A SYNOPSIS OF THIS CHAPTER. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE EUROPEAN TRIP. THE BRITISH SITUATION BEFORE AND AFTER THE ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT AUTHORITY CABLE. J.F. RUTHERFORD'S AND J. HEMERY'S MULTITUDINOUS AND GROSS MISREPRESENTATIONS. J.F. RUTHERFORD'S COURSE TOWARD THE AUTHOR AFTER HIS RETURN TO AMERICA. A CHARITABLE EXPLANATION OF J.F. RUTHERFORD'S INVOLVED COURSE. A SUPPLEMENT.
[Written Aug., 1917.]
To The International Bible Students:
My Beloved Brethren:—Grace and peace. Your hearts have doubtless been deeply pained by J.F.R.'s Harvest Siftings—pained whether you believe it true or untrue, in its general setting of the persons and things treated of therein. It is to ease this pain, and to point to a way out that moves me to answer. It is condemnable to plunge the Lord's saints into a controversy over a matter that, as far as concerns me, should never have been published broadcast among them, much less among many outsiders. But by this uncalled-for act, I have been placed before the Church, which for 14 years I have faithfully served, and before others in such a bad light as to destroy utterly my usefulness, unless truthfully my actions can be set before the Church in a favorable light. I deplore the necessity of answering Harvest Siftings, especially as the answer must be of a personal kind, and involve others. Yet this is in harmony with Bro. Russell's article quoted in the Tower of September 15, 1917, page 283, second col. and first par. Much rather would I give my time to telling "the old, old story." But if I am ever again to tell the brethren "the old, old story" in a way fruitful to them, I must stand before them in the light of what I have been and am: a faithful servant of the Truth, as it has been expounded to us in the writings and sayings of our beloved
Bro. Russell. How to have been more faithful to the Lord, the Truth, the Brethren and Bro. Russell's policies than I was in the work that I was privileged last winter to do in Britain, I do not know. I was faithful to these almost to death by exhaustion. It is because my service in Britain has been so grossly caricatured in Harvest Siftings, as to be unrecognizable and injurious to the Truth and the Brethren, that I will tell the main facts, as I know them, relying upon God's grace to enable me to write with charity toward all, with malice toward none. That grace enables me to keep sweet in the love of God toward all, especially towards J.F.R. and Jesse Hemery, whom after Bro. Russell's death I loved above all other brethren. While conscious of the great wrong they have done me, from the bottom of my heart I pray for them: God bless them! May I not ask the reader not to judge my case, until after a prayerful, impartial reading of my statement?
I will first give a synopsis of this Chapter, thereafter details.
I. Additional to the letter given Nov. 3 for passports, and the letter to the British Managers, the Executive Committee on Nov. 10 gave Bro. Johnson credentials, empowering him with full authority in the Society's work and business in certain foreign countries, the Committee telling him Nov. 10 that his authorization papers described the powers they wanted him to exercise.
II. Nov. 21 at his first meeting with the three London Managers he showed them his authorization papers as a statement of his powers; and reported this fact to the Committee, which offered no objections in their letter of acknowledgment. From that time on he claimed and exercised full power and authority in the Society's affairs in Britain.
III. For three months he performed many executive acts, and reported them first to the Committee, and
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later to J.F.R., from whom before Feb. 27 no objection came that these were unauthorized.
IV. He found two of the London Managers disregarding, changing and abrogating various of Bro. Russell's arrangements, for which on the authority of his credentials he dismissed them.
V. His course toward these two Managers was generally approved by the British brethren, particularly by the Tabernacle Congregation, the Bethel Family, especially Jesse Hemery and J.F.R.'s Investigation Commission, which Bro. Johnson neither sought unduly to influence, nor ignored.
VI. When J.F.R., despite the fact that the Board sent Bro. Johnson as the Society's, not as the President's representative, attempted to recall him and rescind his Society-sealed credentials, the latter ceased all activities for a week; then, realizing that J.F.R.'s course was unauthorized by, and usurpatory of, the Board, he resumed his activities, exercising no other authority than formerly, and appealed to the Board against J.F.R.'s course. Later, without authorization from, or knowledge of, the Board, J.F.R., in the name of the Society, cancelled his credentials, using the Society seal.
VII. Because of his opposition to Bro. Johnson's resumption of his activities, Jesse Hemery was suspended, but never dismissed, no force, nor violence, nor seizure of anything marking Bro. Johnson's course.
VIII. Bro. Johnson secured an injunction, primarily against the bank, and secondarily against Jesse Hemery, H.J. Shearn and Wm. Crawford; because it was the only way to prevent the three making operative a financial scheme against the Society. Unable to deposit monies in the bank, by authority of the High Court and by his counsel's advice, he had the proper official place this money in a safety deposit box to safeguard it, and prevent it from being improperly diverted by the three Managers through their scheme.
IX. As soon as he could safely leave the Society's interests in Britain, he returned to America to report conditions to the Board. J.F.R. prevented his having a full and fair hearing, greatly misrepresenting his activities to the Board and others.
X. Thwarted by J.F.R. from getting a fair hearing before the Board, he laid the case before five of its members individually, all of whom took his view of the British situation. He did not direct four of these in, and he knew nearly nothing in advance of, their moves in their controversy with the President. He knows nothing of their being in a conspiracy to wreck the Society, or depose the President; nor does he believe it true of them.
XI. He learned that J.F.R., W.E. Van Amburgh and A.H. MacMillan conspired to secure for the first named, Bro. Russell's full authority, beginning this before the election. They prearranged every detail in the proceedings of the voting shareholders' meeting by which he was elected. A week before the election J.F.R. placed in the hands of the Press a detailed account of these proceedings as news of past doings.
XII. J.F.R.'s opposition to Bro. Johnson is not so much due to the British matter, as to the latter's advocating the Board's controllership in the Society's affairs, as against the president's. The latter has systematically misrepresented him, especially in his "Harvest Siftings," whose setting as a whole and in many details is false. We will refer usually to the three British Managers by initials for short.
The reader is requested to note particularly the dates in this review. They serve in many cases to clarify the situation. Last summer Bro. Russell arranged for me to take the European trip; and after his death the Board of the W.T.B.&T.S., Nov. 2, decided to carry out his wishes, appointing a committee to confer with me on the trip. This was not the Executive
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Committee, which was appointed Nov. 7 and with which my final understandings on the trip were reached. Having by correspondence, not by a visit, learned from the passports department at Washington, that if I were to be granted passports, especially for Germany and France, I would have to give strong reasons in writing to the department in Washington, I reported this fact to the committee appointed Nov. 2, especially to J.F.R., and asked for a letter, not for credentials. Without my offering even a hint as to what the letter should contain, J.F.R., entirely alone and unassisted by me, dictated a letter which may be called a letter of appointment; because it purported to offer me an appointment as a special representative of the Society with powers of attorney, or full power and authority in the work and business of the Society in certain foreign countries. It being necessary that the letter be sent immediately with my application for passports to the department, and not to make it appear that the letter was dictated the same morning that it was presented to the passport office in New York, it was dated Nov. 1, though actually dictated the morning of Nov. 3. Its only purpose was to enable me to get passports; and it was understood on that day, that my work was to be that of a Pilgrim only. When it was presented to W.E. Van Amburgh for his signature as the Society's secretary he hesitated to sign it, thinking that it offered too great powers; but when assured that it was not bonafide, he signed it. He did not make any objections to signing the credentials the morning of Nov. 11 because then he knew the credentials were bonafide. The letter of appointment was an altogether different thing from the credentials. This letter follows:
"Prof. Paul S.L. Johnson, New York City, N.Y.
"Dear Sir: The undersigned, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as you are advised, is a religious corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of
Pennsylvania, and maintaining an office in the City of New York; and is now, and for several years has been engaged in religious and philanthropic work throughout America and in foreign countries; that its work and business is incorporated in Great Britain under the name of the International Bible Students' Association. This corporation, or society, also maintains branches, and conducts its work in the following countries, to wit: Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Finland-Russia, Switzerland and France in its corporate name, to wit: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The President of this Society having recently died, and the condition of the Society's work and business in the above and foregoing foreign countries, due to the great war, is such that an imperative necessity has arisen that we at once send a special representative to those countries to carefully examine into the condition of the work and affairs of the Society and to make report thereof. Our Society, therefore, has this day appointed you as its special representative to perform such duties, and hopes you will accept the appointment. Your duties in the premises will be: to proceed without delay to Great Britain, and thereafter to the other countries named, to there carefully examine the books and other private papers of the Association kept and maintained in the countries herein above named; to investigate the financial condition of the work and affairs of the Society in said countries; and generally to do whatsoever is necessary, or may become immediately necessary, to protect our interests and work in said countries, FULL POWER AND AUTHORITY BEING HEREBY GIVEN AND GRANTED UNTO YOU TO DO AND PERFORM THE SAME. In connection with your duties above outlined, you will be expected, at such time or times as may be convenient, to preach the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to all who may desire to hear; to hold public religious meetings for such purposes and to do whatsoever in your judgment may be necessary to further the interests of the Society in spreading the Gospel in said countries. In witness whereof, the Society has caused this instrument to be signed with the corporate name and by its Vice-President, and attested by the Secretary and
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the seal of the corporation this first day of November, A.D. 1916.
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
"Per A. I. RITCHIE, Vice-President.
"W.E. VAN AMBURGH, Secretary and Treasurer."
That morning, Nov. 3, this letter and my application for passports were given to the proper officials at New York to forward to Washington. In due time the passports were granted. During that afternoon I remarked to J.F. Rutherford that I ought to have credentials to facilitate my entry especially into France and Germany. I said not a word as to what they should contain. They were not dictated until Nov. 10. At the time I asked for them it was understood that my powers were to be those of a pilgrim only. J.F.R. does not mention these credentials at all, which were addressed, not to the British Managers, but "to all whom these presents may come." The letter to the British Managers, dictated Nov. 10, was a third thing, and was quite different from the letter of appointment and the credentials; and was undoubtedly meant in good faith. So far there is substantial agreement between J.F.R.'s view and mine, as to the understanding of my powers Nov. 3. The following are the credentials, which as before said, were dictated Nov. 10, after the passports were granted which were dated by the Passports Department Nov. 4, a clear proof that the credentials could not, as J.F.R. claims, have been given me to secure passports.
"Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A.
"TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS MAY COME-
"This is to certify that Prof. Paul S.L. Johnson of New York City has been appointed by this Society-The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, an American corporation, as its special representative [I] with full power and authority to do and perform whatsoever things may be necessary in connection with the work and business of this corporation in any country to which he may be sent; [II]
to have power and authority to examine the property and stock of the various branches of this corporation outside of the United States; [III] and to call for and receive financial reports and other reports as to the general condition of the work of this Society from the person or persons in charge of the office or headquarters of any branch of this Society. [IV] He is also the fully accredited representative of the Society to lecture on and teach the Bible and to preach the Gospel in any country of the world. IN WITNESS WHEREOF WE have caused the corporate name of the Society to be signed to this instrument by its Vice-President, and to be duly attested by the signature of its Secretary and the seal of the corporation this 10th day of November, A.D. 1916.
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
"Per A. I. RITCHIE, Vice-President.
"W.E. VAN AMBURGH, Secretary."
It will be noticed that the credentials state four things as my powers. J.F.R. alone dictated these, unassisted by me, except that, he having difficulty in stating tersely my duties as a pilgrim, I suggested the following clause, which he accepted: "to lecture on and teach the Bible and to preach the Gospel." Between Nov. 8 and 10, and not before, whatever their thoughts might previously have been, at various times all of the members of the Executive Committee—Bros. Ritchie, Van Amburgh and Rutherford—asked me to do things marked [II] and [III] in the credentials. For example, Bro. Van Amburgh remarked: "Bro. Johnson, keep your eyes and ears wide open and your mouth shut, and get for us information on every line that would help us better to understand the business and work of the Society wherever you go." It was during these days that the idea grew in the Executive Committee that I was to act as special representative of the Society. All three members of this committee agree that I was sent as a special representative, as well as a pilgrim. Before the credentials were dictated, and after I noticed that of the four powers offered
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me in the letter of appointment, the committee had asked me to exercise three, as well as spoke of me as the special representative of the Society, the title used of me in the authorization papers, the question arose in my mind, "I wonder, if, after all, the Committee does not mean the letter of appointment and the credentials that were to be dictated as genuine. I must find this out, so that I do not go beyond, nor fall short of, their desires in the matter." Accordingly, speaking of the letter of appointment and credentials, I asked them a question of the following import: Do these papers give a statement of the powers that you want me to exercise? Each member of the committee answered "Yes." The reason the Executive Committee decided to make the powers of my letter of appointment and my credentials actual is that the correspondence of the quarreling elders of the London Tabernacle was read by me Nov. 8, 9 and the night of the 9th was reported on by me to the Committee, which at once saw that I needed powers of attorney to handle the situation, as my pilgrim powers were not sufficient thereto. [For details see Vol. IV, Chapter IV, paragraph (41).] After my return from England, Bro. Ritchie was the only one of the three who remembered this question and answer. Bro. Van Amburgh, who would not sign the letter of appointment Nov. 3, until assured that it offered me fictitious powers, on my return told me that things were so hazy to his memory that he could not say whether this question was asked or not. A letter from Bro. Ritchie on this point follows:
"BROOKLYN, N. Y., Aug. 18, 1917.
"DEAR BROTHER JOHNSON:
"In reply to your inquiry, in the interests of justice I am pleased to say that I distinctly remember, and have always remembered, that before going to Great Britain last November you asked Bros. Rutherford, Van Amburgh and myself, if we wished you to exercise all the powers
outlined in the letter and the credentials written for you by Bro. Rutherford and signed by Bro. Van Amburgh and myself; and that each of us answered 'Yes.' From the time the first arrangements were made with you to go abroad, having in mind the disturbed condition of affairs in Europe, it was my desire that you not only preach and do regular pilgrim work; but that in a sense you also look into conditions there and advise us—and I understood this to be the thought of the other two members of the Executive Committee. I was surprised at the sweeping terms of the credentials, as drawn up by Bro. Rutherford; but thinking there might be some legal technicality requiring such phrasing, and thinking that you understood the credentials as we did I answered 'Yes' to your question. When, however, your letters showed that you considered that you had power to dismiss brethren from the office in London, I was very much surprised; and I must confess I had some misgivings. I did not, however, agree with Bro. Rutherford's handling the matter—considering that such an important affair should come before the Board of Directors. When I questioned him, he to my great surprise said it was something with which the Board had nothing whatever to do. It was then I began to see the trend of events here.
"Your Brother in the interests of the Truth,
[Signed] "A. I. RITCHIE."
Bro. Ritchie says that when he answered "Yes," he had in mind those things only of which the Committee expressly spoke, and all agree that no express mention was made of powers of attorney. As Bro. Ritchie did not grasp the full import of my question, so the other two brothers might not; and therefore their "Yes" might not have meant to them what it did to me. However, I understood their "Yes" to answer the question that I asked. Deeply do I now regret that I did not discuss in detail the first power of which the credentials speak. However, I did not invent the thought that I had powers of attorney. I got this thought from the Committee's answer to my question, which was plain and simple. If they misunderstood
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the import of my question, it was not my fault; they are responsible for giving me the thought: The following facts prove that from the beginning of my visit in England, I believed that my papers meant what they said, and on the basis of such belief acted as I did. (1) As soon as possible after my arrival, I called the three Managers together, telling them that I had come, not simply as a pilgrim, but also as a special representative, whose powers were described in my letter of appointment and my credentials, which were then read. Then the Executive Committee's letter to the British Managers was read. Notice, please, that in this letter paragraph 11 shows that I was to exercise the third power mentioned in the credentials, while paragraph 12 shows that I was charged especially to visit the headquarters of the Society in the various countries, which was to perform, at least, the duties outlined in [II] and [III] in the credentials. This letter, which J.F.R. dictated, stated in paragraph 5 that the Society is controlled by its Board of Directors, a thing which he has many times since denied. Parts from a carbon copy of this letter follow:
"BROOKLYN, N. Y., November 10, 1916.
"Messrs. Hemery, Shearn & Crawford,
"Managers, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society,
"Dear Brethren In Christ:—Our dear Brother Paul S.L. Johnson will bear this message to you. He comes to render such assistance as is possible to the Church in Great Britain, and we are sure that each of you will be glad to cooperate with him. … [Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, which to save space will be omitted, treat of Bro. Russell's last days, death, funeral and will.] [Par. 5.] The affairs of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, and the other religious corporations organized in conjunction with it, will be managed exactly as they were in the life time of our dear Pastor. Being a corporation, it is, of course, controlled by its Board of Directors. Brother A.N. Pierson was elected on the Board immediately after
Brother Russell's death, and the Board of Directors now is composed of the following seven persons, to wit: Brother A. I. Ritchie, Brother A.N. Pierson, Brother J. D. Wright, Brother W.E. Van Amburgh, Brother H. C. Rockwell, Brother I. F. Hoskins, Brother J.F. Rutherford. [Paragraph 6 treats of the appointment of the Executive Committee; 7 of the coming election of the Society's officers; 8 treats of the effects and lessons of Bro. Russell's death; 9, 10 of British preparations for Brother Johnson's pilgrim tour. To save space these will be omitted.] [Par. 11.] We would be pleased to have you submit to Bro. Johnson a report of the condition of the Society's affairs in Great Britain, and of the work generally. It is not our thought that he should examine the books himself [The committee, fearing it would offend the managers, made an exception to the British books], but that you give to him such detailed information as may show the general condition of the Society's work there. [Par. 12.] It is our hope that Brother Johnson may be able to visit the Branches of our Society on the Continent. Please kindly render him such aid as is possible in this behalf. Assuring you of our love and best wishes, we remain,
"Your brethren and fellow-servants in Christ,
Thus it will be seen that at the first opportunity after my arrival in Britain, I showed the three Managers that I had full power and authority to act in the work and business of the Society. From that time on I acted from that standpoint. In my first batch of letters to Brooklyn, I reported the fact that I had shown the Managers my authorization papers as an evidence of my powers. No objection came from the Committee for this act in their letter of acknowledgment. Then and there they should have objected, if they thought that I was using the papers fraudulently.
