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.

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Herman G. Babcock did not buy Liberty Bonds.

He did not contribute to the Red Cross.

He does not believe in the war. 

That is why he circulated the "Kingdom News," the unloyal pamphlet of Pastor Russell's followers.

You see, Herman G. Babcock is a "conscientious objector."

He so told Assistant Attorney General Reames.

Oh, that conscience!

When the United States entered the war, Babcock searched his conscience, 

and helped organize the new shipbuilding firm of Meacham & Babcock.

He searched his conscience, and accepted $8,000,000 of war contracts from the United States.

His conscience did not permit him to subscribe to the Liberty Loan as an individual, tho his firm bought some.

His conscience did not permit him to help the greatest humanitarian organization in the world, the Red Cross.

But his conscience did not bother Herman G. Babcock, war shipbuilder, when it came to making money out of the war.

And it does not bother him now.



Publisher's Editorial. Center, top frontpage.
Tuesday, April 23, 1918.

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UNITED STATES v. HERMAN G. BABCOCK was a 1918 Washington federal arrest. Herman Babcock (1881-1934) was a partner in the MEACHAM & BABCOCK electrical contracting firm (1907) turned wooden shipbuilding firm MEACHAM & BABCOCK SHIPBUILDING COMPANY (1917), of Seattle, Washington, which had been awarded $8 MILLION of government shipbuilding contracts in 1917, in anticipation of the United States' entry into WW1. Babcock was arrested on Sunday morning, April 21, 1918, along with eight other male Russellites, for distributing house-to-house banned anti-war literature published by the WatchTower Society. Herman Babcock was bailed out of jail Sunday night by his highly displeased business partner, William Milo Meacham.

A few days after his arrest and release, Herman Babcock purchased a $1000 Liberty Bond (2023=$20,000). Notably, this bad publicity was countered by an over-the-top INDEPENDENCE DAY celebration at the 23 acre leased M&B shipyard (1200 employees) on July 4, 1918, which included the launching of two new wooden steamships. This became quite a scandal and eventually was the subject of Congressional investigations attempting to find someone to blame for handing out 12 contracts to what was a relatively new and inexperienced shipbuilder. MBSC filed bankruptcy in 1919 -- completing six ships and six hulls. Herman Babcock died "faithful" as Seattle's most prominent Rutherfordite leader in 1934, not long after having a letter to JFR published in the WATCHTOWER magazine.


IN RE TENKE ET AL was a 1943-45 Ohio federal court decision regarding four convicted and imprisoned WW2 "draft dodgers" who had the audacity to thereafter apply for American citizenship. This succinct and eloquent opinion is yet another "prize" which the ACLU, the liberal community, and the WatchTower Cult have managed to "bury" out-of-sight over the decades.

We are not certain, but we believe that this northeast Ohio Jehovah's Witness named "Tenke" was Eugene D. Tenke, of the greater Cleveland area, who is now deceased. Eugene Tenke later became a WatchTower Society spokesperson for this area with a significant number of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, Gene Tenke seems to have been unsuccessful in converting others in his large extended family of immigrants -- several serving and even dying in WW2. Even his son, Daniel Tenke, now deceased, is believed to have been a WatchTower Bethelite who exited the cult in his middle years, and possibly even became a Christian.

The applications for citizenship in these four cases were denied. Two of the applicants were devotees of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, who are known as Jehovah's Witnesses, one was a member of Congregazione Christiana, and one was a Seventh Day Adventist. They said they were willing to take the oath of allegiance, but when questioned by the Examiner of the Service they said they had conscientious objections to military service except in a very limited way; they were conscientiously opposed to the taking of human life. The Service declined to approve their applications or recommend them for citizenship ...; and this court sustains the Service. ...

In the four cases submitted here the applicants said they were willing to comply with the law because the Selective Service Act ... exempts conscientious objectors from the obligation to bear arms. But that argument comes with poor grace from Jehovah's Witnesses because very generally they have refused to render even "work of national importance", as required of conscientious objectors by the Selective Service Act. This court has had to impose sentences upon hundreds of such [Jehovah's] Witnesses who have refused to be inducted for any purpose.

The question, however, is not whether the applicant is willing to comply with the present law: the question is whether the applicant has that faith in and allegiance to the United States which will enable him always to support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, as required by the oath of allegiance. That faith and devotion which would seem to be sufficient under the present law might not be sufficient under some future law passed at a time when this country's very existence was so threatened that full and complete military service might be required.

The faith and devotion which an applicant for citizenship should have is that faith and devotion which is best exemplified by those men who established the United States and who preserved it when it was threatened. The War for Independence, the War to Preserve the Union, and World War I and II to preserve the principles of our government against that despotism which threatened to efface democracy from the earth, were not won by conscientious objectors. The men who established and maintained the United States were men who saw no inconsistency between devotion to that kind of government and devotion to God. They knew how to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's while at the same time rendering unto God that which is God's. In other words, they recognized their full civil obligation to that kind of state which alone could give them security and respect as human beings. They allowed neither sentimentality nor sophistry to interfere with the full performance of that obligation. Devotion to Christian principles of charity and peace is not inconsistent with the bearing of arms against those forces which seek to destroy the very forms of government that champion that freedom which is necessary for the teaching and practice of such principles.

There is deep spiritual truth and practical wisdom in such sayings as "Blessed is the peace-maker", "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord", "A soft answer turneth away wrath", etc. There are many times when violence can best be avoided or averted by charity and magnanimity. But there are also times when force is necessary for the maintenance of order and the protection of society. This is not a perfect life; evil is in the world. The object of just government is to bring evil-doers into subjection to law. Maitland said: "The law has need of arms; Justinian knew it well." The minimum of strife and the maximum of peace in such a world are attained by upholding the law. Those who bear arms to support and defend the law are therefore ministers of peace. Those who refuse to do so give encouragement to evil. The Prince of Peace gave his blessing to the centurion.

To demand full and unquestioning allegiance to our government is not to deny freedom of religion; because our government and the men who defend it are champions of freedom of religion against those who seek to destroy it. The Congress has graciously made generous allowance for differences of religious conviction regarding war; but that is not to be construed as a concession that religious scruples transcend the inherent power of the sovereign state to command its citizens to bear arms in its defense. It may be admitted that our government might at some time degenerate to the point where a God-fearing man could no longer bear arms in support of it. At that time God-fearing men will decline to do so and take the consequences. They will not seek citizenship. But at the present time loyal citizens have faith and confidence that allegiance to our principles of government will preserve that form of government which creates no conflict between devotion to God and devotion to one's fellow men. It is the very faith and allegiance which conscientious objectors lack that is essential to the maintenance of our form of government. And it may be remarked in passing that the same faith and allegiance will be required if we are to have lawful order in the world.

... it seems to this court that generosity of sentiment and magnanimity of judgment can not be indulged in such cases as these. When the quality of an applicant's allegiance to our government is the issue we cannot afford to be lax or generous. We must expect that full measure of devotion which we have found again and again is required to preserve our sacred institutions. There are no grades or degrees of citizenship; there should be no grades or degrees of allegiance. Like chastity, allegiance is absolute, or it does not exist.

