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.
"JUDGE" RUTHERFORD BEFRIENDS "PASTOR" RUSSELL OPPOSER
"APOSTATE" WAS ONE OF CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL'S EARLIEST PROMINENT SUPPORTERS
Joseph Brown Keim was one of Charles Taze Russell's earliest supporters in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Joseph Keim was born in 1853 into an old, affluent and politically prominent Reading, Pennsylvania family. In adulthood, Keim lived much of his life away from, but near, Reading, Pennsylvania. Keim was anxious to visit Reading whenever possible, and possibly maintained a second residence in Reading.
Known as "The Boy Preacher", Keim attended seminary in Philadelphia in the mid 1870s. "Reverend" Joseph B. Keim lived in Philadelphia when "Pastor" Russell and other early WatchTower notables were hosted in Reading by Keim starting in 1880.
In 1881, Joseph Keim was assigned the states of New Jersey and Delaware in the large distribution of "Food For Thinking Christians".
In May-June 1882, Joseph Keim conducted a series of seven Sunday public lectures in Reading, which were advertised as being under the auspices of the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society.
In 1884, Joseph Kein again spoke in Reading on behalf of the WatchTower Society. However, after this, the trail goes cold.
Then, in the early to mid 1890s, after having moved from Philadelphia to New Jersey in the latter 1880s, Joseph Keim followed his family members into politics -- and not just ordinary politics. Keim joined the SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY, and eventually ran for multiple offices, including running for Governor of New Jersey, in 1892 and 1895.
In 1894, Keim once again was lecturing in Reading, this time on, "SOCIALISM FROM A BIBLE STANDPOINT -- THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF CHRISTIANITY".
In mid to latter 1890s, Joseph Keim joined other radical political parties, and participated in their advocacy, on which we refuse to waste our time.
Then, in October 1913, Joseph Keim, whom older Reading residents still recalled being an outspoken advocate of religious radical "Pastor" Charles Taze Russell and the WatchTower Society, was once again advertised in Reading's local newspaper as planning to deliver a series of lectures at Reading's Gospel Tabernacle. However, this time the title of Keim's first lecture was, "THE FALLACIES OF RUSSELLISM", and Keim's lectures were timed to compete with a WatchTower assembly being held across town.
Promoting his lectures to the local newspaper, Keim stated: "There are those in the development of the spiritual ways of the Kingdom of God who would have us to believe that they are divinely appointed as the servants of God in the work of gathering together the Lord's scattered sheepfold, but in the Gospel of Matthew they are depicted as blind leaders of the blind." Keim also quoted Isaiah 42, "Who is blind but my servant ... opening the eyes of others, but being blind thyself."
Joseph Keim stated that after a lengthy and careful consideration, and comparing matters honestly, he felt that "Pastor" Russell had fallen from grace -- comparing Charles Taze Russell to John Alexander Dowie's establishing of an unquestioning cult around himself. Keim stated that Russell monopolized what was truth amongst his cult, and Keim refused to continue to be so dominated.
Joseph Keim pointed out that "Pastor" Russell was constantly poking fun at various members of the clergy for their shortcomings, so Keim felt it his duty to "weigh" Russell using the same "set of scales" used by Russell to "weigh" others.
Interestingly, Gospel Tabernacle, at 1003 Franklin Street, Reading, had been constructed around 1900-02, by a minister named Jeremiah H. Von Nieda, who, as he approached a premature death at age 47 in 1908, established a Trust in 1906, to manage the property under the condition that "the use and occupancy of said premises [be] for the purpose of a non-sectarian meeting place for the worship of God, in accordance with the following tenets, to wit: 'For the specific teaching that God will bring all men into harmony with Himself according to a plan of the ages which He made in Christ Jesus,' and so that no doctrine which embodies the idea of the existence of a place of eternal torment after death shall be taught or promulgated."
While acknowledging that more religious groups than the WatchTower Society held same/similar beliefs and used the same/similar language, we can't help but wonder whether Gospel Tabernacle might have been one of the earliest attempts to establish a physical church affilated with the WTS, but not owned nor controlled by the WTS??
In the 1880s and 1890s, although an ordained United Brethren pastor, Jeremiah Von Nieda also was a disciple of John Alexander Dowie (see Keim's 1913 comparison of Russell to Dowie). Despite CTR's adamant denials, everyone knows that CTR attempted to steal the remnants of the fallen John Alexander Dowie's religious empire in the early 1900s. While CTR's attempts in Zion City, Illinois failed, maybe CTR got a consolation prize in Reading, Pennsylvania. We simply are "thinking outloud" for the benefit of other researchers.
To make matters even more confusing, Jeremiah Von Nieda also was President of the then inter-denominational Christian and Missionary Alliance in the Reading area. (See William Henry Conley.) This would make sense that he would seek another "faith cure" support system around the time of Dowie's downfall.
In any event, Joseph Keim's October 1913 repeated lambastings of RUSSELLISM either started or accelerated a war between Reading's "faithful" and Readings "opposers", and such continued until Russell's death in October 1916. CTR and a steady stream of Bethelite notables were sent to speak in Reading. Opposers brought in CTR's most hated foe, Henry W. Stough. Russellites hated Stough, first because he was really good at rock-throwing, but also because Stough knew how to get media coverage with 1800s "sound bites"; Stough would call CTR everything but a christian. Local Russellites flooded the local newspaper with LTTEs.
Bethelites and local Russellites really must have HATED their former coworker, Joseph Keim, ... UNTIL ...
Guess what!! In April 1921, Joseph Keim, who then lived in New Jersey, was twice advertised in the Reading newspaper as planning to deliver two separate lectures at Reading's G.A.R. post, entitled, "MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE" and "TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN", under the auspices of the Peoples Pulpit Association.
Curiously, also in April 1921, in another article regarding a speech to be given at Reading's Y.M.H.A., the Reading newspaper referred to Keim as "Professor Keim", and related that Keim was an "instructor of revised theology".
NAACP & JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARTNER TO INTEGRATE THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
HIRAM T. WHITTLE v. UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND was a 1949-51 Maryland lawsuit in which the ***NAACP*** "cherry-picked" an African-American Jehovah's Witness Plaintiff in its eventually successful attempt to force the racial integration of the entire University of Maryland system. (UM's Princess Anne campus was all-black.) During the latter 1930s, NAACP lawsuits had forced the admissions of a handful of African-Americans to various graduate programs at UM, but given the nature of graduate programs and graduate students, full racial integration at UM had not occur in actuality. That's why Hiram Whittle's much tougher admission as UM's first African-American undergraduate student was so significant. (The fight for the integration of the University of Maryland was led by NAACP Attorney and Baltimore native, Thurgood Marshall, who had been denied admission to UM Law School in 1930.)
Hiram T. Whittle was the fourth of nine surviving children, and the second oldest of seven sons. We do not know when Whittle's parents became Jehovah's Witnesses, but Whittle claims that he was "raised from birth" as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Interestingly, in 1937, a newborn son was named "Jehonadab", which was the WatchTower Cult's term for the "Great Crowd" starting in 1932. (See PROCLAIMERS, pages 83-84, 243, and 166-170. Note that there was much more confusion regarding the activities and obligations of the "Jonadabs" during the 1930s than the PROCLAIMERS book lets on -- typical of the WatchTower Cult's REWRITTEN history book.) In the decades to follow, the Whittle Family became one of Baltimore's more prominent African-American families. Hiram Whittle's father, Norman Whittle, eventually rose to the level of "Congregation Servant", or "Presiding Overseer", and reportedly served multiple Baltimore congregations until his death in 1980.
In Spring 1949, Hiram Whittle graduated from Dunbar High School. Whittle applied for admission at the University of Maryland's all-white College of Engineering, but was denied admission as an African-American. This lawsuit followed. In the meantime, Whittle entered state-owned/operated, all-black Morgan State University, in Baltimore, in Fall 1949. In June 1950, the state also offered Whittle admission at all-black Maryland State College. However, Whittle returned for his third semester at Morgan State in Fall 1950. In January 1951, the NAACP filed a mandamus petition asking the state courts to order Hiram Whittle's admission to UM's College of Engineering. The lawsuit was rendered moot, when on learning of its filing, Hiram Whittle was immediately admitted to UM's College of Engineering at its all-white College Park campus. The President of the University of Maryland and its Board of Regents simply had grown tired of enforcing the policy of segregation forced onto UM by Maryland's state legislature.
