The WT claims it was because of the Clergy. What I want to know is why would the Government imprison them over a religious dispute Surely there would need to be something they did that broke US laws some evidence to bring charges of sedition and treason
Question re: Rutherford's imprisonment
Here is some interesting commentary from Barbara Anderson of Freeminds
During another assignment Karl gave me, I examined the entire 1917-18 period to see what led up to the federal indictments of President Rutherford and his associates by the Government of the United States for, among other things, conspiring to violate the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917 and attempting to actually do so; also, obstructing the recruiting and enlistment service of the United States during World War I. When Rutherford learned the government objected to pages 247-53 in The Finished Mystery, the seventh volume of the series Studies in the Scriptures, Rutherford directed those pages be cut out of all copies. Later, when it was learned distribution of the book would be in violation of the Espionage Act, Rutherford directed that distribution be suspended. Despite all such efforts, Rutherford and seven of his closest associates were sentenced to long terms in a federal penitentiary, but were later released after the close of the war.
When Karl and I read Rutherford’s words in the transcript of record, Rutherford et al.v. United States, we were quite flabbergasted at the fawning, conciliatory statements he made as he attempted to appease the court and the government, a government which Rutherford frequently labeled as “Satanic.” There is no doubt that Rutherford endeavored to mollify the authorities in every possible way. As Karl put it, it was clear the second president of the Watchtower Society compromised his integrity. We concluded that Rutherford’s guilt must have been the reason why, when he came out of prison, he vowed to go full speed ahead to announce the Kingdom message no matter how severe the persecution. One thing was plain from my research of the Rutherford years—Rutherford deliberately stirred up trouble by attacking religions and governments and baiting the clergy, thereby inciting acts of retribution against individual Bible Students. This frequently resulted in Rutherford howling, “Persecution!”
BUT FOR AN UP AND CLOSE CONSIDERATION
JWN 'Rutherford court transcript commentary'
Thanks Yknot I'll check those sources. They like to claim that they are the victims and cry persecution but I suspect for the most part they brought it on themselves