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I am reading: "Rutherford's Coup" by Rud Persson -- 600+ pages, and much too expensive!


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What gets me is when we keep going on about obeying instructions in order to survive Armageddon. This weekends WT study mentioned it agaiin....comparing the GB to Joshuah and Zerubabel. (Otherwise the

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5 hours ago, WalterPrescott said:

He had this Rutherford thing on his mind since 2014. I guess he finally acted on it. 

In the book, Persson notes that he first noticed a discrepancy in the book "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" (jp) in the late 1960's, and that's when he first took an interest in our modern-day history. But he started his research in 1973 (still a Witness, of course) when he began writing to those who still had some first-hand knowledge or documentation. He planned to write the book in the late 1970's, he says, but was delayed with other matters (unspecified). There are many indications from his research that he was very serious about this project for many years prior to 2014.

I called an older brother from Bethel in his 80's last night and we spoke for about 2 hours about things he knew about the matter. I'd heard things from an elderly elder in the 1970's at Bethel (my "Table Head") but the elder I spoke to last night actually did a lot of historical research, and his writings are still being used in the current publications (but it's things he wrote several years ago; he is "retired" and not actively writing any more). He didn't know about the book, but won't get it or read it because he thinks of Rud Persson as an apostate. But he's happy to answer any questions. 

When at Bethel, I was just one of several Bethelites who taped interviews (about those "olden days") with persons like Maxwell Friend, Fred Franz, and Grace DeCecca because we could give non-outline Sunday talks in the congregations in those days, and I gave a couple of talks in several congregations based on excerpts from several hours of those interviews. This same brother I spoke to last night had helped me organize the excerpts.

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On 5/20/2022 at 6:46 AM, Srecko Sostar said:

How did Rutherford feel? In what role did he think he was?

I thought I wouldn't do this, but since you asked, I found the answer interesting.

In 1915 Rutherford felt himself a "defender of the faith" in a very literal sense. He had written a defense against most of the attacks on Russell in 1915. When Russell died, in 1916, it looks like Rutherford was genuinely concerned to do the right thing, scripturally. I hadn't known that P.S.L. Johnson was actually a very good friend of Rutherford's at the time. (Later they had a big falling out.) So when Russell died, Rutherford went to his good friend because he trusted him to know the prophetic types better than anyone, and wanted to know if Russell would have a successor. (They had both just recently met in Maryland at the time Russell died. Johnson lived in Ohio, but was in Maryland on a "Pilgrim" visit  and Rutherford was there on business.)

Johnson told Rutherford that he didn't know about Russell having a successor, but he would study the "types and anti-types" and get back to him. And they both traveled fto NY in the next couple of days to get to the funeral. It might seem naive to look at "types" for a kind of "sign" as to what to do next, but it was new to me that Rutherford did not at that moment come across like the bombastic, brash person we sometimes think of from later months. Even though we have recently dropped "type/antitype" doctrines, it is interesting that they would use these as a kind of "Urim/Thummin" before they made a decision, and not just find "types and antitypes" to explain or justify or "scripturalize" decisions or events that already happened.

When they felt "lost" they turned the Bible, and Rutherford turned humbly to someone he thought of as smarter than himself on scriptural matters. (PSL Johnson was considered to be the most brilliant of the Bible Students at the time.)

Also, I learned from the book that the board of directors actually tried to run things the way that Russell had outlined in his "last will and testament." Johnson said that this lasted about a week. It wasn't just Rutherford who were rejecting Russell's will.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

He didn't know about the book, but won't get it or read it because he thinks of Rud Persson as an apostate. But he's happy to answer any questions. 

“No, no, Rude Person is actually a very nice guy!”

Sorry, it is just such low-hanging fruit. Why should this character be so named? It’s almost like Nabal—the ‘senseless one.’

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

When Russell died, in 1916, it looks like Rutherford was genuinely concerned to do the right thing, scripturally. . . . it was new to me that Rutherford did not come across like the bombastic, brash person we sometimes think of from later years.  . . . When they felt "lost" they turned the Bible, and Rutherford turned humbly to someone he thought of as smarter than himself on scriptural matters. 

All of this is a bit at odds with the “shrewd and scheming legal mind” he is said to have had in the book’s promo.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I thought I wouldn't do this, but since you asked, I found the answer interesting.

In 1915 Rutherford felt himself a "defender of the faith" in a very literal sense. He had written a defense against most of the attacks on Russell in 1915. When Russell died, in 1916, it looks like Rutherford was genuinely concerned to do the right thing, scripturally. I hadn't known that P.S.L. Johnson was actually a very good friend of Rutherford's at the time. (Later they had a big falling out.) So when Russell died, Rutherford went to his good friend because he trusted him to know the prophetic types better than anyone, and wanted to know if Russell would have a successor. (They were both in Ohio when Russell died; Johnson lived there, and Rutherford was there on business.)

