"What they don't explain is that the Bible Students were in the midst of their own breakup from 1906 to 1916"
Designs - would you mind providing support for this such as what groups that were formed.
Do Jehovah's Witnesses know that "Bible Students" still exist?
"That 75% of the original Bible Students left in the 1920's after Judge Rutherford took over the Society? Russell's books "Studies in the Scriptures" are still published to this day by groups like the Dawn Bible Students.
Russell was NOT your founder. He died in 1916, the JW's did not begin until 1931. Russell and his Bible Students detested the kind of sectarian organization that the society became. To this day Bible Students groups are independent of any central authority, elect their own elders, and deacons, decide on their own what they will study at meetings.
99% of what Witnesses have been told about their roots is a lie. 99% of what the world thinks are "facts" about C.T. Russell, the "scandals" are from base(less) sources with an axe to grind."Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
"I would say that most the Jehovah's Witnesses are indeed misinformed about the Bible Students. What is printed in the WTS publications does indeed distort the history, and misrepresent what Russell taught. When I associated with them I was told and I read into the WTS publications many things about the Bible Students that I found out later was not true. I was told that those who had "left to the Society" had stopped preaching and thus went out of existence. I was told that before Rutherford, that the idea that anyone would live forever on the earth was unknown (false), that the Society was teaching the sheep and the goats similar to the churches (false), that Russell believed that only he and his small group would be saved (definitely false), etc. Some of these things can be found printed in the WTS publications; others may not be found there, but are spread by word of mouth.
Most of the "Jehovah's Witnesses" do not really know or seem to care what the controversy was about in 1917, nor why so many Bible Students refused to go along with the alleged "new light" in 1920s. If all they read is from the WTS, they will never know what it was about, since the WT publications distort what happened, and set up false motives attributed to those who "left the organization."
Did Rutherford start a new religion? Absolutely! Rutherford introduced a new organization and new "gospel" that is almost the opposite of what Russell believed in! Most JWs have no knowledge of what Russell taught except what is mispresented to them in the WTS publications. Very few take the time to study Russell's writings to see what he actually taught, and often if a JW does do this, he may be reprimanded -- and in some cases, threatened with being disfellowshiped -- by the elders of the congregation for wasting time studying "old light."
I have read several times in the WTS publications statements to the effect that the JWs had been preaching, for several decades before 1914, that Christ would return in 1914. There are two things wrong with this: (1) There was no JW organization before 1914, and thus there were no "JWs" preaching anything about 1914. A small portion of the Bible Students did later join Rutherford's new organization, and became "Jehovah's Witnesses," but, by 1930, the majority of those earlier Bible Students rejected Rutherford's new organization and Rutherford's new gospel. (2) As far as I know, before 1914, none of the Bible Students were expecting Christ to return in 1914; Charles Taze Russell was certainly not expecting such. Russell believed Christ had returned in 1874, and he believed that until he died; he never held any expectation of Christ's return in 1914.
It has been claimed in the WTS publications that the WTS was teaching the truth about the ransom in 1919, when in reality what the WTS was preaching in 1919 was almost the opposite of what it teaches today about the ransom; so if what the WTS was preaching about the ransom in 1919 is true, then what the WTS is preaching today is false. Indeed, the WTS today does try to hide the fact that Rutherford made an almost complete reversal in what the Gospel (Good News) is about, while claiming that the Bible Students had refused to preach the Good News; in reality the Bible Students were refusing to preach Rutherford's new "Gospel/Good News" of bad tidings for most earth's inhabitants. I would not say that 99% of what the WTS prints about the history of the WTS is a lie; I will say a great deal of it is indeed distorted and misrepresented.
Many ex-JWs are being highly misinformed by the many false accusations and misrepresentations that are being made against Russell by his enemies. They often fall for the lies and misrepresentations that many are spreading about Charles Taze Rusell (false claims such as that he was a free mason, that he was involved in "the occult," spiritism, astrology, etc. Often his interest in the phrenology and the Great Pyramid is distorted to make it appear that these, in themselves, are of "the occult." Even his usage of the "cross and crown" symbol is claimed to be Masonic. After all, don't the Knights Templar have a similar cross and crown symbol? Of course, occultists, spiritists and demon worshipers misuse even the Bible itself; this does not mean that the Bible is of "the occult," or "of spiritism," etc. Nor does the fact that Knights Templar use a similar cross and crown symbol as Russell used mean that the cross and crown symbol is, of itself, Masonic, or that Russell was using a Masonic symbol."