Rutherford Exposed: The Story of Berta and Bonnie

by Farkel 739 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Farkel


    : That was fast! Where did you find the text from The Messenger?

    A photocopy of the Messenger newsletter is in Ed Gruss' book "Jehovah's Witnesses - Their Monuments to False Prophecy." You can obtain a copy from Randy Watters. The book thoroughly covers only 3 subjects: Russell's Pyramid teachings, Beth Sarim and Beth Shan and is packed with facts and copies of documents. It only costs about fifteen bucks.


  • VM44

    Thanks Farkel. I will get a copy.

    Back to The Messenger text

    They have been told, in so far as they can understand, that they may expect these noble men and, when they do appear, to meet them and put themselves completely under their direction. It might be that this little prince and princess would be stenographers or office children or clerks about the place, or perform some other duty that will be necessary in the Kingdom.

    It is hard to understand how a considerable group of people would buy into this fantasy. How could the writer write this with a straight face? Especially, when the house was constructed for the exclusive use of RUTHERFORD! This was stated in the same Golden Age article in which the Beth Sarim deed was published. It was EVEN stated there that Rutherford would not accept the house for his use unless he could find some "Biblical" reason for it, hence the "cover story" was created of it being build for the faithful men of old. With that story in place, Rutherford happily accepted the house for his own use.

    And the people back then also went along happily with Rutherford using the house, and the "faithful men of old" fantasy was used by them to justify their self delusion. It is amazing what a group of people will go along with in order to stay within the group, and prevent being ostracized from it. Somewhere there must be a sociological study on this behavior.

    One does not need much of an imagination to know what would happen to any Witness back then if they criticized the existence of Rutherford's use of the house. Hence they all go along promoting a stupid fantasy! It really is an embarrasement!


    P.S. It has been mentioned that some JWs when asked about Beth Sarim get a little nervous and do not want to talk about it. I lived in San Diego for 14 years and no Witness ever mentioned that house to me. Again, It is indeed an embarrasement to the JWs, both then and now.

  • Athanasius

    Hi everyone,

    You have raised some interesting questions regarding "Princess Bonnie" and "Prince Joseph."

    I haven't found anything to indicate that Rutherford ever called his son Malcolm "Prince." By the way Rutherford and Malcolm were still on good terms in 1915. During the Rutherford-Troy debate in Los Angeles that year Malcolm was present and assisted his father debate the Baptist clergyman. It was after JFR became Watch Tower president that there existed an estrangement between father and son.

    Regarding Fark's post, it is very curious that a Watch Tower publication, the Messenger, would refer to little Bonnie and Joseph as "Princess and Prince." Is this a Freudian Slip? Did the Watch Tower King have a little prince and princess? Who was the Watch Tower queen? According to the information in previous posts, Bonnie Boyd excercised more influence in Watch Tower affairs during the Rutherford era than would be expected of a lowly stenographer. What was her true position in the corporation? These are questions begging for answers.

    Thoughout history there have been many wealthy and powerful men who have kept mistresses who were much younger than themselves. It is also interesting that these kept women often called their benefactors "dad, daddy, poppa, pappy," possibly because they looked at them as father figures.

    Nevertheless, this thread has raised many thought provoking questions while at the same time important clues have been revealed. Maybe someone here will investigage further, gather the hard evidence, and break the story of the century.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    hmmmm always more questions

    Rutherford: the leader

    Just how did this man see his position in the organization after he took over?

    For that matter how did he see himself in relation to God Himself?

    To be honest I haven't read his old writings. And considering how much he wrote it would take me ages to wade through. So perhaps some else has this info.

    Did he see himself as one of the princes?

    Would he have seen a child of his as a continuation of his princely line?

    How would a leader of a "Christian" religion hide his mistress and possibley their love children?

    And how would he hide their existence and at the same time keep them close?

    Am I totally off here?

    I just have a really hard time imagining him willingly having two toddlers under foot when he was supposed to be there for "health reasons?

    If Mary knew that Rutherford had other children (still only a guess) how would she react?

    Remember too that we are talking about the 1930's and a "Christian" social environment.


  • Earnest
    it is very curious that a Watch Tower publication, the Messenger, would refer to little Bonnie and Joseph as "Princess and Prince." Is this a Freudian Slip? Did the Watch Tower King have a little prince and princess? Who was the Watch Tower queen?

    I do think there is little justification in making so much of the titular names given to the Balko children. The house was called "The House of Princes" and the deeds to the house specified it was built for the return of the "ancient worthies". August and Blanch Balko were the caretakers of the property and remained there when Rutherford and his entourage returned to Bethel in the summer. It would be a quite natural thing to instil in the children the privelege they had in living there, in expectation of the biblical "princes" joining them. Rutherford was a master of the subliminal and this is simply another example of it.

