WT publications re Rutherford's imprisonment

by FreeFallin 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • FreeFallin

    Could any one tell me which of the publications would have the account of Rutherford's trial and subsequent jail time. I have many of the older books, nothing since 1990 or thereabouts. Thank you very much if you can help me. I want to show someone the vast difference in stories.

  • dungbeetle

    Chapter 13 of the "Divine Purpose" book (1959)

    Chapter 29 of the "Proclaimer's" book; (1993)

    Watchtower 3/15/96 "because I would not compromise", which is a damn lie. That's why there are two versions of the "Finished Mystery", the first one called 'The Treason Edition".

    Watchtower 8/1/94 --must reading, full of more lies and half-truths, too many to name here

    Watchtower 11/1/93

    Watchtower 5/1/89

    If you need more, holler.

    see, if truth be known, there is a lot of evidential ingenuity going on here...

    While claiming that the religions were compromising all over the place during the war, and Bible Students were not, what the men were arrested for was 'quoting' a concientious objection type' passage in a book written by I believe, another clergyman. Rutherford's claim was that why should they be prosecuted for 'quoting' the passage when the actual book was circulating around with it's author not arrested.

    1)disenguity is the Bible Student's steadfast claim that only THEY were neutral when obviously that wasn't true!!!!! They speak out of both sides of their mouth here---to this day I might add.

    2)disenguity is that they did not compromise, when in fact they did re-release the book with the offensive parts cut out. They lie about this to this day in most of the accounts I have read. And to their chagrin, both editions of this book exist to this day to disprove their claims.

    3) disenguity is that they were charged with discouraging others from bearing arms. They deny this; but of course it's a lie!!!! To this day literature exists with these anti-war statements that even serving in non-combatant postions could be compromising. (being careful of my language here becasue I don't have THIS stuff in front of me.)I'm not saying it was wrong for Rutherfordites to preach neutrality, etc; but they DID preach it, they were CHARGED with it, and so this is not a FALSE ACCUSATION LIKE THEY CLAIM IT IS!!!! And while the Watchtower makes a big deal about Rutherford and company going to jail, ask a JW how many able-bodied young men were at Bethel all during the war? Plenty, I've been told.

    I do believe there exists a lot of topical evidence that Rutherford's imprisonment changed him; that he emerged from prison an angry and embittered person who raged against anyone who disagreed with him (no matter who they were or what is was over) and that his personality deteriorated to the point where it appears the Watchtower hid him out of the public eye at Beth Sarim. (Watcher protestions notwithstanding). It's my personal belief that Rutherford's consuming anger and rage, which he vented toward everyone and everything in the the Watchtowers and the famous 'Rutherford Rainbow' series, are responsible in great measure for the suffering of Jehovah's Witnesses all over the world during World War 2. Too bad the Watchtower didn't shut away Rutherford sooner.

    In 1975 a crack team of publishers was sentenced to death by a judicial commiteee. They promptly escaped from the cult and now live life on the run. If you have a problem ... and if you can find them ... maybe you can contact the A--postate Team"

  • DakotaRed

    Is this account from the Proclaimers of God's Kingdom book, 1993, what you are looking for? If you can, I would be interested to see what the older publications said about it.

    *** jv 69-71 6 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***
    Objects of Attack
    Through the close of 1917 and into 1918, the Bible Students energetically distributed the new book, The Finished Mystery. By the end of 1917, the printers were busy on the 850,000 edition. The Watch Tower of December 15, 1917, reported: “The sale of the Seventh Volume is unparallelled by the sale of any other book known, in the same length of time, excepting the Bible.”

    But not everyone was thrilled with the success of The Finished Mystery. The book contained some references to the clergy of Christendom that were very cutting. This so angered the clergy that they urged the government to suppress the publications of the Bible Students. As a result of this clergy-inspired opposition, early in 1918, The Finished Mystery was banned in Canada. Opposition soon mounted against the Bible Students in the United States.

