Monday, June 13, 2011

More Details Of The Bible Students Blending Into Rutherford's Empire.

By Terry Walstrom.

Charlie Taze Russell had money, good looks, privately tutored education and a lot of personal charisma. From his devout mother he got a healthy dose of hellfire and come to Jesus instruction. The family was Presbyterian in a time when Central Authority was viewed with deep suspicion. There may have been a bit of an obsessive trait in the young man because it is reported he chalked up Hellfire warnings on sidewalks on the way to school!! But, in a few short years, Charlie had argued one too many times and with the wrong person. An atheist ripped young Russell a new one with common sense arguments that left Charlie broken, depressed and disillusioned.

It was time to regroup, rethink, and reflect. It was almost like the cartoon about the 97 pound weakling who had sand kicked in his face at the beach. The skinny weakling decides to muscle up and go back to punch the bully in the face and win the hand of a pretty young lady. How could he do it? What muscles could he pump up to defeat bullies and know-it-alls?

The answer came soon enough. Young Russell stopped in to hear an Adventist lecture with charts, graphs, cherry-picked scriptures, quote-mining and END TIMES PROPHECY.
The lecture and demonstrations electrified C.T.Russell. He had what he was looking for at last. Being the son of a successful men's clothing chain, Russell used his fortune to assemble enough Adventist preachers privately to pick their brains and learn what they had to offer.

Leading Adventist thinkers like George Storrs and Barbour were enlisted to publish these chronologies and apologies. A journal, pamphlets, booklets--whatever was needed C.T.Russell would fork over the cash and see that it got done!

What Russell figured out was HOW IT WAS DONE; how do you get people excited by scaring them with warnings of impending Armageddon? How do you convince them YOU KNOW and others don't. How do you pull in the dazzling "proofs" and get a movement going the way

William Miller (self-taught Baptist lay preacher) had moved thousands of chruch goers to leave their churches and follow him to the brink of the GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT. Many of those same people couldn't or wouldn't return. They needed a new leader. Many of these people refused to follow a woman such as Ellen White with her personal visions and revelations. They wanted a charismatic white male who could lead and teach them!

Russell used his private wealth to cut and paste ideas from all over the religious map into his own peculiar name-brand version of Adventism which included pyramidology.

Local congregations kept autonomy. Russell would have it no other way. He wrote books, articles, preached sermons, performed publicly with his charts and graphs and newspaper artilces. A large following gathered and approved. But, in the end, he could NOT deliver on his prophetic guesses. The end of world government did NOT COME in 1914 and false religion was NOT destroyed. Russell died in 1916.

Judge Rutherford crept in to wrest control of the Watchtower for himself and begin a new agenda which would transform local congregations of bible students into a cult of mind-controlled salesmen serving a religion of Business Organization.

This is what happened.

When the Bible Students group began to form around Russell and his teachings, Russell made clear his opposition to creating any Central Governing Body.

Each congregation of Bible Students, Millennial Dawn fellows or Russellites elected their elders and leaders locally by vote and not by appeal to Russell.

This continued until 1938!

Russell died in 1916 and J.F.Rutherford commenced a long range effort of consolidating power under himself alone as leader.

Rutherford's scheme for control was in three parts.

1.Get himself elected to the Board of Directors and make other administrators mere puppets and rubber stamp committees.

2.Appoint travelling "service directors" as organizers, sales trainers and magazine promoters. (Much like later Circuit Servants.)

3.Replacing local election and control with a centrally appointed leadership and elder arrangement.

Russell's faithful followers were united in hatred for the Roman Catholic church and its central authority and organization. Previously, as Adventists, they had railed against the RC church as "the whore of Babylon".

For J.F.Rutherford to go against Russell's view of central authority and "organization" he had to overcome a huge built-in abhorrence in the local congregations.

This began in earnest in 1938 (the year before WWII commenced in Europe.)

Russell died and J.F.Rutherford squeezed himself in gradually to Russell's shoes under Russell's teachings...just long enough to secure himself and begin changing everything he could lay his hands on!

Even though Rutherford had weakened their positions by centrally appointing special ‘service directors’ responsible for magazine sale, in theory a congregation was still independent and chose its own pastors, or elders. The main articles in The Watch Tower for August 15 and September 1, 1932 should put an end to that.

In 1932, Rutherford finally did away with the local, elected elders. For a time, many elders had been opposed to the growing emphasis on the preaching and book-selling work that took up more and more of the movement’s focus.

The elders were for a time replaced by a special service committee still elected locally, but in 1938 this arrangement was also replaced by one in which the leadership were centrally appointed. While the JWs reestablished a form of elder arrangement again in the early 1970s, these were – and are – centrally appointed.

