WATCHTOWER - JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
HISTORY COURT CASES
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The more than 200 miscellaneous Jehovah's Witnesses historical court cases and historical scenarios posted in this six-page section are intended to provide additional enlightenment on the various issues which arise elsewhere within this website. Even highly educated readers will never have heard of most of these cases -- primarily because such have never been cited by liberal authors and reporters whose own writings have been constrained for decades by "political correctness", which dictates the glorification of the Jehovah's Witness Court Cases of the 1920s-1990s. We have also "un-spun" several highly publicized cases so that readers are able to see for the first time the "whole truth" which liberal authors and reporters have censored for decades. Each of the six webpages contains its own multiple shocking revelations.
WATCHTOWER SOCIETY CONDEMNS JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES' ACTIVISM IN OWN BACKYARD
WATCHTOWER SOCIETY SIDES WITH MAFIA OVER MEMBERS
THE LONG ISLAND ADVANCE
July 9, 1970
Topless Show Is Picketed For Second Straight Saturday
A week ago last Saturday, a lone woman picketed outside Dadd's Shore Manor Restaurant in Mastic, protesting the performance of a topless dancer which appears every Friday and Saturday at the popular restaurant on Montauk Highway.
Dadd's was picketed again last Saturday, this time by three middle-aged women, and like the woman of the week before, the three arrived at approximately 6:45 p.m., and left just before the start of the show.
Dadd's owner Tony Daddona said one walked up and down the sidewalk, one stood by the sign advertising the show, and another in front of the building, but did not interfere with any customers entering or leaving the restaurant.
Fred Cummings, a restaurant employee, said they carried signs with quotations from the Bible, and asked them several questions, such as, "Do men like to work without shirts". He said that they answered, "It was all right for a man, but it was a different with a woman."
Mr. Cummings also said passerbys also stopped and talked to the pickets. In addition, about 35 cars pulled over to the curb at one time or another, with both men and women peeling out of a car window and booing the demonstrators, and declared: "We'll be back to drink later."
Mr. Daddona said he had about 30 customers at the time, and added, it hasn't affected his business, in fact, it has helped boost it.
In last week' s issue of The Long Island Advance, it was stated that the lone picket was a member of Jehovah's Witnesses. The group said the woman misrepresented the intentions of the organization, and has issued the following statement:
Today, with nearly every known social and religious group going into the streets before establishments to decry one or more of the many moral wrongs or injustices plaguing society through picketing or other means, it would seem to many that Jehovah's Witnesses eventually would join the parade.
Such a conclusion is incorrect. Jehovah's Witnesses have strong views about the moral breakdown and all the other problems, but [Jehovah's Witnesses] know that picket signs are not the answer
. [Jehovah's Witnesses] have never infringed upon the business or private property rights of others to harass or interfere with them.
It isn't that [Jehovah's] Witnesses condone injustice or moral wrong, but they know they cannot reform the world.
What Jehovah's Witnesses have chosen to do is follow the original Christian pattern of bringing their message to the private homes of people. They know that if individuals wish to hear what God has said, that is their own personal decision that should be developed by consideration of many facts, and not a coerced decision stemming from a show of public opinion or force. That is why [Jehovah's] Witnesses, upon invitation, will even come weekly to give a comprehensive six month course in how the Bible can answer any questions and doubts about the Creator.
Jehovah's Witnesses do as the early Christians, who did not advocate social reform by man's efforts, but directed attention to a government of God -- His kingdom that will intervene during this decade and correct earth's problems.
It is unfortunate that those who know of the good work performed by Jehovah's Witnesses might have been momentarily perplexed by this past occasion, but this information should suffice to clear up any misunderstanding.
Click here to read about another time where and when the WatchTower Society threw its own faithful members UNDER THE BUS, because they were repeating publically what the WatchTower Society's Circuit Servants were preaching privately: JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES WHO PUBLICLY PROCLAIMED THE AMERICAN FLAG TO BE A PIECE OF RAG,.
WOOLEY v. MAYNARD:
THE GREAT JEHOVAH'S WITNESS SCOTUS VICTORY THAT
NEVER WAS !!!
WOOLEY v. MAYNARD was the 1977 win in the Supreme Court of the United States that has been one of the most publicized "Jehovah's Witnesses Victories" in the Jehovah's Witnesses' long list of SCOTUS successes. Probably only Barnette (1943) and Cantwell (1940) have received more publicity, and those two cases had a 35 year head start. And, of all the "Jehovah's Witnesses" who were parties in the many SCOTUS wins and losses, George Maynard may be the "most discussed", which makes the following disclosure all the more puzzling. GEORGE MAYNARD WAS NOT ONLY NOT A JEHOVAH'S WITNESS, HE WAS AN ADVERSARY OF THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY!!!
While it is true that George Maynard claimed to be one of "Jehovah's Witnesses", Maynard was such only by his own definition, but not that of the WatchTower Society. What is more probable is that Maynard told everyone that he was a "Jehovah's Witness" just to "piss off" the Jehovah's Witnesses and their WatchTower Cult masters. In actuality, George Maynard could be labeled many things, but maybe the most descriptive, and maybe the most polite, would be that George Maynard was a "character" -- as were his parents and siblings.
Before discussing George Maynard's claim to be a Jehovah's Witness, it might be helpful to review some other reported biographical details, which were assumedly provided to the media by Maynard himself. It has been reported that Maynard was a veteran of the Korean War. It also has been reported that Maynard was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. Maynard supposedly was discharged from the U.S. Army sometime in 1952, while the Korean War was still ongoing. Maynard was born in March 1932, which would have made him 20 years old in March 1952.
George Maynard was a native of Rhode Island. In 1953, he married Maxine, who was a native of Arkansas. The couple settled in Connecticut, where they started their family of five children. In 1956, the family converted from Catholicism to the Jehovah's Witnesses.
George Maynard can also be characterized as a man of contradictions. For instance, although Maynard was a printer by trade, and although Maynard claimed to be proficient in "sign language" (apparently three of the Maynard family, or even possibly live-in relatives, were deaf mutes), yet Maynard also claimed that his "writing" was so "embarrassing" that Maxine Maynard "writes all the bills and checks". George Maynard blamed such on the fact that he attended school only through the 9th grade.
George Maynard also was a man who came across as being extremely sure of himself. However, his "interpretations" of various things and events in life seemed to vary from the way many other people would interpret such. For instance, Maynard's own interpretations of WatchTower interpretations were sometimes spot on, sometimes barely close, and sometimes were such that some JWs might question whether Maynard had ever been a JW himself. (Non-JWs should understand that the WatchTower Society is uncompromisingly strict about every single JW possessing the exact same interpretation of its own teachings and interpretations.)
According to George Maynard, his "troubles" with the Jehovah's Witnesses started around 1966. By that time, the Maynards had relocated to Concord, Massachusetts. It was there in Concord, sometime in the late 1960s, that George Maynard was "disfellowshipped" (excommunicated) from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Since "Jehovah's Witnesses" are a "hierarchical" form of religious organization, George Maynard having been excommunicated by the Concord, Massachusetts Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses meant that he no longer was considered a Jehovah's Witness -- anywhere -- period.
Over the decades, Maynard characterized the reason that he was disfellowshipped as both being "unclear", and as "for being rebellious". Maynard also stated that he was disfellowshipped because the Elders accused him of causing "dissension in the congregation by asking questions". An unidentified JW source stated that Maynard was "a troublemaker, who was tolerated for a long time". However, in later years, Maynard admitted to one reporter that he had been disfellowshipped because he had been accused of FINANCIAL FRAUD. No specifics were given. While there is no indication that Maxine Maynard was ever disfellowshipped, neither is there any indication that Maxine ever disagreed with George's issues with the JWs.
