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Glen T. Winstein

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GTJ Brooklyn 1a

  Actual Jehovah's Witnesses leaders' history (compare to p.9)
  Actual Jehovah's Witnesses leaders' history (compare to p.9)
  Gaining False Profits

  JWs leaders' history
  Borrowed origin of some basic doctrines
  Another original church is being restored from a Great Apostasy

  Charles Taze Russell
  John Aquila Brown
  William Miller
  New light
  George Storrs and George Stetson
  Joseph Seiss
  Jonas Wendell
  Nelson H. Barbour

  Prophecies intended to shore up a weak case
  Prediction: End Times of the Gentiles--1914
  Health insurance payments
  You don't know hell till you've read Russell
  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
      of the end unless there's a war part one
  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., are coming back to run things
  Israel will be recreated in 1914--the millennium will be "Israelitish"
  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
      of the end unless there's a war part two
  Armageddon is Biblically, historically, and scientifically shown to end
      the end times in 1914, or Oct. of 1915 or 1914, or at least begin the
      end of the end in 1914, and end in 1914...or 1915...or a few years
      after 1916, or maybe I just don't know
  Nice little pup dogs and flowers are unimportant
  Kind understanding for "inferiors" part one--darker skinned people
  Love and money: Miracle Wheat and Charles' divorce from Maria
  Kind understanding for "inferiors" part two--women
  Who is this Russell that the winds and the seas don't obey him?
  Scientific reasons for predictions about 1914:
  "The Photo-Drama of Creation"
  Russell may have needed to put a decimal point in his 144,000
  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
      of the end unless there's a war part three

  Joseph F. Rutherford
  "The Finished Mystery"
  1919 and Theocratic Selective Service
  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., are coming back to run things, and they're
      going to live in one of Rutherford's mansions and drive one of his Cad-
      illac V-16s
  Satanic celebration of the birth of Christ
  Rutherford shoves Charles Russell out of the lime"light"
  Human governments are led by Satan (Rom.13:1-7?)
  Invisible browsing from heaven part one
  Intolerance for dissent
  The name Jehovah's Witnesses
  Satanic Mother's Day
  Strict regimentation
  The great crowd/the birthday deadline for those who can go to heaven
  Jesus was nailed to a tree

  Practically anybody who teaches a conservative view about the Bible teaches
that you should believe in God and that you shouldn't lie, steal, or murder, be
a false prophet, etc.--the ideas best indicated by the Bible and related evi-
dence.  But you can't distinguish the exclusiveness of a 144,000 (that number in
Rev.7:1-8; 14:1-5 taken literally) Christians chosen to rule the Earth from
heaven, as the JWs leaders have always claimed to be chosen from as God's reli-
gious teachers on Earth (see below), with the basics.

  So they have a history of having an assortment of distinctive teachings, such
as their ban of the medical use of blood and major blood products, and use
forced points, misuse research material, omit pertinent evidence, and misrepre-
sent the more common alternatives to make these distinctive JWs leaders' rules
seem to be the only reasonable teachings about the Bible.  Prophecy efforts seem
to be meant to persuade people who would want to see a sign of God before agree-
ing with those otherwise unlikely things, and they've been taught with the same

  It amounts to over a century of claiming to have Bible-based reasons to make
predictions without predicting any tangible miraculous things, and an unscrip-
tural way of forgiving the false prophecies or covering them up,.  That's the
focus of this page.

  To put it simply, it doesn't matter to me what my reader's belief or non-be-
lief choices are.  As long as you don't like lying that could lead to a little
kid dying unnecessarily in a hospital, c'mon in the classroom.

  In the process of showing these things, I ask some of the critics of the JWs
to see one or two things differently, too.  Some criticize the JWs followers as
being dumb or lying.  They're probably, on average, as bright and sincere as
anyone else, but look at why they believe these distinctive things--the leaders
are responsible for the literature that creates the rules for the group.

  If you ever wonder why rules about birthday parties being Satanic and Jesus
"appearing" invisibly in 1914 and such are there, the indication is that it's
not due to the leaders using sloppy research and interpretation or could actual-
ly believe they're prophets, but due to the JWs leaders' claim of belonging to
an exclusive 144,000, which the leaders seem more concerned to appear to seem
true for literature sales than sincerely believe.  The view of the main source
material, the Bible, regarding the spread of falsehoods and false prophesy isn't
compatible with the claim of a literal 144,000 exclusiveness.

  If you see it like that so far, you might still say, "So what?  So some guys
are selling literature about Satanic birthday cupcakes and such."  The JWs lead-
ers' literature is spread door-to-door most anywhere in the world it can be,
the distinctive rules cover issues that are obscure or unknown to most people,
and if anyone is treated unfairly or hurt in the deal, friends or families brok-
en up over the strict disfellowshipping rules (p.3), anyone hurt or killed in
Nazi Germany or Malawi due partly to JWs leaders playing prophet with customized
ideas about what being "worldly" means (p.6), or followers or their children die
over the JWs leaders' rules that ban the medical use of blood and major blood
fractions (pp.12-42), then the already overindulged vanity of the JWs leaders
isn't worth honoring.

  If anyone wonders if that's being too cynical about sincere difference of be-
lief in the possible, I ask that you look at the evidence and see that the JWs
leaders are a lot more cynical than me.

  Gaining false profits

  Here's a schedule I made to help you get through the tangle of some of the
earlier JWs leaders' prophecy attempts:

  What is a prophecy man who gains the world with no soul to lose?  (Sorry.)
(Mark 8:36; Matt.16:26)

  At one extreme are self-fulfilling prophecies: the sun will come up in the
East tomorrow, etc.

  At the other are miraculous ones: to consistently give the number between one
and a million another is thinking, or predict the date of something miraculous
(a Rapture or Armageddon, etc.) successfully.

  Somewhere in the middle are more or less remarkable but ordinary ones, like a
political expert guessing who the next president will be of a few likely choices
or some of the more remarkable ones in the next paragraph.

  Some people in history have shown good deduction and, with a little luck, pre-
dicted remarkable things.  None were JWs leaders.

  Some believers throughout history have used numerology and interpretations of
scriptures and historicism to come up with bad predictions.  Some were JWs lead-

  (It's been a while since I read it, but I think "The Mask of Nostradamus,"
James Randi, 1993, makes a point about fake predictions like that.)

  Some such efforts are eschatology.  The second definition of "eschatology"
at the Merriam-Webster web site: "2: a belief concerning death, the end of the
world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind; specifically: any of various Chris-
tian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or
the Last Judgment."  The oldest known is Zoroastrian.

  According to Juan Baixeras at the next link: "The idea of applying years to
days can be traced back to Jewish rabbis in the first century CE.  In the ninth
century more rabbis applied it to Daniel?s prophecy in connection with the time
periods of 1,290, 1335, and 2300 days in reference to when the Messiah would ap-
pear.  Among Christians it first appears in the twelfth century by a Roman Cath-
olic abbot named Joachim of Floris.  As time passed, an incredible amount of
dates were arrived at by different interpreters.  Dates were regularly changed
as one date after another passed without the predicted event taking place."!1914/ci6j

  According to the Museum of Modern Hoaxes web site: "After 1524 apocalypticism
waned in southern Europe.  But in northern Europe such beliefs continued to re-
main very influential, first amongst German protestant reformers of the sixteen-
th century, and then amongst English Puritan reformers of the seventeenth cen-
tury.  The puritans exported their apocalypticism to America where predictions
of imminent doom have tended to find willing audiences ever since."

  From before Jesus to the present, there have been a variety of interpretations
about the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:22-27.  The Watchtower uses the "gap theory" of
the dispensationalist interpretation given among the versions at the next link.

  "Do-it-yourself"ers can learn to take as good a hand at it on p.1b.

  If the JWs leaders' doctrine on medical use of blood and major blood compo-
nents isn't a view of the God of the Bible by scriptural guarantee, the burden
of proof shifts to the claim of the Governing Body that they create literature
as fallible men who are that infallible God's sole channel of information, God's
only chosen religious leaders, on Earth.

  Their effort to distinguish themselves this way hasn't been by only giving
what's best indicated by scripture and related history as the intended ideas of
scripture, and leaving anything else to be unknown or a matter of personal opin-
ion, or they wouldn't have much of a case for being unique among Bible believ-
ers, let alone God's sole channel of information.

  From Russell through Rutherford and Governing Body leaders and presidents
since, the Watch Tower/JWs leaders have a history of short-sighted attention-get-
ting and income increasing and alleged original church re-establishing via lots
of bad predictions, forced points to insist on ideas that aren't the better in-
dicated ones, and revisionist history to cover it up afterward.  I waded through
a lot of it to make a timeline of some highlights (see below).

  Although Russell makes some statements of modest uncertainty about his predic-
tions for several years before WWI and with some of them afterward, possibly for
damage control since he kept getting them wrong when they were specific about
remarkable things and it could be determined and more might leave the flock if
he failed again in 1914, he otherwise gives them in a dogmatic way and changed
some of the dates of earlier editions of his books to cover up failures.

  Other indications that he was playing prophet are that through it all he
claimed that only the "little flock," aka "the elect," which he eventually de-
fined as a literal 144,000 (Rev.14:1-5), he was part of would go to heaven (see
1878 below) and rule the world with Jesus and the Bible notables of Hebrews 11,
and that his writings were indispensable if you wanted to understand the God of
the Bible (see the listing for 1910 below).  The literal 144,000 alone should be
a clear enough indication of the arbitrary foundation of his vanity.

  Since most of the relatively distinctive stuff he taught was borrowed from
Barbour and others (see below), the emphasis shifted to forcing these teachings
as the only reasonable interpretations of the Bible while trying to string peo-
ple along that he might come up with a correct prediction.  He selected the news
events and editorials of the day that fit the theory to make his numerology seem
to have substance.

  One way to test such a thing is similar to how you might test astrology.  Giv-
en the personality traits of each time period it uses, some may imagine the
facts to fit the theory.  But taken the other way around--given a large group of
people to study for personality traits to assign to birth date periods, you
wouldn't come up with the same rules as astrology.  Likewise, give each of a
large group of people a Bible and a study of the highlights of human history to
assign to Bible dates and make predictions, you wouldn't come up with the same
results as Russell.  Many would show the good sense not to make any predictions
for specific years at all.

  One reason some wouldn't hazard such a thing is that the Bible gives false
prophesy as a serious sin.  It's a form of lying that can make for unnecessary
divisions between people and worse.  Russell and his followers ignored this
clear Bible teaching and approached this subject like people taking a chance on
lottery tickets.  As the prediction failures piled up, they didn't ignore the
prophet as having done something bad and misleading but counted the failures as
no worse than failed lottery tickets and hoped the next one might be the winner.

  As you can see on the timeline below, some of his requirements to belong to
the 144,000 he claimed to belong to, rules meant to indicate exclusive divine
guidance, are matters of playing prophet even if he'd never tried to predict

  So despite whatever conciliatory statements he used sometimes, he was playing
prophet--badly, with modest language just before WWI and with some things after-
ward to avoid diminishing his marketing group, but playing it.  It was the cus-
tomary way of the day to establish you were restoring the original church from a
great apostasy.  It was meant as a way to make a weak case or minority personal
opinion seem to have divine corroboration.

  I think the combination he was shooting for was "I'm not swearing you have to
agree with the dates to fellowship (and buy my stuff), and a prediction might
turn out wrong sometimes, but as best I can tell from the Bible, science, math,
and the Great Pyramid, I'm onto the rarified truth you need to be in my little
group that's going to heaven to help Jesus rule the world."  Except for the per-
iod just before 1914 had gone on a bit, or revisions to his earlier literature,
he usually left off the first two phrases of the intro to that.  When he added
them, it was probably just to cut himself some slack about the year of a pre-
dicted miracle.

  Rutherford followed suit except he was less likely to show honest uncertainty
about his predictions, shifting blame to the followers when his prediction for
1925 didn't work out (see 1925).  The failed 1919 prophecy was probably Ruther-
ford's choice since it appeared under his work as editor of "The Finished Mys-
tery" (see 1917).  While Russell was more of a holier-than thou-loner with a
little welcome uncertainty showing through, Rutherford soon established the out-
look, followed by subsequent JWs leaders, to maintain Russell's 144,000 preten-
sion with even more distinctive rules, with strict regimentation and a harsher
treatment of any dissent.

  Most of those ideas for dates are no longer used (how could they be?) by the
current JWs leaders.  But:

  - Some of them, like 1914 (a prophecy failure at the time) and 1919 (another
prediction that failed), with subsequent related failed predictions dropped and
current meanings added afterward, are examples of arbitrary historicism at best
and later falsified as though correct predictions had been made for them at
worst.  The current Watchtower ideas that 1914 and 1919 showed prophetic ful-
fillment are required of followers by the JWs leaders.

  Various JWs leaders have altered the record about their previous failed pre-
dictions or referred to a tiny percent of their failed predictions (1925, 1975)
as "mistakes," adding that false prophets don't admit to mistakes, sometimes
shifting the responsibility for people being misled to the followers for having
had unrealistic expectations.

  One, it's doubtful someone could divide followers off from heaven with a lit-
eral 144,000 vanity, keep making predictions that don't come true, divide off
believers as not saved who don't agree with their minority view modern personal
opinions with weak cases, divide the followers left by adding disfellowshipping
as required over persistent dissent for such things, and sincerely think they're
getting any special messages from God other than to tell the silly little bas-
tards to shut up.

  And two, according to the Bible, an apostle or prophet or anyone else can make
an uninspired human mistake, but putting out false predictions or forced points
that personal beliefs are required by the Bible, cynically use false methods to
make them seem true, to the extent of requiring that those who persistently dis-
agree aren't saved or even need to be disfellowshipped, without a miraculous
sign from God that he wants us to take them seriously, is the method of opera-
tion of a false prophet whatever they prefer to call themself.

  - If the previous JWs leaders were false prophets and the current ones aren't
honest about it but largely continue their habit of covering for them as pre-
vious sole channels of God on Earth, it undermines the basis of the credibility
of the claim of the current leaders to be God's sole channel, or even just cred-
ible sources, of information.

  I don't want to seem cranky about religious leaders sincerely believing in
something different but harmless, but I don't think I need to worry about that.
I better be more evidential than editorial, but there's more evidence than I

  Since those things are indicated by the evidence below, yet some people are
persuaded to pick the Watchtower leaders' literature as having a sign of being
the only Bible God-guided religious guidance on Earth by mistake,

  and since I show on later pages that the Watchtower transfusion ban is a mat-
ter of making a rule out of very arbitrary interpretations and strictly per-
sonal beliefs as to play prophet,

  and since it's led to some people making a tragic wrong choice at a hospital,
it makes the JWs leaders something worse than someone who modestly took an unin-
spired guess that didn't come out right.  To me, it ethically amounts to murder-
ing more than an interpretation.  For them to persist in their elitism despite
that makes them over-indulged, over-indulgent brats.

  Considering the methods used by the JWs leaders to affect exclusive rulings
about the medical use of blood, there's an inadvertent confession to be seen

  "Avoid bloodguilt from (1) eating blood [blood transfusions], (2) sharing in
bloodguilty organizations" ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1978, p.25)


  1914 is mentioned on p.1 as when the current JWs Governing Body teaches the
second coming of Jesus--that "all eyes will see" (Mark 13:26; Matt.23:27; 24:30;
2 Thes.2:8; 1 Tim.6:14; Rev.1:7)--happened: Jesus invisibly returned in that he
began to rule Earth from heaven, which began the end times before Armageddon.
(Armageddon has frequently been Biblically and otherwise "proven" to be just a
little bit into the future at any one time, with various false predictions set
for it.)

  1918-1919 is taught as when invisible Jesus deliberated from his throne in
heaven over who had the one true religion, and the spring of 1919 is taught as
when Jesus picked the JWs leaders as his sole channel on Earth (Malachi 3:1-5)--
"the faithful servant" of Matt.24:45, and condemned all other religions, "Baby-
lon the Great," in 1919.  The JWs leaders' view of "Babylon the Great" is a JWs-
centric variation of a Reformation era interpretation--it mainly targets the
Catholic church and mainstream historical Christianity (Christendom meant in a
derogatory sense).  Until about a generation or so ago, it included overt anti-
Semitic bashing (p.6).

  See the listing for 1995 to see how these stances have been altered recently.
If I read it correctly, it holds that Jesus turned his attention to Earth in
1914, picked the JWs leaders as his sole religious representatives in 1919, but
he hasn't taken the throne in heaven yet.

  The particulars of it have changed over the years, but to make it easier to
follow, I recommend this overview: Jesus told his followers he's be with them
always at Matt.20:28, and Jesus said all judgment was his to make at John 5:22.
The JWs leaders' stance is just 'centric pseudo-exegesis--a scriptural-sounding
way to say "We're the only ones with the correct teaching"--and they play pro-
phet in requiring agreement to whatever rendition of it they offer at the time
for salvation.

  Since current Watchtower literature refers back to these things as showing Bi-
ble prophesy was fulfilled, you should know some of the things left out of cur-
rent Watchtower literature that Jesus would have noticed about the JWs leaders
up to and including 1919, when he's supposed to have picked the JWs leaders as
his sole religious leaders, and how such things have gone since Jesus is sup-
posed to have taken the helm.


  Thanks to the and web sites for a lot of the lit-
erature of Charles Taze Russell:

  Thanks to the web site for a lot of the literature by
Joseph F. Rutherford:

  Thanks to the web site for a big list of Watchtower publi-

  Thanks to the Freeminds web site for a lot of the prediction (and other odd)
attempts by Russell and subsequent Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses lead-
ers.  It offers a lot of JWs leaders' literature quotes from the book "Spiritual
Food at the Proper Time" by an elder of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

  On those web pages, some of those quotes given for a year were made during
that year and some are later quotes that refer back to that year.  To make sure
of the time the quote was originally made, check the name of the publication,
abbreviated as initials, with the page that gives the full names and dates for
those publications.  The Edit > Find feature helps with that.

  Believe me, the examples below are a smattering of highlights of attempts by
Russell and JWs leaders to predict or redefine the miraculous.  I've never seen
such a barrel of crap in my life.

  I put the quotes in the order they were made in with the exception of a few
segments used to cover some of the highlights for an issue.


  As a part of this entertainment extravaganza, you can actually hear the first
few Watch Tower/Jehovah's Witnesses leaders saying actual religious things at
the next link: 


  JWs leaders' history

  Borrowed origin of some basic doctrines

  Another original church is being restored from a Great Apostasy

  Charles Taze Russell

  A few accounts of the life of Charles Taze Russell are at the sites at the
next links:

  Some of the highlights to look for in the timeline lower on this page:

  Russell, in the name of discarding traditions that arose centuries after the
apostles, went for things that aren't shown immediately after the apostles, ei-
ther.  He used some of the minority views he learned before: historicism, pyra-
midology, created archangel Michael/Jesus, death as sleep and Hell as annihila-
tion, that Jesus' invisible presence began in 1874, and that there was a great
apostasy in early Christianity so it was up to some prophet to create a unique
modern church to restore the original church.

  He also saw how making a Bible-related case for a prediction could attract at-
tention and might make you popular in the heyday of William Miller, Ellen White,
and pyramidology.  He let on some modest uncertainty, such as just before 1914,
but otherwise claimed to be of the little flock, the Elect, eventually defined
as a literal 144,000 (Rev.14:1-8), going to heaven and played prophet, and set
up some dummy corporations to pour the worldly gain into (see 1909).  See the
listings for "144,000" and the second listing for 1910 on the time-line below
for his descriptions of his exclusive religious importance and further reasons
to think he played prophet.

  As the Millerites did, Russell taught about a created Jesus, not God but arch-
angel Michael, whom God gave a higher nature after dying on the cross.  But he
taught Jesus was to be worshipped.  (This view, a theological dilemma for mono-
theism, was taught by Watch Tower/Watchtower leaders till "The Watchtower" began
teaching Jesus wasn't to be worshipped on Jan.1, 1954--see below.)  He taught
that the holy spirit is God's impersonal power.  (The JWs leaders' rules about
the identities of Jesus and the holy spirit are covered on pp.7-10.)

  As mentioned before, the followers approached it with the incongruous secular
approach of people playing the lottery.  I guess that's also why, as popular as
he was while he built up false hopes, he became about as forgotten as a losing
lottery ticket.

  Russell relied on the historicism of Nelson Barbour and pyramidology for his
timetable, bolstered it with news editorials he selected to fit his theories,
and said it was proven by scripture.  Despite only proving himself to be a
false prophet when he hazarded a tangible miraculous event and a specific date,
he impressed a minority of Christians as acting like they thought a prophet
might--with a lot of scriptural-sounding arbitrary calculations and pretensions
of their certainty.

  He taught the end times were from 1799 to 1914.  Jesus took the throne in
heaven, and began to rule the Earth by his invisible presence (Rev.1:7, "all
eyes will see," in the sense of "all will know") in 1874.  By the end of 1914,
he would be seen (as in "seen") by everybody.

  1874 to 1914 would be 40 years of the worst trouble the world has known.  From
1910 to 1914, the non-Russell churches, Christendom (which he meant in a deroga-
tory way, also calling it "nominal Christianity" and "Babylon"), would be put
through a fiery trial and destroyed.  (When it kept growing instead, this des-
truction was meant to be shown in selecting articles by members of it which were
critical of certain outlooks or trends as though they represented a lack of
faith in Christendom overall, and due to Christendom not sharing Russell's own
forced point arguments for various minority or personal teachings.)

  Between 1874 and 1914 there would be a Rapture of the true Christians--Russell
and Russell types who agreed with about anything he wrote--a very small group.
After the 1st one didn't happen, the Raptures happened at the death of each true
Christian and became invisible, too, sometimes by denying he'd predicted them.

  A secondary class of near-Russell types, or followers who didn't become Rus-
sell-types soon enough--by 1881, were initially given as living forever on
Earth, then he relocated their destination to heaven, although they wouldn't be
allowed to help run things.  Those who survived Armageddon otherwise would be
perfected to live forever on Earth (and rue the fact that they didn't agree with
about anything Russell wrote sooner, I suppose).

  By the end of 1914, Armageddon would cause the end of human government.  Abra-
ham, Isaac, and other Bible notables of Hebrews 11, would return to life, and
144,000 Christians, which included Russell and Russell-types of the apostolic
age and Russell's contemporaries, would help Jesus, then literally seen by all,
establish the Father's kingdom and rule the Earth.  His version of Christian
Zionism had it that Palestine would be re-established at that time with a liter-
al 144,000 Jewish people.

  He taught you shouldn't be superstitious about wars, earthquakes, etc., as
signs or omens indicating these things were about to happen.

  As 1914 approached, he admitted to miscalculating and fudged and gave Oct.,
1915, the corrected date, or Oct., 1914, the original date, as choices.  After
WWI broke out at the end of July, 1914, Russell saw it was the only thing spe-
cial going on to attach to his predictions, made an about face about signs and
omens, taught that the war was a sign that Armageddon was due soon, and pre-
tended he predicted it.  But the war not only wasn't any of the miracles he pre-
dicted (the end of human government, etc.) but was something he'd taught to not
see as a supernatural indication of anything, and it started sooner than either
of Russell's dates, especially the corrected one (Oct., 1915).

  Armageddon, etc., was due by the end of 1914...or 1915.  In his last year,
1916, he said Armageddon, etc., would happen in a few years.

