EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FINANCIAL HONESTY & INTEGRITY SUBSECTION PAGE 4 OF 14

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WATCHTOWER SOCIETY PRESIDENTS, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, 

ATTORNEYS, and OTHER LEADERS COURT CASES

SUBSECTION PAGE 2 0F 2

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WORLDWIDE IMMIGRATION SCAM

For decades, from the United States to Europe to Australia/NZ, the WatchTower Cult has "turned a blind eye" and cooperated with crooked Immigration Attorneys and individual Immigration Scammers in exchange for whatever benefit might be gained from any particular unique set of circumstances. We have always assumed that it was always about "body count" -- even if only temporary, given the cult's heavy emphasis on its most recent marketing report.

However, a 2020 Australian immigration court case which exposed a family of immigrants falsely claiming to be in the process of converting to the Jehovah's Witnesses revealed that as part of this deceitful family's evidence trail, they had signed up to donate $75.00 per month to the WatchTower Society on a recurring basis using a credit card. Those scammers had only minimal, basic knowledge about the WatchTower Cult's multiplicity of insider workings, so "someone" would have had to have taught those immigration scammers to make documented donations to the cult, and how to do so.

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DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THAT IT TOOK POOR JW FAMILIES TO SAVE $1.5 MILLION BACK IN 1963?

(My min-wage father brought home around $25/week for a 6 day, 60 hour week in 1963.)

GRANDFATHER OF TOURS -- How would like to be shepherding 600 tourists on a round-the-world air sightseeing jaunt? Well, not 600 -- just 595. Alitalia Airlines, assisted by a tourist agency, has just got the giant tour under way, after dividing it up into 46 coordinated groups. The tourists are all members of the Watch Tower [Bible] & Tract Society, and part of the deal is that they arrive back in California's Rose Bowl the first week in September for the Watch Tower Society's big meeting. Used during the trip will be 57 scheduled airlines, 200 hotels, and numerous bus and train lines. Visited will be 28 cities in 23 countries, touching all continents, a distance of 26,000 miles. Six thousand tickets were written in Alitalia's Beverly Hill's office (when one runs out of ticket space the itinerary is carried over to another office). And if you don't think that's a lot of tickets -- they weighed 300 pounds -- and cost $1,445,965.! -- Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 14, 1963.

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GREGORY HOLLAND v. THOMAS MATOS, NANCI MATOS, AND BESTLIFE GIFTS LLC is/was a 2018-20 New York federal civil court lawsuit. Gregory Holland started MINISTRY IDEAZ in 2002 from his home in Ecuador as an online business which manufactured and sold a large variety of products related to the lifestyle of Jehovah's Witnesses. Thousands of Jehovah's Witness Families across the world became customers of MINISTRY IDEAZ.

MINISTRY IDEAZ was so successful, that in 2017, Holland decided to open a storefront in Pine Bush, New York, which is near WatchTower Farms, and is a hub for Jehovah's Witness tourists visiting WatchTower Farms, WatchTower World Headquarters, and the other multiple WatchTower Cult facilities nearby. To facilitate such, Greg Holland partnered with an American Jehovah's Witness couple named Thomas Matos and Nanci Matos. Typical of many Jehovah's Witness partnerships, both the personal and business relationships were soon broken, and in July 2018, Holland filed this lawsuit. Explaining such is the following excerpt (edited) from Westfair Business Publications, July 27, 2018:

A Jehovah's Witness who partnered with a couple he trusted based on their shared faith is suing them over ownership of a religion-themed gift shop in Orange County[, New York]. Greg Holland of Victoria, British Columbia, claims in a federal lawsuit that Thomas and Nanci Matos of Pine Bush, New York, coerced him into relinquishing his property. "Through deceit and intimidation, the Matoses stole Holland's investment and interest in Ministry Ideaz LLC," the complaint states. "The Matoses then used Ministry Ideaz's inventory and cash to establish their own competing business." ...

[Gregory] Holland started Ministry Ideaz in 2002 as an online business from his home in Ecuador. The company makes and sells leather and paper products such as Bible covers, notebooks and calendars for Jehovah's Witnesses. Last year, [Holland] decided to open a store in the U.S. He met the Matoses through a mutual friend and, "based on his trust of fellow members of the Jehovah's Witness faith, agreed to partner with them." 

Holland held 90 percent of the New York company, and the Matoses owned the rest. Holland claims he wired more than $40,000 to the Matoses to set up the store and then another $190,000 to cover expenses for nine months. He shipped $250,000 in inventory from Ecuador that he hoped would sell at retail for $750,000. In May 2017, they opened a storefront in Valley Supreme Plaza in Pine Bush, 25 miles from the Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters. Business was good. The store sold $38,837 in goods in the first month and another $250,000 in credit card transactions over the following four months.

But [Gregory] Holland became estranged from his wife in late 2017, having engaged in an extramarital affair. His wife moved to Canada with their two children. Holland describes the Matoses as his "surrogate parents". They offered emotional support during his marital troubles and assured him that he need not worry about the business because it was in their good hands. At the same time, Holland alleges, the Matoses were trying to persuade his wife to divorce him, seek sole custody of their children and "extract a financial settlement".

The Matoses, the complaint states, were already "secretly scheming to steal Holland's entire investment". They registered BESTLIFE GIFTS LLC in February [2018], using the Ministry Ideaz address. On March 2[, 2018], the Matoses held a "special meeting" at their home and decided to dissolve [MINISTRY IDEAZ LLC]. Holland, the majority owner, claims he was not notified. Thomas Matos emailed him on the same day, stating, "We are severing ties!"

"The store sign has been removed, the lease has ended, utilities, phones and internet cancelled," the message said. "There has been far to (sic) much pressure on Nanci and I being in business with you," the message stated. "Being associated with Ministry Ideaz has become a liability that has already damaged us." To this day, according to the July 25 lawsuit, [BESTLIFE GIFTS LLC] operates from the same storefront as Ministry Ideaz, uses the same telephone numbers and sells the same inventory.

On March 5, the complaint states, Thomas Matos threatened to reveal Holland's marital problems to the customers he had cultivated for 16 years and to stop processing about 1,000 online orders. Matos allegedly offered a deal. He would not follow through on the threats if Holland signed over his entire interest in Ministry Ideaz, agreed to dissolve the company and relinquished the equipment and inventory. Holland says he signed the one-page agreement, "fearing that the Matoses would ruin his livelihood and his relationship with his family and his church." 

Holland reconciled with his wife, moved to Canada and "began to grasp the extent of the Matoses' deceit." [Gregory Holland] is demanding $300,000 in damages, and he wants the court to declare the dissolution deal null and void and to bar the Matoses and [BESTLIFE GIFTS LLC] from selling inventory and assets.

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Westfair Communications

Judge orders couple to pay nearly $1M to defrauded gift shop partner

By Bill Heltzel - August 26, 2022 (edited)

A federal judge has awarded nearly $1 million to a Canadian man who claimed that his partners took away his business of selling gifts to Jehovah's Witnesses in Pine Bush, Orange County.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas ruled on Aug. 14, [2022] following a four-day bench trial, that Thomas and Nanci Matos and BestLife Gifts had to pay Greg Holland $980,447.00. He declared that the one-page agreement that Holland signed in 2018 handing off business assets to the Matoses was "void because of fraud".

The business relationship had been forged by Holland's and the Matoses' shared faith and trust in one-another as Jehovah's Witnesses, according to court records, and sundered by a scandal that made Holland an outcast amongst his fellow religionists.

Holland founded Ministry Ideaz in 2002 as an online business based in Ecuador, where he was "pioneering", or evangelizing, for his religion. He sold Bible covers, notebooks, calendars, and other products primarily to Jehovah's Witnesses.

In 2017, he decided to open a brick and mortar store near the Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters in Warwick, Orange County [, New York.].

A mutual friend introduced him to the Matoses, who lived in Pine Bush about 26 mile from the headquarters. Thomas Matos, a carpenter by trade, was a Ministerial Servant, or administrator, for his local congregation. Nanci Matos was a "Pioneer", and had worked as a cake decorator.

The gift shop opened in May 2017 in the Valley Supreme Plaza in Pine Bush, and quickly became successful.

Later that year, Holland was hospitalized in a coma for several days in Ecuador, according to a court affidavit he filed, "following a drug overdose during an extramarital affair".

Around January 2018, he was disfellowshipped, a severe form of discipline that Jehovah's Witnesses reserve for persistent, unrepentant behavior that violates their teachings. Observants of the faith are required to shun disfellowshipped members and keep business and professional contacts to a bare minimum.

In Holland's telling, the Matoses used his transgressions as a wedge to undermine his marriage and seize control of the business.

Holland signed a one-page agreement drafted by Thomas Matos to dissolve Ministry Ideaz and allow the couple to keep the inventory. Then the couple formed BestLife Gifts and rebranded the gift shop.

Holland sued them in 2018 in White Plains federal court for $300,000, claiming that he was coerced and alleging that Thomas Matos had threatened to reveal his marital problems to customers unless he signed the deal.

The Matoses filed a counterclaim for $1 million. They accused Holland of misappropriating funds and failing to maintain financial records.

When Holland was disfellowshipped, they state in affidavits, morale collapsed at the gift shop, employees quit their jobs, customers stayed away, and sales plummeted.

Conducting business with Holland was untenable, they said, and they simply "wanted to find a clean way to exit our troubled business relationship with Mr. Holland."

They say they agreed to keep the inventory because Holland said shipping it back to Ecuador would cost too much. They denied making any threats and they depicted the process as friendly.

The $980,447.00 judgment against the Matoses includes "funds looted from company accounts", undeposited cash proceeds, online sales, inventory, and 9% interest from March 2018.

Holland has left Ecuador and lives in Victoria, B.C., Canada. His current status with the Jehovah's Witnesses is not disclosed in court records. The Matoses have relocated to Palm Bay, Florida.


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WATCHEN NELSON and ANDREW DASTINOT v. JAMES M. KAMARA was an EXTREMELY AMUSING 2008-09 Delaware state court case in which a Female African-American Jehovah's Witness Registered Nurse, age 30s, was forced to sue a LIBERIAN (Africa) immigrant Jehovah's Witness PRESIDING OVERSEER for the unpaid balance owing on two real estate investment loans. Interestingly, the JW Registered Nurse had attempted to obey the WatchTower Society's general rule that Jehovah's Witnesses NOT take fellow JWs to public court, but rather first attempt to resolve the issue between themselves, and if that fails, to take the matter to the local JW Congregation. Not only did the JW Nurse follow those directives, but the JW Nurse even took the matter directly to the WatchTower Society -- unsuccessfully.