Sometime after George's disfellowshipping, the Maynards again relocated; this time, to Claremont, New Hampshire. There, Maynard attempted to associate with the Claremont Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, but the Elders there told him to go back to Concord, Massachusetts, and straighten out his "status" with that congregation. Naturally, George Maynard ignored their directions, and apparently would occasionally attend meetings at the Claremont Kingdom Hall. Disfellowshipped persons are permitted to attend meetings, but they will be shunned by the JWs. Apparently, the Claremont Elders felt that George's "signing" to the three members of his family who were deaf mutes was disruptive, and they told him to stop. Whatever was George's reaction, such resulted in the filing of at least two (possibly more) criminal complaints against Maynard by the Claremont Elders. Finally, in September 1972, the Claremont Elders even called the Police during a meeting and had George arrested and physically removed from the Kingdom Hall. (That was NOT the last time that George Maynard and his family saw the interior of a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. In 1990, the Maynards attempted to regularly attend the Canton Connecticut Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. George was again "trespassed", later arrested, and even eventually prosecuted. Outcome unknown.)
George Maynard was first ticketed for obscuring the slogan "Live Free or Die" on the two license plates of one of his two automobiles in November 1974. The judge naively suspended the $25.00 fine on an assumption of subsequent good behavior", but Maynard was ticketed twice in December 1974 and/or January 1975. This time the judge fined him $50.00, and sentenced him to six months in prison. The judge then suspended the sentence provided that Maynard paid his fines. Maynard told the judge that he would not pay them. The judge then sentenced George Maynard to 15 days in county jail.
One little tidbit that is usually left out when relating this drama is that Maynard did more than simply tape over the slogan. Although the specifics of each of Maynard's four license plates is unknown, Maynard also either cut-out or punched out one or more of the four words on one or more of the four metal license plates. The "tape" apparently was intended to cover the resulting holes, as much as to cover the "offensive" words.
Another especially juicy tidbit that is usually left out when relating this drama is that George Maynard was not the only person in the United States who was obscuring the "slogan" on their auto license plates. Maynard was not even the first person to do so. Several libertarian-minded persons had done so, and had faced their own dramas in their own local courts.
In fact, the issue of state's putting "offensive slogans" on auto license plates had drawn the attention of many civil libertarian organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently, the ACLU, and possibly other organizations, were "shopping" for just the right one of these "slogan obscurers", who would be a good plaintiff for a federal lawsuit -- that is, someone who had just the right characteristics which would elicit "sympathy" from the federal courts.
Who better to have as a plaintiff in a "First Amendment" federal lawsuit than a "Jehovah's Witness", who brought with him arguments, precedents, and history that no federal court in the 1970s would dare challenge? The ACLU contacted George Maynard, and the rest is legal history. The state of New Hampshire never stood a chance. The fact that George Maynard was not actually a Jehovah's Witness was irrelevant -- constitutionally speaking. Maynard still possessed deeply held religious beliefs which served as the basis for the constitutional arguments. But, such does not negate the immeasurable value that the label "Jehovah's Witnesses" brought to the overall effort.
One can't help but wonder whether the WatchTower Society ever raised any objections with their ACLU friends? Can someone direct me to any public statement made by the WatchTower during the USDC and SCOTUS proceedings, in which they notified the courts, the media, or the general public that Maynard was not a Jehovah's Witness? Why did the WatchTower Society apparently not mind lending their name and reputation to this effort?
Interestingly, after SCOTUS ruled in Maynard's favor in April 1977, Maynard stated that he was looking for another attorney who would take on the Jehovah's Witnesses, and sue them for the damages that he had suffered at their hands over the years. I wonder why Maynard's friends at the ACLU did not want to pursue Maynard's claim against the WatchTower Society?
On Independence Day weekend, in July 1942, a small group of Jehovah's Witnesses in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, decided to antagonize the locals who were celebrating the 4th of July by going to a suburban city park and selling anti-government WatchTower literature near the city park's flagpole. Those JWs were literally thrown out of the park by some of the gathered local males. The JWs showed back up at that park the very next weekend spoiling for a fight with two dozen armed reinforcements carrying tear gas spray and other light weapons. The outraged locals beat the hell out of the entire pack, hospitalizing two -- German C. Click, age 29, and John Kikosicsky, age 56.
UNSPINNING THE 1940 BURNING OF THE
KENNEBUNK MAINE KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
The torching of the Kennebunk Maine Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on June 9, 1940, was in RETALIATION for the legally unjustified shooting and wounding of two men outside the Kingdom Hall earlier that day.
Amazingly, that essential element of the story is nearly always left out when this unfortunate incident is cited by reporters and supposed historians -- some of whom obviously have an agenda.
"... But before you shut the door on a Jehovah's Witness the next time, pause to consider the shameful persecution they suffered not too long ago, as well as the rich contribution they have made to the First Amendment freedoms we all enjoy. ... Next month will mark the 60th anniversary of the most infamous Jehovah's Witness decision, one the Supreme Court got completely wrong: Minersville School District vs. Gobitis. The court, smitten by pre-World War II patriotic fervor, ruled it was constitutional to require Jehovah's Witness students to violate their faith and pledge allegiance to the flag in public school. ... As recounted in Shawn Francis Peters' powerful new book, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, the Supreme Court's decision unleashed a wave of virulent anti-Jehovah's Witness persecution across the nation that is little remembered today. Witness missionaries were chased and beaten by vigilantes in Texas. Their literature was confiscated and even burned. Less than a week after the court decision, a Kingdom Hall was stormed and torched in Kennebunk, Maine. American Legion posts harassed Witnesses nationwide. The American Civil Liberties Union reported ..." -- by Tony Mauro, in his USA TODAY newspaper article, "Thank Jehovah's Witnesses For Speech Freedoms", published May 30, 2000.
"1940 was a bad time to be a Jehovah's Witness. In June that year the Supreme Court held 8-1 that a Pennsylvania school district could legally expel Jehovah's Witness children who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag. The Witnesses were not trying to cause trouble, but as a religious group they sincerely believe that expressions of devotion to national symbols like the flag constitute a form of idolatry. They claimed a constitutional right not to do either. The justices of the high court rejected that argument and in the Minersville School District v. Gobitis decision they held that freedom of conscience must bend the knee to the rituals and symbols of national unity. Far from instilling a feeling of national pride and love of country, the Gobitis decision in fact unleashed a frightful wave of intolerance and hate across America. Some segments of the population saw it as a Supreme Court-sanctioned 'open season' on Witnesses. ... And in Kennebunk, Maine, a community adjacent to George Bush's Kennebunkport home, an unruly crowd charged the local Witness Meeting hall and burned it down. In 1940, between June 12 ... " -- by Robert L. Maddox, in his CHURCH & STATE magazine article, "With Liberty and Justice For All", published October 1988.
COMMENTARY ON MADDOX'S ARTICLE: Although not wishing to distract the reader from the theme of this article, I cannot allow Maddox's two factual inaccuracies (highlighted in red) to go unchallenged. "Trouble" was exactly what the Jehovah's Witnesses wanted. In fact, "trouble" had been the policy of Judge Rutherford long before 1940. Cities and counties whose officials opposed the work of local Jehovah's Witnesses would find themselves flooded with out-of-state JWs, whose job was to pick a fight with local citizens and officials. While it is correct that there was a spike in the number of attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses after the GOBITIS decision, it is not accurate that the the decision did not instill pride and love of country in the 99.99% of Americans who never lifted a finger against the JWs. In fact, within a only few weeks after the GOBITIS decision, practically every available American Flag in the United States had been purchased for display in/on homes and businesses. Many Americans displayed pictures and photos of American Flags cut from magazines and books.
"Despite their treatment by the Nazis, the Witnesses did not embrace Roosevelt's war effort. Resolute in their belief that the governments of the world were subordinate to God's authority, members refused to serve in the military, vote or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. This position aroused a mob of 2,000 self-proclaimed patriots to torch the organization's Kennebunk, Maine, branch during a week of pogroms in 1940. -- by Keith Elliot Greenberg, in his ?2000 newspaper? article, "The View From The Watchtower".
The "spinning" of what happened in Kennebunk in the early A.M. hours of June 9, 1940, began the moment the police started investigating the shooting. The three men outside the Kingdom Hall probably lied as to why they had stopped their car in front of the Kingdom Hall, and why two occupants got out. By one account, they supposedly needed to change a tire on the car. By a second account, the transmission was acting up. By a third account, they stopped simply to change drivers. By a fourth account, they were returning from a party, and stopped for whatever reason(s) drunks often stop. At trial, they claimed to have stopped only to change drivers. At any rate, the 10 or so Jehovah's Witnesses inside (and also possibly outside) the Kingdom Hall undoubtedly lied to justify their having shot and wounded the two men.
