KurtBethel visits Beth Sarim!

by kurtbethel 62 Replies latest jw friends

  • LouBelle

    Biting avatar

  • civicsi00

    What an embarassing piece of history for the JW's. And it still stands for all to see.

  • Wordly Andre
    Wordly Andre

    ahh it would be awesome if we all pooled our money together and bought that house and turned it into some kind of cult awareness center

  • VM44

    Thanks Barbara for the information that Heath Sr. was the source of the donation for Beth Sarim.

    For quite awhile I have wanted to know who paid for Judge Rutherford's San Diego home.

    There is also the possibility that Rutherford's chiropractor, Dr Eckols, bought the 100 acres of land on which the house was built.

    It would be interesting to know if any records still exist that document that Heath Sr. made the "direct contribution" for the construction of the house.

  • by grace
    by grace
    ahh it would be awesome if we all pooled our money together and bought that house and turned it into some kind of cult awareness center

    I second that!!!!

  • Velvetann

    Thanks for the photos KurtBethel, very nice.

    I never knew anything about all this Beth Sarim Mansion and Rutherford and his life of luxury and alcoholism until I joined this group in January.

    Farkel, what a history lesson you provided in that link you gave us. thank you, its greatly appreciated that people like you take the time to compile all that truthful information.


  • Sirona

    Well I have to say this thread has affected me more than I would imagine...

    Last night I dreamed that I visited Beth Sarim with FARKEL and I was breastfeeding three kittens.

    I kid you not.


  • SirNose586

    I live less than 10 miles away, by driving, (in what direction, I'm not telling) from Beth Sarim. The neighborhood of Kensington is very beautiful; lots of old money there. I really don't know how else the local congregation could stand to work the territory if they weren't picking their future Armageddon houses!!

  • Farkel


    : Last night I dreamed that I visited Beth Sarim with FARKEL and I was breastfeeding three kittens.

    Strange. Last night I dreamed that I was a hungry kitten filling my tummy and I invited a few of my buddies to join me for dinner.


    : I live less than 10 miles away, by driving, (in what direction, I'm not telling) from Beth Sarim.

    I don't blame you for not telling. With only FOUR MILLION people living in the San Diego area, it would be a cinch to identify you, your address and your social security number by knowing whether you are less than ten miles to the east, west, north or south of Beth Sarim.


  • AndersonsInfo

    I want to correct myself. In my last post on this subject I said, “Also, Rutherford had one Cady and one Lincoln, both gifts from Mr. Heath, Senior. The pictures of both are in the Art Dept.”

    About the cars, I goofed! In fact, I forgot all about when and the circumstances in which Rutherford was given the Lincoln by someone other than Heath. (I should never post on JWD late at night when my memory is going to sleep.) The information is actually found on my own website, www.watchtowerdocuments.com. Scroll down the list of Watch Tower and Watch Tower related material (offered for free use) until you see, “1974 WT Historical Slide Show Info Sheet.pdf.” Go to page 4, #38 and you will read this: “About 1926. Rutherford drove this Lincoln, [In the slide-show, a picture of the Lincoln was shown] contributed to the Society by Brother Hilliard of Hammond, Indiana. The opposition outside Bethel made quite a fuss over this, but Rutherford pointed out that the brother directing the Polish work in Detroit had a limousine, but the President of the whole organization didn’t even have a wheelbarrow.”

    Farkel told me he got his information about the two Cadillacs, a convertible and a coupe, from Ed Gruss’ book, “Jehovah’s Witnesses-Monuments to False Prophecy. Ed Gruss’ has done outstanding research on this subject so I looked up what he had to say about the cars. On page 44, there is an article from the San Diego Sun of January 9, 1931 that discusses Beth-Sarim. In paragraph two this statement is found: “The mansion, the article continued, had ‘the most modern appliances that science has devised’ and in a two-car garage ‘stands a new, yellow 16-cylinder coupe which will be turned over to the rulers along with all the personal property on the place.’”