Watchen Nelson loaned James M. Kamara, owner of Smyrna Real Estate LLC, $60,000.00 in 2005, and $113,830.34 in 2007. James M. Kamara did not make all of the contracted interest payments, nor did he repay the principal. After Nelson was forced to sue Kamara in public court, Kamara countersued Nelson for defamation. Nelson also accused Kamara of assaulting her at some point. Viewers can click on the PDF link to read the case in its entirety. Here are some interesting excerpts from the decision of the Delaware Superior Court (out of published order) :

CONCLUSION:

The Court finds that defendant owes Watchen Nelson $193,697.50 on the August 24, 2005, agreement and $141,830.34 on the March 1, 2007, agreement, plus post-judgment interest and costs. The Court finds that the alleged defamatory statements are either true or substantially true, or are subject to absolute privilege. THEREFORE, the Court finds defendant liable to plaintiffs in the amount of $335,527.84plus post-judgment interest and costs; and the Court finds plaintiffs not liable to defendant for defamation. ... ... ...

Defamation Counterclaim:

The Court also must consider Kamara's counterclaim for defamation. The party alleging defamation must establish: (1) a false and defamatory communication concerning plaintiff; (2) publication of the communication to a third party; (3) understanding of the defamatory nature of the communication by the third party; (4) fault on the part of the publisher; and (5) injury to plaintiff.

Kamara offered the testimony of his sister, mother and father to support his claim. He claimed three defamatory acts: a letter from Nelson to the Watchtower Society headquarters, statements by Nelson to friends, and statements to the Delaware Attorney General's office and police as part of an investigation. The Court will examine each alleged instance.

Watchtower Society Letter

The Court heard testimony about a letter from Nelson to the Watchtower Society headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Nelson testified that she wrote the letter to address the problems she had in her business dealings with Kamara. Kamara was a presiding overseer in the local Jehovah's Witnesses congregation. Nelson sought redress for her problems with Kamara from the Watchtower Society, which is the church's national headquarters. The Court heard testimony regarding the church's official practice of requiring its members to attempt to resolve their differences through the intervention of other members.

Kamara did not offer the letter into evidence and Nelson vaguely described it during testimony. The "gist" or "sting" of the letter dealt with the fact that Kamara received money from Nelson and refused the pay it back.

"Under Delaware law there is no liability for defamation when a statement is determined to be substantially true." The Court finds that the letter to the Watchtower Society was substantially true and therefore not defamatory.

Statements to Friends

Kamara further alleges Nelson made defamatory statements about him to her friends and members of their congregation. Kamara's father testified Nelson told members of the congregation Kamara refused to pay back dollars. His mother also testified that Nelson made similar statements to family members and congregation members and that everyone knew about the problem. Kamara's sister added that at least 10 people know about the dispute. Again, this Court finds the statement -- that Kamara refuses to pay back Nelson -- as expressed during her conversations about the dispute to third parties, is substantially true and therefore not defamatory.

Statements to Law Enforcement

Kamara also contends that Nelson defamed him in statements to the Attorney General's office and police. Nelson made statements to the Attorney General's office and police as part of an investigation regarding an alleged assault by Kamara against Nelson. In the course of her testimony in that case and conversations with law enforcement, Nelson stated that Kamara "stole our money" and slammed a door in her face.

This Court need not determine if her statements were substantially true. "Absolute privilege" is an affirmative defense to defamation in Delaware. The long-recognized common law rule "protects from actions for defamation statements of judges, parties, witnesses and attorneys offered in the course of judicial proceedings" as long as they are relevant to the proceeding. The Court finds that "absolute privilege" applies to Nelson's statements.

IN RE JAMES M. KAMARA and REBECCA M. KAMARA (2010) and NELSON v. KAMARA (2012) were related Delaware federal BANKRUPTCY and civil actions that were filed after the JW PRESIDING OVERSEER lost the above lawsuit. When African-Liberian shyster James Kamara attempted to have the above judgement discharged in bankruptcy, in 2010, Watchen Nelson UNSUCCESSFULLY (2012) contested the discharge.

During this second trial, in order to contest Nelson's allegations of FRAUD, which would have prevented the judgement from being discharged, JW Presiding Overseer James Kamara alleged that he had used Nelson's second real estate investment loan to "invest" in batteries and light bulbs which he allegedly had purchased from Chinese exporters and had had shipped to his relatives in Liberia and Togo, who then obscounded with such and their proceeds. The Delaware federal bankruptcy judge (probably a Democrat) unbelieveably swallowed that BULLSH!T, and discharged the judgement. Probably fair enough given that an African-American JW should have known better than trust an African JW.

NELSON JUDGMENT --- NHF CONSULTANTS INC. --- PLASTIC SURGERY DEBT --- J.M. KAMARA MANAGEMENT CO INC. --- J.M. KAMARA MANAGEMENT CO INC. --- DEBT CASE --- JMK MANAGEMENT CO INC --- TAX CASE --- REBECCA M. KAMARA


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The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Equal Justice For All Can Be An Illusion, Judge Admits

April 12, 1990

The statue of Themis, goddess of justice, which stands in the Law Courts, is blindfolded but the scales she holds can be tipped when one litigant is penniless and the other has unlimited resources, a B.C. Court of Appeal judge acknowledged Wednesday.

"It's one of those illusions promoted from time to time that justice is equal for all. It isn't so," Justice Edward Hinkson said while hearing a chambers application arising from a divorce, child custody, and division of family assets case.

The husband in the case was financially supported by the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the wife was forced onto welfare.

After a nine-day trial last fall, Justice Patricia Proudfoot, then of the B.C. Supreme Court, awarded the mother, Irene Helen Young, sole custody of her three daughters.

Justice Proudfoot also awarded solicitor-client costs a punitive scale not only against Young's ex-husband, James Kam Chen Young, but against his lawyer, W. Glen How, and the Burnaby Unit of the New Westminster Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. [W. Glen] How is an Ontario-based lawyer who handles most of the legal work for the religious organization.

In addition to the trial, there were numerous interlocutory applications and four related applications to the appeal court.

"My perception of this case is that the petitioner (Irene Young) was harassed," Justice Hinkson said.

Lawyer Gordon Turriff, acting for the [Burnaby] congregation and [W. Glen] How, was applying for leave to appeal the award of costs. Court rules require that leave be obtained from a single judge in chambers before a three-judge division of the court will hear an appeal of costs. 

Resources, costs cited in court settlement of family assets case

James Young is appealing Justice Proudlbot's over-all judgment and does not require leave. He was ordered to transfer the equity in the matrimonial home into the wife's name, to pay $400 per month maintenance for each of the three children, and to pay the mother $1,400 per month until November, 1993, when the spousal maintenance will be reviewed. His appeal will not likely be heard until the fall. 

Justice Hinkson was informed Young is $4,600 in arrears on the maintenance.

In the meantime, the costs have been settled at $50,000 and paid into a trust account by [W. Glen] How.

The leave application was opposed by Lome MacLean, counsel for Irene Young. 

He reviewed [W. Glen] How's conduct during the trial and the number of warnings he received from the trial judge about prolonging the proceedings by dragging in irrelevant witnesses. MacLean said Young was "caught in four lies on cross-examination" about his income and financial situation.

"When one side in a case has unlimited resources, it can impose economic oppression on the other," MacLean said.

"Mr. Young was 'a man of straw' or a 'notional litigant,' but the real litigant was the Jehovah's Witnesses They financed it and instructed [W. Glen] How, just as they did in the Lawson case. 

(The Lawson case involved the death of a woman in childbirth after a blood transfusion was refused. Her husband. Alec Lawson, supported by the Burnaby congregation, attempted to have the court stop a scheduled inquest. The judge in that case also awarded costs against the Jehovah's Witnesses.)

"They need someone (who has status) to get into court so they can trumpet their cause," said MacLean. 

Justice Hinkson remarked that [W. Glen] How has been "coy" about who is financing the litigation on the husband's side, and said he would delay his decision until Turriff can determine if [W. Glen] How is personally liable for the award of costs, or if it is being covered by the Canada-wide congregation.

"While this litigation drags on, it is the children that are suffering. They need to eat three times a day and shoes wear out. Isn't Mr. Young $4,600 in arrears? How is Mrs. Young to get on while you may be indulging in an academic exercise? Mr. MacLean has represented her for a long time with a dedication that is to be admired," Justice Hinkson said. 

"My present view is that there are some important issues here, but if neither Mr. [W. Glen] How nor the Burnaby congregation are exposed to liability, then I have to consider the children's welfare." 


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DANIEL WALLACE v. CITY OF GLENSFALLS. Reportedly, in May 1990, after two years of public controversy, Jehovah's Witness Elder Daniel Wallace resigned his position with the Water and Sewer department at the City of Glens Falls, New York. Dan Wallace stated that he was taking the position of Supervisor of the Water and Sewer facility at the WatchTower Society's brand new "educational" complex located at Patterson, New York. Wallace had worked for the City of Glens Falls since 1985, and had been the Chief Operator at the City's new sewage treatment plant since it opened in Summer 1987.

However, in January 1988, "someone" reported to unknown City officials that one of the City's trucks was then parked at the Kingdom Hall in Moreau, during daytime hours, and apparently had been there for some time. The Supervisor of the Public Works department and a foreman allegedly drove to that Kingdom Hall, where they allegedly were seen taking photographs by Wallace and other Jehovah's Witnesses. Later, it was alleged that the City's various signage/insignas had been temporarily removed from the vehicle. It took until February 1988 before the matter made its way into the local newspaper.

Interestingly, by February 1988, it was the Mayor of Glens Falls, the Supervisor of the Public Works department, and a foreman who by then were "playing defense". Daniel Wallace reportedly had told a reporter that two City employees had been surveiling him for several months because he was a Jehovah's Witness. Wallace claimed that at the time he was on-call 24/7/365, so he was then permitted to drive that particular city truck home to and from the job. The Mayor had stopped such back in January 1988 after learning of the Kingdom Hall incident. The day in question was a "vacation day", and Wallace claimed that prior to stopping at the Kingdom Hall, he had first stopped at the sewage plant to check on things there.