Although the events of June 9, and subsequent legal proceedings were covered in the news media, in later years, many reporters and authors have repeatedly relied on the ACLU's report of the incident contained in its' January 1941 propaganda booklet, entitled, "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses: The Record of Violence Against a Religious Organization in America Since the Attacks on the Mormons." The section subtitled, "The Kennebunk Case", opened with these paragraphs:
"The shocking events at Kennebunk, Maine in the early summer of 1940 were preceded by a long campaign against Jehovah's Witnesses, who maintained in the town a Kingdom Hall.
"The culmination of the attack on the night of June 9 resulted in charges not against the assailants but against Jehovah's Witnesses, who fired some shots from inside the Hall. Nobody was killed or wounded. One member of Jehovah's Witnesses was convicted of assault with intent to kill and his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court. One man still remains to be tried. Four others were acquitted. Persons charged with burning Kingdom Hall were arrested and tried but all acquitted."
"The following is from an affidavit of Mrs. Gertrude A. Bobb, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, whose husband was largely responsible for the conduct of Witness work. Mrs. Bobb's affidavit recounts events after Jehovah's Witnesses were forced out of a rented hall because of mob violence:
"One day during the last week of September, 1939, at approximately 5 p.m. I went with Edwin Bobb, my husband, and Richard Trask to the home of a deputy sheriff of York 'County, to tell him of the plans of the French Catholics to break up our meeting, and to ask for police protection. I waited outside in the car while my husband and Richard Trask went inside. In a few minutes they came out and I saw the sheriff swinging his arms and heard him shouting 'Don't come here for protection and don't go to any other deputy sheriffs because they are Legionnaires, too. You'll get no protection from them.
"We held the meeting without police protection. Kingdom Hall was packed with hoodlums. While I was sitting there a rock crashed in and missed my head by about a foot.
"The following Sunday night [October 1939?] we held another meeting and Bible study in the same hall. About 8:30, rocks and all kinds of fruit and garbage were thrown through the windows, breaking every window in the front. There were others in the alley crashing windows in the back. We were forced to leave the building. After we left, the hoodlums crashed the doors down and broke all the furniture. The mob downstairs was estimated at about 2,000, among whom there were a handful of Salvation Army men and women in uniform. ... ****
"The night after Memorial Day [?May 30, 1940?], a mob attacked Kingdom Hall, crashing in the front, breaking the windows and even the walls. I jumped into the car and drove to the nearest telephone to call the state police. In the meantime the hoodlums had returned and two got out of a car with their arms full of beer bottles. As they stepped into the yard to throw them, a shot was fired from the building. The two men dropped the bottles and fled.
"The next day Pat McCab, a state policeman, told my husband that our lives were in danger. He said he was telling this to us because he was afraid the whole thing was getting beyond the point where the state police could control it. My husband told him we would stick it out and protect Kingdom Hall even if we were to be shot."
This ACLU booklet contained no other comments about the events in Kennebunk other than those taken (**and edited**) from Gertrude Bobb's affidavit. Interestingly, the ACLU failed to mention that it was Gertrude Bobb's husband who had been convicted of the shooting and given a four year prison sentence. It is even more interesting that the ACLU stated: "Nobody was killed or wounded", especially given that in this affidavit, Gertrude Bobb states:
"This sort of thing kept up until 2:30 in the morning when a car pulled up in front of the Kingdom Hall and three men [not a crowd or mob of 2000] got out and started for the Hall. As soon as the rocks started to fly, I said 'Lights!' Then I heard gun-fire but I couldn't tell how many guns were fired.
"A little later the state police came and reported that two men were hurt and in the hospital. They took our names and addresses and the guns, and left. ..."
Note carefully that Gertrude Bobb purports to know the exact time that the car stopped in front of the Kingdom Hall. She purports to have seen three men get out of the car and start to throw rocks. Bobb even admits that it was she who yelled for the other JWs to turn on the "Lights!". Then, this eyewitness with the perfect memory will not even admit that her husband, and probably some of the other JWs, fired shotguns at the supposed rock throwers. Instead, Bobb relates: "Then I heard gun-fire but I couldn't tell how many guns were fired."
Bobb won't even admit that it was the JWs who fired the shots. She won't even admit how many guns were fired, since such fact would have likely incriminated more than one shooter. Bobb won't even admit to having first-hand knowledge to the wounding of any of the rock-throwers. She references the state police as her source for that fact.
It also would have been nice if this ACLU propaganda booklet had mentioned the fact that Edwin and Gertrude Bobb were out-of-state organizers sent from West Chester, Pennsylvania to Maine by the WatchTower Society, who evidently were involved in some of the other JW-Locals skirmishes in New England reported during the Spring and Summer of 1940.
But, that is not all! When the booklet starts quoting from Gertrude Bobb's affidavit, it starts with three paragraphs that relate incidents from September 1939. Did you notice the "..." (edit mark) at the end of those three paragraphs? Even in the year 2007, every reader of this ACLU booklet still assumes that the events related in those first three paragraphs occurred at Kennebunk, Maine. BUT THEY DID NOT!!!
Those three paragraphs relate events which actually occurred in Saco, Maine, which is 9 miles north of Kennebunk. However, I am extremely appreciative of those obscure edit marks, because they point out another probable error that has been repeated for decades.
In his book, "A People For His Name: A History of Jehovah's Witnesses and an Evaluation", Anthony Willis (aka Timothy White) states that the Saco, Maine Kingdom Hall was torched by a mob in October 1939. Edwin and Gertrude Bobb then supposedly went nine miles south to Kennebunk and rented another building. Tony Willis may have used David Manwaring as his source for that "fact", but I'm not sure. However, if the Kingdom Hall in Saco had been burned down, rather than simply "trashed", THEN WHY DID THE ACLU EDITOR NOT INCLUDE SUCH IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH? And, why can't I locate any other source that reports the burning of the Saco Kingdom Hall -- other than those authors who are themselves citing Willis?
BECAUSE THAT REPORTED SACO ARSON PROBABLY DID NOT OCCUR, AND IS ONE MORE FICTIONALIZED ELEMENT TO THE KENNEBUNK ARSON WHICH MAKES THE CITIZENRY LOOK MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH. Did any Reader notice how many "Maine mobsters" Gertrude Bobb reported attacked the Saco Kingdom Hall? She estimated that there were "2000" mobsters. It is interesting that when most newspapers later reported the Kennebunk arson they reported that it was done by "2000" or "2500" Maine mobsters. Who was their source? Probably Gertrude Bobb. (Some later newspaper reports stated that there had been only "500" mobsters.) The people who attended the torching obviously did not discuss the arson with reporters. The building did not even belong to the JWs. It was rented. Where was the owner while all this was going on? Why was he not questioned by reporters? In all likelihood, the building was probably burned by a handful of simpletons who did not even know the JWs were merely renting the building. Why were only Ralph Labarge and Nadeau's father arrested for the arson? The prosecutor even could not find sufficient witnesses or evidence to prosecute those two. If there had been even 20 witnesses to the arson, much less 2000 or 2500, at least one of them would have later felt remorse and testified.
On June 11, 1940, one Vermont newspaper editor described the events of June 9 like this:
"At Kennebunk the local patrioteers, hiding their sadism and brutality under the guise of zeal for our institutions, got worked up about it, went to force the non-conformists to salute the flag -- on the idiotic theory that you convert a man to patriotism by breaking his hand and making him make a gesture to a piece of bunting. Several of the Witnesses were beat up. The rest fled to sanctuary from the mob to the frame building which they used as a place of worship and as headquarters for distributing their literature, barricaded themselves.
"An automobile drew up to the vicinity of the building. The Witnesses thought it was the mob, blazed away with a shotgun, wounded two men -- who may or may not have been mobsters. The news flew over town, the mob swelled to 2,000 persons, swept down upon the headquarters, burned it."
