Rutherford Exposed: The Story of Berta and Bonnie

by Farkel 739 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Mary
    Mary

    I haven't had time to read it all, but from what I've seen so far here, it's quite an incredible story.....thanks to those of you who have spent the time, energy and resources to put it all together for the rest of us.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Here's a report of the convention (in classic Rutherfordian style) in the 1939 Yearbook:

    "In April, 1938, a convention of Jehovah's witnesses was held in Australia. Learning of that approaching convention the Fascists and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy combine put forth their most strenuous efforts to prevent God's people from assembling in convention and worshipping Jehovah in spirit and truth. Public officials of Australia prevented the use of a public hall for the people there to assemble and worship God. Radio stations were forbidden by the government officials to broadcast the Kingdom message. The newspapers were used to publish divers and numerous false statements that would interfere with the convention. Every possible means was put forth by the Fascists and the Hierarchy crowd to prevent the people from learning about God's Kingdom under Christ. Concerning such overt acts of the wicked conspirators Jehovah speaks, at Psalm 2:4, as follows: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision." No doubt the Lord held in derision that combined opposition that raised its hideous head at Sydney, Australia. All their efforts failed to prevent many people from hearing. The largest hall there available there would accommodate only about four thousand persons. Because the use of that hall was denied Christian people, they were forced to engage an open park; and at the public meeting there assembled 25,000 persons, who heard the Kingdom message and who also learned that the Fascist-Hierarchy combine are operating a racket by which the people are ensnared and fleeced and their liberties destroyed and the way to the Kingdom blocked, so far as it is possible for such wicked agencies to block it.

    "Then in a few days thereafter at Auckland, New Zealand, a one-day convention of God's consecrated people was held. There the Hierarchy-Fascist combine and their newspapers put forth their best endeavors to prevent the people from hearing the Kingdom message, and again they failed. Although the public address was delivered at the noon hour on Monday and during a downpour of rain, four thousand people crowded into the hall to hear the good news of the Kingdom and to learn of the nefarious work of the totalitarian monstrosity combine which attempts to destroy all the liberties of the people. Both at Sydney and in New Zealand the public assembly unanimously adopted resolutions disapproving the action of the Hierarchy and the Fascists and emphasizing the importance of the people’s placing themselves under the protection of God’s kingdom.

    "On the return to America a brief stop was made at Suva, Fiji Islands, which is a crown colony of the British Empire. There a hall had been taken by contract and a public meeting advertised. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy and allies succeeded in closing the hall and preventing the people from meeting there. The acting governor of the Fiji Islands, himself a Roman Catholic and a tool of the Papacy, in the absence of the regular governor, had issued an order forbidding the importation of literature and phonograph records, or any publications of the Watch Tower, and thus an effort was made to keep the people of the Fiji Islands from learning the truth. The public lecture delivered at Sydney, Australia, had been recorded. A few days after the afore-mentioned public meeting was prohibited the recorded speech was reproduced by phonograph to the public at Suva, and, by the Lord’s grace, they did hear the Kingdom message and learned something of the nefarious conduct of the Hierarchy.

    "Early in June a convention of God’s people was arranged for at Seattle, Washington. The enemy, learning of the approaching convention, did everything possible to prevent the people from hearing at that place. Led by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and ably supported by the Fascists, and the newspapers, a vigorous campaign was staged against God’s kingdom and his witnesses. The public press was fmmished with the facts but, because of fear of the Hierarchy and Fascists, or because of being a part of the combine, refused to give publication to the facts. Such opposition did not deter Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions in carrying forward their work" (pp. 34-36).

    This gives some indication of the disastrous conditions of these conventions and suggests by omission that there was no convention held in Hawaii. Looks like Berta and Malcolm + Pauline Rutherford used the convention trip merely as a means to spend time in Hawaii. Judge Rutherford would probably have anticipated the trouble he would have faced in the Pacific.... perhaps he did not want Berta to come to those conventions in case they faced arrests or violence? Or did he have work for her to do in Hawaii? The same Yearbook has this to say about Hawaii:

    "During the year the breathren had the great pleasure of two visits by Brother Rutherford and the party of brethren accompanying him, on the way to and from Australia. These visits and the message he brought were of great encouragement and stimulated all the publishers to increased activity. In April, due to the ship's being delayed, the meeting was not held until 10:30 at night, but Kingdom Hall was filled with people, many having waited since early afternoon. On returning in May Brother Rutherford delivered a public lecture, "Warning," which was advertised extensively by means of handbills, tire signs, window cards, and large auto signs and sound equipment. The newspapers ignored Brother Rutherford’s arrival on both occasions, and even the steamship company denied he was aboard the ship, demonstrating the deep hatred these people have for the Truth. But the "Warning" was given despite their attitude. Brother Rutherford also arranged for lectures on the islands of Kauai and Hawaii with good results, also a radio broadcast. Now the priests are warning their people against the literature, and telling them it is a mortal sin to even listen to the phonograph lectures. But the Lord will loosen the prisoners" (pp. 165-166).