  He didn't predict the most significant thing that would happen to his predic-
tions, the real Armageddon of them, either--that his successor, Rutherford,
would trash Russell's will and change Russell's doctrines, such as to change the
invisible return of Jesus from 1874 to 1914, the Great Pyramid from a divine
revelation to a statue by Satan, the initial destination of Abraham, etc., to
one of Rutherford's mansions in San Diego, deny the Jewish people a place in
God's kingdom, and use different years to keep putting Armageddon, etc., a lit-
tle into the future and getting it wrong.

  Having ripped this stuff off from Russell like Russell got it from Barbour,
Rutherford announced that the true gospel wasn't taught till a couple of years
after Russell died.  The deadline by which to join the 144,000 was updated, he
relocated the secondary Christians to a future of living forever on Earth, and
consoled them about that by promising them exclusiveness--everyone else, non-
Rutherford-types, on Earth would be dead.

  Despite the current JWs leaders' claim that Russell predicted the beginning of
the end times to begin in 1914 (actually Russell chose 1799) which would be when
Jesus returned to be figuratively seen (actually Russell predicted Jesus would
be literally seen in 1914), all that's really undeniably true in Russell's pre-
dictions is that Russell knew 1914 would happen after 1913, but so did president
Wilson.  Beyond an awareness of current events shown by many people who read the
news, if more biased than most, Russell didn't predict anything miraculous and
establish himself as a true prophet, only the other kind.

  Some of the predictions are among the most distinctive things he taught, which
were meant to be the main basis for his claim to be part of an exclusive 144,000
followers who, with the Bible notables of Hebrews 11, would be the only ones
that would go to heaven to help Jesus rule the Earth, while the non-Russell
churches would be destroyed.  (That would show evil Christendom, which thought
he was a self-absorbed eccentric businessman.)

  "No, dear friends, I claim nothing of superiority, nor supernatural power,
dignity or authority; nor do I aspire to exalt myself in the estimation of my
brethren of the household of faith, except in the sense that the Master urged,
saying, "Let him who would be great among you be your servant."  "No, the truths
I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by
God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually."  "Neither is this clear
unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to
the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no
other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out." (Reprints, 1906, p.

  I heard that last phrase somewhere before (Luke 19:40).


  John Aquila Brown

  1823  According to the research done by Juan Baixeras, shown at the next link:
"In the early 1800?s a man named John Aquila Brown published an explanation of
the 2,300 days of Daniel in chapter 12, showing these as ending in 1844.  This
view was also adopted by William Miller, the pioneer of the Second Advent move-

  (See below--Miller predicted the 2nd coming would happen in March 21, 1843 to
March 21, 1844.)

  "John A. Brown also developed another explanation that is intimately related
to the year 1914 as that date figures in the teachings of JW.  Brown was the
real interpreter of the 'seven times' of Daniel chapter four, the interpretation
that produces the 2,520 years by means of the day-year formula.  Brown first
published this interpretation in 1823 and his method converted the 'seven times'
into 2,520 years in exactly the same way found today in Watch Tower publica-
tions.  This was twenty-nine years before Charles Russell was born, more than
half a century before the book 'The Three Worlds' (co-authored by Russell, which
is where most JW think that this teaching originated) appeared.

  "Brown however used 604 B.C.E as his starting point and so arrived at 1917.
After the failure of the expectations of 1844, a split of various Second Advent
groups resulted.  One of these groups centered around a man called N.H. Barbour.
Barbour studied Brown?s work and adopted much of his interpretation, but changed
his starting point to 606 BCE and arrived at the year 1914.  Actually this is a
miscalculation since that would be only 2,519 years.  This would have the end
date at 1915."!1914/ci6j

  You might click around at the web site at the link above to see another way
possible for a believer to play with some of the same numbers and come to other
conclusions.  I don't recommend playing prophet about it, though.


  William Miller

  A JWs leaders'-type view of created Jesus (archangel Michael for JWs leaders)
appeared as part of the Millerite movement in the mid-1800s.  This Mormon, Jeho-
vah's Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventist view of Jesus descended from the pre-
"Great Disappointment" Millerite tradition.

  William Miller was one of those who used calculations based on Daniel 8:14,
the "day means a year" idea, etc. (historicism), and predicted the second coming
of Jesus for March 21, 1843 to March 21, 1844.

  This was popular and made his movement a nation-wide one.  When Jesus failed
to appear for him, Miller picked April 18...then Oct.22 looked good.  After "the
Great Disappointment" of 1844, those who remained re-interpreted 1844 to be when
Jesus entered the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven, and when the (now
controversial Adventist doctrine) "investigative judgment," of judging the
lives of professed believers, began in heaven with Jesus unseen on Earth.

  (Russell later taught that Jesus invisibly returned--began a rule of Earth
from heaven--in 1874.)

  New light

  Since then, many Millerites teach that there was a great apostasy in the
mainstream churches that's being fixed with "new light" by Millerites.  Their
claimed corrections may include dietary laws, historical ways of interpreting
prophecies--historicism, and are sometimes Unitarian--non-Trinitarian.

   JWs leaders have sometimes made changes with a reference to Prov.4:18 or
Psalm 97:11: "But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that
is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." (Prov.4:18,
NWT)  But they've used the idea of the righteous one seeing the right path not
just in regard to clarifying scriptures but in requiring conformity to personal
opinion, even through rule reversals and cover-ups for prophecy failures.

  1881  "If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us;
undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one
or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now; But with God there is
no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any know-
ledge or light coming from God must be like its author.  A new view of truth
never can contradict a former truth.  'New light' never extinguishes older
'light,' but adds to it." ("Zion?s Watch Tower," Feb, 1881, p.3)

  See the last listing for 1910.  Russell taught that anyone who used the Bible
alone would end up in darkness, but those who used his writings would be in the
light.  This is still the JWs leaders' stance.

  1976  "as the light of understanding shines even brighter, old ideas have been
replaced.  Now, in these 1970s, it can truly be said that 'the day is firmly es-
tablished' among Jehovah?s people." ( "The Watchtower," July 1, 1976, p.400)

  "I'm Beginning to See the Light" (Ellington/George/Hodges/James) Duke Elling-


  George Storrs and George Stetson

  1870-1875 Millerite Adventist ministers George Storrs and George Stetson
joined the family of Charles Taze Russell in studying the Bible.

  According to M. James Penton, who wrote "Apocalypse Delayed The Story of Jeho-
vah's Witnesses," 1985, p.19, Russell got his beliefs in the 'ransom' doctrine,
the paradise earth 'restitution' doctrine, 'negative feelings' towards the
churches, conditionalism (soul sleep) and celebrating the 'Lord's Supper' or
'Memorial' once a year on 'Nissan 14' from the Second Adventist, George Storrs.
("Watch Tower Reprints," pp.288,289,3821,3823)


  Joseph Seiss

  Another possible influence on Russell was Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss,
whose "Miracle in Stone," 1877, about the Great Pyramid pyramidology, was quoted
by Russell ("Thy Kingdom Come," 1891, 1908 ed., pp.327,328).  Seiss taught that
Jesus rose in spirit form (a current JWs leaders' view, too), and taught in 1856
that Jesus was expected to return as an invisible presence then be visible.
Seiss thought the year 1914 had prophetic significance ("Jehovah's Witnesses--
Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993, p.134).  Russell rejected Seiss' chronology
to create his own (which is apparently not hard to do after so much ground work
has been laid down; see p.1b).

  Regarding his Bible chronology--historicism: "In contrast with Barbour and
Russell, Seiss was not dogmatic about these figures: 'We lay no great stress
upon the arithmetic of prophecy; because the starting-points, as well as many of
the integers of the calculations, lack in certainty.'"



  Brief overview of Bible-related pyramidology

  From at least as early as 1881 (see 1881), Russell joined a number of Chris-
tians in those days who were taken by the teachings of John Taylor and Charles
Piazzi Smyth.

  John Greaves went to Giza, Egypt, in 1638.  He measured the Great Pyramid of
Giza and suggested that a distinctive unit of measurement was used to measure
it.  French engineers, during Napoleon's 1798 expedition to Egypt, made more

  John Taylor's 1859 book "The Great Pyramid: Why Was It Built? & Who Built It?"
proposed a specific length for this ancient Egyptian unit of measurement, which
he called a "pyramid inch."  He claimed it was 1/25th of the "sacred cubit" sug-
gested by Isaac Newton, although Newton had various other ideas for the length
of a sacred cubit.  (See "Judaism in the Theology of Sir Isaac Newton" by Matt
Goldish, 1998.)

  The "pyramid inch" was an imagined unit of measurement of what turned out to
be an inaccurate measurement of the perimeter of the base of the pyramid.  Tay-
lor used an earlier measurement that claimed one side of the pyramid was 9,140
inches.  Not realizing that none of the sides of the base are actually that
long, Taylor multiplied this by four to get 36,560 inches.  He imagined that if
you you use a variation of the British inch, 1.00106 British inches, called a
"pyramid inch," and a "sacred cubit" based on it, you get 365.242 sacred cubits
for the perimeter--the length of the solar year in days.

  Taylor believed that the British were descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel
and that the Lost Tribes built the pyramid.

  He inferred relationships between measurements made of the pyramid with the
"pyramid inch" and the geometry of the Earth and the solar system, believed the
overseer of the construction of the pyramid was Noah, and began what is now
called "pyramidology" of the Great Pyramid.

  In 1865, Robert Menzies proposed that prophecies and Bible history could be
found in the measurements of the pyramid using the "pyramid inch."

  Taylor's ideas were further popularized and expanded by Charles Piazzi Smyth.
In 1865, Smyth measured the pyramid.  Otherwise a good scientist, he accepted
Taylor's premise on the terms that he be seen to tweak and improve it.  Accord-
ing to "THE SECOND COMING--All the best from the Skeptic, 1986?1990," edited by
Barry Williams and compiled by Richard Saunders:
   "Finding that one of the casing stones of the Great Pyramid was approx-
  imately 25 inches, equal to Taylor?s cubit, Smyth decided that the inch
  (one twentyfifth of a cubit and approximately one 10 millionth part of
  the Earth?s polar radius) must have been the divine unit of length.  When
  it was discovered that the original casing stone was a bit over 25 inches
  (25.025 in fact), Smyth proposed that the ?Pyramid inch? of 1.001 was the
  actual divine unit (the British unit presumably got worn down a bit in
  the pocket of one of the Lost Tribesmen).

    Smyth "found a mason?s boss on a slab of stone and declared it to be the
  Divine Standard. The 'science' of Pyramidology was now firmly established.
  It survived the revelation that one of Smyth?s followers had been caught
  trying to file down the boss to make it more accurate and the discovery
  that surviving Great Pyramid casing stones were all of different sizes."

  Smyth and his followers, "who included the founders of the Jehovah?s Wit-
  nesses, using his Pyramid Inch, decided that various internal structures
  of the Great Pyramid were a record of the past history of the world (nat-
  urally beginning in 4004 BC), and that was not all. Further measurements
  showed that the future history of the world was also contained in the
  stones. The end of the world was variously predicted as happening in 1874,
  1914, 1920 and 1925."

  (Russell gave 1874 as the time of Jesus' invisible return, and he gave 1914 as
his first date for Armageddon (the destruction of human government and non-Rus-
sell churches, etc.) at the end of the end times, eventually settling for it be-
ing the beginning of the end of the end, which would end on other dates he got
wrong.  Rutherford predicted Armageddon in 1920, and he predicted that in 1925
millions then living wouldn't die and Abraham, etc., of Heb.11 would reappear.
It's getting harder to imagine what was so exclusive about their 144,000.)

  Smyth was partial to Melchizedek (Gen.14:18-20) as the overseer of the con-
struction of the pyramid.  Smyth interpreted measurements made with his new im-
proved "pyramid inches" as referring to years.  The years attributed to ends of
the interior passages included the alleged times of the Exodus and Jesus' cruci-
fixion.  He first published his findings in 1864 in "Our Inheritance in the
Great Pyramid," later updated and called "The Great Pyramid: Its Secrets and
Mysteries Revealed."

  Smyth used his inches to make bad predictions for the Second Coming--1882 then
ones between 1892 and 1911.  He also used his arguments against the idea of
Britain adopting the metric system.  He died in 1900 and a pyramid sculpture
with a cross on top marks his grave.

  William Matthews Flinders Petrie made measurements that were more accurate in
1880--none previously were based on first-hand observation (Taylor) or logic
(Smyth).  He found that each side of the base was 9,120 to 9,130 inches long--
smaller than Taylor had claimed, and scientific support for Taylor's ideas,
therefore Smyth's tweaks of them, fell away.

  The Egyptians used a different unit of measurement and aren't known to have
counted inches as years.

  Pyramidology, with fans and bad predictors that included Charles Taze Russell
and Edgar Cayce, continued.

  Isaiah 19:19,20 "In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst
of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.  It will be a sign
and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the
LORD because of oppressors he will send them a savior, and will defend and de-
liver them."  The pyramid is in the midst of Egypt and a border is claimed to
have run through it when it was divided into north and south sections.  The Gem-
atria numerical value of the passage is supposed to equal the height of the pyra-
mid when it had a capstone.

  Why the Great Pyramid of Giza would be to the glory of the God of Isaiah at
some time after Isaiah wrote it isn't clear.  Then again, he said something
there would.  It could be a general idea of a very impressive monument to what
God's creation can do, or imaginable due to the speculations below.  A Christian
interpretation of the surrounding verses about the Egyptians worshipping the God
of Isaiah in what is now a mostly Sunni Islam country would need to avoid being
imagined as a generalization for the present.  Islamic people believe Muhammad
was a prophet, that he corrected the teachings of a corrupted Bible, and they
don't generally believe Jesus was crucified, etc.

  Isaiah may have only meant a prayer of hope that there would someday be wor-
ship of his God in Egypt, possibly intending the Great Pyramid as a reference
for location.

  Matt.21:42 "Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the scriptures: "The
very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this
was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes"?'"  The symbolization of
Jesus as a capstone that the builders rejected is imagined to correlate with the
missing top block of the pyramid, although it was used by the builders and re-
moved a lot later.  The builders could be connected in figuring they didn't be-
lieve in the God of the Bible, yet some pyramidologists may figure them for hav-
ing been led by Noah or Melchizedek.  Go figure.

  The opening points to true north.  It was calculated that only once did it
point at the north star Draconis at the same time that parallel scored lines,
cut into the hall 40 feet from the opening, pointed at the Pleiades: 2,141 BC.
Pointing north was likely a concern of the builders, although shifting of the
Earth over thousands of years might prevent someone from being too fussy about
it beyond that.  But we don't know if the parallel lines were cut into the walls
to point to where the Pleiades appeared during one year or for some other reason.

  Egyptologists generally think the Great Pyramid of Egypt was built around
2,580-2,560 BC, although this is debated.

  Considering the scored lines as representing 2,141 BC (not established), then
counting by a year per "pyramid inch" (with no evidence the ancient Egyptians
wanted anyone to do it) back to the opening, the opening was considered to rep-
resent 2,141 BC.  Counting from the opening down the descending passage to the
ascending passage, the entrance to the ascending passage was considered to rep-
resent 1,453 BC, which they imagined to be the year of the Exodus (shaky possi-
bility).  Counting up to the end of the narrow ascending passage they got 33 AD,
which they thought was when Jesus was crucified (generally figured for there-
abouts).  Counting up to the end of the Grand Gallery, they got 1914, which pyr-
amidologists later claimed to be a prediction of the start of WWI.

  This is where Charles Taze Russell got another special motive for using 1914
in playing (equally shakily) with historicism.  He mistakenly considered it,
with borrowed historicism, as a kind of corroboration of facts.  When Charles be-
gan using it in his literature sales, it was an upcoming year commonly specu-
lated about in the fairly popular pyramidology of his time, and a tempting year
to use when playing with Bible-related historicism.  By the time 1914 came
around, Russell had two dates for his prediction, Oct., 1915 (corrected date--
not using a year "0" between the BC and AD years) and Oct., 1914.  None of the
miracles he predicted happened.  He claimed he predicted Biblical Armageddon
after WWI broke out on July 28, 1914, though he'd previously taught that you
shouldn't see a war as an indication that it was about to happen, WWI didn't
begin on one of Russell's two dates, and it wasn't Biblical Armageddon.  (See
the entry for 1914 below.)

  However interesting pyramidology could be as a Bible-related speculation, the
parts the base of the idea are constructed with are arbitrarily imaginable, un-
known, or even known to be wrong.

  It's playing prophet to express dates arrived at with it as certainties and
needed for a conservative interpretation of the Bible.  Also see 1878 and the
second listing for 1910 for further reasons to think Russell did so.

  To take such ideas beyond that, with further speculations (that kept changing)
and predictions (that kept coming out wrong and being covered up) to express
dates arrived at with it as certainties and needed for a conservative interpre-
tation of the Bible, is to play prophet, as Russell both occasionally denied
doing yet otherwise did.  To keep offering these speculations as certainties yet
fail at them, use "it happened invisibly" excuses, and cover up for previous
failures, yet keep giving the latest rendition as anything better than specula-
tion, to give it as what is believed by the little group who will go to heaven,
is to play prophet badly and insincerely, as is shown in the timeline below.

  With pyramidology a fairly popular speculation among Christians in the late
1800s, Russell relied on pyramidology for short-sighted public support of his
minority/personal view interpretations and predictions.  Some of his state-
ments about predictions show a modest uncertainty, mainly in the years just be-
fore 1914, but most are ultimately dogmatic.  He described his series of books
that included his distinctive outlooks, Studies in the Scriptures, as required
more than the Bible itself for a proper belief in the God of the Bible (see the
1st entry below for 1910).


  Jonas Wendell

  1870  Charles Taze Russell heard Adventist preacher Jonas Wendell (disap-
pointed that Jesus didn't return in 1844 or 1868) preach that Christ would re-
turn to earth in 1873/1874.


  Nelson H. Barbour

  1874  According to Wikipedia: "The Second Adventists affiliated with Nelson H.
Barbour expected a visible and dramatic return of Christ in 1873, and later in
1874.  They agreed with other Adventist groups that the "time of the end" (also
called the "last days") had started in 1799.  Soon after the 1874 disappoint-
ment, Barbour accepted the idea that Christ had actually returned to the earth
in 1874 invisibly.  1874 was considered the end of 6,000 years of human history
and the beginning of judgment by Christ.  Charles Taze Russell and the group
that later was known as Bible Students accepted these views from Barbour."

  The Seventh-day Adventist church (one founder was Ellen G. White) grew out of
the Millerite movement.  Death was taught as an unconscious sleep until resur-
rection except for those who go to Hell, which was taught as annihilation.

  (Russell and subsequent JWs leaders have taught this as the immediate future
for those not part of the group who go to heaven.)


  1876  Charles Taze Russell joined Nelson Barbour in publishing and selling
"Herald of the Morning" in 1876.  Russell joined Barbour in claiming to believe
the second coming of Jesus happened in 1874.  Although Matt.24:29-31; Rev.7:1
give Jesus' second coming as a big event that all eyes will see, Barbour taught
that it referred to Jesus' invisible "presence" ("all eyes will see" taken fig-
uratively as in "all will know," which didn't happen either).  Russell agreed
and taught it till he died in 1916.


  Prophecies intended to shore up a weak case

  Prediction: End Times of the Gentiles--1914

  The history of the ideas attached to 1914, which began with Charles Russell
and is taught in a new version by the JWs leaders today, is one of the things to
deliberate over for a sign of God or "not God" in the timeline below.

  According to the True Bible Code web site: "The original calculations were
mostly based on dates from John Aquila Brown, who in 1823 published The Even-
Tide in which he claimed that the "seven times" of Daniel 4 were a period of
2520 years running from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar?s reign in 604 B.C.E. to
1917 C.E.  While Brown never equated the 2520 years with the 'Gentile Times,'
other writers soon did."

  The number "2,520" comes from multiplying a 360 day year times seven for 2,520
days, then considering the days to be years.  This is not required by the Bible.

  Daniel 4:25 is the source of "seven times."  According an article about the
book of Daniel by Robert I Bradshaw:

  "Nebuchadnezzar had cause to call upon Daniel's services as an interpreter of
dreams when once again his other advisors failed.  The interpretation showed
that unlike the earlier dream this one referred to Nebuchadnezzar personally
rather than to his Empire.  The king's pride in his accomplishments was about to
bring about a period of chastisement during which he would lose his mind and be
driven from position of power.  Daniel warned the king that the dream would be
fulfilled unless Nebuchadnezzar repented of his wickedness (4:1-27).  However,
his advice was soon forgotten and the dream fulfilled.  At the end of seven
'times' Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the his life was in God's hands, was re-
stored and gave praise to God (4:28-37).  No further events dating from the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar are recorded."

  This idea of counting Daniel's seven times as 2,520 years and using it to make
a prediction passed though the Millerites and Nelson Barbour with contributions
from pyramidology to Charles Taze Russell.

  For decades now, Watchtower literature has taught that Russell correctly pre-
dicted 1914 as the beginning of the end of the worldly system of things, the
current JWs leaders' teaching.  It's supposed to have been seen on Earth since
1914 with worse wars, earthquakes, crime, famine, and disease than before be-
cause in 1914 Jesus assumed control of the Earth from heaven, his invisible
presence "seen" on Earth since then, and let the Devil be free to cause it for a
little while.  This isn't what Russell predicted.

  Russell taught the idea he got from Nelson Barbour that "the conclusion of the
system of things," also called "the Gentile times" or "time of the end," began
in 1799, and 1914 was taught as "the end of the system of things."  (I think he
should have given one of the two ends a whole different name and stuck with it.)
It would culminate in Armageddon in 1914.


  1914 was 2,520 years after the fall of Jerusalem, which happened in 606 BC,
according to Barbour.  (About everyone else in the world has the fall of Jerusa-
lem at 587 or 586 BC.)  Barbour got 2,520 by adding seven 360 day years together
for 2,520 days, Dan.4:25, then considering days as years to count from when he
thought Jerusalem fell.  This is numerology--nothing in the Bible indicates you
need to do it.


  Russell taught that Jesus invisibly began to rule the Earth from heaven in
1874, which was 6,000 years after the creation of Adam and Eve.  The Earth was
created 42,000 years (six 7,000 year "days") before Adam.

  (WAY too recent for Adam and Eve.  Millions of people would have been there to
say, "Hey, where did you come from?" at that time.  Homo sapiens showed up about
150,000 years ago.  He was farther off with the creation of the Earth, which is
billions of years older than that.  See "The Photo-drama of Creation" at 1914.)


  539 AD to 1799 AD were 1,260 "days"/years which Russell called the years of
the ability of the Papacy to persecute, but they only fell within the years it
had stronger political authority (see 1891).  It's just something he wanted to
include as part of his pandering to Catholic bashing, and he didn't call much
attention to it.

  From 1874, the time of Jesus' invisible return, to 1914 were to be 40 years of
trouble, the worst the world had ever seen, and a harvest of true believers.

  The church, the "little flock," the Elect, eventually defined as a literal in-
terpretation of the "144,000" of Rev.14:1-5, though immediate context is symbol-
ic and doesn't suggest a literal number, would be raptured--rise to meet Jesus
and go to heaven--sometime between 1874 and 1914.  Different dates (1878, 1881,
a few years after 1916) were given for that as things went along without it hap-
pening.  He taught that God stopped electing people to his "little flock" of
144,000 in 1881, but in 1916 he changed the deadline to a few years after 1916.
(See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1922, 1935, 1995, and

  Near-Russell types were initially forecast as living forever on Earth then
Russell changed their destination to heaven.  Anyone else who survived Armaged-
don would live forever on Earth.