Johnson told Rutherford that he didn't know, but he would study the "types and anti-types" and get back to him. And they both traveled from Ohio to NY in the next couple of days to get to the funeral. It might seem naive to look at "types" for a kind of "sign" as to what to do next, but it was new to me that Rutherford did not come across like the bombastic, brash person we sometimes think of from later years. Even though we have recently dropped "type/antitype" doctrines, it is interesting that they would use these as a kind of "Urim/Thummin" before they made a decision, and not just find "types and antitypes" to explain or justify or "scripturalize" decisions or events that already happened.

When they felt "lost" they turned the Bible, and Rutherford turned humbly to someone he thought of as smarter than himself on scriptural matters. (PSL Johnson was considered to be the most brilliant of the Bible Students at the time.)

Also, I learned from the book that the board of directors actually tried to run things the way that Russell had outlined in his "last will and testament." Johnson said that this lasted about a week. It wasn't just Rutherford who rejected Russell's will.

Paul Samuel Leo Johnson
P.S.L.Johnson.png
Born
Paul Samuel Leo Levitsky

October 4, 1873
Died October 22, 1950(aged 77)
Occupation Minister
Years active 1898–1950
Known for Founder of the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement
Notable work
Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures
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Paul Samuel Leo (formerly Levitsky) Johnson (October 4, 1873 – October 22, 1950) was an American scholar and pastor, the founder of the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement. He authored 17 volumes of religious writings entitled Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures, and published two magazines from about 1918 until his death in 1950. The movement he created continues his work and publishes his writings, operating from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.

He was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1873, to Jewishparents who had recently immigrated from Poland. His father was a prominent Hebrew scholar,[citation needed] and eventually became president of the Titusville synagogue. His mother died when he was 12, and his father remarried, both of which caused him distress; he ran away from home several times.

He eventually converted to Christianity and joined the Methodist Church.[clarification needed]

In 1890, he entered the Capital University of Columbus, Ohio, and graduated in 1895 with high honors. Records in that University's Library show him enrolled as Paul Levitsky;[citation needed] he then went to the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohioand graduated in 1898. He pastored a Lutheran church for a short time in Mars, Pennsylvania, and was then transferred back to Columbus, Ohio, at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, which was later razed to make way for highway infrastructure. He soon built a new church building and was noted (by the Capitol University Synod)[citation needed] to have baptized more people and collected less money than any other pastor in the synod.

In May 1903 he left the Lutheran Church as a consequence of changes in his beliefs, and began fellowship with the Columbus Ecclesia of the Watch Tower Society. The Lutheran Church later claimed they had disfellowshipped him for heresy, but he had already left them of his own free will.[citation needed] A year later, Pastor Charles Taze Russellappointed him as a Pilgrim of the Bible Student movement. He eventually served as Russell's personal secretary. In time, he became Russell's most trusted friend and advisor.[citation needed]

Johnson suffered a nervous breakdown in 1910 a result of withstanding dissidents from within who were challenging the teachings of Pastor C.T. Russell on questions around his understanding of the new covenant and the ransom for all.

Johnson left the Watch Tower Society when Joseph F. Rutherford took over its direction after Russell's death. He founded the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement in 1920, and served on its board of directors from 1920 until his death on October 22, 1950.
 

Rutherford changed Russell’s understanding of the ark from that representing Jesus…to representing the organisation….and just from this fast cursory search it doesnt seem he was much of a friend to Rutherford as he was to Russell.

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

P.S.L. Johnson was actually a very good friend of Rutherford's at the time. (Later they had a big falling out.)

I had read about that in one of the old WT. It was quite crazy reading....Johnson jumping out of a window in London bethel to get away from the brothers who had come to ask him questions. Apparently it was in the local newspaper, reported by a passerby who saw him jumping, lol

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On 5/20/2022 at 11:24 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

All of this is a bit at odds with the “shrewd and scheming legal mind” he is said to have had in the book’s promo.

True. And he gets to that of course.

I like to look out for positive things that are "admitted" to be true, even when you might not expect the source to admit those positive things. In this case, it made me think that Rutherford, in 1916, still had a lot of faith in the chronology and in the imminent "manifestation" of Christ's return. If it didn't happen in 1914 as expected, or even in 1915 using Russell's recently shifted chronology, then it was at least expected that Russell would live to see his reward in person. And now that Russell hadn't lived to see the "change/translation/rapture" actually happen, Rutherford must have had faith that the end must still be extremely close. Perhaps he thought there was no time for legal maneuvering and politics.

What would it matter who was president of the Society if the end were coming upon them in just a few days or weeks? 