District Judge Robert N. Wilkin

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JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. PITTSBURGH PLATE GLASS COMPANY was a 1942-43 "Jehovah's Witnesses Are Victorious Again" case, which is like some other frequently cited JW cases of the era, in that it has been "spun" so as to glorify the Jehovah's Witnesses, and hide the negatives. The following summary will include some of the glossed-over details.
In December 1941, in the days following Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, a total of seven Jehovah's Witness Employees either were fired or resigned from the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company's manufacturing plant located in Clarksburg, West Virginia. After extensive, costly, and time consuming legal intervention from the Federal government, the jobs of all seven JW Employees were reinstated. One detail, which some commentators evidently feel is unimportant to the story, is the fact that after all the time and effort put forth on their behalf, only two of the seven Jehovah's Witness Employees returned to work at the PPG factory, and one of those two JWs returned for only three weeks.
On December 8, 1941, which was the Monday after the attack on Pearl Harbor, most PPG workers stopped what they were doing and listened to radios scattered around the factory, which broadcast President Roosevelt's speech to Congress, in which the President explained the tragedy that had just occurred, and related the loss of American lives and property. President Roosevelt formally requested that Congress declare war against Japan, which also meant America's entry into the already ongoing war in Europe.
The National Anthem sounded from the radios after Roosevelt's speech ended. The emotional PPG workers included many veterans of the first World War. All removed their caps and stood at attention. Many placed their caps over their hearts. As the Star Spangled Banner sounded throughout the plant, workers in the shipping department noticed that a Jehovah's Witness co-worker, named Clyde Seders, had neither removed his cap nor stood up. Thereafter, Seders co-workers in his department refused to continue to work with him. Word of Seders' disrespect spread quickly throughout the other departments. The plant Superintendent questioned Seders as to what was his problem, and Seders explained that his WatchTower beliefs would not permit him to stand for the National Anthem nor support the war effort. The Superintendent told Seders that if he did not change his attitude that he could either quit or be fired. Seders quit at the end of the day - probably not necessarily due to what the Super had said.
Seders actions on December 8 also drew attention to the other six JWs working at the plant. Shortly thereafter, there was a second confrontation between a group of PPG workers and three JWs who stated to that group of co-workers that they also would refuse to stand for the playing of the National Anthem, and they also would not support the war effort.
Due to such, the American Legion sponsored a flag raising ceremony at the plant on December 17. The six remaining JW Employees wisely stayed away from the ceremony. However, the next day, a JW Employee, named Paul Schmidt, was fired, as was his son, Bernard Schmidt, on December 24, 1941. The four other JW Employees (Woodrow Parsons, Charles Paris, Brown Russell, and Charles Ferris) apparently choose to resign because no co-worker would work alongside them.
Thereafter, Paul Schmidt took the lead in the fight to get their jobs back for his fellow JWs. In January 1942, Schmidt wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, in which Schmidt asked her to intercede with her husband on behalf of the Clarksburg Seven. Schmidt's letter was passed along to the President's Committee On Fair Employment Practice, which had been established by executive order, in June 1941, with the purpose to promote full employment in "defense industries", by ending discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national. A CFEP field investigator performed an investigation at the PPG plant in April 1942, and as a result of such, CFEP began behind-the-scenes actions to get the two PPG unions, the AFL and the CIO, to intercede with local Clarksburg PPG members to allow the return of the seven JWs.
Author Chuck Smith reports that those behind-the-scenes actions between the CFEP and the AFL and the CIO were fruitless, so, in August 1942, Paul Schmidt traveled to Washington D.C. to appeal directly to the CFEP. Interestingly, however, Chuck Smith reports that before Schmidt visited the CFEP, Schmidt first traveled to New York City "to look for work", because his unemployment compensation benefits were depleted. Yeh, right. It would be my guess that the only "job interview" that Paul Schmidt attended during his short visit to New York City was in the offices of the Legal Department of WatchTower Society world headquarters in Brooklyn.
Amazingly, after Paul Schmidt's visit to NYC, and then to the CFEP, the CFEP sent letters to the two unions and PPG demanding that the seven JWs be reinstated. When such had not occurred by November, the CFEP issued another letter which ordered that the JWs be reinstated. In addition, the CFEP also issued a press release, which resulted in an AP news article titled, "SEVEN JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REGAIN WAR PLANT JOBS", which received nationwide coverage to the probable chagrin of the WatchTower Society.
By now, readers should understand that in 1942 the WatchTower Society welcomed legal contests like a starving man welcomes food. Thus, that news headline also explains to readers why this case was another case during which the WatchTower Society apparently purposefully stayed out of the pubic eye, and appears to have allowed the ACLU to take the public role in watching over and commenting on the Clarksburg Seven.
That headline probably also explains why after much, much more work by the CFEP, including a hearing in December 1942, five of the seven JWs did not show up for work when their jobs were eventually reinstated on March 27, 1943. Author Chuck Smith simply reports, without question, that the other five JWs did not show up because they "had secured other employment". Naturally. But, given the publicity surrounding their terminations at PPG, does anyone really believe that those replacement jobs provided the compensation and benefits provided by the jobs at PPG?
Interestingly, the apparent "ruse" that all seven JWs wanted their jobs back at PPG was continued throughout the 15 months long effort to regain such. This is evidenced by the fact that PPG made preparations for the return of all seven JWs. Paul Schmidt even promised the CFEP representative sent to oversee the return that he would make sure that the returning JW Employees did not say anything that would upset the peace at PPG, and that he would also make sure that local Clarksburg JWs did not say anything in the community that would upset the peace, plus Schmidt even agreed to purchase "war bonds". Either Paul Schmidt was a natural born con-artist, or more probable, he himself had been deceived during all the behind-the-scenes goings-on during the past 15 months by whomever was acting as "Producer" and "Director" of this "play". Paul Schmidt very well may have been the most surprised person at PPG on March 27, 1943, when he discovered that only he and his son had returned to work.
One last interesting note to this drama. Bernard Schmidt spent only three weeks at his job at PPG. Bernard Schmidt had already been ordered by the local draft board to report to a "conscientious objector" camp in April 1943. Since most JWs were refusing even to go to CO camps, it is possible that Bernard Schmidt eventually did prison time as many other JWs chose to do. I will report on such if and when that info is obtained.
Paul Schmidt continued working at PPG until he retired in the 1950s. It would be interesting to know how Paul Schmidt's fellow JWs treated a "war-bond-buying, war-plant-working" JW after this case escaped the public limelight.


We recently posted elsewhere a child molestation case where a police detective failed to pursue the JW Perp, and we questioned whether that cop might have been a JW, or had JW ties. We asked such a question because having been reared as a JW, over the years, we had heard multiple antecdotal tales of authorities with JW ties who had given some guilty JW some sort of undeserved break.

We are posting the following edited excerpt from the September 5, 1926, THE GOLDEN AGE, as a PROUDLY documented example of such a scenario. In 1911, during a WatchTower convention in London, England, the attendees were sent out on the streets to sell Watchtower literature.

"In many places, [the Bible Students] were stationed at no great distance from one another, and the passing throngs had to run a regular GAUNTLET. Some police officiously ordered them to move on. Some people became indignant.

"One woman called a policeman and ordered the arrest of another [woman] with the books. But the policeman answered: "She is doing nothing wrong." Then the woman called a man to her assistance; and though they both insisted on [the BS woman's] arrest the policeman remained firm that "she is doing nothing wrong". After the offended couple had passed on, the policeman turned to the colporteur with a smile, pulled back his coat and proudly displayed an I.B.S.A. cross-and-crown pin."


NEW YORK v. EUGENE DALLAS ORRELL and NORTH CAROLINA v. GENE D. ORRELL ( times at least 3 ) were criminal court cases which involved a WatchTower Society "Agitator" named Eugene Dallas Orrell. Gene Orrell was a 29 year-old unmarried man when he became a "Jehovah's Witness" in 1921-- evidently while attending Georgia Tech, from which he graduated in 1922. By January 1923, Orrell had managed to sufficiently distinguish himself amongst JWs to get invited to work at WatchTower world headquarters, in Brooklyn, New York. There, Eugene Orrell quickly rose in the ranks all the way to serving as a traveling "Pilgrim" in the latter 1920s, and as "Bethel Servant" by only 1931-32. During that 1931-32 period, Orrell's living quarters were in the room adjacent to Judge Rutherford's private office. Bonnie Boyd and her mother were the only other persons who lived in that Seventh Floor complex of offices and apartments. Orrell related that Rutherford and he were "very" good friends, and occasional drinking buddies, in addition to their having an excellent working relationship.
In fact, although his name has all but been forgotten, Eugene D. Orrell was one of the most active WatchTower Society workers inside and outside Brooklyn headquarters from the late 1920s up until Judge Rutherford's death in 1942. In addition to being "Bethel Servant", Gene Orrell was used by Rutherford out in the field when and wherever a "loyal soldier" was needed to fight Rutherford's battles. Orrell lectured all over the United States, and even performed "special projects" in the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia. (Orrell is well known by the various Russellite factions as Rutherford's henchman during the "Battle Of/For Chicago".) By the late 1930s, at a time when there were many legal battles brewing, Orrell returned to his home state of North Carolina, where he served both Carolinas as a "Servant To The Brethren", or what would be a "District Overseer" today.
Eugene Orrell's resume also includes being one of the three WatchTower Society "head-crackers" who were "miraculously" acquitted of felonious assault charges alleged to have occurred in the riot which developed during the infamous Rutherford speech at Madison Square Garden in June 1939. WatchTower Attorney, Olin Moyle, was so certain that Orrell would be convicted that Moyle recommended that Orrell plead "guilty" rather than go to trial. Interestingly, Orrell was so certain that he would win that he wanted to contest the charges, and he did plead "not guilty" despite Moyle's advice to the contrary. Rutherford agreed with Orrell, and arranged for Olin Moyle to have a non-JW co-counsel who actually tried most of the case. As it turned out, Orrell's assessment of the situation was better than Moyle's, who was an experienced trial attorney who had won before SCOTUS. The three JW head-crackers were all found "not guilty". These were part of the circumstances that led up to the Rutherford-Moyle blowup.


