This was before Income Tax
What I's written was:
Another may have been related to tax.
There are, and have been, many a tax. The word "tax" is not synonymous with, and does not imply, "income tax".
There are, for example,:
taxes on capital gains especially on the sale or transfer of a business,
taxes on capital ("wealth tax"),
taxes on corporations (corporation tax) whose average rate - quite commonly - could vary with the company's ownership (to prevent fraud by splitting taxable profits between entities where corporation tax rates are banded) - I'm sure the relevance is not lost on you,
taxes on trusts and settlements (likewise),
taxes on transactions (sales or value-added taxes),
duties and levies on goods / octroi,
estate, inheritance or death duties
and so on and on, seemingly ad infinitum.
I don't think you were setting up a strawman there; I am being explicit because I suggest you may be misunderestimating (sic) Russell's knowledge and subtlety. Most of the taxes I've mentioned potentially impact such arrangements.
I have expertise on many of these areas, but zero knowledge of or interest in their implementation, if indeed they were in place, during 1900-1916.
I mistrust newspaper articles
So, often, do I. I won't set up a strawman against you by pointing that they'd be likely to be enormously more accurate than the fabrications and delusions of scum lilke Russell or Rutherford.
But let's look at the care and diligence they knew they had to put into their coverage of Russell.
We know that Russell was litigious, and we know how he comported himself during the "divorce" hearings, and whatever we know, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle knew just as well, if not better. They knew he would sue them for libel on the drop of a hat, if even the beginnings of a chance showed.
That put them on alert, and I suggest that the reason he didn't sue them over any of this was simply that it was not only true, but fair, and furthermore provably true.
Since Russell showed himself willing to sue them over a non-explicit - and in my opinion fairly innocent - cartoon, doesn't that say it all? Yes, he lost, and lost on appeal - but the point is he projected belligerence when faced with opposition, and his actions (including the setting-up of the four clergymen) shows actual malice.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle were fully aware - and so would have been extra careful with their coverage.
I suggest it is probably more than fair to Russell. They took no chances. They were extremely proud of their reputation and accuracy, and in general were excellent for a newspaper of their day.
How do I know? As you'll discover from my next post in this thread, I've been reading a lot of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle - needless to say, it wasn't just the Russell and Rutherford material, but also adjacent or neighboring articles would catch my eye. (Most) newspapers of today are facile, shallow, superficial by comparison, in my opinion. This was a class act, and not some scandal-sheet like the National Enquirer.
To trust Russell (or Rutherford) instead of the Eagle would be barmy - but I'm sure you are not going to do that.
When I can, I'll scan the transcript for more relevant tesitmony.
Testimony, even. Please do, thanks. I am very interested and it will save me OCR-work.