1917 - What REALLY happened?
Neat blue doggie. If your research only goes as far as the latest spin in a washtower blatherification, then you are lost.
This is another story that watchtower tries to whitewash in history. All the facts are not presented and instead they paint the 4 other directors as haughty, proud and power hungry.
Here are some facts that the watchtower hides from it's members.
1. C.T. Russel had left a last will and testament where he clearly stated that the Watchtower Society is to be run by a board of directors of 7 WITH EQUAL AUTHORITY.
2. C.T. Russel also named the 7 directors to handle the affairs of the Society after his death. J.F. Rutherford WAS NOT in that list!! He was only in a secondary list of alternates.
3. C.T. Russel also stated in his will that an Editorial Committee of 5 members were to supervise, write and authorize the articles in the Journal.
4. C.T. Russel also stated that NO NEW BOOKS were to be written, only journals such as the Watchtower Magazine.
A.H. MacMillan inherited the shares of Russel which were the vast majority. So whomever he chose that's who would be appointed. He had declined the suggestion of being President by Russel. So the self proclaimed "Judge" became President.
However, Rutherford started making decisions without consulting the board. He even published a book without the knowledge of the board (Finished Mystery) This was a clear violation of what Russel wanted. The board got very upset and started to oppose him and talking about removing Rutherford. So Rutherford used his legal education and kicked them out! The book Faith in the March even states that the police were called! He then replaced them with 4 ass kissing yes men.
The legality that was used was to oust the Governing Body or board of directors was that the 4 directors were not elected in NY only in PA. The problem with that was that NEITHER WAS RUTHERFORD NOR THE OTHER 2!
SO in reality Rutherford did not show respect for the majority of the "Governing Body. He DID NOT show humility and yield to the decision of the majority or God's Organization. He did not "wait on Jehovah" as Witnesses are told when the Organization today or the elders commit injustices or make decisions that we don't like. He RAN AHEAD of Jehovah's Chariot and took matters in his own hands and literally stole the power from the Board of directors.
The Watchtower paints the 4 directors (the majority) as selfish, haughty and power hungry. All they wanted was that the Society be run with a board of directors instead of 1 man making all the decisions like a cult leader.
Those 4 directors were right although the Watchtower will never admit it. In 1976 the President lost his power and it was now distributed evenly among the members of the Governing Body. That's what those 4 wanted in the first place! Yet they continue to vilify those 4 directors!! Can't they see it?!
If any person today did a FRACTION of what Rutherford did by opposing the Governing Body or the local elders....he would be labelled an apostate, running ahead of God's Organization, a Korah, and finally disfellowshipped.
This chapter in the history of the Watchtower shows the hypocrisy and double standards of the Watchtower. There are many more scandals where the average member is unaware of.
Great post krismalone, thanks.
Best answer so far, thanks. Clear, detailed and reaffirming of what I already thought without misjudging my intent.
It's a highly tendentious account in the yearbook, but I don't know if there are any factual mistakes. The directors are described as ambitious whereas Rutherford is described as a leader. It's in the eye of the beholder.
He who tells the story - nay, he who has the receptive audience - gets to say what happened and what people were like.
"I was committed and focused; they were ambitious and self-aggrandising." A variation of that is the stuff of human drama and human tragedy.
It is never any different no matter where we turn, in families, communities, regions, nations and beyond. Today, some story tellers have one set of views of John Cedars, for example, whereas others have totally different views. As with all subjects who stir up reactions, he is not "just" one man, but many.
On and on on and on, human history, big and little, rolls on with more sides than black and white could ever accommodate.
Russell screwed up by leaving instructions in his will. A corporation is a separate legal entity. You can make provision for the distribution of your own property through a will, but you can't control a corporation (separate legal entity) beyond the grave via a will.
Rutherford had the ambition and knowledge to take control over the legal mechanisms of the religious corporations and he apparently had enough of a following to execute on it.
It just goes to show how unsophisticated Russell was in all aspects of his life.
Also, the yearbook account presupposes Rutherford's faction was the legitimate one while the others were opposers. That was not a settled matter at the time. Russell expected all of these men to work together and did not authorize Rutherford to act as his successor.
Both Rutherford and Johnson had competing claims. Rutherford won and his successors got to write self-serving accounts.