The Dog that did not bark: Jehovah's Witnesses' greatest mystery

by Terry 52 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Terry

    If you have never read the early works of all those connected with the Russell era and the Bible students you can use their free library.

    It is online as a choice of PDF or online reading.

    Everything is beautifully indexed!

    Do you think the Watchtower Society would provide such a service for Jehovah's Witnesses or interested persons?

    Ask yourself, "Why not?"

  • james_woods

    White used "visions" directly from god as her claim to authority. This could not have escaped Maria Russell's notice! It appears she was more than willing to "share" authority with husband Charlie until he balked and turned on her.

    She was not the only one he turned on, either. Given the backstabbing environment, maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that Rutherford took over so easily after he was gone.

    Really, it is a pretty sordid early history for "the one true religion approved by god", isn't it? No wonder the witnesses of today would just as soon forget all this stuff ever happened.

  • Terry

    I post this from the Bible Student's library for your edification and amusement:

    Pittsburgh Lender

    Sunday Morning October 14th, 1906-Special Magazine Section


    "The Twain One" Reviewed by a Local Minister, Who Finds Fault With the Premises and Conclusions


    Marie Frances Russell, the wife of the celebrated Pastor Charles T. Russell, the North Side preacher, with congregations all over the world, has written a book which is of the "woman’s rights" order. Those who have analyzed the work are of the opinion that Mrs. Russell has undertaken to sustain her position in applying for a divorce from bed and board and demanding alimony from her husband.

    "The Twain One" is the title, and the green cloth cover binds all sorts of biblical quotations to sustain the contention of the author that a woman was created equal with man, with the same rights, and instead of being servile to man, woman was expected to be an heir of the land with him and share all his joys and returns from the soil. She launches into a tirade against sinful man and takes the stand that the decline of woman in influence and wealth is absolutely due to sinful and greedy man who, taking advantage of woman, has domineered over her to such an extent that woman is generations off her sphere.

    Too frequent maternity, due of course to greedy and sinful man, has also prevented woman from associating with others in the world so that she could progress mentally as rapidly as man. Instead, she has been compelled to stay in the house, raise children and, while man is recuperating in the fields and associating with his neighbors, "gathering strength the while," poor woman is debarred from what is divinely hers and sinful man is rubbing it in on her at a great rate. The time apparently, is ripe for a change of all this and woman should step into the church, business and even at home to demand what has been given her by God and "held out," to use the parlance of the day, by greedy, sinful, domineering man.

    A review of the book by a minister follows:

    "The title of this little volume would seem to imply a treatise respecting the oneness of union and mutual adaptability of the sexes to each other so as to produce the greatest amount of harmony or union. However, the writer does not, in our judgment, seem to approach the subject from this standpoint, but rather the reverse û ‘the twain two.’ The motif appears to be to disprove any special headship of the husband and hence to establish a double headship in every family. The thought of the writer seems to be the one that is now so common amongst so-called ‘new women.’ viz., that in the divine order men and women were by nature, and by grace intended to be on an absolute equality, mentally and physically, but that women, for centuries oppressed by men, have gradually grown weaker and weaker both in mind and in body until today that writer reluctantly admits men are stronger both mentally and physically. That we may do the writer no injustice on this point we quote:

    "‘They (Adam and Eve) stood on a par in God’s estimation of his handiwork. It is manifest that God created them with equal rights when he gave the dominion of earth to them both originally’ (p. 31.). ‘Dr. H. S. Drayton tells us that while woman’s brain is smaller than man’s it is larger in proportion to the total weight of the body, and is more finely organized, so that in his opinion honors are about even.’ (p. 37.)

    "As proof of an acknowledge feminine inferiority of strength, mentally and physically, the author says: ‘Woman’s natural office of motherhood and home duties connected with it, the training of children, etc., which, under perfect conditions, as originally designed, could have brought only happiness and joy, instead under the conditions induced by sin, brought sorrow and the gradual physical weakening or decline The too frequent maternity often imposed upon her, regardless of proper conditions, has undermined the health of women generation after generation, while man, whose natural occupation has been more in the fields and in subduing the elements of nature, has gathered from nature more of its invigorating force and thus woman has become, by far, the weaker vessel.’ (p. 36.) ‘Thus the natural tendency of sin has been, not only to render woman a weaker vessel, but also to bring her under the power of her husband.’ (p. 41.)