"Eight persons, one a 14 year-old school girl, were injured as rioting swept a crowd of 18,000 in Madison Square Garden ... yesterday. The spark was touched off when "Judge" Joseph F. Rutherford, anti-clerical cult leader, denounced the Catholic Church as a supporter of Hitler. ... "The Catholic Church, no matter what anybody tells you, supports Hitler," was the remark from Rutherford ... Reputed followers of the Rev. Charles E. Coughlin booed the speaker. Fisticuffs followed angry words and the riot was on as followers of Rutherford, acting as ushers and armed with canes, jumped into the melee. ... When police succeeded in quelling the disturbance, five persons were under arrest, including a man reported to be Rutherford's secretary. Of the eight injured who required medical treatment, Frances Kilkenny, 14, ... a pupil at P. S. 55, was the most seriously hurt. She was taken to Metropolitan Hospital with an injury of the left arm and head. She said she was thrown down a flight of stairs and trampled on. Alfred Colengelo, 28, ... was arrested as her assailant and charged with felonious assault. Others held were: William Heath, 34, of 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, said by police to be Rutherford's secretary; felonious assault. ... Eugene Orrell, 47, ... felonious assault. Joseph Roth, 24, tailor, of 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, disorderly conduct. ... Ruth Walters ... told police [Gene] Orrell struck her on the head with his cane. ... Monica Scherzinger ... Astoria, Queens, was treated for cuts of the right hand ... A girl who declined to give her name was also treated ... for slight injuries of the forehead." -- Excerpted/Edited from New York Daily News, June 26, 1939.



INTERESTINGLY, we discovered something about "The Battle of Madison Square Garden" which no other WatchTower researchers have discovered -- until they read it here first. 

Understand that "Judge" Rutherford knew that Father Coughlin's supporters had boasted that they would attend and breakup Rutherford's Sunday afternoon talk on June 25, 1939. Everyone knows that Rutherford had prepared for them. However, maybe we have missed just how prepared was Rutherford and his henchmen. Let's look at the facts.

The balcony immediately behind the speaker's podium had been kept CLOSED all day, UNTIL just before Rutherford's speech. Rutherford likely had set a trap for the group of hecklers who had discreetly filtered into the Garden. When Rutherford's armed "ushers" opened that balcony, guess who was waiting to be seated? No, not the hecklers. The hecklers first had to see that the balcony had been opened, and then they had to decide as a group to go sit there.

Who had waited all day so they could sit in that balcony? An unreported number of AFRICAN-AMERICANS already were waiting in that newly opened balcony when the SUPPOSED "500" hecklers made their way to the balcony.

Who were those AFRICAN-AMERICANS? Obviously, they were "Jehovah's Witnesses", you say. NOPE! Afterwards, someone at the WatchTower Society made the mistake of reporting that the unknown number of AFRICAN-AMERICANS were "people of goodwill". In other words, the people waiting in the balcony for the crowd of hecklers were NOT Jehovah's Witnesses. They supposedly were "friends" of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Possibly they were the multiple prizefighters and their posses whom "Judge" Rutherord had been hiring to beat up objecting non-JW locals at WatchTower conventions being held around the United States, or they may have been ruffians from Harlem. Once the NYC police finally made their way to that balcony, possibly the later arrested Bethelites threw themselves between the police and the escaping AFRICAN-AMERICANS so that outsiders never learned about the AMBUSH. 


In the summer of 1940, Gene Orrell was arrested at least three times in North Carolina (there were very likely many more). One of those court cases was especially interesting. Orrell, and some other JWs under his command, were arrested for distributing WatchTower literature without first securing a city AFRICAN-AMERICANS, which cost only $1.00 per day, or $5.00 per year. This was before SCOTUS ruled that distributors of religious literature could not be required to obtain such permits. Thus, JWs all over the U.S. were testing such permit requirements, and were losing case after case in the local courts. What makes the Orrell case so interesting is that the local Superior court "miraculously" overturned Orrell's initial conviction. That local Judge ruled in Orrell's favor that the $1.00 city license requirement was "unconstitutional". That same Judge told Orrell that Orrell still should have went ahead and paid the $1.00 fee to obtain the city permit, even if such did violate Orrell's constitutional rights.
That local low level Judge showed more common sense than did "Judge Rutherford". That Judge explained to Orrell, "I don't think that any true witness of Jehovah would make himself a nuisance. I do think they could advance their cause more graciously and effectively by complying with ordinances."
Curiously, a different judge that handled Orrell's arraignment, when Orrell was initially arrested, later told a reporter that Orrell had told him that he was a Reserve Officer in the United States Army. It is not known whether Orrell stated this in open court, or whether this was something Orrell told the judge away from the proceedings, but in either case, that certainly gives one something to ponder.
In fact, Gene Orrell was a WWI Veteran who, as an A.E.F. infantry platoon leader during the capture and defense of Cantigny, France, in May 1918, was cited for his bravery and promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant, and awarded the Silver Star, in June 1918.
Later, in August 1920, after his honorable discharge in December 1919, and shortly before he became a "Jehovah's Witness" in 1921, Orrell was awarded a second Silver Star for his courage at Cantigny, France.
Interestingly, the non-JW co-counsel who was hired for the MSG Riot trial was the same attorney that Judge Rutherford had directed Olin Moyle to hire as co-counsel for the Philadelphia lawsuits against the Catholic Church -- JOSEPH WHELESS. In addition to being a notorious "skeptic", "Major" Joseph Wheless was a noted military law expert, who had served as a Judge-Advocate in the U.S. Army during WW1 (see WATCHTOWER v. CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE below). Interestingly, after the United States entered WW2, then 74 year-old Joseph Wheless went back to work for the U.S. Government -- in military intelligence. Readers should be aware that the Watch Tower Society had long been under the eye of the United States Army Intelligence Service, which had raided WatchTower world headquarters in March 1918. One can't help but wonder whether "someone" had cut a deal with them to allow them ongoing access to the daily inner workings of the organization.
Eugene Orrell's parents, Jacob and Lilly Orrell, had become ardent "Bible Students" around 1898. Gene Orrell stated that he first met Judge Rutherford in 1910 (shortly after Rutherford joined the WatchTower Society), presumably in North Carolina, when Orrell was merely 18 years old. But, again, Orrell did not join up until 1921??? It is also interesting that Orrell evidently never married. Gene Orrell died in 1971, while living near Jacksonville, Florida.
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The Rest of the Story
What the WatchTower Society Did Not Tell Its Audience

Police, Clergy, Judge, Press Denounced in Radio Drama. Plainfield (NJ) police, the city judge, the clergy, and the press received a "severe panning" during a radio version of the court trial of Witnesses of Jehovah in the city early this month, in two broadcasts over Station WBBR, Wednesday. A dramatic version of the trial of 30 men was broadcast. In a broadcast Sunday, another version of the trial of 29 women was given.

City Judge William G. DeMeza declared several parts of the proceedings were eliminated in the radio broadcast. Chief of Police Charles A. Flynn asserted the statement that 29 women were housed in accommodations intended for only three women was untrue. He stated the women were given the run of the areaway in the cell block, and several were accommodated inthe police gymnasium, on the second floor at Ponce Headquarters. None were locked in cells. The men were placed in the area in front of the cells. Only two who were charged with disorderly conduct were locked in cells, he said. The chief said he made every effort to make the prisoners as comfortable as possible. He secured 25 chairs from a local undertaker for the accommodation of the women, and allowed them to send out for anything they desired. The [Jehovah's] Witnesses, in the broadcast, asserted they were prevented from preaching the Gospel in Plainfield -- evading the point made by the authorities that they were distributing tracts without a permit. They contended they needed no permit. At the court trial, Judge DeMeza made it clear to the defendants the reason for requiring all persons who sought to distribute circulars or other literature to obtain permits from the police. It was intended solely as a check, so that police would know who was going from house to house, and as a guard against undesirables who might later prove to have criminal intentions. Chief Flynn declared numerous calls were received at Police Headquarters from residents who were annoyed at the calls made by the {Jehovah's] Witnesses, and cited one instance in which members of the sect allegedly became insulting when they were asked to leave. It was announced that the broadcasts would be repeated shortly. -- The Courier News, Bridgewater, New Jersey, June 30, 1933. (edited)




WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA ET AL was a 1936-40 Supreme Court of Pennsylvania case in which the Watch Tower Society sued the Archdiocese, the Archbishop, the Chancellor, and a Roman Catholic Priest to recover damages in the amount of $100,000.00 (over a $1,000,000.00 in today's dollars) for "intentional interference with business relations" between the the Watch Tower Society and Philadelphia radio station WIP.