In March 1988, one of the male City Council members reported that he had received a report from an "undisclosed source" claiming that there recently had been three separate incidents of sabotage at the sewage treatment plant. Allegations were that testing samples had been adulterated, and two pieces of equipment had been removed or cut. Any three of these acts could have resulted in the sewage plant failing to meet state environmental standards, which could result in Dan Wallace's termination. Local police were investigating the allegations. At some point, cameras were installed in the sewer plant, but when the city employees UNION complained, the cameras were removed.

In June 1988, the City Council hired an outside efficiency consultant to review the sewage plant, but this too brought the condemnation of Wallace, the Union, and the other 20+ plant workers. Wallace reportedly also publicly complained about a new employee who was hired at the plant who did nothing but answer the telephone. Wallace reportedly also complained that he had been ordered to stay away from one or more outside contractors working at the plant. 

Thereafter, the matter became "quiet" until May 1990, when the City learned that sometime earlier that Dan Wallace had filed an official complaint with New York's Human Rights Commission. Wallace alleged religious discrimination and retaliation in the form of ongoing and continuous harassment. Outcome unknown.

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OMAHA NEBRASKA W.C.T.U. CHAPTER SCAMMED

ACTUALLY, NEWSPAPER AND ENTIRE CITY SCAMMED

At the opening session or rather service yesterday morning of the "Believers" convention, which is being held in the Largo Hall at the Odd Fellows' building, there were upwards of 200 of the Believers of the doctrine in attendance. The meeting was opened with a song service led by M. L. McPhall, of Chicago, after which Charles T. Russell, the author of "Millennial Dawn," delivered an address. An afternoon service was held at 3 o'clock, the attendance being even greater than that at the morning meeting. The main feature of the afternoon meeting was a discourse by Mr. Russell on the subject of "Hell. " The speaker said it was wrong for preachers and others to hold out hell as the ending place for those who sinned and took the stand that sinners should be coaxed to do right and not coerced by threats of everlasting damnation and hell fire. The evening meeting was much the same as the other two, Mr. Russell again being the principal speaker. His subject in the evening was "Millennial Dawn." The Believers have no organization of their own and those in attendance at the convention are from many different religious denominations. There is nothing in their beliefs incompatible with the creeds of many of the churches, the main characteristic of their tenets being that Christian belief should not be confined within the borders of any particular denomination. The convention will last over Wednesday and arrangcments have been made whereby the visitors are being cared for physically by the women of the Women's Christian Temperance Union at their headquarters on Pearl street. -- Omaha Daily Bee, October 3, 1893.


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1894 WATCH TOWER SOCIETY REBELLION

PASTOR C. T. RUSSELL CHARGED WITH PATTERN OF BUSINESS IRREGULARITIES

In Spring 1894, several of the WatchTower Society's most prominent Bethelites, Colporteurs, and even a WatchTower Society Director, whom all had worked intimately with Charles Taze Russell for several years, brought public charges before the Allegheny Congregation against Russell with regard to what they perceived to be an established pattern of unchristian, unethical, and even illegal business dealings on Russell's part. Setting the pattern for decades to come, Russell "circled the wagons" loaded with unquestioning sycophants, slandered and defamed his accusers, and "disfellowshipped" those whom had the courage to tell "Emperor Russell" that he was "wearing no clothes".

Prominent Bethelite and intimate friend of Russell, Elmer Bryan, whom had loyally served Russell for several years at WatchTower HQ, apparently had become fedup with Russell's constant "shady" and "crafty" business dealings, and posted a number of charges, some of which Russell dismissed as being petty, including Bryan's complaint that Russell had once advertised for rent in a local newspaper one of Russell's rental houses under Bryan's own name, without first asking Bryan if it were okay with Bryan. This may be a petty charge while standing alone, but there is such a thing as "the straw that broke the camel's back".

Elmer Bryan also accused Russell of deceiving the general public with regard to the authorship, publication, and distribution of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES shortly after its first publication in 1886. In early 1887, Russell devised a scheme to "loan" copies of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES across the United States in hopes that those readers would eventually pay for those copies, as well as recommend Russell's book to other purchasers. Russell also schemed to obtain FREE ADVERTISING from magazines and newspapers across the United States.

Here is a self-explanatory sampling of those FREE ADS ran by countless newspapers and magazines across the United States. (Some 1887 newspapers spelled out that their readers should send their request to: "Mrs. C. B. Lemuels, Allegheny, Pennsylvania", while others assumed that their readers could decipher simple 1887 addresses on their own.) Note the subterfuge of Russell's failing to identify the mysterious "MRS. C. B. LEMUELS" as actually being his Watch Tower Society clerical staff, along with Russell's failure to even provide the title of the book in these ads so as to not harm future sales.Who knows how genuine are the "testimonial letters". Even if real, they probably were solicited by Russell and authored by sychophants.

San Francisco Chronicle
Monday, April 18, 1887

AN ECCENTRIC WOMAN
She Offers to Send Religious Book to All Who Will Read It

Mrs. C. B. Lemuels of Allegheny has been making a generous offer through the newspapers of the country, and letters to her have been pouring in at the rate of seventy-five a day. Several men and boys are being kept busy in answering the inquiries. Her notice offers to loan free of postage to such as will return it, a book which shows the Bible to be a self-interpreted and its teachings grandly harmonious viewed in the light of sanctified reason and common sense, and to put this book into the hands of all the skeptically inclined as an aid and guard against the growling scientific skepticism.

Mrs. Lemuels identity at first could not easily be established. It was found that she received her letters at the office of of J. C. Russell, editor of Zion's WatchTower. Russell explained that Mrs. Lemuels' husband does not like the notoriety her circulars gave his wife, and besides he does not agree with her religious views. Russell said that Mrs. Lemuels possesses a comfortable fortune in her own right and felt it her duty to make as public as possible the book which had helped her.

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Detroit Free Press
Monday, April 18, 1887
 
 
MRS. LEMUELS' PHILANTHROPY.
The Novel Method Pursued by an Allegheny Lady For Doing Good.
Pittsburgh. April 10 Special!
 
Allegheny has a philanthropist. Mrs. C. B. Lemuels has been making a generous offer through the newspapers of the country, and letters to her have been pouring in at the rate of seventy-five per day. Several men and boys are being kept busy in answering these inquiries. Her notices offer to loan, free of postage, to such as will return it, a book which shows the Bible "to be a self-interpreter, and its teachings grandly harmonious, viewed in the light of sanctified reason and common sense." "I want," says her circular, "to put this book into the hands of the skeptically inclined as an aid and guard against growing scientific skepticism, it is not dry, musty reading, but truly meat in due season to the hungry."
 
Mrs. Lemuels, whose identity at first could not easily be established, it was found received her letters at the office of J. C. Russell, editor of "Zion's Watch Tower." Mr. Russell said that Mrs. Lemuels possesses a comfortable fortune in her own right and felt it her duty to make as public as possible a book which helped her so much. Mr. Russell then permitted copies of a number of letters to be taken. A New York pressman writes : "Dear Lady: Seeing your good, kind, generous offer I have been thinking that now is the time for me to try and be saved and not wait until the last day. 1 am only 23, and for the past week have been troubled with kidney complaint, and am just now beginning to realize my awful fate unless I turnover a new leaf. I trust l am deserving of the loan of your valuable book."
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Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York)
Saturday, April 23, 1887
 
Allegheny, Pa. , has a philanthropist, says the New York Tribune.
 
Mrs. C. B. Lemuels has been making a generous offer through the newspapers of the country, and letters to her have been pouring in at the rate of seventy-five a day. Her notices offer to loan free of postage to such as will return it, a book which shows the Bible "to be a self -interpreter." "I want," says her circular, "to put this book into the hands of all the skeptically inclined as an aid and guard against the growling scientific skepticism." Mrs. Lemuels' husband does not like the notoriety her circulars gave his wife, and besides he does not agree with her religious views, Mrs. Lemuels possesses a comfortable fortune in her own right.
 
Among the letters received is the following from a Portchester, N.Y., man: "For many years I was a local preacher. Even at that time doubts would often trouble me. I have taken no part in the meetings for years simply because I do not want to create doubts in others. I should be happy if I could have the old faith returned." A New York pressman writes: "Dear lady: I have been thinking that now is the time for me to try and be saved and not wait until the lost day. I am only 23, and for the past week have been troubled with the kidney complaint, and am just now beginning to realize my awful fate unless I turn over a new leaf."
Charles Taze Russell's defense to this Elmer Bryan charge of LIES and DECEPTION can be easily summarized as, "The End justifies the Means". The Allegheny Congregation Judicial Committee lambasted Elmer Bryan, and declared Pastor Russell's methods to be "Legitimate and praiseworthy."
 
Pastor Russell explained that the pseudonym "Mrs. C. B. Lemuels" had "represented" his wife, Maria Russell, and that "C. B. Lemuels" was a Hebrew name which Russell had interpreted to mean, "a son of God, after Christ". The obvious underlying meaning of such was either lost on or ignored by the Allegheny Congregation Judicial Committee.
 
In the next June 1894 issue of ZWT, Russell selected and published two Letters From Readers which praised his past marketing efforts back in 1887, including one letter which interestingly stated, "I am one that was caught by the "Mrs. Lemuels" advertisement, and am still thanking God for the light thus received. The conspirators must have failed to read, "Be wise as serpents." (Just as continues in 2016, back in 1894, WatchTower Cult followers do not understand that it is Satan -- not GOD -- whom is forced to rely on trickery, lies, and deception to gather together his "chosen". We challenge any Jehovah's Witness reading this to deny that they have ever used "trickery, lies, and deception" while attempting to "place" literaure door-to-door.)
 
Elmer Bryan also specified multiple different examples and instances over the years of Russell conspiring to cheat the Post Office out of its proper postage. During his Defense, Russell had the audacity to openly justify past mailings of Watch Tower magazine "binders" using the Post Office's cheapest "book rate", rather than the regular merchandise rate. Russell rationalized that he had converted the binders from "merchandise" to "books" by intentionally mailing those binders with one copy of the latest ZWT magazine being inserted inside such.
 