    The arranging of lectures on Kauai and Hawaii (the Big Island) could well explain why Bonnie Heath and William Heath did not return with Rutherford on the S. S. Mariposa; they were sent on an interisland tour and left on the S. S. Matsonia several days after the Mariposa left. The same talks on Kauai and Hawaii could have technically been given by Malcolm Rutherford, but as far as we know, he wasn't following his dad in the religion at that point (according to RR), but this point is not confirmed. The fact that Malcolm was travelling together with his father is something that needs explaining.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Nosferatu....I actually found a ton of stuff last night that I have yet to post. Merry might need to revise her timeline again once I'm through.

  • Merry Magdalene
    Merry Magdalene

    Oh boy! More stuff! I hope some of it is the newspaper articles JFR mentioned. I'm quite curious about those. But whatever it is I am quite eager to see it!

  • mama1119
    mama1119

    What an intersesting post. I can't believe how much research everyone has done.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    You guys are nuts!

    Keep up the good work.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    You probably don't realize this but after sifting out many of the posts that applaud all the hard work Farkel, larc, Merry, Leolaia, VM44, Athanasius and I know there are others have done on this thread there are 135 pages of questions and documented information regarding this issue. (that is 135 pages

    You've written a book just in the discovery of facts

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    JUDGE RUTHERFORD'S TRAVELLING COMPANIONS

    The
    Joseph Rutherford 4311/8/1869Versailles, Missouri10 Orange St., Brooklyn, NY
    Mary Rutherford 428/17/1871Hornville, Missouri10 Orange St., Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 4411/8/1869Versailles, Missouri10 Orange St., Brooklyn, NY
    Mary M. Rutherford 428/17/1872Hornville, Missouri

    10 Orange St., Brooklyn, NY

    Malcolm C. Rutherford 2211/10/1892[Illegible]10 Orange St., Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 5111/8/1869Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Arthur Goux 231/11/1897Forest Park, Illinois

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 5211/8/1869Morgan, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Arthur Goux 251/11/1897Forest Park, Illinois

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert J. Martin 433/30/1878Elkhart, Indiana

    127 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Jos. Rutherford 5411/8/1869Morgan, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 277/17/1896Natulos, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    William Van Amburgh 608/28/1863Eader, Minnesota124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Luie Van Amburgh5911/8/1864Detroit, Michigan124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Walter Salter 40-------------[Canadian citizen]

    Toronto, Canada

    The
    Jos. Rutherford 5511/8/1869St. Louis, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 277/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert Martin 473/30/1878Elkhart, Indiana124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Hannah Martin1610/16/1909Babylon, Long Island1000 South Madison Avenue, Pasadena, CA
    Alexander Macmillan47--------------[Naturalized, 6/7/1923]124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Emma Hamilton633/16/1862Chicago, Illinois124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Walter Salter 41-------------[Canadian citizen]

    Toronto, Canada

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 5611/8/1869Morgan Co., Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 297/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert J. Martin 483/30/1878Elkhart, Indiana18 Concord St., Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Jos. Rutherford 58Nov. 1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 397/17/1898Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert J. Martin 49Mar. 1878Elkhart, Indiana117 Adams St., Brooklyn, NY
    Alta Eckols 491878Old Frankfort, Illinois

    330 Union Bldg., San Diego, CA

    The
    Joseph Rutherford 5911/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 307/19/1899Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert Martin 513/30/1878Elkhart, Indiana117 Adams St., Brooklyn, NY
    Donald Haslett 347/3/1895Mount Vernon, New York124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Alta Eckols 514/21/1899Old Frankfort, Illinois

    330 Union Bldg., San Diego, CA

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6111/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 317/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Robert J. Martin 533/30/1878Elkhart, Indiana124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Robert S. Emery 328/12/1898Chicago, Illinois124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Robert Emery 338/12/1898Chicago, Illinois124 Columbus Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 317/17/1900Huston, Texas

    124 Columbus Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6211/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 307/17/1901Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6411/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 357/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Nathan Knorr 284/23/1905Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Walter Salter 49-------------[Canadian citizen]

    Toronto, Canada

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6411/8/1869Boonville, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 307/17/1903Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6411/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 367/17/1898Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Matthew A. Howlett46-------------[Naturalized, 4/17/1931]

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Helen Howlett309/6/1904Cleveland, Ohio

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Walter F. Salter*50-------------[Winnipeg, Canada]

    Toronto, Canada

    * Walter Salter cancelled his departure.

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 65[i.e. 1869]U.S.A.U.S.A.
    Bonnie Boyd 32[i.e. 1903] U.S.A.

    U.S.A.

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6611/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 407/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6711/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 357/17/1902Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6811/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Boyd 337/17/1904Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    William Heath3311/17/1903Atlanta, Georgia

    206 Lambeth Road, Baltimore, MD

    Berta Peale3510/30/1901Bethel, North Carolina

    2311 North Haven Blvd., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6811/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Heath417/17/1896Waterloo, Iowa

    4440 Braeburn Road, San Diego, CA

    William Heath 3411/17/1904Atlanta, Georgia

    4440 Braeburn Road, San Diego, CA

    Matthew Howlett 49---------[Naturalized, 4/17/1931]

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Berta Peale 35---------U.S.A.U.S.A.
    Malcolm Rutherford48---------U.S.A.

