Beth Sarim was built in 1929. As a result, Rutherford and his elite got to spend their winter months in a mansion in San Diego all through the great depression. Beth Shan was built in 1939, when the winds of war were stirring. This mansion had a bomb shelter accessable by a secret passage. There was another bomb shelter underneath one of the out buildings, also stocked with food. Rutherford believed that Germany would win the war and that would bring on the Great Tribulation, hence the need for the bomb shelters.
Joseph Rutherford and Burlesque
Edmund Gruss has written a book entitled "Jehovah's Witnesses and Their Monuments to False Prophecy" has a lot information and a lot of documentation about Beth Sarim and Beth Shan.
Beth-Shan was located in Mission Valley, wasn't it? The San Diego river flows
through Mission Valley out to the ocean, but Beth-Shan was quite a distance
away from the ocean.
At the time, (1940s) the surrounding land was mostly undeveloped. I am not
aware of any potential Military or Industrial targets close by, so I wonder why
a bomb shelter was felt to be necessary. (OK, I know WWII was going on at
the time! But still, I think it was being overly cautious)
There were rumors circulating among the Witnesses at the time that the
Beth-Sarim was being expanded, but the Watchtower said there was absolutely
"No Truth" to these rumors, and people should be spending their time preaching
instead of spreading rumors.
Later, after Rutherford had died, the Watchtower printed that a proposal was
made to bury Rutherford on a some land the Society owned called "Beth Shan"
....so much for there being "No Truth" to the rumors!!!!
Has anyone written to the WTS asking for an explanation of Beth-Shan?
I wonder the response would be.
As Jeff pointed out, Edmund Gruss has written a book that includes much detail on this subject. Fact is, Beth Sarim and Beth Shan were on adjoinging properties. Rutherford's signature is on the deed for Beth Sarim and William Heath's signature was on the deed for Beth Shan. They were next door neighbors, and Beth Shan was built as a protection for the Watchtower elite when the Great Tribulation was to occur.
I found the book "Jehovah's Witnesses: Their Monuments To False Prophecy"
listed for sale at Randy's Freeminds site, it is only $10 for over 300 pages!
Here is the web page for Freemind's new books:
A picture of the book:
BTW, the second author, Leonard Chretien, is the man who came out with
the "Witnesses of Jehovah" movie and book.
Getting back to the original subject of this thread...
Nothing came from the accusation of George H. Fisher, he died before
any judicial proceedings could occur.
How convenient for the "Judge".
George Fisher was also one of the Watchtower men convicted of sedition
and was sent to prison along with Rutherford.
I know Leonard. I met him at the first meeting at Peter Gregarson's place. The meeting lead to the founding of BRCI. At that time, Leonard was talking about preparing his film and needed financial support. Unfortunately, I was not in a position to help out at the time. I spent some time with Leonard and his wife at their beautiful home in La Hoya outside of San Diego. He took the time to drive me to Beth Sarim to see it first hand.
Leonard is a good man.
You asked about the danger at Beth Sarim as far as being a military target. Please remember the Witness mindset about the Great Tribulation and Armaggeddon. Everything was subject to destruction. Also, remember that there is a large Naval Base in San Diego, so the city could be a likely target.
Anyone know who the current owners of Beth-Sarim and Beth-sham are?
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson*
Some more relevant information about George Fisher.
Under the supervision of Rutherford, Clayton J. Woodworth
and George H. Fisher wrote "The Finished Mystery," which
appeared in the year 1917. This was supposed to be the
posthumous volume 7 of Russell's "Studies In the Scriptures."
But was rather an attempt to justify Rutherford as the rightful
successor to Russell. (who else but the rightful successor
would be publishing the 7th volume?)
But, by the year 1927, Fisher had become a non-person as
far as Rutherford and the Watchtower were concerned. This may
have been because of the accusation Fisher made concerning
Rutherford attending the Burlesque show. Whatever the reason,
the 1927 edition of "The Finished Mystery" has all the parts written
by Fisher removed.
It was said Fisher was unfaithful, well, yes he was, unfaithful to
Rutherford, and so his words were excised!
How petty can you get?