This "Miracle Wheat" article is getting too long! Hahaha
But here is the short description (without the proofs and many newspaper and WT articles in full, which will come in the PDF version):
Wheat is a very important plant for mankind. If it wasn't for the production of wheat we have today, there would be many times more hunger than exists today. Wheat production is so important, in fact, that Norman Borlaug, a man who doubled the worldwide wheat production through his research, is one of only 7 people who have achieved a Nobel Peace Prize, a Congressional Medal of Honor, and a Presidential Medal.
EVEN WORLD PEACE... depends, in part, on a stable food supply.
Wheat yields for centuries were low. Now the average in the US is 56 bushels/ acre, but in the US in early 1900's the yield was 13 bushels/acre.
Money inflates, so 1 dollar in 1900 buys what 30 dollars of today buy. Considering inflation, the price of wheat is historically low today. In the early 1900's, the price per bushel (60 pounds) was 1 dollar or so.
A lot of people knew the importance of wheat. If someone found a high-yielding strain, that person could sell the initial few seeds at an exorbitant price, and could keep the monopoly because wheat seeds must be carefully grown to keep the properties of a strain. This led to MANY scams throughout the years, and two of them are important in the "Miracle Wheat" case.
The first one is called Alaska Wheat, which was called "Miracle Wheat". It was called "miraculous" because it promised nearly 20 times the yield in early 1900. Some con artists managed to send reports on the wonders of said wheat to newspapers, which didn't fact-check the story, and that way many people were conned.
The USDA eventually made tests and debunked Alaska wheat, issued a warning, the newspapers offered retractions and apologies.
About the same time came Stoner Wheat, also called "Miracle Wheat". This was the "Miracle Wheat" that Russell promoted.
Like Alaska, the unscrupulous / deluded K.B. Stoner sent a misquoted government report on his wheat to many newspapers around the country.
Russell read one of those newspapers, and commented on it in the Watchtower. It led to many people asking Stoner for his wheat, and increasing his sales of the fraudulent wheat.
I have a copy of at least one newspaper which, in 1908, did the right thing and contacted the USDA, which told that newspaper that the results of tests were very negative, the Stoner wheat was not good.
Somehow, neither Russell nor the Bible Students read the newspapers that had the USDA response, neither did they contact the USDA to confirm. They fell hook, line and sinker into Stoner's con.
In 1911, some Bible Students told Russell they were donating 30 bushels of this wheat, to be sold at 1 dollar per pound, or 60 times the commercial value of regular wheat. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Unknown to Russell, (here I speculate a bit), the USDA had discovered Stoner's ruse and forced him to reduce his price (75 times regular price) to 5 times regular price. This happened AT THE SAME TIME that Russell started selling it.
Within a few months, the wheat was sold. The WT got $1800 dollars... which don't seem much until we convert them to current dollars. The WT sold $60,000 worth of wheat that was incredibly overpriced.
This led to the Brooklyn Eagle being able to openly mock Russell. They published a political cartoon where they showed Russell selling some of his wheat, and behind him some people inside a building, called "Onion Bank", mocking the Union Bank, telling Russell "you are wasting your time". The caption of the cartoon said, "If Pastor Russell can get a dollar a pound for Miracle wheat, what could he get for Miracle stocks and bonds as a director in the old Union Bank"?
Russell and the Bible Students, including J.F. Rutherford, who ended up being his lawyer, were absolutely delusional. After making $60,000 in modern dollars for selling the wheat, they sued the Brooklyn Eagle for $2.5 million in modern dollars for publishing the political cartoon!
Russell obviously lost the case. The defense (the Brooklyn Eagle) only had to quote the REAL government reports on the wheat to completely shatter Russell's case.
Three years later, after he lost the case, Rutherford wrote a tract where he defended Russell by restating all of the lies he used to defend him in the case. He also defended Russell from the accusations of adultery by restating that Rose Ball was 10 years old in 1894. (A blatant lie).
Years later, circa 1975, when the WT society NEEDED "doom and gloom", they tried their hardest to downplay the REAL "Miracle" wheat, the one that Norman Borlaug was developing. Remember the infamous "Famine! 1975!" quote?
What does all of this say of Russell, Rutherford, and the WT Society?
Of Russell: 1) Greedy. 2) Extremely gullible. 3) Preferred making money in the short term for the WT society printing his books and literature, than potentially giving a life-saving, world-changing discovery to mankind.
Of Rutherford: Malicious liar, would do anything to "score some points" with Russell, even if that meant lying blatantly.
Of the WT Society: When they want something to look good, no matter how bad it is, to them it is "miraculous". When they want something to look bad, no matter how "miraculous", they make it look bad, because they need gloom and doom, or maybe because they're not making any money off of it.