    U.S.A.

    Pauline Rutherford 41---------U.S.A.

    U.S.A.

    The
    Bonnie Heath 41[i.e. 1896]U.S.A.U.S.A.
    William Heath34[i.e. 1903]U.S.A.

    U.S.A.

    The
    Joseph F. Rutherford 6811/8/1869Versailles, Missouri124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
    Bonnie Heath347/17/1904Waterloo, Iowa

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    William Heath3511/17/1903Atlanta, Georgia

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Berta L. Peale3610/30/1901Bethel, North Carolina

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    Nathan Knorr 334/23/1905Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY

    In Farkel's original post, we learned that Bonnie Boyd first came to Bethel in 1923 to work as a stenographer for William Van Amburgh. This is reflected in the data presented above, in which Bonnie first appears in the Spring of 1924 travelling with the Van Amburghs. Thereafter she was the one constant throughout all subsequent Rutherford voyages. The chiropractor Alta Eckols also travelled in the group in 1927 and 1929, the year that Beth Sarim was built. The most maddening aspect of these data is wildly varying age and date of birth given for Bonnie Boyd. It is hard to escape from the fact that Bonnie lied about her age for many years. This made it impossible for a long time to track down Bonnie's family because of the false information given to census takers, ship passenger lists, etc. The SSDI gives her DOB as 7/17/1904 and the 1900 census of Victoria and John Boyd of Waterloo, Iowa does not mention her tho it mentions several of her siblings, indicating that she was not yet born. There is a pattern in her misrepresentation of her age in that she initially made herself much older than she really was and decreased her age as time wore on (while at times reasserting the original DOB):

    YEAR (VOYAGE) AGECLAIMED AGECLAIMED DOBDISCREPENCY
    1924 (S. S. Paris) 19277/17/1896

    +8 years

    1925 (S. S. Paris) 20277/17/1896

    +7/8 years

    1926 (S. S. Columbus) 21297/17/1896

    +8 years

    1927 (S. S. Ile de France) 2339 [? 29]7/17/1898

    +6 years

    1929 (S. S. Rotterdam) 25307/19/1899

    +5 years

    1930 (U.S. Census) 2531[c. 1899-1900]

    +5/6 years

    1931 (S. S. Breman) 26317/17/1896

    +5, +8 years

    1931 (S. S. P. Hoover) 27317/17/1900+4 years
    1932 (S. S. P. Coolidge) 27307/17/1901

    +3 years

    1933 (S. S. Statendam) 28357/17/1896

    +7/8 years

    1934 (S. S. Santa Lucia) 29307/17/1903+1
    1934 (S. S. Statendam) 30367/17/1898+6
    1935 (S. S. Lurline) 3032[c. 1902-1903]+1/2 years
    1936 (S. S. Statendam)32407/17/1896+8 years
    1937 (S. S. Santa Elena) 32357/17/1902+2/3 years
    1937 (S. S. Normandie) 33337/17/1904+0 years
    1938 (S. S. Mariposa) 33417/17/1896+8 years
    1938 (S. S. Queen Mary) 34347/17/1904+0 years

    Since she was still a teenager when she embarked on her first voyage, it looks like she presented herself as much older at first and then gradually came down to hear true age over the next 14 years. I don't know why she gradually lowered her age over the years, perpetuating the fib for a rather long time, rather than simply adopt her actual age thenceforth when she reached her twenties. The wildly varying DOBs contrast with those of Rutherford himself, who always gave his DOB as 11/8/1869. This meant that the age gap between the two of them widened over time. And yet Bonnie was still inconsistent, sometimes using the original DOB as late as 1938! I suspect the reason for this is that she had several different passports, each giving a different DOB and she did not necessarily bring with her the same passport each time. When Bonnie went on her first trip overseas on the S. S. Paris, her passport number was 380995. It would have been on this passport that her DOB was (falsely) given 7/17/1896. Then when she sailed in 1927 on the S. S. Ile de France, she gave her DOB as 7/17/1898. Interestingly, the passenger list indicates that she used a different passport, for the number was I74542. Then when she sailed on the S. S. Normandie in 1937 and gave her true DOB as 7/17/1904, her passport number was 302701. Thus we have evidence of at least three passports and she probably had more for the other DOBs. This is a very strange and curious phenomenon. Did Rutherford keep buying her new passports every year to help her change her age? And isn't that illegal to provide false information on your passport?

  • jgnat
    jgnat

    I'm trying to organize this mass of data in to several graphical timelines and family trees. So keep it coming. I'm watching with interest.

  • Merry Magdalene
    Merry Magdalene

    Absolutely fascinating, Leo. Great work!.....I'm going to go way out on a limb here and ask you to take a look at Bjranca Poleson in Manitoba (at Ancestry.com) because there are no Blanch Polesons nor Horboles to be had anywhere else, and I think Bjranca may be a mis-spelling of Bjianca(=Bianca=Blanche). There are both Polesons and Horboles in Manitoba (but only a few that I could find). ~Merry (wild goose chaser)

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