Watchtower boondoggle from 1929, better known as the House of Princes.
This was built in 1929 to house the newly resurrected “Ancient Worthies” such as Abraham, David, and other Old Testament men of faith which were supposed to have been already resurrected in the year 1925. (Note: it didn’t happen.)
While WatchTower President, "Judge" Joseph F. Rutherford was enjoying the paradise like conditions of San Diego at Beth-Sarim, a secret property was also purchased near Beth-Sarim in 1939 with similar expectations but NEVER discussed in WatchTower literature.
This secret 75 acre prime real estate property was also expected to house the resurrected Moses and other heroes of the faith. The added benefit was since they were expected to return shortly, just prior to Armageddon and world wide wars, they would have 2 hidden underground bomb shelters protected with 3 feet of concrete overhead and storage provisions for months.
They would be totally self sufficient at Beth-Shan with their own 425 foot well and 10,000 gallon storage tank. Electricity would be provided by a state of the art diesel powered generator and a 4,000 gallon underground tank for diesel fuel. Water was piped to the house and 2 fire hydrants would protect them from fires. The real beauty of such a secure compound is there was plenty of room for the safety of the WatchTower leadership as well. Perhaps they could bring Abraham and his friends up to speed on the marvels of the 20th century and assist in the preparation of the Kingdom of God.
Beth-Shan is mentioned only ONCE by name in the Watch Tower publication, Consolation, predecessor to the "Awake!" magazine. The context is an article concerning the requested 1 man cemetery plot for Judge Rutherford since the original burial request at Beth-Sarim was denied.
"The judge decided to continue the case so that the new site could be brought before the Planning Commission... the second plot was a proper place for burial.... The Planning Commission, who deliberated for more than two weeks, investigating the site, was haled before the court, and denied the second application for a cemetery.... New location for interment was almost in the center of the property known as Beth-Shan, which is roughly 75 acres of canyon and mesa land, adjoining Beth-Sarim but separated by a half-mile width of canyon."(May 27, 1942 Consolation, p. 9)
The immediate personal use of this home and facilities in mild weather San Diego would be immediately available to Rutherford. However, the deed to the property makes it appear this was for the noble reason of providing a haven for the arrival of faithful men and women of old as Abraham, Moses, Rahab, and Sarah. A portion of the deed of trust reads as follows:
NOW THEREFORE this trust is created and the said trustee shall hold the title to said property in trust for the use and benefit of the following named persons, whose names appear in the Bible at the Book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, verses one to forty, to wit: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel. Until such time as the aforementioned persons return and identify themselves to the legal representatives of the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY and by the consent of said Society take possession and control of said premises, the President of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY shall have the right and be duty bound to direct the management and use of said premises…"
Unlike Beth-Sarim, this facility would be far more secure from the predicted coming of Armageddon. 2 bomb shelters, a diesel powered generator with a 4,000 gallon underground tank for diesel fuel, and 10,000 gallons of water storage with 2 fire hydrants.
It wasn't long before rumors among witnesses began to be spread about this haven of security, which apparently prompted a rather vague response from the WatchTower leadership:
"Some unreliable person is responsible for the circulation of a report that Beth-Sarim is being enlarged as a place of security and that this is being built by the Society.
There is absolutely not one word of truth in the report. Those who are interested in the Theocracy would better be circulating the kingdom message rather than false imaginations of others."(The Watchtower, June 1, 1940, p. 162)
Perhaps the leadership felt justified in stating "Beth-Sarim" was not being enlarged as a place of security, but the fact is the nearby Watch Tower property Beth-Shan certainly was.
No doubt Rutherford believed his wild speculation about the nearness of Armageddon and was preparing this haven of safety from the soon to be experienced explosions and poison he predicted years earlier:
… the next war will be…an annihilation! There will be poison and explosion everywhere, beneath the whole canopy of the heavens…(Golden Age, June 2, 1926, p. 55)
Author and researcher, Edward Gruss, interviewed Fred Eason, a eye witness to the goat barn bomb shelter. Fred Eason said he saw the underground shelter shortly after it's sale in 1945. He described the underground shelter with its secret entrance as a:
"...building that was called the 'goat barn' which was used to stable their goats. To enter the shelter one would go to the small bathroom area at the rear of the building, open the medicine cabinet, and pull a concealed lever inside.
A section of the wall would swing open, revealing a stairway down into what can only be identified as a bomb shelter--a room about 30 feet x 15 feet, with a 10 foot high ceiling. The walls were lined with storage shelves.
The cement ceiling of the room was 3 feet thick!" (interview with Fred Eason as documented in "Jehovah's Witnesses Their Monuments to False Prophecy, Edmond Gruss, p. 75)
The building at upper right is the main Beth-Shan residence. The arrow points to the “goat barn” which had the secret bomb shelter (as did the main residence). Photo taken after the sale of Beth-Shan 1945.
(photo courtesy of Edmund Gruss)
1963 Aerial photo of Beth-Shan. Extensive grading on the property
revealed the hidden “goat barn” bomb shelter (arrow).