(2) Dec. 5 I sent the Executive Committee my first batch of letters. In one of these, among other things, I stated that I had temporarily put the Pastoral Work in charge of Jesse Hemery; had appointed
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the three Managers as a committee to examine the V. D. M. questions for the use of the churches at the coming annual elections; and, unlike the American procedure, was continuing Bro. Russell's sermons in the papers. To these executive acts they made no remonstrance in their letter of acknowledgment.
(3) I undertook to settle the Tabernacle difficulty, the difficulties between the Managers, and the revision of the convention program as soon as they brought these to my attention, all of which were done before Dec. 1, and I reported these things to the Executive Committee in my first letters. The Committee made no remonstrance in their letter of acknowledgment.
(4) I asked, Dec. 5, the Executive Committee to send me a copy of every letter that they sent to the London Managers, that we might not "cross" one another in our dealings with them. From that time on not only copies of the Executive Committee's, but later also of President Rutherford's letters were sent to me. As pilgrim and investigator I did not need them, but I did as special representative with powers of attorney.
(5) On Dec. 28 or 29 I wrote a letter to the Executive Committee, in which I asked them, as I was special representative, to deal with the Managers through me alone, as long as I was in Britain. If I did not believe that I had full power and authority in the Society's affairs, how could I have asked such a thing? No remonstrance was made to this request in the letter of acknowledgment. It was not answered. This request should have been answered, and I should have been told that I misunderstood my official powers, if they thought I did.
(6) Despite the fact that I so wrote, acted and reported these acts, which were based on the ground that I had full powers, I was never once told that I was going beyond my powers, until the "absolutely-without-authority cable" reached me Feb. 28, nearly
four weeks after I had dismissed H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford, which occurred Feb. 3. In a cablegram that reached me Feb. 19, J.F.R. showed that he was not pleased with the dismissal of these, and asked for their reinstallment. I was recalled in a cablegram sent by him Feb. 26, and that reached me Feb. 28. Though performing and reporting executive acts, I was not during those three months even once told that my duties were only those of an investigator and pilgrim, i.e., the things covered by points [II], [III] and [IV] in the credentials, as should have been done, had they considered me going beyond my duties and powers. Not only did the Committee, Nov. 10, give me the thought, by their affirmative answer to my question, but by their not remonstrating against any of my executive acts, they continued me in the thought that I had powers of attorney. They, not I, are responsible for my so thinking.
The following quotation from a letter that I wrote J.F.R., Jan. 27, shows that I had from the outstart reported to the Society at Brooklyn that I was performing executive acts in Britain, which were, of course, based on the thought that I had powers of attorney:
"Just yesterday through THE LABOR TRIBUNE did I find out that you were elected President of the W.T.B.&T.S. I rejoice with you in this privilege of service with which the Lord has honored you. You were my choice, and for that reason I requested Bro. Spill to cast my 416 voting shares in your favor. … It [my support] will be given to you without stint, as you follow the Lord's and our beloved Pastor Russell's teachings and policies, as I am sure you will. … Never did I learn to sympathize with our beloved Bro. Russell as I have learned to do since coming to England, and having administrative problems here, such as he had, to solve. … Through other communications—to the Executive Committee—you will have found out something of what I have been having to
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unwrap. I know, my beloved brother, that you will have many, many problems of this kind to meet."
(7) My authorization papers were by my cooperation publicly and privately read to and by many as genuine.
J.F.R. knows all these facts and my understanding of the genuineness of my credentials. Why does he not mention them in his "Harvest Siftings"? Would their statement not have totally changed the impression that his "Harvest Siftings" gives?
Before I sailed I was so filled with apprehensions respecting the European Truth situation, and so weighed down by a sense of responsibility, because of the duties given me by the credentials that, when I was called on at Bethel to give the friends some farewell remarks, I could not make a satisfactory speech. Only at intervals was I able to utter a sentence. The reason was this: judging from what Bros. Russell, Pierson, Driscoll and the Executive Committee and others told me, as well as from certain Scriptures, I feared a sifting in every European country. Repeatedly I told this to the Committee, especially to J.F.R. Bro. Russell, Oct. 21, at Dallas, remarked to me that there were conditions in England of which he would give me details at Brooklyn before I sailed, and that his arrangements were being changed by responsible persons in England, who did not want to carry out his ideas, but were setting them aside for their own. At the time I did not understand his meaning, and he died before we were to talk things over at Brooklyn. After the Tabernacle trouble was laid before me, I understood. J. Hemery, on Sept. 17, had written Bro. Russell describing the "disloyalty" (J. Hemery's expression) of Wm. Crawford and H.J. Shearn in originating and engineering a movement to set aside Bro. Russell's controllership and arrangements in Tabernacle affairs, and lodge the controllership, not in the congregation, but in the Church Board. Bro. Russell
had received this letter, before he spoke to me of responsible brethren setting aside his arrangements.
While J.F.R. should have said that there was good and sufficient reason for my opposition to the dismissed managers, and while I believe the British churches ought to know of their offenses, to curb their present sifting activity, and although Wm. Crawford's misrepresentations, some of which are expressly endorsed in "Harvest Siftings," would justify me in self-defense in narrating the whole matter—I will, nevertheless, in charity refrain from exposing them to the whole Church. I made most loving efforts, especially with H.J. Shearn, to rescue them from their wrong course, and apart from mentioning for advice some of these matters to some of my counselors, who were unanimously recommended to me as such by all three Managers, I informed no one of their offenses, until they sought publicly to justify them. Then I spoke, not desiring the Church to be deceived. They offended on twenty-five counts in matters pertaining to the London Tabernacle; on twenty-two counts in matters pertaining to their office in the London Bethel, and on ten counts in matters pertaining to me in my official relation to them. See Vol. VII, Chapter I. J.F.R. knows of these offenses. At the voted request of the London Tabernacle congregation I appeared twice, i.e., Jan. 28 and Feb. 18, against them before the Church on Tabernacle matters only. The first time I spoke against them a small minority thought I treated them more severely than the facts warranted. This was because they knew hardly any of the facts of the case, which I misunderstandingly thought had been presented to them the previous Sunday. On this point J. Hemery, in a letter to me, dated Feb. 5, tells of a conversation that he had with a deacon of the church, respecting my action before the church Jan. 28, and of his own view of it in the following quotation: "I told him the serious view that you took of this act of
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disloyalty to the Society's interests on the part of those who ought to have served the interests; but I can see that there is something of the feeling that too heavy blows were struck, more than the occasion called for. I am not of that opinion; and though I share with you the feeling that a heavy hand was laid on these brethren, I do not believe that it was more than their misdoing called for."
Throughout the London Tabernacle and Bethel difficulty J. Hemery worked in thorough accord with me against H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford, to whom for short we refer by their initials, J.H., H.J.S., W.C., until Feb. 26, when the "absolutely-without-authority" cable from J.F.R. arrived, when J.H. from a most ardent helper turned immediately into an opponent, who claimed not to be a partaker of the dispute, as his cable of Feb. 26 to J.F.R. shows: "Johnson claims full control everything; I resist as your representative. Dispute with co-managers, his not mine. Los Angeles cable (the "absolutely-without-authority" one, which reached London that morning) has attention. What are Johnson's powers?" J.H. gave me more evidence on their misdeeds than all others combined, and publicly and privately commended my course until Feb. 26. I took him as my confidential adviser, and did nothing of any importance without his advice and co-operation. I loved him most ardently, trusted him most fully, and treated him most kindly; but his conduct toward me after Feb. 26, is one of the greatest disappointments of my life. The whole London Tabernacle congregation and the Bethel family know that the dispute with H.J.S. and W.C. was his as well as mine, his originally; and that he supported me in everything before my recall. As for the other involved elders, I treated them leniently; and after their apology recommended them favorably to the church, though I later decided to recommend their dismissal. J.H. misrepresented me when he told the
congregation that I intended to dismiss their elected elders, and force my way into the pulpit.
After hearing me Feb. 18, the congregation unanimously voted me confidence, thanks and appreciation for what 1 had done in their defense against H.J.S. and W.C. Every point that I brought forth on that day was proven by many witnesses in the congregation as I made it. It might be said that even after they had made their final answer, March 4, without reply from me, and J.H. and J.F.R. had represented me as a fraud and a rebel, and the latter had put the influence of his presidential powers back of the two brothers, whitewashing them to the extent of placing them again into office as Managers; and had through J.H. on April 1, assured the congregation of his disapproval of my speaking against them before the congregation (it was done both times at the voted request of the church); the congregation voted them down almost unanimously and would not even have them as deacons, much less as elders! The facts that the congregation refused almost unanimously to elect them, unanimously voted me confidence, thanks and appreciation, and the reasons for my activity against them in the Tabernacle matter, J.F.R. well knows. Why did he not in his "Harvest Siftings" mention these things, which put a wholly different light on the matter?
For their offenses I concluded that the situation was unworkable and intolerable; and having in mind that H.J.S. had, Jan. 11, written me that he would on the following Monday forward his "formal resignation" to Brooklyn; that I had already, Jan. 21, informed the Executive Committee that their dismissal was in my judgment the sole solution of the situation, feeling sure it would be satisfactory to the Society, after advising over the matter with J.H., and finding our minds one on the subject, I decided, Feb. 3, to dismiss them, dictating the letter of dismissal in his
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presence. After I had finished, I asked him what he thought of it; and after approval he suggested adding the following sentences which I accepted: "I desire that you leave the office at once, and the Bethel premises as soon as possible, turning over to me all the Society's and Association's monies, documents, papers." W.C. left Feb. 13, and H.J.S. not before Feb. 23. I immediately cabled the Society at Brooklyn my act, fully convinced not only that I had the power to dismiss them; but also that, on account of my detailed descriptions of their wrong-doings, my action would have the unqualified support of the Society. Indeed, about Jan. 1, fearing that the Society would prematurely order their dismissal, I advised the Committee to wait awhile, until I could prepare the friends for such action. Imagine my astonishment at the "absolutely-without-authority" cablegram.
Apart from speaking of these troubles to some of my counselors I did not mention them to anybody, until H.J.S. and W.C. began to agitate the subject among the British friends, and then apart from announcing the dismissals at Edinburgh, mentioned their activities to but four congregations. In my activity against them Bro. McCloy assured me that I had the solid support of nine of every ten of the British brethren. I was the recipient of many letters from all parts of the country, in some cases signed by many persons, assuring me of sympathy, support and cooperation. The work that I did was frequently referred to as a cleansing of the Lord's house. Especially did J.H. express his unbounded approval of what I did, until his sudden change on Feb. 26. He and many others said that I was sent in answer to prayer to comfort and deliver the brethren, and that the Lord blessed my efforts with success. A few quotations from letters from various ones follow; first some from J.H. Feb. 5, 1917, two days after the dismissal, in a letter reporting conditions to J.F.R., a
carbon copy of which he furnished me, he said in part as follows:
"It is a matter of deep regret to me that the conditions here have been such that Bro. Johnson has felt compelled to take the drastic steps, of which you have been advised by cable. To me, all this is an answer to prayer. … I can truly say that in this crisis which is now upon us, that I have neither precipitated it in any way, either in the cause or in the crisis itself, nor has Bro. Johnson. He came quite evidently wishing to help us all. My colleagues began to pour their wishes into his ears. He made some investigation; he saw for himself that which had been hidden within my mind. He spoke, then acted, and point by point has driven him to take these extreme measures, because they set themselves in opposition to him, instead of co-operating with him. I feel sure, dear Brother Rutherford, that the Lord will very soon indicate His way, and that you will, while having some pain because of this matter, nevertheless soon get the assurance of heart that all is going well with the work in Britain. I believe that we shall enter upon a better work with a closer union with Headquarters, which will still more praise the Lord. … The events of the Tabernacle are rather unusual just now. Through the introduction of this matter to Bro. Johnson he found it necessary to speak plainly to my Colleagues. Bro. Johnson made some inquiries as to how the recent letter, which was in the form of a petition to Bro. Russell, originated. He discovered for himself that it was originated in the office here. Bro. Johnson found it necessary to speak plainly to my Colleagues over this matter, and to ask them to take a certain course. They refused, practically flouting him and his authority. He gave them clear warning what he must do, but they persisted, and he found it necessary to speak very plainly to the Congregation of the action of these two Brothers, who, while professing allegiance to Bro. Russell, had nevertheless done something which was cutting at the very heart of the Church's allegiance. There was an attempt to deceive the Elders by making them believe it was Bro. Russell's wish to have a change in the Tabernacle arrangements, because he had asked them to take a share with me in the preaching services. And there was an attempt to
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deceive Bro. Russell by putting before him such representation as would make him believe that all, or nearly all of the Elders, and a great part of the Congregation, wished to have such an arrangement as would do away with the Assistant Pastorate. The Elders have declared that they were deceived in this matter, and with the exception of two who have left us to set up a separate Ecclesia, they have all expressed their regret, and declared that, had Bro. Shearn told them that which he must have known, they would not have acted as they did. You will probably know how that Bro. Shearn had, by a breach of confidence as towards Bro. Russell and the Managers, taken a private letter and shown it to some of the Elders; but eleven of them persisted in their course, being deceived because the representations which these two, my Colleagues, had made to them partly in secret. Yesterday, the Church decided to defer the nominations [election] of Bros. Shearn and Crawford until a Church Meeting could be held, when further investigation might be made, and Bro. Johnson heard further."
The following occurs in a letter he sent the Executive Committee Jan. 22, 1917, less than two weeks before the dismissal: "Your sending Bro. Johnson at this time, I am sure, has been in the order of the Lord's providence. His coming is not only a comfort to the Brethren, but a help to the work at large [at that time he did not consider Bro. Johnson's work barren], and it will be more so as the days go past. Without my saying a word to him in the nature of a complaint, or of any detail of the letters [correspondence on the church] which you will surely have read, he began to make his own inquiry [after W.C. and H.J.S. brought the matter to his attention]. I thought as he put the questions how wise they were, and how well calculated they were to get to the root of the matter of difference, and in the general interest of the work. He showed no favor, but seemed earnestly to seek to know, and then do the Lord's will, and I have every confidence in that which he has done as being of the Lord."
The following is from a letter that he wrote me dated Feb 25, a day before the "absolutely-without-authority" cablegram arrived: "The arrangement of the Committee
by Bro. Rutherford [the investigation commission of five brothers] to which one agrees as one of the safeguards of our work in the future, of necessity gives a turn to events. I cannot see that there can be any undoing of that which has been done [the dismissals and new appointments] here in the office and the home; for the changes that have been made can be considered as nothing less than a cleansing of the sanctuary. We have a freer atmosphere, light seems as if it were breaking upon us; the feeling of an institution is being modified and merged into that of a home; and love is beginning to assert itself; for all of which I am very grateful to the Lord. … If the Inquisitorial Committee should by any chance make recommendation to Bro. Rutherford for reinstallment of our brethren it would be most awkward, if we had suggested to the Church that Bros. Kirkwood and Housden [the assistant Managers that I appointed after dismissing the two Managers] be appointed [with J.H. as the Society's representatives on the Church Executive Committee] and their election [as elders instead of H.J.S. and W.C.] had been concluded. I do not for a moment think that such a thing [the recommendation of reinstallment] could happen." Thus it will be seen that up to Feb. 26, Bro. Hemery heartily approved of my course and felt sure it would stand because of its merits.
Bro. Fred Lardent, whose letter on the symbolic uses of colors appeared in a recent "TOWER," wrote me in part as follows: "As one of the London Tabernacle Congregation I feel I would like to convey my appreciation of the way you have in the hands of the Good Shepherd protected the flock from dangers ahead. … I have reviewed the matter from Faith's standpoint; a crisis was approaching, and it seemed that the wrong would have become Victor; but the Lord sent His messenger exactly on time and averted the disaster; I see you are viewing the matter partly, and perhaps primarily, from the standpoint of consequences which would have gone ill with the Tabernacle arrangements as a whole; again we see you have no self-interest in the matter, but only the holy interest of the dear Lord and His Beloved Anointed."