Hiram Whittle spent his first semester at UM's College Park campus living off-campus with a local A-A family. However, in Fall 1951, Whittle moved into a UM dorm which he shared with 23 caucasian students. Despite the tremendous amount of time, effort, and expense spent by the NAACP and the involved parties, Hiram Whittle did NOT complete the Engineering program, or any other UM program. Surprisingly, to everyone but WatchTower Cult historians, Whittle quit UM at the end of his third semester (Spring 1952). UNBELIEVABLY, the AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM at the University of Maryland teaches and publishes that Whittle was forced to leave UM prematurely due to "severe and constant harassment". In a 2004 media interview, Hiram Whittle insisted that he never encountered even one single incident of racial discrimination while at the University of Maryland. (Many other liberal, typically A-A, authors who write about Whittle misstate "facts" -- either intentionally, incompetently, or both -- so as to exaggerate their liberal, racist agenda. One recent A-A author publishes that Whittle graduated from UM, and went on to have an engineering career.)
INTERESTINGLY, in that same 2004 media interview, Whittle "let the cat out of the bag" regarding why he quit UM after his junior year of college. Whittle, whom had never lived anywhere but the greater Baltimore area, moved to New York City, where he worked "factory jobs" until he returned home to Baltimore in 1955. (Whittle served as a WATCHTOWER BETHELITE -- for those whom can't put 2 and 2 together. Note that Hiram Whittle claims that he was not baptized until 1964, which may be true.) CURIOUSLY, after returning home from WatchTower World HQ, in 1955, Whittle went back to work at the neighborhood grocery store where he had worked since he was 12 years-old. It was not until 1966, when he was 35 years-old, that Whittle put his three years of college to work by getting a drafting job with the City of Baltimore. Whittle claimed to still be working for the City of Baltimore in 2004.
***** FOOTNOTE. Many years ago, while in attendance at a national convention of a certain political party, this Editor was approached by a male Caucasian Party Official (CPO) and was asked to sit in on and assist at a private meeting between that CPO and a female African-American NAACP official. The purpose of that meeting was to present a platform position which CPO hoped that the NAACP would fully support. The platform position was presented to the NAACP official as being a huge positive for the African-American community as a whole. However, both CPO and myself were taken aback when NAACP official expressed ZERO interest in the platform position. Assuming that NAACP official had not understood his presentation, CPO attempted to review the platform position. However, NAACP official interrupted CPO, and stated that we were wasting her time. Expressing her annoyance, NAACP official let us two Caucasians know that it was we who did not understand her. In parsed language, NAACP official let us know that she didn't care what our platform position could do for ALL African-Americans. NAACP official first wanted to know WHAT WAS IN IT FOR HER -- PERSONALLY? CPO and I were a little slow, but we finally "understood" what was wanted by that NAACP official. Apparently, that older, more politically experienced female African-American NAACP official had played this game before, and apparently, this NAACP official was not going to do anything, for anybody, for nothing. Well, three persons left that meeting disappointed. My own disappointment has lasted until today.
Only a few years later, I had a second chance encounter with two female African-American NAACP officials, which pretty much sealed my opinion of that "charitable" organization. By that point in my life, I was working for an international conglomerate. One morning, my Supervisor informed me that I was to travel to Pittsburgh the next day. Even before Supervisor had finished his opening sentence, I was ecstatic. On a previous trip to Pittsburgh, a JW Elder had driven me around Pittsburgh pointing out multiple downtown locations where Society buildings had "once stood". JW Elder even took me to the cemetery, where we actually stopped for a few minutes and viewed the "oddities". I immediately looked forward to this Pittsburgh trip, so that I could do some "sight-seeing" on my own.
However, Supervisor ruined my sight-seeing plans as he continued talking -- I would be returning home tomorrow afternoon. This was going to be my very first time that I had flown long distance for business purposes, while having arrived at my office at 9:00 AM, and while still going home at 5:00 PM the very same day. Aggravated that the next day was going to be so hectic, I spent much of the day thinking of less wasteful ways that my employer's business could be accomplished in Pittsburgh without my having to fly there. My aggravation was offset by the fact that this was a direct flight of only a little more than an hour, and typically the late morning and mid-afternoon flights were sparsely occupied.
When I arrived at the gate the next morning at around 10:00 AM (pre-TSA), there were only about two dozen people waiting for the direct 737 flight to Pittsburgh. Gradually about another dozen people arrived at the gate -- including two middle-age African-American females well-dressed in business attire. While the two-three dozen waiting caucasians were all sitting close to the gate, the two A-A females noticeably sat as far as they could get from the gate and the rest of their fellow passengers. Having no luggage but my briefcase, the then much younger I paced in and around the gate area in anticipation of the hour-long flight. At various times, as I repeatedly walked past the two A-A females, I observed NAACP materials and overheard conversation which indicated that the two A-A females were NAACP officials.
I was highly amused when a gate agent announced boarding for "first-class passengers". My immediate thought was, "Who would be STUPID enough to pay $800-$1000.00 for a first-class ticket on a routinely sparsely occupied hour-long flight?" I observed a few other passengers sitting around me who also rolled their eyes at the thought that there would be first-class passengers on this short flight. Then, I heard movement behind me. I turned and observed the two A-A NAACP officials gathering together their belongings. With their heads tilted back as far as possible, and with their noses pointed to the ceiling, each NAACP official walked single file through the midst of their caucasian fellow passengers without acknowledging anyone else's presence like it was a coronation procession. I could have sworn that I heard "Pomp and Circumstance" playing in the background. END FOOTNOTE.
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Back in July 1942, when Hiram Whittle was only 11 years-old, his 18 year-old brother, Edgar Whittle, was killed while working at the Martin Bomber factory in Baltimore. Edgar Whittle's death was ruled to have been his own fault -- having been caused by an otherwise unidentified defective part that he himself had made.
HIRAM WHITTLE ET AL v. GLENN L. MARTIN COMPANY was a 1957-58 Maryland wrongful death lawsuit in which Whittle claimed to be the administrator of his deceased brother's estate. Outcome unknown, but predictable.
HIRAM WHITTLE ET AL v. MARYLAND STATE POLICE was a 1959-60 Maryland unsuccessful mandamus action in which Whittle alleged that Edgar Whittle had died as a result of a CONSPIRACY against him at the Bomber factory. Whittle further claimed that the Maryland State Police had secreted away information regarding such, and Whittle asked the state court to order the release of that info.
HIRAM WHITTLE v. SELECTIVE SERVICE was a 1962 Maryland federal lawsuit about which we have no more info.
HIRAM WHITTLE v. GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND was a 1965 Maryland federal lawsuit which unsuccessfully sought to compel the Governor to investigate the 1942 death of Edgar Whittle.
HIRAM WHITTLE v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION was a 1990-91 Maryland federal lawsuit in which Whittle alleged that the FBI possessed secreted away information about the death of Edgar Whittle. Whittle also unsuccessfully asked for the FBI to be court-ordered to investigate the 1942 death of Edgar Whittle.
Sometime after the Summer 1966 WatchTower District Convention, Hiram Whittle began to publicly proclaim that he had observed an outpouring of the Holy Spirit while sitting in the bleachers of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. We are unclear whether Whittle believed that the entire crowd was anointed by the HS, or whether it was just he that was anointed. In any event, in years to come, Hiram Whittle has apparently published and distributed his own religious literature, and more recently Whittle has operated his own multiple websites -- all while claiming to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. A sampling of the contents seems to indicate a belief that Whittle and other members of the Whittle Family have a special relationship with "Jehovah".
ORVILLE J. RICHIE and DAVID BUSEY v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA was the SUCCESSFUL 1943 SCOTUS decision won by WatchTower Attorney Hayden C. Covington. Orville Richie and David Busey had been convicted of selling WatchTower literature on the streets of the District of Columbia without first procuring a license and paying the license tax. This case was among several of similar cases appealed up the ladder by Hayden Covington with the intent of having declared as "unconstitutional" the application of local licensing and license tax ordinances to Jehovah's Witnesses. After this case had been lost at the Court of Appeals level, SCOTUS had ruled favorably in several other similar WatchTower cases, so this case was remanded back to the Court of Appeals for reversal.
In the 1940s, Orville Richie and Ruth Richie, only in their mid-20s, either were "pioneers" or even possibly a Circuit Servant couple for the WatchTower Society in D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. For some unknown reason, in 1948, Orville J. Richie, who was the son of a Florida Jehovah's Witness building contractor, stopped his missionary work for the WatchTower Society, and went to work as a construction subcontractor in the greater D.C. area. By only 1952, Orville Richie was a general contractor, and in 1954, Orville Richie was joined in Maryland by his younger brother Mark L. Richie. Surprisingly, while also serving as a Congregation Servant and an Assistant Congregation Servant in their respective local Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses, the busy Richie Brothers SOMEHOW became extremely financially successful in the real estate development business between 1954 and 1960.
Specifically, during the early 1960s, the Richie Brothers developed the 2400 acre planned community of Marlton, Maryland, specifically targeting government professionals and career military officers assigned to nearby Andrews Air Force Base. The plans for Marlton included shopping centers, a light industrial park, an 18-hole championship golf course which was later named the Brandywine Golf and Country Club, swimming pools and other recreational areas, and many CHURCHES, all in addition to various types of residential housing such as apartment buildings, townhomes, and deluxe single family home building lots.