    To expose this clergy-inspired pressure, on March 15, 1918, the Watch Tower Society released the tract Kingdom News No. 1. Its message? The six-column-wide headline read: “Religious Intolerance—Pastor Russell’s Followers Persecuted Because They Tell the People the Truth.” Below the heading “Treatment of Bible Students Smacks of the ‘Dark Ages’” were set forth the facts of the persecution and the ban that had begun in Canada. The instigators? The tract pulled no punches in pointing to the clergy, who were described as “a bigoted class of men who have systematically endeavored to prevent the people from understanding the Bible and to throttle all Bible teaching unless it comes through them.” What a hard-hitting message!
    How did the clergy respond to such an exposé? They had already stirred up trouble against the Watch Tower Society. But now they got vicious! In the spring of 1918, a wave of violent persecution was launched against the Bible Students in both North America and Europe. The clergy-inspired opposition came to a head on May 7, 1918, when U.S. federal warrants were issued for the arrest of J. F. Rutherford and several of his close associates. By mid-1918, Rutherford and seven associates found themselves in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.

    But with Judge Rutherford and his associates in prison, what happened to the operation of headquarters?

    Keeping the Home Fires Burning

    Back in Brooklyn an Executive Committee was appointed to take charge of the work. A chief concern of the brothers appointed was to keep The Watch Tower in circulation. The Bible Students everywhere certainly needed all the spiritual encouragement that could be given them. In fact, during this entire “testing season,” not one issue of The Watch Tower failed to appear in print!

    What was the spirit at headquarters? Thomas (Bud) Sullivan, who later served as a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “It was my privilege to visit Brooklyn Bethel in the late summer of 1918 during the brothers’ incarceration. The brothers in charge of the work at Bethel were in no wise fearful or downhearted. In fact, the reverse was true. They were optimistic and confident that Jehovah would give his people the victory ultimately. I was privileged to be at the breakfast table on Monday morning when the brothers sent out on weekend appointments gave their reports. A fine picture of the situation was obtained. In every case the brothers were confident, waiting for Jehovah to direct their activities further.”

    Many problems, however, were encountered. World War I was still raging. There were shortages of paper supplies and coal, which were vitally needed for the work at headquarters. With patriotism at fever pitch, there was considerable animosity against the Society; the Bible Students were viewed as traitors. Under these extreme circumstances, it appeared impossible to continue operations at Brooklyn. So, the Executive Committee, after consulting with other brothers, sold the Brooklyn Tabernacle and closed the Bethel Home. On August 26, 1918, the operations were transferred back to Pittsburgh to an office building at Federal and Reliance streets.

    Nevertheless, a good spirit prevailed. Martha Meredith recalled: “We in Pittsburgh got together and decided we were going to keep ‘the home fires burning’ until the brethren got out of prison. At that time the Brooklyn office was moved to Pittsburgh, so the brethren got busy writing articles for The Watch Tower and had it printed. When The Watch Towers were ready to be sent out, we sisters wrapped them and sent them out to the people.”

    The Bible Students had faced some severe trials since the Gentile Times had ended in the fall of 1914. Could they continue to survive? Did they really have ‘the love of God in their hearts’ or not? Would they firmly hold on to “the Lord and His Truth,” as Russell had cautioned, or would they let go?

    *** jv 70 6 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***
    Victims of Clergy-Inspired Persecution

    By the middle of 1918, J. F. Rutherford and seven of his associates were in prison—victims of clergy-inspired opposition. But those eight men were not the only targets of such hatred. During earlier years it had been C. T. Russell who was primarily the object of attack by the clergy and the press. Now the Bible Students themselves were victims. “The Golden Age” (now “Awake!”) of September 29, 1920, published a graphic, extensive report of vicious persecution they endured in the United States. It read like something out of the Inquisition. Included were the following accounts:

    “April 22, 1918, at Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Claud Watson was first jailed and then deliberately released to a mob composed of preachers, business men and a few others that knocked him down, caused a negro to whip him and, when he had partially recovered, to whip him again. They then poured tar and feathers all over him, rubbing the tar into his hair and scalp.”

    “April 29, 1918, at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, W. B. Duncan, 61 years of age, Edward French, Charles Franke, a Mr. Griffin and Mrs. D. Van Hoesen were jailed. The jail was broken into by a mob that used the most vile and obscene language, whipped, tarred, feathered and drove them from town. Duncan was compelled to walk twenty-six miles [42 km] to his home and barely recovered. Griffin was virtually blinded and died from the assault a few months later.”