Rutherford’s control of the headquarters and publishing arm had been undisputed since the early 1920s at latest. Now he also had a direct control into the lives of every Jehovah’s Witness. Rutherford decided what they should learn at the meetings – less devotional and more commercial than ever – and what they should sell and say.

Rutherford also told JWs that ‘character building’; emphasis on personal Christian qualities, virtue and morality was quite unimportant and indeed a form of ‘creature worship.’ It is very illustrative to look up the word ‘adultery’ in the Watch Tower Publications Index 1930-1985.

(Here you will not find a single reference to sexual adultery anywhere in the WTS literature before 1947. Later, in the 1950s, and until this day, articles denouncing all sorts of sexual sins flourished. In Rutherford’s vernacular, the word ‘adultery’ was reserved for his opponents’ religious sins.)

Under Rutherford a crackdown on controlling the personal behavior of local congregations began after the embarrassment of 1925 failed to produce a resurrection of "ancient worthies" as Rutherford had predicted.

Rutherford's obsessive preoccupation with tightening the screws on every person involved in his empire ratcheted up from 1926 onward commencing with the eradication of birthday celebrations (denounced as pagan).

******* ****** ********
Birthdays and practically all religious celebrations were condemned as of ‘pagan origin.’ The Bible Students celebrated Christmas for the last time in 1926 (Proclaimers 200; Yearbook 1975, 147-9). The cross, until then an almost universal symbol for Christianity, was rejected as a pagan symbol. The Watchtower Society has since then insisted that Jesus was executed on an upright ‘torture stake’ without a crossbeam.

Rutherford could bend non-ambiguous scriptures into corkscrews in order to enforce his personal interpretation of how things should be done.
This trend towards a growing alienation & hostility towards the world culminated in Rutherford’s reinterpretation of Romans chapter 13, published in The Watchtower, June 1 and June 15, 1929. Here Rutherford insisted that the "higher authorities" to which Christians should subject could not be the earthly authorities. These "higher authorities," he argued, had to be God and Christ. This only increased the Bible Student’s hostility towards the secular state, which was now openly denounced as demonic (Penton 1985, 65).

Clearly and forcefully J.F.Rutherford had taken a small group of Adventist bible students enamoured of Pastor Russell's chronology and pyramidology and compacted them into a mind-control cult obsessed with proper behavior and adherence to rules, regulations and quirky interpretations from a central authority.

Under Rutherford, the almost "universal salvation" beliefs and teachings of Pastor Russell darkened into a vicious and vindictive ideology of blood and destruction.
Perhaps the most striking turnaround in JW doctrine in this period was Rutherford’s view of salvation compared to Russell’s. Russell was very close to teaching universal salvation and was not at all eager to condemn people to destruction (the existence of hell, we remember, he dismissed). Rutherford, perhaps partly due to the persecution he had experienced in the war years, should take a much stricter view of salvation. Gradually he came to argue that only Jehovah’s Witnesses had any real chance of surviving Armageddon, Jehovah’s war against Satan and – in effect – mankind. A part of this was Rutherford’s new doctrine about "The Vindication of Jehovah’s Name," still a central tenet of JW beliefs. Unlike Russell, who held that the redemption was the central doctrine, Rutherford preached that God’s vindication, by wiping out his enemies Old Testament-style in a large battle, was more important than individual salvation.

Between Rutherford and his crony C.J.Woodworth, the Watchtower and the Golden Age (Awake!) began publishing anti-medical anti-science articles fomenting radical faddist notions and downright crackpot denunciations.

(There was a limit, however. Woodworth, the eccentric editor of The Golden Age, found that limit when he, in 1935, tried to persuade Rutherford and the JW community to abandon pagan month and day names. Rutherford harshly censured and ridiculed Woodworth in front of the whole ‘Bethel family,’ a spectacle that shocked many who may nevertheless have agreed with the sanity of Rutherford’s decision to not force such a radical change (Penton 1985, 66-7).

Woodworth was second only to Rutherford as an important influence on the JWs in this period.

One oddity about him was his burning hatred for medical professionals. He considered the compulsory vaccination programs a Satanic and commercial conspiracy to weaken Christians by introducing animalistic tissue into their veins, and he even rejected the germ theory of disease, preferring strange ‘electronic’ and ‘radio’ based apparatus instead. Actually, the Watchtower Society at one time marketed and sold alternative ‘medicine’ through The Golden Age. The only part of these ideas that remain in the JW organization and culture is the blood prohibition – which still gives the movement tragic headlines in the press worldwide – and perhaps a tendency among JWs today to be preoccupied with homeopathy and other ‘alternative’ quasi-medical procedures.

The downward spiral of madness, cult control, anti-science and hatred of other religions mark the Jehovah's Witnesses of this period as followers of lunatics who, themselves, were anti-social misfits hellbent on putting their thumb in the eye of every OTHER authority on earth!