Bro. and Sr. Morrison of Glasgow, under date of Feb. 15, wrote as follows: "We have followed your steps, dear
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Bro., since coming to this country, with great interest, as we spent a few years in Bethel and can therefore fully appreciate the position there. We would like to express the heartiest approval of all you have done, and feel sure the Lord has used you as the instrument in cleansing His temple. … Some have returned from your Edinburgh meeting [Feb. 11] and are working amongst the brethren endeavoring to raise up a feeling of resentment against your actions. [This is especially true of Bro. Mackenzie, who later became one of the five Commissioners, an ardent friend of H.J.S. However, he, like the other four Commissioners, approved of the dismissals after he heard the evidence.] Now, dear brother, in the Lord's interest, would it not be wise to write a letter … to be read to the Church here, asking them not to form a preconceived judgment in the matter until your [second] Glasgow visit?"
Bro. H.E. Thackway, one of the leading Elders of the London Tabernacle, who was given by Bro. Russell the charge of the Photo-Drama work in whole Britain and Ireland outside of London, wrote me Feb. 10 in part as follows: "The weight of responsibility resting upon you is great, but the Lord's strength, which is yours, is very much greater. Thank you, dear Bro. Johnson, for your service. Surely the Lord sent you here to do that for which we were not strong enough! We praise and thank Him, and by His grace will press on with purified zeal and love by reason of your ministry."
The following from a letter signed by 38 brethren, not members of the Tabernacle congregation, after they had heard my addresses before the London Tabernacle, Jan. 28, and Feb. 18: "Your visit to us has thus caused the Brethren here to thank their Heavenly Father for every phase of His loving favor and to encourage one and all to a more loyal consecration to the will of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We feel sure you will be glad to know that your labors of love have not been in vain in the Lord; and that the brethren who have appended their signatures hereunder greatly appreciate your steadfastness, loyal devotion to the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren, and that they admire the manner in which you keep 'so faithful' to 'that
Servant' whom the Father has been pleased to take home to Himself."
Bro. John Radwell, a leading elder of the Tabernacle, who signed the resolution and whom, therefore, to his displeasement, I had publicly to oppose, wrote a letter to me April 2, after having heard Jesse Hemery denounce me the day before to the Tabernacle Congregation. Part of the letter is as follows: "I wanted to see you ere you returned to America to assure you that I believe you to be one of the Lord's true people … As my brother, I tell you of my love. My prayers are for you that God will guide, comfort, sustain and bless you. When all may misunderstand you, our loving Lord does not, and He will comfort."
Many other letters are at hand, but these will suffice. I had letters from eight among the most sober-minded British brethren, whom—recommended to me as such unanimously by the three London Managers—I selected as my advisers on British Church affairs. Some of these letters I destroyed, not thinking they would serve me later. The others were taken, along with other things, out of my portfolio, when it was rifled by Bro. Hemery during my absence. They would make interesting reading by way of contrast with several letters from the same writers, quoted in "Harvest Siftings"; whose identical dates, with one exception, which was dated a day later than the others, prove that they were "worked up" by characteristic methods of J.F.R. and J.H.
The general opinion in Britain, until it became known that J.F.R. and J.H. were in opposition to me as a fraud and a rebel, was that my work, both toward the brethren and the public was most richly blessed. The change of sentiment that J.F.R.'s "Harvest Siftings" sets forth, I believe, is almost wholly due to my being represented as an imposter and a rebel. My last pilgrim work was done Feb. 28, the day I received the recall cable. I never had a more successful pilgrim
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trip than the British one up to its last day. Both the public and private meetings were richly blessed, as J.H. sets forth above. A few examples: The Glasgow Church was ready to split on the question of Berean Lessons vs. "Open Bible Study." I offered an acceptable compromise which healed the matter. The public meeting there Jan. 14, was so successful in point of numbers, interest and cards, 243 being left, that the Church requested a return visit, for another public meeting in Glasgow's largest auditorium, which was to have been given Mar. 11. This visit was not cancelled at the request of the Glasgow brethren, but, at my suggestion, by J.H., after I was recalled, and after all the advertising matter had been sent to Glasgow. The colporteurs (and they were among the best) who did my follow-up work in Britain told me that they had for years been thinking they did well, if they averaged one volume for a card. The cards gathered at the meetings where I was privileged to speak in Britain the colporteurs said averaged between two and three volumes each. The last public meeting of the visit was at Liverpool, Feb. 25. Over 1700 outsiders were present, leaving 258 cards. Nothing free was offered to induce them to leave these. The British people, especially the women, who constituted 5/6 of the audiences, the men being away in the war, do not leave cards so readily as the American people. Bro. Captain Smith of Liverpool told me, late in April at Brooklyn, that, as a result of this meeting, and its follow-up meetings, 50 strangers had been coming regularly to the Liverpool meetings. The brethren who have known my ministry for years will be slow to believe J.H.'s statement, that my pilgrim work in Britain was barren of results. Everywhere I went the brethren not only said, but showed that they were comforted, strengthened, encouraged and enlightened. At Manchester the Church, ready to divide on the Sin-offerings, was greatly helped by two lectures on that
subject Feb. 27, 28, my last pilgrim work in Britain. Let me repeat: J.F.R.'s and J.H.'s officially representing me as a fraud, and as a rebel against the Society, is almost wholly responsible for the seeming change of sentiment toward me and my work in Britain. Outright sympathizers of H.J.S. and W.C., a very small minority of the British brethren, of course, were opposed to me before. Some of these are largely responsible for J.F.R.'s first opposition to me.
As to the insanity charge: This thought did not originate in Britain. The first one to think this of me was J.F.R. in Los Angeles, 7000 miles away! He wrote me this in a letter dated Feb. 24. It did not come to him from my cable of Feb. 24, wherein I refer to the types and the Steward. That cable was sent to Brooklyn, not to California. Before Mar. 1, J.F.R. received no intimation of the contents of that cable, which arrived in Brooklyn, Saturday night, Feb. 24, therefore it could not have caused him to recall me on Feb. 26, nor to cable for the first time, Feb. 28, that I was insane. The cable and telegraph office records at Brooklyn show that on Feb. 28, a night letter was sent him from the Society containing the first reference to my cable of Feb. 24, and to the one I sent Feb. 27, which contains no reference to types and Steward. Doubtless A.H. McMillan's absence at Watertown, N. Y., occasioned the delay in J.F.R.'s learning of the contents of the Feb. 24 cable. J.F.R. and I have had these records carefully examined with the above results. The first intimation that in America I was considered insane came to me in J.F.R.'s letter of Feb. 24, which reached me Mar. 26 or 27. A little later the same day I found that cables from J.F.R. were introduced in the court testimony to prove me an insane usurper. Two of these will show this:
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Brooklyn, N. Y., Mar. 14, 1917.
Johnson insane. Proof forthcoming. Spending money recklessly cabling. Do not temporize further. Deprive him of all money and authority. Arrest and incarcerate him. Cable action.
(Signed) WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
Brooklyn, N. Y., Mar. 27, 1917.
Greenup oppose injunction. Johnson does not represent Society in any capacity. Sealed revocation of his credentials mailed fifteenth. Insane usurper. Restrain him by law.
J.F.R. omits italicized parts of these cables in his "Harvest Siftings."
Thus the discovery that I was insane (?) was made in America, not in England. While I was not well and was almost completely exhausted from heavy loss of sleep since Sept. 29, and from the hardest labors and most exacting trials of my life, I thought logically. J.H. knows this from several arguments that we had, in which he was so completely refuted, that almost the whole Bethel Family forsook him, and sided with me, in what he is pleased to call "rebellion." Their taking my side was not due to "Types" only. Seemingly, some of the British friends accepted the insanity explanation to account charitably for my alleged fraudulency. Indeed, I mingled very little with the English friends outside of Bethel after my recall, in order not to make public the difference between J.F.R. and myself: and was thus at the mercy of those who grossly misrepresented me and whose tales were believed. I was neither then, nor ever before, insane, though, at my breakdown in brain-fag from overwork and loss of sleep in 1910, some few brethren in the West, who heard me describe a severe internal struggle that I had had, and say that I had irrevocably lost
my brain power, believed and reported it. But Bro. Russell, whom I saw at Bethel within 10 days and with whom for a week I spent much time discussing intricate subjects (a discussion of which I brought to him in writing, prepared in the climax of the breakdown, and parts of which he later published) did not think so, nor did any of the other brethren at Bethel. J.F.R., just a few days before my return to America, warning the Bethel family against me, reported me mentally deranged at the Bethel table. Mar. 7 I drew up a protest containing 10 reasons, against J.F.R.'s course, and sent it to Bros. Ritchie, Van Amburgh and Pierson for presentation to the Board. Its reasoning could not have come from an insane person. Bro. Pierson remarked of it, "That does not sound insane!" Let me repeat: It was not my cable of Feb. 24 alluding to types that made him think me insane; for his letter of Feb. 24 to me, and his cable of Feb. 28 to J.H., both setting forth that I was insane, preceded his knowledge of the Feb. 24 cable. On that cable I might say this: Having very frequently spoken to J.F.R., with whom I was on most confidential terms of brotherly friendship, of hidden types and prophecies in the Scriptures, I thought he would not think these typical allusions, made in confidence, unusual for me to make to him. To others, unaccustomed to such allusions from me, they of course seemed strange. J.F.R. now acknowledges that he was mistaken on the insanity charge. However, he has greatly injured me thereby, especially in not plainly correcting his mistake but giving it a new impetus in his "Harvest Siftings," though admitting before writing that paper that he had made a mistake therein.
J.F.R. selected five able and sober-minded brothers to investigate the trouble in the London Tabernacle and Bethel. This Commission reported in my favor, and that without getting my evidence, which was the most exhaustive that anyone had to give them. J.H.
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and Sr. H., his typist and the two brothers who transcribed the minutes, the reports and the findings, all of whom saw these, told me, after they were sent away from London, that they favored me. On leaving London after the investigation, the Chairman of the Commission, Bro. McCloy, said the same; J.F.R. and W.E. Van Amburgh admitted it shortly after I returned, the former remarking that he did not agree with the Commission's findings, had told them so, and had reversed their Bethel findings, reinstalling the two brothers. The four members of the Board of Directors of the Society who, in June, as the Board's Committee, examined this matter, and who, as a second Commission, reported favorably to me; told me that only the findings of the Tabernacle matter were given them, while the reports of both Tabernacle and Bethel matters were given them. All four said that the findings of the Tabernacle and the reports of the Tabernacle and Bethel matters favored me. I do not know what became of the findings of the Bethel matter. Bro. Housden, one of the Commission, after the report reached America, told me that, among other things, the findings in the Bethel matter, as they left London for the signature of the other four Commissioners, stated that I had acted in harmony with my powers, and had performed in the Bethel matter a service distinctly in the interest of the British Church in dismissing the Managers. Three of the Commission, according to the findings on Tabernacle matters given the Board's Committee of four in June, were willing to recommend them as deacons. All five thought them unworthy to be elders. J.F.R. states on the testimony of two letters (which contain 14 misrepresentations) from W.C. that I tried to influence the Commission in my favor, for this purpose visiting each one of them before they came to London to meet; and failing in this, I repudiated the Commission. Almost nothing could be further from the truth
than this statement! The following are the facts of my relation to this Commission. J.F.R.'s cable appointing this Commission is dated Feb. 22. It arrived at Bro. McCloy's home while I was there on a pilgrim visit of three days, arranged for a month before. Bro. McCloy, before my arrival in Britain, had advised J.H. to write to Bro. Russell of the "disloyalty" of H.J.S. and W.C. on the Tabernacle situation; and at his advice, and in his home, J.H., Sept. 17, wrote Bro. Russell.
Bro. McCloy and I had advised together in Jan. over the situation. Having known for a long time of the irregularities of these two brothers, he needed no convincing from me. He was one of my eight counselors in British matters. Four of these counselors were on this Commission. At his advice I decided to call all eight together in London for consultation over the general situation on the same day as the Commission was to meet; because this would save the time and money of four of the eight, who were coming to London for the investigation; accordingly, I wrote Feb. 24 to all eight brothers. A few days later at my own initiative I cancelled this meeting, because I saw that it would have the appearance of my seeking to influence the Commission. This conference was, therefore, never held. Except with Bro. McCloy I had no conversation whatever on the subject with the members of this Commission before they convened; nor did I speak on the case privately with them, before the findings were reached. I am sure they will all witness to this. That some of them as my counselors had heard of some of the facts of the case from me, weeks before they had been appointed Commissioners, cannot be construed as my trying to influence the Commission. Nor can the fact that one of the Commission (more than a week after the Commission had finished its investigation and made its findings) took my view of the impropriety of J.F.R.'s recalling me, who was
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sent by the Board, without consulting the Board (which action in J.F.R.'s view made him an accomplice of mine), be construed against the Commission's finding in my favor. Before the Commission met, Bro. McKenzie, one of the Commissioners, opposed the dismissals, especially that of J.H. S. The evidence brought out at the investigation convinced him of the justice of their dismissal. By my not giving testimony the case was not made nearly so strong against them. After reaching London Bro. McCloy, whom at his request I had at his home given some assistance, sought a long time in vain to induce me to help the Commission and testify. None of the reasons that "Harvest Siftings" assigns for my not helping or giving testimony is true, nor is it true that I ignored and refused to appear before the Commission. I appeared before and read to them a protest against the appointment of a Commission to investigate the acts of a Special Representative clothed with powers of attorney! Such a person's acts are sanctioned before they are performed, while J.F.R. appointed a Committee to investigate them before he dismissed me, and repudiated my acts Feb. 24, and recalled me Feb. 26, after the Commission was appointed, and before it met, Mar. 3. Its sessions were Mar. 3-5. Such a procedure being contrary to good order, Divine and human, I would not become a party to it; therefore I refused to testify or otherwise help. J.F.R.'s "absolutely-without-authority" cable and recall of me, known to them when they met, certainly were not calculated to put me and my work in a favorable light before the Commission. And his and J.H.'s setting me forth as a rebel and imposter has more than anything else finally turned not only three of the Commission against me, long after their work was ended, but seems to be largely responsible for turning the sentiment of many others in Britain against me, if "Harvest Siftings" truthfully reflects the British situation;
for the sentiment there was overwhelmingly in my favor, before these misrepresentations were spread abroad. Instead of my tampering with the Commission, J.F.R.'s "absolutely-without-authority" cable and recall of me did so; for he thereby threw the influence and prestige of his office against me. But the clear evidence of gross wrong-doing held the Commission to a just report. J.F.R. does not mention in his "Harvest Siftings" that his Commission found in my favor despite his opposition to me. Why not? J.F.R. overruled the Commission's findings, reinstating the two brothers, under J.H.'s priority. And what is the result? They would not work as Managers under J.H., but are dividing the British Church. They have left Bethel as members of the staff, coming there occasionally as Secretary and Treasurer of the I.B.S.A. Feeling themselves martyrs at the hands of Bro. Johnson, they are going around dividing the classes: Most of the brethren in the classes have learned of their wrong-doing; others think them wronged. The result is division. The reason they have this influence is that Bro. Johnson has been publicly smitten as a fraud and rebel, while they have been largely whitewashed by J.F.R. I warned him that they would sift the British Church, and they are now doing it, according to the testimony of reliable brethren. He blames me for breaking up the British Church. On the contrary, I was being enabled, by the Lord's grace, to solve in the interests of the Truth and the Society a very difficult situation. Success was within grasp. He then interfered, overturning everything, and produced the great confusion in the British Church. Had he supported me in my work, the condition there would be decidedly more favorable to the Truth and the Society than it now is.
When I arrived in Britain the work was almost at a standstill in nearly every way. There was almost no Volunteer and Colporteur work. There was no Pilgrim
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nor Photo-Drama work. The Pastoral work had not been started. The military situation greatly hampered and persecuted the dear brethren, who almost everywhere seemed discouraged. I found the managers quarreling with one another, and two of them "disloyal" in many ways, seeking personal power instead of the good of the sheep. I threw myself with all my being into the breach; I held back nothing that was for their good. The Lord blessed the work. The brethren everywhere were quickened; the Colporteurs began again; the only Pilgrim there started out again; the Drama was again exhibited; the Pastoral work was introduced. In every way I was at their service. The brethren rallied with new life and zeal. The evils were being put aside. Divided Classes were being united, Berean Lessons were displacing open Bible Study. The troubles at London Bethel and Tabernacle were solved in the interest of the Truth and the Society, while the evil-doers were being made harmless. On all hands Zion was going forward, when suddenly, under the influence of a letter and cablegram campaign, engineered by the two dividers of the British Church, J.F.R. threw everything into confusion. If it is true that the British Church is broken up, he is responsible, not I. How to have been more faithful, or fruitful in the interest of the Truth, the Brethren and the Society I do not know. I was faithful to these almost to death by weariness, under the most difficult set of conditions that I have ever faced. The Lord is my judge. He knows! Nor do I believe that my beloved British brethren for the most part will forget.
When I left for Britain, it was the opinion of the responsible brethren at Brooklyn that Bro. Russell had not given the penny, which we had expected him to do, and which at Dallas, Tex., Oct. 21, ten days before his death, he defined as "special opportunities of service in smiting Jordan," for which he was arranging.