At the Grand Opening of Marlton in June 1966, which was attended by 4000 people and dignitaries, the Richie Brothers arranged for a formal American Flag raising ceremony attended by the playing of the National Anthem by a local high school band. One can't help but wonder who financially backed the Richie Brothers in this large early venture? One can't help but further wonder where other successful Jehovah's Witness real estate developers in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, California, Nevada, etc., during the 1960s-1990s, got their financial backing?
TEXAS v. JACK WALLACE was a 1956 Texas criminal court case which involved one of the WatchTower Society's "Circuit Servants" (a/k/a District Sales Manager). In February 1956, a WatchTower Society Circuit Servant, named Jack Wallace, was arrested in Kerrville, Texas, on charges of "Indecent Exposure". A local married woman swore that Wallace had exposed himself to her from his car on a downtown Kerrville street. The woman first reported the incident to her husband, who then made the report to local police. Jack Wallace was arrested and jailed for three days until his court appearance. Wallace evidently pleaded guilty, and paid a $50.00 fine. The local newspaper reported that Wallace's "attractive" wife awaited his release. The WatchTower Society Circuit Servant and his wife reportedly promised the Kerrville Police Chief that they would immediately leave town.
Despite the fact that the Kerrville newspaper article reported this "Jack Wallace" to be 41 years old, we believe that this "Jack Wallace" was the Circuit Servant named "Jack E. Wallace", who was actually then 35 year olds. Otherwise, we must believe the improbability that the WatchTower Society had TWO Circuit Servants named "Jack Wallace", in the United States, in 1956.
Jack E. Wallace was a member of the famous 11-member Jehovah's Witness "Wallace Family", of Kingsport, Tennessee. This famous Jehovah's Witness Family included three or more brothers who served as "Circuit Servants" or "District Servants" off and on at various times during the 1940s through the 1970s -- Jack Wallace, Donald Wallace, and Dallas Wallace. Jack E. Wallace first began serving as a WatchTower Society "Circuit Servant" in 1941, at the mere age of 20 years-old. In 1943, Jack Wallace's travel-trailer was wrecked in a nationally publicized "anti-JW incident" near Kingsport. While Jack E. Wallace's and his wife's hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee initially served as their "home" whenever they were not traveling as a "Circuit Servant", they later settled in Memphis, where Jack E. Wallace died in 1968, at the age of only 47.
Jack E. Wallace's brother, "Dallas Wallace", is believed to be the eventual JW Multi-millionaire who founded "Mighty Auto Parts", which sold auto parts in the 1970s-1990s through franchised distributorships, many of which were owned by Jehovah's Witness Elders and Ministerial Servants scattered across the United States. Later, during the 1980s and 1990s, Dallas Wallace also fronted for the WatchTower Society in multiple real estate acquisitions around the United States.
Another brother from this famous Jehovah's Witness "Wallace Family" was Herman Kemper Wallace (best known as "H.K. Wallace"), who also became a JW Multi-millionaire as founder of "Lazy Days RV Center", near Tampa, Florida, which eventually became the largest recreational vehicle dealership in the world.
INDIANA v. HARWOOD was a 1953-4 Indiana criminal court case. Ralph Harwood, 41, who was the leader, or "Congregation Servant", of Jehovah's Witnesses in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was arrested in November 1953 on charges of "Attempted Rape". Harwood had been regularly conducting a home bible study at the home of a young couple, after which one evening, Harwood offered to drive the "pretty young housewife" to the grocery. On the way, Harwood started making advances to her. After he stopped and purchased a bottle of wine, Harwood evidently drove his bible study out into the country, where his advances became more aggressive. Harwood's bible student was finally able to escape the auto. The police later found the auto wrecked, and Harwood lying unconscious next to such. It is unclear whether the crash was the result of the woman's efforts to escape, or whether the crash was simply a combination of Harwood's drinking, agitation, etc., or whether the crash was Harwood's first botched suicide attempt. Later, at the county jail, Harwood unsuccessfully attempted to hang himself. Apparently, the WatchTower Society wasn't very selective as to whom were appointed "leaders" in the 1950s, since police disclosed that Ralph Harwood had a criminal record that included public intoxication, robbery, and grand larceny.
PETTY v. PETTY was a 1943 Tucson, Arizona divorce court case. In June 1943, a Jehovah's Witness, named Mildred E. Petty, sued her husband, Harold A. Petty, for divorce and custody of their four children. Harold Petty filed a cross-complaint in which he contested only the custody of the four children. Harold Petty alleged that Mildred Petty and a second unidentified Jehovah's Witness Female had on multiple and regular occasions entertained two Army Sergeants in each of their homes, and that the "entertaining" included the drinking of beer, and that such occurred in the presence of some of his children.
Both Mildred Petty and her unidentified Jehovah's Witness Companion denied that anything wrong had occurred, but rather stated that the two Army Sergeants were genuinely interested in becoming Jehovah's Witnesses, and that the visits to the two JW women's homes were for the purpose of "Bible study", so that the men could learn sufficient WatchTower doctrine to convert to the JWs. The two JW women admitted that they had occasionally drank beer with the two Army Sergeants, but stressed that they only drank beer after their "Bible study" had concluded. Outcome unknown. [This all-too-typical scenario reminds this Editor of a "Special Pioneer" from California, named Alan Schwartz aka Alan Swartz, whom the WatchTower Society sent to help the Somerset Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses back in the 1970s. Alan frequently would take along beer and/or liquor (Bacardi 151 was a favorite) to his weekly "Home Bible Study" with a local Kentucky couple so that he and the husband and wife could get drunk after they finished each "Home Bible Study". Alan was a "serious Jehovah's Witness" -- no drinking was allowed until after the final prayer. "AMEN" -- phssssssssssss!!!]
THE EMMANUEL SHAPIRO TRAGEDY. Sometime around 1938 or 1939, a Jewish teenager then living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, came into contact with local Jehovah's Witnesses, who eventually were able to turn the "boy" into one of their own. Having been reared in Judaism, the Jehovah's Witnesses were the boy's first and only exposure to "christianity" and the New Testament.
At first, this must have been quite a shock to his Jewish parents, Mr/Mrs Julius Shapiro. But, the shock likely did not last long as reality set in, and their Jewish relatives, friends, and neighbors whispered about young Emmanuel Shapiro preaching the WatchTower gospel on the streets and sidewalks of Pittsburgh. Undoubtedly, there must have been a lot of stress in the Shapiro home as Emmanuel probably continued his recruiting efforts once he went home.
On Monday, March 18, 1940, young Emmanuel Shapiro prepared to leave his home to go handout WatchTower flyers and play Judge Rutherford's records. His mother encouraged him to eat something, but he left home without eating. Emmanuel's mother did not see him again until sometime Thursday. Emmanuel either stayed with some of his new Jehovah's Witness "family", or he had fashioned himself a bed and living quarters in the basement of the "Kingdom Hall" he attended, which was about a mile from his parent's Hill District home. (That so-called "Kingdom Hall" sounds as if it was a typical old downtown multi-story masonry building.)
When Emmanuel's mother answered his knock at the door on Thursday, she instantly knew that something was wrong. Emmanuel was as white as a sheet. Emmanuel smiled, and pulled his arms from his coat pockets. Emmanuel's mother probably nearly feinted. Emmanuel proudly displayed both blood-soaked arms. It would have been easy to see that his hand was missing from his bloody left arm. It probably took some time to figure out that only one finger was missing from Emmanuel's bloody right hand.
Fortunately, for both Emmanuel and his mother, the Police soon arrived, and Emmanuel was transported to Mercy Hospital. The Police hopefully had been notified by the Jehovah's Witness who was the first person to learn of Emmanuel's self-mutilation, and not someone who saw or talked with Emmanuel during his mile-long walk back to his parent's house.
The Jehovah's Witness, who first discovered Emmanuel's self-mutilation, found Emmanuel sitting in a chair in the basement of the "Kingdom Hall". Blood was everywhere, and Emmanuel's left hand was laying on the floor. On a nearby workbench, a butcher knife had been clamped into a vise sharp-side up. A bloody large hammer laid on the workbench. Evidently, Emmanuel had first amputated a finger from his right hand before amputating his entire left hand. The amputation was performed by laying the finger and the hand across the knifeblade, and then striking the body part with the hammer. It was probably the cleanness of the cuts that kept Emmanuel from dying from blood loss before he received the delayed medical attention, that undoubtedly include blood transfusions.
Emmanuel was eventually transferred from Mercy Hospital to St. Francis Hospital for psychiatric observation. Emmanuel was eventually transferred to a local mental facility. Emmanuel refused to explain to his parents or doctors why he did what he did, but his "mission from Jehovah" was not over. Emmanuel now believed that it was Jehovah's will that he die, so he refused to eat as a way of committing suicide. Emmanuel Shapiro slowly died in early June 1940.