Further, the doctrinal changes Rutherford ordered were often based on whim, personal animus and pressure from reality threatening to disprove the Judge's theology.

For example:

Under Russell the 144,000 little flock were glorified resurrected christians who went to heaven along with non-glorified Great Crowd christians who also went to heaven.

Rutherford saw his membership figures climbing beyond 60,000 and threatening to exceed 144,000.

This would be embarrassing. Consequently, a doctrinal change or "new light" emerged making the Great Crowd an earthly group of Jehovah's Witnesses distinct in kind and nature from the heavenly anointed.
Now, in 1935, Rutherford changed this doctrine and started to teach that the members of the ‘Great Multitude class were all followers of the Watchtower movement, but they would be saved to live eternally on paradise Earth. It was the duty of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, then, to preach to all people and ‘harvest’ this ‘Great Multitude class.’ That there was any possible salvation outside the Watchtower movement was thus finally denied. Somewhat later, the term ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ should come to include this secondary class as well.

What does this signal? The CULT was fully formed as an "Only JW's will survive Armageddon" group of True Believers!

Pastor Russell took personal pride in self-financing his preoccupation of publishing due to his private fortunate. Rutherford, however, had no such money at hand.

Rutherford schemed to control local congregations and turn the membership into salesmen collecting funds from householders and passersby through peddling his books (of which there was an unending stream.)

Thus, the worldwide evangelizing work began in earnest as a way for Rutherford to establish cash flow and make his megalomanical empire financially sound.
Russell’s productivity of publications was no match for Rutherford’s. The first major bestseller, The Finished Mystery, was marketed as Russell’s posthumous book. Already in 1920 Rutherford managed to create his own first major international bestseller, the booklet Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Already the next year came The Harp of God, a book that would eventually reach a circulation of 5,819,037 copies in 22 languages.

As a lawyer steeped in legalism and terminology, Rutherford chose the name witnesses to construe a testimony in a Universal court on behalf of Jehovah. But, his worldwide witnessing was for cash which began flowing into the coffers of his enterprise with himself in sole control.

Rutherford's key strategy succeeded in wresting a personality cult (Pastor Russell) away from "creature worship" and transforming it into a business concern or Organization which could claim and demand loyalty in terms of statistical productivity (preaching and book sales.)

If you produce you get more responsibility. If your productivity wanes, you get fired. (Disfellowshipped.)
ORGANIZATION to Jehovah's Witnesses is serving a faceless corporation headed by God himself who keeps them on permanent probation whereby they may be fired (destroyed at Armageddon) if they don't keep their productivity at maximum and loyalty as unquestionable.

The cult arises!
How Judge Rutherford Made Martyrdom His Publicity Policy:MILITARY SERVICE.

By Terry Walstrom.

When Rutherford published (in defiance of Russell's will) a phoney posthumous final volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures (The Finished Mystery) problems began which eventually resulted in criminal prosecution for Watchtower Society administrators.

Certain passages in this book were so anti-government as to represent the Society's views as dangerous to national security.

Chastened, Rutherford backed down on his rhetoric by excluding from future reprintings the offending passages.

Plus--Rutherford published a feckless appeal to the bible students associates to buy WAR BONDS!

The Stand Fast Bible Students ­Association

The Stand Fasters get their name from their determination to “stand fast on war principles that our dear Pastor Russell announced.” Charles E. Heard of Vancouver and many others felt that Rutherford’s recommendation in 1918 to buy war bonds was cowardice and a sacrilegious perversion of the harvest work. Feeling that Christians should not support the military in any way, including the buying of Liberty Bonds or involvement in non-combatant service, the Stand Fast Bible Students Association was organized on December 1, 1918, in Portland, Oregon. It published Old Corn Gems and organized conventions throughout the United States. The Stand Fasters accepted the seventh volume and were quite successful, especially among those who did not accept what they saw as compromises over the war issue.

This was infuriating to Rutherford and embarrassing. Being whipsawed by Russell loyalists on one side and threatened with imprisonment by the government on the other side, all the Judge could do was tuck his tail and bide his time.

When Rutherford and Administrators had their sentences reversed (after serving 9 months in prison) he was smarting for some pay-back.

Being an attorney, judge and possessing a legal mind--he set about crafting a policy that would create a high publicity campaign using Jehovah's Witnesses as martyrs in refusing to serve in the Military under ANY circumstances.

How so?

The false imprisonment Rutherford had suffered and the seemingly miraculous release had garnered for the Judge considerable POLITICAL CAPITAL with the brethren. He now had gravitas! He used this political capital to inflate the status of his newly crafted religion. (Little by little Rutherford was converting Russellism and Bible Students into his own brand name religious movement: Jehovah's witnesses.)

As Nazi Germany began cracking down on suspicious religious organizations, Rutherford tried to protect his business interests in Germany by lying and misrepresenting any way he could. Here was the situation.