Between 1926 and 1936, the Watch Tower Society and Philadelphia radio station WIP had entered into a series of annual contracts which provided air time for the broadcasting of Judge Rutherford's speeches and other WatchTower propaganda. Judge Rutherford's favorite target of attack was the Roman Catholic Church. By 1936, the Archdiocese was fed up with Judge Rutherford's attacks, and it went on its' own attack. Just prior to the time for the 1936 contract to be renewed, a local Catholic Priest addressed a letter to both WIP and its owner, Gimbel Brothers Department Store. The Priest's letter protested the airing of Judge Rutherford's attacks, and stated that if Gimbels planned on renewing the Watch Tower Society's contract that Gimbel Brothers should delete his store charge account, because he would never spend another penny in their department store. The Priest's letter was followed by similar letters, in-person visits, and telephone calls from Catholics throughout the Philadelphia area, which the lawsuit attributed to the urging of the named defendants. The lawsuit was dismissed at the trial level in 1936. That decision was affirmed at the appellate level in 1938. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed in 1940, stating in part:
"The order of the court below was proper. No valid cause of action was pleaded. The defendants are leaders of their church. They cannot be mulcted in damages for protesting against the utterances of one who they believe attacks their church and misrepresents its teaching or for inducing their adherents to make similar protests. A right of action does not arise merely because a group withdraws its patronage or threatens to do so and induces others to do likewise where the objects sought to be obtained are legitimate."
JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD ET AL v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA ET AL was a similar 1936-37 Pennsylvania federal USCA decision. Given Judge Rutherford's constant vehement attacks against the Catholic Church, in what may have been the most hypocritical act of the 20th century, Judge Rutherford personally sued the Archdiocese, the Archbishop, the Chancellor, and a Roman Catholic Priest to recover damages for "libel" committed by the Catholic Priest as communicated in the letters to WIP and Gimbel Brothers Department Store, as described above. This lawsuit was dismissed by the USDC, and that decision was affirmed by the USCA in 1937.
Both of the two above lawsuits were co-counseled by newly hired WatchTower Attorney Olin Richmond Moyle. Significantly, Judge Rutherford had Olin Moyle hire co-counsel. That co-counsel was MAJOR JOSEPH WHELESS, who not only was an avowed enemy of the Catholics, but Christians in general. If you are an informed atheist or agnostic, you already know who is Joseph Wheless (see ORRELL summary above).


WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF SAVANNAH-ATLANTA ET AL was a 1938-40 lawsuit similar to the above, in which WatchTower Society President, Joseph F. Rutherford filed alleged libel, intentional interference with business relations, and anything else which could be thought, against Catholics across the United States who had begun to fight back against "Judge" Rutherford's radio assaults against Catholicism. Pressure was successfully brought to bear by Catholic advertisers, listeners, etc., to force radio stations across the nited States to refuse to play Rutherford's broadcasts. The great "Judge" Rutherford did not understand one of the most basic principles in American law. While he had the legal right to fight the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church had its own right to self-defense, and they were going to win. Simple. In this case, the involved radio station was WATL in Atlanta. In July 1940, the Georgia Court of appeals dismissed Rutherford's $100,000.00 lawsuit against the Diocese and Bishop Gerald P. O'Hara. 


WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF COLORADO SPRINGS ET AL was a 1938-40 $150,000.00 lawsuit similar to the above. The involved radio station was KVOR in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A lengthy list of Catholic priests and other diocese officials were named as defendants, along with Colorado Springs' Chief of Police, the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, the PTA of the local Catholic elementary school, the local Catholic Daughters of America, and two newspapers. Not only was this lawsuit dismissed, but "Judge" Rutherford was held in contempt of court for refusing to sign his deposition, plus made to pay for the court costs. 

WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF COLUMBUS ET AL was a 1938-40 OHIO $100,000.00 lawsuit similar to the above with similar outcome. The involved radio station was WBNS.


WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL v. AKRON OHIO ROMAN CATHOLICS ET AL was a similar $25,000.00 lawsuit against three local priests and the heads of the local Knights of Columbus and Holy Name Union for getting local radio station WADC to stop broadcasting "Judge" Rutherford's defamations. Same outcome.
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BRENARD G. RHOADES v. ABINGTON TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT was a 1965-67 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. This case was consolidated with MORRELL v. MATTERS. In August 1965, an unmarried 30 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named Brenard G. Rhoades, along with five other unknown local taxpayers, filed a lawsuit in equity in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, averring that the Act of June 15, 1965, known as Act No. 91, was unconstitutional, unlawful, and invalid, and asking that the court enjoin the defendant School District of Abington Township from entering into any contract under the indicated legislation. That recently passed state legislation stated that:
"When provision is made by a board of school directors for the transportation of resident pupils to and from the public schools, the board of school directors shall also make provision for the free transportation of pupils who regularly attend nonpublic elementary and high schools not operated for profit."
Bernard Rhoades and his cohorts had a problem with the fact that Abington Township School buses would also transport for free Abington Township students who attended five local Roman Catholic schools. Rhoades contended that Act 91 violated the U.S. Constitution because "a primary and direct effect of the expenditures necessary or reasonably attendant upon such maintenance and operation is to advance the Roman Catholic Church, the particular local Roman Catholic Churches, and the religion thereof."
Bernard Rhoades also contended that Act 91 violated the Pennsylvania Constitution, in that the Act "compels all the real property owners of the Township to support places of worship and to maintain a particular religious ministry against their consent; and (2) it gives preference by law to certain religious establishments and modes of worship."

Bernard Rhoades also contended that Act 91 violated the section of Pennsylvania Constitution which states, "No appropriations shall be made for charitable, educational or benevolent purposes to any person or community nor to any denominational or sectarian institution, corporation or association."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Brenard G. Rhoades and his cohorts. One can only wonder who all had instigated this lawsuit, and which anti-Catholic organizations legally assisted with this lawsuit.
Contrary to the impression often given by the Jehovah's Witnesses that "everyone was against them" during this period in history, the Executive Branch of the Federal Government was on the side of the JWs almost all the time. In fact, as early as 1940, J. Edgar Hoover had instructed his F.B.I. agents to assist the JWs whenever possible in the JWs battles with local and state officials. Hoover even made this instruction to the U.S. District Attorneys, who at the time were under the authority of the Attorney General. AG Biddle then later issued similar instructions.
By 1943, incidents involving violence had become somewhat rare, which makes the placement of the following "paid" 1943 newspaper advertisement somewhat curious, given the threat regarding "acts of violence against Jehovah's Witnesses."
$500.00 REWARD
A $500.00 reward has been offered by the
for the first person to supply information
leading to the arrest conviction and imprisonment of anyone
who takes part in acts of violence against
Because of the lawless opposition to the work of Jehovah's Witnesses,
the Department of Justice has made a thorough investigation of the matter.
Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
in his report to the Attorney General established that
there is no connection between German Nazis and Jehovah's Witnesses.

has sent a special circular to every United States Attorney in the country
urging them to take every possible step at once
to prevent interference with the work of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Also, in 1943, some U.S. District Attorneys even ran radio advertisements in which the local citizenry were warned that Jehovah's Witnesses would receive the full support and aid of the United States Government "to preach and teach their beliefs anywhere in the land; to use the streets, highways, byways, homes, churches, public buildings, or rented halls for the distribution of their literature and reproduction of phonograph records; all unmolested, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and privileges of others and make no effort to force their doctrines upon unwilling ears or against legitimate protest."
Again, given the rarity of violence against JWs when these newspaper and radio advertisements were ran seems to indicate that the federal government was not really concerned with "violence", but rather was using the "memories" of such as a "red herring", and such ads were actually intended to stamp out organized grass-roots opposition against the WatchTower Society.
However, I have noticed what seems to be a gradual change in the FBI's attitude as WWII wore on, especially after 1943, when the various SCOTUS successes had eliminated most of the WatchTower's problems with local/state officials, and when the JWs started becoming real headaches to the federal government. The draft issue really became a pain to the FBI. As more and more JW males refused to be inducted into the military, the FBI was charged with the task of conducting interviews, investigations, and arrests as part of the prosecutions. Given the large quantity of JW "draft dodgers", and given that interviewing all of them would require the time and effort of the many agents over time, it probably did not have taken long before the FBI did not find JWs to be so "charming".
In fact, by late 1943, there started to be rumblings within the federal government that maybe the FBI should initiate an investigation of the WatchTower Society to determine whether their actions with regard to the draft issue had crossed the line and violated federal law, as had occurred during WWI, resulting in imprisonment of top WatchTower leaders. Fortunately for the JW leaders at WatchTower HQ, WWII did not last much longer.

The following excerpt comes from Federal Bureau of Investigation Memorandum No. 140, Series 1944, under signature of J. Edgar Hoover, dated July 1944, and appears to be duplicated from a previous internal memo dated December 30, 1943:

"An extensive general investigation is also being conducted by the New York Field Division of Hayden Cooper Covington, General Counsel of the sect, and Vice President of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Incorporated, and Roy Albert Swayze, a member of the legal staff, at the request of the Department [of Justice], which advised that the Selective Service System was in accord with such an investigation. [Roy A.] Swayze is a registrant of Local Board Number 2, Arlington, Virginia. and has appealed his classification of 4-E as a conscientous objector, claiming that he is entitled to the classification of 4-D accorded ministers. Hayden Cooper Covington furnished as an affidavit in support of [Roy] Swayze's claim and as previously indicated, has also counseled the membership of this sect in the procedure to follow under the Selective Training and Service Act. The effort is being made to prove through this investigation that [Roy A.] Swayze's claim as a minister is false, as well as to show that [Hayden C.] Covington's affidavit is false and that he has also counseled, aided and abetted [Roy Albert] Swayze and others to evade their obligations under this act."

I also may have stumbled onto another reason that, if true, would explain the seemed change in the FBI's attitude toward JWs. Again, if true, this incident was apparently "buried" by both the government and the JWs. If any reader has yet to understand what I am saying, let me make myself clear. I have NOT been able to confirm that this "supposed incident" did in fact occur, but here is the gist of a story/rumor that was making the rounds in 1942.

