jay88 wrote: "Russel started a series of corporations. There were 50 stockholders who could vote. This number never changed. Russel gave away "stock" in exchange for contributions but that stock was not voting stock. He later got most of that back anyway."
Isn't now the number of stockholders still 500, who meet at the annual corporation meeting and have the power of vote?
Note this description from a 1971 WT:
*** w71 12/1 pp. 725-727 pars. 31-35 What Its “Right Condition” Means for Us Today ***
31 On September 30 through October 2, 1944, a special Service and business Assembly was held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where the registered offices of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society are located. On the opening day the Society’s president addressed the gathering of 5,000 on the subject “The Theocratic Alignment Today.” The following day the public address was on the subject “One World, One Government.” The Society’s annual business meeting was postponed from this day to the next day, Monday, October 2. This business meeting, which began at 10 a.m. was noteworthy. How so?
32 After the Society’s directors and its officers were elected by the shareholders there represented, consideration was directed to six amendments that were proposed for the Charter of the Society, which was a Pennsylvania corporation incorporated sixty years earlier, in the year 1884. These would amend Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10. The first amendment resolution that was adopted proposed the enlarging of the purposes of the Society so as to assume properly the great worldwide work that lay ahead. Also, this amendment put God’s name, Jehovah, into the Charter. Amendment Three did away with the original charter’s provision that fixed one’s membership in the Society on the basis of one’s money contributions to the Society; henceforth the membership was to be limited to not more than 500, all of whom were to be chosen on the basis of their active service to Jehovah. As the Watchtower issue of November 1, 1944, said in its report: “This amendment will have the effect of bringing the charter as near to Theocratic arrangement as the law of the land permits.” All six amendment resolutions were adopted.
33 It was necessary to get the approval of the State court so as to make all these amendments legal. The following year (1945) the Amendments were duly recorded and thus became part of the Charter. With such an amended Charter the Watch Tower Society has served as a legal instrument of the anointed remnant worshiping Jehovah at his “sanctuary” or “holy place,” ever since.
34 Nicely timed, though the anointed remnant was then not aware of it, came the publication of the leading article entitled “Organized for Final Work” in the October 15, 1944, issue of The Watchtower. Right on its heels, in the November 1 issue came the leading article announcing “Theocratic Organization in Action.” Under appropriate subheadings this article discussed “President,” “Diakonos, Servant,” “Qualifications,” “Governing Body,” and “Theocratic Conduct.” The term “president” here did not refer to the president of the Watch Tower Society, but paragraph 12 said: “The elders in the congregations, who were also spiritual overseers thereof, presided at meetings of the disciples. Any elder thus acting as chairman of a meeting would be the president of the gathering on that occasion.” Under the subheading “Governing Body” paragraphs 33, 34 said: “In the first century it was the group of the apostles in particular, together with the body of elders that they associated with them at Jerusalem, that made up the visible ruling body of Jehovah’s Theocratic organization on earth. . . . That governing body was not made up of perfect men.”
35 In the article that followed the above, in the same issue of The Watchtower, namely, “The Theocratic Alignment Today,” paragraph 3 said: “The visible governing body of the Theocratic organization is and must be appointed only by Jehovah God the Supreme Ruler, and Christ Jesus the Head of His church. Its purpose is to issue directions and spiritual provisions to all God’s people. Acting in harmony with the governing body, all the Theocratic organization and its associates act in unity throughout the earth.”