The National Socialist government at first did not institute any new policy towards the Witnesses, and it is obvious that the German Watchtower officials and Rutherford himself hoped that the new ‘law and order’ government of Adolf Hitler would bring hostilities to an end. However, based on Hitler’s new emergency laws giving local authorities permissions to ban publications and stop public assembly, a number of new local restrictions came into effect. On April 24, the police confiscated the Watchtower office and printing facilities in Magdeburg, no doubt looking for evidence that the movement was dangerous. However, since the facilities were owned by an American corporation that protested through its government and the police found little to implicate the movement in any illegal activities, the property was returned on the 29th.

The local bans were still in effect, however, and Rutherford arranged for a convention to be held in Berlin on June 25. Rutherford wrote a special “Declaration of Facts” that were to be translated into German and adopted by the participants and sent to all German officials, including the Führer himself, who also received a special letter from the Watchtower leadership.

To present the Jehovah's Witnesses in the best possible light vis a vis the Nazi anti-Jew policies Rutherford wrote:
The Declaration went a bit far in distancing the Jehovah’s Witnesses from the Jews:

“The greatest and most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American empire. By this is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American Empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York which says: “the Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills.””

In his letter to Hitler Rutherford misrepresented this way:
In the letter to Hitler, Rutherford also made a number of false and questionable claims. The movement, the letter said, had always been “very friendly” to Germany. Even more, the letter claimed that President Rutherford and the other Watchtower directors were imprisoned during World War I “because the president refused to use two magazines published by him in the United States for war propaganda against Germany.” This, naturally, was a bold-faced lie.

Hitler wasn't taken in and continued excluding religious organizations of any kind from operating in Nazi Germany.

Rutherford then flipped and began opposing Hitler. Most of this opposition is the ONLY part of Rutherford's commentary about and to Hitler that is ever published by the Society.

Rutherford fairly fed the brothers to the Nazi war machine using them as propaganda points as martyrs.

Rutherford had been persona non grata with those who had served Pastor Russell. Yet, after being released from prison as a martyr--Rutherford gained enormous political capital with the brothers who had previously opposed him.

Rutherford decided he could cash in his political capital by creating martyrs in the name of Jehovah's Witnesses. He'd cause others to pay and the gain would redound to himself as the de facto ruler of the Watchtower Society.

Whatever the Nazi government may have believed about the contents of the Declaration and the letter, Rutherford grossly miscalculated if he thought it would appease Hitler. Immediately, the sect is banned all over Germany. On June 28, the Magdeburg headquarters were again seized and much literature confiscated and publicly burned.

Still, over the next year, the house-to-house work continued under restrictions. In this time, the climate caused many Witnesses to either leave the movement completely, or at least chill public activities. Rutherford, however, relentlessly insisted that German JWs held a high profile and engaged in public preaching campaigns, leading to many arrests. Rutherford printed Watchtower articles practically encouraging martyrdom. In the November 1 issue, printed a month later in German, Rutherford wrote:

“Some will say: “If in the face of so much persecution and opposition we continue to go out amongst the people and publicly tell these truths, then I fear we may be killed.” That is true; and probably many of the faithful will be killed because they continue to faithfully proclaim the truth which they have learned in the secret place of the Most High.” (p. 328)

Hostilities quickly followed. On April 1, 1935, the Reichstag banned the movement nationwide. Gestapo planned a lightning strike against the leadership on the night of the ‘Lord’s Supper’ (Eucharist, the only festival recognized by the JWs) April 17, but it was only a modest success. On June 24, 1936, state police and the Gestapo formed a special unit to fight the Watchtower movement. Through a number of arrests and infiltration, it succeeded in bringing the movement to a standstill in September 1937. Thereafter, reports of Witness activity is mostly limited to prisons and concentration camps, and some young JW men who refused military service and were executed. Around 2000 members suffered in the camps, 635 died and 203 were executed
The martyrdom of the JWs during WWII should have a profound effect on the movement after the war. First, it gave the Jehovah’s Witnesses a moral boost both in their own and in the public eye. Second, it helped build the community closer as nothing does as well as outside persecution.

Rutherford's ploy worked. Afterward, the "neutrality" issue would be played when needed to strengthen public perception that JW's were morally superior Christians.

In the U.S. during WWII the brothers paid dearly for Rutherford's policies. Previously brothers had been allowed to perform "alternate service" of a non-combatant nature.

Under the previous Society policy, sewing uniforms, arms manufacturing, kitchen duty, and serving in field hospitals was allowed. It was figured that since these duties did not cause these Jehovah’s Witness members to kill someone, they were okay.

Not anymore!

