Jehovah's Witness History TRIVIA QUESTIONS

by Terry 3 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Terry

    I've wanted to compile a TRIVIA QUIZ pertaining to Watchtower / Jehovah's Witnesses for a long time.
    Look over the start of the Quiz (so far) and see how many you can answer and provide corrections for anything I may have
    compiled in error. Next, come up with suggestions of your own for good questions (and answers).

    The PURPOSE of this TRIVIA QUIZ is to get currently active JW's to test their knowledge of their own religion and its doctrines and to see how radically quixotic the doctrines have been (as well as seeing how the leaders have been very weird)!



    1. Who was the first President of the Watchtower Society?

    *1. William H. Conley, an Allegheny, Pennsylvania banker. Conley was the first president of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, from 1881 to 1884. Conley was a member of the board of managers of the non-denominational Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), and was instrumental in funding and organizing it at local, state, and national levels through the International Missionary Alliance (IMA).

    2. When was the Watch Tower Association first formed? (What year?)

    *2. 1881. In 1884, Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles.

    3. Who was the first Vice-President of the Society and who was the secretary-treasurer?

    *3. C.T.Russell's father, Joseph was Vice-President and C.T.Russell himself was secretary-treasurer (Note: each man purchased shares. Conley purchased +/- 350 shares, Joseph Lytel Russell purchased 100 shares and C.T. Russell purchased 50 shares; each at $10 apiece. (Roughly equivalent to $100 per share in current dollar values.)

    4. When did Fred Franz join the editorial staff as a Bible "researcher" and writer for the Society's publications?

    *4. 1926. Bethel staff research member Barbara Anderson discovered letters at the Brooklyn headquarters demonstrating that Franz wrote Rutherford's "answers' ' to bible questions and ‘ghost-wrote’ his books as well while Rutherford insisted on the writing credit.

    5. Who won the Olin R.Moyle lawsuit against 12 Watchtower executives in 1943 and what $$ was awarded?

    *5. Moyle won his lawsuit and the court awarded him $30,000 in damages. (the equivalent of a 1/4 of a million in today's buying power.)

    Who was Olin R. Moyle?

    *6. Olin Moyle was the Watchtower Society's attorney representing the Society in the 1940 flag salute case in public schools. Rutherford ousted him to install his own choice, Hayden C. Covington.

    7. What was the cause of Rutherford's anger at Olin Moyle leading to firing and insulting him in print?

    *7. According to the trial transcript: In July 1939 Olin R. Moyle, legal counsel for the Society, wrote an open letter of resignation to the president, in which he complained about behavior of some members of the Watch Tower Society, including Rutherford himself, that he considered excessive and inappropriate. Moyle mentioned California when discussing "the difference between the accommodations furnished to you, and your personal attendants, compared with those furnished to some of your brethren." Moyle also accused Rutherford of "unkind treatment of the staff, outbursts of anger, discrimination and vulgar language" and condemned his allowing the "glorification of alcohol" at Bethel.

    8. True or False?: J.F.Rutherford refused to compromise his integrity (when passages from the Finished Mystery book were found to be in violation of the Espionage Act) and would not censor any part of the book or stop the distribution and this landed him in prison.

    *8. False! Rutherford cooperated with authorities by censoring the offending passages, stopping the distribution of the book to mollify the authorities. Reprints were expurgated

    9. True or False? C.T. Russell and his wife, Maria divorced because Maria would not render her proper marriage "dues."

    *9. False! Russell never engaged in sex with Maria; he was accused by his wife in court (lawsuit) of improperly entering into an "affectionate" relationship with a young ward who lived with them (named Rose Ball). The couple had never consummated their marriage so, instead of divorce, an annulment was granted.(source: court transcript)

    10. What year did the Governing Body allow cannibalism to become a matter of conscience?

    *10. Background:
    The subject in question references ORGAN TRANSPLANTS which the Dec. 22, 1949 p.20 AWAKE! Called "wonderful and useful" ...until ...

    New Light forbade transplants as "cannibalism" on Nov. 15, 1967, Watchtower pp.702-704

    " What year did the Governing Body make cannibalism acceptable?" can rightly be answered as:
    As a result of Newer New Light:

    "The year the Governing Body made their own definition of cannibalism conscience-acceptable was Mar. 15, 1980 p.31 (Watchtower).

    (In effect, providing cannibal food at the proper time.)

    11. Was Watchtower ever confused about Jesus having a beard and why the injunction on men with facial hair? Isn’t shaving a pagan tradition?

    *11. Watchtower 1954 p.511 "Why do Watchtower publications now show Jesus with short hair and no beard? Because he is shown that way in older representations of him that are older than the traditional effeminate looking pictures."