(photo courtesy of Edmond Gruss)
Not only did the princes NOT return to claim the estate at Beth Sarim as prophesied by Rutherford, but the Society simply ignored the promised trust to the princes and quietly sold the property soon after Rutherford's death.
1945 black and white photo of Beth-Shan (now hand colored):
Beth-Shan house built in 1939, ten years after Beth-Sarim on adjacent property. Beth-Shan, which means "House of Security" in Hebrew, was literally a house of security -(cult compound)*-
it was accessed by a single dirt road that was guarded and gated. It also had two secret bomb shelters to protect the Beth-Shan/Beth-Sarim residents (such as the Society's second president, J.F. Rutherford).
The Society apparently wanted to keep the residence secret and covered up its very existence. The Society only mentioned Beth-Shan once in its literature: May 27, 1942 Consolation magazine (now called Awake!)
The Society began building a burial crypt for Rutherford just below Beth-Sarim shortly before his death. After this site was denied by local authorities, the Society proposed a second site which was located on the Beth-Shan property which was adjacent to Beth-Sarim. This second burial spot was also denied.
Here is an aerial photo taken in 1945:
(Note: the airstrip at the left was built shortly after the sale of this property in 1945)
The long building to the left of the cul-de-sac is the "goat barn" which had a secret bomb shelter (as did the main residence).
The remote inaccessibility is better seen from the following angle:
The deed to the Beth-Shan house and property were, like Beth-Sarim, made out to Abraham, David, and the other Old Testament "princes." In reading the deed to Beth-Shan, one could get the impression that it is simply Beth-Sarim, part II --the two deeds are very similar. Both of the residences and property were held in "trust" by the Watchtower Society's leaders for the Old Testament "princes" awaiting their return.
According to Fred Eason, who was later to purchase some of the Beth-Shan property and residence (discussed below), the dirt road which was accessible through a gate, was also guarded by JWs, so unauthorized individuals couldn't enter. He first stumbled onto the Society's building of the Beth-Shan residence while he was looking for "Young's Cave," a series of manmade caves or tunnels in the area. He was "rebuffed" by "several men on horseback" and watched the building of Beth-Shan from a different side of the mesa canyon.
Telephone interviews between Edmond Gruss and Fred Eason, Dec. 3, 1996 and letter dated Dec. 12, 1996 from Eason to Gruss. Gruss, p. 70.Monuments, p. 70.
Another building, a "goat barn" had a secret bomb shelter as well. It was a long building apparently used to house goats. At the rear of the building was a bathroom. Fred Eason bought 30 acres of the Beth-Shan property including the goat barn. In a letter to Ed Gruss he wrote of its bomb shelter:
To enter the shelter one would go to the small bathroom area at the rear of the building, open the medicine cabinet, and pull a concealed lever inside. A section of the wall would spring open, revealing a stairway down into what can only be identified as a bomb shelter--a room about about 30 feet x 15 feet, with a ten foot high ceiling. The walls were lined with storage shelves. The cement ceiling of the room was 3 feet thick!"
Gruss noted in his Monuments book:
“A person could go into the bathroom and would never know that the shelter was there. When a house was built on the property in 1967 it was placed on the lot so as to keep the shelter intact, and it still exists today.”
Watchtower Society in the 1920's and 1930's believed that the "next war"would lead to Armageddon and result in the Theocracy or Kingdom of God on Earth. They believed it would be a war fought primarily or exclusively in the air with poison gas and bacterial (germ) bombs which would obliterate most life on earth. For example, they said:
*... the next war will be a completion [of the First World War] and therewith an annihilation! There will be poison and explosion everywhere, beneath the whole canopy of the heavens.... Poison will be mechanically wafted forward and backward by unmanned airplanes, going up into the atmosphere and descending to the earth.”
The compact, thickly-populated, highly -industrialized centers of civilization will be drenched with gases, bathed in a liquid-fire and sown with bacteria. Unquenchable conflagrations will overspread the sky with a blanket of smoke.... Perhaps some previous preparation will have been made of elaborate subterranean tunnels and chambers in anticipation of this awful time.
When the totalitarian Catholic combine gains control of the British Isles, which it is certain to do, then all the liberties of the people will be at an end.... What will be the condition when all nations become totalitarian?.... The totalitarian combine is going to get control of England and America. You cannot prevent it. Do not try.
Rutherford, J.F., Face the Facts, 1938, pp. 20, 21, p. 27.
Apparently, the Watchtower Society did its own preparing for this future calamity in building Beth-Shan (House of Security) with two bomb shelters. Perhaps "Young's Cave" with its series of underground tunnels on the property was an appealing feature in their decision to buy the property!
The reason for the storage shelves in the bomb shelters is they believed that great famines would soon occur world-wide, including the United States. This was also brought out in the "Demon Rule Ending" articles:
A great famine is certain to afflict the many nations of the earth in the very near future. The United States is also in line for much suffering.... the United States is faced with world disaster now impending and about to fall...