It is unknown whether Pittsburgh JWs were guessing based on previous conversations, or whether Emmanuel had explained his actions to the JW that found him, but the JWs believed that Emmanuel had been obsessed with Jesus' statement: "And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy hands to go into hell." One local JW commented regarding such, "You can find anything in the Bible."
A JW Overseer indicated that Emmanuel had been staying in the basement of the so-called "Kingdom Hall", rather than staying at home, because he had been intensely studying the life of Jesus Christ in preparation for the upcoming annual celebration of "The Lord's Evening Meal", or "The Memorial", which is the WatchTower equivalent of Passover.
It is anyone's guess as to what "crap" the Pittsburgh JWs had initially put into the mind of the immature and obviously unstable Jewish boy in order to get him to convert from Judaism to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Additionally, at the time of Shapiro's conversion, the WatchTower Society was changing its' teachings regarding whether new converts would go to heaven, or live forever on earth. Then, there is the question as to why Emmanuel would want to mutilate himself, and then later commit suicide. It is almost like Emmanuel Shapiro had been given a "messiah complex" by "someone". The Jewish boy's given name was an easy target for anyone wishing to manipulate someone naÃ¯ve with regard to Christianity and New Testament teachings.
TEXAS v. WILLIAM OLLIFF, TEXAS v. JOHN OLLIFF, and TEXAS v. BEN OLLIFF. In April 1952, a Texan divorcee, named Grace Marie Olliff Wright, age 20, whom also was the mother of a 13 month-old daughter named Clydene Wright, remained unconscious for a full week in Odessa, Texas' Ector County Medical Center after an extremely serious automobile accident in which her skull, both legs, and pelvis were fractured. Doctors started to administer a blood transfusion when initially treating Wright's injuries, but William Olliff, 51, Grace Wright's father, who was a Jehovah's Witness, stopped the doctors by telling them that his daughter was also a Jehovah's Witness, and that she would not consent to such if she were conscious.
Evidently, Wright's two older brothers, John Oliff, age 27, and Ben Olliff, age 23, who worked at WatchTower World HQ in Brooklyn, NY, somehow managed to immediately return to Texas to help their father "guard" Grace Wright's hospital room, so as to physically ensure that Wright was not given any blood transfusions.
The accident occurred on a Sunday. On Wednesday, Wright's ex-husband, Clyde Wright, as Clydene Wright's representative, obtained an injunction against the Jehovah's Witnesses Terrorist Trio. The overly tolerant officials at Ector County Medical Center made it known that they would not request the Police to enforce the injunction unless Grace Wright's condition worsened, and a transfusion was absolutely required to save Wright's life.
Grace Wright regained consciousness after seven days. When told that she needed a blood transfusion, but that her father and two brothers were preventing such, Grace Wright declared that she was NOT a Jehovah's Witness, and that she would consent to any needed blood transfusions. During this conversation between Wright and doctors, her two "Bethelite" brothers were in the room repeatedly telling her to claim that she was a JW, and that she did not want a transfusion.
Deputies finally were summoned to remove the Jehovah's Witnesses Terrorist Trio from Wright's hospital room. However, the Oliff Clan continued to create a disturbance out in the hallways. The Deputies first simply tried to get the Oliff Trio to leave the hospital, but the Oliff Clan refused to leave, so they were arrested for disturbing the peace and taken to jail.
Grace Wright's condition was so bad that she received at least four transfusions over the next week or so. It is not known whether she survived, and if not, whether the week's delay in receiving them led to her death.
Due to the ongoing nationwide bad publicity that the Jehovah's Witnesses received from this scenario - and especially because the two Olliff brothers were permanent volunteers at the WatchTower Society world headquarters, in Brooklyn, the head of the WatchTower Society's Legal Department, Hayden C. Covington, issued a press release in which he threatened to file lawsuits against the Hospital and all the doctors on behalf of the father and the two brothers. In typical Jehovah's Witness Stupidity, Fool Covington threatened to file a "civil rights" lawsuit on behalf of Grace Wright, who was consenting to the repeated transfusions. That fool even threatened to file a "wrongful death" lawsuit on behalf of the Olliff Clan if Grace died, when it was the Olliff Clan that delayed the transfusions for a week.
TEXAS v. WILLIAM M. OLLIFF was a 1954 Texas MURDER prosecution. The above Jehovah's Witness Father, William Oliff, owned and operated a "trailer park" in Midland, Texas. Sometime in latter 1952 or 1953, William Olliff's "sons" (possibly the same two "Bethelites") and the sons of one of Olliff's tenants got into a literal "mud slinging" contest, and Oliff told the family to move out immediately. The family moved their trailer, but without paying the final $12.00 lot rental bill. That angered William Oliff, and he went looking for the former tenants. When Oliff did not find the tenants at the family's new location, Olliff found the couple entering a friend's home somewhere else in Midland. Oliff pulled into the driveway, and got out of his car. Oliff and the former tenant first argued, and Oliff claimed that the tenant grabbed his arm. Oliff then reached into his car and got his loaded pistol, which just coincidentally happened to be lying on the front seat of Olliff's car. Oliff testified that he did so simply to bluff the tenant. Oliff further testified that he only intended to scare the tenant when he pulled the trigger after being certain that the gun was pointed away from the tenant. Amazingly, the bullet struck the tenant in the heart, and he died. At a June 1954 trial, William M. Oliff was convicted of murder and sentenced in 15 years in the state penitentiary. It does not appear that appeals were successful. I wonder whether the WatchTower Society issued any national press releases when this scenario developed? Some foolish attorney did appeal William M. Olliff's MURDER conviction all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which refused certiori.
JOSEPH FRANKLIN RUTHERFORD ESTATE ET AL v. CITY OF SAN DIEGO ET AL.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford finally succumbed to a long battle with rectal cancer on January 8, 1942 -- having had two surgeries during the final months of his life. Even in death, Judge Rutherford managed one last attempt to bully non-JWs and the government. In all likelihood, Judge Rutherford intentionally set the stage for his final legal battle. Rutherford was an experienced attorney who started his career as a small town Missouri lawyer handling routine small town matters, and wound up his legal career handling cases involving interpretations of the U.S. Constitution before the Supreme Court of the United States. Thus, there was no reason why Rutherford should have specified that his corpse be buried at a location which was not approved for burials, unless Rutherford wanted to be certain that his demise would be celebrated in a courtroom.
Judge Rutherford died at his 100 acre southern California estate located in the hills outside San Diego. The 5100 square foot mansion, named "Beth-Sarim", or, "House of Princes", had been built for Rutherford by some of his wealthy followers, in the late 1920s, after he was no longer welcome at the home of his wife, Mary Malcolm Rutherford, in Monrovia, California (north of Los Angeles). By the late 1920s, Rutherford apparently had become completely estranged from his wife, and even his only child, Malcolm Cameron Rutherford (born 1892), who lived not far from his mother -- due to Judge Rutherford's series of Bethelite Mistresses dating back to 1917, and continuing to shortly before his death. Malcolm Rutherford had once been a "Bethelite" since the family moved to Pittsburgh around 1907/8, and thereafter had worked intimately with both his father and Charles Taze Russell in WatchTower activities. (Malcolm C. Rutherford eventually became an attorney after leaving Brooklyn Bethel, but he did not remain a Jehovah's Witness. However, a few years prior to his father's death, Malcolm and his wife apparently resigned themselves to his father's lifestyle and "made up" -- accompanying his father and his father's last Bethelite mistress on an ocean voyage to Hawaii.)
Judge Rutherford specified that he wanted to be buried on the "Beth-Sarim" estate, supposedly "at dawn the day after death." However, since no part of the 100 acre estate had been pre-approved for internments prior to Rutherford's death, such meant that either special permission would be needed for the single burial, or part of the estate would need to be established and government-approved as a "graveyard".
During the 14 weeks following his death, as Rutherford's corpse laid in the county morgue, the JW attorneys made a total of nine different legal attempts to obtain permission from the City and County for the single burial or the establishment of a graveyard. The maneuvers are difficult to follow, because the JWs' "stories" and "arguments" varied with whatever obstacle(s) needed to be hurdled at that point in the battle. Depending on the "story", Rutherford was to be buried in different places on the estate, ranging from a practically unmarked plot to an elaborate crypt. In any event, the property owners in that upscale neighborhood did not want a "Rutherford Shrine" erected next door to their homes, and the various governmental bodies agreed.
On April 20, 1942, Judge Rutherford's corpse was shipped by train back to New York City, where he was buried in an unmarked grave located in the WatchTower Society's secret 1/4 acre plot, which is itself located within the Woodrow United Methodist Church graveyard on Staten Island. (Other WatchTower Society corporate officials without JW family are also secretly buried there in unmarked graves -- Robert J. Martin, William Van Amburgh, Clayton J. Woodworth, etc.)