  The Rev.14:1-5 literal 144,000 isn't to be confused with the Rev.7:2-4 literal
144,000, which Russell taught as made up of Jewish people who would live in a
restored Palestine.

  In 1900, that would be just over 1% of the Jewish people in the world, which I
thought was sporting.

  What decided the run-off, I'm not sure.  Apparently that they'd be good Jewish
people but not so good they'd try to run anything.  (I considered the possibili-
ty he meant Jewish people who agreed with everything he said, but I think one
percent would be too big for Christians, so forget it.)

  The figures I found are uncertain, but I think Russell missed this one, too.
See Table 3 at the next link:

  He predicted the non-Russell churches would be destroyed from 1910 to 1914,
Palestine would be re-established, Abraham and other Bible notables of Hebrews
11 would return to life, the battle of Armageddon would end human government,
and Jesus would have the Bible notables, and Russell and the rest of his
144,000, help him rule the Earth from heaven by the end of 1914.

  Russell was saying that he, and a little group of people who agreed with ev-
erything he said, which impressively included a few like Jesus and Abraham,
would rule the world.  Russell's hijack of the intended meanings here reminds me
of the opening to "Pinky and the Brain."

  Jesus, the Bible notables, and Russell's 144,000 would have direct access to
the Father, and they'd be mediators between the Father in heaven and the near-
Russell types in heaven and perfected people on Earth.

  (I guess part of the modesty he meant to show was intended to reassure follow-
ers that once he helped rule the world he wouldn't lord it over the secondary
followers that they rued the fact that they hadn't agreed with everything he
said sooner: "You know, I thought that 1881 invisible Rapture was stupid at the
time, but it did have some qualities....")

  As 1914 approached, non-Russell churches were intact and growing, but Russell
badmouthed them a lot and used things like Presbyterian pastors accepting ideas
of evolution and the mainstream belief in the Trinity as indications they
weren't really faithful.  He accused most of not believing in the Bible meaning
of the crucifixion (keep in mind he taught a created Jesus who was to be wor-
shipped).  Some of the reasons Russell used to deny the Trinity have been used
by the JWs leaders in recent years--see pp.7-10.

  Russell corrected the miscalculation by Barbour (there's no year "0" between
the BC and AD years) and the end was to be Oct., 1915 (corrected date) or Oct.,
1914 (original date).  I guess it gave his prediction another year of breathing
space which moving the fall of Jerusalem back to a different year it didn't
happen wouldn't provide.

  He taught you shouldn't interpret wars, earthquakes, etc., as signs that Jesus
was about to establish his kingdom on Earth.

  After WWI broke out in July 28, 1914, Russell about-faced about omens and in-
terpreted it as a sign of the end and claimed a hit.  He was off by a bit over a
year and two months by his corrected calculation (Oct., 1915), or a bit over two
months by Barbour's original date (Oct., 1914).  Didn't seem to bother him.

  The end was beginning in 1914 and would end ending at the end of 1914...or

  In 1916, he predicted the end would end ending in a few years.  He came to an
end in 1916.  WWI ended and Armageddon and the other miracles never began.  The
establishment of Israel, which someone could have made predictions about with
secular reasons by just following the news, didn't happen till 1948.  Russell
ended up with a distinction mainly created with a lot of bad predictions about
miraculous things--God just wouldn't see His way clear to cause all that trouble
just to give Russell the one-in-the-world credibility he craved.  God left him
with the same evidence you'd see if Russell hadn't made any calculations to pre-
dict miracles with at all.

  Another might have dropped the idea.  The second Watchtower president, Judge
Rutherford, decided to build on it.

  In the late 1920's, Rutherford figured that Jesus had really taken the throne
in heaven, so was invisibly present on Earth, since 1914, with Rev.1:7--"all
eyes will see"--taken in the sense of "everyone will be aware."  I recommend you
take his interpretation of it in the sense of "nobody" since even Russell's Bi-
ble Students in 1914 had no idea of it--they thought that happened in 1874.  How
you could tell either one with an invisible Jesus and dates with invisible cred-
ibility, I dunno.

  The years since 1914, not 1874 to 1914, were the worst the world had ever
seen.  This is to interpret Jesus as telling his followers to see wars, earth-
quakes, etc, as signs of his return instead of him telling them not to be super-
stitious about such things which were due to happen every now and then (Rus-
sell's original interpretation, which I think is more sensible).

  Fred Franz, a later JWs president, wanted to iron out the miscalculation with
the year "0" and liked 1914 better than 1915, too (due to Russell's makeshift
connection between WWI and the beginning of the end) so kept it and moved the
fall of Jerusalem back to a different year it didn't happen--607 BC. (See 1943
and 1944)

  Until late 1995, the JWs leaders said some of those alive in 1914 would still
be alive when Jesus returned again, which all eyes would see in the sense of
seeing, which was recently dropped because Jesus has taken too long to do it.
They just won't take a holy hint.

  "Let the honest-hearted person compare the kind of preaching of the gospel of
the Kingdom done by the religious systems of Christendom during all the centur-
ies with that done by Jehovah?s Witnesses since the end of World War I in 1918.
They are not one and the same kind.  That of Jehovah?s Witnesses is really 'gos-
pel,' or 'good news,' as of God?s heavenly kingdom that was established by the
enthronement of his Son Jesus Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.
(Luke 21:24) ("The Watchtower," May 1, 1981, p.17)

  See Gal.1:6-9.  Paul taught that if anyone teaches anything contrary to the
good news he taught, let them be accursed.

  In 1993, the 1914 idea was amended to Jesus turning his attention to Earth, he
hadn't taken the throne in heaven yet, in 1914.  Otherwise, he's still supposed
to have picked the JWs leaders as the sole religious leaders on Earth in 1919,

  Apologies to the Bible Students who still follow some of Russell's teachings
and would rather people didn't think Russell started the Jehovah's Witnesses.
The JWs leaders don't like to call much attention to what Russell actually
wrote, either.  Personally, I'm not entirely thrilled with either one.  But the
JWs leaders blood doctrine is partly based on their claim of being God's sole
channel taken from a literal 144,000, and that's partly based on their teachings
that Russell's Bible Students predicted something miraculous about 1914.  The
most miraculous thing in it to me is that anyone bothered with the idea, let
alone anyone currently makes agreement with it a requirement for salvation.

  And does evil Christendom teach that you need that to be saved?  No.  Well,
they're evil Christendom.


  1876  "At the commencement of our Christian era, 606 years of this time had
passed, which deducted from 2520, would show that the seven times would end in
1914.  We will ask, but not now answer, another question: If the Gentile Times
end in 1914, (and there are many other and clearer evidences pointing to the
same time) and we are told that it shall be with fury poured out; a time of
trouble such as never was before, nor ever shall be; a day of wrath etc., how
long before does the church escape? as Jesus says, "watch that ye may be ac-
counted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world".  ("Bible Examin-
er," Oct., 1876, pp.27,28)

  (See 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1877  In "Three Worlds and the Harvest of this World," 1877, by Nelson Bar-
bour and Charles Taze Russell, Barbour used historicism to count 2,520 years
from 606 BC, when he thought Jerusalem fell, to 1914 AD, which was announced to
be the "End Times of the Gentiles."  He overlooked the fact that there's no year
"zero"--2,520 years from 606 BC is 1915 AD.

  (See 1912--Russell fudged as 1914 approached and gave Oct. of either 1914 or
1915 as the "End Times of the Gentiles."  Also see 1943-1944: the year "zero"
was removed from the 2,520 count--the fall of Jerusalem was moved back a year so
as to preserve then-current JWs leaders' historicism ideas about 1914.)

  "The seventh trumpet sounds from Aug. 1840, until 'the time of trouble,' or
day of wrath is ended.  Hence, it doubtless ends with the times of the Gentiles,
and this forty years of conquest; and therefore, sounds until A. D. 1914; at the
end of which, Babylon the great, will have fallen, and the 'dragon' be bound:
that is, the nations will be subdued, and 'the prince of this world cast out.'"
("Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World," 1877, p.143)

  (See 1876, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  Barbour convinced Russell to help him teach the Rapture (followers, including
ones who'd passed away, would rise into the sky to meet with Jesus) would occur
in April, 1878.

  1877  The "rapture of the heaven" would happen in 1878. ("Three
Worlds, and the Harvest of This World," by N.H.Barbour and C.T.Russell, 1877,

  (See 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  1877  Russell called two meetings of the religious leaders in Pittsburgh and
Allegheny (which was a sepa rate city that became the North Side of Pittsburgh in
1907) PA to explain his ideas, including that the Rapture (his little group of
believers taken to heaven by Jesus) would happen in 1878.  The Pastoral Bible
Institute (a religious group that withdrew from the Watchtower after Rutherford
took over from Russell and made changes) site says 1/3rd showed up for one meet-
ing, and the Pastor Russell site says all invited appeared for both meetings
(see the sites at the links below).  He was rejected both times.

  1877  The Gospel era will be closed and the saints will be raptured to heaven
in 1878. ("Three Worlds," 1877, pp.84,124)

  1878  April, 1878--no Rapture.

  (See 1877, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish



  Here's a summary and some highlights to help you follow this issue in the rest
of the timeline below.

  Thanks to "DATES from the Watchtower" by Randall Watters, from the Jan./Feb.
1986 Bethel Ministries Newsletter, for many of the following dates of JWs lead-
ers' rules.

  Initially, Russell taught that the Harvest of the "elect," an elite group that
included himself and whoever agreed with everything he said (which would be a
little group) was to last until 1881, although that date changed as time went
by.  Russell eventually specified that the elect, otherwise called the "little
flock," was the 144,000 of Rev.14:1-5 taken literally to be 144,000 followers.
("Watchtower Reprints," 1881, p.224; 1880, p.172)

  That's less than the current population of Boise, Idaho for most of two mil-
lenniums of God drawing people to himself.  It makes John 3:16 come out differ-
ently.  I guess it depends how you say the word "so"--God "so" loved the world....,_Idaho

  Boise, Idaho, "The City of Trees."

  He later added that followers who didn't agree with everything he said soon
enough (Oct.2, 1881) would live on Earth, then moved their destination to heav-
en, although they wouldn't be allowed to help rule the world.  Others who sur-
vived Armageddon would be perfected on Earth, and a literal 144,000 (Rev.7:2-8)
Jewish people would live in a restored Palestine (see 1880 in the timeline below
this section).

  Otherwise, he was a Christian universalist: eventually, everyone else would
live on earth (see 1881 "You don't know hell till you've read Russell") except
he arbitrarily elected himself into a literal 144,000 elite of those who agreed
with his distinctive doctrines and reasons for his predictions.  His plans for
who ought to admire and follow him went to the most extreme limit of mankind
imaginable.  This was not a humble man....

  The next Watchtower president, Rutherford, and later Watchtower leaders have
bumped the date to join the 144,000, from which JWs leaders are picked, forward
as time has gone along.  The current JWs leaders are a president and a Governing
Body of around a dozen guys.  As of this writing, 2007, they've allowed that
they can't be sure of a deadline for joining the 144,000.  (I think I could have
predicted that one.)

  Rutherford kept the 144,000, etc., and moved the secondary followers, the
sheep class in heaven (see the last paragraph for 1917), to a future on Earth
when it's restored as a Paradise (where Russell originally put them) (see 1935
in the timeline below).  If they died before Earth was restored to a Paradise,
they would be in the "sleep" of death until resurrected to live there.

  Russell's idea about 144,000 Jewish people in a restored Palestine didn't make
the quota in time (see 1914) and the whole idea was dropped by Rutherford in
1932 before Israel was established.

  Rutherford ruled that the 144,000 are the only JWs who can eat at the Lord's
Supper ceremony.

  This is still the JWs leaders' stance.

  According to Raymond Franz (see 1975 and 1983), JWs who believe they're part
of the 144,000 but aren't part of the Governing Body have no say in the deci-
sions made by the Governing Body.  They can take part in the Lord's Supper,
though, and the Earth-bound ones can't.

  (Also, since everyone on Earth would be a Jehovah's Witness, I guess they
wouldn't have to go door to door anymore.  If they did, nobody'd be home.)

  The JWs leaders teach that the 144,000 are the only JWs who have Jesus as
their mediator and are born again.  The other JWs have the 144,000 as their
mediator. ("The Watchtower," Nov.15, 1979, pp.24-27)

   Mainstream Christianity regards "144,000" as symbolically referring to the
completed gathering of the Christian followers in heaven.  The context--the
"Lamb" is Jesus and the "144,000" are Jewish, male, virgins, and standing on
Mount Zion--is symbolic, too.  To call it a literal number that just refers to
you and you little group of buddies as being the only ones who go to heaven to
help Jesus rule the world is to play prophet in an elitist way.  Such a claim
would probably lead to false claims to make it look true, and could lead to un-
necessary divisions between people or worse.

  The "other sheep" of John 10:16 are Gentiles (Eph.2), not Christians who will
live forever on Earth instead of heaven.

  Jesus is the only mediator between God and men at 1 Tim.2:5.

  All Christians are born again without class distinctions at John 3:3,5; I Tim.
2:5; I Cor. 12:3,13; John 6:53-58; John 1:12; I John.5:1; 2 Cor.5:21; John 5:39-
40; Rom.8:5-17; Gal.3:26,28; John 12:26; Matt.5:11-12; I Cor.12:27.

  A mainstream view of being born again:

  The great crowd of Rev 7:9-17; 19:1 is in heaven with the 144,000 of Rev.7:
4-8.  They're in God's temple, Rev.7:15, in heaven, Rev.11:19; 14:17.

  All Christians are to eat at the Lord's Supper ceremony according to Jesus at
John 6:53-58.

  A JWs leaders' timeline about the 144,000:

  1880  Russell taught that the 144,000 of Rev.14:1 are the "little flock" he's
part of, not those of the "nominal church" of corruption, by which he meant most
all other Christians.  "Christendom" isn't a derogatory word unless it's meant
that way, and he meant it that way.  (Practically none of them taught a created
Jesus you worship, let alone when he invisibly appeared, etc.)  The ability to
join the 144,000 would end in Oct., 1881:

  "Dearly beloved, if we believe these things, our works will attest our faith.
If you and I believe that the door to the 'high calling' closes in less than a
year, should we not increase our efforts to bring all Christians into the light
of present truth--the knowledge of the bridegroom's presence--that they and we
may be more fully separated from the world." ("Watchtower Reprints," Nov., 1880,

  1882  Russell taught that after 1881 additional converts will live their af-
terlife on earth: "But while we still would urge justified believers (who have
never yet consecrated) to now consecrate their time and powers to God's service,
we cannot hold out as a hope, the heavenly prize.  We point such to the same
prize for which Abraham and all prior to Jesus ran, viz.: future earthly bless-
ings." ("Watchtower Reprints," July, 1882, p.377)

  1883  Apparently, being told you aren't going to heaven wasn't a popular
favorite with the followers.  Russell relocated them in a compromised way when
he taught that a "Great Crowd"/"Great Company," most of whom were alive at the
time, would be rescued from the Great Tribulation to be a secondary class of
those who would go to heaven.  The 144,000 and Christ would be mediators between
the Father and the rest. ("Watchtower Reprints," March, 1883, p.458; "Watchtower
Reprints," 1897, p.2161)

  1916  Russell taught that the ability to join the alleged literal 144,000
would end in "perhaps a year or two or three." ("Thy Kingdom Come," forward to
1916 edition, pp.i,ii)

  1933  Rutherford taught that most JWs can't eat at the Lord's Supper ceremony
with him.  Only the "remnant," the 144,000, can eat the bread of the Lord's Sup-
per and "show forth his death and participate in his joy, which is common only
to those who are in unity with Christ and Jehovah."  Other JWs are "Jonadabs"--
"the Great Crowd." ("The Watchtower," March 15, 1933, p.90)

  1935  On May 31, 1935, at a Washington, DC, JWs convention, Rutherford changed
the destination of the "great crowd," his interpretation of Rev.7:9 (JWs beyond
the alleged literal 144,000), from heaven to Paradise on Earth. ("The Watchtow-
er," Sept.1, 1983, p.12)

  1935  Rutherford replaced 1918 with 1935 as the close of the "high calling" to
be among the alleged literal 144,000 JWs. ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1992, p.
23, and "Jehovah's Witnesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993 p.166)

  1935  Rutherford taught that the "Temple" in heaven was cleansed by Jesus
Christ in 1932, which paved the  way for an understanding of Rev.7:13,14 and the
new identity of the "Great Multitude."  The dates 1918 (the coming of Christ to
the temple) and 1932 (the temple cleansed) were the key building blocks to iden-
tifying the "Great Multitude" as an earthly class.  "The great multitude, there-
fore, could not come into existence until the Lord Jesus Christ appeared at the
temple and began his judgement, and therefore the great multitude could not ap-
pear prior to 1918." ("The Watchtower," Aug.1, 1935, pp.233,234,236)

  1938  Rutherford taught that the "New Covenant" only applied to the
"anointed"--"other sheep" do not have Christ as their mediator and they're not
spirit-begotten (born again). ("The Watchtower," 1938, p.7072)

  "If one is a Jonadab, he is not in Christ; and if he is not in Christ he can-
not share in the death and resurrection of Christ.  Therefore it would be im-
proper for him to partake of the Memorial emblems."  "In the temple, that is,
the secret place of the Lord, he instructs his anointed as to the meaning of the
prophecies now being fulfilled..." ("The Watchtower," March 1, 1938, pp.74,75)

  "The Jonadabs...(are) not even justified, because the receiving of life ever-
lasting depends upon their faithful obedience within God's organization and
faithfully abiding there until the wrath of God is passed at Armageddon." ("The
Watchtower," April 1, 1938, p.104)

  (Rutherford taught that Earth-bound JWs will have to earn their keep with
works till the end of the millenium.)

  1974  Under Nathan Knorr's presidency, most of the New Testament was directed
to just the 144,000: "Also, it is to the spirit-anointed Christians who will
rule in that kingdom that most of the Christian Greek Scriptures is directed,
including the promises of everlasting life."  ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1974,

  1985  Under Fred Franz' presidency, the Earth-bound "other sheep" were des-
cribed as "relatively guiltless, when compared to the majority of mankind alien-
ated from God."  A "degree of righteousness is credited to them."  They're "not
already declared righteous for life" but "need additional help, or steps to be
taken." ("The Watchtower," Dec.1, 1985, p.1418)

  2007  Under Don Adams' presidency, the deadline for how late JWs can be born
and be part of the 144,000, which the JWs leaders claim to be part of, was
dropped. ("The Watchtower," May 1, 2007)

  The JWs leaders have been playing prophet, whether or not claiming outright to
be prophets, by claiming such 144,000 exclusiveness, and the regimented abidance
they require to distinctive rules (about a literal 144,000, that Jesus invisibly
returned in 1914 and picked the Watchtower leaders' as his sole religious lead-
ers in 1919, that birthday parties are idolatry, etc.) seem partly meant to
justify the exclusiveness.  Notably, for this article, the JWs leaders lead the
only Christian religion that requires the JWs leaders' ban of blood and major
blood fractions.
 (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935,
1995, and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000
Jewish people)


  Back to the regular timeline

  1879  Barbour renounced his prophetic calculations and Russell's ransom idea
for the crucifixion, and, after some debates in "Herald of the Morning," split
with Russell, who began damage control for his calculations.  Barbour continued
with "Herald of the Morning" and Russell went on his own to start selling
"Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence" in July, 1879.

  According to the Watchtower Information Service web site, "The high initial
circulation, 6,000, was possible because H.B. Rice, a Second Adventist prophet
of California, had to close down for lack of finance and so donated his sub-
scriber list to Charles.  Charles? sect was now an independent entity.

  "Tract production and distribution in 1880, including hiring of 300 New York
boys to distribute tracts at church doors, cost Russell $42,000.  Such commit-
ment meant no turning back.  So, to reduce costs Russell introduced tracteering
as a Christian duty within the sect.  Being thus kept busy diverted their atten-
tion from failed prophecy and instilled a sense of commitment in all.  The 'keep
them busy' stratagem is still successful a century later."



  According to Wikipedia, Russell got the idea to promote Zionism from Nelson

  1880  Regarding Rom.11:15, Russell taught that there would be a restoration of
a literal 144,000 (Rev.7:2-8) Jews to Palestine due by the end of 1914.

  "As has been many times shown, the times of the Gentiles last about thirty-
five years from the spring of 1880; and the return of the Jews to Palestine is
rapidly becoming an indisputable fact.

  "The apology for presenting this subject, is, that the return of the Jews, and
the time of trouble are becoming apparent facts; and it is believed that the two
facts will be the means, in the next 35 years, of the conversion of the 144,000
Jews, and the great multitude of all nations, who will come up out of or after
the great tribulation, with their robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb--
'Rev. 7'." ("The Watchtower," June, 1880, pp.107,108)

  The Rev.7:2-8 144,000 isn't to be confused with the Rev.14:1-5 144,000, which
is the "little flock"--"the elect." (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910,
1914, 1916, 1917, 1922, 1935, 1995, and 2007)

  Russell took part in the Zionist movement in a Christian Zionist way.  Pales-
tine wasn't restored in 1914 as he predicted.  By the time Russell died, he was
among a lot of people, mostly with religious beliefs that put them outside of
Russell's claimed 144,000, who made the political forecast or hoped it would
happen someday if only for a shelter for a persecuted people.  Russell didn't
predict the date of the establishment of Israel, which was May 14, 1948.

  Russell joined some of the earliest Christian efforts to promote Zionism (de-
nounced by subsequent Watchtower president Rutherford).  Christian Zionism often
uses one of the interpretations imagined for Rom.11:17-24.  It may also inter-
pret and add specifics to other verses as prophecy, as other writings of Rus-
sell's show he was prone to do (see 1886 and 1908).

  Though Russell tried to tie this significant concern of the day to predictions
of his that failed, he was basically right about millions of Jewish people even-
tually moving to Palestine, and he helped the movement.  (It was mostly com-
prised of people who weren't followers of Russell, so it wouldn't work as a sign
that God meant to have people convert to Russell's personal religious views.)

  (See 1932--Rutherford continued support for Zionism for a while then renounced
it in "Vindication."  If anything, he then seemed anti-Semitic--see the timeline
on p.6.)

  On one hand, it gave persecuted Jewish people a land of their own.  On the
other, Russell didn't think it through to have a similarly thoughtful plan for
those who were displaced and became refugees, which remains a sore point in the
Middle East.


  1880  The door to join Russell's little flock of Russell types would close in
Oct., 1881.  Besides Russell and his little flock ruling from heaven with Jesus,
Russell predicted that a larger group, near-Russell types, would look on admir-

  "That the 'great company' learn the song, is shown also by 'Rev. 19', when
they say, 'verses 1 and 2', 'True and righteous are His judgments, &c.'  Then
the enthroned company say: 'Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that
fear Him, both small and great.'  The answer shows that they have reached the
condition of complete harmony with God--they can sing in harmony in every note--
'I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude... saying, 'Alleluia, for
the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to
Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come.' ('Verse 5-7'.)  They will realize
that the 'body' or 'bride' is complete, and that they can have no share in that
high calling, as the door to that position will then be closed; yet they rejoice
to see [as we do] God's great loving plan as it embraces the sin destroyed race,
and they are filled with God's praise. 'Verse 9' contains a promise written
specially for this 'great multitude,' viz.: 'Write, 'Blessed are they which are
called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'  It is then too late for them to
share the honors of the bride--the marriage being over, but the supper, or feast
of rejoicings is postponed until this 'great company' shall have 'washed their
robes and made them white'--coming through great tribulation.' 'Rev. 7:14'."
("Watchtower reprints," Dec., 1880)

  1881  Russell taught that he expected a Rapture of the literal 144,000, the
Bride of Christ, as being spewed from the mouth of soon to fall Babylon, Chris-
tendom, by the fall of 1881:

  "To our understanding this 'spewing' and 'falling' dates from 1878, the exact
parallel of time to the giving and 'leaving desolate' of the fleshly house.  And
now the call is 'Come out of her, my people! that ye be not partakers of her
sins and receive not of her plagues,' and while we expect that most of the sec-
ond company will not be freed from her bondage until afterward, we do expect
that all who constitute part of the bride will be separated before the Autumn of
1881, then 'the voice of the Bride will no more be heard in her.'"

