By Jack Ryan
4440 Braeburn Road, residence complete January 13, 1930. Two months later, the public was introduced to Beth-Sarim in a front-page article in the San Diego Sun titled, “San Diego Mansion — With All Modern Improvements — Awaits Earthly Return of Prophets.” It opened by reporting: “In one of the strangest deeds ever filed in the nation, Rutherford, president of the International Bible Students Association and of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, has put the huge tile-roofed home in fashionable Kensington Heights in perpetual trust for the ancient kings and prophets of Palestine” (emphasis added). The article went on to observe that “Judge Rutherford is intensely proud of the house he has planned and built for David, king of Israel; Samson…Joseph…and others equally as famous in the Bible.” .
The following January, the San Diego Sun carried another article on Beth-Sarim, “David’s House Waits for Owner.” When the reporter asked Rutherford how he thought the returned princes would look, Rutherford responded: “‘As perfect men. I interpret that to mean…that David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, Joseph and Samuel will be sent here to wrench the world from Satan’s grasp, clothed in modern garb as we are, and able, with little effort to speak our tongue.’ Rutherford pictured the arrival of the biblical delegation perhaps in frock coats, high hats, canes and spats.” Rutherford’s booklet, What You Need(1932), depicted the seven “Ancient Worthies,” identified as “Earth’s new rulers,” in more traditional biblical garb. . San Diego, 1930's, is a pivotal time for the JW's. The following year the JW'S got the official name ot "Jehovah's Witnesses",Watchtower bible tract Society. Then began the growth of the vast Jehovah's Witness population in San Diego County.
Watchtower President Joseph Franklin Rutherford & Beth Sarim
By Jack Ryan
“Error always seeks the dark, while truth is always enhanced by the light. Error never desires to be investigated. Light always courts a thorough and complete investigation. Light and truth are synonymous”
- J.F. Rutherford. "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", page 14.
The Lord told Watchtower President Joseph "Judge" Rutherford to start the individual hour requirements and return visits for JW.orgBy Jack Ryan
Pg. 205, July 1 1943, Watchtower
By JW Insider
This forum currently contains a recent topic where the subject of the 1918 imprisonment and 1919 release of Rutherford and his associates has come up. There is a lot of misinformation under that topic. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's still obvious that even some who present themselves as experts can be misinformed.
There is plenty of documentation and verifiable information out there on the topic, and while there's no real shame in being misinformed, we should be careful not to present ourselves as experts. When a person presents themselves as an expert, their misinformation becomes disinformation. We should strive for honesty.
And it's not that going back to this history is necessarily all that important, but our publications have made it part of fulfilled Bible prophecy, and therefore any mishandling of information about it becomes all the more serious. Also, sometimes when such historical topics are brought up some Witnesses are quick to complain that there is no reason to go back and rehash that old material. Note however, that it is our recent books and Watchtower magazines that regularly bring up such material for review. The "God's Kingdom" book discusses it. Even one of the most recent Watchtowers brings it up again (October 2019 Watchtower):
*** w19 October p. 3 1919—One Hundred Years Ago ***
While the eight brothers were imprisoned, faithful Bible Students circulated a petition calling for their release. These brave brothers and sisters gathered more than 700,000 signatures. On Wednesday, March 26, 1919, before the petition was submitted, Brother Rutherford and the other responsible brothers were released.
In a speech to those who welcomed him home, Brother Rutherford said: “I am convinced that this experience we have all gone through is merely to prepare us for more strenuous times. . . . Your fight has not been to get your brethren out of prison. That was merely a side issue. . . . The fight you have been making has been for the purpose of witnessing for the Truth, and those who have done it have received a wonderful blessing.”
The circumstances surrounding the trial of our brothers may give indication of Jehovah’s direction. On May 14, 1919, the appeals court ruled: “The defendants in this case did not have the . . . impartial trial to which they were entitled, and for that reason the judgment is reversed.” The brothers had been convicted of serious crimes, and these judgments would have remained on their records if they had only been pardoned or if their sentences had merely been commuted. No further charges were laid. As a result, Judge Rutherford retained his legal qualifications to defend Jehovah’s people before the Supreme Court of the United States, something he did many times after his release.
I won't personally get back to this topic for up to a day or so, but welcome anyone with information to present what they know about it, or have heard about it. We can start with our own publications and Wikipedia, of course. But anything that seems like valuable information or interesting questions could be presented for evaluation by all who are serious about such history.