    "Whatever the author may otherwise be she is evidently not a logician, as shown by the above quotations: for while she argues that the sexes are equal and should stand on a par every way she, in the different quotations, claims that women have become by far the weaker vessel û hence logically no longer on a par with males.

    "But still more illogical is the proposition above quoted that women have become ‘by far the weaker vessel’ gradually for centuries as a result of the recognition of the headship of men. Would not even a novice in logic recognize the fact that such a claim is an absurdity; because every girl babe must receive of the strength, the virility of the father as every boy babe must partake of the weaknesses of his mother. If males begat males and females begat females we would could understand how the one sex could, in centuries, oppress and degrade the other; knowing that this is not the case, but that on the contrary nature equalizes and harmonizes the strength and weakness of both parents in the children, it follows that the author has failed to grasp her subject. She may not be aware, either, that in Europe for centuries women have labored in the fields and thus have employed the very conditions which she says has made the males superior in mental and physical strength.

    "Far be it from the writer to inveigh against women or to deny women their proper rights and opportunities We are even willing to concede, that in times past, under barbaric and semi-civilized conditions, women had not by any means the liberties and opportunities they should have had; but are not the same things true of the other sex? Have not the majority of men in the past been the merest serfs or slaves? Are we not to remember that only within the past century has Europe given to the males universal suffrage? Indeed, this boon of the family was not given to the English males until within a decade, and in Russia suffrage has only been granted to the males this very year under restrictions, somewhat similar to those which prevail in Germany, which give those not property owners a decidedly less voice in politics than others? Are we not to remember that free school education in Europe is only the matter of the past decade? What we should notice in this connection is that just in proportion as the males have gotten free from serfdom and ignorance in the very same proportion have the females of the same lands risen to civilization and education. These points appear to us to be too frequently overlooked by those studying or discussing so called women’s rights.

    "It is a fact that the twain are one by divine arrangement and by their creation. The sexes are so adapted the one to the other that injury to either signifies proportionate loss to both. Hence the safe and sane of both sexes are practically agreed that the Almighty did not design the sexes to be exactly equal either mentally or physically, but better far than this did design an adaptation between them, the one for the other, represented in the expression ‘a manly man’ and ‘a womanly woman.’ We feel sure that the observance of this law of nature brings more joy than any amount of disputation, or endeavor to prove that there is no difference between the sexes. Very few women would care to marry or expect to be happy with an effeminate man, and very few men would desire to marry or expect to be happy with a masculine wife."

    "The author lays great stress upon the fact that women do not receive proper recognition in the churches—evidently believing that no sex distinction should be recognized in the ministry. Although the consensus of opinion among Christian people for centuries has been that of the special ministrations of religion should be in the hands of males, this apparently has no influence whatever with our author. She carefully culls every reference to women in the Old and New Testaments and makes the most of these to support her contention, but either innocently or intentionally omits all notice of the fact that Jesus Christ appointed no female apostles—the twelve were male and the subsequent seventy sent out were men; nor was this because there were no women interested at that time, nor, as is seemingly hinted, the women of that day were so much more illiterate than the men. On the contrary, we have the apostolic statement to the effect that they were fishermen and tax-gatherers from the humbler walks of life and that, too it was distinctly stated by the public in general that they were ignorant and unlearned men. (#Ac 4:13) If ignorant and unlearned men could be qualified and used by the Christ as His representatives, could not the ignorant and unlearned women have been equally qualified for His service had He so designed. But on the contrary, have we not the intimation that some of the believing women of the time were of the higher class, styled, "honorable women" û women of station, "wealth and probably of education also? See #Lu 8:3, #Ac 7:4-12. The same is true of the course pursued by the apostles. We have no record that they ever ordained women as elders in any of the churches they organized. Nevertheless they, both Jesus, and the apostles, were prompt to recognize, appreciate and to utilize the womanly talents and qualities of the believers of that time, as we believe, all Christian ministers are disposed to do to this day.