  "Yet we believe that while those living 'virgins' go into the wedding by com-
ing into a knowledge of the Bridegroom's presence, etc., during the seven years
harvest [from 1874 to 1881] yet the parable is having as it were a fulfillment
on a still higher plane during the same seven years, viz.: The going into the
condition of readiness for marriage of all the chaste virgins, the dead (by res-
urrection) and living (by translation or change.) In going into the spiritual
condition 'We cannot precede them.' (E. Diaglott, '1 Thess. 4:15'.)"

  "...the wise of the virgins 'who are alive and remain' must all come in, to a
knowledge of the bridegroom's presence, by the fall of 1881, when the door--op-
portunity to become a member of the bride--will close." ("Watchtower Reprints,"
Jan., 1881, p.177,180,181)

  1881  The Bible Students began organizing the Society in 1881 with William H.
Conley as the first President and Charles Taze Russell as Secretary-Treasurer.

  The article at the next link indicates that William H. Conley was probably the
main financial supporter of the group originally, too.  Conley, helpful in char-
ity causes, moved on to mainstream historical Christianity and stopped funding
Russell, so Russell turned from him. (See 1884)


  Health insurance payments

  1881  "Does some one object that so living and not laying up treasure on earth
would lead to want when sickness comes?  I answer, it would bring you into a
position where your trust in God's promises would have opportunity for exercise.
But living thus closely to God you could claim all of the promises.  'No good
thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.'  'For we know that all
things shall work together for good to them that love God (and show it by obedi-
ence to his word) to the called according to his purpose.'  Besides I suggest
that sickness is spoken of in scripture as being largely the result of sin, and
the work of 'Him that has the power of death; that is, the devil.'  The whole
world through sin has come under his control, but when any become disciples of
Christ they are transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of
God's dear Son.  These, it would appear, are no longer subject to Satan except
as his power may be permitted of Jesus and overruled for our good." ("Watch Tow-
er Reprints," Jan., 1881, p.187)

  "Look again, but in another direction; Note the increase of special healing of
diseases since 1874.  Some are in answer to prayer, some in answer to anointing
with oil and prayer, and some without prayer, or oil, or anything.  Thus in var-
ious ways to-day, ye see increasingly that the lame walk, the deaf hear, the
dumb speak, blind eyes are opened, and the Gospel (good tidings) of a "restitu-
tion for the groaning creation, of all things spoken by the mouth of all the
holy prophets" (`Acts 3:21`.) is preached.

  "The healings of our day are as pronounced and as true, as were those at the
first advent, except that the dead have not yet been raised from the tomb.  Nor
is it in any one place, but everywhere, that this power is manifested and this
feature of restitution work is beginning.  We hear from Sweden, and Germany and
Britain, in much the same strain, as from all over this land.  Among the remark-
able insurances coming under our notice recently, is that of a family in Louis-
ville, Ky.,* in which four deaf and dumb persons were perfectly and instantly
healed.  One of them aged eleven years, had never spoken or heard from birth.
The two small towns of Midway and Primrose, Pa., have during the past month been
much excited by six remarkable cases of faith cure from various maladies.  One
old man, Hamilton Smith, Midway, Pa., had been so crippled by rheumatism that he
could not stoop down; but was instantly healed, and to a reporter who called to
inquire regarding his healing, demonstrated his suppleness by kicking higher
than his own height, and the night he was cured he jumped over a fire board
fence with ease.  He declares that he is stronger than ever, and that he is be-
coming young again.  And in fact this seems true. He is seventy-two years old
but in a short time his white hair has commenced to resume its original color;
the wrinkles are leaving his face, and his complexion becoming fresh so that he
might pass now, for a man of fifty.

  "We might multiply instances; one of a woman healed after an illness of six-
teen years, who is now thirty-seven years old but might readily be mistaken for
twenty.  She though ignorant of the views presented in the TOWER relative to our
being now in the dawn of Millennial Day, expresses herself as satisfied that:

  *Mrs. Ann Mack, No. 2700 Lytle St., Louisville.

  "she has entered on the 'Resurrection Life' as she calls it.

  "If these be not evidences of the beginning of Restitution work, what are
they?  This is the right time for the work of healing; in the time of the first
advent, restitution and restitution works, healing, etc., were not due; they
were premature and were only performed to manifest forth beforehand, Christ's
glory and to illustrate the powers of the world (age) to come, which now is at
hand.  In his miracles, as in everything else, Jesus dealt with the end of that
age as though it had been the Gospel age which it only typified; hence the works
of the restitution which he and the disciples performed, no less than offering
himself then as their King, and Reaper, were but illustrations of the end of the
Christian age, his assumption of kingly powers, etc., now fully due, because the
'body,' the church, is complete, and the time for this blessed SEED of Jehovah
('Gal. 3:29') to bless all the families of earth, is at hand.

  "If all could see that the world's hope is restitution to perfection, many
more of that class would be prepared to ask the Lord in faith for physical
healing and might go on unto the perfection of human nature, instead of into the
tomb.  Not only is the time at hand when he that believeth need not enter the
tomb, but such may go from strength to strength.  If men but realized the Scrip-
ture teaching, better, and did not get the heavenly hope of the Gospel church,
the 'body of Christ,' mixed with the restitution hope of the world, they would
be much better prepared to receive the blessing of restitution now within their
reach.  The basis of restitution simply stated is this: Man became a sinner and
in Adam his right and hold upon life was lost.  Since then, death has reigned
over all.  But Jesus was made flesh in order that he by God's favor might redeem
all. He paid the full penalty, DEATH, and thus redeemed ALL. (`Rom. 5:17-19`.)

  "Now, all may return to life and perfection because ransomed by Jesus.  This
restitution might have taken effect as soon as Jesus died and rose and ascending
on high presented the sacrifice on man's behalf.  Jesus might have returned at
once to restore all things but another work intervened the selection of the
Christian church--'the body' 'the Bride' of Christ Jesus, to be his joint-heir
in the reign of blessing and work of restitution.  Now, the work of restitution
is fully due because the selection of the body of Christ, from the world is com-
plete, and the work of restitution is beginning while the sifting of the conse-
crated saints progresses to completion.  Men shall be and now may be, released
by faith in him who gave the ransom which not only releases from pain and sick-
ness, but ultimately from every degree of death, to perfect life." ("Watchtower
Reprints," 1885, pp.748,749; also see pp.782-784)

  (Russell didn't want people who donated money to him to worry that they
wouldn't have enough money for medical care if they needed it.  He claimed that
now that the "little flock" of Russell and followers had been chosen as the only
ones to go to heaven, a follower who followed his teachings about how to follow
the Lord properly would be less liable to get sick and might be one of those who
received a miraculous healing.)


  1881  "We now have taken prophetic measurements and allegories together, five
different points seeming to teach the resurrection of the dead in Christ and
change of the living between the fall of 1874 and 1881.  Two or more witnesses
are enough to prove any case, as a rule, and certainly God has given us abundant
evidence." ("Zion's Watch Tower," Jan. 1881, pp.4,5) (WT, Dec., 1880, repr 172)
[Rapture of the Saints, including C.T.Russell and other Bible Students] (WT,
Jan., 1881, repr 180; WT, Dec., 1880, repr 172)

  In May, 1881, Russell denied he made his Dec., 1880/Jan., 1881 prediction that
the Bride class--him and the Russell-type followers--would undergo a Rapture in
Oct., 1881 (which was an early example of another Watch Tower trend).  He
claimed that Oct.2, 1881 would just be when the door would close on those who
could join the Bride class:

  1881  "The WATCH TOWER never claimed that the body of Christ will be changed
to spiritual beings during this year.  There is such a change due sometime.  We
have not attempted to say when, but have repeatedly said that it could not take
place before the fall of 1881."  "The seven years of favor to the church, com-
mencing with 1874, will end in 1881--about the 2nd of October."  "We have no
desire to dogmatize nor to keep any one out, but we believe (and therefore
speak) that the favor which ends this fall, is that of entering the Bride com-
pany." "What may be the outward indication that the door is shut, we know not,
but will expect to see some evidence of it."

  "Now notice how aptly these three distinct dates (1874, 1878, 1881,) are
marked by the pyramid, in ending the grand gallery, and see how ably it supports
the teaching of the Bible, viz: that the gospel favors and privileges have been
ending during these seven years--and will entirely cease this year." ("Zion's
Watch Tower," May, 1881, pp.5,6)

  1881  The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton.

  The Wikipedia article at the link given above mentions the Red Cross later be-
ing brought to task by the FDA to better regulate the safety of their blood sup-
ply, information which was used by the JWs leaders of that time as propaganda to
characterize the blood supply as so dangerous that people were better off never
using it on medical terms, which wasn't true.  (See the listing about Gene
Smalley for 2006.)  You didn't see the JWs leaders' humanitarian charity groups
criticized that way, did you ?  Oh, yeah, I forgot--they didn't have any.

  1881  About his Rapture prediction, Russell taught: "The philosophy of the
plan, as well as the general statements of the New Testament, teaches the higher
and spiritual and invisible character of the coming of Christ to receive His
saints to Himself.  To ignore that philosophy and those teachings is to ignore
the relation of the natural and the spiritual as seen in the two Adams, the two
Dispensations, the two Jerusalems, the two bodies and the two-- 'First the nat-
ural, afterward the spiritual,' in almost every element of the plan."  (Watch-
tower Reprints," June, 1881, p.237)


  You don't know hell till you've read Russell

  1881  (date?) Russell used the Seventh Day Adventist stance to teach "hell"
as being unconscious death.

  The possibility that it could mean seperation from God short of eternal agony
in literal flames was skipped by Russell in order to force a choice for his
version.  (He tended to add that his version was kinder.)

  Russell's insincerity is shown in leaving out what his research must have
shown to be the well-known possibility of the punishment of hell as apartness
from God without the excruciating torture of constantly burning flesh in literal
fire, which is a forced choice he created in order to characterize death as
kinder than torture in literal fire.  What he meant to avoid in his pretension
of exclusiveness is easily explained.  Imagine a Christian asking a non-Chris-
tian if they would rather go on living in apartness from the Christian God or be
killed--they wouldn't consider it kinder to be killed.

  The articles at the next eight links indicate that the NT writers understood
hell to be a conscious place of the afterlife.

  Thanks to Leolaia at the Jehovah's Witness Discussion forum web site for her
very good research showing the belief in a place of torment in the afterlife was
part of the belief of the post-exilic writers and was popular for centuries be-
fore, during, and after the apostlic age--not an invention of the post-apostlic
church as Russell and the JWs leaders have taught.

  Regarding Hell as eternal torment, Russell wrote:

  "I, on the contrary, show from the Scriptures that God has no such plan; that
the passages of Scripture supposed to teach it are symbolical and misunderstood,
and that God's plan is one of justice and love in Christ, and will embrace, with
an opportunity of everlasting life, every member of the human family, either in
the present or in a future life." (Watch Tower, March 1, 1893)

  Charles taught Christian universalism except that his stance included himself
in a literal 144,000 of the most righteous--ones that agreed with Charles' dis-
tinctive doctrines and the reasons for his predictions--that would rule with Je-
sus, a great crowd of others like himself would be in heaven, and eventually
everyone else would live on earth.  Russell's idea of who ought to admire and
follow him wasn't boundless--it was limited by the greatest imaginable group of

  (Also see "Studies in the Scriptures," Vol.IV, "The Battle of Armageddon,"
1886, pp.626-639)


  1881  1881 was the close of "high calling" to be among the 144,000....  Fall
of Babylon.  ("Jehovah's Witnesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993, p.632)
(In 1922, "1881" was replaced by "1918", later by "1935", see "The Watchtower,"
June 15, 1992, p.23, and "Proclaimers...." p.166)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish


  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
    of the end unless there's a war part one

  1884  "Now consider the subject of the signs of the times.  Remarks on this
subject are too often made which betray a want of intelligent comprehension of
the nature of the signs that are according to Scripture to indicate the 'time of
the end.'  A careless reading of our Lord's prophetic discourse on the Mount of
Olives seems to be the cause of much of this misapprehension.  His predictions
of wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, are quoted as
if they and such like things were to be the signs of the end of the age.  A lit-
tle accurate attention to the order of his statements would at once show that,
so far from this being the case, he mentions these as the characteristic and
common events of the entire interval prior to his coming.  Wars and calamities,
persecution and apostasy, martyrdom, treachery, abounding iniquity, Gospel
preaching, the fall of Jerusalem, the great tribulation of Israel, which has, as
we know, extended over 1,800 years; all these things were to fill the interval,
not to be signs of the immediate proximity of the second advent.  How could
things of common, constant occurrence be in themselves signs of any uncommon and
unique crisis?

  "What commoner all through the ages than wars and rumors of wars, famines,
pestilences, and earthquakes?  These, as marking the course of the age, can nev-
er indicate its close."

  "No, there was nothing special to alarm the antediluvians before the day that
Noah entered into the ark; nothing special to startle the men of Sodom ere the
fire from heaven fell; and like as it was in those days, so will it be in these.
All going on just as usual, no single sign to attract the world's attention.
'None of the wicked shall understand' the true state of affairs, only the 'wise'
enlightened by the word of prophecy." ("Watchtower Reprints," Sept., 1884,

  Russell taught that Jesus told his followers not to be superstitious about
wars, earthqakes, etc., as signs of the end because those things happen regular-
ly and he didn't want his folllowers to go around making false predictions.
(That was Russell's job.)  I actually agree with him about something.  He flip-
flopped on it in 1914 when WWI gave him a major event and he wanted to pretend
he predicted it, though.

  (See 1876, 1877, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  1884  The Society was registered in Pennsylvania on December 15, 1884, this
time with Russell instead of Conley as President.


  1885  (GTW note: I have absolutely no way to know if this is related or not:
"In 1885 the U.S. manufacturer Parke-Davis sold cocaine in various forms, in-
cluding cigarettes, powder, and even a cocaine mixture that could be injected
directly into the user?s veins with the included needle.  The company promised
that its cocaine products would 'supply the place of food, make the coward
brave, the silent eloquent and...render the sufferer insensitive to pain.'  In
1886 Coca-Cola is invented and its original formula includes cocaine.  Around
1903 cocaine is eliminated as a direct ingredient of Coca-Cola.")

  (Cocaine has been known to give users a false sense of extra-normal abili-

  1889  "we present proofs that the setting up of the kingdom of God is already
begun...and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Rev. 16: 14)
which shall end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present
rulership....  The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the stand-
point of God's word." ("Studies in the Scriptures II--The Time is at Hand," C.T.
Russell, 1888-9, 1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7)

  (The 1915 edition of "The Time is at Hand" changed "1914" to "1915.")

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1891  "THE 'Time of the End,' a period of one hundred and fifteen (115) years,
from A.D. 1799 to A.D. 1914, is particularly marked in the Scriptures....
Though our information pointing out the date of this period is furnished in Dan-
iel's prophecy, we know that he understood nothing at all concerning it, as he
said: 'I heard, but I understood not.' (Dan. 12:8).  In answer to his anxious
inquiries he was told that the words were closed up and sealed until the Time of
the End.  It follows, therefore, that no one could understand the prophecy be-
fore 1799....

  "But 1799 was only the beginning of the period known as 'the Time of the End,'
within the limits of which every vestige of that system shall pass away....  We
have thus shown that 1799 began the period called the Time of the End; that in
this time Papacy is to be consumed piece-meal." (C.T.Russell: Studies in the
Scriptures III--"Thy Kingdom Come," 1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7; pp.23,24,

  1891  "We have thus shown that 1799 began the period called the Time of the
End; that in this time Papacy is to be consumed piece-meal; and that Napoleon
took away not only Charlemagne's gifts of territory (one thousand years after
they were made), but also, afterward, the Papacy's civil jurisdiction in the
city of Rome, which was recognized nominally from the promulgation of Justin-
ian's decree, A.D. 533, but actually from the overthrow of the Ostrogothic mon-
archy A.D. 539--just 1260 years before 1799.  This was the exact limit of the
time, times and a half of its power, as repeatedly defined in prophecy.  And
though in some measure claimed again since, Papacy is without a vestige of tem-
poral or civil authority today, it having been wholly 'consumed.'  The Man of
Sin, devoid of civil power, still poses and boasts; but, civilly powerless, he
awaits utter destruction in the near future, at the hands of the enraged masses
(God's unwitting agency), as clearly shown in Revelation."  ("Studies in the
Scriptures III--Thy Kingdom Come," 1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7, pp.58,59)

  Russell meant to mark out the period of Papal governmental power.  Russell was
making his facts fit his theory and pander to those who shared his anti-Cathol-
icism.  An indication of that is how he describes Napoleon without criticism,
which is strange for a preacher to do in regard to someone most remembered for
very long term and very aggressive offensive warfare that left millions dead,
except that to Russell he's someone that attacked the papacy.

  One, I don't see any reason to think Daniel 11 is supposed to refer to Papal
political power.  Two, if I imagine it that way, Russell's two dates don't mark
out the time of it, which gradually grew and diminished, and more notable dates
fall within the time span.  Three, none of the miracles happened that his his-
toricism, which these two dates were a part of, was meant to predict.  He just
cooked up lottery tickets for the last days--a numbers racket.

  Russell's real concern was to rationalize a way to tweak the historicism of
the Millerite movement forward in time a bit, credit himself with making them
right, and make them useful to appeal to his marketing group:

  "Mr. Miller's application of the three and a half times (1260 years) was prac-
tically the same as that we have just given, but he made the mistake of not
starting the 1290 and 1335 periods at the same point.  Had he done so he would
have been right.  On the contrary, he started them thirty years sooner--about
509 instead of 539, which ended the 1335 days in 1844, instead of 1874.  It was,
nevertheless, the beginning of the right understanding of the prophecy; for,
after all, the 1260 period, which he saw correctly, was the key; and the preach-
ing of this truth (even though in combination with errors, and misapplications,
and false inferences) had the effect of separating and purifying 'many,' and at
the very time the Lord had foretold." ("Studies in the Scriptures III--Thy King-
dom Come," 1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7, pp.86,87)

  At the link given above, Russell also gives Daniel 12:1-3 as identifying arch-
angel Michael as Jesus and appearing at the time of the end, although Russell is
forcing the interpretation of Jesus as Michael as though scripturally declared.

  Russell also wrote that "Michael" means "who as God," indicating a representa-
tive of God, which isn't established, either.  A good Wikipedia article about
archangel Michael is at the next link:

  Subsequent Watchtower leaders have continued to require agreement with the
teaching that Jesus is archangel Michael (see the section on "Archangel Michael"
on p.8).

  1891  "And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men
call Christendom, will have passed away, as is already shown from prophecy."
("Thy Kingdom Come," 1891, p.153)

  1891  Russell continued to employ ideas of pyramidology in creating his Bible-
related historicism. (C.T.Russell: Studies in the Scriptures III--"Thy Kingdom
Come," 1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7; pp.309-376)

  1891  The 40 years of judgment and trouble began in Oct., 1874, and would end
in Oct., 1914, which is when there would be a tremendous struggle that would
culminate in a change from evil leadership to that by saints.

   This would include a 36 year harvest of the true believers from 1874 to 1910
then four years of fiery trial of the church. (Studies in the Scriptures, vol.3,
"Thy Kingdom Come," 1891, pp.341,342,363,364)

  Part of Russell's calculations were made with measurements of the Great Pyra-
mid--later, the measurements changed, and the book was revised (see the last
listing for 1897).

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1896  The name "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society" (1884-1896) was changed to
"Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society" (1896-1955).


  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., are coming back to run things

  1897  According to Russell's "Studies in the Scriptures: The Battle of Arma-
geddon" ("Studies in the Scriptures" vol.4), during the millennium, which would
begin at the end of 1914, Abraham Isaac, Jacob, and other Bible noteworthies
would be resurrected and rule the world:

  "These, 'Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets' and ancient worthies
referred to by our Lord and by the apostles (Matt. 8:11; Heb. 11:4-40), having
passed their trial, will be awakened from death perfect--fully restored to human
perfection; and will not require a 'resurrection by judgment' a thousand years
long, as will the residue of mankind. And this perfection will enable them to
communicate with the spiritual Kings and Priests direct, without need that the
spirit beings assume fleshly bodies for the purpose of communicating the laws,
etc., for the world. Just as Adam, while perfect, before his transgression,
could commune direct with the heavenly powers, so will these worthies commune,
when restored to the same state of perfection." (p.619)

  "The beginning of the earthly phase of the Kingdom in the end of A.D. 1914
will, we understand, consist wholly of the resurrected holy ones of olden time--
from John the Baptizer back to Abel--'Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the holy
prophets.' (Compare Matt. 11:11; Luke 13:28; Heb. 11:39,40.) While these ancient
worthies will have neither part nor lot in the spiritual Kingdom, because not
'called" thereto, that high or "heavenly calling' not being possible until after
the ransom had been paid by our Lord Jesus, yet they will occupy a position of
preferment above the world, having attested their faith and love during the
reign of evil, in a manner approved of God. Thus they were prepared and proved
worthy to be the earthly ministers and representatives of the spiritual Kingdom.
In harmony with this it is written in the Psalms, as addressed to the Christ--
'Instead of [being longer considered] thy fathers [they] shall be thy children,
whom thou mayest make princes [chief ones, captains] in all the earth.' Psa. 45:
16" (p.625)

  (This idea was continued, choosing dates which were a little into the future
each time, by Rutherford--see 1918.)


  Israel will be recreated in 1914--the millennium will be "Israelitish"

  1897  According to the same book by Russell quoted above, Israel would be re-
created in 1914.

  "Not until the full end of Gentile Times (October, A.D. 1914) should we expect
the earthly phase of God's Kingdom; for in giving a lease of dominion to the
Gentiles until that date God made no mistake and his plans alter not. The earth-
ly phase of the Kingdom of God when set up will be Israelitish; for such is
God's engagement or covenant with Abraham and his natural seed. Even the chief
favor, the spiritual Kingdom, was offered first to fleshly Israel, and would
have been given to them if they had been ready at heart to receive it on the
conditions attached to it--to suffer with Christ and afterward to be glorified
with him. (Rom. 8:17) Israel indeed desired and sought the best God had to
give; but 'Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for: but the election
[the 'little flock" selected from both Jews and Gentiles] hath obtained it, and
the rest were blinded --not forever, but until the election of the spiritual
seed, the Kingdom proper, is completed. Rom. 9:31-33; 11:7,23,25-32

  "While Israelites in various stages of unbelief will be gathered back to Pal-
estine under divine favor, according to promise, yet none shall be in any degree
reckoned as a part, or even as supporters of, or associated with the earthly
phase of the Kingdom, except as they shall first recognize Christ Jesus as the
Son of God, the only Redeemer and Deliverer for Israel and the world." (pp.624
and 625)


  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
    of the end unless there's a war part two

  1897  From the same book by Russell quoted above, pp.566 and 567:

  "Yet it is against the kind which 'deceive many' that our Lord cautions us
here, and again, later on in his prophecy, in which connection we will examine
particularly the antichrists which have deceived many.