Readers who shortsightedly credit that editor for mentioning the shooting should note that he did so only after fictionalizing the events preceding the shooting so as to give the JWs the legal basis to have done the shooting. A person can legally use deadly force only to protect themselves or others from peril to life and limb -- not to protect "property". No JWs, much less "several", had been beaten up that night; nor had the ten or more JWs fled to their "place of worship" for "sanctuary"; nor had the ten or more JWs "barricaded themselves" inside to protect themselves from a mob of 2000 people. The JWs were there, not to protect their lives, nor to protect the building, which they were merely RENTING, but they were there to protect the large quantity of WatchTower literature being stored there.
Assuming that the fourth paragraph excerpted from Gertrude Bobb's affidavit is relating events which happened in Kennebunk, did readers pick up on the fact that the JWs had actually previously fired shots at some beer-bottle throwers on the night of May 30, 1940? And, what about what Bobb related in the fifth paragraph? It is a good possibility that the JWs' firing of shots the previous night was really the reason that the conversation between Edwin Bobb and the State Policeman took place. Bobb related: "My husband told him we would stick it out and protect Kingdom Hall even if we were to be shot." Does that paraphrase not seem to indicate that the State Policeman had warned the JWs that they could only use deadly force to protect humans -- not the building and the WatchTower literature inside?
It is even possible that the May 31 conversation with the State Policeman clued the Bobbs in to the fact that they needed more "bodies" inside the Kingdom Hall if they were to guard the WatchTower literature using deadly force. Note that Gertrude Bobb reports that on May 30 that only "a shot" was fired at the bottle throwers, and who went to telephone for help -- another male? No, she went for help. I'm guessing that Edwin and Gertrude, who were from Pennsylvania, had been living in the rented "Kingdom Hall" by themselves, and that it wasn't until the conversation with the State Policeman that local JWs were asked to stay the night so that any shooting would more likely appear to be necessary to protect human life.
The six JWs who were arrested for the shooting were Edwin Bobb, Benjamin Graves, Carroll Madsen, Joseph Leathers, Fayette Snowdale, and Richard Trask. Although I am uncertain about the number, there also were approximately four of more wives, or other females, who were taken into custody for their protection. These JWs were taken to a jail in Sanford, which is about 15 miles west of Kennebunk.
Some& of the newspaper articles which reported the Kennebunk incident also reported that "two out-of-state Witness organizers" were beaten in Sanford by 1000 mobsters that same Saturday night of June 8/9, while other newspapers reported only that two JWs had gotten into a fistfight with locals in Sanford that evening. Some articles reported that it was the earlier Sanford incident that initiated the Kennebunk incident (15 miles away), while other articles seemed to indicate that the beatings occurred after the jailing of the JWs from Kennebunk at Sanford. Some newspapers reported that two JWs were beaten in Biddeford by a mob of 500 on Sunday evening. Who knows whether a Sanford incident, or a Biddeford incident, or even a Wells incident, happened at all. Given all the coverage of the events of that night, if any of these separate incidents did occur, then it would seem that the supposed unnamed JW victims would have been identified by name.
Note the accuracy of this article published in TIME magazine, dated Jun. 24, 1940, under the title, "Witnesses In Trouble":
"... But Republican Maine had the worst riots. At Kennebunk last week. Witness headquarters were sacked, burned by an angry mob. There and in nearby towns private houses were raided, Witnesses dragged out and beaten up.
"Trouble at Kennebunk began when patriotic natives concluded that Witnesses were spreading subversive doctrines. When a threatening group marched to "Kingdom Hall," flimsy frame headquarters of the Witnesses, late one night, two got potted with buckshot. Next morning a mob of 2,000 set fire to Kingdom Hall. Police clapped its six occupants into jail for assault with intent to kill, later jailed two of the 2,000 for arson. Then the riots began. By the second night mobs were hunting victims. At Wells, Me., a crowd went to one man's house, demanding to know whether he was a Witness and whether he would salute the flag. Reported A. P.: "When the man denied membership and expressed no objection to saluting the flag, the crowd became abusive and threw stones at the house." Not until calmer heads pointed out that throwing stones would do no good to Maine's summer tourist season did thrifty Down-Easterners stay their hands.
"At week's end, with little Witness literature left unburned in Maine, three Witness defendants were under protective guard in the jail of another county, three in hiding after giving bail."
Roland Nadeau, 19, Dwight Robinson, 22, and Fred McDonald, 33, and Ralph Labarge, 26, were the occupants of the car which stopped around 2:30 A.M. on Sunday, June 9, in front of the darkened rented "Kingdom Hall". One early news report gave their excuse for stopping as having to do with transmission problems. At trial, they said they stopped to change a tire. Nadeau, Robinson, and McDonald got out of the car. Although Gertrude Bobb swore that she yelled "Lights!" only after "three" men started throwing rocks, they testified at trial that they had done nothing, when without warning, they both were struck with shotgun pellets from an uncertain number of shotgun blasts. McDonald was only slightly injured in the legs, while Robinson was reported to have received "serious injuries" to his hips and legs. One later report claimed that Robinson had to have a leg amputated. I don't doubt that the three [probably extremely inebriated] men were planning on "doing something", but evidently no rocks, bottles, etc. were left as evidence at the scene. Apparently, they were shot before they even had a chance to do any mischief.
MAINE v. BOBB and MAINE v. MADSEN/MADISON. Of the six JWs arrested, all but Madsen were tried in October, 1940. Edwin Bobb of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was convicted of "assault with intent to kill", and sentenced to four years in prison. (Arthur Cox, who killed Deputy Dean Pray in North Windham, Maine in August 1940, was from Philadelphia. West Chester is just outside Philadelphia.) The Supreme Court of Maine upheld Bobb's conviction in 1942. Because the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence that any of the other four had injured Robinson or McDonald, the trial directed a verdict of "not guilty", without the jury even having the opportunity to decide such. Carroll S. Madsen, alias Stanley Madison, was also indicted and supposedly tried in 1941, but outcome is unknown. Some later news reports indicated suspicions that Madsen/Madison had fired a rifle at the trio, and that it was the rifle shot that eventually caused Robinson to lose one of his legs.
Interestingly, at trial, Edwin Bobb admitted passing out weapons to several of the JWs, and stationing some outside the Kingdom Hall, in addition to those who stayed inside. Bobb further testified that he/they never intended to hit the trio, but rather were firing at the tires of the car. (Why would you shoot out the tires of the men's car if you only wanted them to leave you alone?) State Police reportedly confiscated 6 shotguns and 2 rifles from the Kingdom Hall before it was wrecked and set ablaze later that evening. (Another newspaper reported 5 rifles and 2 shotguns.)
One can only wonder whether the other incidents of violence involving the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1940, and other years, were and have been as accurately reported and "spun" as was this Kennebunk incident. As many of us have learned over the years, THE TRUTH is not always "the truth".
NEW HAMPSHIRE v. EDWIN BOBB, NEW HAMPSHIRE v. GERTRUDE BOBB, NEW HAMPSHIRE v. HANS MADSON, and NEW HAMPSHIRE v. MATILDA MADSON. Readers might be interested to know that Edwin and Gertrude Bobb, along with Hans and Matilda Madson (aka Madsen), had been involved in another court battle in Nashua, New Hampshire (and probably others all over New England) just a few weeks previous to the Maine incidents, where they and other JWs were charged with littering the sidewalks with WatchTower handbills. Maybe someone with better research skills might want to discover why Hans Madson, aka Stanley Madison, aka Carroll Madsen, aka Carroll S. Madsen seemed to provide Police with a different first and last name every time he was arrested.
MAINE v. COX was a 1940-2 Maine criminal court case which involved a 49 year-old Jehovah's Witness named Arthur F. Cox. Arthur Cox was convicted of murdering a North Windham businessowner named E. Dean Pray, who also served as that small village's Deputy Sheriff. WatchTower Society Attorney, and eventual WTBTS Vice-President, Hayden Covington represented Cox in this murder case.
To put the murder into context, which occurred on August 20, 1940, readers should understand that the entire country was in an uproar with regard to the Jehovah's Witnesses and their anti-government propaganda activities. On June 3, 1940, SCOTUS had ruled against the JWs in the GOBITIS flag-salute court case, and a wave of violence against JWs had swept the country. Patriotic fervor was fueled by the ongoing war in Europe, since Americans knew that it was only a matter of time until the United States would be drawn into such.
