Calling All Watchtower Historians ... What was the V.F.V.?
In the May 27, 1942 edition of the Consolation, the Watchtower society devoted several pages to the controversy surrounding the burial of Joseph Rutherford. In several sections, they write about "the opposition" in vague terms without much specificity as to who these other groups of people were who were supposedly persecuting them. One section refers to a group called V.F.V. that petitioned against the burial, so my question is ... what was V.F.V.?
From Consolation, May 27, 1942:
Just how a man’s bones, buried without monument or even conspicuous marker, in the center of 100 acres of land, a half mile from the closest outside house, could disturb anyone is left for the commission to explain. The V.F.V., who petitioned against the granting of the permit, prejudicially explained it this way: “Judge Rutherford, during his lifetime, taught intolerance,” and, ‘therefore, as a manifestation of our “tolerance”, we do not wish him buried.’
Read the whole thing here:http://avoidjw.org/en/changes/burial-joseph-f-rutherford/
Victory Farm Volunteers? (likely not - they started in 1943 but...maybe...)
VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars?
I think the final V is in error.
The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and American Legion are specifically mentioned in Part 8 of the linked documents, so it is likely that Tara is correct.
The typo theory makes sense. Thanks!
Yes, the VFW has been a critic of all things Watchtower since they were formed. Here is one incident during the WW2 years:David T. Smith - 2015 - Political Science54 In Guymon, Oklahoma, in August 1940, a crowd of 1,000 gathered outside a courthouse where six Jehovah's Witnesses entered pleas on charges of violating an anti-peddling ordinance that had been passed a few weeks earlier at the instigation of a local Legion and VFW member. After all six pleaded not guilty a local ... "
The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and American Legion are specifically mentioned in Part 8
Prior mention in Part 7: Hearts of Flint.
… On March 5 there appeared an article in the Tribune-Sun that the San Diego Council of the Veterans of Foreign Wars sent a communication to the Planning Commission which terminated as follows:
“Now therefore San Diego County Council, V. F. W., recommends disapproval of any request to establish a burial plot for Mr. Rutherford other than at a bona fide cemetery.”
“Harold Angier post 383, American Legion, also went on record as being opposed to such burial ‘in other than an established and recognized cemetery’.”
It thus appeared that the American Legion and the V.F.W. are at their old work of serving the Hierarchy, and this time they have the temerity to interfere in the proper burial of the servant of the Most High. …
I remember while going door-to-door with my father in the mid-1950s encountering a householder who threatened to beat us up and call the police. "I'm a veteran of WW2 and a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars."
My father looked at him and replied, "Well that's good. Where did you serve?"
"The Pacific in the United States Army!"
Dad calmly replied, "Well thank you for your service to our country."
"You Jehovah's Witnesses are all communists and cowards and you deserve to have your ass kicked!"
Dad looked at him and responded. "Well, if you want to kick my butt, feel free to try. But you should know that I too served in the US Army and also in Hawaii. I did not actually go to battle as I was an airplane mechanic. But that was better for me as I never wanted to kill anyone - friend or foe. Now if you still want to come down those stairs and kick my butt for trespassing or disrupting your morning, feel free to try. But accusing me of not serving in the Army isn't a good reason. However, you should know that I would never volunteer again, because Jehovah teaches us not to raise our hand against anyone, friend or foe."
The man behind the screen suddenly came out and looked my father right in the eye. "I apologize sir. While I want nothing to do with your religion, I would like to shake your hand as a fellow veteran." They shook hands and even gave each other a man-hug after that.
My father actually regretted what happened. He was afraid that Jehovah might consider his response to be "bragging about my military service."
But yeah - back in the late 1940s and early 1950s JW men took a lot of flak from veterans and families who had lost someone during the war. We kind of expected it and tried to understand where they were coming from.
I was kind of hoping that the VFV was some sort of secret apostate group from the '40s!
Damn. I'm giving a dollar for the VFW poppy every time now. (Jk- I already do)