What I am seeing is that there were several factors that motivated the maneuvering, and it wasn't all centered on Rutherford himself. Others played a large part in what finally happened. [Edtied to add that some of those "manipulations" evidently started out as various factions and disagreements within the current leadership, and it's partly a matter of how quickly Rutherford would side with those who already, like himself, wanted some out and some to stay.]

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6 hours ago, WalterPrescott said:

There are several things wrong with this Bible Student account on Wikipedia with P.S.L. Johnson. This is why people should read the fine print, especially when it states, citation needed. However, it’s part of Bible Student's historical record.

A House Divided

After the death of Pastor Russell it was clear that the work he started should be continued. But who would continue it and how? It was obvious that the Society had no intention of carrying out his wishes as set forth in his last will and testament. The four ousted directors, having failed to secure their position on the hoard, along with other prominent Bible Students as individuals, congregations, and publishing houses, decided to do the job.

On August 15, 1918, the four ousted members of the board, along with former pilgrim Paul Samuel Leo Johnson, considered publishing The Bible Standard and Herald of Christ's Kingdom. They would soon have a falling out, and Johnson would go on to found what is today the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement [one of the unincorporated names used by Pastor Russell and the early IBSA] and publish independently of all Bible Students, introducing a new dispensation of views and doctrines . In December, 1918, Johnson published The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Kingdom ; in 1920 he published The Herald of the Epiphany [later renamed The Bible Standard and Herald of Christ's Epiphany]. Johnson taught that since Pastor Russell was the Parousia Messenger during the Lord's parousia, he must be the Epiphany Messenger during the Lord's epiphany. Johnson was a prolific writer ; he penned the fifteen-volume Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures, two volumes of which were added after his death in 1950.

This is it!

As was the case after the death of Pastor Russell, a number of schisms occurred after the death of Johnson. Raymond Jolly, a former Watch Tower pilgrim, took the reigns. No sooner than he did, disagreements occurred between Jolly and John Hoefle of Mount Dora, Florida, and John Krewson of Fort Myers, Florida, both pilgrims for the Laymen's. Hoefle, who left the Society in 1928 and joined Johnson, was eventually disfellowshipped from the Laymen's in 1956. He began publishing a newsletter under the banner of Epiphany Bible Students Association. John Hoefle died in the 1980s ; his wife, Emily, continues the work. John Krewson was disfellowshipped in 1955 and formed the Laodicean Home Missionary Movement in Philadelphia. He claimed that since Pastor Russell was the "Parousia Messenger" and Johnson the "Epiphany Messenger, "he must be the "Apokalypsis Messenger" since he believed we are now living in the apokalypsis stage of the Lord's presence. He published the three-volume Apokalypsis Studies in the Scriptures, and the monthly The Present Truth of the Apokalypsis . Krewson died in the 1970s; the work continued until 1990 when it stopped.

Thank you for that info…..I don’t doubt at all that the Wikipedia article had errors…and it’s hard to get to the truth of these matters unless one was alive at the time and involved with all of this….and then one has to realise it’s his opinion and the way he saw things at the time…

Certain  books are often written by ex witness…so are dubious as to facts surrounding a event….yet some may be accurate..so it’s hard to discern fact from fiction….

Its terribly sad that he obviously had a break down and if what Anna posted it’s even sadder and more tragic…I did read where Russell did have a lot of opposition to him and it was constant bickering from within that he had to contend with…and this should never be…

 

walter may I ask how old you are…..you seem to have a lot of first hand experience of certain things,,,,,

At our second last Assembly I observed  a very old brother always sitting on his own…so I went and chatted with him for the remaining two days…he was fascinating to listen to…he was involved in building the first KH in Australia….they had massive opposition…and were in a way a bit of a wild bunch…at that time..but they got the job done and I think they needed to be of that character for the times back then…he was legally blind and deaf and couldn’t really hear the talks..yet he was still there…all on his own…..how can one not respect such faith.

 

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5 hours ago, Anna said:

I had read about that in one of the old WT. It was quite crazy reading....Johnson jumping out of a window in London bethel to get away from the brothers who had come to ask him questions. Apparently it was in the local newspaper, reported by a passerby who saw him jumping, lol

I would be asking just what sort of pressure he had been under and for how long …and from whom…..and is this in our historical publications….and if not…why not.

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8 hours ago, WalterPrescott said:

True. That, apostate's article in the apostate site AD1914 mentions that.

"It was in 1973 that I started to research the history of the Watchtower movement. "

A site you should be familiar with since you are also mentioned there.

https://ad1914.com/personal-experience-rud-persson/

However, his approach to further his confusion began somewhere in 2014.

 

It is better to personally know those people and experienced their lives with them. We all have tens of thousands of taped hours of 1000s of people. Does it matter if someone misunderstands and misinterprets someone else's thoughts?

