by nowwhat? 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nowwhat?

    i put together all the pieces of the russell-rutherford years, but i am trying to figure out why the the watchtower did'nt fall apart after the 1925 false prophecy. did world war 2 scare people into thinking armegeddon is finally near? it seems once brother knorr took over the society experienced tremendous growth. what happened?

  • sir82

    it seems once brother knorr took over the society experienced tremendous growth. what happened?

    I would argue it was more "the death of Rutherford" that "saved" JWs, more than WWII.

    Knorr & Freddy Franz were much less bombastic, and far more efficient at motivating the sales efforts of JWs.

    Rutherford was quite confrontational and by the end, his message was little more than rants against science, big business, organized religion, and Jews.

    Knorr and Franz emphasized the more "cuddly" JW doctrines of a 1000 year reign, resurrection, world peace, etc.

    They also organized JW training methods like the Theocratic Ministry school, Gilead, etc.

  • gingerbread

    Rutherford was a salesman.

    Like any good salesman, he could use emotional argument to convince the unaware to buy. Rutherford also promoted himself as "President" of the WT Society and he was adored as such by the faithful.

    By 1940, Knorr and Franz realized that times had changed. With a massive global war in full swing and later the fear of nuclear (Armageddon-like) destruction in the news, they capitalized on those sentiments. Knorr realized that his personality couldn't carry the Org. into the second half of the century. He changed the face of the WT ( just like the 'new' Governing Body is currently doing ).

    He, Franz and the other writers became 'anonymous' and set about running the Org. like an international publishing company. I grew and grew and grew. Money flowed in by the bag loads and they invested it in real estate and the stock markets - around the world.

    Their speculations payed off - big time.


  • Phizzy

    I agree sir82, but I do think WW2 helped recruitment no end. Men returning from the horrors of Total War were ripe for the WT Salesperson selling a "Peaceful paradise earth, where you and you family can live forever in security".

    I am sure that many of the ex-servicemen who became JW's after the War, many that I knew personally, were not the kind of people who would have done so before the war, despite the privations of the 1930's.

    These men became the bedrock of the WT/JW religion here in the U.K, keeping things going until their recent demise, nearly all are now dead.

    Knorr and Franz were heading the WT at the right time.


    Sir82 and Gingerbread you guys are close...

  • blondie

    1941 "Receiving the gift, [Rutherford's book, Children] the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." {WT Sep 15 1941 288}

  • Finkelstein

    WW2 may not have saved the WTS. entirely but it certainly helped in the propagating that mankind is living in the last days doctrine.

    WW1 was used to this extent as well.

    The WTS. will exploit public secular events to their advantage in their marketing agenda ..... thats a " Truth " you can count on.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Interesting. My parents viewed Knorr as a business person, making the WT more palatable worlwide. They were tired of the personal price individuas paid b/c of Rutherford's always seeking confrontation. I was just a kid but the very growth gave legitimacy. Thomas Merton, the sort of NY beat writer/intellectual who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a monk/hermit/peace activist is a cultural hero to me. The Catholic Church, esp the stricter orders, became very popular with returning veterans. Growth was amazing. WWIi traumatized so many. The IBM culture made no sense.

    Not popular now.

  • Terry

    I go into this in some detail in my book, I Wept by the Rivers of Babylon.

    Rutherford deliberately flipped the understanding of Romans 13:1 (Superior Authorities=National leaders) into a bizarre nullification.

    By doing so he could remove the traditional Christian acceptance of duty and obedience to legal governments.

    Rutherford turned Watch Tower Society followers into publicity-seeking litigants for Supreme Court battles. By gaining exemptions under law the

    religion could grow by leaps and bounds into a mainstream force to be reckoned with.

    1.Rutherford kept members very busy fighting off external enemies and excitedly expecting heavenly (later earthly) rewards any minute.

    2.Rutherford could point to the JW's who were tar and feathered, arrested, jailed and murdered as "true Christians" opposed for preaching truth.

    3.By circular reasoning, the persecution itself would prove Watch Tower "Bible studies" (really excuses to study Rutherford's writings)were truly Christian Kingdom Good News.

    Think how much mileage the Watch Tower has squeezed out of "faithful" souls who died in Nazi Prison Camps (for refusing to observe the ban on street peddling.) Think how morbidly they exploit the deaths of children because of refusing blood transfusions. Think how insidiously the JW's demanded freedom for their religion while condemning everybody elses!

    J.F.Rutherford invented a new modern American religion by using the wealth of Russell's publishing corporation for a non-taxable cash cow.

  • nonjwspouse

    BOTR the second Vatican Council with the beginnings in the late 50's and the council annoincments in the early 60s was highly unpolular with the more orthodox members of the church. It causes many to leave the faith. The JWs were there to capture some of those. Interestingly it was the percieved "changes" they so objected to, and yet the WT is the epitomey of continual, and flip flopping doctrine changes.

Share this