Accordingly, while we believed that he was "that Servant" (when in a 1909 "Tower," Bro. Russell modestly said that the "Tower" might be said to be "that Servant," he hid himself behind his paper as editors generally speak of their papers as themselves; he did not mean that he was not "that Servant" or "the channel"), we concluded that he was not the Steward referred to in that parable. I had believed him so until a short time after his death. Except on this point I interpreted that Parable in England, exactly as Bro. Russell did from 1909 to the time of his death, i.e., that its day was the Harvest period of 40 years from 1874 to 1914; each hour of such a working day 3 1/3 years; the early morning call from October, 1874, to June, 1881; the third hour call, June, 1881, to October, 1884; the sixth hour call, June, 1891, to October, 1894; the ninth hour call, June, 1901, to October, 1904; the eleventh hour call, February, 1908, to June, 1911; that since October, 1914, we are in the evening. What clinches this interpretation is not only the fact that much larger numbers were called, and that by specially used agencies, into the Truth at those times than at all other times of the Harvest; but also that the five siftings referred to in 1 Cor. 10:4-13 occurred in these five call periods, the call of large numbers being necessitated by the casting off of large numbers who were later sifted out. Bro. Russell held that the fifth sifting was from 1908-1911. It seemed to me that my experiences in Britain were pictured by those of Nehemiah, Ezra and Mordecai (J.H. believed that he antityped Eliashib and Hanani in Nehemiah); that my credentials were referred to in Ezra 7:11-26 and Neh. 2:7. From what is said in Ezra 7:11-26 and symbolized in Esther 8:2, 15, I concluded that I was privileged to become the Steward and Brother Russell's successor. Though privately I spoke of this to two brothers at Manchester, and to others at the London Bethel, apart from these two
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places I mentioned it nowhere else, except at Liverpool, and that under the following circumstances: H.J.S. was by letters seeking to throw the blame upon me for his not taking a final step which might have saved the Elders from conscription. One of these letters, sent to a Liverpool Elder and now in my possession, was creating feeling against me among the brethren as an injurer of the Elders. I refuted the charge, saying among other things, that if I were unfriendly to the Elders, the Lord would not have given me a great privilege that He seemed to have given me; for there seemed to be Scriptural evidence that He had given me the privilege to be the Steward of the Parable of the Penny. This was the night of Feb. 24. J.F.R. said I "announced" this at the table of the Brooklyn Bethel. One would think from this that I set out to convince the family of this proposition. The following is what actually occurred: Late in April J.F.R. himself said that he had arranged after much thought to bring it up at the table. He had a brother ask the question, "Who is the steward of the Parable of the Penny?" Immediately he asked me to give my thought. I replied, "I have nothing to give on that point at this time." Then he said, "Brother Johnson, Brother Smith from Liverpool is here. In his presence at Liverpool, who did you say was the Steward?" I answered, "Brother Johnson." That is the way I "announced" it to the Bethel Family! Yet he says to shield me he kept back my "mental delusion," the Stewardship matter, from the family. These are but two samples of multitudes of misrepresentations in "Harvest Siftings." He seems deliberately to have chosen the policy of disparaging me before others. Several days after this episode, Menta Sturgeon convinced me that Bro. Russell gave the penny by arranging for the Smiting of the Jordan, the Pastoral Work, the V. D. M. questions and the Angelophone, by approving of a project in line with what the
Mena Film Co. is now furthering, by rearranging the workers at Bethel, and in the field, and by his death making still further arrangements for other special opportunities of service. This seems correct; for these are the special arrangements of Bro. Russell for enabling the saints to have the "honor" of binding the "kings" and the "nobles," "the kingdom honor" that we expect this side the veil. [The immediately foregoing was written before the author saw that the first smiting of Jordan occurred from Sept. 20, 1914, to Nov. 3 (at least), 1916, and that the foregoing arrangements of Bro. Russell were the giving of the penny at its second distribution, i.e., to the Great Company who are not referred to in Ps. 149:5-9.] I greatly prefer that our beloved Bro. Russell had the privilege of giving the penny, to my having it to give. Therefore, at my own initiative, I recalled before the family the thought that I was the Steward. J.F.R. literally raged at my setting forth that claim; he is now not only not making objections to others, but is encouraging their making that claim for him with Vol. 7 as the penny, which he shows by putting a penny cut on the dedicatory page. While the Truth in Vol. 7 will be [was] specially used in the second smiting of Jordan, Vol. 7 evidently is not the penny; for the penny was first to be given to those called in the eleventh hour, while Vol. 7 came to all in each class at the same time. Bro. Russell's interpretation is better. He was the Steward. God bless his memory! I never claimed nor expected to have all the power of Bro. Russell, nor did I ever claim to get the Truth without the "Studies," nor did I say that I heard "voices" in 1910. I greatly regret thinking and saying that I was the Steward and Bro. Russell's successor, and want the Brethren to know this.
When I read J.H.'s description of events from March 7 to April 1, all that I could say was, "Poor Brother Hemery! The Lord forgive and bless him!"
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I will not attempt to deny in detail all his misrepresentations, but I will tell the story as I know it. From Feb. 28, when the recall cable reached me, to March 6, I was under the impression that J.F.R. had the right to recall me. Therefore I gave up all official activities. When J.H. asked me to take the head of the table, March 1, on my return to Bethel, I declined, saying I was no longer special representative. I meekly took my humiliation. But, alas, J.H. tried to make it worse. Without any necessity for it, he read the "absolutely-without-authority" cable to the family, before I returned to London, just as J.F.R., before my return to Brooklyn, warned the family against me as insane, etc. In various ways he snubbed me, sneered at me, and before others looked at me with contempt. He referred to me as "a discredited representative of the W.T.B.&T.S." I had for three and a half months thought him one of the finest characters I had ever met, refusing to believe reports of his insolence to inferiors, desire for power and wriggling out of responsibility for his acts. One who knows him well, and is friendly to him, said he never met one so anxious to exercise power; he might have added, nor with much better ability to hide this fact, when expedient. His strange conduct finally made me less trustful of him, and he, feeling me powerless, became careless, and acted in my presence as I had heard of him. It seems hardly believable that he would, before the majority of the Bethel family, with a face full of contempt, repeatedly snap his fingers, saying as repeatedly, "Brother Johnson, you are that!" And yet it is true. Though knowing that J.F.R. wanted H.J.S. and W.C. restored, he repeatedly asked me, from Mar. 5 to 7, while denying my powers, to send them away from the office. Later, on Mar. 7, he advised H.J.S. in the presence of Bros. Kirkwood, Housden and myself, not to act as Manager, and to leave. It was not loyalty to J.F.R. that moved him
to do this, nor to oppose me, when he felt sure that J.F.R. "threw me down." It would not at all surprise me, if my telling him that I intended to make an unfavorable report of him to the Board had much to do with his gross misrepresentation of me in "Harvest Siftings"; nor would it surprise me, if my discountenancing his ambition to become the pastor of the Tabernacle Congregation, and if his desire to have no supervision by the Society's special representative caused his first opposition to me.
Referring to my cable of Feb. 24, J.F.R. says, "This and subsequent cablegrams sent out by Brother Johnson cost the Society hundreds of dollars for their transmission." "This cablegram" did not cost the Society one cent, a Liverpool brother desiring and gaining the opportunity of paying for it. All my cables from Nov. 19, the day of my arrival, to Mar. 31, the day I left London, for America, cost the Society exactly $65.22. They were with three exceptions sent at deferred rate, i.e., at 8 cents a word, and not at quick rate, i.e., 24 cents a word. On account of the censorship, it took about 35 to 40 days to receive speedy answer by mail between London and New York. In the crisis at London I had to resort to cables. I cabled after Mar. 6 frequently, because I received no replies and needed information. J.F.R.'s statement on the cost of my cables is another of the many misrepresentations with which his "Harvest Siftings" abound. Why did he not first investigate this item before making his statement on the cost of my cables?
Some of the grossest misrepresentations of "Harvest Siftings" are found in J.H.'s description of what he is pleased to call "rebellion." Surely he should offer prayer for forgiveness for sins of omission and commission in his presentation of my acts from Mar. 7 to 31. The facts of the situation are these: On the same day, Feb. 3, of the dismissal of H.J.S. and
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W.C., I appointed with J.H.'s hearty advice, Bro. E. Housden, Assistant Manager (whom three weeks later J.F.R. appointed as one of the Investigation Commission) to do W.C.'s work, except that of Treasurer of the I.B.S.A. This put all the monies into his hands, the books, the keys of the office and safe, as well as the mails and orders. A little later I appointed, with J.H.'s hearty advice, Brother A. Kirkwood Assistant Manager to do H.J.S.'s work, except that of Secretary of the I.B.S.A. J.H. had for over a month, i.e., until his suspension, Mar. 12, been acting in full co-operation with Brother Housden, in the latter's signing checks, depositing the monies in the bank, keeping the books, holding the keys of the office and safe, and handling the mails and orders. The night of Mar. 6 I came to the conclusion that since 1 was sent by the Society, acting through its Board (according to J.F.R.'s letter of Nov. 10, to the English Managers, par. 5, and according to his article in Dec. 15, 1916, "Tower," the Board being in control of the Society's affairs) he could not recall me, except at the Board's direction. Further, my credentials being sealed by the Society's seal, I concluded that he could not cancel my credentials without the Board's direction. These two things his "absolutely-without-authority" and his recall cables, both sent from Los Angeles, presumed to do, without the authorization of the Board. Therefore, I denied that he had the right to rescind my acts, cancel by credentials and recall me. That same evening I discussed this matter with J.H., who then made no objections to my reasoning. I, therefore, told him that I was going to resume my activity as Special Representative. I told the family then and maintained the same attitude throughout my subsequent stay, that if I were recalled by the Board, I would immediately cease my activity, just as I had done at J.F.R.'s recall, while believing he had the right to recall me. The Board knew nothing of the
situation, until Mar. 29, two days before I left London for America. No word ever came to me from the Board on the point while I was in England. What I did was not "rebellion"; it was a refusal to become a party to J.F.R.'s usurping authority over the Board, which he himself on two occasions in writing stated controlled the Society's affairs; but now denying and disregarding its control, he has caused the present trouble. People who know me know that I am thoroughly submissive to those who have the right to direct my work. Mar. 17 Justice Sargant, of the High Court, one of the ablest judges of Great Britain, ruled that my credentials could be cancelled by the Board alone, and that only over the Society's seal and its officers' signature; and, therefore, granted me a temporary injunction; for he ruled that my credentials could not be cancelled by cable, as J.F.R. sought to cancel them. Mar. 7, I dictated a protest to the Board, embodying my view of these matters. He never allowed that protest to come before the Board, nor the two petitions that I sent with the protest, asking the Board, first, to require that in "Towers" for the British friends, he recall repudiating my acts; and, second, to take exclusive executive and managerial power from him, and to vest it in an Executive Committee, of which I named him a member. When I found out, after my return, that this protest and these petitions, sent to Bros. Ritchie, Van Amburgh and Pierson, to be presented for me to the Board, were not permitted to come before that body, I gave them to the remaining members to read. While admitting that the thoughts of the protest and petitions may have had something to do with five members of the Board differing from him, I never admitted, rather in a meeting of the People's Pulpit Association, July 27, I denied admitting what he says I, on July 25, admitted, i.e., that the trouble between him and the Board was the result of his refusal to give me another hearing before the
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Board with a view to sending me back to England. It was at least a week before I asked for a hearing before the Board that I respectfully asked to return to England and finish my work. I never attempted to force my return. I regret to have to say that there is not one conversation that he reports in "Harvest Siftings," as having occurred between us, that he does not so twist as to misrepresent the things said and done as well as my spirit.
To return to the "Rebellion." Office matters worked on as usual from Mar. 7 to Mar. 12, except as between J.H. and myself. I never once, much less many times, dismissed him. Because of his opposition to me before the family, I did Mar. 12, suspend him; and during a discussion, in which he complained frequently that I kept back work from him, I as frequently told him that it was because he was suspended. This I suppose he misrepresents into my dismissing him a half-dozen times or more in one day. What he is pleased to call my "mouthing" and "rampaging" refers to a debate that he and I had before a majority of the Bethel family over the question, whether J.F.R. had a right to recall me and cancel my credentials without the Board's authorization. J.H. held that he had; I denied the right. In this discussion he was so completely refuted that only four of the Bethelites held with him - his wife, his typist and two brothers. The others, some of whom heard the points of the debate later, about eleven in number, not merely three as he says, were with me. The way each one stood was decided by the place where he took his meals. For nearly a week only four ate with J.H. The break from me began only after I had been, at his instigation, denounced as a rebel against the Society, Mar. 18, before the Tabernacle Congregation, and among the individuals of that congregation, as insane and demonized; and after a number of "guards" had been put in Bethel to overawe my supporters and circumscribe
my liberty. J.H. knows that it was my loyalty to the Society as represented in the Board that moved me to refuse to submit to J.F.R.'s usurpatorially setting aside the Board's act in my case.
On account of much work and the long delay in the Jan. 15 "Tower" reaching me, I did not read it until some time between Mar. 7 and 11. On reading therein the report of the Pittsburgh Convention, held Jan. 6, 7, I noticed that the article stated that the Society's Officers were elected by the Convention. Understanding the word convention as all Truth people use it to mean gatherings of brethren such as were held at Pittsburgh, Jan. 6, 7, and not a meeting of voting shareholders of the W.T.B.&T.S. to elect its officers, I took the article to mean just what it said, and concluded that our officers this year were not elected by the proper body. This I stated at the Bethel table, Mar. 12, a week after the Commission finished its work, not as J.F.R. says within 24 hours after it convened, Mar. 3. Three times between Feb. 27 and Mar. 6 I cabled to him without answer. Nor did I at any time after his Feb. 26 recall cable receive word from him, except on Mar. 26 or 27, when his letter of Feb. 24 reached me. After waiting until Mar. 10, I sent a cable of inquiry to Bro. Ritchie, the first time I cabled to him alone. Not hearing from J.F.R., and concluding from the blundering statement of the Jan. 15 "Tower" that he was not legally elected, I henceforth cabled to Bro. Ritchie, as the Society's ranking officer last legally elected. J.F.R. knows that as soon as I found out that he was elected by a meeting of the voting shareholders, and not by a convention, I gladly acknowledged him as President. Why did he not say this in his "Harvest Siftings"? I never said that I "would" or "should have become President" of the W.T.B.&T.S., had I let my name go forward, but that I might have become the President, had I permitted it. The following is the story: The morning of
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Bro. Russell's funeral, H. C. Rockwell, one of the members of the Board, told me that he and other responsible brethren wanted me to become President. Tears coming into my eyes, I said that I was unworthy of being Bro. Russell's successor; that I did not have the necessary business experience for the office, and that I was going to prefer a brother in honor, J.F.R. He sought to persuade me to his view. I earnestly opposed it. That day many others spoke of it. On the part of not a few it was desired and expected. A letter from H. C. Rockwell on this point follows:
"Sept. 4, 1917.
"MR. P.S.L. JOHNSON.
"My Well Beloved Brother in Christ:
"Christian greetings to you and to all the tried and true friends at Brooklyn. Since reading Bro. Rutherford's "Harvest Siftings" and noting its many errors and false statements relating to yourself and affairs in general, I feel impelled by a sense of duty to formulate a written statement, which you are at liberty to use as may seem best, in refuting some of the wild and weird remarks now filling the air.
"To all whom it may concern, therefore, I do solemnly state in the name and in the presence of our gracious heavenly Lord, that at the time of Pastor Russell's funeral, I, H. Clay Rockwell, of my own volition and without any undue influence, approached Brother Paul Johnson and proposed to him that I would resign from being a member of the Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society on condition that he would accept the position in my place, and thus be eligible to be chosen and elected as President of the Society. Know all that Brother Johnson, through his lack of personal ambition and through his desire to await the Lord's leading in the matter, refused to accept my proposition.
"May this sincere and genuine statement, my dear brother, be of assistance in repelling some of the darts and arrows thrown at the instigation of the great Adversary. Knowing you to have 'the spirit of a sound mind,' which is the disposition of meekness and love, I have not the slightest doubt as to your full and complete
vindication before all the Lord's people, and to the shame of those who have attacked you. God bless you, dear brother!
"Yours in the patient waiting for the Kingdom,
(Signed) "H. CLAY ROCKWELL."
I wanted it known that I favored J.F.R. for President; therefore, among other things, I went to W.E. Van Amburgh, before leaving for Europe, asking him to make out my proxy, and send it to Bro. Spill to cast for J.F.R. On the Ocean, remembering that I had failed to have it stated on the proxy that I wanted my voting shares cast for J.F.R., I wrote to Bro. Spill, asking him so to cast them. J.F.R. knows this explanation. Why did he not give it?
After J.H.'s suspension Mar. 12, the work went on just as before I was recalled, and by the same persons, except that J.H. and a suspended supporter of his were not given their accustomed work, and I was consulted more than before. Shortly after my arrival the office force understood that I had powers of attorney. The monies, the mail, the orders, the books and the keys continued in Bro. Housden's charge, the keys until Mar. 21, when at J.H.'s command they were taken by one of the "guards" out of his pockets. The reason for things going on just as before was that almost the whole office force took my view. Absolutely no force or violence was used by my supporters or myself, though force was used against Bro. Housden and me, for which J.H. is responsible. His statement in "Harvest Siftings" is the first intimation that I ever had that he was not allowed the use of the phone. I am certain that this statement is untrue. I recall to have switched during that time the wire into his office for him to receive a message! However, when he was seeking to arrange for my "arrest for lunacy" and to arrange for other things against me, he went out to phone! He knows that I did not forcibly seize the control. Why did he say so? Why
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did he say that I gradually claimed more and more authority, well knowing that I claimed powers of attorney from the outstart? It is absolutely untrue that I planned to usurp control of the British work; and to realize this plan brought charges against the Managers and dismissed them. Never before publishing "Harvest Siftings," where he makes it the climax of my British activity, did J.F.R. mention such a plan to me. In making this charge both he and J.H. attempted to read my motives and misread them. Repeatedly they did this in "Harvest Siftings."