    "The author of the "Twain One" certainly displays the craftiness of an expert attorney supporting an unjust case when she attempts to so interpret the words of the apostles respecting the deference or submission of the wife as the weaker vessel to the husband as the head of the family With a n attorney’s skill she arranges three difficult texts in order, placing first, one, the phraseology of which she could construe favorably, and then proceeds to apply the misfit interpretation to the others. For instance the following:

    "‘Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord." #Col 3:13 ‘Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and He is the savior (preserver, caretaker) of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.’ #Eph 5:22-24

    "Again she quotes, ‘Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.’ #1Pe 3:1

    "The veriest tyro in scriptural exegesis would surely be astonished at the cleverness of the misinterpretation of the first of these texts. The apostle says ‘as it is fit in the Lord,’ by this evidently meaning that women in the Christian church were to be submissive to their husbands as were the Jewish women, and not to consider that because they were not ‘in the Lord’ they were exempted from the proper responsibilities of wives. ‘As it is fit’ then evidently means, as it is proper, as it is right for those in the Lord to do But our authoress gives a twist to the entire matter in these words. ‘We must bear in mind this limitation of fitness.’ (P. 53). She proceeds to ring the changes of these words fit and fitness twelve times in her endeavor to nullify the force of the above quoted Scriptures by implying that the wives are to submit themselves to their own husbands not ‘as it is fit’ but rather as the wives may deem fit.

    "Surely no sound mind could understand the apostolic injunctions above quoted to signify that wives were to be so submissive to their husbands that they would murder or steal or do other unlawful things. Fortunately, the average men and women have little difficulty in comprehending the scriptural advice on this subject, vis: that love should cement the marriage tie, that in the union the twain will be one, that the head of the united pair is the husband, whose delight as well as responsibility would be to look well after the interests, mental and physical, of his wife ready, if need be, to lay down his life for her protection. Fortunately, too, the majority of women appreciate just such headship as the apostles here indicate and these are the happy couples who best represent the "Twain One," and happy are the children who have parents thus mated in harmony with natural law and scriptural injunction.

    "The advocates of ‘women’s rights’ seem assuredly to be persons in whom the milk of human kindness have soured sometimes through ambition and sometimes through fallacious reasoning! For instance they often tell us that the great colleges are for the men, that the women have no such opportunities for education. They tell us that the legislatures and courts are bound upon the grinding of woman into the dust, into the mire, and that it is necessary for women to step forth from the battles of motherhood and the home to battle for female suffrage and other rights.

    "Fortunately for the world, the majority of the sex reason more soundly than this. Through education or by observation they learn that their husbands and fathers in the legislatures have framed most equitable laws in their interest, for their protection and safeguard, and that the courts are always more lenient toward women than toward men, and that they fare far better at the hands of a male jury than they would if tried before a jury of their own sex, and that the public schools and high schools are as open to the females as to the males, and that a proportionately larger number of the females than of the males are afforded high school opportunities and normal school privileges. They learn, also, that there is abundant provision for their sex in the female seminaries and colleges and that these, almost without exception, have been established and endowed by the opposite sex. We conclude that the majority of the sensible thinkers agree respecting the solidarity of the race-and that in the family and home the husband and wife are not to be twain, but one, and that in the responsibility for the family’s care both human and divine law are right in holding the male to be the responsible head and caretaker.

    "That the author is not ashamed of her work is evidenced by the fact that her name appears in the same six times."




    "True happiness, in any human relationship, is incompatible with ignoble ideas both of tyranny and of servility."

    "Paternal and filial love must respond to each other."

    "Any subserviency to fellow man is a secondary consideration û We ought to obey God rather than man and this is manifestly right so we must oppose men when they are wrong."

    "The duty of submission to those in leading positions in the church we regard not in the light of unquestioning childish or servile obedience, but simply as a matter of respectful deference."

    "The servant is not in duty bound to please his master in all things except within the limit of his contract."

    "Obedience of children to parents is expected by God, but for any tyrannical use of this parental authority to gratify a pride of power in the dominant parties will be punished by God. The command of obedience does not apply to children after they come to maturity."

    "The Scriptures do not teach domestic slavery."

    "Adam found in woman a companion capable of sharing all his joys."

    "Nothing in the Scriptures indicates that woman was in the least inferior to man."

    "God created man and woman with equal rights."

    "Woman has become the weaker vessel through sinful man."

    "He (man) often, selfishly taking advantage of the situation rules over her (woman) instead of treating her as an heir."

    Quotations from Mrs. Russell’s book, "Twain One."

  • james_woods

    Anyone ever wonder what the witnesses would be like today if Maria instead of Charles had gotten control of the Watchtower?

