Proof of Rutherford as an alcoholic... where do i look

by Aussie Oz 41 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • dissed

    A friends parents ran the Radio Station for Rutherford. She told us her parents shared some incredible stories about him, but silly us, we didn't want to share in the gossip.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Thanks again all,

    Chris, you are absolutley right about what to NOT tell the kids! I intend to be VERY carefull!

    this research is for my own satisfaction. Out of it all, when the time comes i will be well informed as to what would be wise or not to use. I have 'family dispute mediation' next week and hope to secure and agreement by the ex that the kids cannot be baptised while minors, if it goes well, that gives me a bit more time to plan it all out.

    Wha happened, any document like an autopsy report that can verify rats chewing him? curious...



  • Leolaia

    Here are some relevant statements on the prominance of alcohol at Bethel and Rutherford's drinking habits:

    • WTB&TS lawyer Olin Moyle's original letter to Rutherford (dated 7/21/1939), Exhibit 4 in the Moyle transcript, that claims that "under your [Rutherford's] tutelage there has grown up a glorification of alcohol and condemnation of total abstinence" at Bethel, mentioning several experiences he had at Bethel along these lines, that " 'One can't be a real Bethelite without drinking beer' ", and which said specifically to Rutherford: "You have publically labelled total abstainers as prudes and therefore must assume your share of responsibility for the Bacchus-like attitude exhibited by members of the family" (pp. 1736-1737).
    • The testimony of Olin Moyle, who related some of the things said by the boys in the elevator, "the boys would remark there, make allusions, wish they had a barrel of beer around, how nice it would be to have a barrel of beer" (p. 359), who described new Bethelites being broken into the habit of drinking beer (p. 359), who mentioned the frequent use of beer and "stronger stuff" by the factory staff in the evening (p. 360), and who related an incident in which an intoxicated factory worker rang an alarm bell late at night as a joke (pp. 361-362).
    • The testimony of Phoebe Moyle, who described seeing many empty liquor and whiskey bottles in the rooms at Bethel when she worked as a housekeeper (p. 1587), and who claimed to have been teased by brothers in the elevator saying that she couldn't take her liquor (p. 186).
    • Peter Moyle's letter, published in the December 1972 United Israel Bulletin, that "it has also been known, albeit carefully 'covered', that Rutherford liked his women and his whiskey" (cf. Horowitz 1986:65).
    • The letter by Canadian branch overseer Walter Salter to Rutherford (dated 4/1/1937, and mentioned in the 5/5/1937 issue of the Golden Age) that declared that "I, at your orders, would purchase cases of whiskey at $60.00 a case, and cases of brandy and other liquors, to say nothing of untold cases of beer. A bottle or two of liquor would not do; it was for THE PRESIDENT and nothing was too good for THE PRESIDENT. He was heaven's favorite, why should not he have everything that would gratify his desire for comfort".
    • In his response to Salter, C. J. Woodworth did not question the factualness of Salter's statements but rather justified Rutherford's liquor consumption by saying that, like Jesus, Rutherford was "under great nervous strain", noting that Rutherford's chiropractor Alta Eckols (in San Diego) found that "his back was suffering from ankylosis (six vertebrae fused together by pneunomia)", and the tremendous pain and strain medically required enough use of alcohol, "a perfect nutrient, immediately assimilable," to compensate. Woodworth quoted Eckols as saying to Rutherford: "You are a miracle of God's grace," hinting at the seriousness of the condition (5/5/1937 Golden Age, p. 500). This suggests that Rutherford was prescribed liquor by his San Diego chiropractor to treat his condition and this corroborates Jim Penton's research (mentioned below).
    • Jim Penton reported a number of accounts by those who knew Rutherford, including an elderly woman in San Diego who "sold him great quantities of liquor when he came to purchase medicines in her husband's drugstore", and former Bethelites who "recount tales of his inebriation and druken stupors" (Penton 1997:72-73). He also mentions an interview he conducted in April 1972 with Frank Wainright, late Secretary-Treasurer of the IBSA of Canada, wherein Wainright reported the illegal importation of liquor from the Canadian branch office to Bethel during Prohibition.
    • Edmond C. Gruss similarly interviewed a former Bethelite (Informant #1 in Gruss 2003) who reported that "old timers say his [Rutherford's] drinking was covered up, to the degree possible, by associates Frederick W. Franz and Nathan H. Knorr," and who specifically mentioned A. H. Macmillan as telling his father that Beth Sarim was built "for no purpose other than to get the drunken and declining Rutherford out of Brooklyn".
    • Also mildly suggestive is Rutherford's obsessive interest in Prohibition, which received much attention in his talks and writings, including a booklet on the subject published in 1930 entitled Prohibition and League of Nations -- Born of God or the Devil, Which? Rutherford also took a public position in the Watchtower that people who commit adultery, who get drunk, who swear, etc. are "victims of circumstances, environment ... ofttimes they are hampered by fleshly weaknesses which they are powerless to resist ... God pities the sinners and makes allowances for their weaknesses" (15 March 1929, pp. 93-95), "the Devil has led everybody to believe that lying, stealing, swearing, committing adultery, getting drunk or losing one's temper, or any other of the long list of fleshly weaknesses, constitutes sin unto death. But, on the contrary, all these things are forgivable" (1 September 1929, p. 271).
  • Terry

    Remember Danny Haszard?

    His father was J.F.Rutherford's chauffeur. He told stories of being sent to fetch barrels of whiskey from Canada by car.

    First hand report by the guy who got the whiskey is pretty good proof.


  • dissed

    Didn't Covington acknowledge that he and Rutherford enjoyed drinking together.

    Wasn't Covington eventually Df'd for drunkeness under Knorr?

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    great documentation Leolaia, thankyou very much


    now to look up Danny haszard...

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    Does anyone have the link on this website that gave info on Rutherford's death that his hands had chew marks from rats?

  • Black Sheep
  • Black Sheep
  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    About age 70, he went through several medical treatments for intestinal cancer. He went through more than one operation in 1941, but never fully recovered. He died in San Diego, California on January 8th, 1942 at the age of 72. His funeral was attended by four people, none of whom were related to him. The official coroner's records on file with the State of California state that he had been dead for several days before being discovered at the bottom of a stairwell, and that when found rat bites were observed on his face and hands.

    I am sure that I am not the only one that would like to see this coroner's report. Has anyone tried to get a copy? I only have a scan of his death cert., which has no mention of this.

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