Time magazine Monday, Apr. 19, 1943
throws light on this period in Watchtower history:

A month ago, an Army court-martial at Monterey, Calif, sentenced slight, bespectacled Herbert Weatherbee, one of Jehovah's Witnesses, to prison for life. His crime: refusal to obey a superior officer who ordered him to salute the flag. Last week the American Civil Liberties Union publicized Weatherbee's story, adding it to the growing list of persecutions suffered by the anticlerical, religious group which refuses to bow before any "image" or to fight in any war save Jehovah's.

The Witnesses take their name from the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. Their leader, the late "Judge" Joseph Rutherford, taught that they "must be witnesses to Jehovah by declaring His name and His kingdom under Jesus Christ." They claim half a million followers in the U.S., several million abroad. In peacetime their nonconformity got them deep in trouble with local and state authorities. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1940 that their children must salute the flag in public schools, in 1942 that they could not distribute literature without peddlers' licenses. Jehovah's Witnesses regard themselves as ministers, but draft boards often refuse to exempt them from Army service. This week more than 450 of the group's men of military age are in prison for refusing to heed induction notices.

(also see: Jan S. Haugland September 26, 2000

Hovedoppgave / Master Thesis

Religionsvitenskap / History of Religions

Universitetet i Bergen / University of Bergen, Norway)
What Is The HIDDEN Purpose Of The Watchtower Corporation?

By Terry Walstrom.

Why does the average man or woman on the street only have a vague awareness of who Jehovah's Witnesses are and what they stand for? Isn't it weird they know next to nothing after over a hundred years of door to door work???

Ask yourself why this has been such an ineffective ministry.

One actor, Tom Cruise, has raised more awareness about his own religion (Scientology) than all the Watchtower magazines placed at a million households. In Cruise's case, it is behavior that attracted attention.

In the case of the Watchtower, the bad behaviors (death due to refused blood) only paints the Society as martyrs, albeit fanatical.

The actual MESSAGE of what Jehovah's Kingdom means is completely lost to the public.

Could it be because all this work is designed to do is imitate a process of delivering an important life-saving message?

Could it be because the real purpose of the Watchtower corporation is hidden intentionally?

Corporations acquire legitimacy by earning a profit. In the case of a religious corporation the "profit" must not appear as mere monetary gain. There has to be a public service aspect to generating millions of dollars that will escape taxation! Ordinary corporations must demonstrate to the Board of Directors that cash flow is equitable to investors and a justifiable return on investment has been made. The Watchtower Corporation has had to generate a kind of marvelous "machine" you could pour money into and make it disappear in the form of the preaching work.

CONSTANT EXPANSION is the key! This is a kind of maniacal pyramid scheme to grow and grow ahead of the curve of waves of $$$.

Watchtower rank-and-file members are used as volunteer labor staying very busy appearing to be doing something important.

What they are really doing is generating publicity which serves to hide the actual purpose of the Watchtower corporation.

What is the genuine purpose of the Watchtower corporation?



The Watchtower was a corporate Donald Trump. It could grow dollars and not have to pay taxes on them. It could point to a worldwide work as evidence of money well spent (which wasn't really "spent" at all.) It could account for the cash flow by pointing to new projects in development and new acquisitions ostensibly for more and more publishing effort.

But, in reality, the goose just kept laying golden eggs in the nest of Governing Body members.

To the rank and file there was no Bill of Rights. They could be worked to death grinding out book and magazine sales. In fact, they had no choice but to comply since their very identity as Jehovah's Witnesses depended on demonstrations of door to door sales and hours devoted.

But, why should they?

There was a gun placed to the head of every Jehovah's Witness in the form of Armageddon. This threat could only seem real enough if Armageddon was made a fresh threat and not a vague one in the distant future.

Any Jehovah's Witness who didn't fear being slaughtered at Armageddon just wasn't paying attention. Failure to comply with the busy-busy work commanded from Brooklyn headquarters would lead to disfellowshipping. Disfellowshipping would lead to having a big target placed on the ex-JWs back at Armageddon.

It was the perfect "Protection Racket" organized crime had used to intimidate shopkeepers in the Al Capone era.

Further, every once and awhile a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE would have to be run. This would be in the form of date-setting.

Date-setting (determining when Armageddon was to arrive) was an Investment.

The publicity was golden. The threat level was heightened. The cash flow was extraordinary. The need for more investment property increased. The grip of absolute power was made real.

The downside was practically nil!!

Whatever number of members who balked and left in disgust; the upside was greater! How so?

1.Only the "weaker" members would leave and that is no loss at all.

2.The disfellowshipping would serve as a warning to other members and make threats appear very real.

3.An outside body of “apostates” could be created as a target for vilification that served to drain off anger as a target away from the Governing Body itself. This apostate group would feel the brunt of frustrations and not the actual perpetrator's of date-setting fraud.

4.A mindset of cognitive dissonance would be reinforced because anybody who stayed would have to justify being made a fool of for believing in the Faithful and Discreet Slave nonsense in the first place.