Supposedly, in 1942, a pair of FBI agents somehow ended up in a gun battle with "some" JWs, and shot and killed two JWs. The encounter supposedly involved "draft evasion". The exact scenario is unknown. It is unknown whether this was a simple "interview" situation that the JWs did not understand to be routine, or whether this was a more serious "arrest" scenario. It is unknown whether this occurred at a JW home, which might have involved a father and a son, or two brothers. Or, it could have been two unrelated JWs on the run. Or, maybe this was simply a 1940s "urban legend" which evolved out of the following actual court case:

UNITED STATES v. HOMER EUGENE WHITE was a 1942-43 New Mexico federal court case. In November 1942, the FBI announced that they had arrested Homer E. White, age 36, of rural Grant County, who was described as "the leader" of the Jehovah's Witnesses in southern New Mexico. Despite the fact that Homer White had been granted "conscientious objector" status by his local draft board, White told his draft board that he had ZERO intention of reporting to the CO camp. Nor would he salute the American Flag. Nor would he obey the orders of any non-JW. Homer Eugene White further told his draft board that if the FBI came to arrest him that he would "shoot" them. White was arrested without violence after the FBI and local New Mexico law enforcement waited him out, and detained him when he went outside his cabin for spring water -- unarmed. White eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Appeal denied.

