Did you know that J.F. Rutherford was part of the Knights of Pythias? There's PROOF for this!
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Someone just sent me a scan of the Boonville Advertiser newspaper in which it mentions J.F. Rutherford as a member, and not only just a member but the toastmaster for the inauguration of the Golden Gate Lodge No.91, Knights of Pythias.
Also, he was a member of the Woodmen of the World.
Although not a "Masonic" organization, it was included in Russell's condemnation of such organizations:
the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., perform certain rites and ceremonies of a religious kind... We place upon one level all of those who have any religious ceremonies, teachings, etc., and consider them all as parts of Babylon ... We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." (`2 Cor. 6:17`)" —1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581
Of course, this was in 1899, about 7 years before Rutherford became a Bible Student (JW). But still, this is something about his life that I haven't seen anywhere else on the internet or on the WT history books I have read.
Here is the evidence:
What do you think of this?
"Of course, this was in 1899, about 7 years before Rutherford became a Bible Student (JW).:
What he did pre-conversion is no where near as "telling" as what he did afterwards. This is interesting to a degree - but in my opinion, irrelevant to his life as a Bible Student and then President of the organization.
What he did pre-conversion is no where near as "telling" as what he did afterwards. This is interesting to a degree - but in my opinion, irrelevant to his life as a Bible Student and then President of the organization.Maybe that's why it's almost never included in the WT history biographies. I had only seen something related to this in that he campaigned for the Democratic party at some point, and he needed connections. Maybe some further research can let us know if he was a member after becoming a Bible Student.
I wouldn't make a big deal about it with a JW because it was before his conversion and their own bible talks about people being drunkards, fornicators, thieves, etc before conversion.
It might be interesting though, to find out what were the beliefs and/or practices of the Kinghts of Pythias and compare them with Watchtower teachings and practices of the Rutherford era to see if this "worldly" organization played any part in shaping any Watchtower teachings from the Rutherford era that have survived to this date. That would be something that would send shivers of cognitive dissonance down the spine of the most indoctrinated JW.
Here's some info:
"A member must be at least 18 years of age, not be a professional gambler or involved with illegal drugs or alcohol, and he must have a belief in a Supreme Being. The oath taken by members:
I declare upon honor that I believe in a Supreme Being, that I am not a professional gambler, or unlawfully engaged in the wholesale or retail sale of intoxicating liquors or narcotics, and that I believe in the maintenance of the order and the upholding of constituted authority in the government in which I live. Moreover, I declare upon honor that I am not a Communist or Fascist; that I do not advocate nor am I a member of any organization that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the Country of which I am a Citizen, by force or violence or other unlawful means; and that I do not seek by force or violence to deny to other persons their rights under the laws of such country.
If anyone here has a Wikipedia account it would be kind of neat to post this information on the Wikipedia entry for KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS. There is a section on the page with a list of Notable Pythian Knights.
Done. Edited Wikipedia to reflect this.
Cool if the new entry reflects his not being a Bible Student at the time of membership in the Knights of Pythias - otherwise JW apologists will see it as more "lies".
Law career[edit source]
Rutherford spent two years as a judge's intern, became an official court reporter at age 20, and was admitted to the Missouri bar in May 1892 at age 22. He became a trial lawyer for a law firm and later served for four years in Boonville as a public prosecutor. He campaigned briefly for Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, even being a toastmaster at the inauguration of the Golden Gate Lodge in Boonville, Missouri. He was appointed as a Special Judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, sitting as a substitute judge at least once when a regular judge was unable to hold court. As a result of this appointment he became known by the sobriquet "Judge" Rutherford. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1909 and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States the same year.
Another item from Joe Rutherford's history that the Watchtower leaves out is his political activity. Rutherford was active in Missouri Democratic Party politics beginning in 1891. The local newspapers considered him a reformer and part of the progressive wing of the party. In fact he campaigned for the office of State Representative for Cooper County in 1896 as a liberal. He lost the Democratic Party nomination by less than 100 votes. But that didn't end his political career because in the general election Rutherford campaigned vigorously for William Jennings Bryan, his political idol, even adopting Bryan's style of dress.
Rutherford was still active in Democratic Party politics as late as 1904. But in 1906 he joined the Bible Student movement and got involved in Watchtower politics.