J.H. with J.F.R.'s cables had succeeded in persuading the bank no longer to honor Bro. Housden as one of the two signatories necessary for a valid check, as it had been doing for over a month with J.H. as the other signatory; on the contrary, the bank declared, Mar. 13, that it would honor the signatures of J. Hemery, H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford only. This made me apprehensive that a financial scheme, subversive of Bro. Russell's arrangements, and injurious to the W.T.B.&T.S., would be made operative by the three, who had jointly planned it. There was no other way open for me under the circumstances to thwart the "scheme" than to enjoin the bank from giving these three together control of the Society's funds. Some explanation will be helpful. Bro. Russell arranged that in the I.B.S.A. bank account there should be only that much deposited as the law required, i.e., as much as the cost of the shares of the I.B.S.A. stock issued. All other monies were regularly deposited in the W.T.B.&T.S. account, also all checks issued were drawn on this account alone. In other words, Bro. Russell wanted to have, and did have, all business at the bank transacted in the name of the W.T.B.&T.S. at London, just as at Brooklyn; because he used the I.B.S.A. simply as a "dummy" corporation of the W.T.B.&T.S. for certain advantages in England for our work, just as he used the People's Pulpit Association
as a "dummy" corporation to do the W.T.B.&T.S. work in New York.
About Jan. 27, J.H. came to me saying that the Society's auditors claimed that the English Companies Act required the affairs of the I.B.S.A. to be audited and reported to the Board of Trade; and to make such an audit and report the I.B.S.A. would have to keep a separate set of books; that our auditors had drawn up a plan for a separate business organization and separate books for both corporations, and would I not sanction the plan, as it was required by the law. He is the only one of the three that sought to obtain my sanction to this "scheme." To my inquiries he gave uninforming replies. I asked to see the plan, but it was not shown me. I had him ask the Society's solicitors as to its legal necessity. He brought back word that the law required corporations to keep books, and to give audited reports to the Board of Trade. Still I hesitated, because I allowed no changes from Bro. Russell's arrangements, unless absolutely necessary, and such only as I thought he would make. Upon the occasion of another visit at Bethel I was again asked by J.H. to sanction the "scheme," which again he failed to show me, though requested so to do. After the bank decided no longer to honor Bro. Housden's signature, the latter told me that he had found among some papers a plan outlining a complete reorganization of the business and work of the Society; that when he showed it to Jesse Hemery, the latter with great eagerness said, "let me have that," snatching it out of his hands, and had not returned it. He told me that I ought to see this plan. In Bro. Housden's presence I then asked J.H. to show it to me. He refused. I then dictated a letter to the auditors asking for a copy. The next morning's mail brought it. It follows in full:
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"22d January, 1917.
"The International Bible Students' Association,
"34 Craven Terrace, Lancaster Gate, W.
"Dear Sirs: As requested we confirm our suggestion as to the method on which your accounts should be kept.
"The first point which arises is to draw a definite line between the transactions of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the International Bible Students' Association. We quite appreciate that these two Societies are in effect one, and the work of these two bodies is for one end, and for this reason it is a matter of impossibility to keep the two absolutely separate and distinct.
"From the explanations you have given it appears to us to be the best method to treat the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in England, as a purely commercial body for the purpose of importing and printing Bible studies, pamphlets, tracts, etc., and also for the selling or distributing them; the International Bible Students' Association being the body which fosters, promotes and enlarges your teachings in this country. It must be quite understood, however, that by the name, International Bible Students' Association, we refer to the company which is registered in England and not to that Association in its world-wide work.
"The Tabernacle is the property of your Association and must therefore appear in your accounts. With the exception of the basement this is used entirely by your Association, and all the expenses incurred there should be borne by you. The receipts are in connection with the services and meetings held by you and must be treated as your income.
"The lease of 34 Craven Terrace is in the name of your Association, and the outgoings directly connected with the occupation of the house, such as rent, rates, taxes, insurance, gas, water, etc., should be borne by your Association.
"All expenses in connection with Classes, such as Lecture Bureau, Pilgrim, etc., and also in furthering your movement, for instance Photo Drama, will be paid by you.
"These payments are now made by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and when these are paid by your Association it will leave the former Society only
making payments on its own account in connection with importing, buying and printing books, etc., personal monthly office expenses, etc.
"The receipts are in connection with Sales of Books, etc., and donations; the first of these will belong to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the latter being donations to promote your doctrine, will belong to the International Bible Students' Association.
"The system we have explained to you is that all monies received from donations shall be paid into the International Bible Students' Association bank account in full, and that cheques shall be drawn on that account for the following:
"(a) All expenses in connection with the tenancy of 34 Craven Terrace.
"(b) All expenses in connection with the occupation of the Tabernacle.
"(c) All expenses in connection with Classes, Lecture Bureau, Pilgrim, Tabernacle Catering, etc.
"(d) Debenture interest.
"(e) All expenses in connection with Photo Drama; but taking previous years' figures as a guide, the receipts will not be sufficient to meet the outgoings. [When I arrived there were about $1,500 on hand, and when I left about $7,000 were on hand, without any coming from Brooklyn. Thus the receipts for that time greatly exceeded the expenses.—P.S.L.J.]
"When any cheques are to be drawn on this Account, which amount to more than the Donations paid in, a cheque must be obtained from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for the deficit; the International Bible Students' Association will then have a balance of £23 always standing to its credit after any such deficit has been made good.
"All payments are to be entered in the Cash Book as previously and analyzed.
"The last two columns should be used for the amounts paid into Bank, but it will be found a convenience to yourselves if the donations from outside sources and those from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society are kept separate.
"When you wish to draw any cheques these should be
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entered in the Cash Book before they are issued, and then if you deduct the total of your Payments the deficit thus shown will represent the donation you will have to receive from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, before the cheque can be paid away.
"With regard to Petty Cash items, which will be paid out of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's cash, a cheque should be drawn on your account for this amount, and paid back again into your account, so as to place the expenditures of these on record in your books. The payments in of this money to you will be treated as donation from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
"In the Watch Tower Society's Books all donations to the International Bible Students' Association will be analyzed in a column for that purpose and in entering the total of Petty Cash at the end of each month, these columns which relate to the work of your Society will be entered in one sum in the I.B.S.A. Column.
"The quarterly statement rendered by you to Brooklyn will be a summary of the transactions of the two bodies. The receipts will include monies received both by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the International Bible Students' Association. The payments will be a summary of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's Cash Book with the one exception that the Donations to the International Bible Students' Association will not be shown as a payment, but in place of this the full expenditure of that Body will be shown.
"Should there be any point in the above which is not quite clear to you, we shall be pleased to give you any further information you may require.
As soon as I read this scheme I saw its gross wrong to the W.T.B.&T.S. It totally changed Bro. Russell's arrangements; increased the I.B.S.A., and decreased the W.T.B.&T.S. power; threw all the advantages on the side of the I.B.S.A., and the disadvantage on the side of the W.T.B.&T.S.; made the I.B.S.A. in effect an independent corporation, and the W.T.B.&T.S. a buying, selling (at a loss) and
guaranteeing corporation; changed the I.B.S.A. from a profitless to a profit making corporation, a thing that would have required a new charter; it would have made it almost impossible to prove that the W.T.B.&T.S. controlled the I.B.S.A., and favored the contention of all three Managers, that the I.B.S.A., according to English law, was an Independent English Corporation (J.H. explained the relation of the I.B.S.A. to the W.T.B.&T.S. as a "fraternal" one in his injunction suit affidavit, in which he failed to state that it was a subsidiary of the W.T.B.&T.S.). My solicitor said under Bro. Russell's arrangement, the I.B.S.A. performed no financial transactions, and had no income, thus could keep no books; and therefore did not have to make an audited report to the Board of Trade. Knowing H.J.S.'s and W.C.'s ways, and now seeing that J.H. was confederate with them in this scheme and seeing no other way to prevent its adoption, I sued to enjoin the bank from giving them, and them from drawing money, apart from my order, giving as my reason that I feared that monies belonging to the W.T.B.&T.S. deposits would be placed in the I.B.S.A. deposits. J.H. says that he does not to this day know why I brought the suit! Did he not read my affidavit, and in my court testimony the scheme with an explanatory letter from the auditors, who therein state that they worked out the "scheme" after conferring fully with all three Managers? At no time during the suit, while I was in England, did the work of the London Branch cease, because of the suit; for I consented to their drawing on $1,250.00 for running expenses. I brought the suit not to injure, but to prevent the work from being injured. J.H.'s statement shows that they had an abundance for current expenses, beside the above $1,250.00. Thus the falsity of the statement that the suit shut down the work at the London Branch is proven. Permitting them to draw on $1,250.00 I tied up the balance, $2,750.00, so that
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they could not transfer any of it, or make other deposits in the I.B.S.A. account. I intended the injunction to tie up the surplus monies only so long as would permit me to go to America and explain the situation in person. I felt sure that J.F.R. and the Board would approve the injunction, when they would understand the "scheme" and its circumstances, which required personal explanations.
J.F.R.'s opposition to me and support of the British Managers against me, made it necessary for me to bring the suit to protect the Society against the "scheme." What he said in a letter to me written before the dismissals satisfied me that, if he would see the "scheme," he would sanction what I did against it. Mar. 21 I sought to induce H.J.S., the Secretary of the I.B.S.A., to go with me to the Registrar's office and have the I.B.S.A. registered as a foreign-controlled corporation. Needing my authorization letters for this, I borrowed them from my solicitor. Being introduced as exhibits in the evidence they were now court property. He said if I should lose them, I would come into trouble with the High Court, as well as imperil the case. H.J.S. refused to have the I.B.S.A. registered as a foreign-controlled corporation. Had I succeeded in securing this, it would have been to the advantage of the W.T.B.&T.S. in many ways. Now it cannot be done without a heavy fine, $25.00 a day since Mar. 21.
The night of Mar. 21, I retired about 9:30, the authorization papers being in my possession. The next morning, as I sought to open my door, it would not, even under pressure, yield. Noticing that it could be bent above the knob, I sought to force it open, applying such pressure that the door broke below the lower hinge. I succeeded in bending the door above the knob sufficiently first to put my hand, then my arm out, and remove a board about 6 feet by 6 inches by 7/8 inch, and about four other smaller pieces of wood, all of
which had been firmly wedged against the door. How innocently J.H. writes about a bit of wood and hides the facts of the case! He had his "guards" barricade me in my room! They had previously circumscribed my liberty of access to various parts of the house. Of course, I knew that something was "doing." I went up to Bro. Housden's room; he was locked in, unable to come out, and had been searched for the keys of the office and safe, as well as for that of his room, which officially and with J.H.'s full assent he was given Feb. 3, the day of his appointment to Assistant Managership, and which he had held ever since. What a misrepresentation that I and an "accomplice" had "seized the keys of the office and safe!" They had never left Bro. Housden's official possession from Feb. 3 until J.H. had one of his "guards" take them out of his pocket the night of Mar. 21. He committed an imprisonable offense in barricading me in mine, and locking Bro. Housden in his room! As I was talking through the locked door to Bro. Housden, several of the "guards" came hastily out of their rooms partly dressed. One of them, Bro. Cronk, a Tabernacle elder, told me that a constable had been there the night before; that I had been barricaded in my room for safe keeping; that the constable was going to return that morning; that I was not allowed to leave my room, except to go to the bathroom, and then only to make use of the halls and stairs between that and my room. Immediately, I thought of my papers, as court property, which I was sure they would take from me, and of the court hearing the next day. I decided to leave Bethel at once. Returning to my room I did a few necessary things, and was about to go down stairs and leave by the front door, when one of the "guards" himself went down. This prevented my exit by the door on the ground floor! My room was on the next floor above. There was a balcony whose floor was just outside of and below my window. Below this balcony
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was an iron fence. Without any jump whatever, I let myself down, my hands holding onto the balcony, until my feet rested upon the fence, then again without a jump, I let myself down on the walk. J.F.R. represents me as letting myself down from the roof; the London Bethel is a four-story building; J.H., who did not see me, represents me ludicrously in a frock coat, and with galoshes (overshoes) only. My frock coat was entirely hidden under my overcoat, which reaches nearly to my ankles. My overshoes were without heels, and, of course, were over my shoes. J.H., who one day later packed my effects, not allowing me to come to do it, knows that my shoes were not among them. How did he know that I left with a coward's heart and uneasy conscience? Why does he not tell the matter as it was, if it were to be told at all, without imaginations, suppressions, additions, and misrepresentations? Believing him without hearing my side, no wonder some of the British brethren think my conduct "undignified." If J.H.'s "guard" (one had just told me that I was not allowed out of my room) had not gone down stairs, and thus prevented my leaving by the door, I would have left by the door. As it was, to prevent myself from being kept away from the hearing of the injunction case, and my authorization papers from falling into the hands of the other side, I had to leave by the only available exit, my window. That my fears that they would search me, and take my credentials from me were well grounded, appears not only from what he did to Bro. Housden, who was not freed until about 2 P.M.; but from the fact that J.H. rifled my portfolio, took from it many of my papers, some of which he sent to J.F.R., and read my private letters. His two long statements about me in "Harvest Siftings," not to mention others of his statements there, contain 71 misrepresentations. It is utterly untrue that I wandered about Bethel between two and four o'clock of mornings,
much less to see if my possessions were safe! They were all in my room! His rifling my portfolio shows that they were in need of guarding in my absence! It is utterly untrue that I secreted myself after I had left Bethel, until I left London. Several times J.H. sent Bro. Cronk to see me at my hotel; other brethren also called on me. Mails were sent from Bethel to me. Of course after the barricading episode I would not return to Bethel to stay.
"Brother Johnson stole $1,500." (?) The foregoing sentence is a quotation of language that J.F.R. used of me, in my presence before the majority of the Bethel family July 27. It is his and J.H.'s version of my having had Bro. Housden put the Society's cash on hand into a safety deposit box, after he was unable to deposit it in a bank. From Feb. 3 until and including that time, he had been officially handling all of the Society's monies, and had been doing all the Society's banking until the bank, Mar. 13, refused to deal with him any longer as the Society's representative. Until Mar. 12, J.H. had cooperated with him in this official work, and would have done so longer, had he not been suspended. It was unsafe to keep this, a daily increasing amount of money, in our safe. After Justice Sargant ruled that my credentials gave me the right to control the Society's money in Britain, and therefore gave me a temporary injunction, and after we had failed on account of certain legal technicalities governing banks in England, to open an account elsewhere; on my solicitor's advice, I asked Bro. Housden to put the money into a safety deposit box. This was done to protect the Society's money, and to prevent it from being put into the I.B.S.A. deposits. Every penny was returned except about $200.00 that had to be put into the hands of a solicitor as a guarantee for possible court costs. To call such a transaction theft, as J.F.R. did, and threaten me with arrest for theft, as J.H., who calls this "virtually stolen
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money," did through his messenger, Bro. Cronk, are two samples of the slanderous misrepresentations and the mistreatment under which I suffer. March 23, the case seemed about to be settled out of court. It was agreed that the money be put into the keeping of a neutral brother until settlement. J.H. induced him, Bro. Gentle, to turn over the money to him without our knowledge! Why did J.F.R., who knows these facts, publicly accuse me of stealing $1,500.00? The donor of the £350 check, hearing that there was trouble in the London Bethel, requested that it be returned to him. This was done by Bro. Housden, hence it was not among the money that J.H. induced Bro. Gentle to turn over to him. Some think that 1 Cor. 6:1-8 was violated in this suit. That passage applies to cases that can be adjusted by a church of which both sides are members. It could not be applied in this case, because the bank was the main party that was enjoined. Moreover there was no congregation that had jurisdiction over the Society's matters. Nor did I sue for past wrong-doing, nor for an offense against myself, but rather to prevent a contemplated wrong from being committed against the Society. Manifestly 1 Cor. 6 does not apply to such a case; nor does it to the case between the majority of the Board and J.F.R. and W.E. Van Amburgh.
My credentials had not been notarized, a fact that had been overlooked by my solicitors and Justice Sargant March 17. This made them quite probably not binding before an English Court. For this reason, and not because of J.H.'s affidavit, my solicitors were willing to settle the case before March 23, when it was to come up for argument. Both sides were later willing to delay matters. Accordingly, the case was postponed until March 30. At that time, doubtful about winning the case on the question of the credentials not being notarially attested, J.H.'s solicitor apprised by J.F.R.'s cable of March 21, quoted before, that
"sealed revocation of his [my] credentials were mailed fifteenth," decided to wait for this cancellation, until the next session of court, which on account of the Easter recess would be April 20. The court granted their motion to this effect. This suited me, because, in harmony with my intentions in bringing the suit, I thought it would give me time to explain matters at Brooklyn in person, where I felt sure that the "scheme" being understood, my course on the injunction would be sanctioned, and I would be able to return to London with unquestioned powers to settle the suit and finish my British work. I arrived at New York April 9, and failed in my effort. Three times I suggested a method to J.F.R. whereby I could both win the suit, and the Society be spared the costs. He was in no mood to listen to any suggestion from me.