On Saturday afternoon, November 20, 1943, as was quite common during WWII, High School students in Myrtle Point, Oregon, were holding a War Bond Rally near the town's High School, in order to sell war bonds and stamps, when a group of 25 Jehovah's Witness adults showed up and began selling their own anti-government, anti-patriotism, and anti-religion propaganda. The high school students did not take kindly to the Jehovah's Witnesses intruding on their rally, and the students admittedly verbally harassed the JWs. Apparently, one adult JW male could not take the teenagers' verbal jabs, and made the mistake of slapping one of them. As it turned out, several of the students were members of the high school's football team, and they returned the favor to several of the adult JWs. A near riot developed, but was over before police arrived. Apparently, it was the leader of the JWs who went for the police, and demanded police protection while the JWs carried out their "constitutionally protected" activities. The police decided not to make any arrests given no serious injuries.
Apparently, Jehovah's Witnesses intentionally targeted "war bond" rallies and drives for their own anti-government activities. Who knows how many times that it was reported that a group of JWs got the crap kicked out of them, but the media report failed to report the "context" behind such. In a 1944 news article from Council Bluffs, Iowa, a woman appeared at a meeting of the City Council to complain about the JWs never-ending distribution of propaganda, including the fact that the JWs had been showing up a local war bond rallies and telling people that if they wanted the war to end, then they should stop buying war bonds and stamps. The Mayor blew her off with the reasoning that the JWs were simply exercising their "constitutionally protected rights."
In October-September 1961, in Wellsburg, West Virginia, a week-long nationwide MEDIA UPROAR occurred when two families of Jehovah's Witnesses protested that they had been denied FREE GOVERNMENT SURPLUS FOOD by the local head of the Salvation Army, which was charged with the distribution of such from the Salvation Army's Wellsburg facility by the State of West Virginia.
The local head of the Salvation Army, Envoy Paul R. Messinger, a West Virginia native, married father of two teenagers, and longtime SA official, attempted to explain that he had denied the free government surplus food to the two Jehovah's Witness Families only after the two Jehovah's Witness Families had refused to take the mandatory food preparation classes. Paul Messinger alleged that the two Jehovah's Witness Families had demanded that the American Flag first be REMOVED from the room where the mandatory food preparation classes were held. When he refused their demand, they refused to take the mandatory class. Messinger, in turn, then denied them the free government surplus food.
However, once the stench hit the newspapers, the experienced WatchTower Cult handled this situation much better than did the Salvation Army, or Paul Messinger. Undoubtedly, WatchTower HQ typically contacted the local Congregation Servant, named David Moore, and straightened him out -- if he was the idiot behind this mess. In any event, Dave Moore and another Jehovah's Witness, named Edward Johnson (unknown if a local JW or a WatchTower official), went to talk with Paul Messinger. Moore and Johnson DENIED that the flag removal request had even occurred. Making him out to be a LIAR, Messinger became enraged, called the two JWs "Communists", and ordered them to leave.
WatchTower HQ spokepersons also denied to reporters that the flag removal request had even occurred, and as evidence of such pointed out to reporters that American and state flags were often seen flying at venues that they rented for conventions and assemblies.
When the liberal newspaper reporters came calling on the controversy-inexperienced Messinger, instead of sticking with the flag removal incident, Messinger got caught up in demonstrating his patriotism to those reporters. Messinger was quoted first as proclaiming, "These people are adhering to a movement that teaches lack of respect for the American flag, and they should not receive food from the Government."
Possibly after hearing from SA officials, Messinger told reporters that he would provide the free food to the JWs if they would acknowledge the SA's right to fly the American Flag at their facility.
Then, West Virginia State Welfare Director W. Bernard Smith released a statement that if any attempt was made to withhold free food from any qualified recipient "for religious or any other reasons" that agency would lose the right to distribute food. "We would revoke the distribution powers from any agency which tries to impose its own rules. The income of the recipient is the only determining factor."
After Messinger got his arse chewed out by SA officials, Messinger issued another statement in which he publicly acknowledged that the two Jehovah's Witness Families were entitled to the government surplus food. Messinger related that his action had been a person decision, and was not based on any position held by the Salvation Army or the state or federal governments. Messinger explained, "I am an American who loves the flag and is ever conscious of what it represents. It has cost America's finest to keep it flying."
Probably after receiving some local support for what he had done, and for what he was stating to the media, Messinger again stepped-in-it, and proclaimed that he personally refused to serve the Jehovah's Witnesses, but would have other SA staff do so. The Salvation Army then announced that Paul R. Messinger was being transferred to their Cumberland, Maryland location.
IN RE JENNINGS was a habeas corpus action filed in January 1945 by an imprisoned Jehovah's Witness, named Charles Jennings. Jennings accused the warden at Pennsylvania's Eastern State Penitentiary of discriminating against him by taking away his WatchTower Society religious literature, when other prisoners were permitted to possess literature of their own denominations. Given that JW Minister Jennings had been in prison only 14 weeks at the time he decided to filed this action, it would appear that Jennings was someone who demanded immediate attention to his legal rights. Interested in knowing why Jennings was in prison? In October 1944, Charles Jennings, alias Charles Conniffe, had been sentenced to 5-10 years for a single armed robbery, which he and another short-term acquaintance had committed during an interstate armed robbery spree back in 1930. Jennings decided to plead guilty to the single charge after he was confronted in court by the accomplice, who after serving 10 years for the crime had moved to Canada.
In 1942 and 1943, and possibly in other years, 100s or possibly even 1000s of Canadian Jehovah's Witnesses illegally crossed the Canada-United States border so that they could attend WatchTower Conventions, which evidently had been intentionally scheduled in major cities near the Canadian border because Canadian JWs were not allowed by law to hold WatchTower Conventions during WW2.
In September 1942, 26 illegal Canadian JWs were arrested on Grand Island, near Cleveland, Ohio. The 26 JWs had illegally entered the U.S. to attend a WatchTower Convention in Cleveland, and were returning to Canada with WatchTower literature that was illegal under Canadian wartime laws. Also, in September 1942, another Canadian was arrested at the Bismarck, ND convention.
The 1942 incidents having made the government aware, in 1943, multiple groups of Canadian JWs were arrested while illegally crossing at various points, including 22 arrested near Noyes, Minnesota; 10 near Williston, North Dakota; 26 near Minot, North Dakota; an undetermined number in Montana; and even two who rowed in a small boat from Sault Saint Marie. Then, in September 1943, 68 Canadian JWs were discovered being hidden at a farm near Pine Creek, Minnesota, waiting for a good time to sneak back into Canada. One of the Canadian JWs, who was a "leader", defiantly stated:
"We know it was against the law to cross the border without getting consent from the authorities, but Jehovah called us, and we came."
Interestingly, I can find no indication that these cases of illegal entry into the United States during wartime, which had penalties of up to a $5000.00 fine ($50-60,000.00 in today's money), and six months in prison, were ever prosecuted, or if so, were bargained down to insignificance.
In May 1936, a Livingston, California Jehovah's Witness, named Fraulein Adolph Baker, slipped-up when explaining to a reporter from THE FRESNO BEE why she would not permit her children to recite the Pledge Of Allegiance. Rather than providing the more palatable excuse that the WatchTower Society had trained JWs to give publicly, i.e., that the American Flag was an "idol", and saluting the Flag was worshiping an idol, Fraulein Baker instead told the BEE reporter the actual reason that JWs refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
"Jehovah's Witnesses cannot give allegiance to the Kingdom of the Devil."
In October 1938, two Delhi, California schoolchildren started refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The county Superintendent went to the JW parents and discussed the issue. After listening to the parents regurgitate the WatchTower Society's made-up PR argument that pledging allegiance to the flag was an act of false worship to an "idol", the Superintendent suggested that the children simply not repeat the words "the flag of", and "and the country for which it stands", so that the children would merely be pledging allegiance to their country, and not the flag, which serves merely as a symbol of the United States. That compromise wording was acceptable to the parents, and the children complied the next school day. However, the children thereafter again stopped even repeating the compromise wording after local JW leaders apparently learned of such, which goes to show that the WatchTower Society's real reason for opposing the Pledge is because Jehovah's Witnesses actually oppose the country and its government, and refuse to allow their members to exhibit any allegiance to such.
MICHIGAN v. RAYMOND RAFALSKI was a July 1940 criminal court case in which this 21 year-old Jehovah's Witness, whom reported his residence as Gardner, Massachusetts, was charged with "contempt of the American flag", after Ray Rafalski stated to a local police officer, "Why should I salute that rag?" Rafalski was convicted at trial, and sentenced to a $100.00 fine, plus 60 days in jail. No hurry to appeal that one.
Whenever the full historical version of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Pledge of Allegiance controversy is told, by the WatchTower Society or sympathizers, it generally is merely briefly mentioned that the fight started in 1935, after an 8 year-old Massachusetts schoolboy, named Carleton Nichols, refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometimes the author will mention that young Nichols referred to the American Flag as "the emblem of the Devil". Rarely is the boy's father, Carleton Nichols, Sr., mentioned in such articles. Practically NEVER is the role of Edward Holton James in this story mentioned by authors or reporters who are have the liberal agenda of re-writing history to favor the Jehovah's Witnesses.
After Judge Rutherford instructed his followers at the 1935 summer WatchTower Convention that Jehovah's Witness schoolchildren should not recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the only question that remained was which JW child would be the first martyr after the new school year started that Fall. On Friday, September 20, 1935, 8 year-old Carleton Nichols, Jr. refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the weekly assembly held at Breed Elementary School in Lynn, Massachusetts. On September 24, the Lynn School Board took up the matter, but rather than suspending Nichols, the Board decided to wait to see whether Nichols could be convinced to recite the Pledge during the next weekly assembly on September 27.
On Friday, September 27, the Nichols intentionally kept Junior home from school. On Monday, September 30, Carleton Nichols, Sr. and Edward Holton James, of Concord, accompanied Junior to school, because they evidently knew that Junior's third-grade teacher had been instructed to start conducting a daily Pledge of Allegiance ceremony in the classroom. Nichols Sr. and Edward James were there to support Junior's "demonstration", and to supposedly explain why Junior was refusing to recite the Pledge, as if noone knew by that point.
When Miss Yvonne Brooks directed the class to rise from their seats and recite the Pledge, Junior, Senior, and James all remained in their seats. The school's Principal, William Pashby, who was also present for the "event", twice asked/ordered the trio to rise to their feet. The trio twice refused. Pashby, a World War I veteran, then declared, "I will stand for no such insult to the American Flag," and then he ordered Senior and James to leave school premises. They refused to leave "public property", so Pashby called the Lynn Police Department, who responded and arrested Senior and James for trespassing and disturbing the peace.
After Senior and James had been removed from the classroom by the Police, Miss Brooks again attempted the Pledge ceremony, but again Junior refused to participate. Junior was sent to the rear cloakroom, while the rest of the class recited the Pledge. Principal Pashby decided not to suspend Junior, but rather to wait for the matter to be handled by the Lynn School Board at its next meeting on October 8.
Junior was suspended at that October 8th meeting, but the Board made it clear that Junior was welcome back at school whenever he was willing to recite the Pledge. WatchTower Attorney Olin Moyle was present to represent the Nichols family. The ACLU also offered its' assistance.
COMMONWEALTH v. NICHOLS and COMMONWEALTH v. JAMES. Nichols and James pled "not guilty" to the charges of "trespassing" and "disturbing the peace". They were released on $200 bail, and ordered to appear in Lynn District Court the next day. They are given a continuance on October 1, so that they could obtain legal representation, despite the fact that E. H. James was supposedly an attorney (whether in good standing at the time is not known). On October 9, Nichols and James were each convicted and fined $25.00. James paid his fine. Nichols appealed the decision, with the threat that he would appeal "all the way to the highest court in the land". Nichols dropped his appeal only a couple weeks later, probably after WatchTower attorneys convinced him that pursuing his case would damage his son's case.
Thereafter, E. H. James, who apparently had been in communication with Judge Rutherford at WatchTower world headquarters, announced that Rutherford had given him his blessing to open "Jehovah's School" in Massachusetts, which would be a school where Jehovah's Witness children and others would not be required to recite the Pledge. I'm not sure how James and Rutherford were planning on getting around the state's compulsory flag salute law, or get certified. But, at any rate, it appears that the "Kingdom Schools" which later developed in other states may have been the "brainchild" of Edward H. James, who was not even a Jehovah's Witness.
Who, then, was "Edward Holton James", and what did he have to do with this Jehovah's Witness drama? Rather than waste space on this webpage, and ruin the fun of researchers actually interested in who was Edward Holton James, permit me to limit my description to a few scattered "teasers".
Some in James' day labeled James an international "anarchist". James denied such, but his various activities at least attracted the label, whether correct or not. He was definitely a radical; one who eventually had his sanity challenged legally.
Edward H. James was a Harvard-educated attorney and author; but James was a "never was"; who sought out various anti-establishment causes all over the world, which would occasionally satisfy his quest to share in the spotlight which illuminated the likes of kinsmen Henry James and William James.
As James pointed out to reporters after being released on bail on September 30, 1935, like other members of his old, moneyed, famous family, "he would not submit to tyranny." James also took the opportunity after both court appearances to bring up his support of Massachusetts radicals Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who had been convicted of murder and executed in the latter 1920s.
How the Nichols connected with Edward Holton James is unknown, but it was possibly through the WatchTower Society itself given James' admitted communication with Judge Rutherford about starting a school for JW children. Carleton Nichols was described as both a "machinist" and an "electrician", thus, he was not in any of James' "circles". At any rate, not much was heard of James and the JWs after the Nichols case slid out of public view. By November, James evidently spied another "shiny object", as he was captivated by the Lindberg kidnapping, and even championed Bruno Hauptmann. By Spring 1936, James was promoting New Jersey's Governor Hoffman for President due to Hoffman's efforts on behalf of Hauptmann.
Given that James actually did at least "start" schooling Nichols Jr., and one or more other suspended JW children, exactly how and when the JWs were able to part company with Unitarian-Universalist E. H. James, after having given him the "OK" to open the first "Jehovah's School", would be an interesting story.
NICHOLLS v. LYNN ET AL was the 1937 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in the lawsuit brought by Senior, on Junior's behalf, regarding Junior's expulsion from Lynn school. The JWs lost.
The high court ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is an acknowledgment of sovereignty, promise of obedience, and recognition of authority above the will of the individual to be respected and obeyed.
The court stated: "The Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance in a public school ceremony do not in any just sense relate to religion. They are not observances which are religious in nature. They are wholly patriotic in design and purpose. ... They do not concern the views of anyone as to his Creator. They do not touch on his relations with his Maker."
Interesting are two other 1937 appellate court decisions. In New Jersey, HERING v. STATE held that schoolchildren could be required to recite the Pledge as a condition of school attendance, since the Pledge of Allegiance was just that -- a "pledge" - as opposed to a sworn oath. On the other hand, in GABRIELLI v. KNICKERBOCKER, a California appellate court ruled that schoolchildren could NOT be required to recite the Pledge as a condition of school attendance, since reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was just a "custom" in California - as opposed to being a mandated requirement as in some other states.
In PEOPLE v. GRACE SANDSTROM, a 1939 New York "Supreme Court" decision, the court upheld the state's compulsory flag law, but reversed the related truancy conviction of the child's JW parents. With regard to 13 year-old Grace Sandstrom's opposition to the Pledge, Judge Crane stated: "Saluting the flag in no sense is an act of worship or a species of idolatry, nor does it constitute any approach to a religious observance. ... Faith in our fine educational system and its corps of efficient teachers leads one to believe that with a little more patience and some tact, as the child grows in knowledge, a reverence for our flag will develop, and she will be glad it is there to salute."
PEOPLE v. MILO REED was a 1940 New York delinquency case against the Father of 8 year-old Anson Reed, whom the father was accused of teaching to refuse to recite the Pledge. Prior to the trial, Milo Reed stated to a reporter:
"Through ignorance I once broke the covenant of Jehovah when I served with the Fifth Regiment of Marines at Soisson, France, during the World War [ I ], but I will never break his covenant again by taking up the sword against any man for any cause. ... I would never go to war again, not even if Hitler invaded the United States. No, sir. I would never again lift my hand to kill another man."
As it turns out, Milo Reed had been wounded at the referenced WWI battle, and he was receiving a government pension, which in all likelihood played a significant role in feeding his JW family given his occupation as watch and jewelry repairman in a small rural community. Reed lost at both the trial and appellate levels.
"In Weymouth high school [Jehovah's] Witnesses Charles & Harold Newcomb, who claim to be descendants of Betsy Ross, staged a sympathy strike against [the Pledge of Allegiance]." --TIME magazine, November 18, 1935.
In late October 1935, an Associated Press (AP) article was published on the front pages of countless newspapers all across the United States, which told the story of "Betsy Ross Newcomb", the widowed mother of Charles Newcomb, 14, who had been suspended from Weymouth High School, in Massachusetts, after he had refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance because of the family's beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. Both the headlines and the article(s) made much-ado about the fact that the Newcombs were "direct descendants of Betsy Ross", and that Mother Newcomb had once been the President of a Boston area American Legion auxiliary.
Typical of the news media, even back in the 1930s, only a fraction of those same newspapers carried the followup story two days later, which reported that after missing one day of school, Charles Newcomb returned to school, apologized for his "boyish" mischief, and recited the Pledge. Charles' mother, "Celia Newcomb" was reported as denying that the family had any connections to the Jehovah's Witnesses.
One can only wonder for how many years thereafter, that when talking to people at the doors, that JWs repeated the story about how even descendants of American Flag maker, Betsy Ross, were JWs who refused to salute, Pledge, or stand for the American Flag.
DeFEHR v. SIMMONS was a 1992 Oregon federal appellate court decision, which is included because it appears that the Jehovah's Witness plaintiffs in this lawsuit possibly were "shopped" to enhance this constitutional issue case. This lawsuit challenged the "constitutionality" of the Oregon system for state funding of foster home care in certain juvenile court placements, as such existed in the 1980s. At that time, for children not eligible for federal foster care funding, Oregon provided state-funded foster care benefits to all federally-ineligible children placed by the state with non-relatives, but the state did not provide state-funded foster care for federally-ineligible children placed with relatives. Children who were placed with relatives possibly could qualify for federal assistance through Aid to Dependent Children. ADC payments were lower than either the state or federal foster-care payments, and were unavailable to some children.
The USDC initially granted the state's motion for summary judgment, but the USCA reversed and remanded with directions for summary judgment to be granted the plaintiffs. However, this case was heard en banc by the USCA, which ruled that Oregon's system did not violate the constitution.
Of the three named plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit, Autumn Scalf and William Scalf were Jehovah's Witnesses. (The third named plaintiff suffered from multiple handicaps.) Autumn Scalf and William Scalf were placed under the State's jurisdiction in October 1985, when they were approximately age 9 and age 7, evidently because of their mother's abuse and neglect, caused by her "severe drinking problem".
In January 1986, both children were placed by CSD with their Jehovah's Witness Aunt and Uncle, Gloria Self and Ron Self, where they received federal Title IV-E benefits for a limited time. When the federal funding ceased, the Jehovah's Witness Aunt and Uncle requested that CSD place the two children elsewhere. In August 1986, CSD placed Autumn and William with non-relatives, where they receive state foster care benefits and related medical coverage.
During the DeFEHR v. SIMMONS case, testimony was presented in which the Scalf children accused the first set of non-relative foster parents (evidently from 10/1985 until 1/1986) of being "mean", and not allowing the children to play outside, because they feared the children would run away (maybe rightfully so). Testimony painted Gloria Self and Ron Self as the ideal foster parents, who gave up the Scalf children only because they did not have the financial resources to care for them and their own three children. Gloria Self did not work outside the home, and at the time, Ron Self was drawing Worker's Compensation and Social Security benefits. CSD supposedly found the Self home the most family-like, least restrictive setting for the children. By contrast, Autumn and Billy were unhappy in their latest foster home and found it difficult to practice their religion. One of the children testified:

"If I cannot live with my father and have to be in foster care, I want to be able to live with my aunt and uncle. I do not know my foster parents well, and I fight with my foster sister. They have different beliefs and values than I do. I am a Jehovah's Witness and would like to attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall with my aunt and uncle. There are more things to do at their house and I feel more comfortable with them."

BIGNELL v. PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, and, MCKIM v. PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, and, WALKER ET AL v. PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was a 1948-50 Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decision. This single decision addressed three separate lawsuits filed against the Philadelphia Transportation Company by three female Jehovah's Witnesses and the husband of Walker.
This case is especially "interesting" given that in court case after court case, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the WatchTower Society had contested soliciting and licensing laws in city after city by making the argument that its literature was not "sold", but was offer "free", in exchange for a "suggested donation", and that neither the WatchTower Society nor its members ever made a "profit" from the "distribution" of WatchTower literature.
On a night in October 1947, the three female Jehovah's Witnesses were traveling a Philadelphia street in an automobile driven by Bignell, when Bignell collided with a streetcar owned and operated by the Philadelphia Transportation Company. The three female JWs alleged that they were injured due to the negligence of the streetcar operator, and sued. In 1948, a Philadelphia jury decided that it was Bignell who was at-fault in the accident -- not the streetcar operator.
As part of their failed lawsuit, the three JWs had alleged that their "damages" included "loss of earnings". In each plaintiff's original complaint, they averred:
"9. As a result of the aforesaid injuries, the plaintiff, _____________, has been and will be unable to attend to her daily duties, which include her occupation as a Minister, to her financial loss and damage."
Since it was the three JWs' responsibility to prove their own "loss of earnings", under direct examination by her own attorney, Bignell testified that as a "Minister" of the Jehovah's Witnesses, she received $25.00 per month from the WatchTower Society, if and only if, she was able to report that she had spent a total of 175 hours time selling WatchTower literature during that month. Bignell also related that she also received an additional $10.00 per month in earnings from her work as a "Minister", since her sales of WatchTower literature was about $20.00 per month, and her cost was 50% of that amount. Bignell testified that as a result of injuries received in the accident, she had been unable to meet the WatchTower Society's 175 hour requirement to receive the $25.00 payment, plus her reduced hours had also resulted in reduced profits from reduced sales of WatchTower literature. Evidently, the Sales Managers at the WatchTower Society were unsympathetic to Bignell's having been injured while doing their bidding. Under cross-examination, PTC's attorney asked:
Q. "Are you an ordained minister?"
Q. "You were ordained when and where?"
Q. "Did you attend any seminar?"
Q. "As an ordained minister did you officiate in any church?"
Q. "In other words, in your occupation you visit homes, don't you, and endeavor to interest people in the beliefs and teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses. That is what you mean when you say you are a Minister?"
The JWs' attorney objected to every one of those cross-examination questions -- contending that such breached a Pennsylvania statute which prevented witnesses from being questioned about their religious beliefs "for the purpose of affecting either his competency or credibility." The objections were overruled, and it was on such basis that the JWs appealed the jury's verdict against them. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania also ruled against the three JWs, stating in part:
"The cross-examination was pertinent to enable the jury to consider the claims for impairment of earning power and losses said to have resulted from the accident. We cannot say that the challenged questions exceeded the scope of fair cross examination of the parties making these claims for loss or impairment of earning power. The questions did not challenge appellants' competency to testify nor go to credibility on the ground of membership in a religious sect."
In May 2007, a Lansing, New York newspaper published a news article which disclosed that the WatchTower Society was seeking to capitalize on the much appreciated market value of what the Jehovah's Witnesses refer to as KINGDOM FARM, which the WatchTower Society has owned since 1935Click here to read about the vegetables and fruits packaging company which "Judge" Rutherord founded in 1930 for his own private enrichment.
Most Jehovah's Witnesses know very little about this large tract of farmland, except the fact that this is one of several farms which the WatchTower Society has used over the years to feed its' Bethel "volunteers". The 1% of JWs who actually know some of their own religion's history may recognize that "Kingdom Farm" was the original location of the WatchTower Society's missionary school, known as the "Watchtower Bible School of Gilead", which was founded in 1942. (The original name was "Watchtower Bible College of Gilead" in the WatchTower Cult's routine modus operandi of exaggeration. In 1947/48, the WatchTower Cult was forced to change "College" to "School" because "Gilead" did not meet the New York Department of Education's standards for use of the label, "College".)
However, a rarely publicized 1948 court decision regarding the taxable status of "Kingdom Farm" provides some interesting details about its' 1940s operations that somehow were neither mentioned to the JW membership
In WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC. v. MASTIN (1948), the Board of Assessors of Taxes of the Town of Lansing had denied exemption from taxes that part of the property devoted to farming. Here is how the court described the property:
"The property involved here consists of six separate parcels of agricultural land, originally six separate farms, operated by the relator as one large farm which it calls "Kingdom Farm". Kingdom Farm is well equipped and stocked with a large dairy, beef cattle, hogs and poultry. There are 701 acres of land with numerous buildings. Six hundred and fifty acres are tillable. Aside from large quantities of grain and fodder for livestock, fruits and vegetables are grown. Kingdom Farm is not different from any large farming operation in any sense, except that upon one of the parcels is located a brick building which relator calls "Bible School of Gilead", and which is used by students for bible study and instruction in the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. This building has been exempted from taxation by the respondents. Kingdom Farm had been operated to produce agricultural products for a substantial length of time before this school was built."
Evidently, "discovery" in this case revealed that the WatchTower Society of New York's receipts for the previous fiscal year were $28,512,000.00 [*](*According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $1.00 in 1947 is equal to $9.34 today, so the dollar figures here and to follow will be pre-adjusted and rounded off to aid reading comprehension. Readers should also understand that this corporation is a subsidiary of the parent corporation, similarly named, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., plus there were also other subsidiary and/or associated corporations Thus, it is not known if this adjusted $28 Million income was solely from the NY Corp.) The City of Lansing argued that no corporation with that much income, even a corporation engaged in religious work, should be entitled to the benefit of tax exemption statutes. However, this Court rejected that contention by the City.
This Court also rejected the City's challenge of the "good faith" of the WatchTower Society, when stating in the application for a corporate charter, that it was a corporation formed strictly for "religious purposes". Instead, the Court restricted itself solely to the issue of whether "Kingdom Farm is used by the relator exclusively for its corporate purposes." The Court stated, in part:
"It is without dispute that this property was used during the taxable year exclusively for the production of crops, livestock and farm products generally. It is not claimed that the premises were used directly for any religious, scientific, experimental, educational or training purposes. It then becomes a question of what use was made of the products of the farm. It is without dispute that all of the products of any nature produced thereon were used for one of three purposes, i.e., (1) as food for the students attending Bible School of Gilead; (2) as food for the Bethel family in Brooklyn; (3) sold to the public generally for moneyThe portion used in the first category is without question used for corporate purposes, but the quantity is so comparatively small and insignificant that it is not even claimed that the premises were operated for such purpose or that the operation of the premises would be justified for such a purpose. The relator has assumed that the production of food used in the second category to feed the Bethel family is unquestionably for a purpose that would entitle the property to exemption; and that the products used in the third category for sale to the public were merely incidental sales of surplus not affecting the exempt status. The court cannot agree with either of these assumptions.