Instead of intelligently "laying low" and allowing emotions to cool, Jehovah's Witnesses instead increased their antagonistic activities. Hundreds of rank-n-file Jehovah's Witnesses paid the price. The southwest corner of Maine had been a particular hotspot of violence for nearly a year. Much of the reason that Maine citizens were so upset was not simply due to the antagonistic way that the JWs forced their message on unwilling listeners, but rather the fact that in most cases, the obnoxious JWs were not locals, but rather out-of-state agitators sent in by Rutherford specifically to stir up trouble. This short excerpt from the WatchTower Society's 1991 history book provides a somewhat surprising admission to those readers who have sufficient reading comprehension skills to cut through the WatchTower Editor's "spin":
"Although the individual congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were usually rather small during the 1930's, there was a strong bond among them. When there was serious trouble in any location, Witnesses from surrounding areas were eager to help. In 1933 in the United States, for example, 12,600 Witnesses were organized into 78 divisions. When there were persistent arrests in an area, or when opposers succeeded in pressuring radio stations to cancel contracts for broadcasting programs prepared by Jehovah's Witnesses, the Society's office in Brooklyn was notified. Within a week, reinforcements were dispatched to that area to give a concentrated witness.
"Depending on the need, from 50 to 1000 Witnesses would rendezvous at an appointed time, usually in the countryside near the area to be worked. They were all volunteers; some came as much as 200 miles. Individual groups were given territory that could be covered in perhaps 30 minutes or possibly as much as two hours. As each car group began to work in its assigned section, a committee of brothers called on the police to notify them of the work being done and to provide a list of all the Witnesses who were working in the community that morning. Realizing that their own forces were overwhelmed by the sheer number of Witnesses, the officials in most places permitted the work to go on without hindrance. In some localities they filled their jail but then could do no more. For any that were arrested, the Witnesses had attorneys on hand with bail."
In June 1940, two rock-throwers were wounded (one seriously) by multiple shotgun blasts that came from inside the Kennebunk Maine Kingdom Hall. Six of the JWs who had been "guarding" the Kennebunk Kingdom Hall were arrested for using unlawful force. In retaliation for the shooting of the two locals, a mob torched the Kennebunk Kingdom Hall later the same day. Only one of the six JWs, a man named Edwin Bobb, was eventually convicted of the shooting. Interestingly, Edwin Bobb and wife were out-of-state AGITATORS from a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Prior to the day that Arthur Cox killed Deputy Pray, there supposedly had already been one or more incidents in North Windham involving the Jehovah's Witnesses. One incident supposedly involved some JWs who had allegedly smashed a roadside fruit stand after its' owner had ordered those JWs to leave his premises.
More significantly, the altercation between Arthur Cox and Dean Pray apparently was not the first confrontation between Dean Pray and a Jehovah's Witness at Pray's Texaco Service Station and Garage. At the murder trial, Pray's mechanic employee testified that there had been a previous incident when an unknown Jehovah's Witness male had come into the service station and started playing a phonograph record. When the JW refused to stop and leave, Deputy Pray had broken the record. The employee testified that that JW threatened Pray that Pray would pay for breaking his record. Interestingly, the JW leader who sent Arthur Cox to North Windham that fateful day was Joseph Leathers, who was one of the JWs arrested for the Kennebunk shootings.
At the time that Arthur Cox and Kenneth Carr went to North Windham to incite Deputy Pray, both "ordained Ministers of the Jehovah's Witnesses" were already released from jail on bail from even another case in which the two JW Ministers had been charged with assault in Portland, Maine ( MAINE v. CARR and MAINE v. COX ). That previous case had evidently caused the Portland "Kingdom Hall" to be raided by Portland Police, where a loaded shotgun and ammunition had been confiscated.
On August 20, 1940, Arthur Cox, who newspapers reported as being an out-of-stater from Philadelphia (as was Edwin Bobb), showed up with two other Jehovah's Witnesses at the business of Deputy Dean Pray, in North Windham, Maine. Dean Pray, 45, was a veteran who had been wounded during WWI. Pray was well known to be an ardent member of the American Legion, which was one of the JWs most active opposers in 1940. The 18 year-old JW female, named Verle Adams Garfein, waited in the car, while Arthur Cox and his 23 year-old male accomplice, named Kenneth Carr, exited their auto. (Carr and Garfein were not locals, but were Maine residents.)
Interestingly, Arthur Cox waited outside the service station, while Kenneth Carr toted a portable phonograph into Dean Pray's place of business.
When Carr attempted to play a recording of one of Judge Rutherford's tirades, Dean Pray ordered Carr to leave. Deputy Pray then either threatened to strike, or did strike, Carr with a tire iron, depending on whose version was to believed. (Don't you suppose that if Carr had in fact been struck by a tire iron that he would have had to have been given hospital or at least doctor's care after being arrested at the scene? Evidence of medical care for a blow would have established the JWs' later claim that Cox shot in self-defense -- although not that four or five shots aimed to kill were needed to accomplish such. In fact, eyewitnesses testified that Pray never struck Cox nor Carr, but only waived the tire iron in a threatening motion at the two JWs, as he yelled, "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!")
Dean Pray's wife, who was sitting outside the business in her automobile, testified that very soon after entering the business that Kenneth Carr came running out with Deputy Pray coming behind him waving the tire iron. Rather than retreating, Arthur Cox pulled a pistol from his briefcase, and fired 3 to 5 times, striking Dean Pray twice. Pray's mechanic employee drove Pray to a hospital, but Pray bled to death on the way.
WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn immediately hired a Portland defense attorney to represent Cox until their own attorneys could get on the scene. The ACLU and similar JW supporters publicized the shooting as "self-defense" "resulting from an unprovoked assault by a garage man to whom [Cox] had tried to play phonograph records." Arthur Cox was quickly convicted of the murder in 1940, and after the Supreme Court of Maine upheld his conviction in December 1941, Cox was sentenced in January 1942 to a prison term of life without parole at hard labor.
Amazingly, after his trial, Cox stated to reporters that he was innocent of any crime before Jehovah. Thereafter, Cox's fellow JWs worked hard for years to get him paroled and even pardoned, but their efforts failed. The JWs forced the Pray family to re-live the death of their loved one practically every year for the following 8-9 years as the family appeared at every single parole and/or pardon hearing to contest the JW's petitions. When it became apparent by the early 1950s that he would have to serve out his life prison term, Arthur F. Cox committed suicide.
As evidence of how the WatchTower Society used these incidents to arouse persecution against its own members, so as to gain further publicity, is how the WatchTower Society handled the local situation during the days following the murder of Deputy Dean Pray. Arthur Cox was taken to Portland, Maine, for arraignment on August 22. The Portland JWs rented the second floor of a commercial building directly across from City Hall for use as a "Kingdom Hall". Instead of using an ounce of common sense, and "lying low" until local anger from the shooting had subsided, the JWs proceeded to string a banner across the length of their rented second story which read: RELIGION IS A SNARE AND A RACKET. That only inflamed Portland citizens that much more. Crowds gathered outside the "Kingdom Hall", and even though it was across from City Hall, local police had to escort the JWs in and out, as they apparently continued their activities. The Police Chief asked the JWs to take down the banner, but they refused. He was forced to seek court authorization to order the banner taken down, but outcome is unknown.
On August 24, the WatchTower Society apparently ordered a major demonstration by the JWs in Portland. The main thoroughfare through Portland was lined with JWs displaying WatchTower literature. Nineteen JWs, including eleven females, were arrested by the Police, who acknowledged that the arrests were for the JWs' own safety, who were released August 26.
"The Battle Of Cleburne County"
In 1918, the WatchTower Society's "head nut"
in Cleburne County, Arkansas, was a local resident named Houston Osbourne. Preaching from the WatchTower Society's latest "joke book"
, THE FINISHED MYSTERY
, Osbourne had persuaded a small number of local WatchTower Society followers and/or sympathizers to refuse draft registration and/or enlistment in the U.S. military as required by the Selective Service Act of 1917. In July 1918, the Cleburne County draft board directed that the County Sheriff round up various "draft dodgers", including Bliss Adkisson, his brother-in-law, Leo Martin, and other WatchTower Society followers.