    Although The Messenger of July 30, 1931, indicates that their son, Joseph Barak, was named after the faithful men in the Bible due to return as "princes", it is difficult to accept that the names Bonnie and Joseph are simply a coincidence. It's not impossible but it's unlikely. Yet I doubt that Bonnie Balko is the daughter of Bonnie Boyd (by Rutherford or Haslett or anyone else). If this was a scandal ready to blow it would be insane to make such an obvious link. It is far more likely that Bonnie Boyd is related in some way to the Balkos and that is why they have named their daughter Bonnie and why they have been invited to Beth Sarim.

    I have another link to throw into the soup but this one is rather tenuous. The 6/1/85 Watchtower mentions (p.24) that Archie and Georgia Boyd and their son and daughter, Donald and Susan, were sent by the Society to assist in San Pedro in 1942/1943. Rutherford died in January 1942 and the Heaths stayed on at Beth Sarim and in San Diego. San Pedro is close to San Diego, now being part of Los Angeles, so is this possibly another instance of Bonnie pulling strings to get her family nearby ? I don't think I even want to speculate whether Donald Boyd is named after Donald Haslett


  • Terry
    As a side note, are any of you out there familiar with the report (from dissidents) that L. Ron Hubbard , founder of Scientology, in his old age, tried to impregnate a young woman to produce an heir for him so that his a line of successors would be on hand to continue his work?

    Hubbard was impotent, according to a book I read many years ago by Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard Jr. There is an incident related in the book that took place on Hubbard's ship, the Sea Org. The young lady involved said Hubbard had her lie on his bed and he tried to insert his flaccid member into her and lie on top for awhile as if trying to make something happen. It is a story that will put you off your feed for awhile!

    I had a friend in the 70's who was a scientologist and I spent time at the Celebrity Center with him in Hollywood. I attended a lecture and met many scientologists. For the most part I'd have to say they were like kids who dress up for Star Trek conventions in their thinking. What a delusional bunch of people! But, as Spock would say, "Fascinating!"

  • Athanasius

    Interesting post, Earnest. Especially your comments about Bonnie Boyd. Have you ever wondered how she gained so much influence in Watch Tower affairs that she could "pull strings" to get cushy jobs for friends and family?

    Your explanation for the names of the children residing at Beth Sarim has merit. But have you considered another possiblity? Sometimes the way to defuse a scandal is to make it look so obvious. After all most people would conclude that he wouldn't be that stupid to name his love children after himself and his mistress and then have them all living in the same house. It is too obvious, so it can't be true.

  • badboy

    Truly amazing how many posts this has generated!

    7,444 views in all!

    There are so many replies that even I can't keep up!

  • Earnest
    Have you ever wondered how she gained so much influence in Watch Tower affairs that she could "pull strings" to get cushy jobs for friends and family?

    The first evidence we have, and thus far the only certain evidence, of Bonnie pulling strings is when she suggested to Rutherford that he invite her friend, Verna (aka Berta) Peale to Bethel in 1937. By that time she had been in Bethel for 14 years, and had been stenographer/secretary to Rutherford the entire period bar perhaps a couple of months when she first arrived. As such she saw him daily, had meals with him, travelled with him each year to conventions at home and abroad, and clearly had his confidence. She spoke of herself as his adopted daughter, and if he was estranged from his wife and son after 1915 it is quite understandable that he would treat her like the daughter he never had. Of course she could pull strings.

    It is true that such a close relationship could as easily have been sexual as not. But the fact that Rutherford seems to have engineered her marriage and that she remained loyal to him for the rest of his life suggests otherwise. If you are seriously suggesting the Balko children are Bonnies, how do you think she managed to hide her pregnancy for nine months (twice) ? And with Donald Haslett, Mr. Diderian, her mother and others who no doubt visited Beth-Sarim along with JFR, Bonnie and the Balkos, do you not think it extraordinary that none of them have spoken a word about it. A Rutherford love-child is too big a story to have remained unspoken all these years.


  • Leolaia

    I agree that the "love-child theory" is just speculation at this point and while it is an intriguing explanation of the children's names, titles, and status in the Messenger article, other explanations (such as those discussed by Earnest) are just as likely. However I don't agree that a secret like this could not have been squelched, and to my understanding there have been rumors, and there are a few other interesting facts about the Balkos that might lend it more credence......for instance, they were married in 1921/1922 but Bonnie Balko, their first child, wasn't born until 1929/1930 (most likely, December 1929). That's an eight-year gap, which is a little bit unusual in those days for a newly married couple to wait so long before having children. (But then again, there could be other explanations).

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