    Watchtower 1968 p.286 "Bible evidence and a recent review shows that Jesus DID have a beard..."
    “Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell.
    Somehow or other this could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this.
    So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard.
    Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber.
    During the next few days, there were several cases of mistaken identity and some funny situations because of the "stranger" who was sometimes not recognized by his fellow workers." 1974 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses pp.97-98

    Today the Witness beard injunction seems to continue. When the Society is asked directly a deflective response is customary:
    Will men wear beards again in Paradise? … These are typical questions to which Jehovah has not provided answers at this time. Do you think it wise for Christians to take time from more profitable Bible study to speculate on the answers?" Watchtower 1962 Jun 15 p.381
    A directive to shave appears in the 2001 Theocratic Ministry School Book.

    "For men, a neat personal appearance may include being clean-shaven. In areas where mustaches are widely viewed as dignified, any who wear these should keep them neatly trimmed." Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education (2001) p.133
    For assignments at conventions and assemblies, specific instruction is given against using brothers with beards.

    "Dress and Grooming

    Those giving talks should wear suits. If your talk calls for an interview or a demonstration, please do not use any brother who wears a beard and make sure your participants are aware of the importance of good grooming and modest dress." 2009 Talk Outline

    “False beards should be prepared or obtained. It is not proper for brothers to grow their own beards.” 2002 “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Convention Drama “Stand Firm in Troublesome Times (Jeremiah)” booklet with the script and guidelines.

    Ironically, in the Scriptures, it is the pagan nations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome where clean-shaven men were the norm.

    Who decided Jesus’ return was an invisible presence and when?

    *12. B.W.Keith came up with the idea and Nathan Barbour published it. Pastor Russell was convinced by the argument and adopted teaching it…

    in January of 1876, the years that his attention was drawn to the subject of prophetic time. Russell came across a publication called “The Midnight Cry and The Herald of the Morning,” written and edited by Nelson Barbour.

    From Barbour’s calculations of Biblical prophecy, Russell was convinced that Jesus returned not in the visible but invisible. Both men met in Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1876, when Barbour presented Russell with his own homebrew doctrines addressing the return of Jesus Christ.

    Barbour explained that his time prophecies had passed unfulfilled, and he according to his calculations could not find any flaw that set 1874 as the year that Jesus Christ would return.
    However…when nothing visible had happened in that year, they were at first quite perplexed until B.W. Keith, a reader of the Herald, discovered Benjamin Wilson's translation of parousia as "presence" and who, by using the Emphatic Diaglott, interpreted Matthew 24:27, 37, 39 to read {presence} instead of {coming}.
    At this prompting, Pastor Russell commenced publishing the borrowed thesis that Jesus returned invisibly in 1874, to start the 40 years of harvest that would conclude with Armageddon in 1914.

    It was Brother Rutherford who later shifted everything forward in time to explain the seeming failure of 1914 as taught by Russell as the End and not the beginning of Christ’s kingdom. Thus, 1874 to 1914 was the new date of Jesus’ invisible return.

    13, Who was Rose Ball and how did she become connected to lawsuits and scandal?

    *13. Rose Ball (1869–1950) of Buffalo, New York, first encountered the religious enterprise of Charles T Russell in 1884, at the age of 15.

    She lived with Russell and his wife Maria in their apartment, 1889-1897, as their supposed foster daughter, and worked in their religious headquarters, "Bible House", in Allegheny-Pittsburgh, sorting mail.
    Maria Russell identified Rose Ball as contributing to the marriage breakup. (New York's Brooklyn Daily Eagle (October 29, 1911) stated:
    “... one of the most sensational court proceedings in the history of Allegheny County.”
    This testimony was given by Mrs. Russell on direct examination on Thursday, April 26, 1906.

    The verbatim record of this testimony taken from the official report of the case on file in the office of the Prothonotary of Allegheny County is as follows:

    Q. I want you to tell us what your husband did in company with this woman Rose, in your presence and in your home…

    A. One evening he spent the evening downstairs and our library and bedroom were next to each other upstairs on the second floor, and I spent the evening downstairs reading, and I went upstairs about 10 o'clock to my room, and I supposed that: he was either in the library or had retired, and when I went up there I found that he was in neither place, and I stepped out in the hall, and I found that he was in his night robe, sitting beside Miss Ball's bed and she was in bed. On other occasions, I found him going in there and I found she called him in and said she wasn't well and wanted him in, and I objected to this, and I said that it was highly improper, and I said: "We have people about the house, and what kind of a name will be attached in this house if you do that sort of thing?" and he got angry…

    Q. You state that you found him doing this at other times. How often after that?

    A. I found him a number of times; I don't remember how often.

    Q. In her room?

    A. Yes, sir. And I found him in the servant girl's room as well. And I found him locked in the servant girl's room.

    Q. Did he make any explanation why he was in the girl's room?

    A. No. He did not; he just got angry.

    Q. What did you say to him about this conduct and what did he say.

    A. I said to him, "We have a great work on our hands," and I said, "In this work you and I have to walk very circumspectly before the world and if you are going to do things like this, what will happen? Suppose you are all right, don't you suppose people will talk about things like this?" and I said, "I am not satisfied with it," and he said he wasn't going to be ruled by me. But I felt distressed about that.