5.Any slowdown in the worldwide conversions would be a bonus since it would "signal the end" of the preaching work was drawing near and that would mean Armageddon really was imminent!

Even outright fraud in the preaching purpose redounded as a benefit!

But, there was a fly in the ointment.

THE MESSAGE could not be made available all at once to everybody or the work would implode!

The only way for Jehovah's Protection Racket to stay healthy would be this:

1. The public at large must have only a vague idea of who Jehovah's Witnesses really are (or the public eye would see through the corporate treadmill and start asking where the money went.)

2. The rank and file must always bear the burden of selling the books and magazines to keep them busy.

3. The use of martyrs has a limited purpose. If the relatives of martyrs start suing in court: the game is up!

The legal situation got out of hand suddenly when people started questioning the backpedaling on delicate issues such as child molestation policy and medical emergency policy.

A buffer of protection was needed to separate the Governing Body from legal responsibility for their hurtful policy-making edicts.

Thus, the re-organization came and went without much publicity reaching the lower ranks and all was well.

Which brings us back to the question: Why no TV ministry?

As we have seen the purpose of the Governing Body is to generate investment capital through real estate ventures. A TV ministry would dry up that money machine quickly by generating a high-profile examination on the part of the newly well-informed public. An actual full-frontal presentation of the weirdness behind JW thinking would kill the vague persona of citizen do-gooders who clean up after themselves at conventions. The scrutiny would become intensely focused on Brooklyn, NY and the actual men who are power brokers on the throne of power.

Publicity has served the corporate purpose when they can frame that publicity as Kingdom Work. Publicity of a different nature could destroy them!

The lawsuits and exposure by internet sites dredging up failed prophecy and policy waffling are a sore point. Governing Body power can only deal with rank and file unrest by clamping down with threats and a tightening grip. It cannot control non-members curiosity. It cannot ignore penetrating questions of authority by threats if the press starts bombarding them with high-profile questions hanging in the air unanswered.

That is why there is no TV ministry for Jehovah's Witnesses. It is a kind of self-fashioned paradox that the Watchtower claims to be heralding an important and urgent message and yet demonstrates an absolute horror of making that message public effectively by using the best technology available.

Follow the money and it leads to a cover up; not a revelation of Christ's presence.

A new generation of leader will emerge soon at the top of the corporate ladder in Brooklyn. A younger and more legally-protected leadership will shift this money machine into high gear once again by protecting its assets and eliminating its liabilities. What changes will this bring to the local congregations?

Not the one they are praying for! The key purpose of new leadership will be to make individual responsibility invisible.

THERE WILL BE A GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ at the helm with fire and smoke and mirrors.

But, for the local Kingdom Halls it will be grunt work as usual.

By Terry Walstrom.

A consideration of the history of the Governing Body

The very first legal Governing Body of (Jehovah's Witnesses) Bible Students were seven persons which included Pastor C.T.Russell, his wife Maria, and his controversial ward, Rose Ball. Five men and two women. These seven persons were also the Directors of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This group set policies and practices for the rest of the religious followers of Pastor Russell. Until the 1970's this group was always composed of the Board of Directors. Afterward, in 1971, the Governing Body enlarged to eleven men appointed by Society President Nathan Knorr.

The presiding chairman rotated annually in alphabetical order.

The purpose of this body expanded to include not only the "present understanding" of theology of Jehovah's Witnesses, but; the establishment of a body of rules and policies of ever-increasing minutia in regards to behavior on the part of the membership world wide.

By 1976 the Governing Body grew to dominate oversight of six committees which carried the entire load of administration for the international religious practices of Kingdom Halls. Until that change, the President of the Society was the autonomous administrator.

In the year 2000 the Board of Directors no longer automatically constituted the Governing Body. At that time a complete changeover occurred in delegating administration away from the President and Board to outside corporate heads. The President of the Society was no longer even a member of the Governing Body. The membership began with seven and has fluctuated to nine, twelve and even eighteen persons over the years.

Today the corporate heads, who are Governing Body members, recommend policies, appointments and changes to suit their needs. Of the six overseeing committed, non-anointed secretaries and assistants may join in the meetings as helpers.

Originally, Pastor Russell and his wife, Maria, were the "twain" who constituted the "faithful and discreet slave". Russell broke away from his wife to become the sole "slave" through whom it was asserted Jehovah's Truth was revealed. The Watchtower magazine and the books penned by Pastor Russell served up "food" to the membership at the proper time for it to be read, understood and followed.

Russell left detailed instruction as to who he, the spirit-guided anointed mouthpiece, wanted to follow him as Directors of the Watchtower Society.

These instructions were violated by the next president, Joseph (Judge) Rutherford. Rutherford maneuvered himself into the sole controlling power position and left the others as non-functioning figureheads.

