Who is B.W. Schulz? Anyone know?
I should be in bed instead of posting here. Bruce and Rawe were friends prior to Rawe's last disfellowshipping. As I understand it from someone who should know, Bruce dropped contact afterward, though if Richard called him he was respectful. It is in Bruce's nature to treat people, even those with whom he disagrees, with respect. Bruce is not an 'apostate' what ever that really is.
Bruce is not an 'apostate' what ever that really is.
In Watchtower terms "apostate" has quite a clear definition. And Richard Rawe was definitely apostate in Watchtower terms.
If Bruce took calls from his friend Rawe after he became an apostate then it makes him a good human being (in my view) but also clearly a poor JW (according to their own rules).
Please, let's not scare away Mrs. Vienne from the board by getting her involved in controversies. I would love her to stay and chip in on historical WT posts, surely her input would be invaluable!
Thank you for your work, and thank Bruce for me too!
True enough, I agree with what you say.
I'm with ILoveTTATT2 in this.
Ms. vienne has provided valuable and, more importantly, factually correct insight into the early founders of the organization that we've all been affected by in one way or another. She cites verifiable proof for her statements, documented references that can be verified by anyone with the inclination to do so. She draws no definitive conclusions about the motivations or character of her subjects. She wisely leaves that up to the discerning reader.
And she does it all without ideological or theological agenda. Amazing!
Anyway, my hat's off to Ms. vienne and those of her ilk who invest untold thousands of hours in tedious research to shed light on those of a bygone era whose actions had ramifications that are still felt today.
I was wondering if you and Bruce were familiar with Tim White's "A People for His Name" and if so, are you willing to share your opinion of it or critique it?
Do you or Bruce have any opinions about other "modern" JW histories since "30 Years a Watchtower Slave" by Schnell?
Have you ever read "The Desolation of the Sanctuary" by the Sadlack brothers (Emil & Otto) in Germany, first published in English around 1930?
A People for His name was an honest attempt to write Watchtower history. It is useful. I own a copy. White had limited resources, drawing almost entirely from The Watchtower, which is a primary source, but does not present the entire picture. While a researcher shouldn’t discount it, the passage of time and the greater availability of original documents marks his book as dated. It is occasionally wrong, usually in minor points.
History books since Schnell? Schnell’s “Thirty Years” is the personal narrative of an angry man who resented being counseled over selling books to fellow Witnesses. He admits to a reputation as a womanizer. He contradicts letters he wrote to Rutherford. Personal narratives have a place in research. I own a copy of this book. We don’t quote from it because we’re writing about an earlier era. Remember personal narratives tell the story as the writer would have it, not exactly as it happened.
Desolations of the Sanctuary is another publication one cannot ignore. Some writers rely totally on polemics and controversial literature. They don’t have access to or are too lazy to find original documents. Contemporary though controversial literature is an original source document. Given its nature, use it with caution and verify any claims made.
E. Gruss’s Apostles of Denial and subsequent books cannot be ignored, but often enough they are misleading or fanciful. We quote once from AoD in volume 2, but only to refute an off the wall claim. Gruss is unreliable as are most books and dissertations that are refutations.
Beckford’s book is still worth a read, but severely dated and not a history but a sociologist’s treatment. Beckford told me last year that he did not understand the Russell era at all. This shows in his book, but if you research Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should read it.
Another sociologist, Norman Long, wrote Social Change and the Individual which considers Watchtower adherents in Zambia. This is not my era of specialty, but it seems accurate.
Herman Hesse’s book, Am mtigsten waren immer wieder die Zeugen Jehovahs, covers the Nazi era. It is interesting, accurate, enlightening, but it is in German.
Not really a history, but a personal narrative, Liebster’s Facing the Lion is a must read if you research Witnesses in the Nazi era.
George Chryssides, a colleague, has written several books and papers. The best of his work is Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change. I wrote a review. It’s on our history blog. There are places where he errs. But this is a stellar generalist book. It is, unfortunately, very expensive. One of the reasons we publish through lulu is cost to readers. Our moderately priced book would be nearly 150.00 if Reutlage published it.
Emily Baran’s Dissent on the Margins is an excellent book dealing with the Communist era and drawn from official documents. You need to read this one. Aside from the quality of her book, I should say that Emily is just a really nice person.
M. Cole’s books are dated, but in their own way they’re original source material for the era in which they were published.
Penton’s Apocalypse Delayed must be read. Ignore the first two editions. The third edition corrects errors of fact and approach. It is by far the best edition. I should disclose that Penton said nice things about us in the third edition. His history of Witnesses in Canada is good.
V. V. Blackwell’s O’re the Ramparts they Watched is a personal and historical narrative from a long-time Watchtower lawyer. Good.
L. A. Stevens’ Salute! The Case of the Bible vs. the Flag is so-so.
Manwaring’s Render unto Caesar is stellar.
The Watchtower’s product, Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Word, is good. It suffers from organizational dysfunction and it is one-sided. It’s main fault is lack of balance in some select areas. You can’t ignore the book, but it’s not really a history book; it’s a paean.
I should add a comment on Zydeck's biography of Russell. It is contrived, inaccurate, and misleading. If you want to be entertained, read it. If you want to be informed, save your money.
One other thought before I get back to work. It is okay [someone asked] if you call me by my first name, Rachael.
Wow! Impressive response, but then, this is your bread-and-butter, as it were. Thanks again!