I know the basics of the early history. Where can I read more about Knorr, Franz, the emergence of the GB, and what is current?
More details of the bible students blending into Rutherford's empire
Terry, you need to write a
''commentary on the proclaimers book''
paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter... present the real story over the fable.
think about it!
ps. you have a PM with a rutherford question from me as you seem to be digging into this subject...
Band on the Run: there are several books around dealing with the way leadership developed and operated in the Watchtower org but one I read and found very enlightening is the "Four presidents of the watchtower society" by Edmond Gruss, it really brings out the character and personality of these leaders showing it to be petty minded and that what they really cared about was power and had no real love for their flock. I hear that "Apocalypse delayed" by James Penton is also very good and there are no doubt other good ones.
It is interesting to note that this org up to the 1970's was run by one individual who acted like an absolutist monarch and decided everything regarding dogma and morals as was the case with Rutherford and then Knorr though Knorr was basically sharing power with Franz who was his close buddy since the 1920's. Knorr the president focused on the business side and Franz the vice president (got the position after throwing out Covington on trivial reasons) on the spiritual side. That is about 60 years of monarchical one man rule until the governing body which is different from the board of directors got into power and as said above they proved themselves to be even more ruthlessly authoritarian than the previous monarchs. Things got clearly worse and worse over time with the JW leadership. The idea about a collective faithful and discreet servant (FDS) consisting of thousands of elite JWs feeding the flock with spiritual food is very obviously a myth. The FDS was for a long time just one or two persons and then 10 or 20, not thousands. The rest were non entities, just space fillers.
The traits that characterised the JW leadership at least since Rutherford have been egotism, authoritarianism, cruelty and a ruthless inclination to deceive. What they revolve around is power lust and control, not love.
For Aussie Oz.
Maybe Terry's version will be next.
Just to clarify, Russell despite his odd ideas and involvement in occultism, free masonry and zionism was quite democratic and against hierarchy and organised forms of religion. It was Rutherford the scoundrel, the wolf who was also involved in occultism that turned the JWs into a centralised cult to satisfy his own desires and ambitions while Knorr, Franz and then the Governing Body followed in his spirit. Eg Rutherford inaugurated the anti world policy that alienates and cuts off JWs from the great energies society and causes them to lose enormous potentials and profit. Why? Because they say all worldly people are unprofitable in all things and dangerous yet this is obviously not the case since the world is not homogeneous but contains all sorts of people from ruthless criminals to altruistic saints and anyway one cannot associate but with a few persons which s/he can of course choose out of the many.
A great piece of work and analysis, thoroughly enjoyable, it not a trifle disconerting. I realise I left my brain in a box 20 years ago,
In many ways, it was simpler to be spoon fed by the Tower, its just the mind numbing reality, it is/ was a con , and the dawning of the thought, I am back at square one, at age 49 !!!
You can think of the Pastor Russell period as Free Lance and Local.
Like a coffee salesman, Russell simply "sold" coffee beans which each bible study group would "brew" locally in their own coffee pot.
This gave the local congregations full autonomy. They could believe as much or as little of ANYTHING they felt was true.
Pastor Russell was just another voice crying in the wilderness. He was competing with every other preacher.
It was Maria Russell who came up with a gimmick that would set her husband apart from the crowd.
Today, this Maria-invented-doctrine is quite different from her original idea. But, ironically, it is the CORE BELIEF that sets Jehovah's Witnesses
apart from other religious groups. SELF-IDENTIFICATION as the channel of communication=The Faithful and Discreet Slave.
Note: Maria identified not just her husband, but, HERSELF as the FDS. (Back then it was the KJV terminology: Faithful and Wise Servant).
Maria reasoned that she and her husband were as "one flesh" in the eyes of Jehovah. (Maria's terminology was "The Twain" or the Two.)
Russell, however, refused to have marital relations which would LITERALLY confirm that interpretation.
Consequently, by NOT sealing their marriage with sex Russell could maintain the SOLE identity of Faithful/Discreet slave for himself alone.
Publicly, Pastor Russell would humbly refuse to apply the Faithful and Discreet Slave interpretation to himself. However, privately, he made certain
that understanding was spread widely enough for everyone to identify him as such.
Maria's writings, interpretations and contributions to the "cause" ramped up and threatened to intrude on Pastor Russell's fame and celebrity.
Russell could plainly recognize the power of an intelligent woman who claimed special connection with the spirit of God by looking at the
amazing fame and success of Ellen White among the 7th Day Adventists.
Practically single-handedly, Ellen White had rescued the fringe elements of second-adventists from oblivion when prediction after prediction led to
disappointment after disappointment. White claimed to receive "visions" directly from the Lord. On the strength of these visions whatever change
or move was necessary, whatever doctrine needed to be invented or revision enacted could be invented on the spot.
Maria Russell adapted this idea of "receiving a vision" into a similar idea: faithful and discreet slave or "anointed" mouthpiece.
Maria envisioned herself AND husband Charles as leaders of a competing Adventist-style END TIMES religious ministry.
Pastor Russell saw only himself as this male version of Ellen White.
The marriage deteriorated into squabbles, accusations and divorce.
This infamous scheme of Maria (anointed mouthpiece) was co-opted and eventually blown into a central doctrine status by Russell's successor, Frankling Rutherford.
The Governing Body today is simply an evolutionary artefact of Maria Russell's stolen adventist gimmick used by Ellen White.
Terry, you better hush!
Don't forget that when Maria, as co-editor of the WT, wanted to have a larger say in its articles, Russell was convinced that she was under the spell of the women's suffrage movement.
That Charles Taze Russell was a trip!