March 13, I cabled that if the Board wanted to recall me, kindly to order it, and cancel my credentials over the Society's seal and the signature of its officers, so that I might be sure that it was the Board's work; for someone, March 9, cabled: "Both Rutherford and the Society have cancelled Johnson's letters of authority," the Board knowing nothing of it. The following was actually done March 15: Without the Board's knowledge my credentials were cancelled over the Society's seal and the signatures of two of its officers. To me it seems that a document having the Society's seal should never be cancelled without authorization of the Board, its controlling body. I do not know how the case was handled after I left London, March 31, nor what other points additional to insanity and the cancellation cables and papers were brought forth to convince another judge that I had no authority to bring the suit. He so decided May 7, and not as J.F.R., says, before I left London, and assessed the costs on my solicitor, who guaranteed me to the Court. Certainly the "scheme" which occasioned the suit was decidedly against the interest of
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the W.T.B.&T.S., if it desired, as I believed, to continue in control of the British Branch. The suit was not brought in the interest of my solicitor, nor of myself personally, but of the Society. Therefore, neither my solicitor, nor myself ought to be responsible for the costs. I undoubtedly would have won the suit had J.F.R., not "thrown me down." This is only another case where plotters against the Society were supported by him, and I, who stood for the Society's interests and Bro. Russell's arrangements, was "smitten." Why did he take the side of those who worked against the W.T.B.&T.S.? He said that it made little difference whether the "scheme" were adopted or not, since the Managers could draw the money out of the W.T.B.&T.S. deposits anyway. Granted that they could; but that does not touch many points; for among other reasons, if the W.T.B.&T.S. wanted to be in a position to maintain its control, it could be best maintained by Bro. Russell's arrangements, which gave it charge of all the work and business. This would demonstrate its control. The "scheme" would have proven that it "fraternally assisted" the I.B.S.A., as J.H. puts it in his affidavit. With that "scheme" operating and disloyal men in charge, one could easily see the disadvantage to the W.T.B.&T.S. Certainly H.J.S. and W.C. were far from loyal. J.H.'s part in the "scheme" was not loyal. My loyalty to Bro. Russell, whom the two so greatly disregarded, had more to do with my treating them as I did than they perhaps realize. It shocked me through and through that they could have been so disloyal to him. Perhaps after all I won the object of this suitprevented the Managers from putting that "scheme" into operation. The exposure of it, perhaps, has deterred them therefrom. Why does J.F.R. not mention this "scheme" as the cause of the suit? He knows it was. Why does he instead represent the suit as an insane attempt to wreck the British work?
It was the only way under the circumstances of preventing the Society from losing control of the I.B.S.A. and keeping it as Bro. Russell arranged it to be kept.
As to J.H.'s charge that I was carrying out a "well laid scheme to gain control of the British work and publish our English Tower," I would say the following: My credentials, I believed, gave me power of attorney, in the work in every country to which I was sent. Ignoring this, which he understood from the outstart, as some of his statements show, J.H. says that after reflecting over the situation he concluded that I was planning to settle myself in charge of the British work and as a part of the plan, to publish another "Tower." J.F.R. adds, that to realize this scheme I brought charges against and dismissed the Managers. I would say that their conclusions are evil surmising and absolutely false. These conclusions have been imagined from the few following facts: Because of the sifting that I saw setting in, and which is now in full force there, and which before leaving America, several months before, I told the Executive Committee was coming, I told J.H. I would have to stay longer than I had expected, and that I was going to ask the Board for permission to publish temporarily an English Tower to meet the sifting. I suggested the temporary publishing of an English "Tower" after I returned to America to five members of the Board, J.F.R. among them. I still think this probably the best way to meet the sifting, if "Harvest Siftings" represents the situation aright. How different my thought from their surmise! J.H. knows that I was anxious to finish the British Work as soon as possible, and that I desired to be in America by June at the latest. The reason I held on in Britain is that faithfulness to my mission under my credentials in my judgment required it. I felt sure that if I would give up at an unauthorized recall and setting aside my credentials,
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and in the face of that "scheme," I would be an unfaithful servant and would be blamed as such, not only by the Lord, but also by the Board, when apprised of the situation. Why did J.F.R., who knew the above explanation in April, publish the falsehood (yea, he makes it the main feature of my British activity in his "Harvest Siftings") about my having a well-formed plan for seizing the English field? Why did he not clearly explain the matter of publishing an English "Tower"? While charging me with other things, why did he never mention this "well-thought-out plan" to me before "Harvest Siftings" appeared? How could J.H. before the same congregation before which he acknowledged me as having been used of the Lord to deliver him from the greatest trouble of his life, denounce me as a rebel to the Society, and smile while making "points" against me that repeatedly convulsed many in the congregation with laughter? No wonder that even an opponent of mine like Bro. Radwell should, in revulsion at the act and in sympathy with me, write me the next day the letter a part of which is quoted above! J.H. in one place in "Harvest Siftings" assures J.F.R. that I was not insane, in several other places that I was an imposter, and in another place that my work and life were not those of a hypocrite! How harmonize these statements? The Lord forgive him and bless him! My official acts, apart from the Steward matter, are perfectly clear from the standpoint from which I most conscientiously acted, i.e., that my credentials were meant in good faith.
My dear brethren, will you, who for many years have known me and my ministry, believe the horrible caricature of me and my work in Britain drawn in "Harvest Siftings"? I cannot believe it of you! I leave it with the Lord; He knows.
Even granted that what "Harvest Siftings" says of my British activity were true, was it just, not to say the part of a brother, to publish it? What good can
it serve? It has only grieved, injured and thrown the brethren into the confusion against which I forewarned J.F.R. Though made the main subject of "Harvest Siftings," it is only remotely related to its object, which is to justify J.F.R.'s ousting four members of the Board. It hides the real question at issue, which is: Is he or the Board under the Lord the controller in the Society's affairs? The real question is not whether he is Executive and Manager in the Society's affairs, which on all hands is conceded. Before elected President, he himself set forth in the "Tower," Dec. 15, 1916, the proposition which is given in the letter of Nov. 10 to the British Managers: "It (the W.T.B.&T.S.) being a corporation is of course controlled by its Board of Directors." However, since he was elected President, and later was made Executive and Manager, without authority in law, in the Charter, in Bro. Russell's will, in an act of the Board, or in the Scriptures, he claims additionally to be controller in the Society's affairs, and acts in harmony with this claim. Indisputably his handling of the British and the Board affairs proves this to be his theory and practice. Five members of the Board dispute this. The places of four of these who resisted his efforts to control he declared vacant on the Board on a legal technicality (that they had not been elected annually) that would have equally made his place vacant on the Board, and thus disqualified his being a candidate for President; and appointed four others, and thus has a Board whose majority favors him! No matter what his motive was, these are facts. In one part of "Harvest Siftings" he claims that the four considered me insane, yet in other places he represents me as having led these four brothers in a conspiracy to wreck the Society and them as submitting to an insane leader! I deny unqualifiedly that I have any knowledge of the four ousted brothers as conspiring, much less conspiring to wreck
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the Society; nor have I any faith in the statement that they so conspired. It is a creature of J.F.R.'s imagination and hides his usurpation. Though he repeatedly judges what my motives were, I do not want to judge his motives, nor have I anywhere in this reply done so. The Lord will attend to his motives. With Him I leave them. But he repeatedly asserts that a man is to be presumed as intending the natural results of his acts. I doubt the proposition of imperfect man, even if it is "legal"; but he believes it. The natural effect of his introducing and caricaturing my British Work is to hide what he knows is the real question at issue: Should he or the Board under the Lord be controller in the Society's affairs? and additionally to discredit the majority of the Board. Therefore, according to his standards, he by introducing and caricaturing British matter intended to hide the real issue, and to discredit the Board! I will leave to the Lord to decide, if this was his intention; but I feel justified in saying that many sober-minded brethren who know him, his methods and the situation fear that this is his motive. I will say this much: that judging from the impression that "Harvest Siftings" as a whole gives, from its stating partial facts misleadingly, from its suppression of many known facts that give a totally different impression, and from its many fabricated "facts," I should not be at all surprised, if the British matter were introduced and caricatured to hide the real question at issue and discredit the Board members. The Lord knows! He will make it known in due time!
After a restful journey I landed in New York April 9. Soon I was at Bethel, where my reception was icy, due to J.F.R.'s warning the family against me. Several days after my arrival, I had my first private talk with him. Haughtiness and contempt characterized his face and voice almost throughout this conversation. That noon he invited four members of the Board and two other brothers for what
he called a conference. I thought it was to be that for which I asked, a hearing before a full meeting of the Board. However, that meeting he calls in "Harvest Siftings" one of the "two Board meetings" where I had a "hearing." If any prosecutor treated an accused more unjustly than J.F.R. did me that day, my heart would bleed for the accused. I was supposedly having a hearing. This is what occurred: Though knowing that I was quite unwell, for over an hour he acted like a pettifogging prosecutor browbeating an accused person. Instead of letting me have a chance to tell my story, he brought forth one distorted thing after another against me—calculated without explanation to prejudice my case. Repeatedly I remonstrated, asking for an opportunity to present my case. I was answered with sneers, sarcasm and ridicule. His face expressed more contempt than that of any other face upon which I have ever looked. Despite my oft-repeated requests, he would not let me tell my story; but insisted on setting me forth to disparagement. I thought of Caiaphas' treatment of Jesus. I thought how differently Bro. Russell would have done. After about an hour of his browbeating and my repeated requests to be given an opportunity to have a hearing, and repeated statement that I was under fire and was appealing from J.F.R.'s decision to the Board, and should, therefore, first be given the chance to tell my story, and afterward let objections be urged, if they were desired to be urged, he still refusing to let me set forth my case, I solemnly protested, exclaiming, "In the name of God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Saviour, I solemnly protest against this gross injustice!" Even this did not quiet him. Only then did he quiet down somewhat, when he noticed that his conduct was unfavorably impressing a number of the brothers present. Amid almost constant pettifogging interruptions I finally succeeded in squeezing in a little about my credentials and the "scheme." This
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travesty of justice he calls in his "Harvest Siftings" a hearing before the Board for two hours. How different he appears on the platform before an audience; but his unjust and wrongful treatment of the brethren is becoming more and more known.
The next night I was supposed to have two hours to explain the British matters before the same brothers. This also was not an official Board meeting. He did not allow me to take up the British matter at all, claiming that it was settled. I remarked, "I have not been heard." That seemed the last thing in the world to concern him. He then used much time, trying to inveigle me into promises to submit to his decision on passages which he had not studied, without their being discussed. Of course I would not permit myself so to be entrapped. Then I was given insufficient time to give my views on the Steward. This is what his "Harvest Siftings" calls my second "hearing before the Board" on the British situation. The British situation was not discussed at all. He had settled that without the Board, despite my appeal to the Board from his decision. This act proves conclusively that he considered that he, not the Board, was the final authority as he claimed. From his attitude I saw that for the present there was nothing to be accomplished. Smiling despite my disappointment, I left, as he says, in a friendly spirit. The brethren separated without a discussion, much less a statement, that I was under a mental delusion, though he says they so decided. I will not speak of his repeated mistreatment of me at the table, much of which was due to my defending some of Bro. Russell's views against his opposing doctrinal views. As his mistreating me before the six brothers in the "two hearings before the Board" aroused sympathy in my case among some of them, so his mistreating me at the table aroused sympathy in not a few of the family. Beginning early in May I was given on six
Sundays appointments to fill. Surely J.F.R. would not have arranged these services for me, if he believed me insane, and having done so wickedly in Britain as his "Harvest Siftings" sets forth! At none of these places did I say a word about the trouble, though he says I traveled from place to place at the Society's expense seeking to stir up prominent brethren against him; nor did I at any time advise the Board to gain the support of prominent brethren. I likewise withheld the matter from the Bethel family. I was waiting to tell it to the Board, where it belonged, which up to the present, despite my petition, I have not been permitted to do. Early in June I respectfully asked him for a return to Britain. For this he severely censured me, which I took meekly. I unqualifiedly deny that at that time, or any other time, I attempted to force my return; nor did I at that time, or any other time, tell him that I would appeal to the Board to go. Probably a week later I asked for a full hearing of my British activity before the Board, and did not say a word about a return to England at that time. I did not on his refusal say, "You are a usurper, and I will appeal to the Board, and see that I have a hearing"; nor did I use words to that effect. Learning that a majority of the Board could by petition secure a meeting, I asked and secured the signatures of four members to a petition that I drew up, asking for a Board meeting to hear my case. J.F.R. claims that I conspired with these four brothers. This I deny. Before I had spoken to any of them on my affair I found that they were opposed to his claim of, and acts in, controlling the Society's affairs. The following I did do: As said previously, I showed three of them, who had not before seen it, my protest and petitions of March 7. I also told the four enough about the British situation to convince them that I ought to have a fair hearing before the Board. Bro. Pierson also thought so. This certainly is not a conspiracy,
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much less a conspiracy to wreck the W.T.B.&T.S. Nor was it conspiracy to ask them to petition for a Board meeting for me to have a hearing. Apart from my protest and petitions, on two subjects only do I recall having advised any of the four on their difficulty with him, before I was accepted by both sides as mediator. The one led up to mediation; the other is the following: He claims that (despite the fact that the W.T.B.&T.S. Charter says that its Board shall make its by-laws and authorizes nobody else to do this) the shareholders can legally make binding by-laws according to the Charter. One of the four asked me my opinion on this. I replied that I did not think they could; but not being a lawyer I suggested that he ask one. This he did, with the result that the lawyer, a thoroughly loyal Truth brother, Bro. McGee, who is an assistant of the Attorney General of N. J., whom Bro. Russell and J.F.R. had several times asked for legal advice, answered that according to the charter, the shareholders could not legally make by-laws for the Society. One day J.F.R. was contending for his view of this point, as being legal, when without any authority whatever to use the word "we," referring to Bro. McGee's opinion, I replied that "we" also had legal opinion, and that it said the opposite. I did not speak in a heated manner; I did not shake my finger at him; I did not say, "We are consulting lawyers and we know what we can do with you." Before the Bethel family, July 17, reporting this manufactured statement, he gave the last clause as follows: "And we'll fix you." Quite a change! Instead of my becoming angry, he became angry, crying out loud enough to be heard at least 50 feet away: "You are in a conspiracy." Then he shouted out to Bro. Eshelman, who was about 20 feet away, to come; and to me to repeat my statement in the presence of a witness. Seeing that he was intent on proving me guilty of what I was innocent, I declined
to repeat my remark to the effect that we had contrary legal opinion. Whatever the four Board members were doing they kept to themselves so far as I was concerned. Never once did I attend any of their meetings where they were planning Board procedures. I knew, of course, their view of the Board's powers, and later of their difference with him, that there had been a discussion between them and him on this matter, but I did not know their plans, nor, except that they were going to discuss their difference on controllership with the President, did I know what they were going to do in their various moves, e.g., I knew nothing about the visit of the four brothers to the Tabernacle, when a policeman was called to put them out, in what J.F.R. claims was their attempt to take control by force, until I was informed of it some days later. I knew nothing about their alleged plan (which they deny) of exploding a bomb the night of July 18, before the congregation; therefore I could not have lost heart and desisted therefrom. Lately I found out that two of these four brothers were not at that meeting. These facts, of course, prove that they were not acting under my direction. He surmised this, as I believe he surmised the rest of the conspiracy. That I agreed with them that the Board, and not he, who over and over again claimed not to be subordinate to the Board, should control the affairs of the Society, according to Bro. Russell's statement on the Directors' duties after his death, in a booklet entitled "A Conspiracy Exposed" and according to the Charter, could not properly be called my being in a conspiracy. Nor should the fact that they shared my view that it would be safer for the work, instead of having him as the sole executive to have two others with him, as an executive committee, a view with which he agreed June 22, be considered an evidence of a conspiracy "to wreck the Society." That they had a letter procurable from me alone, which I showed
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them to prove that it was right that the Board as controller hear my case, i.e., a carbon copy of the letter that J.F.R. dictated to the English Managers Nov. 10, quoted above, far from proves that I was in a conspiracy with them "to wreck the Society." That heavy loss of sleep moved me to decline a pilgrim trip about the time that he wanted to send I. F. Hoskins on a trip to the West coast (not for only two weeks as he says) that would have kept him away from important Board meetings, for which he says he declined the trip, is poor proof of a conspiracy on the part of the four and myself. From what frail materials he seeks to construct his Conspiracy Building! Gladly have I been, and most gladly would I continue, laying down life for the work of the Society, but wreck it–NEVER!
