How Did That MYSTERIOUS Transition From Russell To Rutherford Happen?
By Terry Walstrom.
"Judge" Josephh Rutherford helped Pastor Russell draft his Last Will and Testament. As legal advisor this was fitting. Russell named five men who would adminstrate the Watch Tower Society on an editorial board. Russell stated he wanted no further or additional writings to ever be published--only his own.
In case replacements were needed for the 5 administrators, Russell named 5 (FIVE) men as suitable replacements.
Here is where the mystery begins! On this will appears the name of a 6th (SIXTH) person: J.F.Rutherford!
"The will, along with a number of letters and other statements about the administration of the Watch Tower Society, was printed in the December 1, 1916 edition of The Watch Tower. To the positions in the editorial board, Russell’s will had named W. E. Page, W. E. Van Amburgh, H.C. Rockwell, E. W. Brenneisen and F. H. Robinson. Quite curiously, Russell’s will writes about “the five whom I suggest as possibly amongst the most suitable from which to fill vacancies” (emphasis added) and then lists six names: A. E. Burgess, R. Hirsh, I. Hoskins, G. H. Fisher, Dr. J. Edgar and J. F. Rutherford."
It is certainly possible, but this author has not found it possible to fully confirm or reject this theory, that one name was added to the list after Russell had written it: Rutherford’s. Whatever the case may be, Page and Brenneisen declined to be on the Board for personal reasons, and Hirsh and Rutherford replaced them . Jan S. Haugland September 26, 2000 Master's Thesis
The Watch Tower was left in the hands of a committee of five, an editorial committee (there was also a seven man board of directors). Rutherford wasn't on the list of five, he was on the list of "possible replacements". And even then as mentioned, Russell stated "five" and there are six names listed, ironically the Judges name is listed. Anyone who knows their history knows that Russell avoided the Judge like the plague.
Russell never stated that they were to only publish his writings. What he said was that the Society was to never publish another journal, meaning they could only publish The Watch Tower, which is why when the Judge began to publish The Golden Age, he did so against Russell's wishes, and he published it under a different name.
Also, Russell requested that all of his writings as well as all articles appearing in the Watch Tower be anonymous.
The Judge somehow made it on the Editorial committee, then weaseled his way onto an 3 man executive committee, being assured that he would be elected president. he wrote up by-laws which gave the president FULL control of the Society, it's assets, EVERYTHING. At the business meetings the by-laws were illegally approved and passed. I say illegally, because ONLY the board of directors could pass and appriove by-laws, NOT the membership. When the board attempted to rescind those by-laws, Rutherford dismissed and replaced them.
After a few years, the ousted directors gave up the fight, and incorporated the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918, there was also the Stand Fast Bible Students Association and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, as well as others.
Where does this lead us?
Note: Page 60 of the fourth edition of "Crisis of Conscience" states in a footnote at the bottom of the page that: "Russell did not list Rutherford among these five but placed him in a second group of five who might serve as replacements if occasion required." Is author Ray Franz deducing from the mere appearance of the additional name on the document itself?
A legal instrument has to be precise to be enforceable. Lawyers are charged with specificity and due dilligence in enumerating matters of this nature. I find it rather telling that a designated FIVE does not match an enumerated SIX.
What he said was that the Society was to never publish another journal, meaning they could only publish The Watch Tower, which is why when the Judge began to publish The Golden Age, he did so against Russell's wishes, and he published it under a different name.
Vitally important to realize this, too! Pastor Russell was clearly nipping in the bud the ambition of leadership and authorship problem. Rutherford clearly shows his colors in defying Russell in this way.
To state it matter-of-factly: The Golden Age and later Awake! publications (new journals) were in clear violation of Pastor Russell's stated objection in his Last Will and Testament.
The power play of Rutherford effectively purged Russell's loyalists from among the ranks and left Rutherford loyalists in their place.
There was nothing the Judge wouldn't do for his own manipulative machinations
"Where there's a will, there's a way..
Here is something you won't find in any Watch Tower publication:
Menta Sturgeon who was travelling with Russell when he died, wired his wife at Bethel regarding the Russell's death. However A. H. MacMillan intercepted the telegram and wired J. F. Rutherford with five words: “The old man is dead." The Judge was just a few states away attending a convention in Oakland, Maryland. He told MacMillan “do nothing until I get there”. It wouldn’t have taken him long to get to Bethel, considering that most likely most of the directors were with Russell. He went straight to Russell's office locked himself in and the rest is history.
Please read here:
Jan S. Haugland September 26, 2000 Master's Thesis