One author has written that Rutherford's burial on Saturday, April 24, 1942, was attended only by A. H. MacMillan and three other JWs, and that President Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz did not attend. The official WatchTower press release stated that both Knorr and Franz presided over the graveside service. The release also indicated that the heavy casket had to be hand carried quite a distance to the gravesite, thus indicating 6-8 stronger attendees. Someone is mistaken or lying.
THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY LEADER
BUT WAS NOT,
BUT WHOSE DEATH STROKE WAS HEALED,
AND ASCENDED OUT OF THE ABYSS
The May 15, 1968 issue of the WATCHTOWER magazine contains the "life story" of a prominent Jehovah's Witness Leader whose name is no longer remembered by current Jehovah's Witnesses. That WatchTower Society Leader was Anton Adam Koerber. However, some of today's Jehovah's Witnesses may still recall the "tale" for which the WatchTower Society wishes Anton Koerber to be remembered. That "tale" was included in Koerber's 1968 WATCHTOWER biography, and was thereafter repeated time and again at WatchTower District Conventions, Circuit Assemblies, and local Kingdom Hall meetings in the late 1960s and early 1970s -- incidents which I personally recall, including "ooo-ing" and "aahh-ing" from the audience.
As the "tale" goes, Anton Koerber claimed to have been offered a business proposition, which allegedly would have yielded $1,000,000.00 profit to him in only one year, but Koerber declined the business deal because it would have interfered with his ministry as a Jehovah's Witness. Even if somewhat close to the truth, that "experience", as later repeated at 1960s and 1970s WatchTower functions, rarely ever included Koerber's name and never ever included Koerber's personal circumstances -- which were that Koerber was an aging man in failing health, who was already a multi-millionaire who did not need the money.
Those readers, who are personally acquainted with a highly successful life insurance salesperson, or some other type salesperson who has what it takes to "sell swimming and sunbathing accessories to Eskimoes", already have a good feel for "who was" Anton Koerber. The WATCHTOWER biography discretely describes Anton Koerber as a person with "a very positive personality", which sometimes led to "misunderstandings" with those whom Koerber interacted. Amusingly, in a 1950s newspaper article promoting an upcoming WatchTower "Circuit Assembly", the "Circuit Servant" for that area, Anton Koerber, obviously served as that reporter's primary source of info given that that reporter referred to Koerber as the "supervisor" of the circuit, who "has arranged for a number of visiting ministers, who have taken personal training under his direction, to assist him in the speaking and dramatic portions of the program."
Anton Koerber's WATCHTOWER biography includes some very interesting snippets from Koerber's life, but typically, it intentionally leaves out most of the negatives. The WATCHTOWER biography also leaves out several "specifics" about Koerber's life that sets Koerber uniquely apart from every other Jehovah's Witness. Let's see if we can help out the WatchTower Society with telling "the rest of the story".
UNITED STATES v. KOERBER. Anton Koerber's WATCHTOWER biography states: "During World War I, he was arrested and tried because of his conscientious objection to war, but the case was held in abeyance and dropped when the war was over." Frankly, I'm surprised that the WATCHTOWER biography did not claim that Koerber was "totally exonerated", which is the claim that the WatchTower Society makes when it mentions that the cases against its Corporate Officers were essentially dropped when the World War I was over. Regardless, I do not have any additional specific details about Koerber's criminal prosecution in 1918-9. Interestingly, however, the WATCHTOWER biography claims: "For years Anton had been in the insurance business. While such issues as buying war bonds caused strained relations with his business associates, it was the slogan 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die,' which the Bible Students were then preaching, that caused him to sever his connections with the insurance business and enter the real estate field." Yes, Anton Koerber started his rise to prosperity as an "insurance salesman", but come on now. Would not Koerber's Washington D.C. insurance business "associates" (in actuality, probably Koerber's "Employer") been more upset about the damage to their business reputation in the Washington D.C. area caused by Koerber's arrest and criminal prosecution for draft evasion?
The WATCHTOWER biography really does an excellent job of "spinning" what next happens in Koerber's life: "He now saw his way clear to enter the full-time preaching work. This he did with William N. Hall, a retired army brigadier general, whose privilege it had been to accompany Pastor Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, on one of his world tours. Anton found Hall a helpful companion and a fine soldier of Jesus Christ. They traveled far and wide in Maryland, Virginia and other Eastern states, leaving much literature in the homes of the people and setting up Bible study groups. They would later return to strengthen them in the faith and train them in the Christian ministry. Eventually a number of these groups became established congregations. So in these respects they were serving much as did the apostle Paul and his companions."
In actuality, General William P. Hall, whom Anton Koerber found "helpful", and who had been "privileged" to have accompanied Charles Taze Russell on the 1911-12 around the world tour, had been THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY at the time of his retirement. General Hall was a WEST POINT GRADUATE and recipient of the CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR, due to his heroics on the American western frontier, and Hall is buried at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY. In reality, the few American newspapers which covered the WatchTower world tour did so, not because of Charles Taze Russell, but because of General William P. Hall. Koerber's WATCHTOWER biography makes it sound as if Koerber was General Hall's peer, when in fact, Koerber was privileged to have worked with a man of Hall's stature. Curiously, the WatchTower Society has never published a Biography of General Hall despite all that General Hall's own work did for its reputation in its early days. CLICK HERE TO READ MY OWN LAME ATTEMPT AT SUCH.
The WATCHTOWER biography relates: "He had a share, back in 1925, in fighting for licenses for radio stations owned by the Watch Tower Society. For some twenty-five years and more he appeared before presidents, cabinet members and members of Congress to serve them with the many resolutions adopted by Jehovah's witnesses at their various assemblies, ... ." How do you suppose that Anton Koerber, a young relative "unknown" in Washington power circles, was able to reach the point where he was able to freely mix in such Washington circles. In all likelihood, it was General William P. Hall who first introduced Anton Koerber to the circles of the Washington elite. It likely were those same "William P. Hall contacts" which enabled Anton Koerber's Washington D. C. real estate investment business to flourish.
At some point, probably in the early 1930s, Anton Koerber, Rose Koerber, along with their son and daughter, were invited to work at WatchTower Society headquarters in Brooklyn. This is "special" given that only the most "privileged" of even the elite within Jehovah's Witnesses were allowed to bring their families to live at Bethel. In 1933, while his family remained at Bethel, Koerber was appointed to a field position as "Regional Servant" for the eastern United States.
In 1935, Judge Rutherford sent Anton Koerber on a special mission to Germany and Russia. Koerber's mission was to regain possession of the WatchTower Society printing presses seized by the German government, and to have the presses shipped to Russia, where Koerber was to open a branch office. However, Anton Koerber failed at each assigned task.
Sometime around 1938, Koerber's wife was struck by paralysis and became permanently bedridden. Whether it was because of this tragedy, or some other event that happened even prior to 1938, is not known, but the family was forced to move back to the Washington D.C. area. I have reasons to believe that the Koerbers did not return to the Washington D.C. area until around this time, but I'm not positive. Given Koerber's failed mission to Europe, it is also possible that Rutherford and Koerber fell out after Koerber's return. However, given the info below, such may or may not have been the case.
Additionally, sometime around 1934-35, Anton Koerber began publishing a monthly newsletter called "A Paper for Jehovah's Witnesses", which included both WatchTower related local info and advertisements for some of Koerber's local business ventures. Judge Rutherford did not like such.
ANTON KOERBER v. JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD and M. ARNOLD HOWLETT. (SEE PAGE 2058) For someone who knew Judge Rutherford as well as did Anton Koerber, it is extremely difficult to understand why Koerber would have ever committed the "unforgivable sin" of filing a personal lawsuit against Rutherford. Matthew A. Howlett and Judge Rutherford reportedly first met in 1913 -- possibly in Winnipeg, where Howlett was part of a local WatchTower "crew". Howlett was "made" by "Big Paulie Rutherford" in 1917, when as a unmarried man, Rutherford brought him from Canada to work at WatchTower headquarters in Brooklyn. Howlett had been born and reared in England, where he reportedly completed four years of "medical school". Howlett also claimed to have completed "some" additional "post-graduate" medical courses here in the United States. Curiously, however, Howlett testified in court that he had never ever "practiced medicine". Yet, Howlett further testified that he had served on and off as Judge Rutherford's "private nurse" and "dietitian" since 1934, and that he had done so during the months leading up to Judge Rutherford's death.
In fact, Matthew Howlett was accused of treating Bethelites with Albert Abram's E.R.A. machine and techniques, which some claimed to essentially be an electronic Ouija Board. For additional information, see LECOCQ court case below. Despite one or more Bethelites stating that Howlett had treated them using Abram's E.R.A., Howlett not only denied doing so, but even denied that he knew anything about Abram's E.R.A. Maybe that demonstrates how and why Howlett rose to the position of being one of Big Paulie's most trusted "captains" by the latter 1930s.