Bryan's 1894 charges made absolutely no dent in the shady way that Pastor Russell conducted future Watch Tower Society business after Bryan and his fellow "conspirators" were disfellowshipped. During the early 1900s, Pastor Russell brought all the way from Waco, Texas, a Russellite husband-wife couple to work at the Pittsburgh Bible House. Interestingly, instead of living at the Bible House, or even at one of Russell's apartment houses which housed other Bethelites, that new Bethelite couple lived with a local Pittsburgh Russellite couple. After living for exactly one year in Pittsburgh, that Bethelite Man from Texas applied, successfully tested, and received a full-time job, at the Pittsburgh Post Office. That Russellite Man continued working full-time at the Pittsburgh Post Office right up until Pastor Russell relocated his religion business out of Pittsburgh, to Brooklyn, in early 1909. At the exact same time that Russell and the WatchTower Society left Pittsburgh, that Waco, Texas Russellite Couple also packed their bags and left to a place unknown. We found them three years later working as WatchTower evangelists out in California. Undoubtedly, that Bethelite/Russellite Man was purposefully inserted into the Pittsburgh Post Office for multiple reasons, not the least of which was to facilitate the mailing of certain WatchTower materials at the cheaper/cheapest second-class rate, which should have been charged the higher third-class rate.

Pastor Russell likely had been motivated to attempt this bolder form of "industrial espionage" against the Post Office only after Russell had already successfully done so in a lessor and more troublesome form. Previously, for 24+ months, Pastor Russell had taken advantage of the conversion to Russellism of the Postmaster of a small, rural Pennsylvania Post Office located about 60 miles outside Allegheny. That Russellite Postmaster had been sufficiently stupid to author, and Russell had been sufficiently egotistical to publish in one of the issues of the WATCHTOWER magazine (Russell's readers were perfectly aware of Russell's ongoing battle with the Post Office, and Russell wanted them to know that he was still somehow sticking it to the Post Office), a Letter from that Postmaster in which he admitted having mailed out 59,000 copies of OLD THEOLOGY QUARTERLY magazines and other literature for the WatchTower Society within the previous 2+ years -- including mailings to multiple foreign countries.

We assume that readers fully understand the significance of the Post Office to Russell's religion business. Pastor Russell was likely the most hated person at the Pittsburgh Post Office. Almost from the start of his religion business, Pastor Russell and the Post Office began a running battle over rates, and Russell almost always WON -- but Russell did so "by hook or by crook".

When Russell's complaints to the Pittsburgh Postmaster did not get Russell whatever decision that Russell wanted, Russell went over the head of the Pittsburgh Postmaster to the Postmaster-General in Washington D.C. When Russell did not get the decision that he wanted form the Postmaster-General, Russell started mail campaigns in the pages of the WATCHTOWER magazine, in which Russell would provide multiple sample letters for his Russellite followers to copy and mail to the Postmaster-General, then later to their Congressmen and Senators, and eventually even to the President of the United States. When these honest methods failed Russell, Pastor Russell simply CHEATED the Post Office.

Few people familiar with the OLD THEOLOGY QUARTERLY "magazines" actually understand why they were what they were -- tracts, pamphlets, and booklets of widely varying sizes. What OTQs were -- was a POSTAL RATE SCAM. OTQs were miscellaneous WatchTower literature published in the "disguise" of a regular quarterly "magazine", so that the hoped-for later small quantity orders of such could be mailed out at the CHEAPER/CHEAPEST second-class regular periodical rate, rather than at the higher third-class rate. While the initial mailing of one copy to a subscriber could rightfully be mailed using second-class postage, later mailings of small bulk quantities of original printings and any quantities of later reprints should have been mailed at the higher third-class rate, but they were not.

Pastor Russell pulled the same SCAM with soft-cover DIVINE PLANs and THY KINGDOM COMEs -- despite being repeatedly caught by the Pittsburgh Post Office. Pastor Russell and the Post Office went back and forth on both these two softcovers and the OTQs, with there being time periods that Russell won out and could legally mail such as second-class matter. However, Pastor Russell continued doing so even during the time periods when such was not legal. Years later, when the Post Office finally permanently stopped mailing these softcover BOOKS out at the cheaper periodical rate, Russell simply stopped publishing the two books as softcovers, and started publishing them in magazine format. That still violated the rules for second-class matter, because such were not part of a regular periodical series, but since the books "looked" like then semi-monthly WATCHTOWER magazines, postal workers never caught on to what Russell was pulling. By then, Pastor Russell had his own personal "secret agent" inside the Pittsburgh Post Office, who would either allow through the improperly classified mailings or warn/tip Russell as how to get such by other Pittsburgh postal employees.

Back in February 1896, the U.S. Attorney General's office had issued this response to an inquiry from the Postmaster-General's office, which was responding to yet another "Appeal" from Pastor Russell of the Pittsburgh Postmaster's refusal to mail certain literature at second-class rates:

"I think you were clearly right in excluding from the mails as second-class matter volumes 1 and 3 of the "Millennial Dawn Series," published by the Tower Publishing Company at Allegheny, Pa., under the title of "Zion's Watch Tower." Those volumes have all the insignia of "books" and not numbers in the series of a periodical publication. Here is a plain attempt to evade the law. Calling these volumes "Special issues of Zion's Watch Tower, representing Nos. 3, 4, 5, vol. 1886, and No. 6, vol. 12, 1891," respectively, does not change their character. They are "books" in every sense of the word, and hence chargeable with the third-class rate of postage. ...

"The company has issued, also, and claims the right to send through the mails at the pound rate what it terms "Extra No. 31, November 1, 1895," of the "Old Theology Quarterly;" ... which is beyond question a circular only, and should be charged with the third-class rate of postage. This is a more palpable evasion of the law than the volumes above mentioned. This circular calls these volumes "books," and is manifestly intended to advertise them to the public. ... ."

We don't know what happened, but after receiving this Advisory Opinion from the U.S. Attorney General's office, the Postmaster-General ignored such and granted Russell his Appeal. However, there were unknown events which years later caused this decision to be reversed. Russell eventually stopped his Appeals and his Letter writing campaigns, and instead, Russell initiated "industrial espionage" -- first with his own out-of-town Postmaster, and then more conveniently, with his own local Postal Clerk. After all, the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" ALWAYS got his way -- either by HOOK, or by CROOK. (See our RUSSELL FINANCIAL BIOGRAPHY and our RUSSELL DIVORCE.)

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ANONYMOUS ALLEGHENY MERCHANT v. CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL (1898)
 
-- DECLARED FRAUDULENT BY COURT --
 
Starting in 1898, and ever since, the WatchTower Society has publicly proclaimed that Charles Taze Russell "donated" the "Bible House", located at 56-60 (aka 610-614) Arch Street, to the WatchTower Society, on April 1, 1898. THAT IS A LIE! In fact, Charles Taze Russell could not have donated the Bible House real property to the WatchTower Society, because such a transfer would have required the signature of the estranged Maria Russell. Thus, in order to CHEAT Maria Russell out of her dower rights to the real property located at 56-60 Arch Street, Charles Taze Russell contrived an elaborate FRAUDULENT scheme.
 
By November 1897, the Russells' acrimonious marriage had reached its breaking point, and Maria Russell had moved out of the Bible House, and had moved in with her recently widowed sister, Emma H. Russell. Charles Taze Russell immediately took steps to fulfill his 1895 threat that if Maria refused to agree to separate in exchange for their Clifton Avenue home, then he would make certain that she received NOTHING.
 
Not every specific detail and date are known, but in December 1897, Russell first mortgaged the "Bible House" at 56-60 Arch Street for $15,000.00 (nearly $530,000.00 in 2016 dollars -- HALFHILL). That five-year mortgage was interestingly held by the Public Library of Philadelphia.
 
In January 1898, Charles Taze Russell, likely counseled by one or more attorneys, conceived a scheme to defraud Maria Russell out of her rights in the "Bible House". Beginning the first week of February 1898, "Pastor" Russell began placing daily legal notices in local newspapers declaring that he would not be financially responsible for any credit given in his name to anyone but himself.
 
On March 1, 1898, Charles Taze Russell, with his signature only, deeded the "Bible House" real estate (lot was only 45 ft wide and 60 ft deep, and Bible House only occupied front of lot) to the WatchTower Society, and on or about April 1, 1898, Russell donated the personalty assets of Tower Publishing Company to the WatchTower Society.
 
Then, in March 1898, "Pastor" Russell intentionally refused to pay a charge account which had been long established with a local Allegheny Merchant, which Maria Russell was continuing to use to purchase groceries and other necessities. On March 18, 1898, a lawsuit was filed against "Pastor" Russell for the outstanding balance of $178.00. INTERESTINGLY, the Named Plaintiff in that lawsuit was NOT the Allegheny Merchant, but rather was an Allegheny Attorney acting on behalf of that Merchant. Apparently, in order to guarantee that Merchant's cooperation in this immoral scheme, the good "Pastor" Russell had propositioned that Merchant with a way to keep the Mercahnt's name out of the newspapers and even out of most of the court documents. Russell likely even footed the bill for the lawsuit against himself.
 
"Pastor" Russell did not even answer the lawsuit, and quickly lost by default. The Plaintiff-Attorney then "attached" the "Bible House" for payment of the $178.00 judgment. Russell not only did absolutely nothing to legally resist the attachment and the "Sheriff's Sale", but even proactively waived inquisition and condemnation so that matters could proceed as fast as possible. Sometime in April-May 1898, the Watch Tower Society was the sole bidder of $50.00 at the "Sheriff's Sale". Russell and his attorneys thought that the Sheriff's Sale and Russell's deed would clear any interest that Maria Russell had in the property. WRONG.
 
After all was said and done, the co-conspirators on the Board of Directors of the WatchTower Society appraised Russell's "donation" of all assets of Tower Publishing Company, including the building and land that had been purchased at the Sheriff's Sale, as worth $186,000.00 (nearly $6,500,000.00 in 2016 dollars -- HALFHILL). In addition to the mortgage on the real estate, the WatchTower Society also assumed eight "conditional loans" made to Tower Publishing Company, totaling $6966.65, from seven female Russellites and one WatchTower Pilgrim. Most of the "conditional loans" were expected to gradually become "donations". Russell was eventually credited with 16,403.365 voting shares in the WatchTower Society (per the one share for every $10.00 donation rule).
 