Pastor Russell deliberately left local congregations autonomous and completely free of central control by the Society itself. Rutherford saw fit to reverse this policy.

Pastor Russell wanted no membership lists to obtain or tests of orthodoxy to be held over the congregations. Rutherford reversed this policy as well.

Judge Rutherford allowed Russell to be understood as the "faithful slave" until such a time as he entrenched his powers and controls over the membership. At such a time the understanding of the doctrine of "faithful slave" morphed into the exact opposite of what Pastor Russell and his wife originally described.

The religion of Jehovah's Witnesses is a hierarchy. Senior elders in local Bethels control the religion and its policies and practices much the same as bishops and cardinals guide the practices of Catholicism.

In 1931 the legal name of the religion changed to Jehovah's Witnesses from that of International Bible Students Association.

As many as 75% of the membership split away from the religion as a result of Judge Rutherford's takeover and policy changes. The faithful members who would not accept Rutherford's claims of anointing and spiritual headship remain as a group today.

The offices, publications and official journal was completely controlled by Rutherford as a result of his legal moves to usurp Russell's legacy. The membership roles he obtained through his traveling agents and the strong arm enforcement strategies he brought to bear on outlying congregations forced a series of reckonings. Rutherford branded any who would not comply with his power and authority as Apostates.

These "Apostates" remained autonomous as Russell had wanted them. Today they are known variously as Associated Bibles Students and Steadfast Bible Students.

What legal maneuver did Rutherford use to wrest control from the board setup by Pastor Russell?

Rutherford contended that the membership of the Board had never been confirmed by vote at the annual corporation meeting. This left them vulnerable to dismissal by Rutherford's legal opinion; he being the legal spokesman for said Society.

This interpretation was never tested in court, but; the application to Rutherford himself would logically and necessarily apply as well! Rutherford was never confirmed by vote either!

Rutherford proceeded to use the Society's printing facilities to set forth his personal views and side of the controversy in direct violation of Pastor Russell's express wishes that nothing be launched in publication after his death. By this time, Judge Rutherford had compiled a mailing list of the membership and directed his campaign of persuasion in personal attacks on four members of the existing committee of Directors. Subsequently, Rutherford fired the four and appointed his own choices to fill the empty positions.

The four dismissed members published their own rebuttals using their own resources and money, but; without the mailing list to guide their arguments their claims largely fell silent. Rutherford had the assets and monies of the Watchtower corporation at hand to win lawsuits if such should arise. The injured parties had no such equivalent wealth or legal standing to continue their fight.

Under the Judge, membership of the Board of Directors was a name-only position for everyone involved but himself. He did as he pleased and the members were told afterward as a rubber stamp function.

For all practical purposes, it was Judge Rutherford's authoritarian coup which set the standard for the monolithic legalism which grew by leaps and bounds ever afterward.

Instead of a religious group of bible students joined in mutual equality and autonomy; the corporate takeover of the Society's assets blossomed into a world wide sounding board for one man's ever stranger opinionating and prejudices.

The bombastic, excoriating series of books and articles which began to emanate from Pastor Russell's bible society, under the leadership of Judge Rutherford, dramatically established a new era of controversy, acrimony and public defiance.

So, unhinged was Rutherford's rampant takeover that he landed the board of Directors in prison shortly afterward for counseling members of the armed forces to lay down their weapons and leave the battlefield.

This began an endless series of clashes with government, churches and society itself which can only be characterized as a rampage of egotism.

From those days forward, Rutherford's policies and dictums took on a flavor of legalism that devolved into nitpicking behavior controls. Authoritarianism, threats, controls, legalism and outright bullying shaped the remaining 25% of Russell's original faithful few into a feisty culture of contrarian vigilantes willing to march into hell for the Judge's spoken commands.

Members began to be viewed as troublemakers instead of bible students. They insulted churches, pastors, Christianity, government, the military, holidays and even treasured customs in an effort to be noticed as holier-than-thou.

You had to be tough, feisty and cocksure to make it through those years. Those who did and lived to tell about it were the hardcore evangelists who went to extremes to bring in the next generation of misfits, upstarts and know-it-alls who would expand the membership from thousands into millions worldwide.

Today, the Watchtower Society is run with the same basic hierarchy structure as the Catholic Church. The chief difference being the tradition behind the theology has changed almost daily at the whim of the Governing leaders.
Watchtower BREAKDOWN On The Highway To Paradise.

By Terry Walstrom.

All of us at one time or another have owned a automobile that was a real lemon!

The car may have been shiny, stylish and totally cool-looking....the only problem was it was a piece of crap.

REPAIR after repair after repair in a never ending spiral of maintenance kept it in the shop more than it was on the road!

You may have really loved that car--it might have been a classic---but--it proved to be totally useless for basic transportation because:


That, my friends, is the religion known as Jehovah's Witnesses!

