Rutherford's Coup

by RolRod 24 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • slimboyfat

    Apocalypse Delayed only had a few pages on the 1917 leadership crisis, whereas this book is over 600 pages and pretty detailed

    Jim Penton wrote the foreword to this book by Rud Persson

    Rud Persson previously collaborated with Carl Olof Jonsson on The Gentile Times Reconsidered and The Sign of the Last Days

    It includes an interesting chapter on the Standfast movement

    Plus an interesting chapter on what happened in Britain and a biography of Jesse Hemery who was a prominent early British Bible Student, who stuck with Watchtower for decades, only to leave in the 1950s

    The book is not without drawbacks. I’m not a fan of the moralising tone in the book, for example telling us who was motivated by what and who was honourable and who wasn’t. Frankly, it’s difficult enough to work out motivations of contemporaries, never mind a hundred years ago. Even our own motivations can be unclear to ourselves at times. So I don’t find it useful for historians overly to speculate about what people were thinking, or even further, to say that they should have done something different than they did.

  • Diogenesister

    I'm wondering if it means ght be possible to order it through your local library? Sometimes if they don't have it you can put in a request.

    Maybe we should have a book review section here. I'm guessing you've read it SBF???

  • slimboyfat

    I’ve read about half of it. Some parts interest me more than others. It has clearly titled chapters which allow you to read the parts that interest you. I found the chapter on Britain and the chapter on the Standfast movement interesting. Plus it includes a number of biographies that can be read in any order. There’s a definite attempt to rehabilitate Paul Johnson, for example, after the probably distorting criticism of him in the Watchtower over the years.

    It has a number of interesting appendices too, including a testimony from an old Swedish brother on what it was like to work at the Headquarters under Rutherford. Did you know that not all workers at Bethel in the 1920s were even baptised? Some just applied for the work and were accepted because they needed workers.

    You can find videos with the author discussing the book on YouTube if you search for Rud Persson and Watch Tower History.

  • smiddy3

    It includes an interesting chapter on the Standfast movement

    Can someone elaborate on what the Standfast movement refers to ? JW`s related. or no ?

    OK ,I googled it and its all news to me about this and I was a JW for 32 years ,how was this possible ?

    Stand Fast and the Elijah Voice Society Many IBSA classes in the Northwest backed “The Finished Mystery.” But Charles E. Heard of Vancouver B.C. and many others felt Rutherford’s recommendation in 1918 Spring to buy war bonds was cowardice, and sacrilegiously perpetuating harvest work.

    And that`s just the introduction .

    Thank you RR and SBF for bringing this to my and I`m sure others attention .

  • LongHairGal

    ROL ROD:

    Well, I guess it could be a good read to anybody interested. Not for me though. I doubt I’d even finish the first few pages.

    Reading this thread just makes me realize I never had the slightest interest in this man when I was active in the JW religion! When I read the little bits of history about him and Russell I yawned..I didn’t give two sh#ts and that’s the truth..I was only interested in end-time prophecy.

    Reflecting on it all now, I’m so ashamed I ever got involved in the religion. What a hard life lesson learned! But, I’m glad it’s Over now and in the past. 👍🏻

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    My copy arrived today. Yay!

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    Curious, at one time in my life I was really interested in the post 1917 period of WT history, and even toyed with the idea I might write a book on it sometime. Looks like someone beat me to it. Good thing, I don't think I would have done a good job anyway.

    I was convinced that a most of the things I really hated about the religion came from that time period and were the result of Rutherford. I collected and read much of the Bible Student literature available at the time. Even had all the Epiphany Studies by PSL Johnson. Reading all that stuff gives context to the rantings of Rutherford. There was definitely a rivalry between Rutherford and the Bible Student leaders for the minds and hearts of the Bible Students. I still believe, for instance, that Rutherford's choice of the name 'Jehovah's Witness' came out of this confrontational environment. He wanted to 1) differentiate the WT-associated Bible Students from the rest of the Bible Student groups, and 2) find a clever way to explain away what the 'Witness' of Jehovah was, since the name previously had been applied only to the Great Pyramid, one of Russell's beliefs which Rutherford rejected (at least he was correct to ditch the Pyramid crazies).

  • slimboyfat

    Yes, could be. I’m sure I read somewhere that the name came to Rutherford in a dream. If I remember correctly, he made the comment to someone in 1931: “here we’ve arranged this convention for all these people, and I don’t yet know what I’m going to say to the attenders”. Then he had a dream where he got the idea for the name “Jehovah’s witnesses”, and so that’s what he announced at the convention.

  • smiddy3

    I think Rutherford was determined to distance himself any way he could from Christendoms religions and call the religion Jehovah`s Witnesses .

    I think the mistake he made was settling on the name Jehovah which was in fact used throughout Christendom for centuries.

    Inscribed in stone on ancient churches in Europe and elsewhere.

    And the Catholic Douay version of the Bible.

    Maybe he should have used something like Yahweh or some equivalent to differentiate themselves even more from Christendom.

  • slimboyfat

    I don’t see that it was a mistake. The name had historical credibility because of its centuries of use age by mainstream churches. If anything, I suspect that churches and Bible versions, use the name less now because Jehovah’s Witnesses adopted and championed the name. If Rutherford hadn’t chosen the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931, might modern versions in the tradition of the King Janes and American Standard Version, such as the Revised Standard Version, have continued using name?I think it’s possible they would have.

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