The petition June 13, for a hearing before a full Board meeting was denied by J.F.R., who, W.E. Van Amburgh concurring with him in this sentiment, said he had neither the time nor the inclination to hear me. In denying the petition of the majority of the Board again he acted as the controller of the Board, whether their meeting was official or not. Instead, he appointed four brothers a Board Committee to investigate my case and report it to the full Board for their action. Though disappointed, I accepted this as the best arrangement obtainable. He furnished them the reports, which gave the evidence of the English Commission on the Tabernacle and Bethel matters, and the findings on the Tabernacle matters, but not the findings of the Bethel matters. He said he did not have the latter. In April he knew of their contents, for he admitted that they favored my dismissing the two brothers; but said that he did not agree with the English Commission's findings on the dismissals, a Bethel, not a Tabernacle matter. What has become of the Bethel findings I do not know. The Board Committee studied the Bethel evidence, and claimed that
the two Managers deserved dismissal. Thus they agreed with the English Commission. For five hours, occupying two sessions of one day, not for a week as he says, I went over the English situation with the Board Committee and was at no other of their meetings, while they were going over other phases of their inquiry. They, too, reported to the Board in my favor. He claims I sought unduly to influence the English Commission and conspired with the American one! Their report was so violently opposed by him that they thought it wise not then to press it further; instead a compromise was accepted, they putting off for more favorable conditions a final settlement of the case, a thing with which Bro. Pierson later came into agreement. Bro. Pierson had not yet heard my case from me. I decided after the above-mentioned compromise to seek to lay it before Bro. Pierson, which I did at Cromwell in July. While I was there so doing, I said not a word to anybody else about the trouble at Brooklyn. He gave me a full hearing, and he, too, took my view of the British situation, convinced by the facts, documents and letters that I presented to his attention. Thus five members of the Board, the only ones who have fully heard me, approved my course on the British matter, except the matter of the Steward. The other two did not have the time and inclination to hear me, but one of them later had both the time and inclination to prepare against me "Harvest Siftings" by which, next to Bro. Russell, I have been more grievously misrepresented than any other servant of the Lord in the whole harvest period. These five Board members, knowing well that I and the British matters, though the occasion, are not the cause of their difference with J.F.R., at the Boston Convention issued August 4 an open letter over their signatures is which the following occurs: "Bro. Johnson is in no sense the cause of the controversy between the President on the one side
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and Bros. Pierson, Ritchie, Wright, Hoskins and Hirsh, on the other side. The President's treatment of Bro. Johnson is only one of the circumstances in which we could not approve of Bro. Rutherford's course. Our contention is that Bro. Johnson, in whom Bro. Russell reposed great confidence, and who manifested much love and zeal for the Truth, during the 14 years of his public service, during which he traveled as Pilgrim, paying his own expenses except for one year, should be given full and fair opportunity to present his case. At present he has been condemned without a trial and to our personal knowledge has been shamefully misrepresented and treated."
Shortly after the above-mentioned Board meeting I was told, June 22, there was no more work for me at the Tabernacle (where in addition to preaching on Sunday and occasionally leading a Berean Lesson week days, I worked half time, as much as my health permitted. Despite this, in one place J.F.R. says I was doing absolutely nothing in the harvest work!) Instead, I was told that he wanted to see me. He proposed a pilgrim trip. I replied that my health was not sufficiently restored for pilgrim work; that my sleep was too poor. He suggested a short one as a trial. I hesitatingly assented, asking that I be sent homeward, where I could see my wife. He did not suggest my going home that day. The next night my sleep was very poor. I concluded that a week or two in the pilgrim work would put me back where I was four months before; while, if I could wait for probably three or four weeks my sleep might warrant steady work. I respectfully told him this the next morning. Instead of his making the nice little speech that he puts into his own mouth in his "Harvest Siftings," he blurted out: "Go home then; leave Bethel, for you are the cause of all the trouble here." I replied that such was not the case; but his "grasping for power," like H.J.S., was the cause of
the trouble. To his insisting that he as the head of the home, had the right to put me out I assented, except that the Board was superior to him as the final authority, and that therefore I appealed to it against his decision that I leave. With that he dropped the matter. He brought up the matter of my leaving Bethel no more until July 27. In fact, he later arranged for a new room for me. Therefore I could not have been living in Bethel for weeks in defiance of his orders for me to leave. I did not then call him a usurper. The first time that I used this expression of him was after he ousted the four Board members, July 17. At the time of the suggestion that I go on a pilgrim trip, I was supposed to head a conspiracy. Query: If he believed me an arch conspirator and the wrecker of the British Church, why should he have arranged a pilgrim trip for me?
After Bro. Russell's death I loved J.F.R. above all other brethren. Remembering our old friendship, I sought hopefully and repeatedly to come into peace with him. This prompted me, e.g., on one occasion, June 22, to put my arms around him and say, "We have been such good friends, surely we can as brothers talk over matters and adjust our difficulties. When shall we make the effort?" He agreed to 3:00 o'clock that afternoon, but at that time sent his secretary to me, saying that he would have to see me at another time. The next morning, June 23, and not June 21, as he says, I asked when it might be, but I received reply that it could not be before a trip that he had in view. We then had a short conversation in which I briefly mentioned the following things that in my opinion in his conduct were displeasing to the Lord:
(1) Expecting to be elected President (a thing that he conceded), he should not have prepared beforehand the by-laws (of which Bro. Ritchie assured me he was in total ignorance, until they were shown him) that among other things were to give
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him executive and managerial power, nor insisted on their unaltered recommendation by the resolution committee through browbeating it, nor sought to influence their passage by the shareholders, knowing that the Charter did not give the President such powers, nor the shareholders the right to make by-laws. I told him that in my opinion humility would have led him to accept, and faithfully do such work as the Board would offer him, and not grasp for more.
(2) After the Board made by-laws of his resolutions passed by the shareholders, instead of confining his activities to the office of Executive and Manager he was claiming and exercising controllership in the affairs of the Society as against the Board. Thereupon he said that he was the Controller in the affairs of the Society, and had all the authority therein that Bro. Russell had, who was not only Executive and Manager, but also Controller. About the middle of April he had told me the same thing, claiming that Bro. Russell had so arranged matters (he did for himself; but for no one else), and that the Board had almost nothing (except where legal formalities existed) to say or do in the Society's affairs. This is contrary not only to Bro. Russell's statement in the booklet "A Conspiracy Exposed" as to the Board's place in the Society's affairs after his death, but also to J.F.R.'s written and published opinions referred to above. I pleaded with him in God's name almost with tears in my eyes to desist from his course, as it was self-exaltation, like Lucifer's, and was causing the trouble that was now common property in Bethel. Had he heeded this plea the present worldwide trouble in the Church would not have occurred. It was on this occasion that I stated that we had "opposite legal opinion" and that he cried out, "you are in a conspiracy."
July 17 came. On a legal technicality that, if binding, applied to him as well as them, he ousted four
members of the Board. In "Harvest Siftings" he claims the reason was that they were conspiring to wreck the Society. In truth, as far as I know the case, they were simply resisting his usurpations by which he was claiming and exercising controllership as against the Board, and sought for the Board that it be allowed to perform its duties, duties that he has both written and published included controllership in the affairs of the Society. That afternoon six brothers, myself among them, protested against his arbitrariness, in ousting these brothers. Not the remotest hint was made in these protests to anything connected with Vol. 7, which had not yet been given to the Bethel Family and whose sending to others was unknown to the protestants. Therefore their protests against his ousting the four members of the Board, even if it be conceded that Vol. 7 is the penny, cannot be construed as the parabolic murmuring at those called as laborers in the 11th hour receiving in Vol. 7 as much as the protestants, as a brother in preaching and in print claims. Let us be above beclouding a question by such tortured and totally inapplicable interpretations. It should further be remarked on the interpretation of the whole parable given by the brother who suggested the above application, that according to his view, each hour representing three years, his parabolic day, beginning October, 1881, would not end until October, 1917; therefore his penny was given before his evening time! Thus his first hour was from October, 1881, to October, 1884; his third from October, 1887, to October, 1890; his sixth hour from October, 1896, to October, 1899; his ninth hour from October, 1905, to October, 1908; his eleventh hour from October, 1911, to October, 1914; the evening would then follow October, 1917, nearly three months after Vol. 7 was first distributed. This is fatal to his theory! Where in the Scriptures is a symbolic day of 36 years referred to? Let him search the history of the Harvest
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and, except throughout his first hour (which is Bro. Russell's third less four months), he will find throughout his call hours no specially large numbers called accompanied by siftings confined to his call hours. Both of these things occur in the call hours, as Bro. Russell interpreted the parable. Why not stand by Bro. Russell's satisfactory interpretation, known as such by the brother whose interpretation has just been reviewed? Why seek, as the brother does, to convey the impression that Bro. Russell looked for a fulfilment in line with a different interpretation from his own?
Both J.F.R. and the four ousted brothers accepted my offer of mediation on July 18, on the basis agreed to by both parties, that the legal questions involved should be referred to the decision of a court in a friendly suit. This plan was at least just, whereas his procedure in ousting them was unjust, since it made him the accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. I sought honestly and impartially to mediate. I never once gave as my reason for desiring privately to settle the trouble between him and the Board that it would discredit him, if it became public. I desired to keep it from the brethren at large; because I thought, to know of it would be, not to their edification, but to their injury; and so told him repeatedly. My first difficulty as mediator was caused by his refusal to keep a promise given to me several times July 18, i.e., to let the four brothers have the legal opinion which was read, July 17, before the family as the legal ground for the ousting; and which they desired to have their counsel study. This refusal brought me into difficulty with the four. I tried in vain for an hour to persuade him to keep his promise. Then he refused to submit the case to a court in a friendly suit. I submitted another proposition, i.e., that each side select a lawyer and that these two select a third; and before these, as an Arbitration Board, let the legal
points be argued by counsel representing each side, both sides binding themselves beforehand in writing to accept the decision of this Board on the legal points; and afterward to get together as brethren and settle matters Scripturally. The four accepted this proposition, which all will agree is fair. Apparently succeeding at first to gain, later I sought in vain to maintain his adherence to this fair plan. I worked back and forth between the two parties for a week with various offers. I had a number of brethren offer special prayer for the effort. It was made in all honesty, no attempt being made to deceive him, as he intimates, my desire among other things being to save the Church from distraction. How much better, for the Church, had he followed this course! Finally, July 25, he served me with an ultimatum to deliver to the four, to the effect that they must accept the new Board; agree to work on in peace in harmony with this arrangement, or leave Bethel; if they would not keep such a peace, he would publish the whole thing, including the British matter. This ended mediation. The following Sunday, July 29, his "Harvest Siftings" was read to the Boston Elders: Thus while I was working as mediator he was preparing his "Harvest Siftings"! I was the one who was deceived! July 27, at the close of a meeting of the People's Pulpit Association, when they failed to agree with his ultimatum, nor would discuss matters further with him without legal counsel, he, in great anger, arose, saying, "Then it will be war." So far as he is concerned, it has been assassination from then on. Verily "the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Alas! Alas!! Alas!!! How his ambition and uncontrolled temper have injured God's Church!
I will pass by many things that I suffered and saw at Bethel, including an espionage system, a "whispering" campaign wherein a "confidential statement" of distorted "facts" was spread abroad against me by
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him and A.H. Macmillan, exposure of the trouble in the Board to the family in a partisan way, etc., illustrative of what one of the finest characters in Bethel almost in tears assured me, i.e., that, while I was in Europe, there had been a veritable "reign of terror" in Bethel. I will describe the scene that occurred just after the noon meal of July 27, in the presence of the majority of the Bethel family. He remarked that while his controllership in the Society's affairs was disputed, it was indisputable that he was in control of the affairs of the People's Pulpit Association, in whose name the Bethel property stood. (Bro. Russell in Dec. 1915, "Tower" said that the People's Pulpit Association could act only as directed by the W.T.B.&T.S.) Therefore, he ordered me to leave Bethel that day, and the four Board members to leave the following Monday. I was denied a respectful and repeated request for the privilege to make a statement to the family. Therefore I said nothing. Then Bro. Wright asked to make a statement. He was refused; but spoke anyway. Bro. Hirsh asked to read a letter that Bro. Pierson wrote, to the effect that he disapproved of J.F.R.'s ousting the four brothers from the Board, and that he would firmly stand for and with the old Board. J.F.R. fairly shouted that he was induced by Bro. Johnson's "falsehoods" to write that letter. I denied falsifying to Bro. Pierson. This angered him. He shouted out, "You broke up the British Church." I replied: "If it is broken up, before God and this family I charge you with the responsibility." Then still more angry he shouted, "Bro. Johnson stole $1500.00." I replied, "That is a false statement, and you know it is." Still more wrathful, he ordered me to leave Bethel on pain of legal proceedings. I replied that I had appealed to the Board from that decision; and that since I recognized the Board as in control, and, in the case of an appeal, as having the right to decide the question, I
awaited its decision; that if it ordered me to leave, I would do so at once. At this he completely lost self-control. To enforce his order he rushed at me crying out, "You leave this house." Grabbing me by the arm, he almost jerked me off my feet. So violently did he squeeze my arm that, if it were not quite muscular, I feel sure, he would have made black and blue marks on it. I called the family's attention to the fact that he exercised physical violence on my person. A.H. Macmillan, springing to his side, prevented one of his descending hands from striking me on the head and took his other hand off my arm. He continued to abuse me. R. J. Martin, who was standing nearby, repeatedly asked him whether he should not call the police. Again I called the family to witness that he had used physical violence against me. A.H. Macmillan then said, "He did not hurt you." I replied that he jerked me so violently as nearly to knock me down in plain sight of many. At this R. J. Martin started to hoot at me, and was joined in by quite a number of J.F.R.'s sympathizers. So greatly were the feelings of the majority, myself among them, outraged by this exhibition of rowdyism that they and I left the dining room.
Presently A.H. Macmillan came to my room threatening to have me removed by the police, if I did not leave. I declined to leave because of my appeal to the Board. Thinking that he would fulfill his threat, and not desiring my things put out in confusion, I packed up. Later, on my still refusing to leave, he said, "You will either leave, or by night you will be bruised or be in jail." Later, thinking that I was unobserved, I left Bethel to make a call in a house across the street. Returning as the friends were coming from the Tabernacle to Bethel for supper, I sought to enter by the Library entrance just behind a brother, but the door was slammed shut in my face, striking against me violently as it closed. The brother who did this told me to go up to the front door. As I did
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so, I saw under the eyes and at the command of J.F.R., a brother put my belongings out of doors. I asked J.F.R. if this meant that I was evicted from Bethel. He replied, "Yes," then closed the door. I rang the bell. On his putting his head out the door, held slightly ajar, with a loving heart and smiling face I said, "Well, after all, Bro. Rutherford, my sentiment is 'God bless you!'" He smiled, closed the door, then opened it again, asking me if I needed any money, but said nothing else. I thanked him, saying I had some. He then, without further remark, closed the door. Many witnessed the whole scene. Some of these assured me that for a considerable time before, guards were at the doors to prevent my entrance. Alas! it is almost unbelievable that this scene could have been staged! I now pass by Bethel from time to time. I see the dear ones go in and out. My heart cries out to them, "My beloved Brethren, God bless you! Our Father bless you! I love you!" Yes, I love them all. I love J.F.R.; I love J.H. The Lord's grace has kept me in the love of God in this long experience of the greatest injustice that has come into my life. And it has come from two, whom after Bro. Russell's death I have loved above all other brethren. But the Lord's ways are best. It is best that our severest trials come from those whom we most love; for that makes them easier to bear.
After my return from Europe I learned that J.F.R., W.E. Van Amburgh and A.H. Macmillan conspired to gain for the first Bro. Russell's full power and authority in the work and business of the Society. They began this conspiracy before the election. They prearranged every detail of the voting shareholders' meeting Jan. 6. At Brooklyn J.F.R. prepared and W.E. Van Amburgh approved the resolutions that, among other things, were to secure for the President executive and managerial authority. These W.E. Van Amburgh gave I. L. Margeson (this I state on the latter's
authority), the chairman of the Resolutions Committee, for which they also arranged. A week before the election J.F.R. furnished a brother with an account of the proceedings of the voting shareholders' meeting for publication in the press of the country, telling of his election by the Secretary casting the ballot of the convention and of the unanimity of his election, and giving some of his speech of acceptance. The Editor of the New York Herald commented on the prophetic gifts of "those Bethel people" in being able to foretell just what would happen at the election! In this account J.F.R. failed to state that by his prearrangement the nominations were so closed, that there could be no other Presidential candidates for whom thousands of voting shares were instructed, and that he prepared the resolution recommending that he be made Executive and Manager. No political convention was ever more completely or more smoothly "bossed" than the voting shareholders' meeting Jan. 6. Certainly the remark that he made to me in July, when he explained how he arranged for the election of R. H. Hirsh to the Board, applies to the proceedings of the Jan. 6, meetings. "Of course, Bro. Johnson, you know all things of that character are arranged beforehand, just like matters connected with a political convention!"