    And on page 46 can be found the following statement quoted not from the newspaper but from “Chretien, pgs 45-46, “Another V-16 convertible sedan was kept at Brooklyn headquarters, and both cars were used exclusively by Judge Rutherford.” Perhaps the Brooklyn car was not a Cadillac but the Lincoln car which Hilliard had given the Society for Rutherford’s personal use just a few years earlier. Since Wm. Heath, Jr. did not become a member of the Watch Tower organization until 1932, it is doubtful that he gave Rutherford the Cadillac that we all were under the impression he did. However, his mother was closely associated with the organization since 1915, and if it is true as most old-time Witnesses attest to that it was Heath who gave the Cadillac to Rutherford, it could be that the money for the “new, yellow 16-cylinder coupe parked in Beth-Sarim’s garage” came from Wm. Heath, Jr.’s parents. I remember reading some material in the Writing Dept. which said that Wm Heath Jr drove the Cadillac as Rutherford’s chauffer when he lived with Rutherford at Beth-Sarim. If it was Heath money that purchased the car, it was only fitting that a Heath should drive it!

    In Heath, Jr.’s court testimony in Moyle v. Franz et al., Heath, Jr. said he was a salesman for Coca-Cola. He became acquainted with Judge Rutherford around 1934 and joined Rutherford’s secretarial staff in 1937. He quickly rose in ranks to become a member of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and a close associate of Rutherford. In no time, he was touring with Rutherford abroad. He married Bonnie Boyd January 1938. Heath, Jr. was not rich at that time but he had excellent connections, his wealthy parents. If he inherited any money at all from his father it was in 1950 when his father died. However, by 1953, Bonnie and Wm owned a few plots of mortgaged property in Julian, California. (He doesn’t sound very rich to me.)

    In his book, Gruss reprints property records which show that Wm Heath, Jr. purchased the property called Beth-Shan in 1939. When we saw a home movie at Bethel that was originally filmed and owned by Joseph Lubeck, the one-time caretaker at Beth-Shan who personally narrated the film for us, we found out where the money came from to buy and build Beth-Shan. (We knew Joe Lubeck for many years and as he was a credible and mentally sound individual who everyone respected at Bethel, we had no reason to doubt what he said.) As we viewed Rutherford strolling along with an older gentleman next to a completed building on the Beth-Shan property around 1940-41, Joe Lubeck identified the man as Wm. Heath, Sr. who Lubeck said was founder of the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Lubeck pointed out that Mr. Heath, Sr. was never a JW, but that his wife was and the Heaths contributed considerable money to the Watch Tower including the money for purchasing the Beth-Shan property and building the large home that Bonnie and Wm lived in until it was sold in 1945. Wm. Heath, Jr., conveyed ownership to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the Beth-Shan property on May 20, 1940 as per the deed.

    Gruss’s book provided Heath, Sr.’s New York Times 1950 obituary which said he was 75 when he died. That would mean Heath’s birth was in 1875. He was a chemical engineer and founder of the Crystal Carbonic Company, manufacturers of the carbonic gas essential in the early development of Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company absorbed his company in 1919 and he became a vice president of Coca-Cola in charge of quality control. (This would mean that by the age of 39 he was a wealthy man.) He also was a consultant for three other important companies.

    Since Wm Heath, Sr.’s son, Wm Heath, Jr. became a member of the Witness organization in 1932, a few years after the Beth-Sarim property was purchased by San Diego Chiropractor, Alta G. Eckols, Heath, Jr. did not play a part in the purchase of Beth-Sarim. Echols transferred the deed to Robert J. Martin, who I know was one of the front men for the Watch Tower in the matter of property purchases. Martin then transferred the deed to the Watch Tower as he did with other purchases made by the Watch Tower Society. From what Joe and I remember, Lubeck said, Heath, Sr., not Heath, Jr., was the man whose large donations were involved in those Calif. property purchases. Joe and I clearly remember Lubeck saying Mr. Heath, Sr. greatly admired Judge Rutherford although he never became a member of the WT organization.
    I also want to add that the Art Department comes under the control of the Writing Department and that’s where the pictures of the cars are located, which include, I was told, the photo of the Lincoln that the WT historical slides showed in 1974.

    For what it’s worth, I hope I’ve cleared up any misconceptions I contributed to about the cars.


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