Later, during the Russell Separation-Divorce Trial, the Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh declared the following regarding Russell's multiple efforts to "donate" all of his assets to the Watch Tower Society in his attempt to keep Maria Russell from receiving a penny, including the "Bible House" scheme: "The purpose of this whole transaction was to deprive the wife of her dower interest and was a FRAUD on her. ... and the subsequent donations [to the Watch Tower Society] are plainly made with the same reckless disregard of the rights of the wife, and with intent to defeat her of any interest or claim she might have for her support. ... ... It has been adjudicated against him that his property was disposed of by him in FRAUD of his wife's rights, ... ."
 
Years later, Judge Rutherford alleged that some years after the 1898 shenanigans that "a" MORTGAGE on the Bible House was foreclosed (in order to make absolutely certain that Maria Russell's dower rights were totally extinguished). The Bible House allegedly was sold at an unknown second time, and the purchaser allegedly was NOT Russell nor the WatchTower Society (the 1897 mortgage may have been purchased from the Public Library of Philadelphia by a sycophant, or more likely, a second mortgage was created later). Why dumbass Rutherford would spill the beans on this later legal incident is unknown, because at some point all these multiple legal shenanigans are meaningless -- EXCEPT to demonstrate that Charles Taze Russell, Joseph F. Rutherford, and the WatchTower Society were/are SATAN'S EQUALS when it comes to SUBTERFUGE. In any event, as we have revealed on Page 2, in 1911, Russell's "straw-man" George Raymond traded the Bible House and other Russell properties for ... well, go look.
 
Charles Taze Russell and the Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society also committed FRAUD by issuing Russell 1200 voting shares in the corporation in exchange for the Bible House equity, because the Watch Tower Society became the legal owner of the Bible House via their purchase of the Bible House at the Sheriff's sale -- not via Russell's alleged FRAUDULENT donation. In fact, this very act by the Watch Tower Society Board of Directors was a public acknowledgment that the Merchant's lawsuit had been a FRAUDULENT conspiracy to further DEFRAUD Maria Russell. "O' what a tangled web" Satan's henchmen can conceive.
 
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PASTOR CHARLES T. RUSSELL'S FAILED "BIBLE STUDY CLUB" MAGAZINE SCAM
 
In mid-1913, all across the United States, and even internationally, churches, missionaries, and other affiliates within Protestant denominations which used the "International Sunday School Lessons" in their Sunday Schools began to receive packets addressed to "Sunday School Superintendent". Those packets contained free copies of a NEW quarterly magazine named "BIBLE STUDY CLUB" to be distributed amongst the church's adult Sunday School attendees. The cover letter described the "BIBLE STUDY CLUB" as an "unsectarian" commentary on the weekly "International Sunday School Lessons" studied each Sunday across the globe, which aimed at the "harmonization of the views of Christian peoples of all denominations".
 
The annual subscription price for four quarterly issues was a mere "10 cents" (that's $2.39 in today's money, plus consider the number of potential subscribers). However, new subscribers could receive two issues free, and free copies would be sent to all the names submitted by the recipients of these bundles. The cover letter was signed by "V. Noble", and the mailing address was an office in a large NYC office building.
 
While many naive, unsuspecting recipients in rural areas may have distributed the initial supply of the freebies, Ministers across the globe began warning their peers and others that a close read of the contents of the "BIBLE STUDY CLUB" revealed it to be yet another insidious "trick" and "disguise" used by "Pastor Russell" to sow seeds of discord within the Christian community. One NYC newspaper to which inquiries had been submitted sent a reporter to the office address listed for the "BIBLE STUDY CLUB". That office turned out to be the "PASTOR RUSSELL LECTURE BUREAU". The secretary there denied knowing anything about the "BIBLE STUDY CLUB", and claimed that "Mr. Noble" simply used their office as a maildrop. One magazine proclaimed that Pastor Russell's latest attempt to dupe Christians "must provoke the admiration of Satan himself."

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UNITED STATES v. J.T.D PYLES was a 1912 District of Columbia criminal prosecution of prominent Russellite J.T.D Pyles, who had accompanied Charles Taze Russell on his infamous "world tour" in 1911-12. Pyles was the wealthy owner of a chain of grocery stores located in the greater Washington D.C. area. In June 2012, an "unlabeled" jar of sweet pickles was sold from one of Pyles' stores which contained "a large number of large worms". That jar was turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which tested the filthy contents and prosecuted this violation of the Food and Drugs Act. Pyles pled guilty and paid a fine of $10.00 (equivalent to $300.00 today).

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UNITED STATES v. J.T.D PYLES. In March 1911, the U.S. Department of Agriculture seized 2880 cans of condensed tomato soup from the Pyles chain of grocery stores. The cans of soup had been found to contain large quantities of mold and bacteria. Prosecuted as a violation of the Food and Drugs Act, a local court ordered the soup destroyed.

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UNITED STATES v. J.T.D PYLES was a 1919-20 District of Columbia criminal prosecution of J.T.D. Pyles for selling containers of "lard" which had been "watered" down with beef stearin. Pyles failed to appear in court on this charge, so his $50.00 bond was forfeited.

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HENRY RUSHTON

Henry Rushton was a well-known businessman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who created quite a stir when he converted to the WatchTower Society in 1895. Although Rushton died a JW in 1937, his wife stayed in their Methodist Church until her death in 1927. We have not found any investigations or prosecutions of Henry Rushton, individual, BUTTTTTT ...

Henry Rushton was an immigrant from England who claimed to have been employed there as a department manager by a "cooperative" owned department store. After coming to America, he eventually was employed in Pittsburgh by a premier Philadelphia dry goods wholesaler. Rushton and CTR must have had lots to discuss. We SUSPECT that Henry Rushton had something to do with the formation and operation of Consumers Supply and Solon Society by CTR, C.J. Woodworth, and others, in the early 1900s. (See CTR FINANCIAL BIO.)

RUSHTON v. CITY, MERCHANT, LANDLORD. In 1898-99, the Rushtons sued the City, a Merchant, and the building owner after Mary Rushton stepped in a hole on Federal Street sidewalk, and allegedly injured herself. Dismissed after Rushtons presented zero evidence of negligence by any of the named defendants.

In 1905, with great public fanfare, Henry Rushton and other prominent Pittsburgh businessmen -- probably acting only as figureheads -- started "Leader Department Store", which they boasted was the largest cooperative type store in America. Graciously, local residents were offered the opportunity to purchase $1,000,000.00 stock in this new enterprise. Henry Rushton was TREASURER of this new business. Interestingly, little can be found about Leader Department Store after 1905.

HILO GUM COMPANY v. HENRY RUSHTON. In 1909, Rushton decided to go into the vending machine business, and purchased on time 500 peanut dispensers, for $4000.00 ($117,000.00 in 2021), from a Chicago manufacturer. Rushton claimed to have LOST $852.00 his first year in business, and refused to pay the $3000.00 balance owed to Hilo. Hilo sued in federal court and won.

In 1912, in Pittsburgh, memberships in a scheme IDENTICAL to the Solon Society scheme, called THE HARRISON SYSTEM, were being sold to residents. Schemers unknown.


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SHADY BEGINNINGS OF "JUDGE" JOSEPH FRANKLIN RUTHERFORD

The following six BOONVILLE, MISSOURI court cases may explain why Joseph Franklin Rutherford -- known locally as "JOE RUTHERFORD" -- was more than ready in 1907 to accept the offer of Charles Taze Russell to move his family away from their lifelong home and relocate to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After having practiced law for 15 years in Boonville, Joe Rutherford's "reputation" was likely suffering greatly amongst the regular local citizens who did not view "sharp practice" and even THEFT and FRAUD as being acceptable, and the norm. If there are any lingering doubts about Joseph F. Rutherford's lack of honesty and moral character, the seventh New York court case summary should resolve such.

When you are done reading the seven RUTHERFORD court cases below, you might be interested in reading additional information regarding Joseph Franklin Rutherford's life in Missouri prior to becoming President of the WatchTower Society. Go to our JOSEPH FRANKLIN RUTHERFORD BIOGRAPHY WEBPAGE to read about the TWO CAREERS kept secret for decades by the WatchTower Society, which J. F. Rutherford separately attended College and briefly separately practiced before Rutherford finally became an Attorney.

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DAVID NICHOLSON v. CHARLES MERSTETTER and NATIONAL CASH REGISTER COMPANY was a 1894-97 Missouri appellate court case which is of interest to our readers because in this decision the Court of Appeals of Missouri CHASTISED attorney JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD for "sharp practice" committed by Rutherford -- only a year after Charles Taze Russell had published a letter from Rutherford in the April 15, 1894 issue of ZION'S WATCH TOWER magazine, in which Rutherford had placed an order for 20 or so of Russell's books to distribute locally -- with a promise to order more when those were gone.
 
In October 1894, Charles Merstetter, a saloon operator in Boonville, Missouri, purchased on credit a cash register from the National Cash Register Company. By only February 1895, Merstetter had already missed one or more payments, which contractually obligated Merstetter to pay the entire balance due NCR. NCR forwarded the account to Boonville Attorney J. F. Rutherford, for collection. Rutherford went to Merstetter's saloon, where Merstetter declared his inability to pay either the installments or the balance due. Merstetter offered the return of the cash register as satisfaction of his debt to NCR. Joe Rutherford accepted Merstetter's offer, but failed to take immediate possession of the cash register. Two days later, Merstetter turned over the keys to the rented saloon to its owner and left town. The cash register was left on the saloon's counter.
 
Eight days thereafter, David Nicholson (possibly the landlord) filed a lawsuit against Merstetter for monies owed, and sought an attachment against Merstetter's only available asset -- the cash register. Nicholson's request was granted that very day, so Nicholson asked a local Deputy Constable to levy the attachment on the cash register, i.e., go to the closed saloon and take possession of the cash register. The Deputy went to the saloon and started to exit with the cash register, but Joseph F. Rutherford came rushing into the saloon waving a roll of documents and claiming that the cash register was already owned by his client, NCR. The Deputy later testified that Joe Rutherford attempted to "confidentially" counsel him that he was inexperienced with such legal matters, and Rutherford "advised" the Deputy that before taking the cash register that the Deputy should first speak with Nicholson's attorney, who upon viewing the documents that Rutherford was waving would instruct the Deputy that the cash register belonged to NCR. The Deputy agreed to leave the cash register at the saloon, but was sufficiently experienced enough to insist that Rutherford accompany him to speak with Nicholson's attorney.
 