    Q. What did Rose do at the Watch Tower.

    A. She attended to the correspondence.

    Q. When would he go to the Watch Tower, in the morning?

    A. I don't remember; he generally went down alone.

    Q. Who would return with him?

    A. She came with him in the evening and they came about 11 o'clock and the young men that were in the office — she was the only girl, and the young men would go home, and he wouldn't allow her to go home with them, and she must wait and always go with him.

    (Objected to.)

    Q. I want the mere fact, did this girl Rose go home with your husband?

    A. Yes, Sir.

    Q. What year was that?

    A. In the fall of 1894… She said one evening when she came home with him, just as she got inside the hall, it was late in the evening, about 11 o'clock, he put his arms around her and kissed her. This was in the vestibule before they entered the hall, and he called her his little wife, but she said "I am not your wife." and he said, "I will call you daughter, and a daughter has nearly all the privileges of a wife."

    Q. What other terms were used?

    A. Then he said, "I am like a jellyfish. I float around here and there. I touch this one and that one, and if she responds I take her to me, and if not, I float on to others"; and she wrote that out so that I could remember it for sure when I would speak to him about it. And he confessed that he said those things.

    Q. State to the court and jury…what you stated to your husband that Rose had said and his reply to you…

    A. …I said, "Rose has told me that you have been intimate with her, that you have been in the habit of hugging and kissing her and having her sit on your knee and fondling each other, and she tells me you bid her under no account to tell me, but she couldn't keep it any longer. She said if I was distressed about it she felt that she would have to come and make a confession to me, and she has done that.

    Q. What did he say?

    A. He tried to make light of it at first and I said, "Husband, you can't do that. I know the whole thing. She has told me straight and I know it to be true." Well, he said he was sorry; it was true, but he was sorry. He said he didn't mean any harm. I said, "I don't see how you could do an act like that without meaning harm."

    (The Extra Edition of Zion's Watch Tower for April 25, 1894, titled A Conspiracy Exposed lists Rose Ball among the seven directors of the WTS! (p56) In 1894 when he "kissed…his little wife" she was 25 and he 42!)
    Some apostate writings claim she was an under-age 15 and that obviously is a lie.

    Mrs. Russell was forcibly ejected from Bible House with the words "Get out of here, you blasphemer." Another time when she complained of having fewer rights than a dog Russell told her, "You have no rights at all that I am bound to respect." In a letter of July 1896, Russell wrote: "…under the circumstances it properly devolves upon you to make the advances on the line of social amenities between us. It would be improper for me to take the initiative in the matter of amenities such as, 'good morning,' 'good night,' etc."

    14. Question: How do secular bible researchers' views of Daniel 11: “ the King of the North/South” differ from Jehovah’s Witnesses historically?

    *14. (The New Bible Commentary Revised 1970; Dictionary of the Bible 1965 J L McKenzie; The Companion Bible; Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Bible) : Scholars generally agree that the "king of the south" refers to the Ptolemies of Egypt and the "king of the north" refers to the Seleucids of the Seleucid Empire to the north and east of Judah. Daniel chapter 11 refers to the wars between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids for control of what had been the land of Canaan.

    On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses have identified things at various times, differently.

    1. The book called Thy Kingdom Come (1891) applied the latter part of Daniel's chapter 11 to: the Napoleonic period in 1799.
    2. WTS book called The New World (1942) "The king of the north included the Central Powers, or imperial Germany, Roman-Catholic Austria-Hungary, Roman Catholic Italy, and the Vatican…Japan…" (p. 324)
    3. WTS book called Your Will Be Done On Earth (1958,) pp 263 & 278)
    "king of the south" is fulfilled in present-day Britain and America, and "king of the north" in the Soviet Union.
    4. 2018 the Governing Body on identified Russia and its allies as the king of the north. The Anglo-Americans are identified as King of the South.

  • Atlantis


    Good information Terry! Thank you!


  • BottanicPepper

    Wow, there's things here I didn't know before.

    Thank you.

    Maybe a question about Jesus mediatorship? R&F will still claim Jesus is their mediator whilst the GB have claimed sole rights to it.

    And when did they stop worshipping Jesus? I believe in 1953, but I may have the date wrong.

  • Terry

    A Quiz appeals to the ego and it is a fly-fishing dazzler lure.
    Any additional questions and answers you want to suggest would round out the quiz (with my goal being 20 questions.)

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