    “April 30, 1918, . . . at Minerva, Ohio, S. H. Griffin was first jailed and then released to a mob, then lectured fifteen minutes by the minister, then struck repeatedly, cursed, kicked, trodden upon, threatened with hanging and with drowning, driven from town, spit upon, tripped repeatedly, jabbed repeatedly with an umbrella, forbidden to ride, followed five miles to Malvern, Ohio, rearrested, jailed for safety at Carrollton and finally taken home by brave and faithful officials who, after examining his literature, said, in so many words, ‘We find no fault in this man.’”

    *** jv 69 6 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***
    ‘No Men on Earth More Highly Favored’

    On June 21, 1918, J. F. Rutherford and several of his close associates were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, having been falsely convicted of conspiracy. Their feelings? In a handwritten note dated June 22-23 (shown below), from the Raymond Street jail in Brooklyn, New York, Brother Rutherford wrote: “There are probably no men on earth today more highly favored and who are happier than the seven brethren now in prison. They are conscious of their entire innocence of intentional wrongdoing, and rejoice to be suffering with Christ for loyally serving Him.”

    If God's Spirit is filling a Kingdom Hall, how is it that Satan can manuever the ones within that Kingdom Hall at the same time?

  • metatron

    Twisted men like Rutherford come to power
    because other men, as their followers, are too
    gutless and lacking in balls to say "No!". Not having
    balls isn't much of an exageration when you consider that
    many of these spineless wimps avoided marriage and
    having kids because the Judge told them not to.

    This is why the organization today continues to preach
    about the blood issue - long after the doctrine has been
    proved to be a fraud. They would rather keep killing off
    deluded young people than admit they were wrong - a display
    of the same cowardly tradition.


  • FreeFallin

    dungbeetle and DakotaRed

    Thank you both so much for the info. My bound volumes only go up to 90 or 91. Don't think I have any books before 1970 but will look thru my mothers stuff to see if I can find anything, will print it out if I do. Thanks again.


  • plmkrzy

    Seem sto me there was another artical about that in one of the newer WT. 2000. I'll rummage through my older ones if you want and see if I can find it. Let me know if you want it or not.

    "The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you."
    - Kin Hubbard
  • Farkel

    : "But not everyone was thrilled with the success of The Finished Mystery."

    This is yet another disingenuous statement: "not everyone was thrilled" actually meant "all people who are not certifiably insane."


  • dungbeetle

    If you need scans of my stuff, let me know. Somewhere on the board, I thought somebody put up scans of 'the finished mystery treason edition...what I need are scans of the 'compromise edition' which I don't have.

    Heeheehee Farkel!!!!

    In 1975 a crack team of publishers was sentenced to death by a judicial commiteee. They promptly escaped from the cult and now live life on the run. If you have a problem ... and if you can find them ... maybe you can contact the A--postate Team"

  • dungbeetle

    >The adverse conditions in prison caused Rutherford's health to deteriorate considerably and he remained plagued with health problems throughout his life (Sprague, 1942). Sentenced to harsh terms of twenty years each, they endured prison for nine months before they were released on bail while their appeal was pending. As a result until he died Rutherford prociferously condemned the American government and its courts, and especially the Catholic Church, which he felt influenced his imprisonment.

    >Many people responded to Rutherford's condemnation of America by unleashing one of the worst waves of violent persecution against a religious group in United States in the twentieth century (ACLU, 1941) world wide.<


    The above comment was something said by a non-jw writer (I think) but it seems to me the Watchtower has tried to claim this as well somewhere---maybe somebody can remember. Of course, the topical evidence is that the consumption of large amounts of alcohol contributed to his health problems...and perhaps also to his personality deterioration.

    In 1975 a crack team of publishers was sentenced to death by a judicial commiteee. They promptly escaped from the cult and now live life on the run. If you have a problem ... and if you can find them ... maybe you can contact the A--postate Team"

  • FreeFallin


    Yes, I would like to see the 2000 article, thank you.


    I re-read the horrible accounts of tarring and feathering, whipping, beatings, etc. So much suffering, and what did it prove? People sacrificing their lives and dignity, and at one time I believed it was so noble.


    So Rutherford brought all this persecution on his people. Talk about self-fullfilling prophecies.
    The more I read of this, the more I realize what a fool I was to believe everything I read without questioning it.

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