When Nicholson's attorney not surprisingly did not agree with Joe Rutherford that the cash register was owned by NCR, the Deputy eventually returned to the saloon to retrieve the cash register -- only to find the cash register missing. The Deputy headed straight for Rutherford's office, where upon entering, Rutherford smugly told him, "If you want that cash register, you will have to go to Sedalia for it, because it is on the way there now." The Deputy was not as stupid as Rutherford thought and proceeded to search Rutherford's office. The Deputy found the cash register HIDDEN in a back room under a pile of office stuff.
 
Joe Rutherford thereafter filed this lawsuit against David Nicholson for return of the cash register, and requested a jury trial, which took place in February 1896. After hearing all the testimony, the Circuit Court directed a verdict in favor of Nicholson, which decision was then appealed by Joe Rutherford.
 
In this January 1987 decision, the Court of Appeals of Missouri first ruled that Joe Rutherford had failed to comply with Missouri law for such a repurchase/repossession, which under these circumstances required that the creditor take possession of the property to consummate the transaction, which Rutherford did not do until after the Deputy Constable had already made a valid levy of attachment. Finally, before unanimously agreeing with the Circuit Court's directed verdict, the court ADMONISHED:
"The facts established by undisputed testimony show a valid levy and unquestionably prove that the officer did not intend to abandon the same while he went to consult the lawyer. And it is equally clear that [ATTORNEY JOE RUTHERFORD], at the time, so understood it. It would be trifling with justice, and offering a premium to what appears "sharp practice" to hold that the constable intended to, or did, in effect, abandon the levy which he had already made."

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HESS v. DRAFFEN & COMPANY was a 1900?-1903 Missouri civil court case in which the Draffen & Company Law Firm, of which JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD was one of three partners, was sued for allegedly committing FRAUD in the sale of stock in a newly formed corporation in which JOE RUTHERFORD and his two Law Firm Partners had an interest. Hess, the aggrieved party, testified that it was D. T. Draffen's misrepresentations on which he relied, but given that the Law Firm was a small firm in the small town of Boonville, Missouri, plus the fact that Hess regularly interacted with the Law Firm and its three partners, it is inconceivable that Hess would not have spoken with JOE RUTHERFORD at some point regarding the formation of this new business corporation and the sale of its' stock. It is also very unlikely that Rutherford would not have sat in on or listened in on the discussions between Hess and Draffen, or otherwise known of Draffen's representations to Hess. Regardless of what role Joe Rutherford did or did not play in the inducement of the stock sale, his later trial testimony, under sworn oath, in support of the Law Firm's position makes J. F. Rutherford's role in this matter just as egregious.

Interestingly, Draffen & Company did not merely practice law. The firm also brokered real estate, sold insurance, and made loans. Draffen & Company also owned a set of real estate abstract books, which were to be the "tools" for a newly formed abstract business. The plaintiff, Hess, alleged that he was induced to purchase 10 shares of stock in this new corporation at a cost of $1000.00 ($32,000.00 in today's dollars). Hess alleged that he was told that J. F. Rutherford and the third Partner had each paid $1000.00 for 1/3 interest in said abstract books several years previous, which were now being "sold" to the new corporation at their present market value of $6000.00. Hess alleged that he later learned that Joe Rutherford and the third Partner had actually paid the aforementioned $1000.00 for their 1/3 interest each in the Law Firm, which owned the abstracts, rather than paying that amount for the books themselves. Hess further alleged that the books were severely incomplete and not worth more than $1500.00. Hess also alleged that part of his inducement to purchase the stock was the misrepresentation that other locals, including a relative of the third partner, had already purchased shares in the new corporation at the same price offered to Hess, but such was not true.

At trial, after all testimony had been presented to the jury, the local Circuit Court judge directed a verdict for the Law Firm. On appeal by Hess, the Court of Appeals of Missouri unanimously REVERSED and REMANDED the case, stating in part:

The question presented is, whether the court was justified in instructing the jury, upon plaintiff's evidence, to return a verdict for defendants? In order to sustain the action it is admitted that plaintiff must show that the alleged representations, if made, were false; that they were knowingly made with intent to deceive; that the plaintiff had the right to and did rely upon them; and that he was damaged thereby.

If the books were such as the evidence showed them to be they did not contain a complete abstract of the lands situate in Cooper county. An abstract is defined to be: 'That which comprises or concentrates in itself the essential qualities of a larger thing, or of several things; an abridgment, compendium, epitome, or synopsis.' They were, at most, only an index to the books of the recorder of deeds for the county, showing the different conveyances of land and the books and pages where they might be found. They did not contain an abridgment of the contents of the different instruments including the acknowledgments of the manner in which they were executed, nor their dates. At best, they were only partial abstracts most certainly not complete. As the defendants had used them they must have known what they were and it therefore must necessarily follow that defendants knew that the said representations were untrue. And the evidence tended to show that they did not cost the sum of six thousand dollars, but much less. ... ...

... The complaint is not that the corporation, but that the plaintiff as an individual, was defrauded by the individual acts of the defendant partnership.

Under the authorities, the plaintiff, who was a stranger to the business, had the right to rely upon the representations of the defendants who were the promoters of the enterprise. ... The circumstances tended to show that plaintiff was wholly unacquainted with the business; that he relied upon the representations of the defendants as to the sufficiency of the abstracts and their cost; and that he was damaged thereby. We are therefore clearly of the opinion that plaintiff made out a case entitling him to go to the jury. For the reasons given the cause is reversed and remanded. All concur.

For those readers in urban areas who are wondering why JOE RUTHERFORD and his law partners never got into legal troubles due to their shenanigans, those naive readers need to understand that half of the attorneys and judges in any given area were related either by blood or marriage to the other half, and on those occasions when that wasn't true, the involved parties either were members of the same political party, or attended the same church/denomination or same fraternal organizations. Additionally, from 1899-1902, Rutherford's third law partner at Draffen & Company was "Prosecuting Attorney of Cooper County", and when things got busy, Rutherford helped him out as "Assistant Prosecuting Attorney". Nuff said!!!

Interestingly, sometime around 1903-04, D. T. Draffen, who had more roots in Cooper County than did a local cornfield, relocated himself and his wife to Muskogee, Oklahoma -- nearly 350 miles away. Then, in June 1905, they moved back to Boonville. Then, in September 1906, Draffen shot himself in the head. One can't help but wonder whether Draffen's problems also were the motivation for Rutherford to finally get "baptized" by A. H. MacMillan in 1906 -- 12 years after he started peddling WatchTower literature. Puzzlingly, it is my understanding that during this time period, new WatchTower Society converts were not re-baptized if they had already been "immersed", which the Southern Baptist Rutherford already had been as he himself acknowledged.

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CASTLEMAN v. CASTLEMAN was a 1897-1904 SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI case which apparently has completely escaped the attention of WATCHTOWER SOCIETY RESEARCHERS AND HISTORIANS for decades -- primarily because the "good ole boy" legal system of that era stopped the Supreme Court from including Bar member JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD's full name in its decision, and more importantly, stopped both the Supreme Court and the local trial court from labeling the defendant guilty of OBVIOUS FRAUD in this matter -- which would have made local Attorney Joe Rutherford an AGENT of such FRAUD, and subject to possible sanctions or even DISBARMENT.

This complicated lawsuit involved two brothers fighting over their grandfather's 815 acre Cooper County, Missouri farm, which was then appraised as high as $32,000.00 ($1.1 MILLION in today's dollars). Their grandfather's WILL left the farm to his surviving widow and their only child -- the mother of the two brothers. When the Grandmother died, the family believed that the two brother's Mother had received a life interest in half the farm (remainder to her two sons), and full ownership of half the farm. In 1894, one of the Brothers, who had moved to St. Louis to live, and whom apparently had prospered, purchased what he believed to be his Mother's half interest in the farm. Apparently, the ATTORNEY in Boonville who handled that real estate transaction eventually discovered that the two Brothers' Mother did not own half of the farm outright, but rather held only a life estate in all the farm, with remainder to the two brothers. Thus, only the St. Louis Brother knew that he and his brother held equal remainder interests in the entire farm, while the Cooper County Brother believed that he held only a half remainder interest in the half of the farm which had no buildings or improvements.

On October 9, 1896, St. Louis Brother set up his Cooper County Brother by writing him a letter in which he offered Cooper County Brother $600.00 for his remainder interest in the farm -- which Cooper County Brother believed to be only 1/4 of the farm. At the same time, St. Louis Brother had already authorized SOMEONE in Boonville, named RUTHERFORD, to thereafter approach his Cooper County Brother and offer him $800.00 for his interest in the farm. Cooper County Brother jumped at RUTHERFORD'S higher offer and deeded his interest to RUTHERFORD and his wife on October 31, 1896. Shortly thereafter, RUTHERFORD deeded that interest in the farm to St. Louis Brother.

After Cooper County Brother learned that his St. Louis Brother now owned his interest in the farm, Cooper County Brother filed a lawsuit in Boonville seeking to undo the two property transfers -- initially only due to the FRAUD which had been perpetrated in the inducement of the sale, because Cooper County Brother had not yet discovered that he actually had owned 1/2 rather than 1/4 interest in the farm. Interestingly, St. Louis Brother sought and obtained a change of venue to Howard County. WHO DID NOT WANT THIS CASE HEARD IN COOPER COUNTY -- St. Louis Brother or "Rutherford"?

Regardless, the Howard County Circuit Court eventually found in favor of the Cooper County Brother, and the property transfers were undone. However, the Howard County Circuit Court was careful to do so on the grounds of "Mutual Mistake", and not to find FRAUD on the part of St. Louis Brother or his agent, "Rutherford". That would have been too messy and detrimental to the legal profession in Cooper County and the state of Missouri. On appeal by St. Louis Brother, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision and rubber-stamped its reasoning, but included sufficient info for those readers capable of reading between the lines to understand what really had occurred here.

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JOHN PURSLEY v. HENRY GOOD was a 1900-1902 Court of Appeals of Missouri decision in which JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD and one of his law partners privately counseled and represented at trial a client who both committed FRAUD and LIED UNDER OATH on the witness stand.