In July 1938, Rutherford sent Howlett to work as the "Zone Servant" for Northern Ohio, which was to become one of the hotbeds of legal action. Howlett and his by-then wife returned to Bethel in September 1939, just in time for Rutherford to send Howlett to Wisconsin to Olin Moyle's home area to deal with the limited "rebellions" that occurred there after Moyle return there after resigning his job at Bethel.
From these pieces of information about Howlett, it appears that Howlett was someone who had Rutherford's trust and confidence, and was used by Rutherford for his most important missions. It also appears that Howlett's area of expertise was the medical field. Maybe Howlett, Rutherford, and Koerber were developing an improved version of Abram's E.R.A.?
We will have to leave the "Koerber Lawsuit Mystery" for now, because there is even a bigger "Koerber Mystery" -- one that makes Anton A. Koerber one of the most "unique" Jehovah's Witnesses to have ever been a member of the WatchTower Society.
Sometime around the filing of KOERBER v. RUTHERFORD, Anton Koerber was reportedly "disfellowshipped", or excommunicated from the WatchTower Society. If such did not occur until after the filing of Koerber's lawsuit against Rutherford, then that was certainly the actual reason, regardless what was given as the "excuse".
In the history of the WatchTower Society, there have been many "big-shots" who have either chosen to leave on their own, or have been forced to leave. Even the FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY chose to separate himself from the WatchTower Society. (William H. Conley and Sarah Conley, were two of the five "original Bible Students". Russell, his father, and his sister were the other three. The first President of the WatchTower Society rejected Charles Taze Russell's own rejection of the Trinity Doctrine, as well as Russell's repeated failed attempts to set specific dates for prophetic events, and returned to the Presbyterian Church, and thereafter helped found the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination.) There have been many other similar defections from the WatchTower Society over its history. However, to the best of my recollection, none of those dozens of WatchTower "big-shots" ever returned to the WatchTower Society to a similar position of power and authority which they had held prior to their leaving the WatchTower Society. In fact, Hayden Covington is the only big-shot that I can recall who has ever been "reinstated", and Covington's was essentially a "deathbed reinstatement".
This is where Anton Koerber "breaks the mold", and becomes the most unique Jehovah's Witness in this subsection of WatchTower Society history. Having not merely been disfellowshipped after working for years in positions of high authority, but having even committed the "unforgivable sin" of filing a lawsuit against the President of the WatchTower Society, and then after 12 or more years absence from the organization, Anton Koerber was "reinstated" sometime in 1951/2. After barely re-establishing himself as a congregation "publisher", Koerber boldly applied to become a full-time Pioneer sometime in 1952. However, Koerber's application was foreseeably rejected. Not one to take "No" for an answer, Koerber traveled to WatchTower Society headquarters, where he made another request directly to the Service Department.
Bill Cetnar was given the "job" of meeting with Koerber and telling him "No" again. Koerber gave Cetnar a $10.00 handshake (that's 1952 money), and told Cetnar that he wanted to speak with someone else-- meaning someone who was someone at Bethel. Charles Taze Russell's and Judge Rutherford's old friend, A. H. MacMillan, went back with Cetnar to speak with Koerber. MacMillan reportedly dismissed Koerber with a severe tongue-lashing, which included accusing Koerber of being "selfish", and simply seeking a "title" (its interesting that at other times, the WatchTower Society says that "Pioneer" is not a title).
Bill Cetnar reports that a day or two after his two meetings with Koerber that he entered the Bethel dining hall one day and there sat Anton Koerber next to Nathan H. Knorr -- the President of the WatchTower Society. After the meal, Cetnar saw Koerber in the lobby. Koerber called Cetnar over to him, and pointed out the window to a parked brand new Cadillac. Koerber bragged to Cetnar that he had just presented that new Cadillac to President Knorr as a gift.
Miraculously, instead of receiving an appointment as a "regular pioneer" in his congregation, Anton Koerber was appointed as a CIRCUIT SERVANT -- a position that Koerber held for the next seven years in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and only relinquished such around 1959 due to his failing health. To recount, Anton Koerber had been disfellowshipped for 12 years or more, but was appointed a Circuit Servant only a few months after being re-instated. But, that is not the complete story.
Years later, after Koerber had died in 1967, an official of The Dawn Bible Students (which was one of the groups that was formed after the schism that occurred after Judge Rutherford used "legal inaccuracies" and "legal inadequacies" in Charles Taze Russell's Will and Estate to take over control of the WatchTower Society, despite the fact that Rutherford was Russell's attorney who had failed to correct those same legal problems) disclosed that, in 1951, evidently prior to his trip to WatchTower headquarters, that Anton Koerber had sent a letter to The Dawn Bible Students, in which Koerber requested a meeting with their Governing Body. That letter also included a donation of $2000.00 (again that's 1951 dollars). During a subsequent meeting during the Dawn's annual Convention, Anton Koerber allegedly offered his financial backing to "the evil slave class" if they would make certain concessions, which presumably included appointing Koerber to some position of authority. Koerber's offer was eventually declined on the basis that they would not "sell" their principles for money.
UNITED STATES v. LECOCQ (1924) and UNITED STATES v. ELECTRONIC MEDICAL FOUNDATION (1954) are related court cases, although separated by three decades, which shed light on the beliefs and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses -- especially with regard to medicine, doctors, and the health care system.
Mary Lecocq was a "Jehovah's Witness", (called "Bible Students" in 1924), in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who was prosecuted in federal court for "mail fraud", in connection with a "medical clinic" that she owned and operated. Mary Lecocq was a practitioner of "Electronic Reactions of Abrams"
, also known as "ERA", which was eventually proven to be medical quackery. Sometime prior to 1924, a medical doctor who wished to prove that both Albert Abrams and field practitioners, such as Mary Lecocq, who used Abram's machines and techniques, were "frauds", mailed a blood sample to Mary Lecocq and asked her to "test" the sample for possible disease, and if she found such, then to provide her medical solution. After Lecocq mailed back her diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, and malaria, along with her recommendation for treatment using one of Abram's machines, it was revealed to federal authorities that the blood sample had been extracted from a rooster. Federal criminal prosecution followed. For whatever reason, the USDC judge would not allow the case to be decided by the federal jury, but rather directed a verdict in Lecocq's favor, because in his opinion, Lecocq had proven that she had "acted in good faith" when she diagnosed and recommended treatment for the human disease found in the chicken blood. That was 1924.
Albert Abrams actually died just before he was to leave San Francisco and travel to Jonesboro to testify in the LECOCQ prosecution. After Abram's timely death, his "work" was carried on under the name of the "Electronic Medical Foundation". Although Mary Lecocq possibly closed her Jonesboro clinic in the latter 1920s, which many "Jehovah's Witnesses" around the country had patronized both by mail and traveling there, the EMF continued to be supported by the Jehovah's Witnesses, including members of the WatchTower Society world headquarter's medical staff. An osteopath at Brooklyn Bethel, named Mae J. Work, reportedly spoke at one or more EMF annual conventions in the 1930s.
In April 1925, the WatchTower Society's GOLDEN AGE
predecessor) carried an article authored by Dr. Robert A. Gamble, in which he announced and advertised for sale a better and improved version of Abram's ERA machine that he had invented, called the Electronic Radio Biola
. Dr. Robert Gamble was a medical doctor from Petersburg, Virginia
, who also owned and operated a radio station, which he undoubtedly used to broadcast WatchTower sermons. Dr. Robert Gamble also was a prominent member of the WatchTower Society, who traveled about Virginia speaking on behalf of the WatchTower Society, and even spoke in California in Fall 1922, when he traveled there to study with Albert Abrams. Gamble was also the Chairman of the 1921 WatchTower Convention held in Washington D.C.
It is believed that Gamble had a partner in his Biola Manufacturing Company -- a second Jehovah's Witness medical doctor, named Lovick R. Bennett (1872-1949), who owned Bennett Medicine Company. Lovick Bennett also was a prominent member of the WatchTower Society, who traveled about Virginia and North Carolina speaking on behalf of the WatchTower Society. Biola Manufacturing Company (BMC just like Bennett Medicine Company) had a Norfolk, Virginia address, which was where Lovick Bennett lived, while Robert Gamble lived in Petersburg. In 1933, Gamble was killed, and three unidentified others were injured, in an automobile accident near Norfolk.
Abram's and Gamble/Bennett's machines and techniques were used and supported by prominent members of the WatchTower Society, at least through the 1940s, despite such being repeatedly exposed by one scientific and medical investigator after another. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, in September 1953, the WatchTower Society ran an article in its AWAKE! magazine that declared similar "radio wave" machines and techniques to be medical quackery -- without acknowledging its own decades-long involvement. Interestingly, the "Radio Clast" machine condemned in that AWAKE! article was manufactured in a small northern Ohio city named Tiffin. More interesting is the fact that Tiffin, Ohio has one of the oldest WatchTower congregations, of significant size, in the United States -- check ZWT for"Memorial" statistics for the 1800s -- which can't help but foster questions as to whether the person(s) behind the RadioClast were also JWs.