  • Terry

    You would think that the Watchtower Society, if directly led by Jehovah, would have a clear view of its own central doctrine. Below we see the same FLIP-FLOP attitude that befell the chronology pronouncements and the scripture expositions applied to prophecy. They say one thing one day and another thing another day.

    In 1923 Rutherford, the second president of the WTS, distinguished the "office" from the person holding it. He argued that Russell filled the "office" of "that servant" until 1916 but thereafter the WTS plus everyone cooperating with it filled that office. (The Watch Tower 1923 March 1 pp. 67-69)

    In 1927 Rutherford returned to the interpretation of 1881– that the servant was the entire "body of Christ".

    After Russell was demoted, the WTS pretended Russell had never claimed to be "that servant":

    …the editor and publisher of Zion's Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that "faithful and wise servant". He never did claim to be such. (God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached 1973 p. 346)
    In 1993 the WTS admitted:
    The view that she [Russell's wife Maria] voiced concerning the identity of the ‘faithful servant' came to be generally held by the Bible Students for some thirty years. (Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom 1993 p. 143)
    This admission blames the error on Russell's wife. Yet, twenty years after Maria Russell left the cult and had no influence over it we read:
    THE WATCH TOWER unhesitatingly proclaims brother Russell as "that faithful and wise servant." (The Watch Tower 1917 March 1 p. 67)
    What did Russell himself say about this:
    The truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually… (The Watch Tower 1906 July 15 p. 229)
    …the editor and publisher of Zion's Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that "faithful and wise servant". He never did claim to be such. (God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached 1973 p. 346)

    Myth of the "Faithful Slave"

    B J Kotwall and B Stett

  • bennyk
    The striking thing is that Rutherford, McMillan and Ambrose are the ONLY SOURCEs that Russell "privately admitted" to being the FDS!


    The JW's are stuck with a lie that Rutherford told to elevate Russell to cult status so that he could maintain the loyalty of the bible students.

    However, I am not so certain that Rutherford lied about Russell's 'privately admitting he was the "Faithful and Wise Servant"'. When individuals whose letters published in the Watch Tower referred to Russell as "That Servant" (Matthew 24:46), he never corrected them in his published reply. If he really felt that it had been inappropriate to refer to him thus, he should have felt a moral obligation to state that. (argumentum e silentio)

  • thetrueone

    There's no question to who was the most power thirsty, control freak out of all of the established leaders of the WTS.

    of course that being J. Rutherford.

    Maybe this thirst for power and control came for his experience and practice in Judicial law.

    The involvement with this practice as a profession must have created an intervening impression to his character .

    He might have had thoughts of seeing himself as a standing Judge one day, but then something else came up which drew his attention,

    the controlling presidency of a religious publishing house. He sought to create a kingdom of his own with all the pertaining facets of control and

    power by propagating fear induced anxiety among a segment of the population, while he sat on his throne handing

    out Judaical rulings and commandments to the following members of his publishing empire.

    Some of these overwrought systems of controls are still active today in each Kingdom Hall.

    God's earthly kingdom not really, man's earthly kingdom, absolutely.

  • Terry

    When individuals whose letters published in the Watch Tower referred to Russell as "That Servant" (Matthew 24:46), he never corrected them in his published reply. If he really felt that it had been inappropriate to refer to him thus, he should have felt a moral obligation to state that. (argumentum e silentio)

    Are people in congregations entitled to their own opinion? Or, not?

    Russell stated he did not have an opinion.

    Here, from the Bible Student's site, is an argument concerning the prudence of speaking up or not concerning self-identification:

    While Brother Russell very properly refrained from any self-laudation, when confronted with the necessity of giving his understanding of Matthew 24:45-51, he did so in a manner which every one should be able to understand, in the following quotations;- "This lesson, from Matthew's account, was treated in our issue of April 1, '95. We have no further comment to make except upon one point: 'that [special] servant.' In our examination of this text we seem to have treated the term 'that servant' as though the Spirit had erred in saying 'that servant' when it meant servants [plural], and we applied it to all true servants of God. Since then we have been met from various quarters with objections to so general an applic ation, and the suggestion that it would be wrong to allow modesty or any other consideration, good or bad, to warp our judgment in the exposition of the inspired Word; to which proposition we agree. God evidently has some purpose m all that he has caused to be written for our admonition; and faithfulness as servants re, quires that we deliver to the household the Lord's word, as he gives it." Being unable to answer the objections and arguments raised, we candidly present them to the 'fellow-servants' and to the 'household' of faith as part of the Lord's message: the subject being forced upon us by its recurrence in the International S. S. Lessons, as well as by inquiries by letter. Let each 'fellow servant' and each member of the 'household of faith' use his consecrated judgment in accepting or rejecting this, exposition or any other exposition we may ever offer, according to his ability or inability to recognize in it the voice of our great Shepherd.