  "The History of Eighteen Centuries Briefly Foretold--Matt. 24:6-13; Mark 13:7-
13; Luke 21:9-19--

  "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors [threats, intrigues] of wars: see that
ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not
yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and
there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All
these are primary sorrows." Matt. 24:6-8

  "Thus briefly did our Lord summarize secular history, and teach the disciples
not to expect very soon his second coming and glorious Kingdom.  And how aptly:
surely the world's history is just this--an account of wars, intrigues, famines
and pestilences--little else."

  (In 1914, Russell did an about-face on this regarding WWI, and later Watchtow-
er leaders followed him in this regard by changing what "the End Times" desig-
nates to the years after 1914, and trumped up cases for there having been an in-
crease in wars, earthquakes, etc., since 1914, which indicated that Armageddon
was due soon.)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  Armageddon is Biblically, historically, and scientifically shown to end
    the end times in 1914, or Oct. of 1915 or 1914, or at least begin the
    end of the end in 1914, and end in 1914...or 1915...or a few years
    after 1916, or maybe I just don't know

  Summary of some highlights

  1897  "...this measurement [of a length of an interior passageway discovered
inside the Pyramids--it has no reference in Scripture] is 3416 inches, symboliz-
ing 3416 years....  This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of
the period of trouble" ("Studies in the Scriptures III--Thy Kingdom Come" by C.
T. Russell, 1891, 1897 ed., p.342)

  1904  Russell referred to the "3416 inches" again later: "We cannot therefore
see how any longer measure for the passage could be possible." ("Zion's Watch
Tower," Nov.1, 1904, p.326)

  According to Morton Edgar, a big supporter of Russell at the time:

  "Formerly the north wall of the Subterranean Chamber was said to mark the date
1874 A.D., but with the new measure of 3457 inches this date was shifted forward
41 years to 1915 A.D."  He later found both measurements were wrong, but still
decided "Both dates, 1874 and 1914, are now seen to be indicated by the end of
this Descending Passage."

  Later editions of Russell's books were revised to incorporate the new measure-
ment, with Oct., 1914 given as when the final struggle would begin that would go
on into Oct., 1915.

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)



  Back to our regularly scheduled timeline

  Nice little pup dogs and flowers are unimportant

  1900  Russell taught that animals and plants will continue the cycle of birth
and death in the future paradise on Earth, so good Christians won't waste time
on dogs and flowers, and that the better Christians don't do it now.

  "These conditions prevailing in the animal and vegetable worlds will bring no
pain, neither sorrow nor crying (`Rev. 21:4`) because all of the former things
will have passed away.  Amongst these will be present misconceptions by which we
are inclined to attribute to the lower animals human feelings and sentiments--
some even carrying these mistaken notions to flowers --loving and talking to
their flowers as others do to a pet dog--imagining reciprocal feelings and sen-

  "Restitution will not only bring to men greater knowledge but also sounder
minds, in harmony with the divine mind,--so that their loves and hopes, like the
divine promises, will measurably pass by the lower creatures and think and plan
for and be absorbed in uplifting man--'the groaning creation.'  And already
those who receive a knowledge of the divine plan and with it the spirit of the
Lord, find themselves no longer disposed to waste valuable time and affection
upon dogs, flowers, etc., while the Lord's 'brethren' need sympathy and aid and
counsel in the narrow way, and while mankind in general are in so deplorable a
condition as at present--mental, moral and physical.  And such a change of sen-
timent is an evidence of their attaining more of 'the spirit of a sound mind.'--
See '2 Tim. 1:7'." ("Watchtowers Reprints," June 1, 1900, pp.2640,2641)

  Nice little pup dogs are unimportant?  The man was a charlatan.

  Gardening can give people something rewarding and enjoyable to do together.

  Besides, if it's supposed to be Paradise on Earth, what are these terrible
problems people are supposed to be having so regularly that other people will
have to console them so much they won't have time for pup dogs or gardening?
The man was one of the silliest prophets I ever heard of.



  1902  In his contention with parts of the Presbyterian Creed Revision, Russell
indicates his disapproval of evolution, which he says is becoming a popular idea
among Presbyterians and imagines it to be another reason to discredit their
faith.  Russell had predicted Christendom would be destroyed from 1910-1914, but
it kept growing, so he meant to indicate the ruination of it this way.  First a
part of the creed is given, then Russell's response:

  1902  Article IV.--Of the Creation.

  "We believe that God is the Creator, Upholder, and Governor of all things;
that He is above all His works and in them all; and that He made man in His own
image, meet for fellowship with Him, free and able to choose between good and
evil, and forever responsible to his Maker and Lord."

  "[We can endorse this statement too; but wonder how the large and growing num-
ber of evolutionists in the Presbyterian denomination can endorse it without
mental reservations and twinges of conscience.  If Adam was created in God's
image, was meet for companionship with him, and free, and capable of deciding
his destiny by his actions, he surely was far removed from being a monkey-
man;--and surely, too, far superior to his posterity today, all of whom are
sadly deficient in the divine image and qualifications for companionship with
their Creator.  Even the saints, with their much advantage every way, are still
lacking in these respects, and are accepted of God only on a basis of faith in
their Redeemer.]" ("Watchtower Reprints," June 15, 1902, p.3025)

  Part of Russell's view on it is related to his chronology, which is that
humans have only existed for about 6,000 years--from Adam and Eve to 1914.

  Russell criticized others as not believing in the word of God if they accepted
certain ideas of science about the age of the Earth and evolution.  But some had
taken parts of Genesis figuratively for theological teaching for centuries be-
fore Darwin and Russell.  More appropriate is to see Russell as having accused
those who disagreed with his interpretation of Genesis of refuting the word of
God, which is a very different thing to say.  See the Wikipedia articles at the
next links.

  It had been known for a long time by then that a figurative interpretation of
Genesis, if a literal interpretation is at odds with science, is imaginable
without doing the scriptures any harm. (See the articles at the next links.)

  (See 1904, 1914, 1961, 1968, and 1985)



  Kind understanding for "inferiors" part one--darker skinned people

  1902  Russell seemed to dislike certain racist outlooks.  But at one point he
wrote: "The secret of the greater intelligence and aptitude of the Caucasian un-
doubtedly in great measure is to be attributed to the commingling of blood
amongst its various branches; and this was evidently forced in large measure by
circumstances under divine control.  It remains to be proven that the similar
commingling of the various tribes of Chinese for several centuries would not
equally brighten their intellects; and the same with the peoples of India and
Africa."  ("Zion's Watch Tower," July 15, 1902, p.216)


  "We answer, No.  But all will admit that what the Ethiopian cannot do for him-
self God could readily do for him.  The difference between the races of men and
the differences between their languages have long been arguments against the
solidarity of the human family.  The doctrine of restitution has also raised the
question, How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was
the original?  The answer is now provided.

  "God can change the Ethiopian's skin in his own due time.  Prof. H. A. Ed-
wards, Supt. of Schools in Slater, Mo., has written for the public press an
elaborate description of how Julius Jackson, of New Frankfort, Mo., a negro boy
of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-
tenths white.  He assures us that this is no whitish skin disease; but that the
new white skin is as healthy as that of any white boy, and that the changed boy
has never been sick and never has taken medicines." ("Watchtowers Reprints,"
Feb.15, 1904, pp.3319,3320)

  Russell taught that the skin color of Adam and Eve, originally perfect, was


  1904  Russell continued teaching there would be 144,000 (Rev.14:1-5 taken lit-
erally)--including him and those who met God's "moral qualities and heart
measurements"--in heaven.  ("The New Creation," 1904, p.179)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  1904  In a paragraph headed "SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED," Russell taught that
"Our wise men, anxious to disprove the Bible record of the Creation, 'prove'
much by the stone formations of the earth's crust; and freely talk about mil-
lions of years being necessary to produce the stone conditions which are every-
where apparent.  Their long arguments and wise conclusions were made to look
very silly recently by an accident near East St. Louis.  A car of lime and a car
of potatoes were partly submerged together in the river.  The slacking lime
fired the car and the astonishing result was that every potato was turned to
flinty stone in less than twenty-four hours.  The Lord's people have no need to
feel ashamed of the old Book." (See 1902, 1914, 1961, 1968, and 1985)

  1906  "The Kingdom of God is already begun, which is pointed out in prophecy
as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the
great day of God Almighty' which will end in 1914 with the complete overthrow of
the earth?s present rulership, is already commenced."  ("Studies in the Scrip-
tures," Vol.2, 1906, p.101)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1907  Russell doesn't seem to fully endorse phrenology (reading the shape and
bumps of human heads to determine character traits) but writes "Phrenology so
far as understood fully corroborates the picture given us in the arrangement of
the Tabernacle of Israel surrounded by the camp."

  Phrenology, basically a pseudoscience of judging people by their looks, was
later incorporated in the bastardized Darwinism of eugenics, notably in Nazi
Germany during the dozen years the Watchtower endorsed it (see listings for
1930, 1933, and 1942 on p.6).

  1908  Russell wrote that he wasn't claiming his "Studies in the Scriptures"
books were faultless, but "Even our enemies must concede, and many of them do
concede, that the facts as they have developed year by year since we began these
presentations in 1876 have most wonderfully, most remarkably, corroborated our
expectations and continue to do so.  For instance, the Jews had not thought of
returning to their own land when, in 1878, we pointed out that the time for fa-
vor to that people had chronologically begun, in fulfillment of Isaiah's pro-
phecy, 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith my God. Speak ye comfortably un-
to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed hour is accomplished, that her
iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all
her sins.' (Isa. 40:1,2.)  Zionism was not dreamed of at that time, and began to
take practical form seventeen years afterward." ("Views from the Watch Tower,"
Jan.1, 1908, p.5, Reprints 4110)  (See 1880.)

  Russell created some revisionist history to make it seem like he predicted
something in 1878 that was otherwise undreamed of and only went from an idea to
the forming of a practice of it seventeen years later--in 1895.  Compare that
with the facts at the next link, such as in the section titled "British Influ-

  For example: "Benjamin Disraeli wrote in his article entitled 'The Jewish
Question is the Oriental Quest' (1877) that within fifty years a nation of one
million Jews would reside in Palestine under the guidance of the British."

  1908  Perhaps Russell tried to seem a little less ridiculously insistent about
being a prophet while trying to get people to believe his side of his divorce
proceedings, especially since the date of his biggest prediction--the visible
return of Jesus--was coming up and stood to make him look even more foolish as a
claimant of exclusive guidance by God, if that's possible at this point.

  As 1914 approached, Russell hedged his bet a little in a talk about 144,000
literal followers going to heaven, a number that he claimed would be completed
in 1914: "Whatever the number is, if anyone is disposed to dispute the number
and think that it is symbolical.  I do not know that it is a literal number; I
am inclined to think it is.  But no matter whether it is literal or figurative,
there is a limited number."  ("What Pastor Russell Said," 1917, p.230)

  The number will be a number.  Good.  Russell here exhibits a customary stance
to be followed by later JWs leaders who have continued, even further narrowed,
Charles' claim of exclusiveness, by further eliminating candidates for the af-
terlife--a warm self-regard with a snotty disdain of most all others.

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935,
1995, and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000
Jewish people)

  1908  The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society moved from Pittsburgh, PA, to
Brooklyn, NY.


  Love and money: Miracle Wheat and Charles' divorce from Maria

  Two nouns, two topics--which nouns go with which?  (Buzz.)  Sorry--trick ques-
tion.  The first two nouns go with each other.

  "Miracle wheat"

  A couple of accounts of Russell's controversial dealings in the sale of "Mir-
acle Wheat" are at the next links.  The first one indicates that John A. Bohnet,
who helped Russell establish a dummy company, the United States Investment Co.
Ltd., which Russell managed, helped Russell with the scam with sales of Miracle
Wheat by writing false reports of the miraculous productivity of the wheat, and
tending to the orders and shipments of it, in Russell's Zion's Watch Tower.  Af-
ter Russell's death, Bohnet was made a board member of the Watch Tower by Rus-
sell's lawyer Rutherford.
  Research sources

  "The public press is telling of the origin of "Miracle Wheat" in answer to
prayer. The description has the earmarks of truth to it, in that it gives the
address of the man whose prayers are said to have been answered-- "K. B. Stoner,
a farmer of Fincastle, Botetourt county, Virginia." It would appear from the
account that the original stalk of wheat appeared in the midst of a crop of the
ordinary kind, but with "142 heads of grain." We quote:--

  "What is most remarkable about the wheat is this: Whereas there is produced in
the wheat sections of that country an average at the best of seventeen bushels
to an acre, the average yield of the "miracle wheat" during the last three years
has been fifty-six bushels to the acre; and whereas from eight to ten pecks of
seed are required to plant an acre in Virginia, Mr. Stoner uses only two pecks,
and, in comparison to the yield of ordinary wheat in the neighborhood, which is
eight bushels for each bushel of seed, Mr. Stoner gets about seventy-five
bushels for one. An ordinary stalk of wheat covers about four inches of space.
The miracle wheat covers twelve."

  Assistant Agriculturalist H. A. Miller is given as confirming this in a gov-
ernment report.


  "If this account be but one-half true it testifies afresh to God's ability to
provide things needful for the "times of restitution of all things which God
hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--
`Acts 3:19-21`."

  According to the article by therev1957 at the next link, the Brooklyn Eagle
newspaper covered some of Russell's deceptions of the early 1900's:
  (link inactive)  See:

    "The litigation revealed that ?Pastor? Russell's activities in the
  religious field were carried on through several subsidiary societies and
  that all of the wealth that flowed into him through these societies was
  under the control of a holding company in which the 'Pastor' held $990 of
  the $1,000 capital and two of his followers the other $10.

    "Thus Russell apparently controlled the entire financial power of the
  Society and was not accountable to anyone.  The Eagle column goes on to

       "After the 'work' had been well started here, 'Pastor' Russell's
     Watch Tower publication advertised wheat seed for sale at $1.00 a
     pound.  It was styled 'Miracle Wheat,' and it was asserted that it
     would grow five times as much as any other brand of wheat.  There
     were other claims made for the wheat seed, and the followers were
     advised to purchase it, the proceeds to go to the Watch Tower and
     be used in publishing the 'Pastor's' sermons. The Eagle first made
     public the facts about this new venture of the Russellites and it
     published a cartoon picturing the 'Pastor' and his ?Miracle Wheat?
     in such a way that 'Pastor' Russell brought suit for libel, asking
     $100,000 damages.  Government departments investigated the wheat
     for which $1.00 a pound was asked, and agents of the Government
     were important witnesses at the trial of the libel suit in January
     1913.  The 'Miracle Wheat' was low in the Government test, they
     said.  The Eagle won the suit."

    "Prior to entering court the Eagle has said:

       "The Eagle goes even further and declares that at the trial it
     will show that 'Pastor' Russell's religious cult is nothing more
     than a money-making scheme.

    "The court?s decision vindicated the Eagle's statement and proved its re-

       "All during this time the ?Pastor's? sermons were being printed
     in newspapers throughout the world, notably when he made a tour of
     the world in 1912 and caused accounts to be published"--"his adver-
     tised sermons telling of enthusiastic greetings at the various places
     he visited.  It was shown in many cases that the sermons were never
     delivered in the places that were claimed."

  Therev1957 provides these sources for the scandal, trial, and verdicts:

    "From originals (now microfilmed in New York) of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
  the following articles with dates and pages: Miracle Wheat Scandal, Jan-
  uary 1, 1913, 1-2; Russellite Beliefs, January 22, 1913, 2; Testimony on
  Wheat, January 23, 1913, 3; Financial statements proving Russell's absolute
  control, by Secretary-Treasurer Van Amberg, January 25, 1913, 16; Govern-
  ment experts testify on "Miracle Wheat" and ascertain its ordinariness,
  January 27, 1913, 3; Prosecution and Defense closing arguments, January 28,
  1913, 2; Russell loses libel suit, January 29, 1913, 16.

    "The Watchtower Society has maintained that Russell never made money on
  the 'Miracle Wheat,' and that proceeds from its sale were 'contributions'
  to the organization.  They fail to note that Russell controlled the Watch-
  tower Society, owning 990 of the 1,000 shares of its stock.  Any contribu-
  tions to it were also to Russell!"

  1909  "Then followed another surprise and blessing.  Brother Rutherford placed
in our hands a bundle of papers, explaining that during our absence a number of
other friends had concluded that it would be the Lord's will that we should be
relieved of certain burdens and annoyances which have been our portion for some
time, in connection with Mrs. Russell's request that the monthly allowance be
increased from $40 to $100, which was allowed by the Court, but which we were
unable to comply with, because all of our property, except that which brought
the income of $40 per month (which Mrs. Russell had been receiving), had been
donated to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.  The dear friends concluded
to surprise us on the return home by clearing off these obligations.  They
handed us receipts aggregating over $9,000, showing a payment of Mrs. Russell's
alimony into 1913, with Court costs, attorneys' fees, etc.  Our heart returned
thanks to the Great Giver of every good gift for this, a fresh manifestation of
his loving care and for such evidences of brotherly love." ("Watchtower Re-
prints," July 1, 1909, p.4424)

  (Russell hadn't paid his ex-wife Maria the extra alimony the court awarded
her till Rutherford got donations from the followers to pay it.)

  Some significant highlights in Charles' divorce from Maria Frances Ackley Rus-

  - the marriage was an 18 year celibate marriage based on a mutual commitment
to writing the literature that Russell put out.  She played a significant role
in the success of his business as a contributor and associate editor.

  - She quoted him as claiming to be adulterous, which he denied, and she didn't
pursue the charge.

  - Charles said he disapproved of her becoming a supporter of women's rights,
overly-ambitious, and said she had Satanic mental illness to the degree that her
word wasn't reliable. (See 1911)

  His lengthy defense of himself in the matter, which reads like one of his
Watch Tower articles meant to explain the reasonableness of seeing him as a
saint and any critics as slanderous enemies yet not let on a glimmer of why the
reader should think they had any reason to criticize (gee, I wonder how this
marriage broke up?), is at the next link:

  - He wrote advising others that it would be improper to say things like "Good
morning" to her (a precursor to current JWs leaders' shunning rules--see p.3).

  In a letter of July 9, 1896, Russell wrote: "To avoid misunderstanding, let me
say, under the circumstances it properly devolves upon you to make the advances
on the line of social amenities between us. It would be improper for me to take
the initiative in the matter of amenities such as, 'good morning,' 'good night,
'etc." (Exhibit 2, Superior Court)

  Reviewing the evidence, Justice Orlady ruled in Mrs. Russell's favor with
barely concealed anger:

     "The indignities offered to [Mrs. Russell] in treating her as a menial
   in the presence of servants, intimating that she was of unsound mind and
   that she was under the influence of wicked and designing persons, fully
   warranted her withdrawal from his house, and fully justified her fear
   that he intended to further humiliate her, by a threat to resort to legal
   proceedings to test her sanity. There is not a syllable in the testimony
   to justify his repeated aspersions on her character and her mental condi-
   tion, nor does he intimate in any way that there was any difference be-
   tween them other than that she did not agree with him in his views of
   life and methods of conducting business. He says himself that she is a
   woman of high intellectual qualities and perfect moral character. While
   he denied in a general way that he attempted to belittle his wife as she
   claimed, the general effect of his own testimony is a strong confirmation
   of her allegations.

     "In an analysis of the testimony it is quite difficult to understand
   the view of the respondent in regard to his duty as a husband to his
   wife. From his standpoint he doubtless felt that his rights as a husband
   were radically different from the standard imposed upon him by the law,
   and recognized by all the courts of this country.... His course of con-
   duct toward his wife evidenced such insistent egotism and extravagant
   self-praise that it would be manifest to the jury that his conduct toward
   her was one of continual arrogant domination that would necessarily render
   the life of any sensitive Christian woman a burden and make her conditions
   intolerable."  (Records of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Vol. 37, page 348

  - She sought a limited divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty because it
brought support, and she was granted a divorce from bed and board--a legal sep-

  Although Charles' plea for sainthood, at a link above, somehow overlooked
this, the court decided Charles falsified events--the dispute over editorship
began after the couple had separated, Maria didn't seem mentally ill, etc.--and
decided in her favor over the divorce, including about her claims about his
cruelty, such as in using slander to have their friends shun her.

  Maria testified that though she was Secretary and Treasurer of the Watch Tower
Society, she was never allowed to look at the Society's financial records--only
Charles saw them.  Unknown to her, his business involvements included the Bra-
zilian Turpetine Company, Pittsburgh Asphaltum Company, Silica Brick Company,
and Pittsburgh Kaolin Coke Company.

  In court, Charles denied knowing about the Salon company or that it was organ-
ized in the Watch Tower building and run by three girls there.  All three--Alice
Land, Gabrielle Logan and Laura Whitehouse--testified that Russell himself ap-
proached them and asked if they would allow their names to be used to create a
company--Logan, Land & Whitehouse--for the purpose of purchasing goods at whole-
sale prices from manufacturers for an association called the Solon Company or
association, and Mr. Russell was their representative.

  Charles then told the court he remembered suggesting the idea to the ladies
and that Mr.John G. Koehne, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Mr. Clayton J. Woodworth, of
Scranton, Pa., were the two principals who transacted the business.  (Clayton
shows up a lot in JWs history and "..."GTA Brooklyn.")  (Thanks to Farkel for
the research at the next link.)

  The article at the next link explains a bit about most of the Watch Tower
money going into the United States Investment Co. and the United Cemeteries Cor-
poration, a couple of dummy corporations Russell ran, while Russell claimed to
be unable to pay his ex-wife $1,200 a year.

  The web site at the next link is helpful if you'd like to try to convert the
cash amounts given in the articles listed above into the values they have today.

  According to one calculator found there, "," $1,200 in 1909
is worth $27,432 in 2006 U.S. dollars.  The overall income of Russell's organi-
zations was in the millions in 1909, according to the same articles.

  Another thing the exjws article shows is that Russell established a negative
view of charity practiced by Catholics and Protestants.

     "Presumably because there were seven Catholics on the jury," Russell
   said, "the Eagle's attorney was prompted to refer to the Sisters of Chari-
   ty and their noble work as nurses without referring to the fact that those
   nurses are well paid and that the hospitals, in large measure, are sup-
   ported by state taxation." Russell's organization was pure, according to
   his arguments-which also took into consideration the Church's wealth--pre-
   cisely because it did not engage in acts of charity; the Church, he im-
   plied, used charity as a cover for sneaky thievery:

     "The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was held up to scorn because it
   did not have any hospital work, nor draw any revenue from taxations, and
   because the female members of the Society do not visit the workshops of
   the land weekly or monthly on pay day and exact donations to its work. Our
   society was held up to scorn because we do not send a wagon around the
   city collecting groceries and provisions for the upkeep of our work; be-
   cause we do not take up collections, even on Sunday; because we have never
   solicited a penny or a dollar from anybody; and because we never have
   fairs, grab-bags, 'chances,' or 'raffles.' Our society was held up to rid-
   icule because it offers its literature free to the poor while other simi-
   lar societies charge both rich and poor alike for their tracts and other

  This has been continued in Watchtower incarnations since with the recommended
charity being an important work for salvation--to volunteer to spread Watchtower
leader's literature and send all the money to the Watchtower organization.
Otherwise, the JWs have mainly been encouraged to help other JWs. (see 1951,
1969, 2003, and p.2)

  (This self-centered variation of the Golden Rule applies to the JWs leader's
outlooks on defense, sometimes mistaken by non-JWs for pacifism, too.  See p.6)

  Also see "Theocratic warfare" on p.3.