As far as I know, it seems to me that his first pertinent wrong was his activity (begun before his election, which he expected, but for which I do not think he electioneered) connected with his securing for himself executive managerial authority in the Society's affairs. In this activity W.E. Van Amburgh participated, but not Bro. Ritchie, the other member of the Executive Committee. As he says, I believe that he thought it would be better for "one mind" than for a committee of three to be the Executive and Manager. His second wrong was (contrary to Bro. Russell's express statement in "A Conspiracy Exposed"
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and to his own written and published view) grasping for, and usurping controllership in, the Society's affairs, instead of leaving controllership with the Board. His third wrong was his acting in many ways, particularly in the British and in the Board's affairs, in harmony with this usurpation, to the great injury of the Church. I have no doubt that he thought this course right. It seems to me that his sense of humility and justice were too weak to enable him to see aright, and to make straight paths for his feet; and thus he fell in the test. I am not judging his motive, I am simply seeking an explanation for his acts. The thought fixed in his mind that it would be in the interest of the work for his mind to be the "one mind" to control the affairs of the Society—doubtless others encouraged him in the thought, if not by word, certainly by act—he could see a conspiracy only and an attempt to wreck the Society, in the acts of those who were seeking to have Bro. Russell's ideals and charter carried out, as he wanted them after his death. Because Bro. Johnson, Mar. 7, in his protest set forth the thought of the Board's controllership versus the Executive's, and in his accompanying petitions asked for an Executive Committee instead of one Executive and Manager, and because the four brothers held the same thoughts, the first of which all of them had, before Bro. Johnson spoke with them at all on the subject, and of the expediency of the second of which, three of them were convinced before Bro. Johnson spoke to them at all on that subject; and because they sought to translate these thoughts into acts, though Bro. Johnson knew in advance almost nothing of their various moves, they must be in a conspiracy to "wreck the Society" under the leadership of Bro. Johnson! Judging from his theory set forth in his "Harvest Siftings," and the knowledge that I have of the events such seems to be his mental attitude and process.
In explanation of this mental attitude I desire to quote a remark made of him by one of his best friends in the Truth, who knows him thoroughly: "There are two Rutherfords. Bro. Rutherford whom I dearly love, and Lawyer Rutherford of whom I cannot approve." Lawyer R., not Bro. R., prepared "Harvest Siftings." And in this fact my charity finds a partial excuse for him. Almost every lawyer develops the mental habit of setting forth a theory for each case, then seeks to make everything harmonize with that theory. Whatever facts connected with the case oppose that theory are suppressed; whatever facts or partial facts interpretable in other ways, can by a twist be made to harmonize with that theory are given that twist; and whatever is lacking to make the theory plausible is invented and stated as a fact. So accustomed do most lawyers become to such practices that they become unconscious of doing such things. This is exactly what "Lawyer" Rutherford has done in "Harvest Siftings" and this accounts in part for the fact that, not only the whole setting that he gives to things is false; but also that against me alone there are in "Harvest Siftings" 220 misrepresentations, the majority of which are in his own statements! There are 32 of these in his epitome and 29 in his summary! Believing him to be a brother and a child of God, I cannot explain what he has done in "Harvest Siftings" on any other ground than that "Lawyer," not Bro., R. wrote it. Poor Lawyer Rutherford! Dear Bro. Rutherford! God bless the latter and help him overcome the former!
Why have I in a defense of myself written of some of the weaknesses of some of my brethren, whom I surely love? Not from a desire to uncover their weaknesses, but because, in harmony with Bro. Russell's article in Sep. 15, 1917, "Tower," page 283, first par., second column, I am forced so to do, under the circumstances created by "Harvest Siftings," to arouse the Church to a sense of danger! Just as H.J. Shearn
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and W. Crawford in Britain have set aside some, and attempted to set aside others of Brother Russell's arrangements, so J.F.R. is doing here. Just as they kept the W.T.B.&T.S. in the background, and over-emphasized the I.B.S.A., so he is setting aside provisions of the Society's charter, and is putting controllership into the hands of the People's Pulpit Association, its subsidiary. As they there were lording it over God's heritage, so he is doing here, even though "a reign of terror" results! As they are wrecking the churches there, so he is doing here. About 35 members of the Bethel family in various ways have been driven away because they protested against his high-handedness in this matter. In his "Harvest Siftings" he advises the friends to read Brother Russell's article in Nov. 1, 1916, "Tower," on "The Hour of Temptation"; yes, by all means let the friends do so; for it warns against those leaders who grasp for power over the Church; and urges their deposition. This he is doing on a larger scale than anybody else attempted in the history of the Harvest! Did he not show his affinity to H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford by siding with them against me in a conflict brought on by their attempting to make elders lords over God's heritage, and by their setting aside Brother Russell's arrangements? No wonder therefore that my criticisms of them made little impression on him! In view of these facts, is it not time for the shareholders to consider and pray over what they should do with one who has arbitrarily set aside such provisions of the Charter and such members of the Board as were in the way of his "absolutism"? Let us stand for Bro. Russell's wise arrangements! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Will! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Board! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Charter! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's W.T.B.&T.S.! The Society's only right to the things that Bro. Russell bequeathed to it is that the intents of his writings, will, and charter be obeyed.
No one has a right to exercise any authority in the Society, unless he submits to Bro. Russell's expressed wishes respecting those bequests. These J.F.R. has disregarded; and therefore has morally forfeited the right to exercise any authority with respect to the W.T.B.&T.S. Will not the shareholders bring such pressure to bear by their votes as to enforce compliance with them, and set aside those who do not comply with them? Would not Bro. Walter Page, a former vice-president, make a much better President than J.F.R.?
The above is a truthful statement of the main facts of the case. The Lord knows how my heart has bled at the necessity of giving it. He knows my unfeigned love for the brethren, as well as those of whom "Harvest Siftings" has compelled me to write. He knows my great grief at the distress of the brethren caused by J.F.R.'s "Siftings." He knows my great joy at the privilege of serving the Church, and my ardent desire to continue to serve them along the lines of that Servant's teachings. My stand for the Lord, the Truth, the Brethren and Bro. Russell's polices in Britain and here does not deserve the treatment that I have received. My mistake on the Steward was at my own initiative recalled as soon as I saw it. Any other mistake that I may have made would as soon as seen be as frankly acknowledged. The things that I did in England, in the Bethel and Tabernacle affairs, were required by the necessities of the situation, and were performed in harmony with the powers that the Executive Committee gave me to believe I had. The Lord has made them stand in spite of J.F.R.'s efforts to overthrow them.
The above review was written in August ; but various considerations prevented its earlier publication. Oct. 7, "Harvest Siftings," Part II, came to hand. To only a few points therein will I make reply. Sad to say, it, too, abounds in misrepresentations; in
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some places many of these are in a single sentence. Some of these relate to matters sufficiently explained above; others, except two, I will pass by in silence. It is regrettable that J.F.R. applies a railing title, "Opponent's paper" to "Light After Darkness." But I rejoice to notice that J.F.R. concedes what he before disputed, that the Board alone could make bylaws, and should control in the Society's affairs, though I fear his insistence on his headship, which implies controllership, disannuls the second concession. But I must dissent from his statements that the Board has always controlled, and that the issue was not whether it or he was controller in the Society's affairs. This was decidedly and unquestionably the issue. The issue was not whether he was executive and manager, as distinct from controller. During Bro. Russell's life he, and not the Board, was the controller as well as executive. But he usually used another as manager. In view of what he was about to turn over to the Society, before he would organize it, he stipulated with the proposed shareholders that he must control until death even though the Charter affirms the Board's controllership. This agreement was emphasized when he gave his copyrights, etc., to the Society; because these were a more valuable asset than all possible financial donations. During his lifetime the Board acted (1) in an advisory capacity, and (2) in a sanctioning capacity (for certain transactions, when required by law so to do); but it did not control. Only between Bro. Russell's death and the Board's passing the by-law making J.F.R. executive and manager did the Board control. More or less confusion exists by reason of the double use of the word "manage"; and J.F.R. takes full advantage of this confusion. To clarify the subject, let us notice the main functions of a Board as controller, of an executive and of a manager. A Board as controller initiates all matters of policy and program, i.e., what is to be done, and
the ways and means of doing it; it also makes by-laws, rules and ordinances, unless the Charter provides otherwise; it also passes on all acts of the officials, approving, disapproving, rescinding, modifying, or adding to them, as it sees fit. An executive carries out the policy and program; and usually acts as the Board's intermediary with others. A manager supervises the office or shop, and general details. In their relation to one another a manager is subject to an executive, and an executive is subject to a Board. The word "manage" is sometimes used to designate the work of a manager, and sometimes of a controller. Our Charter and the majority of the Board in "Light After Darkness" use the word "manage" in the sense of control; and the word "management" in the sense of controllership. These four brothers differed from J.F.R. (and I share their opinion), because he insisted on interpreting the word "management," as it occurs in the by-laws that he drew up, in the sense of controllership, and acted in harmony with this interpretation. If it is asked whether the issue was one of management, as distinct from controllership, the answer is emphatically no! The issue was: Who is controller, the Board or J.F.R.? The majority of the Board, which includes Bro. Pierson (who by the way assured me lately that he stood for "Light After Darkness"), claimed controllership for the Board; J.F.R. both by word and act claimed controllership for himself. The following facts show that he performed distinct functions of a controller.
I. He initiated new policies and programs, and that without even consulting the Board.
1. He appointed personal representatives of the President (and so designated them, making them answerable to him alone) in various countries delegating to them the power of doing in his absence what he might do, if present. These representatives control in those countries, e.g., J.H. in Britain and Ireland.
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2. He changed the organization of the Pastoral work.
3. He uses his presidency of the People's Pulpit Association to control the Society's affairs.
4. Treats the People's Pulpit Association as if it were not the Society's subsidiary.
5. Accepted the donation for Vol. VII without crediting it to the funds of the Society.
6. Published Vol. VII without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board.
7. Copyrighted Vol. VII not in the name of the Society, but of the People's Pulpit Association.
8. Appoints persons to, and dismisses some from, offices of special responsibility apart from the Board, i.e., Pilgrims, and heads of departments, W. Bundy as the head of the Jamaica work.
9. Took the headship of Bethel family without authorization of the Board.
II. Without authorization by, and knowledge of, the Board he prepared a set of Home and Office Rules for the Society's affairs, providing for special powers for himself and fellow-conspirators; and when he had procured the sanction of the too trustful Board, expounded the Rules to exclude Board members, not working at the Tabernacle, or not on Committees, from visiting the office during working hours. The law regards members of a Corporation's Board as the partners of a firm.
III. He insisted that the habitual exercise of any function by Bro. Russell justified him in doing the same; hence claimed Bro. Russell's powers to control.
IV. He acted as if the Board were subject to him.
1. Without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board he recalled Bro. Johnson, though sent by the Board, from Europe.
2. Without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board he cancelled his Society-sealed credentials.
3. Refused to allow the Board to question his decision
on the British matter, claiming that it was exclusively his to settle.
4. While Bro. Johnson was before the Board on an appeal to it from his decision on the British matter, he refused to let him finish presenting his case to the Board for their decision, claiming that the Society had settled it, he, not the Board, allegedly having so done.
5. He ousted the majority of the Board, because they were seeking to take from him its usurped controllership.
V. He violated several provisions of Bro. Russell's Will, implying thereby that he is controller.
1. He suggested the publication of one, and admittedly permitted the publication of two, of his discourses as volunteer matter. The Will directs that volunteer matter consist of Bro. Russell's discourses alone. He should have refrained from such a suggestion. He should also have prevented others overriding the Will in this matter.
2. He dominates the Editorial Committee, and appoints a substitute editor, when he is long absent; not even the Board should do these things.
VI. Whoever opposes his controllership is made to feel it by a process of "smiting."
VII. He is carrying on a world-wide campaign to secure actual controllership, though ostensibly not so doing.
These facts, except the last, show that the issue was controllership, as distinct from management. Of course, he knows that the Board as controller would have to act as such either by unanimity or by majority; and this is the position: he ousted the majority of the Board, because, as the majority, they wanted to set aside his controllership. Later when Bro. Pierson came to see the real issue, he joined the four, and to this day disapproves of J.F.R.'s usurpatory course. Certainly he claimed controllership of the Society's affairs, just as Bro. Russell did, for which, however,
Harvest Siftings Reviewed.
he does not have Bro. Russell's proprietary rights.
The reason Bro. Russell was not annually elected a Director is not because his annual election as President made him a Director; for he had first to be a Director before he could stand as a candidate for President; as the Charter expressly states that the officers shall be selected from among the Directors. The reason why Bro. Russell was never but once elected a Director is the same as that for which no other Director, including J.F.R. and W.E. Van Amburgh, was ever elected but once, i.e., the Charter expressly states that the Directors shall hold office for life. For a similar reason Bro. Russell was not annually elected President and biennially a Director of the Peoples Pulpit Association; for he by its Charter was to hold these offices for life. This clause of the Charter applies to the first President only, for it says that the President of the P. P. A. shall be elected President for life at the first meeting of the Association. This language proves that this clause with the power of controllership that the Charter lodges with its President was meant for Bro. Russell alone; as he was the only one elected President at the first meeting of the P. P. A. See "Harvest Siftings," page 16, under the caption "The Peoples Pulpit Association" for the wording of this clause. This clearly proves that Bro. Russell never intended that, except himself, any one individual should control even the limited affairs of the P. P. A., much less those of the Society.
Again, if the places of the four brothers were vacant by reason of their not having been annually elected, then J.F.R.'s, and W.E. Van Amburgh's places likewise were vacant; therefore, since the Charter states that the Society's officers shall be chosen from among its Directors, they could not have been candidates for the Presidency and Secretary-Treasurership; and therefore could not have been elected as such. Therefore their places on both the Board and in these offices
would also be vacant! Therefore J.F.R. would not have power bindingly to declare the places of the four vacant, and appoint successors. If, as he says, he knew for years of the vacancy of the places of those who were holding directorship for years, without an annual reelection, he knew for the same reason for years that his place, too, was vacant on the Board. Yet in the Dec. 15, 1916, "Tower," last par., page 390, and 1st and 2nd pars. 391, he enumerates, not vacancies, but seven members of the Board, himself among them; and shows that the officers must in harmony with the Charter be selected from among these seven directors, none of whom according to his mind were directors; for the six, not being elected for years and their places thus being vacant, could not elect the seventh, Bro. Pierson. Doubtless a Court would call his conduct in this matter fraudulent, especially as he thereby became a gainer. If their places were vacant, there could have been no quorum present at any Board meeting after his election as president; therefore all the acts of the Board since January 6 would be null and void, including the by-laws giving him executive and managerial authority! He would be now using fraudulent powers! Courts would doubtless rule that since he acted with the four as genuine Directors for nearly 6 months he could not call in question the legality of their Directorship. He is tied hand and foot. If it is true that directors must be elected annually, where this is not done, the directors would hold office until their successors were elected, twelve able lawyers claim. Among these are Assistants of the Attorney Generals of Penna. and N. J. Hence there was no vacancy on the Board; and J.F.R.'s action was not "simply filling four vacancies"; it was an illegal and disorderly ousting of four legal directors and an illegal and disorderly appointing of four pseudo-directors. When it became advisable in 1894 and in 1908 that Directors be removed, Bro. Russell did not take the law
Harvest Siftings Reviewed.
into his own hands and oust them; but in a legal and orderly way waited, until the next annual meetings of the share-holders, when he recommended and procured their dismissal by the way laid down in the Charter. Had J.F.R. followed this appropriate example, the Society would not have been "wrecked," nor would five faithful brothers have been slandered world-wide, nor the Church be so greatly disturbed.
In the Nov. 1, "Tower," page 329, col. 1, two by-laws are given. These are the product of "J.F.R.'s Illegal Board." This makes them illegal. However, the friends can safely send in to the Secretary a modified form of the proxy on that page or any other appropriate form, filling it out, except, if they prefer not to let the Secretary know the name and address of their proxy, they can omit these, and after the form is returned with endorsement, they can fill in the name and address of their proxy. It is neither the business of the Secretary of the Society nor of anyone else to know so long in advance of the election who holds proxies. Nor is it under some circumstances safe that this be known. Considering what was done July 31 with Peoples Pulpit Association proxies it would be advisable to cut out of the proxy the words "adjourned or"; also the words "and attorney for me and in my name, place and stead," and to ask that immediately after the close of the annual meeting the proxy be returned to its giver. If a person holds proxies from a number of persons, he is thereby empowered to make as many nominations as there are persons for whom he is asked to cast the proxies, and to vote the instructed shares for each designated nominee; for he acts as the representative of those whose proxies he holds. This should be insisted upon, because at the last election by prearrangement nominations for President were closed as soon as but one nominee was presented with speeches to the meeting. A proxy holder is morally obligated to vote his proxies as instructed,
until there is no possibility of the election of the one or ones for whom he is instructed to vote. Not only should the friends refuse to fill out the blanks asking them to declare their loyalty to the Society, but should protest against their being asked to make such a declaration. Without disproof, one's loyalty is presumed.
In his comments on Section VIII of the Charter J.F.R. misinterprets the section. This section provides for the election by the shareholders at the next annual meeting, not for the places on the Board held by those directors who were elected by the Board; but for the places on the Board held by those directors who, not elected by the Board, are appointed by the President. He omits that part of section V which treats of the charter members of the Society. There were seven of these, all of whom were elected as Board members. Keeping this fact in mind enables one to see the fallacy of his claim that the titles of office added to the names of three of the Directors holding offices make them members of the Board by virtue of their election to their respective offices. The reason why these titles were added is quite a different one, i.e.: to prove to the court that the Society was really organized; and therefore could ask for a legal existence by sanction of its charter.
For grace pray much, for much thou needest grace.
If men thy work deride - what can they more?
Christ's weary foot thy path on earth doth trace;
If thorns wound thee, they pierced Him before;
Press on, look up, tho' clouds may gather round,
Thy place of service He makes hallowed ground.
Have friends forsaken thee, and cast thy name
Out as a worthless thing? Take courage then:
Go tell thy Master; for they did the same
To Him, who once in patience toiled for them;
Yet He was perfect in all service here;
Thou oft hast failed: this maketh Him more dear.