Early on the morning of Saturday, July 6, 1918, the Cleburne County Sheriff and four Deputies approached the rural farmhouse belonging to Tom Adkisson -- father of Bliss Adkisson and father-in-law of Leo Martin. The eventual arrival of the Sheriff was not unanticipated. Allegedly, when the Sheriff spotted Hardy Adkisson surveilling the posse, Hardy Adkisson then attempted to retreat to the farmhouse. The Sheriff allegedly commanded the posse to either stop Hardy, or shoot at him. Tom Adkisson then yelled at the posse from his frontporch to direct attention away from his son, and then allegedly began shooting at the posse. One Deputy was killed. At least one other Deputy was wounded. The posse retreated back to Heber Springs.
The next day, the Sheriff gathered together a larger posse of 25 men. That second posse then returned to the Adkisson farm, where the four Adkisson males had been joined by four other supporters, named John Penrod, Lum Blakely, Jim Blakely, and Jess Blakely. Another gun battle ensued, but after a 45 minute fight, the Adkissons and their supporters set fire to surrounding underbrush and made their escape.
Over the following week, local law enforcement personnel, which had been reinforced by Sheriffs and Deputies from neighboring counties, and even the Arkansas National Guard, searched unsuccessfully for the Adkissons and their supporters. Other Adkisson family members were rounded up and detained in the local hotel -- both to keep them from aiding their fugitive relatives and to protect them from retaliation from other locals. Houston Osbourne and nine family members were arrested on charges of instigating the mess. George Burleson and his son were arrested for possessing copies of THE FINISHED MYSTERY. On July 10, 1918, a search of the Adkisson farmhouse turned up large quantities of stockpiled food and ammunition -- evidence that the Adkissons had anticipated and planned for the showdown with authorities. A copy of THE FINISHED MYSTERY was also found at the home.
Leo Martin surrendered to law enforcement in a neighboring county the next Saturday. Penrod and the three Blakely brothers surrendered in Cleburne County that same weekend. The three Adkissons separately surrendered a few days later in neighboring counties.
ARKANSAS v. LEO MARTIN, ARKANSAS v. TOM ADKISSON, ARKANSAS v. HARDY ADKISSON, and ARKANSAS v. BLISS ADKISSON. All three Adkissons plus Martin were indicted and prosecuted for the murder of the deceased Deputy Sheriff. Tom Adkisson pled defense of his family, and was only convicted of "voluntary manslaughter", and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Bliss Adkisson was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to twenty years in prison. Bliss Adkisson was sent to an Arkansas prison farm, where he served as a "trustee". However, Bliss Adkisson was shot and killed by a fellow inmate in September 1921, during that second inmate's failed escape attempt.
In May 1948, there occurred one of the earlier instances of the WatchTower Society STICKING THEIR FINGER IN THE EYEBALL of America's veterans who had returned from WW2. In Clarkston, Idaho, it was well known that the VFW would rent out its local Hall to various community groups. Out-of-town Jehovah's Witnesses approached the Post officer responsible for such rentals about renting the Post for one Sunday. Using what the Veterans later labeled as "fraud" and "false pretenses", the out-of-town Jehovah's Witnesses kept quiet their real identities and kept quiet that they wanted to hold a one-day WatchTower Cult "assembly" at the Post. The JW who met with the Post official wore a "honorable discharge" pin, and told the official that the topic of the main lecture, Governor of All Nations, would be of particular interest to veterans.
Some local veterans actually showed up for the morning session, and were horrified to discover that they were hosting a convention of "Jehovah's Witnesses". VFW officials quickly arranged a more appropriate local venue and asked JW leaders to move their afternoon session to that venue. The JWs not only REFUSED to leave, but apparently suggested that VFW officials would have to throw them out of the VFW Post -- which exactly was what the troublemakers had hoped for when they rented the Post. Post officials "surrendered", and published an apology to its members and the local community in the local newspaper.
As just one more example of how the WatchTower Society and its Legal Department As just one more example of how the WatchTower Society and its Legal Department continued to pick "fight" after "fight" with anyone and everyone they could after the end of World War II, Jehovah's Witnesses "bullied" city governments over the use of public buildings and property, and also Boards of Education over the use of school buildings. There were literally dozens, if not hundreds of lawsuits and threatened lawsuits against local school systems. In contrast, some city councils were so scared of being sued by the JWs, that other local groups were asked to give up previous commitments so that the local facility could be used by the JWs on the dates desired, city councils approved the hanging of Convention banners across city streets, etc.
WATCHTOWER ET AL v. AMBRIDGE BOARD OF EDUCATION was a 1950 Pennsylvania court case, which was settled out-of-court essentially after the school system caved-in to the JWs demand that they be allowed to use the High School auditorium for a three-day convention in March 1950.
WATCHTOWER ET AL v. WOOD CO. BOARD OF EDUCATION was a 1950 Ohio appellate court decision in which an Ohio court ruled against the JWs, who claimed that a school board's refusal to rent a school auditorium for use for a weekend WatchTower convention violated the JWs' constitutional rights. The Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear the JWs' appeal, which, as usual, resulted in the JWs running all over the state of Ohio trying to rent school buildings, and then filing lawsuits against any school board that did not kowtowed to their demands. Lawsuits or threatened lawsuits followed in communities such as Bowling Green and East Liverpool.
WATCHTOWER ET AL v. KANAWHA CO. BOARD OF EDUCATION was a 1955 West Virginia appellate court decision. When the Kanawha County (Charleston, West Virginia), school board denied the JWs' rental request in 1954, the JWs sent them a threatening letter, which read in part:
It is definitely unlawful for the board of education to discriminate against religious organizations, and grant the use of such facilities to the light opera guild, unions, forums, dance recitals, political meetings, teacher associations, and numerous other uses which have been customary practice. ... I feel certain that legal action in this matter would prove embarrassing to the board. I recommend that you confer with counsel, as I know he will have to advise that your refusal would violate, not only our state, but also our national constitutions.
A few weeks later, the JWs honored their promise to sue when a lawsuit was filed in state court requesting that the Kanawha County Board of Education be compelled to rent school buildings to the JWs. The lawsuit was dismissed at trial level, and the West Virginia Supreme Court affirmed. WatchTower Legal Department then attempted to take this case to SCOTUS, but SCOTUS denied certiori.
Interestingly, in January 1959, Iowa Jehovah's Witnesses filed a complaint with the state's Human Rights Commission after the City of Des Moines refused to rent Veterans Memorial Auditorium to the WatchTower Society for one of their conventions. The City explained that the building had just been dedicated to all local veterans who had fought for their country, and that to rent the building to be used as a convention site for a group well known to refuse to salute or pledge the American Flag, and who refuses to serve in America's armed forces, simply appeared to be a slap in the face of the very people to whom the building was dedicated. Guess who won.
Having shown the City of Des Moines who was "Boss", the Iowa JWs moved on to the City of Marshalltown. Later in 1959, the exact same scenario occurred there when the JWs attempted to rent the local "Veterans Memorial Building" for a convention. Same outcome.
"The Battle of Wyanet"
After the end of World War II, the WatchTower Society and its Legal Department continued to pick "fight" after "fight", both literally and figuratively, with anyone and everyone they could. It was as if the Jehovah's Witnesses all across the United States were addicted to the "power" that each court victory brought them. And, it was not just the leadership at WatchTower Society Headquarters in New York City, either. Individual Jehovah's Witnesses would write "Letters To The Editor" to their local newspapers about any perceived slight, in which the JW would warn the local citizenry what would happen to them as soon as the WatchTower Society's lawyers were notified about the slight.
Between 1945 and the latter 1950s, Jehovah's Witnesses began to "bully" small communities over the use of public buildings and property Repeatedly, lawsuits were filed whenever a local school board would refuse to allow Jehovah's Witnesses to hold weekend services at a local school, or whenever a local community would refuse use of the town hall, the city park, or other public facility.
