In my many and ongoing discussions with my mother, we inevitably come around to my favorite WT person: Joseph Franklin Rutherford. I have told her about many of the pesky and embarrassing facts about this dude, and she had agreed that many or even most of them are correct. My mom became a dub about a decade after JFR died at Beth Sarim, with a smile on his face and his middle finger raised high, I suspect.
I’ve told her many things that she was “shocked” to hear about Da Judge, and after she expresses her shock, she has always come back to the same trio of mantras:
1) He was just an imperfect man being used by Jehovah for the time.
2) He got us out of “Babylon the Grape.”
3) He definitely eliminated “creature worship” from Jehovah’s Organization™
Her first mantra is the same bulldust the society uses to explain away all of their jerks who have or have had positions of responsibility and who abused that responsibility. When things go well and they don’t manage to screw things up, they are being “used” by “Jehovah” and “Jehovah” is blessing them. When they screw things up, they are “just imperfect men.” What a system! What a great racket! There is virtually NO way for them to lose in this racket!
Her second mantra has a few more pesky problems to deal with. The WTS has stated that Babylon the Grape is the “world empire of false religion,” but the Bible doesn’t state that, and in fact, that whole WTS phrase is subject to criticism. Let’s take the phrase “false religion” first. What is “false religion” and how would one know how to identify it?
This part is easy: any religion the WTS says is “false” is in fact, “false.” How do they precisely identify “false?” That’s also easy. Any religion that does not teach what they teach is “false.” Simple! But what if they (the WTS) teach something that is later shown to be false? Also simple! “They’re just ‘imperfect men’.” And what if other faiths teach something that is also later shown to be false? They are “BABYLON THE GRAPE, DUMMY!”
Even a child can understand this brilliant way of thinking.
Now we get down to mantra #3: JFR eliminated “creature worship” from “Jehovah’s earthly organization.” This is supposed to be a JFR milestone and one of his grandest accomplishments.
Did he actually do that? If he did, then he must have been a very humble man, since he was the most visible and most charismatic leader of the Watchtower Organization during his helm. To be thrust in that position (well, actually he STOLE that position, but that’s another story) and have all those doting dubs fawning all over him and his every word and at the same time “eliminate” creature worship would take a highly spiritual and humble person. How does Da Judge measure up to such a lofty epitaph? He SUCKED at it basically, and I’ll show you why.
There was a big falling away from the Bible Students after Chuck Russell died and JFR wrested control of the printing corporation. Rutherford was not a designee of Chuck to take over his operation, and JFR not only nullified provisions of Chuck’s Will by not complying with them, he managed to get rid of all the directors Chuck appointed in his Will and take total control for himself. But then again, he was “just an imperfect man,” right? Yes, but he was also being “used” by “Jehovah.” Therefore, “Jehovah” selects criminals and charlatans to head his “modern day organization.”
Well, “Jehovah” has used and blessed criminals and murderers in the past, so this should not come as any surprise.
For the first approximately 10 years during his leadership of the Bible Students, Rutherford continued to laud Chuck and even stated that he was leading the movement personally while being “beyond the vail,” (in otherwords, “croacked.”) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Rutherford did this because as a smart printing mogul and salesman he knew that he needed followers to buy his crap, and if he had denounced Chuck at the very beginning he would have lost all of his followers. Even so, he lost most of the Bible Students when (and shortly after) he took over power. He was able to appease the rest of his dupes with his laudatory comments about Chuck, including his statement that Chuck HIMSELF WAS the “faithful and wise servant.”
So for a time, Da Judge shamelessly promoted Chuck. Then he decided that HE himself could also write a lot of books and become as famous or more so than Chuck himself. He had already written a few books at this time, but now he was not only in the position to write books, he had a CAPTIVE AUDIENCE of NEW dupes to buy and sell his books!
He had to get as much of the memory of Chuck as possible out of the way first, or else not as many people would buy and believe the novels he wanted to create. As a result he began a slow and careful crusade to not only get Chuck out of the consciousness of the Bible Students, but to discredit him and his memory entirely. To do this would take a crafty person and JFR was the quintessential crafty person.
It is not the purpose of this post to present a chronological list of actions that Da Judge implemented to discredit Chuck, but one simple example is sufficient to show that Da Judge was not at all interested in removing “creature worship” from his cult, but only interested in transferring “creature worship” from Chuck to him. He was well aware that many male members of the Bible students (maybe even a few hormone-challenged females, too) emulated Chuck by growing long beards. Da Judge ruled that beards were “out” in the Bethel families. He cut off the beards of Jesus, and Adam in WTS illustrations, too. He even cut off Satan’s beard! My, my, my! Even poor old Satan got no respect from Da Judge. All of the sudden, naturally recurring male facial hair was “un-Theocratic.” (I’m sure Jehovah lays awake at nights fretting over men who wear beards. HAHAHHAHA!) That “beard stigma” was still in place thirty years after his death! I know. I was even told I couldn’t grow a moustache unless I wanted to lose my “privileges.” That was in the early 1970’s when long hair and beards and moustaches were to be found everywhere in the USA.
Was JFR interested in eliminating “creature worship” from “Jehovah’s earthly Organization™?” Let’s take a look at that.
For a creature to be worshipped, that creature must do something that would make or cause other creatures want to worship him or her, right? That would include things like being a great leader, creating great works of art/music or producing masterpieces of writing. That would include donating large sums of money to help others (JFR could NEVER be accused of that!), or making great sacrifices on behalf of others (JFR could NEVER be accused of that, either! He lived like an Emperor, for Heaven’s Sake!)
JFR WAS a great “leader” of his pet movement, though. Did he ensure that people would not put him personally on a pedestal by being humble about his position of authority and stature as the de-facto “spiritual” leader of his religion. No!