Interestingly, in January 1954, only a few weeks after that AWAKE! article was published, after a year-long or more investigation, the United States Food and Drug Administration filed a federal lawsuit against EMF in which it eventually forced EMF to stop distributing the thirteen different versions of machines it manufactured and leased to "field practitioners".
Scotland Neck, North Carolina
July 30, 1920
"MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE"
In this startling and comforting lecture on the above subject, Dr. R. A. Gamble offers a reasonable and satisfying solution of the present great trouble and distress now in the Earth. ...
Hundreds of people now living in Scotland Neck and vicinity Will Never Die.
Do you want to be one of them? Would you like to avoid going into the grave? The proof key to this Biblical truth, now due, was the world war, and my family is involved.
Come and have a comforting message. All invited. Seats free. No Collection.
EDITOR COMMENTS: In 1920, Scotland Neck, NC had a population of less than 3000. In 2020, the population is less than 2000. "Hundreds of people now living in Scotland Neck and vicinity Will Never Die"? Really? Where is Doctor Gamble? How many INTERNATIONAL SCAMS will the WATCHTOWER CULT continue decade after decade to affect before a truly honest BOD voluntarily closes its doors?
IOWA v. BOURNE was a 1942 Iowa criminal court case which involved one of the WatchTower Society's "District Sales Managers". In September 1942, a WatchTower Society "Zone Servant", named Reginald A. Bourne, 30, was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, while performing duties as Chairman at the then ongoing WatchTower Convention. Reginald Bourne was thereafter convicted of "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor". There was possibly even more to the following story. Readers really need to look at a map to see what I am talking about. First, Bourne parked his travel trailer at Indianola, Iowa. The case revolved around a 16 year-old boy named Wayne Emmons, whose home was in Iowa City. Emmons was allegedly attracted to the Jehovah's Witnesses, against his parent's wishes, through relatives (possibly paternal grandparents) living in What Cheer, Iowa.
Despite the fact that Bourne initially denied knowing anything about Emmon's disappearance, Bourne eventually confessed to giving money to the 16 year-old so that, puzzlingly, he could travel out-of-state to Madison, Wisconsin, to attend a JW Convention that was going on the exact same time as was the convention in Des Moines. Bourne even drove Emmons from either Iowa City or What Cheer to a bus station in Ames, Iowa, of all places???
Interestingly, references to a JW leader named "Reginald A. Bourne" disappear after this conviction. However, there is "an" Allen Bourne who was baptized around 1936, and who "pioneered" until 1946, when he was selected to attend the WatchTower Bible School of Gilead (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"), and who then was sent to Honduras for only four years, before returning to the U.S., and settling in Ohio in the 1950s. There is also "a" Dean Bourne, who was baptized around 1939, and who served as a "District Overseer" in Wisconsin and Iowa in the 1960s, after first also attending Gilead and also being sent to Honduras.
ILLINOIS v. ATWOOD and OHIO v. ATWOOD were two 1924 criminal court cases which involved a prominent Jehovah's Witness, named Barlow Atwood, who served the WatchTower Society in various capacities from the 1910s until his death circa 1980s. In a 1970s press conference, arranged in conjunction with a WatchTower District Convention, Barlow Atwood claimed to have worked at the WatchTower Society's world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1910s. Atwood claimed that he was the Bethelite who devised the way to synchronize the sound supplied by the phonograph with the silent film used in the WatchTower Society's PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION film. Once produced, Atwood also traveled in the Midwest and showed the PHOTO-DRAMA to audiences. In succeeding decades, Atwood claimed to have traveled throughout the Midwest as a Pioneer, and possibly in higher capacities, for the WatchTower Society, before retiring to the Charleston, West Virginia area in the 1960s. The Convention-related newspaper article "interestingly" stated:
Atwood said he was not often arrested, although he knew police were looking for him. "Often after we would visit a home, a local minister would be called who then called the police. "We made no attempt to elude the police, but we worked for six months in one area without being caught. We were always a step ahead of them."
Of their harassment, both men said "We were hated, just as Jesus was, for telling the truth."
At some point after working at WatchTower headquarters, Barlow Atwood apparently married a woman in Marion, Ohio, and they had at least one child; a daughter named Gloria May Atwood. Many details are missing, but in January 1924, Barlow Atwood was being held in an Illinois jail. It is not known whether Atwood's arrest was in connection with the Ohio charge, or whether he had been arrested on some other charge. In any event, the State of Ohio requested that the State of Illinois extradite Atwood back to Ohio to face criminal charges relating to his failure to provide for his daughter, who had been placed in the Marion County Children's Home. It is not known why such desperate measures were required on the daughter's behalf, but apparently there was much more to the story as to what was going on between Atwood and his estranged wife. [Since first posting this case summary, I have obtained additional info that seems to indicate that Barlow Atwood may not have been married to his baby's momma at the time of the above legal proceedings.]
The "we" in the above newspaper excerpt was a second prominent Jehovah's Witness, named George Grosse, who also had a long history and lengthy resume of performing traveling work for the WatchTower Society. Interestingly, Grosse stated in the interview that Atwood and he met for the first time in the exact same small town in Illinois from which Atwood was extradited back to Ohio in 1924. "We were hated, just as Jesus was, for telling the truth."
Strangely, my own maternal grandfather and some of his younger siblings were also living in the Marion County Children's Home at this very same time, apparently along with Gloria May Atwood. It really is a small world.
TEXAS v. MAHLER, TEXAS v. HERMOSILLO, IN RE HERMOSILLO, TEXAS v. MAHLER, and possibly others, were related 1945-6 court cases involving an El Paso Jehovah's Witness "Company Servant" (then title for local JW leader), and his wife, and a 17 year-old minor, named Lilia Hermosillo. The months long "running battle" evidently included two separate sets of criminal charges of "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor" being file against the Jehovah's Witness couple, named Mr/Mrs Bernard Mahler.
Apparently, sometime in late 1944 or early 1945, Lilia Hermosillo, an obviously immature and unstable 16-17 year-old girl, came into contact with the Jehovah's Witnesses in El Paso, Texas. Lilia was attracted to their "Armageddon will be here any day now" teachings, and she began attending "meetings" at the local Kingdom Hall. Before long, Lilia was even distributing WatchTower literature on the sidewalks of El Paso. That greatly upset her parents, since the family was Catholic. Lilia's parents made it loud and clear to both their daughter and the local JWs that they did not want Lilia to have any contact with the JWs. Although the limited details are sketchy, it is apparent that both Lilia and the JWs ignored the parents wishes.
The situation came to a head, the first time, in July 1945, when Lilia left home on July 15, when the Mahlers picked her up in their auto. Lilia returned home on July 19, only after her parents filed some type of legal action. Not long thereafter, Lilia's parents filed "the first" criminal complaint against the Mahlers. Practically nothing is known about that first trial in which the Mahler's were charged with "Contributing", but apparently the charges were dismissed or they were found "not guilty". Shortly thereafter, a habeas corpus action was also brought by the Mahlers on Lilia's behalf in which it was claimed that Lilia's parents were violating her civil rights by restraining her activities with the JWs. That case was obviously dismissed.
Unfortunately, Lilia's father died on September 1, 1945; very possibly from the stress resulting from this mess. Lilia's mother testified at one of the several court hearings that around the time of the funeral that a JW came to her front door wanting to speak with Lilia, but that she also spotted two other JWs curiously in the backyard. Another person testified that Bernard Mahler was seen in the alley behind Lilia's house around this time.
Lilia again disappeared from home between October 19 and October 26, 1945. (Both the July and October dates would be consistent with times typically set for the summer and fall WatchTower conventions.) Lilia's mother contacted authorities, and the second set of criminal charges of "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor" were filed against Mr/Mrs Bernard Mahler, and five other local JW women were also named as defendants.
A hearing was held in which multiple JWs testified that they did not know Lilia's whereabouts. Carmen Hermosillo testified that her daughter had left a note stating that she had gone to the Kingdom Hall. The mother also testified that Lilia had been saying, "I know that I've got to die. ... You won't be hurt." Carmen Hermosillo went to the Kingdom Hall looking for Lilia, but Bernard Mahler said that Lilia was not there. He also allegedly told the mother that if she dropped her latest lawsuit against him and his wife, and allowed Lilia to attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall, that Lilia would return home.
Interestingly, Lilia turned herself into "federal authorities" on October 25. On Friday, October 26, she even gave testimony at the continued proceedings. She never admitted being with any of the JWs, but she also refused to explain where she had been for the past week. She did state that she had seen and exchanged waves with Bernard Mahler as he drove past her one day. Interestingly, Mahler had stated under oath the previous day that he had not seen Lilia while she was missing.