"Relator's first assumption is based upon its frequent assertion that the members of the Bethel family are ministers and that the food is furnished to them gratuitously. They are not ministers in any legal sense or within the commonly accepted meaning of that term. Their qualifications do not include any recognized educational requirements or graduation from any recognized educational institution. They have attained no peculiar qualifications for the ministry. Their ordinary and regular duties are not the ordinary and regular duties of a minister as such are ordinarily accepted and understood. The vast majority of them perform the manual labor of operating machinery and equipment in the publishing house not at all dissimilar to the services of any employee of a commercial publishing house. Others regularly perform secretarial, bookkeeping and administrative duties not at all dissimilar to the duties of any office worker. If they perform any work at any time which is directly of a religious nature (the evidence is vague as to whether they do or not), it is in their spare time and is trivial and incidental. Such work, if any, alone would no more entitle them to the designation of "minister" than would the work of a Sunday school teacher in one of the more conventional churches. They are not ordained within any commonly accepted meaning of that word. It is true that they are given an "ordination certificate" issued by the relator. The evidence as to the qualifications for such a certificate is so vague that it appears to the satisfaction of this court that the certificate is issued merely at the pleasure of the relator corporation to anyone connected with its organization. The farm manager and all of the farm employees who do the work upon Kingdom Farm are designated as "ministers". However, the record is so full of their worldly duties of managing and working the farm and so barren of any time whatever spent in spreading the gospel, or in any spiritual pursuit, that the court cannot accept the designation. ...
"Neither is the food furnished gratuitously to the Bethel family. It is compensation for their manual services in the publishing plant and offices of the relator. The mere fact that the relator's activities relate to religion does not necessitate blind acceptance of its characterization of these persons as volunteer workers engaged in spreading the gospel for a "nominal" allowance. The only honest, realistic factual conclusion which seems reasonable from the evidence is that they are employees manning machines in a printing shop and are paid partially in goods instead of money. Their compensation, consisting of complete and comfortable housing, heat, light and public services, meals consisting of unlimited rations of the best foods, laundry, traveling expenses when "upon the business of the Society", in some instances medical attention and clothing allowances, plus $10 per month in cash, would compare most favorably under present price conditions with the wages of any employee in a commercial publishing house. It would not even be arguable that the relator could operate a tax exempt farm in a distant community and use the cash proceeds from the sale of its products to pay its publishing house employees. It seems clear that it was not within the contemplation of the Legislature that it can gain exemption by the simple process of paying its employees with the products themselves instead of cash. For all legal purposes these employees seem to be comparable with the lay employees of conventional churches. It seems no different in principal than the maintenance of a farm by a group of churches for the purpose of producing food for their janitors, maintenance men and other paid lay employees, as a part of their compensation.

"If the court be mistaken in the foregoing interpretation, the relator's claim for exemption still must fail. The third use of the products of Kingdom Farm, the sale to the public, is clearly not a corporate purpose. A brief consideration of the volume of such sales, the manner of making the sales, the efforts devoted to producing the most salable products, and the continued production, year after year, in large volume of products known in advance to be usable only for sale demonstrates that such sales cannot fairly be said to be the incidental disposition of surplus, but constitutes one of the primary purposes of the operation of the farm.

"It appears without dispute that during the taxable year here involved, ending August 31, 1947, the relator sold from Kingdom Farm dairy products, poultry and eggs, hides, dairy cattle, and fruits and vegetables of various kinds. Its employees made regular and systematic trips to Ithaca, New York, and the surrounding vicinity, to sell various kinds of vegetables and farm products to restaurants and other commercial users. A truck was sent weekly during the growing season from the farm to the regional market at Syracuse, New York, with a load of products from the farm. This is a public market for the use of farmers (incidentally, created and partially maintained from taxes), and the products of Kingdom Farm were systematically offered for sale each week in open and immediate competition with taxpaying farmers. Dairy cattle were bought and sold in competition with taxpaying farmers at the "Earlville Sales", a widely known and used public auction system for transactions in dairy cattle It produced and offered for sale to the public a variety of kinds of cheese which could be purchased at the farm or be shipped to any purchaser (labeled KINGDOM CHEESE).

"According to relator's own figures [*ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION AND ROUNDED PER ABOVE NOTE], the value of the total production of Kingdom Farm for the year ending August 31, 1947, was $1,177,000.00, and the value of the production on Carmel Farm (a nearby farm owned by relator but not directly involved here) was $409,000.00, and the amount sold from both farms was $560,000.00. This is a substantial percentage and its designation as an insignificant surplus cannot be justified.

"The sales of poultry and eggs for the year ending August 31, 1947, from Kingdom Farm alone amounted to $206,000.00, and produced a net gain of $133,000.00It is a fair inference that the reason such enormous quantities of poultry and eggs were produced each year was because such products were readily salable and produced a handsome profit. Similar products sold for the year ending 1946 amounted to approximately the same figure, and for many years large amounts of poultry products were sold. This would seem to eliminate the incidental feature of the surplus and render it an intentional surplus for the purpose of sale. The relator states in its brief that the large poultry department was established "years ago in anticipation of providing poultry for the institution at Brooklyn headquarters. However, due to the operation of the poultry department on Staten Island, New York City, it never became necessary to make demand upon the Kingdom Farm poultry department for supplies of eggs to maintain the institution." Yet during these "many years" relator has continued the heavy production of poultry and eggs, knowing well in advance that it had no use for them except for sale. Why were they produced? The obvious answer is to sell and to make money. In fact, the relator anticipates in the reply brief that the court would necessarily have to find that the operations of the poultry department eliminate any claim of exemption and suggests an arbitrary figure of one thirtieth of the premises (apparently acreage actually occupied by poultry houses and yards) be separately assessed as taxable Of course, this belated suggestion is not feasible as the entire premises, including the poultry department, are operated as one operation, using the same equipment, facilities and land for the production not only of the poultry but of poultry feed, straw and other materials used in the maintenance of the poultry department. ...
"... It follows that the property was not exclusively used for an exempt purpose and that the assessors properly assessed it as taxable."
The WatchTower Society's Legal Department, which is known to appeal every trial court case it loses, unless such an appeal or the publicity from such would reflect negatively on the JWs, chose NOT to appeal this decision. I WONDER WHY?
In fact, tax cases such as this one can be litigated each and every single tax year. Thus, it is curious as to why the taxable status of KINGDOM FARM was not again litigated until 1954-55? Could it have been that the WatchTower Society's attorneys knew that the profit-making operations ongoing from years 1947 to 1952 were still too large for them to argue for a tax exemption?
In 1958, the WBTS finally litigated tax years 1954-6, evidently because such profit-making enterprises had been reduced to the point where they correctly believed that they could finally win in court. The NY court finally ruled that since sales of farm products sold for profit only amounted to 5% to 8% for 1954-56, that Kingdom Farm was entitled to tax exemptions for those years. In those proceedings, it was disclosed that the "net worth" of the New York Corp in 1955 was $8,925,934.00 (non-adjusted), and $10,654,450.00 (non-adjusted) in 1956 -- a significant single year increase.



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