The engine which drives this tour bus to Heavenly paradise keeps breaking down by the side of the road and the passengers have to get out and wait for the repairs.

All the while the Tour Guide and the company provide glowing reassurances you are IN GOOD HANDS and the arrival will well be worth the trip!

How many times can a motor, transmission, tires and drive train be replaced before you reach the inescapable conclusion YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION??

Pastor Charles Taze Russell used very specific language in his writings about the destination and arrival time for Armageddon and the 1,000 year reign's beginning.

"God's dates--not ours!" the passengers were assured in no uncertain terms. 1914 was the end! Jesus had already arrived in 1874 and was now ready to slay his enemies and reward his followers with Paradise!

But, the bus broke down in WWI and repairs began along with new assurances given.

1914 changed from the End to the Beginning of the End. REPAIR ACCOMPLISHED!

The passengers got back on the bus and the new motor started up and off they went.

The bus driver died at the wheel in 1916 and another driver hijacked the bus!

Judge J.F.Rutherford convinced the passengers the destination was still the same and they were in good hands if they stayed on while he took them for a ride!

Pastor Russell was guiding the bus by remote control (from heaven!) and the Great Pyramid gave factual assurance the date of Christ's return was correct!

But, the bus driver and his crew of mechanics were arrested and thrown in prison! They were tried in court under the Espionage Act!

Everybody out of the bus!!

Time for repairs again!

1918 brings the news that the ancient Patriarchs will be resurrected by 1925!

1920 the charges are dropped and the bus gets back on the road. But, 1 out of every 7 passengers has left to find another means of transportation in disgust!

REPAIRS ARE MADE, assurances given--off they go.......

Except- frequent stops are made so that the passengers can go door to door to sell householders on the idea of replacing the ones who left.

1925 comes and goes--BREAKDOWN! Everybody out of the bus!!

The bus driver admits he "made an ass" of himself. He decides the Great Pyramid is a load of crap that Satan thought it up in the first place.

New assurances are given--everybody back on the bus. (Well, not everybody....)

1932 the happy International Bible Student bus-trip to Heavenly Paradise becomes the JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TOUR-bus, instead.

The driver pulls over to the side of the road and makes a startling announcement: NOT ALL PASSENGERS will arrive in Heavenly Paradise after all!

Only a few---a VERY few. MOST OF YOU will stay right here in an Earthly paradise!"

Back on the road....

1933 the driver finally admits 1914 was NOT Armageddon--just the, um, New beginning date of Christ's arrival. Forget what you were told by that other guy. Jesus did NOT arrive in 1874! This is an IMPROVEMENT and not a contradiction!

By 1935, all new passengers only get to go to Earth and not heaven!

Along the road, passengers are instructed NOT to observe any of the local customs such as flag salute, singing the National Anthem, celebrating Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. In short--make yourselves as obnoxious as possible---and don't forget to tell them THEY ARE GOING TO DIE!

Passengers report dizziness, anxiety, confusion and restlessness as the changes, repairs, sidelines and such come and go with regularity.






Will Sodom be resurrected?

Yes: 1879-1951

No: 1952-1964

Yes 1965-1988

No: 1988

Identity of the “Superior authorities” of Romans 13:1

Human Government: 1879-1929

Jehovah and Jesus Christ: 1929-1962

Human Government: 1963-present

Identity of the “Faithful and Wise servant” of Matt. 24

A class of people: 1879-1897

An individual: 1897-1928

A class of people: 1929-present

Michael the Archangel

Not Jesus: 1879

Is the Pope: 1917

Is Jesus: 1920-Present

Should Jesus be “worshiped”?

Yes: 1879-1953

No: 1954-present

Jesus referred to what when he said “this is my body”?

The church: 1953-1955

His body of flesh: 1956-present

Date for the Beginning of Christ’s “invisible” presence

In 1874: 1879-1929

In 1914: 1929-present

Jesus died on a cross or a torture stake?

Cross: 1879-1935

Torture stake: 1936-present

Are Organ Transplants permissible for Jehovah’s Witnesses

No cannibalism 1967 – 1979

Yes:1980- present

Celebrating Christmas and birthdays

Yes: 1879-1926

No: 1927-present

Supporting War and Politics

Yes: 1879-1935

No: 1936-present

Great Pyramid in Egypt

God’s Witness: 1879 –1927

Satan’s Bible: 1928– Present

The Road trip continues as passengers get off and get on and the trip never ends.

With one breakdown after another and one explanation making the old one redundant and suspiciously corrupt the only possible conclusion should be: THIS BUS IS A LEMON and THIS TRIP IS GOING NOWHERE BUT CIRCLES!

And yet: how many people do you know who are still riding and hoping and riding and hoping and riding and hoping.......???