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Rare video footage of Judge Rutherford at Beth-Sarim San Diego CA.


Jack Ryan
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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   

 

 

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A blogger here has a picture of Sister Claus where apparently her husband is obscured in the photo. (Not important to this topic, but I was baptized in Tulsa in 1967, and got bit by a dog while o

As you may have already known @Space Merchant there is a bit more context here: https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/watchtower-study-october-2021/1921-One-Hundred-Years-Ago/ On Tuesday,

I doubt he was a drunkard in the video shown above. I think he was just fooling around on the farm.    

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If you spend 15 minutes reading each of Rutherford’s books you would get more pleasure than you would reading the Bible for a whole year - Vindication, 1932, Vol. 3, p.383

 

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Judge Rutherford couldn’t write these things unless he were used of God - Golden Age, 23 October 1935, p. 50

 

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For twelve winters Judge Rutherford and his office force occupied Beth Sarim. It was not used as a place of ease or vacationing, but was used as a winter workshop; the books from Vindication, Book One down to and including Children were written there, as well as many Watchtower articles and booklets. The executive instructions for branches all over the earth also were transmitted from Beth-Sarim during the Judge's presence there. At Beth Sarim, Judge Rutherford completed the 1942 Yearbook material as his last work before his death. He dictated this material from his dying bed.

 

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Picture of Beth Sarim: House of the Princes, built to be inhabited by the expected resurrected Old Testament Patriarchs and used as a winter home for Judge Joseph F. Rutherford, Watchtower president (1917-1942), who gave the religious group the name "Jehovah's Witnesses." The house was built in 1929 and sold by the Watchtower Society in 1948. The house has been designated Historical Landmark number 474 by the City of San Diego.

Location is 4440 Braeburn Rd, San Diego CA 92116

Author: Dtbrown

25 June 2008

 

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On 7/21/2016 at 9:33 PM, The Librarian said:

I doubt he was a drunkard in the video shown above. I think he was just fooling around on the farm.

The video was shown at Bethel to the entire family, and I don't think it would have been shown if those who made that decision to show it, thought that it definitely showed him in a drunken condition. However, there are at least two other pictures of Rutherford that show him in a condition that is almost the definition of what we would expect a drunk to look like.

But Brother Rutherford evidently did [allegedly] suffer from alcoholism, and it was not always apparent when he was under the influence. Hayden Covington, the Society's attorney, has admitted this to others, and even to relatives of mine. Of course, Hayden Covington, was himself an admitted alcoholic, who was disfellowshipped for related behavior. So his claims might be biased. On the other hand, the elder who was my own table head at Bethel said the same about Rutherford, and much more. Another friend of mine from Bethel, Arthur Worsley, Brother Swingle's roommate before Lyman married Crystal, has admitted that he lied under oath to protect Rutherford out of fear of being kicked out of Bethel at the Olin Moyle trial.

(The previous Society attorney before Covington was Olin Moyle, who felt it necessary to write a letter to Rutherford about abusive behavior, and even complained that Rutherford had been making arrangements to illegally bring in liquor from Canada during Prohibition. When Rutherford went public about Moyle in the pages of the Watchtower, where Rutherford railed against Moyle as an "evil slave," the case finally went to court, where Rutherford lost and had to pay Moyle $30,000 - reduced to $15,000 in an appeal in 1944. An anti-Moyle resolution was even adopted at the 1941 St. Louis assembly naming Olin Moyle as an "evil slave.")

Don't know if the booklet from the 1930's is related to Rutherford's alleged alcoholism, but it is titled "Prohibition and the League of Nations - Born of God or the Devil, Which?" Rutherford had spoken out against liquor prohibition as "born from the Devil" as far back as 1924 or earlier. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 12:00 PM, The Librarian said:

"Rare" before it was uploaded. 😉

Some of this stuff we've seen before, so I don't see how that is rare. But, granted this is revolving around a JW pastor, there is a rare instance of him, pictures of him spotted during the fall of Black Wall Street, otherwise known as The Tulsa Race massacre of Summer 1921 (May 31, 1921 – June 1, 1921).

As you can see in the pictures below, you can see the JW Pastor's (well a Bible Student at the time) picture in the background, the mob outside were whites demanding the lynching of Dick Rowland because he was spotted with a white woman by the name Sarah Page, and was said to have assaulted her, however she declined to prosecute, despite this, that assumption was the fuel the riot needed in their fire; they needed someone to blame.

Reasons for the picture was due to the fact just the day before, he gave a sermon, "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" on a  Monday, which was May 30th of 1921, and there were many ads/posters placed prior to the talk itself, even in the papers which was to be held at the Convention Hall.  The next day on a Tuesday night, The Tulsa Race Riot began. It is said some black folks wanted to attend this talk (only white people attended obviously), however, because of the Jim Crow Laws that were in effect, this prohibited black and white people to meet/gather with each other, which also connects with a Bible Student by the name Richard Hill not being able to attend, more so, the situation with Dick and Sarah, sparked the lynch mob making anyone who isn't white a literal target.