Most times, the "fight" was a legal one limited to attorneys and the courts. However, there were a few incidents in which local citizenry, many of whom were war veterans who had just returned from fighting their country's enemies in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, were in no mood to be bullied by anti-government, anti-patriotic, anti-religion Jehovah's Witnesses, who the vast majority of the time not only were from "out-of-town", but oftentimes were from "out-of-state". After all, if the JWs were locals, there would be no reason to hold services at a school, courthouse, or public park.
19 JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. VILLAGE OF WYANET ILLINOIS was a 1950 Illinois federal lawsuit which evolved out of "The Battle of Wyanet". This "battle" was the typical scenario in which neither side was "innocent", but you would never know it from listening to each side tells its' version of what happened.
For instance, at the federal trial, one or more of the "villagers" testified under oath that they saw a Jehovah's Witness, eventually identified as William K. Jackson, present in Wyanet on the day of the "battle". Given that there were approximately 115 Jehovah's Witnesses present that day, why would the presence of William Jackson be significant? Because, at that time, William Jackson was "right-hand man" to Hayden Covington, Head of the WatchTower Society's Legal Department. Jehovah's Witnesses will also recognize that William Jackson was such a "company man" that he was eventually named to the group's secretive "Governing Body", in 1971. Interestingly, Jackson testified at the trial that he was in Brooklyn on the day of the "battle", and that he had never been in Wyanet's Park. The main JW speaker for the event, who interestingly was from Clinton, Iowa, testified that he did not see Jackson in the Park that day. I can't help but wonder how "villagers" in Illinois, in 1949-50, even would know enough to make up a "lie" about someone from WatchTower headquarters in NYC? And, if someone were willing to perjure themself in federal court, why would they "steal a dime", when it would be just as easy to "steal a dollar"?
Wyanet is locate in north-central Illinois. In 1950, the "village" of Wyanet had a population of around 900 people. The closest "group" of Jehovah's Witnesses was located in the nearby town of Princeton, and it is probably safe to assume that "group" meant one or two families; given that the JWs would have made an issue of such if there had been more locals.
The Jehovah's Witnesses and the Village of Wyanet had already had "ongoing problems" even prior to the "The Battle of Wyanet", which occurred on October 23, 1949. In fact, an attempt to hold a smaller WatchTower rally in the town square the previous weekend had been disrupted. Evidently, "out-of-town" JWs had been holding sporadic recruiting meetings in Wyanet for several years. The local community leaders had evidently been cooperative, since the JWs had been allowed to use either a local schoolroom and/or the City Hall. However, possibly in 1944, some locals who had attended one of the WatchTower meetings at City Hall reported that the Jehovah's Witnesses had removed the American Flag from the room before starting their meeting. That had outraged locals, and thereafter, the Village had refused to provide the City Hall to the JWs. However, it is possible that the JWs had used a local schoolroom as late as the summer of 1949.
The details are unclear, but sometime after the end of World War II, the Village had leased either an existing park or land to the "War Memorial Association" for construction or re-construction of a community park -- known as "War Memorial Park". Interestingly, at a time when there were several ongoing or recent lawsuits over use of city parks and building (including lawsuits in nearby Iowa and Wisconsin), it appears that this group of JWs, including many from Iowa, asked "someone" in Wyanet, Illinois to use "War Memorial Park" on Sunday, October 23, 1949 -- not exactly the time of year to hold an outdoor meeting in northern Illinois. It is unclear who even had given the JWs permission to use the Park.
When word got out that the "nuts" who refused to Pledge or salute the American Flag, and who refused to serve in the nation's military in a time of "world war", were going to hold a recruitment meeting in the Village's "War Memorial Park" on that Sunday afternoon, then the local Veterans, who probably had donated money and labor for the Park, were outraged. And, they figured that they had as much right as did the "out-of-state" JWs to use their local Park that Sunday afternoon.
When the JWs started arriving that Sunday, they found the Park in full use. Both a softball game and a football game was in progress. Evidently, there was some kind of stage or platform on the side of the Park away from the softball diamond, but where the football game was ongoing. The JWs came prepared for anything, and were undeterred. They started erecting loudspeakers on the stage, and setting up folding chairs on the field in front of the stage.
The local park users complained to the Village President, who, along with the Village policeman, went to the JWs and explained that the Park had been leased to the "War Memorial Association", and thus was not "public property", and that the JWs had no "right" to use the Park that day without permission from the "War Memorial Association". When the JWs stood their ground and refused to leave, the Village President left to consult an attorney (no doubt after having been typically threatened with a lawsuit by the JWs).
The JWs then proceeded to start their meeting. However, the locals had no intention of surrendering the Park to the JWs. The details are unclear, but as the football game continued, the football apparently landed in midst of the JWs several times. The locals claimed that an announcement was made over the PA for the JWs with cameras to get them ready. Finally, the football landed on the stage. As three locals walked toward the stage to presumably retrieved their football, a fight broke out. Supposedly, about 20 locals and the 115 JWs eventually went at it. The JWs claimed other locals threw rocks, bottles, tomatoes, and even rolled a burning tire into the crowd.
The "battle" supposedly went on for an hour, so much of this must have been sporadic, and the JWs obviously were not spooked by the confrontation. In fact, the JWs came prepared to fight -- including the JW females. Locals testified that several of the JWs pulled knives when the battle started. A Princeton doctor even testified that he had treated three locals for "knife wounds" -- one local man having been stabbed in the back three times. One local man testified that while he was on the ground wrestling with two JWs, a third "elderly" JW started kicking him in the ribs. Locals also testified that the JWs also used their folding chairs as weapons.
Casualty estimates varied from 4 to in excess of 30, but surprisingly, noone was arrested, and not even a criminal complaint was filed. The fact that nearly all JWs were from "out-of-town" or "out-of-state" probably meant that they would have sought any needed medical attention after they arrived home.
However, not long thereafter, as expected, nineteen of the JWs filed a federal lawsuit against the Village and 21 locals. The JWs claimed $170,500.00 in damages (roughly $1,550,000.00 in today's money). The locals counter-sued the JWs for $26,500.00 ($250,000.00 today).
The case was heard in USDC, in Peoria, in August 1950. Both sides presented testimony which made themselves appear completely innocent, and the other side completely guilty. The jury trial took ten days, and the testimony of 163 witnesses consumed 4000 pages of record. The fact that this court case has rarely if ever been mentioned by the WatchTower Society in recent years probably indicates that the JWs' actions that day would preferably be erased from their history At the end of trial, the federal jury decided that neither side had proven their claims. There is a hint that the JWs may have appealed, but I can not find anything that indicates any success.
"The Battle of Australia"
During the latter 1930s, World War 2, and even thereafter, the negative legal interactions between the WatchTower Society and its Jehovah's Witnesses members and the national and state governments of Australia and their citizens closely paralleled the similiar negative legal interactions which occurred in the United States.
However, in January 1941, the Australian government temporarily even outlawed the WatchTower Society, and ordered its national and multiple state/regional headquarters locations seized and closed. A local reporter hurried to the WatchTower Society's national headquarters in Strathfield to get the WatchTower Society's side of the story. Upon arrival, that reporter discovered eight adult JW Males armed with clubs guarding the front gate of the compound. When that reporter insisted on interviewing one of the Australian WatchTower Society's leaders, that reporter stated that he was "seized" and "thrown into the street". That reporter reported that he watched as "more than 50" Jehovah's Witnesses attempted to empty the WatchTower Society's Australian national headquarters of its contents. WatchTower literature and other materials was carried to multiple waiting trucks and cars, which left the compound as soon as loaded, while some papers and documents was carried to an outdoor incinerator and burned. Days later, the Australian WatchTower Society's spokesperson publicly denied that any burning of documents had occurred.