One thing for certain. Boondoggles never end in this religion!
Apparently the fear mongering of old is alive and well as reflected in the Bunker videos
Released for download at the J-Dub Org website. You have to admit, it’s slightly more comforting to know the leaders themselves believe their own baloney and are just as afraid of the Great Tribulation as the rank and file. So afraid, they sacrifice all this money for doom and luxury!
Speaking of paranoia...
after 9-11, the Governing Body were scared shit-less of downtown Brooklyn.
Plans were concocted to sell-off the piggy-bank buildings and convert to
more remote properties and locations. Around the planet isolated areas seemed ideal for the hideaways.
This looks like a pleasant location for Doomsday, doesn’t it?
Maybe just a fortunate location for. . .um. . .translating boring religious writing into WELSH.
The Watchtower Organization in 2014 made the purchase for $ 1,425,400.00
Entrance Hallway Hardwood door with double glazed side panel, high pitched ceiling with double glazed Velux window, three wall light points, meter cupboard, cloaks cupboard, oak doors, Travertine flooring with underfloor heating and glazed doors leading to:
Reception Hallway 13'9" (4.2m) x 24'7" (7.5m) max (9'2" (2.8m) min). Open spindled staircase to the first and second floors and oak glazed doors leading to lounge.
Lounge 18'4" x 20'4" (5.59m x 6.2m). Cast iron multi fuel burner on a raised slate hearth, six wall light points, television aerial point, engineered oak flooring, radiator, vaulted ceiling, double glazed patio doors and double glazed windows to the rear and side from which there are views across the extensive rear garden and Menai Straits to the Isle of Anglesey.
Superbly positioned above The Menai Strait with direct water access, the property comprises of entrance hallway, reception hallway, impressive open plan 'live in kitchen/family room', lounge, sitting room, games room, 2 studies, utility, cloakroom, shower room, 5 double bedrooms, four en-suites and a family bathroom. The property benefits from having gas central heating, double glazing, garage, established landscaped gardens with decked areas and pond. The property enjoys fantastic sea view of The Menai Strait, The Menai Suspension Bridge and across to Anglesey. (See Menai Suspension Bridge below)
Does it represent value for the people whose contributions paid for it? Will they even be told about it? Isn’t the Watchtower supposed to be a charitable organization?
Why are they closing buildings in other (often poorer) parts of the world, evicting long-established workers and at the same time investing in luxury property like this that will 'benefit' a select few?
Who chooses who the select few are?
This property is for Watchtower Elite to enjoy under pretense of their business going about the Lord’s work.
Actually, it's easy to believe the real purpose is for the Governing Body to wait out the Great Tribulation while the rank and file are in their Bunkers eating Pork n’ Bean rations.
Paranoid preppers and Doomsday propagandists from beginning to end -
that's the real inside scoop.
How the Governing Body elite are really Doomsday Preppers and always have been paranoid
The religion could not care less about the welfare of the rank & file JWs who wouldn’t even be allowed in the front door of these luxury bunkers!
Poor sucker JWs will be S.O.L. and will have to count on the hope of the ‘resurrection’..Meanwhile, the ones who told them to keep things ‘simple’ will be protected from the fallout!
The WTS has a long history of exploiting people's fears and ignorance to subsequently cultivate money $$$ and subservient labor .
The cats at the top always do well in accommodations , health, food and shelter.
Hell on top of that the GB members with their wives get to travel around the world and get treated like celebrities .
Sinning apostate corruption works for these guys and always did.
Ok I am here in Australia and we have our own different world view of things.
So where in hell did the wt get so utterly arrogant to assume that the ancients Abraham et al would be resurrected to live in the America and why Abraham anyway. No mention, never a mention of the apostles or their families of Jesus time btw.
and no I dont suggest any of the ancient semitics should be resurrected here either such would be as mindlessly parochial as the wt 'belief'.
Excellent posting Terry thankyou.
So where in hell did the wt get so utterly arrogant to assume
that the ancients Abraham et al would be resurrected to live in the America
Well because Rutherford (President of the WTS/JWS) said he was chosen by god (Anointed) in 1919 as god's true faithful discrete slave.
Therefore the resurrected ones had to be with him and that's why he built the home lavishly with palm trees to mimic the land from which they lived and came from.
Freedom of religion in America is freedom to con people and Rutherford conned people well
........for himself others went along with him for the money and power.
Lets face it the rank and file are gullible suckers like we all were once upon a time .While the leaders of this cult live in luxurious surroundings and live the lives of kings.
Many thanks for your kind correction.
How much you want to bet that underneath Warwick, there are shelters stockpiled with a year's worth of food for a few dozen "elite" to ride out any sort of "persecution"?
Perhaps the WT got the idea from the preparations of the Mormons who, each and all, are required to store 2 years worth of Great Tribulation supplies.
If you've ever visited the Mormon church online website, you'll be shocked to see just how hardcore the copying is by Watchtower.
Great Minds certainly think alike :)
Anybody know if there are actual bunker-like rooms under the Warwick compound?