Sadly, some former Bible Students and JWs will tell you that the JWs had some involvement and or Hill was a colored person to they barred him, even going as far as to spin conspiracy for those who aren't aware of the situation that took place, but that was not the case, granted anyone willing to look into that history, will see the truth of the situation, i.e. ExJws pretending to be JWs to trick anyone who does not know what Jim Crow Laws are or the real history behind the riots.

NOTE: The Jim Crow Laws forbid blacks and whites to congregate together anywhere, and it is very strict. Places such as schools, restaurants, churches, etc.

As for Hill, it is most likely that he and his household survived the bloody riots, possibly were out of harm's way. It was also said that some went to Hill's house for meetings during this time. To some extent, White Bible Students even defended his home apparently as some would say.

 

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As you may have already known @Space Merchant there is a bit more context here:

https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/watchtower-study-october-2021/1921-One-Hundred-Years-Ago/

On Tuesday, May 31, 1921, what came to be called the Tulsa Race Massacre erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., after a black man was jailed and charged with assaulting a white woman. When a mob of more than 1,000 white men clashed with a smaller group of black men, the fighting spread quickly to the black neighborhood of Greenwood, where more than 1,400 homes and businesses were looted and burned. The official death toll was 36, but the actual number may have been in the hundreds.

Brother Richard J. Hill, a black Bible Student and resident of Greenwood, related what happened: “On the night of the riot, we had our Bible study class as usual. After the class was over, we heard shooting downtown. We went to bed listening to it.” By Wednesday morning, June 1, the situation had worsened. “Some folks came and stated that if we wanted protection, we had better go to Convention Hall at once.” So Brother Hill along with his wife and five children fled to Tulsa’s Convention Hall. There, an estimated 3,000 black men and women were housed by the National Guard, who had been called in to restore order.

About the same time, Brother Arthur Claus, who was white, made a courageous decision. “When I heard that rioting squads were running about throughout Greenwood, looting and setting fire to homes, I decided to check on my dear friend, Brother Hill.”

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Using The Harp of God, Arthur Claus taught a study class of 14 children

Arriving at Brother Hill’s home, he encountered a white neighbor holding a rifle. The neighbor, also a friend of Brother Hill’s, assumed that Arthur was one of the rioters. “Why are you in this man’s yard?” he shouted.

“Had I given him an unsatisfactory answer, he would have shot me,” Arthur recalled. “I assured him that I was Brother Hill’s friend and that I had been to his home many times.” Arthur and the neighbor successfully protected the property against the looters.

Soon Arthur discovered that Brother Hill and his family were at Convention Hall. Arthur was told that black people could not leave there without an order signed by General Barrett, the officer in charge. Arthur related: “It was a real task to get to see the general. When I told him my plans, he asked: ‘Will you watch over this family and take care of their needs?’ Naturally, I heartily agreed.”

With the order in hand, Arthur rushed to Convention Hall. He presented it to an officer who exclaimed: “Why, this is signed by the general himself! Do you know that you are the first person to take anyone from this place all day?” Brother Hill and his family were soon located. All of them crowded into Arthur’s car and headed home.

Brother Claus made sure that Brother Hill and his family were safe. His example of fearless brotherhood had a good effect on others. Arthur related: “The neighbor who helped protect the Hill’s property drew closer to the truth. And a number of people got interested in the Kingdom because they saw that there were no racial barriers, that all of us stood equal among God’s dedicated people.”

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A blogger here has a picture of Sister Claus where apparently her husband is obscured in the photo.

(Not important to this topic, but I was baptized in Tulsa in 1967, and got bit by a dog while out in door-to-door service there. (Age 10.) Somehow, the police showed up almost instantly, and I remember my brother and I talking the police out of calling animal services to have the animal put down. The householder was crying because the police were insistent.) 

http://reddirtimports.blogspot.com/2012/04/is-that-poster-of-judge-rutherford.html

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IP7rvcl80So/T2ar7XDsyjI/AAAAAAAAABc/qAVbljkWR1I/s760/South%2BUnit.jpg

The other pictures include an article from a Tulsa paper advertising Rutherford's speech which (as @Space Merchant already mentioned) had actually happened on Monday, just prior to the major part of the riot. Notice as an aside that Tulsa had a population of 70,000 and it was promised that "thousands" of persons from Tulsa, if they lived another 4 years, would never die.  (Larger cities like Pittsburgh were given "tens of thousands" and even larger cities like NYC were given "hundreds of thousands.)

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