  Rutherford became the president of the Watch Tower with about as much respect
for Charles' will (see below after 1916) as Charles had for the legal decision
about his alimony.

  In 1929, Rutherford, estranged from his wife Mary and son Malcolm, and who'd
been Charles' lawyer, showed he shared Russell's outlook on the importance of
himself and his business verses that of a separated spouse, though.  He had a
mansion, Beth-Sarim, "House of the Princes," built at 4440 Braeburn Road, San
Diego, CA, to live in till Abraham, etc., whom he'd prophesied would come back
to life, came to claim it.  They didn't show up, nor did his wife and son at his


  1910  The change from 1914 to 1915 as the year indicated by pyramid measure-
ment appeared in "Thy Kingdom Come" (copyright 1891) (1910 edition--"Studies In
The Scriptures," vol.3, p.342)

  Russell taught Oct., 1914 (adding Oct., 1915 as the preferable option in 1912)
to be the end of the Gentile times, at which time Armageddon would start.

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1941-2?, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1910  1910 (like 1881) was predicted for a "Rapture of the Saints" based on
measurements of the corridor in the Great Pyramid of Giza. ("Thy Kingdom Come,"
1891, 1895, 1898, 1901-20, 1923-7, p.364, but omitted in post-1910 editions)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  1910  "Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan
in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the
'Scripture Studies' aside, even after he has used them, after he has become fa-
miliar with them, after he has read them for ten years--if he then lays them
aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his
Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into

  "On the other hand, if he had merely read the 'Scripture Studies' with their
references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the
light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scrip-
tures." ("Zion's Watch Tower," Sept.15, 1910, p.298)


  1910  In October, Paster Russell addressed an audience of Jewish people at the
Hippodrome in New York City.  He said Jewish people shouldn't convert to Chris-
tianity--they should flock to Palestine, which will be their nation in 1914.
(One source said he'd previously taught it would be theirs in 1910.  If so,
it must have been very early in his ministry.  I haven't found the original
source for that yet.).  (See 1880)

                                                                           World Tour 1911-1912


  Kind understanding for "inferiors" part two--women

  1911  "God may do what he will with his own.  But we do see a reason why he
makes a choice.  Woman is a figure of the Church and man is a figure of the Head
of the Church.  So we are told that woman should not be a teacher in the Church,
but man should be the teacher.

  "And even outside of the Scriptural question, in human affairs, we seen no way
in which a woman's interests are endangered, because every woman is either a
sister of a man or the mother of a man or the daughter of a man.  Hence the two
sexes are so intimately related that it is unnecessary, for instance, that the
whole family should go to the polls to vote, but the family is represented by
the man and thus all have share in whatever shall be done in a city or town or

  "If this were otherwise we could imagine a very unsatisfactory condition in-
deed.  It would imply that man had lost one of the very prerogatives which is an
element of manhood.  On the other hand, it would imply a dereliction on the part
of the woman.  The Apostle reminds us of a woman's sphere.  And any mother whose
son does not respect her should keep very quiet.  She has that child during all
the years of infancy and youth.  And if in all those years she does not command
respect from that child, she is to blame.

  "We believe that if women would get the proper focus on this matter there
would be an end to woman-suffrage.  They would feel that they had a duty at
home.  There are exceptions to every rule.  But Christian parents have said to
us, If I had known the Truth sooner, I would have known how to be a better
father, a better mother; but I was not taught anything as to the responsibili-
ties upon me as a parent and what was meant by the proper training of a child."
("Watchtower Reprints," Jan.15, 1911, p.4749)

  (The views expressed on this program do not necessarily represent those of
the owners of this station.)


  1912  In 1877, Nelson and Russell had miscalculated 2,520 years from 606 BC to
be 1914 by incorporating a year "0" between the BC and AD years.  The correct
calculation would be 1915 AD.  As 1914 approached, Russell fudged and gave Oct.
of either 1915 or 1914 AD as the "end times of the Gentiles"--when Armageddon
(the end of human government, Abraham, etc., would come back to life to rule the
Earth, etc.) would happen.

  He thought of these years as starting in October (using the calendar of the
Karaite Jews?).

  1912  "Many of our readers will recall our reference to this subject in a ser-
mon preached at Allegheny, Pa., January 11, 1904, and published in the Pitts-
burgh Gazette.  We make an extract from that sermon as follows:

  "'We find, then, that the Seven Times of Israel?s punishment and the Seven
Times of Gentile dominion are the same; and that they began with the captivity
of Zedekiah, and, as will be seen from the Chart, they terminate with the year
1915.  According to the best obtainable evidences on the subject, synchronized
with the Scriptural testimony, Zedekiah?s captivity took place in October, 605
1/4 years before A.D. 1.  If we will add to this 1914 1/4 years, we will have
the year, October, 1915, as the date for the end of Gentile supremacy in the
world?the end of the lease of 2,520 years, which will not be renewed.  Instead,
he whose right the kingdom is, shall take possession of it.  This, therefore,
marks when the Lord himself shall assume control of the world?s affairs, to end
its reign of sin and death, and to bring in the True Light.'

  "There surely is room for slight differences of opinion on this subject and it
behoves us to grant each other the widest latitude.  The lease of power to the
Gentiles may end in October, 1914, or in October, 1915.  And the period of in-
tense strife and anarchy 'such as never was since there was a nation' may be the
final ending of the Gentile Times or the beginning of Messiah?s reign."

  "But we remind all of our readers again, that we have not prophesied anything
about the Times of the Gentiles closing in a time of trouble nor about the glor-
ious epoch which will shortly follow that catastrophe.  We have merely pointed
out what the Scriptures say, giving our views respecting their meaning and ask-
ing our readers to judge, each for himself, what they signify.  These prophecies
still read the same to us.  Should we ever see reason for changing our belief,
be assured we will be prompt to advise you respecting the same and give you the
reason for it.  However, some may make positive statements of what they know,
and of what they do not know, we never indulge in this; but we merely state that
we believe thus and so, for such and such reasons.

  "Finally, let us remember that we did not consecrate either to October, 1914,
nor to October, 1915, or to any other date, but 'unto death.'  If for any reason
the Lord has permitted us to miscalculate the prophecies, the signs of the times
assure us that the miscalculations cannot be very great.  And if the Lord's
grace and peace be with us in the future as in the past, according to His prom-
ise, we shall rejoice equally to go or to remain at any time, and to be in His
service, either on this side the veil or on the other side, as may please our
Master best. (Watchtower Reprints," Dec.1, 1912, p.5142)

  The differences between Russell's earlier prophetic declarations and his cur-
rent uncertainty, and his efforts to cover up with revisions of editions of his
books, can be seen at the next link:

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  Who is this Russell that the winds and the seas don't obey him?
  1913  This involves five different quotes of Russell's, each made in one of
five different years--1883 to 1913.  I put this on the time line in the time of
the last quote because the claim is implied on the page at the next link that
the combination of quotes show Russell predicted global warming.
  The context of the 1913 quotes, such as "Last winter was called the 'straw hat
season' of Alaska, because of the higher temperature than ever before known," is
at the next link.
  Global warming is a fact, but it's weird that the Wikipedia article on Russell
currently (Aug., 2009) echoes the previous article in crediting him for predict-
ing global warming.  The Wikipedia misinformation seems to be due to editing by
an overly-ambitious Russell fan who used quote-mining and eliminated most of
what Russell actually wrote.
  The claim that what he predicted about the polar ice caps is the current sci-
entific understanding of global warming needs to include Russell's qualifying
conditions, especially if the claim is that Russell was so accurate that it's
compelling evidence that God communicated through him.
  As noted before, Russell predicted a period of trouble--that 1874 to 1914,
initiated by an invisible return of Jesus, would be 40 years of the worst trou-
ble the world has known.  Returns of invisible people are very difficult to
prove beyond an arbitrary possibility, but it wasn't the worst 40 years on
earth.  (See "Signs of the End" at 1987.)
  Russell guessed about the possibility (didn't predict) that his 40 year period
of trouble could end with drastically different climate than that hospitable to
human life--"fearful signs."  It didn't. ("Zion's Watch Tower," Aug., 1896, p.
  He predicted that when the 40 years was over in 1914, the next millenium would
be initiated by the visible return of Jesus, which he predicted would happen in
Oct., 1914, then Oct., 1915, and finally a few years after 1916.  That millenium
would be immediately preceded then accompanied by climate changes such as the
shrinking of the polar ice caps which would move toward the equator (I don't
know why) "Without affecting the torrid zone," which he claimed was already un-
derway in 1903 and 1913. ("Zion's Watch Tower," Sept., 1883, p.8, May, 1903, p.
131, Jan., 1913, p.11)
  He claimed that the climate changes would be the kind that would lead to a
Garden of Eden-type climate by the end of that millenium--the end of "Cyclones,
earthquakes, thunderbolts, and alternations of drouth and deluge, and of bliz-
zards of cold and simoons of heat." ("Zion's Watch Tower," Sept., 1886, p.1)
(A "drouth" is a "drought" and a "simoon" is "a hot dry violent dust-laden wind
from Asian and African deserts.")
  That didn't happen--Jesus didn't appear a few years after 1916 or since so
that millenium didn't begin.  Russell's claim hinges on that having been immin-
ent so it's disqualified.  But just to be thorough, we currently have global
warming which has caused the polar ice caps to get smaller, if not drift toward
the equator, but has heated up the rest of the planet, too, not excluding the
"torrid zone."  Global warming hasn't stopped the occurrence of earthquakes, and
is expected to cause increases in extreme weather events such as the rest of
those Russell listed, not end them.  Weather conditions didn't became typical of
Paradise, and Paradise isn't what an alarmed scientific community expects global
warming to create.
  According to Wikipedia articles about the "Instrumental temperature record"
and "Global warming," our current global warming problem is due to human activi-
ty "since the mid-20th century," not acts of God to create Paradise since the
late 1800's.  There was a phase of global warming in Russell's day due to solar
radiation and volcanoes, which might be interpreted as acts of God.  But there
was a cooling plateau from 1945 to 1976 mostly attributed to sulphate aerosol,
and a temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century due to fossil
fuel burning and deforestation.
  "The period for which reasonably reliable instrumental records of near-surface
temperature exist with quasi-global coverage is generally considered to begin
around 1850."  "The United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) also
maintains a temperature record since 1880."  "Most of the observed warming oc-
curred during two periods: 1910 to 1945 and 1976 to 2000; the cooling/plateau
from 1945 to 1976 has been mostly attributed to sulphate aerosol.
  "Certain places, such as the north shore of Alaska, show dramatic rises in
temperature, far above the average for the globe as a whole."
  "Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's
near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected contin-
uation.  Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F)
during the last century.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human ac-
tivity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation caused most of the observed
temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century.  The IPCC also con-
cludes that variations in natural phenomena such as solar radiation and volca-
noes produced most of the warming from pre-industrial times to 1950 and had a
small cooling effect afterward."
  According to Wikipedia: "An increase in global temperature will cause sea
levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably
including expansion of subtropical deserts.  The continuing retreat of glaciers,
permafrost and sea ice is expected, with warming being strongest in the Arctic.
Other likely effects include increases in the intensity of extreme weather
events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields."
  Russell predicted temperatures around the world would become the same as he
claims, in his 1913 quote, was the case before the flood of Noah's ark, which he
interpreted literally.  He used the water canopy idea of Isaac Vail's "The
Earth's Annular System," 1912, to claim that temperatures around the earth got
more varied, and the polar ice caps formed, when a water canopy fell to create
the flood--a "Deluge Effect."  Russell claimed that the conditions before the
"Deluge effect" were being recreated as evidenced by the shrinking of the polar
caps in 1913.  None of that is taken seriously in science, which neither sees it
as developing since the early 1900's nor expects it to happen later. ("Zion's
Watch Tower," Sept., 1883, p.8)
  "Geology testifies to a Glacial Period, when great icebergs, carried by floods
of water, rushed from the poles toward the equator.  Geologists have traced
great valleys cut by these icebergs.  On their findings they base the theory
that the earth was once ice-covered.  Instead of attributing the ice to the per-
iod of the Deluge, 4,400 years ago, they add a handful of naughts; and the more
they add, the prouder they feel of their achievements, because they think that
they are getting away from the Bible and discrediting it.
  "But scientific Bible students are having their faith in God's Word estab-
lished more and more.  Without affecting the torrid zone, the warmer tempera-
ture is now extending itself into the frigid zone quite rapidly.  'Greenland's
Icy Mountains' will soon be things of the past.  The poles are warming up.  The
ice caps are dissolving.  Last winter was called the 'straw hat season' of Alas-
ka, because of the higher temperature than ever before known." ("Zion's Watch
Tower," Sept., 1883, p.8)
  Russell also claimed that the quick change to disparate temperatures of the
earth caused by the falling of that water canopy "accounts for the remains of
tropical animals and of plant life found imbedded under hundreds of feet of ice
in the polar regions." ("Zion's Watch Tower," Jan., 1913, p.11)  It doesn't--see
the article at the next link.
  Russell compared the effect of the water canopy to that of "the white glass of
a hot-house," a greenhouse.  This isn't to be confused with the actual "green-
house effect" that keeps the earth warm.
  One change that went on in Russell's lifetime and since that he and others may
have noticed is that urban areas were growing, and some urban areas are warmer
than nearby countryside, but he didn't report that.
  The size of polar ice, notably in the Arctic, has gotten bigger and smaller
over the years, currently smaller.  Russell probably just saw a report of Alaska
or the Arctic going through a warming period earlier than the current one and
took the idea out of context, embellished it, and considered it a way to make it
seem like the latest discoveries in science supported his hokey prophet routine
about the visible return of Jesus.  Russell didn't predict anything about smelly
burning fossil fuel--he just left a smell with his predictions.


  1913  "Some have a strong desire to worship God, others have a weak desire,
and others have no desire at all.  This difference is due to the shape of the
brain.  Mankind are born with differences in this respect.--'Psa. 51:5'"
("Watchtower Reprints," March 15, 1913, p.5201)

  Years after Russell passed away, this outlook of phrenology contributed to the
racist use of eugenics.  During Rutherford's presidency, the Golden Age sup-
ported eugenics (p.6).



  Having gone through some turmoil with his following over earlier predictions
not coming true, no doubt including that Christians he'd condemned reminded him
that Deut.13:1-5 condemns a false prophet to death, Russell both

  - tried to keep things from getting worse by denying the trustworthiness of
his chronology to forecast the events of the next couple of years

  - yet defend his chronology as a blessing for having awoken people to Rus-
sell's version of the truth.

  If Russell was going to be another prophetic founder of a modern church that
restores the original church from a great apostasy, he wasn't going to let being
lousy as a prophet get in the way.

   And as the year rolled in:

  1914  "If later it should be demonstrated that the Church is not glorified by
October, 1914, we shall try to feel content with whatever the Lord's will may
be.  We believe that very many who are running the race for the prize will be
able to thank God for the chronology, even if it should prove not accurate to
the year, or even out of the way several years.  We believe that the chronology
is a blessing.  If it should wake us a few minutes earlier or a few hours ear-
lier in the Morning than we would otherwise have waked, well and good!  It is
those who are awake who get the blessing.

  "If 1915 should go by without the passage of the Church, without the Time of
Trouble, etc., it would seem to some to be a great calamity.  It would not be so
with ourself.  We shall be as glad as any one if we shall all experience our
change from earthly to spirit conditions before 1915, and THIS IS OUR EXPECTA-
TION; but if this should not be the Lord's will, then it would not be our will.
If in the Lord's providence the time should come twenty-five years later, then
that would be our will.  This would not change the fact that the Son of God was
sent by the Father, and that the Son is the Redeemer of our race; that He died
for our sins; that He is selecting the Church for His Bride; and that the next
thing now in order is the establishment of the glorious Kingdom at the hands of
this great Mediator, who during His Mediatorial Reign will bless all the famil-
ies of the earth.  These facts remain the same.  The difference would be merely
that of a few years in the time of the establishment of the Kingdom.

  "If October, 1915, should pass, and we should find ourselves still here and
matters going on very much as they are at present, and the world apparently mak-
ing progress in the way of settling disputes, and there were no time of trouble
in sight, and the nominal Church were not yet federated, etc., we would say that
evidently we have been out somewhere in our reckoning.  In that event we would
look over the prophecies further, to see if we could find an error.  And then we
would think, Have we been expecting the wrong thing at the right time?  The
Lord's will might permit this.  Our expectation as a Church is that our change
is near.  Nothing of Restitution blessings can come to the world until after the
Church has been glorified.

  "Another thing to be considered, should our hopes not be so soon realized as
we expect, would be as to whether we were surely of the elect class.  But we are
not worrying ourself at all.  'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.'
There are no people in the world so blessed as those who have the Truth and are
serving the Truth. There is plenty of work to do."  ("Watchtower Reprints,"
Jan.1, 1914, pp.5373,5374) (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1917,
1922, 1935, 1995, and 2007; also see 1880 for Russell's Christian Zionist idea
of a literal 144,000 for Rev.7:2-8)


  Scientific reasons for predictions about 1914:
      "The Photo-Drama of Creation"

  1914  Russell helped create a collection of phonograph recordings, slides, and
movies (a combination that was popular at the time) called "The Photo-Drama of
Creation" which began showings in 1914, was shown till 1916, and was very popu-
lar.  Most of the presentation was made by lecturers he coached.  Portions pre-
sented records of his voice, which were accompanied by movies in which he at-
tempted to portray the lecture in sync with the records.  Some of the science,
let alone compromises between it and Russell's interpretations of scripture,
don't hold up very well, but you might want to click a link or two below to look
at an example of the entertainment of the time.

  I'm guessing Russell worked on the Photo-Drama for a couple of years to re-
lease in 1914 to offset any predictable negative reactions likely over his pro-
phecies of Oct., 1915-1914 miracles not working out.

   Russell: "And that was when Jesus invisibly took the throne" (Russell gestured
at an empty chair; the audience looked puzzled) (okay, I made that up).  (Then
again, so did he, except he wouldn't admit it.  And he did it first.  Leave me

  Russell taught that the Earth was created 42,000 years (six 7,000 year "days")
before Adam, who was created near the end of the sixth "day," and Eve (or Adam
and Eve) at the start of the seventh "day."

  Part of his chronology, upon which he based his prophecy attempts, had it that
Adam and Eve appeared 6,000 years prior to 1873 AD, 1874 was the year Jesus be-
gan to rule the Earth from heaven--invisible on Earth, there would be a 40 year
harvest period from 1874 (unseen "seen" Jesus) to 1914 (seen "seen" Jesus), and
a Messiah reign of 1,000 years, in which various miracles (Abraham, etc. would
appear, etc.) would happen, would begin in Oct., 1914, or Oct., 1915 (corrected
date), etc.

  46,128 BC (six 7,000 year "days" before 4,128 BC) was when the world was
created, according to Russell.  According to the Wikipedia article at the next
link, the Earth was formed about 4.57 billion years ago.

  4,128 BC (6,000 years before 1873 AD) was when Adam and Eve appeared, accord-
ing to Russell.  According to the Wikipedia article at the next link, Homo sa-
piens appeared about 250,000 years ago.

  Well, he's getting closer--give him a little credit.

  Russell was an anti-evolutionist except for specialized evolution within a
species with no higher form of life evolving from a lower one.  Humans were a
special creation that hadn't evolved from anything prior.

  In 4,128 BC, humanity had spread around the world for thousands of years. Peo-
ple inhabited the Americas since 10,000, possibly 40,000 years ago.  The Mesopo-
tamian age had been going along for a couple of thousand years.  There were al-
ready millions of people on the Earth.  One thing a date-setting prophet has to
do is get his timing right, and Russell was way off for his dates on both ends
and the time of the fall of Jerusalem in the middle.

  (See 1902, 1904, 1961, 1968, and 1985)

  For the flood in Noah's day, Russell taught the canopy theory--that the Earth
was surrounded by a canopy of water, high in the atmosphere, which fell to Earth
to create the flood.  After that, the polar ice caps were formed, thunderstorms
were possible, etc.

  This theory would require a variety of attending miracles to pull off.  Other-
wise, the Wikipedia article at the next link explains how it isn't indicated by

  "PBS Nova - Secrets of Noah's Ark (2015)" by Gorongosa Park

  The PBS special proposes that tablets of Mesopotamian floods and round boats/
coracles led to the great flood of the Epic of Gilgamesh which led to the story
of the Genesis flood and Noah's Ark.


  Russell may have needed to put a decimal point in his 144,000:

  1914  "The evidences seem to be that there are still quite a number of vacan-
cies in the elect number, because there are people coming into Present Truth and
consecrating who have come directly from the world.  This would seem to indicate
that there are not at present a sufficient number fully consecrated to complete
the 144,000.  If there were, these would be given the preference over those not
consecrated." ("Watchtower Reprints," March 1, 1914, p.5411)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish


  1914  On March 27, Belgian surgeon Albert Hustin made the first successful
non-direct blood transfusion, using anticoagulants.

  A good Wikipedia article about the conditions that led up to WWI is at the
next link:

  Take special note of the following in relation to current JWs leaders claims
that Russell predicted anything about WWI:

  1914  "We had expected that if the Gentile Times should end with the present
year, this would surely mean that all the Bride class would participate in the
First Resurrection change from earthly conditions to Heavenly conditions before
the end of the present year.  Although this was not stated positively, it was
pointed out to be the logical conclusion.

  "Now it does not look so.  We see Scriptures which are not yet fulfilled and
which, we are convinced, could not find accomplishment before the end of this

  "There is still a possibility that we have made no mistake in respect to the
time, but have erred in respect to the things expected.  For instance, it may be
that the Times of the Gentiles do expire with the present year, but that the
Lord will not dispossess them nor take from them their earthly dominion so
quickly as we had anticipated.  Considering that they have been in power for
2,520 years, dispossession in one year might seem very sudden--indeed, to accom-
plish it in five, or ten, or twenty years, might seem not an unreasonable time."

  "The great crisis, the great clash, symbolically represented as a fire, that
will consume the ecclesiastical heavens and the social earth, is very near.  But
when we have said this we have said about all that it is safe or proper for us
to say.  We have never claimed inspiration nor prophetic vision.  All that we
have ever claimed is that 'Wonderful things in the Bible we see,' and that the
dearest is the love of the Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Lord Jesus, and that
the time for the establishment of the Kingdom is very nigh."  ("The Watch Tow-
er," May 1, 1914, pp.132-134)

  Summary: as tensions build in Europe, Russell threw open all possibilities
regarding what could happen and when except that the destruction of the non-Rus-
sell churches and Armageddon were very near.  He claimed he never played prophet
but he had, both in the elitism of his "144,000" claim, accompanying damnation
for most others, and having made specific predictions like the two just noted.
The destruction of the non-Russell churches and human government didn't happen.
The Bible doesn't require followers to make up stories about Armageddon being
around the corner all the time, just about always being ready since Jesus could
come back any time.

  1914  (GTW note: my Dad was born in Carnegie, PA, on June 5th.)