Two other reporters went to a smaller state/regional headquarters "to get their story", and asked to interview the local JW leader at that location. Those two reporters were first ordered off the property, and then driven from the property by an adult JW Male wielding a pitchfork in a threatening manner. Local JWs were also busy removing property from that same regional headquarters location. When local police officials finally arrived to take possession of that regional headquarters location, at least two truckloads of contents had already been removed. Three police officers were able to track down the second escaping truck, which was occupied by two JW Males and one JW female. That large, two-ton truck reportedly rammed the pursuing police car before it was eventually stopped. The three Jehovah's Witnesses then attacked the three police officers who stopped them. The driver, Cecil Richard Thompson, age 26, punched one of the officers. The JW female assaulted a second officer with a "stick". The third JW, 17 year-old Ernest Edward Thompson, struck the third officer in the forehead with a "ax" -- presumably, an ax "handle", given that the officer only required two stitches.
However, six months later, on a Sunday night in July 1941, two of the WatchTower Society's appointed leaders in Australia, named Alexander MacGillivray and Philip David Morgan Rees, MacGillivray's wife, and an unidentified third adult JW Male, attempted to secretly re-enter the WatchTower Society's national headquarters building located in Strathfield, Australia. The four JWs apparently were surprised to find two police officers guarding the premises. Alex MacGillivray assaulted the first police officer who challenged his presence on the property. The second police officer came to his partner's rescue, and struck MacGillivray on the shoulder with a baton. The two other JW Males then threateningly ran at the second officer, who pulled his revolver, and ordered the JWs to halt. When the two JWs continued to advance toward the officers, the second officer fired a warning shot into the air. When even the warning shot did not stop the two advancing JWs, the officer finally fired a shot toward them -- striking MacGillivray in the arm. Rees and the unidentified male JW knocked that officer to the ground before he could fire any more shots; began kicking him; and Philip D. Rees even allegedly choked the officer. (Note that there is an internet claim that a son of "Philip Rees" served in the Australian military and died as a Japanese P.O.W. in Burma/Thailand. That was a different "Philip Rees".)
UNSPINNING THE 1985 SYDNEY AUSTRALIA KINGDOM HALL BOMBING
Over the decades, the WatchTower Society has routinely labeled as "religious persecution" the foreseeable negative consequences resulting from bad judgement exercised by its Jehovah's Witnesses members. "Facts" have been "spun", changed, and even hidden to make incidents of violence against Jehovah's Witnesses appear to be PROOF that Satan and his human allies were intentionally targeting God's only "true organization" and the only remaining "true worshipers" left on planet Earth -- the WatchTower Society and its Jehovah's Witnesses members.
It goes without saying that the 1985 bombing of the Kingdom Hall in Sydney, Australia was completely unjustified, and that the single death and multiple serious injuries were tragic. However, 33 years later, thanks to a 2013 Australian media report, it appears that that bombing was not only the easily foreseeable negative consequence of bad judgement exercised by some Jehovah's Witnesses who attended that Kingdom Hall, but apparently, the bombing had nothing to do with any hatred for the WatchTower religion in particular, but rather was retaliation for some JW IDIOTS meddling in a child-custody case of two parents for whom there is no available evidence that either of them was even a Jehovah's Witness at the time of the bombing. Once again., these JW IDIOTS should answer the questions: "Did you really not expect any negative consequence to result from your meddling, and why were no common sense precautions taken thereafter?"
Len Warwick and Andrea Warwick married sometime around 1975. Len Warwick was then serving in the military, and went to work as a firefighter after his discharge. A daughter, named Trudi Warwick, was born around June 1978. Although Len Warwick doted on baby Trudi, Andrea Warwick alleges that Len Warwick regularly physically abused her. In latter 1979, Andrea Warwick ran away from Len Warwick after an alleged beating. Andrea Warwick first went to stay with her sister, Judy, and her children (no husband?), but eventually moved in with her single 25 year-old brother, Stephen. Andrea Warwick initially had left baby Trudi with Len Warwick, but after moving in with Stephen, Andrea Warwick somehow regained custody of Trudi. Shortly thereafter, in February 1980, Andrea's brother, Stephen, whom had had at least one negative encounter with Len Warwick over the custody of Trudi, went missing. Six days later, Stephen's weighted-down corpse was found floating in a creek located some distance from his home and work. Stephen had been murdered by a single gunshot to the head.
In May 1980, the FIRST family court JUDGE handling the Warwick's divorce and child custody case took away Len Warwick's visitation with baby Trudi for a period of one month as punishment for Len Warwick's having defied one of that Judge's orders. Five weeks later, in June 1980, that FIRST family court JUDGE was abdominally shot and killed on the front porch of his own home one evening, after he foolishly went to answer the buzzer at his front gate.
Thereafter, the divorce was eventually finalized. That included a court-ordered sale of Len Warwick's home. At some point, the SECOND JUDGE issued an arrest warrant for Len Warwick after Len refused to return Trudi after a regular visitation. In March 1984, one week after yet another court hearing, that SECOND JUDGE was seriously injured when a BOMB exploded just outside the master bedroom of his home during the middle of the night. The judge's wife escaped injury only because she was already in the hospital. The judge's two teenage children were traumatized.
In April 1984, the courthouse where the Warwick's legal proceedings were being held was BOMBED during a weekend evening, when noone was present.
In July 1984, the home of a THIRD JUDGE was booby-trapped with a BOMB. This THIRD JUDGE was seriously injured, and his wife was killed, when they opened their front door to leave for work one morning. This THIRD JUDGE had restricted Len Warwick's access to Trudi back in March 1984.
By February 1985, Andrea Warwick and her sister, JUDY, who by that time had become a recent convert to the Jehovah's Witnesses, were living in the same home together, along with both women's children. One night, in February 1985, Len Warwick came to Andrea's and Judy's home, and an argument ensued amongst Len Warwick, Andrea Warwick, and JW JUDY. Len Warwick was accused of striking Andrea Warwick and "threatening" JW JUDY. The next morning, a BOMB was discovered inside the engine compartment of an automobile belonging to an apartment tenant who had just recently moved into the apartment recently vacated by Andrea Warwick's Attorney. Andrea Warwick's ATTORNEY thereafter wisely informed Andrea Warwick that he would no longer represent her.
Thereafter, Len Warwick, whom police investigators had never so much as found a single shred of evidence to link with the three bombings, three murders, two bombing injuries, and one bomb planting, allegedly became sufficiently negligent to begin making telephone calls to JW JUDY threatening to KILL her and her children. (If true, why was Len Warwick not arrested? Surely, the police were itching for any excuse to arrest Len Warwick.)
JW JUDY then asked some of her fellow Jehovah's Witnesses to help her and Andrea Warwick to take Len's daughter, Trudi, and to leave the area and go into hiding. Rather than being "cautious as a dove", and more wisely paying the expense of having a commercial mover perform the relocation, some of the local JW IDIOTS personally relocated Andrea Warwick, JW JUDY, and their children, several hundreds of miles away from Len Warwick. Len Warwick immediately began to inquire with one local JW after another where they had taken and hidden his Trudi, but no JW would tell Len Warwick anything.
Shortly thereafter, on a Sunday morning in July 1985, shortly after the start of the "sermon" at the local Kingdom Hall which JW JUDY had attended, a clock-activated BOMB planted under the stage exploded and killed one man sitting in the front row, and injured several dozen others in attendance, including several children. It was later learned that this same Kingdom Hall had been broken into on the previous two Saturday nights. It was also reported that an exterior door was discovered unlocked the very morning of the bombing, but it was presumed to have been left unlocked by some JWs who had cleaned the Hall. Apparently, it took three attempts to get the time bomb to activate. THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND.
Newspapers around the world were allowed to publish articles which included the assumption that the bombing was "religious persecution". Unwitting Jehovah's Witnesses outside the area were allowed to make and spread the same assumption.
Len Warwick was never charged much less convicted regarding the aforementioned murders or bombings. As further evidence that Andrea Warwick was not a Jehovah's Witness at that point in her life, Andrea Warwick surrendered primary custody of Trudi to Len Warwick shortly after the Kingdom Hall bombing. Trudi Warwick reportedly lived with Len Warwick until she was age 15. Thereafter, their relationship became strained, and they supposedly last spoke at her wedding, when she was 21.
Interestingly, also in July 1985, there was a somewhat similar Kingdom Hall incident which occurred in the rural United States. Given that this was pre-internet, it is doubtful that either perpetrator knew about the incident in the other country. Click HERE
to read a summary of the U.S. incident.