Being a Bethelite doesn't necessarily mean people are good friends with the anointed. They don't allow such a personal friendship for obvious reasons, just like Rutherford as an attorney. If anything, he would have consulted with G-d on any serious matter bothering him, rather than to speak with a brother in arms just like Russell.

It's not like Jesus and the apostles. Jesus had confidence in them even though they were imperfect. Today, trust and loyalty is an issue. That's why scripture provides proof with Judas.

This is why it's better to have a personal relationship with G-d and not dwell in apostate thoughts!<><

Yes! Brotherhood relationships are a good thing for spiritual unity, but a better relationship with G-d is the best for the soul.

So, let's not get into a discussion over "friendship" and relationship. There are differences. Working relationship, field service relationship, being part of assembly work with anointed relationship, etc.

The read  about Pearson was interesting…he brought up some valid points tho I dont understand how he could join the Red Cross…and not see the implications of that…nor his stumbling over the fractions issue…

This post is very interesting 

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On 5/20/2022 at 8:48 PM, Thinking said:

I would be asking just what sort of pressure he had been under and for how long …and from whom…..and is this in our historical publications….and if not…why not.

There are bits and pieces of this in our publications. It's only when you put all the pieces together and hear PSL Johnson's side of the story that some of the apparent discrepencies start to make sense. Persson discusses this episode at great length (of course), considering the 1973 Yearbook, 1975 Yearbook, Proclaimers, Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose (1958), Faith on the March (1957) and the old Watchtower publications from 1916, 1917, and 1918. But he also quotes extensively from contemporary Bible Student sources and recent Bible Student sources such as the one's that @WalterPrescott has quoted from.

In fact, most of the paragraphs that Walter has been posting are taken directly from the writing of Rolando Rodriguez. You can find them here: https://millennialmessengers.wordpress.com/tag/charles-taze-russell/

and much of it repeated on a forum here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thepresenttruthforum/the-fiery-cloudy-pillar-t4686.html?sid=a8e09c4a4332c2aea4e21c85819a15ac

Persson acknowledges contact with Rodriguez for his book and credits him with providing some historical document(s).

I think it's easy to get the idea from what's been said that PSL jumped out a window due to a mental breakdown. This is a conflation of several things that have been said about him in our publications. In fact, PSL apparently never jumped out of a window, but let himself down from the balcony where his feet could reach the fence, and then let himself down from the fence, also without jumping. He did this because he was being trapped in one of the London Bethel rooms with the door blocked, and under guard, likely both to keep him from being able to participate in a planned court hearing the next day, and to resolve a matter about some missing money. And Hemery, the person still managing the London Bethel, and an adversary in the court case, apparently wanted to go through his letters and papers in his briefcase before the court hearing took place. Hemery ended up doing just that.

Nobody was hurt, and Rutherford did not treat PSL as if he really had serious mental problems when he got back, as you might expect if everything said about him was true. Rutherford just didn't want him going back to the London Bethel where he had seen (or likely caused) so many problems.

[Edited to add: I was wrong on this point about Rutherford not dealing with PSLJ as if he had serious mental problems. Rutherford was actually quick to deal with PSLJ as insane and mentally unbalanced, but Rutherford was inconsistent, and seemed to soften his position toward him. This hadn't made sense to me originally, and I was partly influenced here by the comments of a brother I spoke to at length about this very recently after reading this portion of the book. But Persson's book provides a detail that I take as an obvious clue as to the reason for Rutherford's inconsistency. Persson doesn't appear to draw any conclusion from that detail, but it makes me think that it was not just an absent-minded inconsistency on Rutherford's part. It served a purpose.]

If you read the 1973 Yearbook, it looks like Hemery's account (the only one given) is an attempt to add a lot more dramatic flavor to the episode than most Watchtower-style writing. It's as if he wanted to write like an amateur Mickey Spillane.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

In fact, PSL apparently never jumped out of a window, but let himself down from the balcony where his feet could reach the fence, and then let himself down from the fence, also without jumping.

It is my bad @Thinkingfor saying jumping and thanks JWI for the correction. Just goes to show how fleeing out of a window or balcony becomes jumping out of it. That is what had stuck in my mind, I did not mean jumping as in jumping from a great height in danger of hurting oneself, but figuratively speaking as in running away....it sounds more dramatic but easily givers a false impression. I had wanted to read the whole account again for accuracy but I was on my phone and all my files were on the computer. The account is in a booklet called Harvest Siftings that was later reprinted in a WT of the same year I believe.

Here it is in PDF file of Harvest Siftings. It will give you a good idea of what transpired during that period, at least from the point of view of Rutherford and others. The bit about the window saga is on page 6.

https://ia600902.us.archive.org/5/items/WatchtowerLibrary/booklets/1917_shf_E.pdf

 

 

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