  You shouldn't be superstitious about a war, earthquake, etc., being a sign
    of the end unless there's a war part three

  1914  On July 28, World War I began: Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia
after it failed to meet the conditions of an ultimatum it set on July 23 follow=
ing the Sarajevo assassination.

  1914  After WWI broke out on July 28, 1914, Russell reverted to form for the
Aug.15, 1914, Zion's Watch Tower and wrote:

  "St. Paul, referring to our day and to present conditions, declares the Lord's
Message, 'Yet once more will I shake, not the earth only, but also the heavens.'
By inspiration the Apostle informs us that this will be the last great shaking
which the world will ever have, because in this troubled time in the early dawn
of the Millennium, everything shakable will be shaken and destroyed so thorough-
ly that nothing will remain except that which is unshakable--that which will
fully have the Divine approval.  The Apostle says that the only thing remaining
unshakable will be the Kingdom of God in the hands of The Christ--Head and
Body.--'Hebrews 12:18-27'."

  (That didn't happen, even from a Eurocentric point of view, and it's a shaky
possibility that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews--the writing style is too dif-
ferent, and the writer claims their original motivation to be Christian came
from "others" instead of a vision of Christ himself.)

  Russell called WWI the earthquake of Rev.16:18.

  (Didn't happen.)

  Russell wrote that WWI would be part of the battle of Armageddon.  "Then the
great Armageddon of the Bible may be expected.  Every man's hand will be against
his neighbor.  Various factions and parties will proclaim panaceas, and will
endeavor to force them upon the public.  As a result, foretold in prophecy,
'there shall be a Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a na-
tion.'--'Daniel 12:1'."

  (Nope.  He'd have had better luck trying for a prophecy for the Time of the
Guy who Got Things Wrong.)

  "Following the style of some writers of today, who tell us of a general Euro-
pean conflagration, St. Peter describes the end of the nominal Church systems of
our day under the figure of a fire.  The heavens being on fire shall pass away
with a great noise--great disputation, confusion, etc.; "the earth also and the
works that are therein shall be burned up," writes St. Peter.  "The fire of that
Day shall try every man's work of what kind it is," writes St. Paul.--`2 Peter
3:10`; `1 Corinthians 3:13`." ("Watchtower Reprints," Aug.15, 1914, pp.5516,

  (With Russell's hokey new prophet routine, I guess you'd hope to win the ec-
clesiastical war he imagines by default, but he was wrong again.  Christianity
grew bigger than before.)

  As the big date, Oct., 1914, approached, Russell fudged again:

  1914  "The present terrible war is not the great Time of Trouble in the full-
est sense of the word, but merely its forerunner.  The great Time of Trouble of
the Scriptures will be brought on by anarchy--the general uprising of the peo-
ple; as the Prophet says, 'every man's hand against his neighbor, no peace to
him that goeth out or to him that cometh in.'--'Zechariah 8:10'."

  "While it is possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet it is purely
speculation to attempt to say just when.  We see, however, that there are paral-
lels between the close of the Jewish Age and this Gospel Age.  These parallels
seem to point to the year just before us--particularly the early months."
("Watchtower Reprints," Sept.1, 1914, pp.5526,5527)

  1914  Even giving himself a couple of months (Oct., 1914 and Oct., 1915, the
latter being his corrected calculation) for something to happen which he could
attach to his prediction, Russell settled instead for calling WWI a sign of im-
pending Armageddon and pretended he predicted something.

  Though Russell taught not to look to wars, earthquakes, etc., as signs, his
corrected prediction missed the time by a bit over a year and a couple of
months, and his original date missed by over two months, he taught that WWI,
which began on July 28, 1914, the fast culmination of a complex of events set
into motion on June 28, was the start of Armageddon (the Bible kind, not "Arma-
geddon" as a secular figure of speech), which it wasn't.  It didn't result in
the end of historical mainstream Christianity (which he referred to a variety of
the basic tenets of disparagingly), the overthrow of all human government, Jesus
being seen in the sense of "seen," or the setting up of God's rulership by Abra-
ham, etc.

  When his predictions weren't fulfilled in 1914, he used 1915 again--that's
when it would end.  In the last year of his life, 1916, he said Armageddon would
happen "in a few more years." (See 1915 and 1916 below)

  Encouraged by the ability to attach some new interpretations to the biggest
news of the day, WWI, his recent welcome uncertainty, at least about this, was
replaced by playing prophet confidently and contradicting himself with various
dates--and he still couldn't predict anything miraculous.  WWI started too early
for that and didn't turn into any of the miracles Russell promised--it just

  Russell ended up with an invisible Jesus that "all eyes will see" with nothing
miraculous attached to him to make the idea better than a silly, let alone com-
pelling, way to establish prophetic ability, a batch of failed predictions, a
few years left before Russell's remaining predictions of miraculous events were
shown wrong, with Russell claiming to the end that his predictions were based on
scripture, and, at least as importantly (see 1910), his own writings.  Nevermind
how ironic it made his case that it was an apostasy to deviate from scripture
when preaching God's word, Russell had the old stick-to-it-iveness.

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1914  "Probably not more than one in ten of all the Protestant ministers of
the world would today acknowledge that he still holds fast his faith and confi-
dence in the Bible as God's inspired Message.  The other nine-tenths, if cross-
questioned, would privately admit that they had lost their hold, or been shaken
loose, and perhaps would boast of it even in public.  Others, through fear of
loss of prestige or salary, would seek to dodge the question and give evasive
answers." ("Watchtower Reprints," Aug.1, 1914, pp.5516,5517)

  You have to remember that he meant belief in the Bible on his terms, which
included a created Christ that was to be worshipped.  Considering that, he may
have cut himself an overly generous slice with his one in ten.  Oy, what goyim.
If he'd have gone around teaching this as monotheism in the time of Christ, they
wouldn't have picked up rocks to stone him.  They'd have been too puzzled.


  1915  The Watchtower Society also printed new copies of Russell's "Studies in
the Scriptures" in 1915 with 1914 changed to 1915 in various places (for exam-
ple, on p.81, Vol.2 in 1908 changed for the 1915 version).

  1915  "Furthermore, Science declares that there is a far mightier Center,
around which these countless millions of suns revolve, accompanied by their
planets and satellites.  This great Center seems to be associated with the Plei-
ades, particularly with Alcyone, the central star of this renowned group.  For
this reason the suggestion has been made that the Pleiades may represent the
Residence of Jehovah, the place from which He governs the Universe."  ("Zion's
Watch Tower, June 15, 1915, p.185)

  Russell claimed God is in a location--here, he passes along the suggestion
that it's Alcyone in the Pleiades, which is in the Taurus constellation.  Rus-
sell was probably partial to Alcyone due to the use of it in making calculations
based on the Great Pyramid.  (See the sections on pyramidology, 1925, and 1928.)
God didn't have to stay in the Pleiades after 1953, but the JWs leaders still
teach that God is in a location, which goes with the Bible Student/JWs leaders'
impersonal holy spirit idea.

  According to the Wikipedia articles at the next links, many myths or secular
figures of speech have proposed an axis mundi--a center of the universe.  Of the
observable universe, one of billions of galaxies in the universe is our galaxy,
the Milky Way.  The center of it now appears to be a supermassive black hole
called Sagittarius A.

  1915  "In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gen-
tiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of
this world and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God will be accomplished
near the end of 1915." ("The Time is at Hand," 1889, "1914" revised to "1915"
for the 1915 edition, p.99)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1916  "...we anticipate that before a very long time--perhaps a year or two or
three--the full number of the Elect will be completed, and all will have gone
beyond the Veil and the door will be shut." ("Thy Kingdom Come," forward to 1916
edition, pp.i,ii)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  Since Russell's prediction for Armageddon miracles hadn't come true, the 3416
measurement and the beginning of the period of trouble were changed for the 1916
edition of "Thy Kingdom Come" to "We find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457
years....  Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the begin-
ning of the time of trouble...."

  I don't think Russell could predict he was going to sneeze in ten seconds, and
if he got it wrong he'd say it happened invisibly then deny that he said it.

  1916  "We see no reason for doubting therefore that the Times of the Gentiles
ended in October 1914; and that a few more years will witness their utter col-
lapse and the full establishment of God's Kingdom in the hands of Messiah."
("Watchtower Reprints," vol.6, Sept.1, 1916, p.5950)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1917,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1916  Russell died on Oct.31 (Hallowe'en), 1916.  His grave in Rosemont United
Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA, is by a statue of a pyramid put there in 1924 in com-
memoration of him by friends of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.  (If
things get too quiet at JWs headquarters, maybe someone could measure it and make
more bad predictions with it.  "Oo, look--Guy Fawkes Night!"  Sorry.)

  According to a post by drew sagan at the Jehovah's Witness Discussion forum
site, the middle of the pryramid has "A metal box that contains Russels books,
tracts, the Societies Charter, and many other differant things related to Rus-

  According to various sources, his last words were "Make me" (or "Bring me") "a
Roman toga," which his travelling companion, Menta Sturgeon, fashioned for him
out of bed sheets.  (At the next link, you might use the Edit > Find feature to
find the quote in a lengthy article about Russell's life.)

  Especially since the writer, an admirer of Russell's, compares it to the dress
of a Roman leader, the obvious joke is to say he died dressed like one of the
people who killed Christ, but I'm going to guess he probably wanted to wear
something like a hospital gown.


  Joseph F. Rutherford

  Thanks to the Watch the Tower web site for the photo which shows the Board of
Directors after Russell's death.

  Standing (left to right): J.A. Bohnet, R.J. Martin, Giovanni DeCecca, F.H.
Robinson, and C.J. Woodworth 

  Sitting (left to right): A.H. MacMillan, J.F. Rutherford, and W.E. VanAmburg

  After Russell died there was dispute about the validity of the election of
Rutherford as the new president (unopposed and dropping Russell's procedure of
having leading shareholders put things to a vote).  Rutherford battled four of
the society's seven directors who accused him of autocratic behavior and sought
to reduce his powers.  Rutherford gained a legal opinion that his four opposers
had not been legally appointed then replaced them (July 12, 1917) with four
sympathetic directors.  In Dec., 1917, Rutherford organized a referendum of all
Bible Students and Watch Tower subscribers a month before the annual Pittsburgh
convention and, though not binding, got most of the votes.  He was re-elected on
January 5, 1918, with a majority of shareholders' votes.  About 1/7th of the
followers left and a "later Watchtower described the outcome of the 1917 leader-
ship dispute as the removal of 'a class of insubordinate ones who rebelled
against the ways of the Lord' before Christ's inspection and approval of the
'faithful and discreet slave class' in 1918."

  After a schism in Russell's group over how to proceed, Joseph Franklin Ruth-
erford trashed Russell's will to become the president of the "Watch Tower Bible
and Tract Society" in Jan., 1918.  Leadership went from zany and elitist but
friendly in some ways to zany and elitist but regimented and cranky.  His pre-
diction that God would destroy churches and millions of members of them in 1918
didn't come true, but he started making changes in doctrine in 1918.

  He continued some of Russell's ideas--that he was part of the 144,000 that
would go to heaven, Jesus was created but was to be worshipped and had returned
invisibly, an Armageddon that kept moving a bit into the future, that Abraham,
etc., would be resurrected and rule the Earth, Christian Zionism (for a while),
etc.  He felt the need to make his mark by giving them this own dates to be
wrong about.

  Many who stayed true to Russell's teachings broke away to form their own Bible
Students Assoc..  Their web site would like it to be clear that Russell didn't
create Jehovah's Witnesses--Rutherford did.

  He created a Governing Body to preside over and regimentation for followers
got stricter.  He predicted the world would descend into total chaos in 1920
(God didn't help him with that, fortunately), had an unfortunate sales PR method
of putting the followers into sometimes dangerous conflicts to stir up interest
(without going to the front lines, door to door, himself--this isn't Martin Lu-
ther King), and predicted 1925 as the year the Millennium would begin and we'd
see Bible notables Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David reappear, later adding that
they'd live in one of Rutherford's mansions in San Diego.

  Apostle Paul taught to sacrifice selfish concerns in the name of assimilating
with the Jews and Gentiles, to make your case and hope it persuades--not to
barge around getting in people's faces with sound trucks and damnation up front.
(1 Cor.10:31-33; 11:1)

  The other JWs leaders made their biggest failure in showing a sign of God--
none of them thumped him one.

  Second Watchtower president Rutherford continued teaching about Armageddon ex-
cept WWI wasn't as destructive as hoped so he eventually rescheduled Armageddon
for 1918 then 1925 then....


  1917  "My advice is, then, give your children an education up to public school
limit, not even attempting to take them through high school, for they get plenty
of Higher Criticism [sic] in the high schools, and it will not be long before
they have it in the common schools also."  ("What Pastor Russell Said, "1917,
pp.57,58) (See 1969, 1992, and 2006)


  "The Finished Mystery"

  1917  The Watchtower leaders teach that Jesus picked the Watchtower leaders as
his sole channel of information on Earth in 1919.  One of the things Jesus would
have noticed about the Watchtower leaders since 1914, besides their claim of
"144,000" exclusiveness, false prophet record, and created Christ who was to be
worshipped problem with monotheism, is that in 1917 the Watchtower released Vol.
7 of "Studies in the Scriptures": "The Finished Mystery," which is at the next

  Rutherford had Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher write it, sometimes
utilizing Russell's already published ideas but including others, edited it him-
self, and had it published as a post-humous book by Charles Taze Russell--the
7th and last volume in Russell's "Studies in the Scriptures" series.

  The title of "The Finished Mystery" is supposed to mean that it contained ex-
planations that would end a number of mysteries about the book of Revelation.
It reminds me of something one of Jonathan Winters' characters might say in-
stead, for some reason.  It includes this information:

  - Apostle Paul is given as taking the place of Judas in the 12 apostles:

" that of His Twelve Apostles, His Representatives--St. Paul taking the
place of Judas..." (p.18).

  (Actually, Matthias replaced Judas--Acts 1:21-26--and Paul joined later.)

  - The angel referred to by apostle John in Rev.3:14 is Charles Taze Russell:
"The 'angel' of Rev.3:14 represented the messenger who appeared to St.John." (p.
12)  "The special messenger to the last Age of the Church was Charles T. Rus-
sell..." (p.53)

  - Nelson Barbour is "the evil servant" of Matt. 24:48-51 (pp.54,386).

  (As noted earlier, Russell copped some of his more distinctive ideas from Bar-
bour, but after the April, 1878 Rapture prophecy didn't come to pass, Barbour
stopped backing Russell about the predictions and Russell's ransom explan-
ation for the crucifixion and, after debating them a while in Barbour's "Herald
of the Morning," they split up.)

  - "Another angel" of Rev.8:3 is The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society: "And
another angel--Not the 'voice of the Lord' mentioned in the preceding chapter,
but the corporate body--the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, which Pastor
Russell formed to finish his work."  "The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organiza-
tion until now the Lord has used it as His channel through which to make known
the Glad Tidings." (p.144)

  (Zion's Watch Tower organization was formed in 1879 with Russell's claim of an
invisible Second Coming in 1874, predictions, and claims of an exclusive rela-
tionship with God already underway.  The idea of a Watch Tower president presi-
ding over a group and claiming it to be God's sole group on Earth bound for
heaven began long before 1914 and continued beyond 1919 with those two years not
thought at the time to make a difference in those matters as has been claimed by
the JWs leaders in recent years, never mind how hard it would be to miss a Matt.
24:29-31-type thing, let alone Jesus starting to give you special guidance, at
the time.)

  ("The Finished Mystery" suggested regimented devotion to the Watchtower organ-
ization instead of an individual, but the outlook didn't materialize for the
Governing Body instead of a president till 1976, years after Rutherford's tenure
as president.  See 1919, 1976, others.)

  - The "severed hair" of Rev.5:1, and Rev.24:25,26, means " 1918, when God
destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by the millions, it shall
be that any that escape shall come to the " (posthumous) "works of Pastor Rus-
sell to learn the meaning of the downfall of 'Christianity'" (pp.398,399,485).

  (In 1918, God didn't destroy all the non-JWs churches and people in them.
Non-JWs, more inclined to call a JWs leader false prophet a false prophet,
didn't all take to studying Russell's bad predictions, meant to give credibility
to his claim of being of a literal 144,000 who were restoring the original
church from a great apostasy, to learn the meaning of the "downfall of Chris-

  - Rev.14:20 mentions 1,600 stadia, aka furlongs, which is 137.9 miles, which
is the distance from Scranton, PA, where "The Finished Mystery" was written
to the Lackawanna Railroad station (half was written 5 blocks from the station
and half was written 25 blocks from the station, so the average distance between
the two was used) to the Hoboken Ferry to the Barclay Street Ferry and past two
Fulton Ferries to the Brooklyn Bethel Watch Tower headquarters (p.230).

  (That last one's a popular favorite among researchers of early JWs leaders'
history.  I guess Russell saying that is one of the things apostle John is sup-
posed to have seen in a vision of the future at Rev.3:14 or ?--see above.  It
doesn't record that apostle John is supposed to have said, "Please, let me write
this--you'll shmutz up the works.")

  - Rutherford made some new calculations about those beyond the 144,000 literal
followers (including him):

  "As the number of the Bride of Christ is to be 144,000, it would be reasonable
to think that each number of this class may have 144,000 to look after, as
144,000 X 144,000 equals 20,736,000,000 (twenty billion seven hundred and thir-
ty-six million), evidently just about the right number to be cared for--144,000
would be quite a host for each individual of the Bride class to look after.  So
we can see the necessity for the work of the Great Company." (p.138)

  "Referring to Rev.21:17: "We should expect to find the number of those rescued
during the Millenium shown somewhere in these measurements, and this we also
find.  The cubit, in symbolism, is flexible in length, like the word 'day.'  If
we multiply the number of square furlongs in the city by the 144 measures of a
man the result is 144,000 by 144 or 20,736,000,000, the estimated number of the
sheep class at the end of the Millenial Age." (p.23)

  (In 1935, the future of those not part of the 144,000 was relocated to a fu-
ture life on Earth.)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1921, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  - Those non-Watchtower followers who turned from Christendom, then human gov-
ernment, would be destroyed in 1920:

  "As the fleshly-minded apostates from Christianity, siding with the radicals
and revolutionaries, will rejoice at the inheritance of desolation that will be
Christendom' will God do to the successful revolutionary movement; it
shall be utterly desolated, 'even all of it.'  Not one vestige of [Christendom]
shall survive the ravages of world-wide all embracing anarchy, in the fall of
1920. (Rev. II: 7-13)" (p.542; the 1926 edition replaces "fall of 1920" with
"end of the time of trouble")

  "And the mountains were not found.  Even the republics will disappear in the
fall of 1920.  And the mountains were not found.  Every kingdom of earth will
pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy." (p.258; the 1926 edition omits this)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., are coming back to run things, and they're
    going to live in one of Rutherford's mansions and drive one of his Cad-
    illac V-16s

  1918  Rutherford first gave the speech "The World Has Ended; Millions Now
Living May Never Die" on February 24, 1918.  On March 31, 1918, "May" was
changed to "Will."  Joseph Rutherford began declaring that God's Kingdom would
be reestablished on Earth, millions now living would never die, and Bible not-
ables Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets of Hebrews 11 would physically re-
turn to Earth (as Russell taught would happen at the end of 1914, 1915, and a
few years after 1916) in 1925.

  These ideas formed the basis of his 1920 book "Millions Now Living Will Never
Die," which includes: "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark
the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particu-
larly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human per-
fection." ("Millions Now Living Will Never Die," 1918, p.89.)

  Since you don't want them to get a shabby house, Rutherford had a couple of
mansions built in San Diego--Beth-Sarim in 1929 and Beth-Shan built in 1939.
Rutherford used this as a reason to get a couple of Cadillac V-16s, one poten-
tially for them and one to use himself, and lived in Beth-Sarim till he died.
(See 1929)

  (If it ran out of gas, was Moses supposed to strike a rock?  No, no, no,,,,)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  1919 and Theocratic Selective Service

  The JWs leaders have claimed for years now that Jesus picked them as his sole
religious leaders on Earth in 1919.  Part of that story uses Rev.11.  The
anointed Bible Students are given as the Two Witnesses whose work, "The Finished
Mystery," 1917, was "killed" when seven of the Society officers were sentenced
to federal prison, then "resurrected"/revived eighteen months later with the
release and claimed "exoneration" of them.  Jesus then put them in charge of the
Master's household and care of all his belongings on Earth.  (See 2000.)

  This is connected to the return of Jesus in 1914--that he's had an invisible
presence on Earth since he started ruling it from heaven in 1914,...

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  ...that Jesus fulfilled a prophetic 1,260 days (Dan.7:25: time, times, and
half a time; time is one year=360 days, times is two years=720 days, and a half
time is half a year=180 days, which adds up to 1,260 days; a month was 30 days;
also see Rev.12:6,14) waging war with Satan and casting the demons to Earth from
1914 to 1918, then picked Rutherford and associates as his leaders on Earth,
picked from the Faithful and Discreet Slave class of Matt.24:45, in 1919.

  For more about the court case, Rutherford in prison, etc., associated with the
current JWs leaders' ideas about 1919, see p.6.


  1919  "Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel
which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning
of the harvest period?"  ("The Watchtower," April 1, 1919, p.6414)  (Rutherford
suggested regimented devotion to the Watchtower leaders instead of an individ-
ual, but the outlook didn't materialize till 1976.  See 1917, 1976, and others.)

  1919  On Oct.1, 1919, Rutherford began publication of "The Golden Age."  It
was a more secular JWs leaders' tract--secular concerns as viewed by the JWs
leaders--which preceded the JWs leaders' "Consolation" then "Awake!" tracts.
You can deliberate over some information about it for a sign of "God" or "not
God" at the next links:

  1920  "As the fleshly-minded apostates from Christianity, siding with the rad-
icals and revolutionaries, will rejoice at the inheritance of desolation that
will be Christendom' will God do to the successful revolutionary movement;
it shall be utterly desolated, 'even all of it.'  Not one vestige of [Christen-
dom] shall survive the ravages of world-wide all embracing anarchy, in the fall
of 1920. (Rev. II: 7-13)" ("The Finished Mystery," p.542) (The 1926 edition re-
places "fall of 1920" with "end of the time of trouble.")

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1921  "The Jewish harvest covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73.
We should expect, then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918."
("The Harp of God," J.F.Rutherford, 1921, 1924-8, 1937, 1940, p.236)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1922, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  1922  "There is no one in present truth today who can honestly say that he
received a knowledge of the divine plan from any source other than by the minis-
try of Brother Russell, either directly or indirectly."  Russell was the "faith-
ful and wise servant" of Matthew 24:45.  "Then to repudiate him and his work is
equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord...."  ("The Watchtower," May 1, 1922, p.

  1922  Again, 1918 was declared to be the close of the "high calling" to be
among the 144,000. ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1992, p.23, and "Jehovah's Wit-
nesses, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993 p.166)

  (The original deadline was 1881, which was changed to be a few years after
1916.  1918 was later replaced by 1935, and in 2007 the deadline was removed.)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1935, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish

  1922  "It is on the basis of such and so many correspondencies---in accordance
with the soundest laws known to science--that we affirm that, Scripturally, sci-
entifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a
doubt.  Its reliability has been abundantly confirmed by the dates and events of
...1914....  Present-truth chronology is a secure basis on which the consecrated
child of God may endeavor to search out things to come."  ("The Watchtower,"
June 15, 1922, p.187)

  1922  Rutherford began making bad predictions for 1925: "1914 ended the Gen-
tile Times...  The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scrip- then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed."  ("Watch-
tower," Sept.1, 1922, p.262)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1923  (GTW note: my Mom was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Nov.11th.)