In ALL of the books and booklets he wrote and even in many of the Watchtower magazine articles, HIS name was prominent as THE author. If he had wanted to eliminate “creature worship,” a simple first-step would be to have these books and booklets and Watchtower articles appear without any authorship, thus drawing attention away from his person and towards the material presented. But NO! He drew ALL the attention to himself! Every tract, every pamphlet, every book and every booklet that he wrote had prominently displayed “Judge” Rutherford as THE author. Not any “faithful and discrete slave” and NOT any “governing body, which even if it were done would be promoting “creature worship.” NO! “Judge Rutherford” was ALWAYS prominently mentioned as the author.
But he takes his massive ego one step further:
“God” gets the credit, but Da Judge HIMSELF gets the copyright! (One has to wonder why “truth” from “God” which should be available to be copied and shared with everyone has to be copyrighted in the first place.) I can imagine Jesus saying, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free©”, copyrighted by Jesus Christ, 26 A.D. to 2001 A.D, all rights reserved. Permission to use this material in part or in whole must be obtained in writing from the author or the author’s legal representative. Violators will be subject to civil and criminal actions pursuant to Section 44.3 of the laws of International Copyright. May Jehovah continue to bless you. Amen.
The above scan came from JFR’s 1928 book, “Government.” In it and others HE himself claimed the copyright for the book. Now, I’m not an attorney, but I’ve had some law classes and we all know that JFR spent most of his entire life working under the Watchtower Corporate umbrella: they provided his income, his work environment, his booze, his cigars, his cars, and his many houses. He had no side businesses. Of COURSE he had no side businesses. He was totally devoted to doing the “Lord’s Work™!” HAHAHAHAHAHA! Furthermore ALL the books he wrote were FOR WTS distribution and all expenses for their production and release were paid for by the WTS. In short, he was an officer of a printing corporation and all of his output was used, OWNED and distributed by that printing corporation and for their benefit, not his. The Corporation (not him) owned all of his “artistic” (I’m puking here) output, since they paid for it. He was, legally speaking, an employee of that corporation.
Then how can HE claim a PERSONAL copyright on some of his books that were paid for, printed and distributed by a Corporation that employed him?
Does anyone other than me smell “creature worship” here?
Then there is the pesky problem about JFR insisting he be called “Judge” by his underlings, dupes, enemies and anyone else he came across.
Judges are appointed by the governments of the land, and by the people who are given that right by the governments of the land. Notice what Da Judge has to say about them:
"Now the question is, Who is responsible for the governments that have existed and now exist upon the earth?...The facts show that with but two exceptions none of these have been God's governments and that the invisible control over them has been exercised by Satan the Devil...Satan by fraud and deception has led many to believe that at least part of the governments of this world have been God's governments, and hence to charge Jehovah God with the responsibility therefor." - "Government", pp. 34, 35
(It’s clear here that Da Judge is stating that governments (who happen to appoint judges, btw) are TOTALLY under the control of Satan. By implication, those appointed by governments (judges, for example) must also be Satan’s dupes, since Satan is the puppet-master in this cosmic conspiracy.)
"At the very same time a member of the United states senate, who is on the inside and who speaks knowingly, has this to say about the United States government:
'The government is in the hands of boodlers, grafters and lobyists; that the individual rights of the people are disregarded and trampled upon; that a system of wicked espionage is carried on; that the homes and places of business of citizens are daily invaded in violation of the fundamental law of the land; that power is concentrated in the hands of a few to the detriments of the people; that the selfish and powerful interests employ the forces of the government to build up special privileges and circumscribe the individual's opportunity;...'
"These re just some of the evils that prevail in the United States government, which is said to be the most nearly ideal of all governments of earth...The United States government is conducted by imperfect men who are under the influence and control of the invisible ruler, Satan the Devil. This is absolutely true, whether they know it or not. "No man can serve two masters." (Matt 6:24) - "Government", pp, 45-47
If after reading and believing those statements from JFR’s book “Government” would ANYONE want to even be REMOTELY associated with any “government?” If I believed that stuff, I certainly wouldn’t want to have that association! Especially the very last part where it says, “The United States government is conducted by imperfect men who are under the influence and control of the invisible ruler, Satan the Devil. This is absolutely true, whether they know it or not. "No man can serve two masters." (Matt 6:24)
Good Gawd, man! FLEE from the United States Government! It is the Devil incarnate! It is the enemy of Christ! It is invisibly controlled by Satan the Devil! Do NOT take hold of a cherish a title that was conveyed upon you by an agent of Satan the Devil which defines you as an officer of one of the very institutions that is owned and controlled by Satan the Devil. Well, any reasonable person would think this way. A rank hypocrite would not, and JFR was a rank hypocrite.
Obviously JFR thought that doesn’t mean one cannot continue to promote himself with a title conveyed by Satan the Devil; that doesn’t mean that one cannot spend his WHOLE LIFE promoting a title given by agents of Satan the Devil himself, and write several dozen books and hundreds and hundreds of booklets and WT articles which promotes a title that was given by agents of the Satan the Devil himself.
Did such conduct show he really was sincere about eliminating “creature worship,” or merely interested in getting the focus of creature off his predecessor and onto him?
No, we can’t blame JFR for THAT! After all, he was “just an imperfect man.” But according to his own words, he was also an agent of Satan the Devil himself. He kept and promoted for the rest of his life the “badge” of that government “Satan” controls.
Here is what he thought of “other Worldly” Judges:
(Also from the book “Government”, page 268, by “Judge” Rutherford!)
What a self-serving, lying, hypocritical pompous jerk he was. But he was “just an imperfect man.” Yeah, SURE he was! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!