On Sunday, October 28, 1945, Lilia again left home without permission. Carmen Hermosillo found her at the Kingdom Hall, but Lilia refused to leave with her. The mother was forced to call the Police and have Lilia arrested and put in jail. At the delinquency hearing the next day, Lilia stated that between October 19 and 25 that she had went to a stranger's house, somewhere that she couldn't remember in El Paso, and asked them to allow her to stay the week, and they did. Probation officers also testified that Lilia was continuing to say that she would soon die. When the court indicated a postponement to investigate "who" had been "contributing" to Lilia's "delinquency", the attorney for the JWs had the gall to state that the court should investigate whether her mother had violated any of Lilia's rights, and if so, that she be punished. Earlier, in chambers, Lilia's attorney had taken several "shots" at Lilia's mother; essentially calling the mother of four a "bad mother" because of how she was mistreating Lilia.
Interestingly, at a later hearing in November, Carmen Hermosillo testified that her husband had come home unexpectedly one day, and found Bernard Mahler there alone with Lilia. She also testified that she once saw the two together alone in Mahler's auto, and that Mahler had his arm around Lilia. She even testified that not only were her neighbors suspicious about the pair, but that even a couple of JWs had expressed concerns to her.
Interestingly, the Mahlers were each fined $50.00 at the initial November 1945 hearing at the request of their own attorney, who wanted to avoid another hearing involving lengthy testimony from many persons. Thereafter, an appellate trial was supposedly held on/about January-February 1946. I have not been able to locate info on such. Carmen Hermosillo told reporters that the JWs were responsible for tearing apart the relationship that Lilia had with her, Lilia's siblings, and other family members. During the time Lilia had associated with the JWs, she had changed into a "dishonest" and "untruthful" person.
INTERESTING 1956 "FEMALE MINISTERS" NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
The Levittown Times
Monday, September 17, 1956
Girl Named Minister By Witnesses
Doris Taylor, 623 Bath Street, Bristol, announced recently her appointment as a full-time minister for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, a world-wide fellowship of more than 600,000 ministers serving in over 160 lands. Doris, who is a secretary, has been associated with the Levittown Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses for five years, during which time she has become a proficient student of the Bible. She is a graduate of Bristol High school, class of 1953, and also graduated from Rider's Business College in Trenton. The Taylor family are longtime residents in Bristol and well known in the community. For some time now, their home at 623 Bath street has been a center for Bible study in this area. Doris' mother, Mrs. Evelyn Taylor, said, "Everyone interested in a study of the Bible is more than welcome to attend any Tuesday at 8:00 p.m."
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES HUMOR SECTION
"Horace Dicks" -- the actual name of an African-American Jehovah's Witness Minister who lived in Brooklyn, New York for 4+ decades.
Back during the 1960s, the "anointed" Congregation Servant, Brother Drummond, and his wife, of the Xenia, Ohio Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, spent one summer traveling on weekends to work in isolated/unassigned territory in West Virginia. Typically, the Drummonds took other family or congregation members along with them on those grueling long-distance trips. On returning from one such weekend trip during which the Drummonds had traveled to West Virginia by themselves, Brother Drummond stopped at his son's home to let the son know that they had safely returned home to Xenia. Puzzled, the son inquired, "Where's Mama?" Brother Drummond turned, stared at his automobile for a moment, and then stated, "Well, I guess she's still at that last rest area that I stopped at about three hours ago. I guess that I was enjoying the peace and quiet so much that I didn't realize that your Mom wasn't in the car." On another occasion, while getting ready in a West Virginia Kingdom Hall parking lot to go out in field service, Brother Drummond told an unbaptized teenager assigned to his car to go retrieve some literature from another car getting ready to exit the parking lot. As the teenager walked back to Drummond's car with the requested literature, Drummond drove past the teenager without stopping, waved, and kept going. By that time, every other car had already pulled out of the KH parking lot. Unbaptized teenager was left alone for hours with no way to get inside the KH or contact anyone. Teenager had reason to suspect that Drummond had left him behind intentionally after being told that the teenager was not yet baptized. Teenager cried repeatedly during the hours of waiting in whatever shade that he could find outside that KH. Afterwards, Drummond apologized for his absent-mindedness, while Drummond's sons excused their "absent-minded" father by relating to the teenager the above story about what happened to their Mom. Years later, teenager was told by another JW that Drummond likely had maneuvered both incidents intentionally -- that that was how the "anointed" Drummond chicken-shitedly dealt with people with whom Drummond had an issue. Decades later, that teenager built a website about the WatchTower Society.
After WW2 was over, Quaker "conscientious objectors" who had been confined at one CO work camp liked to relate the amusing story of a Jehovah's Witness CO hypocrite who had been confined along with them, who apparently did not share the same spiritual demeanor as that possessed by the Quaker COs. Apparently, when that Jehovah's Witness CO would become irritated with camp life, he would become combative and threaten, "Just wait until Jesus Christ returns and comes down here and starts mopping up."
In December 2002, Elders at the Burlington, Wisconsin Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness called in local police to conduct an investigation of two lighted Santa Clauses which had been left outside the Burlington Kingdom Hall plugged into the Kingdom Hall's exterior electrical outlet. Although unconfirmed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation may also have been contacted to initiate a federal "hate-crimes" investigation. Reportedly, neither smirking Santa Claus would "give-up" the perpetrator(s) despite intense interrogation and possible water-boarding.
In August 1943, Illinois police stopped for speeding a car containing 3 adult males and 2 underage females from Pittsburgh, who claimed they were on their way to a WatchTower Convention in Minneapolis. They were accused of speeding in excess of 60 mph in a 20 mph zone. When they appeared before the traffic judge, the driver, who stated that he was an ordained Jehovah's Witness Minister "who could not lie", further claimed that he was only doing 20 mph, and "besides, the car could not go sixty". The judge then made the JW-Minister-who-could-not-lie a deal. The judge offered to take the JW's car for a test-drive, and if the car would not go 60 mph, then he would dismiss the ticket, but if the car would go 60 mph, then the fine would be doubled. The JW decided that he would go ahead and pay the $15.00 fine, because JWs don't "gamble" either.
In 1943, a Texas attorney, who at the end of a long tiring day in court defending a JW who had been arrested for distributing WatchTower propaganda, was approached by a JW spectator who offered him some of the literature for his own perusal. The attorney snapped at the naive JW, "Listen, I defended him, but I don't have to read that sh!t!!!"
In 1944, a superior court Pittsburgh judge was forced to return to a JW a $10.00 fine which had been assessed after the JW's conviction for "disturbing the peace" in a lower court for distributing the WatchTower Society's propaganda on city streets. In open court, the judge stated that he had lost respect for the Supreme Court of the United States after their recent decisions in favor of forbidding local governments the ability to regulate the sales activities of JWs. After ordering the fine returned to the JW, the Judge told the JW in open court, "Never come to my house unless you want to get punched in the nose."
In 1961, a "Congregation Servant" in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had been awaiting the arrival at his home of two WatchTower representatives from Oregon, whom he had never met before. When the JW and his wife were awakened in the wee hours of Sunday AM, they opened their front door expecting to greet the expected two JWs, but instead were greeted by two "drunks". One drunk passed out soon after entering the home, while the other man was so drunk that he was barely able to carry on a conversation. When the conscious drunk fled the house after some intense questioning, the JW and his wife call the police. When the police arrived, they arrested the drunk who had passed out, and took him to jail. Interestingly, when local reporters became aware of this scenario the next day, the JWs related that the events of the previous evening were just a series of "coincidences". Supposedly, two "local" men who did not know each other started drinking together in a local bar. When the bar closed, one man offered to drive the other home. The two men mistakenly ended up at the home of the JWs. The man whose home they supposedly thought it was, and who passed out, and who was later arrested, changed his story and said that he thought he had arrived at a party, rather than at his home, where the driver thought he was taking him. The driver, who had later fled, for some unexplained reason followed the first man inside his home, instead of simply dropping his new acquaitance off at the front door of "his home". Interestingly, the two WatchTower representatives still had not yet arrived before this "series of coincidences" made the news.
In 1967-9, a California Jehovah's Witness, named Lawrence Monroe Haven, was convicted in federal USDC of draft evasion. As part of his appeal at the USCA level, Lawrence Haven argued that Jehovah's Witnesses "have been systematically excluded from serving on local draft boards and that he was, therefore, classified and ordered to report for civilian work by a [draft] board which had no power because its composition was unconstitutional." Haven sought to prove his unique defense by submitting testimony from a Los Angeles area "Congregation Overseer" to the effect that no member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, so far as he knew, had ever been asked to serve on a local draft board. Needless to say, that argument went over like a lead balloon.
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