  1925  "The year 1925 is here.  With great expectation Christians have looked
forward to this year.  Many have confidently expected that all members of the
body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during the year.  This may be
accomplished.  It may not be.  In his own due time God will accomplish his pur-
poses concerning his own people.  Christians should not be so deeply concerned
about what may transpire during this year that they would fail to joyfully do
what the Lord would have them to do." ("The Watchtower," Jan.1, 1925, p.3)

  1925  In "Birth of the Nation," a study of Revelation 12 in "The Watchtower,"
March 1, 1925, it was first taught that Jesus was enthroned as king in heaven in
1914 instead of 1878--the Messianic Kingdom had been born and Satan had been
hurled from heaven down to the vicinity of the earth.
  "Jehovah's Witnesses?Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993, pp.138-9

  1925 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the scriptures.  As
to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah
had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge." ("The Watchtower," April
1, 1923, p.106)

  1925  Rutherford backed off from his 1925 prediction while pointing the finger
of blame for the idea at the followers: "Some anticipated that the work would
end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so.  The difficulty was that the friends
inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations
burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything." ("The Watchtower,
1926, p.232)

  (Rutherford's 1925 predictions aren't mentioned in "Jehovah's Witnesses, Pro-
claimers of God's Kingdom," 1993, in the section "Notable Dates"--the official
1993 version of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's history of predictions.
(See 1918, 1929, 1941-2?, 1942, and 1997.)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1925  "Some one asked me the other day: Suppose you should be here in 1925
what would you do?  I said, I believe I will be home in the Pleiades before
then...." ("The Watchtower," Nov.1, 1920, p.334) (See the sections on pyramid-
ology that mention the Pleiades, 1915, and 1928.)

  1926 "Human footprints seven feet long found in California...(made by) giants
(mentioned in) Genesis 6" ("The Golden Age," Jan.13, 1926, p.238)

  "Your Feet's Too Big" (Ada Benson and Fred Fisher), 1941, Fats Waller and his

  1927  Between 1927 and 1957, messages from Jehovah's Witnesses were broadcast
from radio station WBBR in New York.

  Here's a recording of "High in the Heavens" made in the early days (year?) of
WBBR.  It features future Watchtower president Fred Franz as second tenor:


  Satanic celebration of the birth of Christ

  1927 or?  According to "Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom"
(1993), 1926 was the last year Christmas was celebrated at Watch Tower headquar-
ters.  I'm not sure when the JWs leaders came out against it--1927 or ? ("Jeho-
vah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993, p.200; "Yearbook," 1975,
pp.147-149)  (See 1929, 1931, 1951, 1983, and 1988)


  1928  "The constellation of the Pleiades is a small one compared with others
which scientific instruments disclose to the wondering eyes of man.  But the
greatness in size of other stars or planets is small when compared with the
Pleiades in importance, because the Pleiades is the place of the eternal throne
of God." ("Reconciliation," p.14) (See the sections on pyramidology, 1915, and

  The idea of God having a spirit body in a location was continued but the claim
that the location was in the Pleiades was cancelled in 1953.

  1928  "It is more reasonable to conclude that the great pyramid of Gizeh, as
well as the other pyramids thereabout, also the sphinx, were built by the rulers
of Egypt and under the direction of Satan the Devil."  "Then Satan put his know-
ledge in dead stone, which may be called Satan's Bible, and not God's stone wit-
ness.  In erecting the pyramid, of course, Satan would put in some truth, be-
cause that is his method of practicing fraud and deceit." ("The Watchtower,"
Nov.15, 1928, p.344)


  Rutherford shoves Charles Russell out of the lime"light"

  1928  Since "the death of the apostles...the gospel of the kingdom of God and
of his Christ was not preached until after 1918 A.D." ("The Watchtower," Dec.1,
1928, p.364)

  I guess that blows Charles' sainthood deal.  In one of the more notable exam-
ples of JWs leaders shunning or cutting someone off, Rutherford cut off Russell.
And Rutherford was one of Russell's oldest and dearest friends.  You should have
heard from the people that didn't like him--oof!

  A couple of reasons to see this as calculating and not sincere:

  While dropping many of Russell's attempted prophesy dates, Rutherford kept the
606 BC (not when Jerusalem fell) to Oct., 1914 calculation that included a year
"0" between the BC and AD years though Russell had already made a correction for
it known--Oct., 1915.  WWI hadn't started on either of Russell's prediction
dates, but Russell tried to make a go of incorporating WWI into his prophesy
claims.  It was so clearly more of a PR move of the moment than that anything
evidential was shown about his predictive abilities that Russell veered from his
prophet pretensions, fudged, and admitted uncertainty at the end.  Nevertheless,
Rutherford went with the 1914--WWI connection, with its year "0" and Armageddon
always just up ahead, for PR except without the modest uncertainty part.

  Rutherford also maintained Russell's idea of a created Christ who was to be
worshipped though quite a long time had gone by for someone supposedly intent on
cleaning theological house not to have noticed the obvious problem it created in
reconciling it with monotheism.  At least it would lend support, if not credi-
bility, to the aspect of exclusiveness of Rutherford's "144,000" claim since
most Christian preachers knew better than to teach it.


  Human governments are led by Satan (Rom.13:1-7?)

  1929  Rutherford reinterpreted Rom.13:1-7--forcing the idea past the possibil-
ity of a generalization about human leaders, Rutherford claimed that he couldn't
conceive of "higher authorities" as earthly human leaders so they must be God
and Christ:

  "This proves that the higher powers are Christ Jesus and Jehovah and that the
supreme power is Jehovah God....  The apostle could not mean that the 'higher
powers' are the Gentile powers...."

  "The improper application has really been the basis for the false doctrine of
the 'divine right of kings' or rulers to rule and oppress the people. ? The
apostle is, in substance, telling the members of the church that they should al-
ways be obedient to God, and that the motive for such obedience must be love for
God and a delight in doing' his will."

  So JWs leaders began calling the secular authorities "demonic" and such in-
stead. ("The Watchtower," June 1, 1929, pp.163,167 and June 15, 1929, p.179)

  See the second entry for 1935--it's related that it made it easier for Ruther-
ford to:

  - ban saluting the flag and singing the national anthem (which remains a ban
though Rutherford's 1935 Rom.13:1-7 idea was reversed in 1962)--see 1935.  (I'm
not sure when national holidays were banned, but it's related to this, too.)

  - drink liquor during Prohibition: "God never authorized a prohibition or any
other sumptuary law to control the consciences or actions of others."  ("The
Watchtower," 1929, p.121)

  - ban civilian military service: "For this reason the Bible Students devoted
to the Lord refuse to take military service, because they are true followers of
Christ and must obey God's law."  ("The Watchtower," 1929, p.117)

  (See 1927 or ?, 1931, 1951, 1983, and 1988)

  Russell had already claimed a literal 144,000 exclusiveness, so characterized
the rest of Christianity as unfaithful and human government leaders as unchris-
tian, which was continued with Rutherford.  The biggest problem in such a rigid,
one-dimensional outlook on government would be Rom.13:1-8, so Rutherford tried
to make it seem like he had a scriptural obligation to have one with this forced
interpretation.  As a minority interpretation, it would suit the 144,000 preten-
sion better, too.

  Rutherford's determination about this vanity would also play an important part
in setting the followers up for an inflexible course with trouble and death up
ahead in Nazi Germany.  (See the listings for Oct.7, 1934 and others in the
"Timeline of JWs leaders in regard to human government, war, propaganda, and
persecution" on p.6.)


  1929  Rutherford had a mansion, Beth-Sarim, "House of the Princes," built at
4440 Braeburn Road, San Diego, CA, to house "David, who was once King over Is-
rael; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthae, and Joseph, formerly the
ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men who were named
with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter."  Rutherford got a
couple of Cadillac V-16s, one of which was potentially for them and the other
for himself.

  Another large house, Beth-Shan, "House of Security," was built across from
Beth-Sarim in Fairmont Canyon for the same purpose in 1939.

  Rutherford lived in Beth-Sarim, supposedly till Abraham, etc., showed up as
he predicted.  Exactly how he'd know the Bible figures if he met them wasn't
made clear--a sign of God, I'd think, which he never received.

  Beth-Shan was sold in 1945.  Beth-Sarim was sold in 1947.  (See 1918, 1925,
1941-2?, 1942, and 1997.)


  Invisible browsing from heaven part one

  1929  1874 was still taught as when Jesus invisibly returned: "The Scriptural
proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 AD."
("Prophecy," 1929, pp.65-66)  Combined with the idea given at the 2nd listing
for 1925, Rutherford taught that Jesus invisibly returned in 1874 but didn't be-
come enthroned in heaven till 1914.

  Christ's Second Advent was explained as a "turning of attention" to the earth
from heaven. ("Presence-?Literal or Symbolic?" in "A People For His Name: A His-
tory of Jehovah's Witnesses and an Evaluation," by Timothy White, pp. 223-224)

  (I don't know.  That must have been slippery to inspire confidence in: in
1874, Jesus began invisibly browsing from heaven?  Compare 1993.)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1930, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  1930  Rutherford bumped the invisible Jesus up from 1874 to 1914 (minus pyra-
mid connotations) in 1930.  "Jesus has been present since 1914." ("The Golden
Age," 1930, p.503)  (See 1876, 1891, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1922,
1925, 1929. 1933, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1957, 1973, 1997, and 2000)

  (Thanks to the post by blondie at the next link for the following informa-

  This was asserted without explanation till "The Truth Shall Make You Free,"
1943, which removed 1874 from JWs chronology by moving the creation of Adam
ahead 100 years.

  The Watchtower under Knorr and later JWs leaders revised the history of the
pre-1914 Bible Students and wrote that pre-1914 Bible Students didn't expect
Jesus to appear in the flesh to the people of Earth in 1914 but only invisibly
assume heavenly power (his "second presence").

  A couple of examples:

  "For example, it learned that Christ?s second presence was to be in the spir-
it, and not in the flesh as many professed Christians believe.  His rule would
be from the heavens.  This was a new revelation of great importance to God?s
people who had been anxiously awaiting his second presence toward the end of the
nineteenth century."  ("The Watchtower," July 15, 1965, p.428)

  "...a prophecy providentially caused sincere 19th-century Bible students to be
in expectation.  By linking the 'seven times' of Daniel 4:25 with 'the times of
the Gentiles,' they anticipated that Christ would receive Kingdom power in
1914." ("The Watchtower," Sept.15, 1998, p.15)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1933, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)


  Intolerance for dissent

  1930  "(Dissenting Bible Students are) Evil Servants (slaves) (and identified
with the) man of perdition (who would be) destroyed." ("The Watchtower," 1930,
pp.275-281)  (Intolerance for dissent increases.)


  1930  "How are we to know whether one is a true or a false prophet?  If he is
a true prophet, his message will come to pass exactly as prophesied.  If he is a
false prophet, his prophecy will fail to come to pass."  ("Watchtower," May 15,

  1930  "The false prophets of our day are the financial, political and clerical
prognosticators....  They assume to foretell future events; but their dreams or
guesses never come true....  In 1914-1918 these same three classes told the
whole world that the great world war would end all wars and make the world
safe...their prophecies did not come true.  Therefore, they are false prophets;
and the people should no longer trust them as safe guides...." ("The Watchtow-
er," May 15, 1930, pp.155,156)

  (Irony fans rejoice.  See 1917 "The Finished Mystery," 1920, 1925, and 1941;
also see 1990.)


  The name Jehovah's Witnesses

  1931  Rutherford changed the name of his religious group to "Jehovah's Wit-
nesses," a reference to Is.43:10, to distinguish his group from the splinter
groups that broke away after Rutherford wrested control from the people Russell
intended to run things and Rutherford made changes. (1932 Yearbook, pp.22-23)


  Satanic Mother's Day

  Dorothy Hofert/Letterman/Mengering and her son David Letterman

  1931  Thanks to Leolaia, at the Jehovah's Witness Discussion Board web site
message board, for a fuller set of Rutherford quotes than I had from his 1931
book "Vindication," Vol.1:

  "It was in 1919 that the Federation of Churches of the United States issued a
paper endorsing the League of Nations as the political expression of God's king-
dom on earth.  In that same year the Congress of the United States enfranchised
women, and this act was ratified by such legislators in 1919 and early in 1920.
Note that this was after the World War had ended and Satan had been cast out of
heaven and had begun to prepare his forces for Armageddon. (Rev. 12:12; 16:13-
16)  The women of America in particular began to compete with the men as pro-
phets of peace and to have a part in guiding and dictating the policies and pol-
itical operations of Christendom.  Since then they have wielded a great influ-
ence in the church organizations and in the councils of state.  God foreknew
this, to be sure, and caused his prophet Ezekiel to write concerning them:
'Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people,
which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them.'?13:17.

  "The women make monkeys or dupes of men.  The men have before effeminate, soft
and easily influenced and have lost their real manhood and sturdiness in the af-
fairs of state and home.  For instance, when men are sitting at a table and a
woman approaches, all the men arise and pay her homage and thereby elevate her
to a place above men.  The men remove their hats upon entering an elevator, if a
woman is present; and these things are said to be acts of respect and to show
that man is a gentleman.  But it is subtle, and the real meaning is much differ-
ent from that.  It is a scheme of Satan to turn men away from God and from his
announced rule of the proper position of man and woman.  The Lord has declared
that no effeminate man shall inherit the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 6:9).
This proves that the scheme or habit of paying homage to women is not of God,
but from the great enemy of God.  It is a veneer of being a proper thing, and
therefore it is more subtle than otherwise.

  "The so-called 'Mother's Day' was observed in America first in 1914, the very
year that Satan's world ended and when he knew his time was short to get ready
for the great battle of Armageddon.  To induce the people to bestow special hon-
or and worship upon mothers would be one step towards turning the people away
from the worship of God, and this is one of his means of preparing for Armaged-
don.  In all the churches today much is made over 'Mother's Day', but in not a
single one of them are the people ever told that God is the Father, and that the
'mother' is his organization, and that all honor and worship is due to Jehovah
God.  On the contrary, the men of Christendom are taught to pay their honor to
creatures, and not to the Creator; and this by the clergymen, whose duty and ob-
ligation is to teach the people the truth of God's Word.

  (Irony fans note: JWs leaders had followers worship a created Jesus till past
Rutherford's lifetime.  For mainstream Christian worship of God, which is given
to God alone, see pp.7-10 of this article.)

  "On the face of it the arrangement of 'Mother's Day' seems harmless and calcu-
lated to do good.  But the people are in ignorance of Satan's subtle hand in the
matter, and that he is back of the movement, to turn the people away from God.
The slogan is, 'The best mother who ever lived,' the purpose being to establish
creature worship, or at least to divert the attention of man from the proper
worship of God." (pp.155-159)

  Rutherford's getting a little hard up for a way to distinguish the cult, isn't
he?  If some of you kids out there don't know how to love your mother without
making it idolatry, you're going to have to stop doing it till you know how to
do it right.

  Assuming Rutherford used the reasons the recent JWs leaders have used for such
things, he didn't want JWs to give special honor to anyone but God...and him
(and his distinctive rules)...all year long.  Is this who you really want making
special rules about not honoring someone too much? (See 1927 or ?, 1929, 1951,
1983, and 1988)


  Strict regimentation

  1932  Rutherford replaced the offices of elder and deacon in local congrega-
tions with a Service Director appointed by the Watchtower Society and a Service
Committee elected by the congregation which organized the local preaching activ-
ity.  In 1938, congregational elections were discontinued--all who held office
in the congregation would be appointed by headquarters.


  1932  "Jews" are "no longer important to God."  "Jehovah's Witnesses" are the
"Israel of God."  "...during the World War the Jews received recognition of the
heathen nations.  In 1917 the Balfour Declaration, sponsored by the heathen gov-
ernments of Satan's organization, came forth, recognized the Jews, and bestowed
upon them great favors..."  "The Jews have received more attention at their
hands than they really deserved." ("Vindication," Vol.2, 1932, pp.257-8) (Ruth-
erford harshly renounced the Christian Zionist view of Russell's he'd continued
to teach till this time.  See 1890.)

  1933  Rutherford taught that when Jesus returned invisibly in 1914, the "last
days" began. (He'd probably been teaching that since 1930.) ("The Watchtower,"
Dec.1, 1933, p.362)

  (See 1876, 1877, 1884, 1889, 1891, 1897, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916,
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1938, 1941, 1941-2?, 1942, 1943,
1944, 1946, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1987,
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000)

  1934  Rutherford began the practice of having JWs employ sound cars and trucks
which played recorded speeches through loudspeakers.


  The great crowd/the birthday deadline for those who can go to heaven

  1935  On May 31, 1935, at a Washington, DC, JWs convention, 2nd Watchtower
president Rutherford added that the JWs who weren't a part of the 144,000 JWs
who went to heaven would be part of the "great crowd," his interpretation of
Rev.7:9, who'd live in eternal Paradise on Earth. ("The Watchtower," Sept.1,
1983, p.12)

  See 1917: the JWs who weren't part of the 144,000 were taught as also having a
future in heaven.  From here on, they were given as expected to live in Paradise
on Earth. (See 1995)

  1935 replaced 1918 as the close of the "high calling" to be among the 144,000,
apparently a date picked because that's when the other announcement was made and
to keep some hope going about it.  The "Great Crowd," all JWs except 8000 then
alive of the 144,000, was not considered to be made of anointed Christians, was-
n't "born again," wasn't to partake in communion, and wouldn't have Christ as a
direct mediator. ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1992, p.23, and "Jehovah's Witness-
es, Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," 1993 p.166)

  (It's been part of the JWs leaders' rules since that the "other sheep" of John
10:16 should be thought of, along with Rev.7:9, as referring to the "great
crowd" of JWs who will live on Earth, aren't "born again," etc.  JWs are still
to take 144,000 as a literal number of JWs who go to heaven.

  (Jesus' quote at John 10:16 is typically interpreted by non-JWs to mean Chris-
tianity originated in Jewish culture but would spread into the Gentile culture.)

  (See 1877, 1878, 1881, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1995,
and 2007; also see 1880 for Rev.7:1-8 taken to refer to a literal 144,000 Jewish


  1935  "Saluting of flags...singing national anthems...banned" as "an act of
worship"--idolatry.  ("Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose," 1959, pp.143,

  (Idolatry is belief in whatever other than God as God, not a thing or sym-
bol per se.  The things so worshipped by others are nothing to Christians ac-
cording to 1 Cor.8-11:1,17-34--pp.37,38--whether the things of false worship or
the Lord's Supper.  The right or wrong belief is what matters.  Scriptural
worldliness is to not love God or not love thy neighbor as thyself as by lying,
stealing, etc., regardless of other social boundaries--see "The Watchtower out-
looks on worldliness" and "The Watchtower outlooks on neutrality" on p.6).  

  (The pledge of allegiance is to promise to have liberty and justice for all
with others of the country, not a requirement resting on religious choice.  The
generic "under God" part of the time could be objected to or not spoken if the
agnostic or atheistic choice was taken, but Rutherford's stance of the pledge
being idolatry seems to be a concoction he made up by combining the pledge with
his 1929 forced minority view interpretation of Rom.13:1-7 to mean government is
ruled by Satan.  That interpretation of Rom.13:1-7 was reversed in 1962 but this
ban remains.  See 1994 and the first entry for 1995.)

  1936  Any who reject message of JWs after 1918, plus all small children who
might die at Armageddon, will have no hope of a resurrection. ("Consolation,"
May 6, 1936, p.508; WT 1938, pp.133,313,314,326,376,327; 1939, p.170)


  Jesus was nailed to a tree

  1936  "Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in
many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus
was crucified by nailing his body to a tree." ("Riches," 1936, p.27)

  "Xulon" may be translated "tree" at Peter 2:24; Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29; Gal.
3:13 and refers to Deut.21:22,23, where the Hebrew word "'etz" is normally ren-
dered into Septuagint Greek as "xulon."  Both Hebrew 'etz and Greek xulon can
mean "tree, wood, stake, stick" depending on context.

  The definition "tree" is chosen for those verses due to related historical
context about the ancient Israelites: "after being stoned to death, idolaters
and blasphemers were hung on trees to show that they were accursed by God (cf.
Deuteronomy 21:23), though the Law forbid such corpses to remain on the tree

  Rutherford turned a personal opinion into another rule for his 144,000 elitist
pretension and clarified that the JWs leaders require the stance that Jesus died
on a torture stake.

  The better case can be made by evidence for Romans having used crosses for
execution since before Jesus' time--see the next two links--and that the early
Christians, like the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas, Irenaeus, and Justyn
Martyr, thought Jesus died on a cross (p.9).  The "stauros" Jesus died on most
likely refers to a cross.  The Jewish method would have been to stone Jesus to
death, but the Romans probably made Jesus carry a crossbeam (John 19:17) to be
affixed to an upright pole.

  The certain wrongdoing is Rutherford and subsequent JWs leaders playing pro-
phet again by requiring agreement with the forced point that it wasn't a cross
and that followers have to avoid the use of a cross symbol, which they've ac-
cused of being idolatry and/or of pagan origin and connotation.  The only real
scriptural case to make is to only worship God--avoiding idolatry is avoiding
misdirected worship, not a taboo of things.

  See 1 Cor.8-11:1,17-34 on pp.37,38, where Paul compares the things of an idol
temple to the things of the Lord's Supper: whether someone worships the one true
God or not makes the important difference--not the things.  If Paul gives thanks
to the one true God he can eat at an idol temple and isn't an idolator, and
someone could eat at the Lord's Supper without true faith and not be a Chris-

  Paul describes the one who imagines a negative connotation for such a thing as
needing to avoid it becase they'e weak in their faith.  The JWs leaders' view is
doubly weak here in both claiming their especially righteous "144,000" vanity
(they lost me already) yet taking the stance of one Paul describes as weak in
their faith.

  The JWs leader' stance is also weak in making the facts fit the theory histor-
ically--history records a lot of non-Christians who did bad things with a stick
or stick-shaped thing like a club, spear, knife, or sword (see the symbolic use
of spears at the next link), so that line of concern would rule out both stakes
and crosses.

  Some people did bad things with trees, like hang people from them.  Fortun-
ately, Rutherford's silly elitism didn't cause him to tell followers not to have
trees on their lawns for passers-by to see and allegedly be corrupted by.

  At Gal.6:14 and 1 Cor.1:17-25, apostle Paul preached and boasted in the
cross--not the literal cross, and regardless of any pagans executed on stakes or
crosses--but the cross as symbolic for what Jesus did for people on one, the
usual meaning the symbol has for Christians.

  The JWs leaders have played prophet for their 144,000 exclusiveness by making
a rule that the use of a cross by non-Christian cultures creates a sort of guilt
by association for the cross symbol is a pretension created in spite of Paul's
scriptures about that.  A JW might consider avoiding the cross symbol in the way
Paul avoided idol temple food circumstantially if someone was around who could
mistake him for promoting idolatry, which is what the JWs leaders' teach the
mainstream historical vew of Jesus and the holy spirit is.  But what Paul
boasted about was common ground irrelevant of that difference, and see pp.7-10
for how the JWs leaders present a comparison of their Jesus and holy spirit
stances with the mainstream ones.

  Rutherford played prophet again.  It wouldn't be the last time.

  Continued on the next page