This case involved yet another complicated sale of a farm in Cooper County which would have necessarily required constant and repeated legal advice and counsel to both parties not just during the sale in 1894, but especially so in 1898-99 when the circumstances arose which resulted in this lawsuit. INTERESTINGLY, Joe Rutherford SOMEHOW once again WON the local Cooper County jury trial, but that egregious decision was REVERSED by the Court of Appeals of Missouri, which stated in part:

The evidence of Henry L. Good, in the main, is in conflict with not only the allegations of his answer, but also with the said written agreement. However, after many equivocations and contradictions, on cross-examination he stated ... . ... ...

We are at a loss to understand upon what theory the [COOPER COUNTY JURY and] court based its finding in favor of the defendants, ... .

It seems to us, from all the evidence, the defendant Henry L. Good, the principal in the note, acted in BAD FAITH, and that his object, from the beginning, was to OPPRESS and DEFRAUD the plaintiff. An examination of his evidence shows that he not only AIMED TO WRONG the plaintiff, but that he was willing to do so AT THE EXPENSE OF TRUTH. No man intending to tell the truth was ever involved in more contradictions, and on questions of vital importance to the case, and we have no hesitation in saying that no court should be bound by his evidence.

In all fairness to Henry Good, CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL, during his multiple trial testimonies under Joe Rutherford's orchestration, made Henry Good look like one of the most honest persons on the planet.

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See also 1899 Supreme Court of Missouri case, ALEXANDER v. ALEXANDER, in which JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD was Co-Counsel to DESPICABLE plaintiffs in a DESPICABLE legal action. An invalid, bachelor Cooper County farmer died without making a WILL because he thought that his only surviving heir was his loving brother. However, after the farmer's death, SOMEONE with both knowledge of the law and confidential knowledge of the family's pre-Cooper County past traced down a group of half-siblings and their survivors who had been fathered by the two brothers' deceased male parent years after their parents had divorced in another Missouri county. There had never been any knowledge of nor previous contact between the two brothers and their deceased father or his other children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren after the parents had divorced many decades earlier. Thus, without SOME DESPICABLE P.O.S. from Cooper County tracing them down and informing them, that group of potential heirs would never even have known that they each had a potential share in a Cooper County farm of which they had no previous knowledge or contact. Interestingly, JOE RUTHERFORD and his out-of-county co-counsel requested and received a Change of Venue away from Cooper County, and WON at the trial court level. Thankfully, on appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, that egregious trial court decision was UNANIMOUSLY reversed.

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See also 1905 Supreme Court of Missouri case, MING v. OLSTER, which was a complicated ownership dispute involving a farm located in Saline County. After a "Change of Venue" was granted to the Cooper County Circuit Court, the Plaintiff's legal team decided to hire local Boonville real estate Attorney JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD as their Co-Counsel. At trial, the Defendants offered into evidence a "certified copy" of the Deed in question, as recorded by the recorder of Deeds in Saline County. The Plaintiff's Attorneys attempted to defeat the validity of that "certified copy" by presenting a Deed they "purported" to be the "original", which amazingly lacked the necessary signature of the Plaintiff's ex-husband, who had moved to Montana. The Supreme Court of Missouri "affirmed" the Cooper County Circuit Court's ruling against the Plaintiff, noting that all of the Plaintiff's evidence and testimony "was weighed by the court and found wanting. The original deed exhibited by the plaintiff showed that it had been tampered with and the circumstances justified the court in concluding that the erasures [to the missing signature] had been made after the deed had been recorded." Once again JOE RUTHERFORD is found representing a client who not only attempted to DEFRAUD an individual, but who also later LIED UNDER OATH at trial and attempted to DEFRAUD the trial and appellate courts.

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ANTON KOERBER v. JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD and MATTHEW A. HOWLETT was a 1940-41 New York civil court case which was dropped either after Koerber lost an appellate court ruling in latter 1941, or more likely after Judge Rutherford died in January 1942. In this lawsuit which Anton Koerber filed against WatchTower Society President JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD, Koerber alleged that Judge Rutherford had DEFRAUDED him out of his share of the profits made on the purchase and sale of a Cleveland, Ohio radio station which J. F. Rutherford and Koerber had SECRETLY owned as "Partners".

Anton Adam Koerber was an experienced, wealthy real estate agent/investor in Washington D.C., who was also the WatchTower Society's Leader for the Wash DC area. Koerber eventually became a Bethelite and District Overseer under Rutherford before Rutherford had Koerber disfellowshipped in the latter 1930s. It is uncertain which came first, Koerber's DFing or this lawsuit. Unbelievably, Koerber was later reinstated under Rutherford's successor, Nathan Knorr, and was appointed as a Circuit Overseer. In the 1970s, Koerber's severely-edited Biography was published in the WATCHTOWER magazine, and Koerber's "experience" (see our Page 2035) was discussed in "talks" at District and Circuit Assemblies, and during local KH meetings.

In 1940, Anton Koerber alleged in this lawsuit that Judge Rutherford had approached him around 1929 (it actually had been 1925) with the proposition that they become partners (joint venturers) in the purchase of radio station WHK, in Cleveland, Ohio, whose stock was for sale for $10,000.00 ($140,000.00 in today's dollars). Koerber was asked to put up the $10,000.00 purchase price, which he did. Koerber alleged that Rutherford promised to put up another $10,000.00, plus completely manage the radio station for the partnership (joint venture). Rutherford supposedly owned 51% of the stock of RADIO AIR SERVICE CORPORATION, and Koerber supposedly owed 49% of the stock. (RASC was a pre-existing corporation which owned WHK. Rutherford and Koerber apparently purchased RASC. INTERESTINGLY, in January 1926, newspapers reported that WHK had been purchased by the "National Bible Association", which the newspapers ASSUMEDLY confused with the "International Bible Students Association" -- otherwise, we have an even BIGGER STORY than just the secret purchase of a radio station. MORE INTERESTINGLY, we are unable to locate any source where the WatchTower Society ever acknowledged ownership of WHK.)

Anton Koerber further alleged that the purchase of RADIO AIR SERVICE CORPORATION's stock was made in the name of Judge Rutherford's Bethelite "Personal Assistant", Matthew Arnold Howlett, because Judge Rutherford wished to keep his ownership of the radio station HIDDEN from the WatchTower Society's followers.

The three "Howlett Brothers" were publicly advertised as the "owners and operators" of WHK. Matthew A. Howlett was listed as "President" of Radio Air Service Corporation and "General Manager" of WHK, and even served as "Secretary-Treasurer" of the National Association of Broadcasters from 1931-33. (THAT'S CORRECT, the WATCHTOWER SOCIETY SECRETLY INFILTRATED the National Association of Broadcasters in the 1930s.) Eric S. Howlett, was presented as "Station Manager". Harry Howlett was "Commercial Manager" of WHK. (Eric and Harry Howlett may have worked for WHK even prior to the purchase.) INTERESTINGLY, WHK also employed a number of young, attractive female singers. Rutherford no doubt personally auditioned each one before she was hired.

Anton Koerber alleged that Judge Rutherford sold WHK in Summer 1934 for more than $250,000.00 ($4.5 MILLION in today's dollars), without saying anything to Koerber about the sale. (Interestingly, the purchaser was the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER newspaper. More interestingly, there is reason to suspect that CPD did not acquire all of the stock, but that some of the stock remained under WatchTower control for many more years -- possibly decades.) Koerber alleged that he did not even find out about the sale of WHK until 1935, and that when he approached Rutherford about his share of the sale proceeds and his share of the operating profits from 1929 through 1934, that Rutherford became "antagonistic". Koerber alleges that he made multiple unsuccessful demands for his money from 1935 until he was forced to file this lawsuit in 1940.

Koerber filed a pre-trial motion for an "accounting" -- production of the books and records of WHK -- but Rutherford answered such with a DENIAL that Koerber and he were partners in WHK or that Koerber owned any interest in WHK. In May 1941, the New York trial court ordered Rutherford to turn over only some of the records that Koerber had requested, but that the other records could not be had until after Koerber had prove the partnership. However, in latter 1941, Rutherford appealed that decision to the NY appellate court, which reversed the lower court's ruling and held that none of the requested records would have to be produced until after Koerber established the partnership. Then, Rutherford died in January 1942. Given that Koerber had no written agreement between Rutherford and himself, and had absolutely no way to prove his partnership with Rutherford, Judge Rutherford's death ended the matter.

One must assume that if Anton Koerber had been in the wrong in filing a lawsuit against a sitting WatchTower Society President that Nathan Knorr would never have later appointed Koerber as a Circuit Overseer, and the WatchTower Society would have never published his Biography in the WATCHTOWER magazine decades later, nor decades later praised Koerber's "experience" at District and Circuit Assemblies, and during local KH meetings.

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IN THE MATTER OF GEORGE H. HARTMAN was a 1995 New York judicial disciplinary proceeding involving a private NYC Jehovah's Witness Attorney, who over the years represented both the WatchTower Society and individual Jehovah's Witnesses in New York, Illinois, Arkansas, and probably other states, including cases summarized on these websites. Notably, George Hartman liked to boast that he had never attended college nor law school. One can't help but wonder if the three complaining clients were fellow JWs.

Respondent concedes that he neglected an ancillary probate proceeding, an estate proceeding, and a divorce matter.

According to his physician, he is mentally incapacitated by depression from the practice of law. ...

In view of the written report from the respondent's treating psychiatrist as to his mental state and statement from his counsel that respondent is unable to defend himself in the pending disciplinary proceeding by virtue of mental incapacity ... respondent is suspended from the practice of law for an indefinite period of time and until further order of this court upon the ground that the respondent is suffering from a mental condition which makes it impossible for him to adequately defend himself in the pending disciplinary proceeding.

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IN THE MATTER OF PAUL ALLAN TERRY II was a series of Tennessee judicial disciplinary proceedings between 2003 and 2005, which involved a Jehovah's Witness Attorney, named Paul Allan Terry II, who had been licensed to practice law in Tennessee, in 2001. Paul A. Terry II was initially suspended from the practice of law in September 2003 for failing to comply with Continuing Legal Education requirements. Paul Terry was again suspended in August 2004, after first being publicly censured for abandoning a client's divorce case, resulting in court order of a replacement attorney, and thereafter failing to respond to that complaint. Terry was finally disbarred in August 2005, after failing to pursue a personal injury case, resulting in the dismissal of his client's case. Paul Terry did not file an answer to that complaint, nor did he file an answer to the Petition for Discipline. Terry further did not appear at the disciplinary hearing. Paul Allan Terry II died in June 2009, at the age of only 34 -- from an undisclosed cause. His obituary listed his final occupation as "self-employed in sales". Rather than calling Terry a JW, his obituary stated that he was merely "affiliated with the Jehovah's Witnesses" at the time of his death.