    "The objection urged is that the Lord's words clearly mention and distinguish between his 'household' (his faithful people in general), the 'fellow servants (plural), and 'that servant' specially indicated as the Lord's agent in dispensing present truth as food to his 'fellow servants' and the ' household.' It is admitted that in many Scriptures the consecrated are addressed individually when all of a class are meant,-as, for in-stance, 'to him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne.' This, according to the rules of language, means-'To each one who overcomes,' etc. And in the texts under consideration, it is held that if neither the 'household' nor 'fellow. servants' were mentioned, it might be questionable whether the expression 'that servant' referred to one or to all faithful servants; but that when 'that servant' and 'his fellow servants' and the 'household' are all mentioned in one connection, and in contrast, it would be a perversion of the rules of language and interpretation to mix and confound that which the holy Spirit has so emphatically marked as distinct. It is further urged that to apply the term `his household' to nominal Christian professors in general could not be correct, because the 'meat in due season' is intended only for the Lord's truth-hungry; 'watching' people; and hence among these must be sought the 'household' to be fed, the 'servants' (plural) to do the feeding, and 'that servant' at whose hands our present Lord will dispense the food to 'his fellow servants' for the 'household;' and who thus is constituted a general steward, overseer and dispenser of the Lord's 'goods.' "It is urged, further, that the manifest fulfillment of this, during this 'harvest' and time of the Lord's presence, should assist in the correct under-standing of the promise; and that when we see things come to pass we should be able to recognize them whether we discerned their meaning in advance or not. In deed, the demonstration seems to have forced the true interpretation, rather than that an interpretation led to the fulfillment which makes the matter really the stronger, now that it is seen."-Z. '96, 47.

  • dgp


  • bennyk
    Are people in congregations entitled to their own opinion? Or, not?
    Russell stated he did not have an opinion.

    Perhaps in 1896 he had no opinion.

    Russell was editor and publisher of the Watch Tower. Russell's later silence spoke volumes. He let other people express his opinion for him.

    At first I said, "This new view of justification is the only thing I take exception to," but soon discovered that you had erred (?) on the Covenants; next, the Sin-Offering doctrine was an insidious denial of the Ransom; next, it was Baptism--that was wrong, too; and of course you had worked your blasphemous (that is what I called it) doctrine into the Memorial service of our Lord's death. Soon those who opposed you were all right, and you were wrong. I got to believe that you had never been " That Servant , whom the Lord made master of all his goods"--that Servantwas a class; that most of those things you once had right, but you had changed. You see the condition my mind was in, and yet, I believe I was honest, and was loyal to the Lord in opposing what I thought was error. My heart was not at ease; the conflict was terrible, and I suffered greatly. And while I verily thought I was right in my course, I have prayed earnestly every day for guidance into the Truth, and into peace. I kept the Vow as best I could under such conditions. While I thought my faith was on a surer foundation than ever, I now know it was nearly gone. (Letter from Clarence Fowler, Watch Tower 01. July 1910. reprints p. 4645

    At a recent business meeting it was unanimously voted "That Brother Charles T. Russell be officially recognized as ' That Servant,' to whom the Lord promised He would give all His storehouse of 'Present Truth,' if faithful, and that he serve as Pastor to the Ecclesia at __________, until the completion of the Age." We are pleased to accept the sermons and WATCH TOWER as your personal service to us. (Letter from M. L. Wolf, Watch Tower 01. November 1913 reprints p. 5346)

    I praise God for raising you up, dear Brother, as " that Servant ." May He bless you still more, that you may give us the "meat in due season." I also thank the dear Lord that He brought me to this country before this awful war; and made me to realize "where are the dead," as all my people are being shot and I should have been in despair. (letter from "Your sister by his grace", Watch Tower, 15.April 1916 reprints p. 5888)

Share this