, and he makes known Satan’s organization, which desperately attempts the destruction of the “faithful servant” class. This the Lord does in order that none who love him shall be in darkness. The “man of sin” is seen to be an instrument in the hand of Satan used in a subtle manner for the purpose of accomplishing the destruction of those faithful to God, and to these faithful ones Jehovah clearly reveals his provided way and means for the protection and preservation of the remnant. Only the anointed of Jehovah can now appreciate the prophetic words uttered by David, to wit: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Ps. 18: 2, 3) The “faithful servant” class now bear the name which the mouth of Jehovah has given his servant, to wit, “Jehovah‘s witnesses.” Collectively these constitute the visible part of Jehovah’s organization on earth.

    *** w33 12/1 p. 363-364 His Organization ***

    To feed or teach his people the Lord has used the Watch Tower publications, and of this fact we have an abundance of proof. No man is given credit for the wonderful truths which the Lord has revealed to his people through the Watch Tower publications. It is certain that all who are of the temple class believe that the Lord is feeding his people through these publications; therefore when we come together, instead of listening to the views of some man, why not have a study of some of the wonderful things which Jehovah has brought to the attention of his people and taught them through his chosen means of teaching?...

    If one appreciates the capital organization of Jehovah, then he must have in mind at all times that Christ Jesus is the Head of that organization and it is always the head that directs the operations of the body. He stated that when he appeared for judgment he would be accompanied by his angels, which angels carry out his orders. Without doubt these angels are delegated by the Lord to convey his instructions to the members of his organization on earth. Just how this is done is not necessary for us to understand. Believing that Christ Jesus is directing the work on earth, then we must conclude that the visible ones put in certain positions in God’s organization are there by his will and must render account to him; otherwise they would be removed. Over the entire organization is Jehovah; and as Jehovah and Christ Jesus are one, so likewise must all of the organization be one. Jehovah has answered the prayer of Christ Jesus and made all one who are of his organization. These things being true, then if one in the organization receives directions, and those directions come through the place designated to give instructions, then the instructions should be obeyed as unto the Lord.

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