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IN THE MATTER OF STANLEY LOUIS HOLTMAN was a series of Tennessee judicial disciplinary proceedings between 1987 and 2000, which involved a Jehovah's Witness Attorney, named Stanley L. Holtman, who had been licensed to practice law in Tennessee in the late 1960s, and died in 2015. Stanley Holtman practiced law in the towns of Franklin, Mt. Pleasant, and Columbia, Tennessee.

At various times prior to August 1987, three complaints were filed against Stanley L. Holtman. In one instance, Stanley Holtman MISAPPROPRIATED FUNDS from a real estate sale. In a second instance, Stanley Holtman won a $28,000.00 judgment for a client, but then failed to place a lien on the judgment debtor's house before the debtor sold the house and fled the state. In a third instance, Stanley Holtman was removed as the Executor of an estate after he failed to notify all beneficiaries, and failed to prepare an accounting.

In August 1987, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Stanley Louis Holtman from the practice of law for a period of 11 months and 29 days, plus an indefinite period so long as Holtman owed any monetary judgment related to the three complaints above. The indefinite suspension also was to continue until Stanley Holtman could demonstrate that he had totally abstained from alcohol for a period of 6 months.

At some point between 1989 and 1991, Stanley Louis Holtman was reinstated to practice law in Tennessee. However, Stanley Holtman was again suspended in January 1992 after he failed to pay his Bar fees. Despite having been suspended from the practice of law, Stanley Holtman continued to practice law until a complaint was filed in December 1998. Holtman thereafter paid the back fees and penalties, and ceased practicing law in accordance with the 1992 suspension. Stanley Holtman was thereafter reinstated with censure in January 2000.

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THE FLORIDA BAR v. JONATHAN MICHAEL ROWE was a 2007 Supreme Court of Florida disciplinary proceeding. On the complaint of a former client, it was ruled that one of this Attorney's direct mail advertisements was "misleading" as to his fee schedule, and Jonathan Rowe was given this "Admonishment". The court noted that Jonathan M. Rowe had received an "Admonishment" in 2003 for "similar advertising violations". Jonathan Rowe is a third generation Jehovah's Witness. His parents and he served as WatchTower missionaries to Spain for five years during the 1970s. Rowe practices law in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Rowe was selected by the WatchTower PR department to speak to the media at the 2006 WatchTower District Convention held in Gainesville, Florida.

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IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK AND TALKS LIKE A DUCK, ...

QUEBEC BAR ASSN v. PIERRETTE LEVESQUE was a 2010 Quebec Bar disciplinary proceeding against Pierrette Levesque, then 61 years-old, who is a female Attorney and member of the Quebec Bar, who in this published decision refers to herself as a "friend of the truth" for some 15 years. Although not formally baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses by 2010, Pierrette Levesque alleged that she regularly attended Sunday meetings and other Jehovah's Witness meetings.

Pierrette Levesque pled "Guilty" to the complaint which alleged that three times in January and June 2007 that she confronted and attempted to persuade a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness who was seeking reinstatement, named Madeleine Guillemette, whom Levesque claimed to have known since 1994, to drop the charge of sexual assault which Madeleine Guillemette had filed against Hermgilde Gagnon -- possibly at the "suggestion" of a local JW Elder. (The details of that case are unknown, so we know no more about the aforementioned interaction between Levesque and Guillemette, or the involved parties, than is summarily related in this published decision. Wouldn't everyone like to know what went on in that case, and what/who motivated the aforementioned contact!!!) Immediately after the third contact in June 2007, Madeleine Guillemette filed a complaint with the Quebec Bar Association regarding Levesque's contact. Allegedly, Pierrette Levesque then contacted Madeleine Guillemette a fourth time about the complaint made to the Quebec Bar Association. This complaint further alleged that Pierrette Levesque then failed to respond to the Bar's inquiries made in early 2008. Pierrette Levesque ultimately pled "Guilty" with the agreement that the outcome of this proceeding would NOT be published in the Quebec newspapers. Pierrette Levesque was quietly ordered to pay a $2000.00 fine, plus received a "reprimand". That's it!!

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DE LA ROSA v. WATCHTOWER SOCIETY. Disclosed during the discovery process of another personal injury lawsuit filed by the De La Rosas in 2004, the WatchTower Society had previously SETTLED a DEFAMATION lawsuit involving a "a very personal incident" (unknown facts) for a total of $38,000.00 with plaintiffs Angelo De La Rosa and Joyce De La Rosa, of NYC.

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TWO "CONVERSIONS - CIVIL THEFTS" OF TWO CONDITIONAL DONATIONS

MOUNT VERNON, KENTUCKY CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

In the mid 1990s, when visiting local relatives, a Jehovah's Witness living out-of-state would occasionally attend the Sunday meetings at the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. After one of such Sunday meetings, apparently knowing about OUT-OF-STATE-JW's past generosity to that Congregation, one of the local Elderettes approached OUT-OF-STATE-JW and began "hinting" at the spartan Kingdom Hall's need for two new chairs for the stage (that's "altar" for non-JWs). Later that week, after returning home, OUT-OF-STATE-JW mailed a check for $1000.00 to the Mount Vernon Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, along with a note designating that the donation be used to purchase new stage chairs.

About 3-4 months later, when OUT-OF-STATE-JW next visited relatives in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, OUT-OF-STATE-JW looked forward to seeing the Congregation's new stage chairs at the Sunday meetings. However, on entering the Kingdom Hall, OUT-OF-STATE-JW noticed two things. The first thing noticed was that the same old chairs were still on the stage, and the second thing noticed was that the local JW Elders barely acknowledged OUT-OF-STATE-JW's presence in the very small Kingdom Hall. OUT-OF-STATE-JW "beat themself" for the entire two hour meeting based on the assumption that the $1000.00 donation had been "too stingy" to purchase the desired two stage chairs. After the meeting, OUT-OF-STATE-JW shamefully approached Husband-of-JW-Elderette to see how much additional money was needed to purchase the desired two chairs. OUT-OF-STATE-JW has long forgotten the exact words of the conversation, but after the hesitant initial inquiry, JW Elder quickly let OUT-OF-STATE-JW know that the Kingdom Hall did not need new stage chairs, or anything else for that matter, so the "Body of Elders" had decided to use the $1000.00 donation to re-pay one of the JW Elders for a past "loan" to the Congregation. That's correct, OUT-OF-STATE-JW's $1000.00 went straight into the pocket of one of the JW Elders. OUT-OF-STATE-JW also received a mini-sermon as to how the $1000.00 donation had not been OUT-OF-STATE-JW's money to begin with, but was "Jehovah's money". After referencing the specified designation, OUT-OF-STATE-JW was told that once the money was in the hands of the JW Elders that it was their's to do with as they saw fit. They were Jehovah's appointed representatives in the Congregation.

That was not the first time, but rather the second time, that OUT-OF-STATE-JW had been messed-over with regard to a donation made to that Mount Vernon, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The very same JW Elder had previously screwed-over OUT-OF-STATE-JW in connection with a $5000.00 CASH donation that OUT-OF-STATE-JW had secretly handed this same JW Elder some months previously. In fact, a year or so after the $1000.00 "CONVERSION", or "THEFT", OUT-OF-STATE-JW heard via the grapevine that it was this same JW Elder that had pocketed the $1000.00. Does anyone blame OUT-OF-STATE-JW for wondering how much of the $5000.00 CASH donation actually made it into the Congregation's account?

2014 UPDATE: It has come to OUT-OF-STATE-JW's attention that his claim that he was previously "screwed over" with regard to the previous $5000.00 CASH donation has recently been "investigated" and satisfactorily DENIED by both the Body of Elders, but more specifically, by the JW Elder in question. That is what happens when the WatchTower Society "investigates" itself. The WatchTower Society is NOT interested in discovering "the truth". The WatchTower Society is only interested in turning up sufficient excuses to DENY an allegation. (Yes, WatchTower HQ -- particularly "Legal" -- visits these two websites.)

In fact, the previous $5000.00 CASH donation was also a CONDITIONAL DONATION. When OUT-OF-STATE-JW handed the $5000.00 CASH to JW Elder he told JW Elder that the donation was made on the "two conditions" that the money be spent for the concrete paving of the Kingdom Hall parking lot, PLUS that OUT-OF-STATE-JW and his spouse be permitted to join in the manual labor performed on the project. OUT-OF-STATE-JW and JW Elder specifically discussed that JW Elder would telephone OUT-OF-STATE-JW with the details as soon as the date-s had been planned, so that OUT-OF-STATE-JW could make plans to attend and participate in the construction project.

OUT-OF-STATE-JW waited several weeks curious as to why JW Elder did not at least have the courtesy to keep OUT-OF-STATE-JW informed about the progress of the planning. OUT-OF-STATE-JW finally telephoned JW Elder, who then informed OUT-OF-STATE-JW that the parking lot project had already been completed. When OUT-OF-STATE-JW expressed his dismay at not being invited to participate in the construction, JW Elder simply mumbled a half-hearted apology over the "confusion".

Readers should understand that for whatever reason or reasons, the REGIONAL BUILDING COMMITTEE was NOT involved in this construction project, but rather the project was completed by local members of the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Thus, there was NO REASON that OUT-OF-STATE-JW and his spouse should not have been invited to participate in the project. The Body of Elders certainly did NOT have a problem accepting OUT-OF-STATE-JW's $5000.00 CASH. The local Body of Elders and JW Elder evidently did NOT want OUT-OF-STATE-JW and his spouse present for SOME REASON. Your guess is as good as theirs.


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ADDITIONAL UNDOCUMENTED INCIDENTS
 
Readers specifically interested in the topic of Jehovah's Witness Honesty and Integrity should be aware that related court case are scattered throughout this website -- specifically the JW Business Owners, Managers, and Supervisors page. Readers should s also refer to the 20 webpages of other types of thefts and other criminal court cases posted on the JW CHILDREN website linked from this website's Homepage.
 

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