Interesting food for thought here, Blue.
I don't know if you beleive in God or not, but I do. But does he have "the right to rule?" I guess so, to a degree. This is how I thinnk of it:
The GB is always saying Jehovah is our "Heavenly Father". The Bible says the same. All of us are "sons and daughters".
If this is the kind of relationship that god wants to have with us (parent to child), then what does having the "right to rule" mean?
When my children were small, I probably had the "right to rule" over them. I told them when to go to bed, when to bath, what to eat or not eat, what to wear, etc......In many ways, when children are young, parents have "life or death authority" over them.
But children progress and grow. I have an adult son, whom I really have no authority over, and a teenage daughter, who I have less and less authority over. (*sigh* that's a whole 'nother thread....)
I don't expect my children to live their lives for me. It makes me happy to see some of the decisions they make for themselves, even if they are not the decisions I would make for them, or even for myself. When they screw up, they'll learn from it. I can't protect them from the consequences, only be there for them if things are tough. I don't want my children to feel they have to live their life a certain way just to make me happy. I want genuine happiness for them, and I don't think you can be genuinely happy in life when you are constantly bending your desires to someone else's.
Back to the question: Who has the right to rule?
I think God does. But as a "loving heavenly father", I'm not sure he wants to rule absolutely over us. The myriads of rules (especially the damaging ones) of the GB I no longer believe reflect how God wants to deal with us.
I think God wants what I want for my children - for them to become full-grown, responsible people, having the life skills necessary to make the best decisions they can. And when it doesn't work out, He should be there for us to support us, as any parent would be for their children.
I think the GB is taking away our indivual responsibility to God and trying to regulate too much of our life.
I hope this makes sense. I'm only on my first coffee of the day.....