Controversies about JWs leaders and the fatalities of followers during
The Declaration of Facts
Timeline of JWs leaders in regard to human government, war, propaganda,
Controversies about JWs leaders and the fatalities of followers during WWII
The most tragic part of this page of my article is the number of JWs who died
in Nazi German prison camps.
I've got mixed reports of the numbers, so I'll
just pass along what I found.
2,000 died, 1,000 of them by execution ("The Watchtower," Dec.15, 1950, p.
4,000 died ("The Watchtower," Jan.1, 1964, p.13)
635 died, 203 of them by execution ("1974 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses,"
p.212; "The Watchtower," Feb.1, 1976,
In a later "Watchtower," the number was raised back to 2,000. This was done
by quoting an outside source.
But the outside source seems to quote the 1950
"The book Mothers in the Fatherland reported: "[Jehovah's Witnesses] were sent
to concentration camps, a thousand
of them were executed, and another thousand
died between 1933 and 1945.... Catholics and Protestants heard their
urge them to cooperate with Hitler. If they resisted, they did so against or-
ders from both church and
state." ("The Watchtower," Jan.1, 1989, p.21.)
1989 "To Jehovah Belongs the Battle"--2,000 died.
2001 "Courageous Integrity Keepers Triumph Over Nazi Persecution" 2,000 died,
250 by execution.
The Declaration of Facts
I think it's safe to say the JWs leaders don't teach things these days like a
some of JWs president Rutherford's
1932 Anti-Semitic statements found in the
first three links below. Otherwise, the only thing I'd read about JWs in
many during WWII was that some died in prison camps, which I assumed was mainly
a Nazi reaction to the Governing
Body's rule that JWs can't be a part of govern-
ment, including the military, as being too worldly to get involved in.
It puts a twist on what I'd read about.
I don't want to make too much or too little of a few bigoted anti-Jewish
statements by Rutherford (similar to
other ones he made around then or approved
of by Woodworth) in his 1932 "Declaration of Facts" reprinted in the JWs 1934
I don't want to make too much and characterize all the JWs in the world of the
time by it.
I don't want to make too little of it--I'd say it's about right to figure
Rutherford seemed intent on bonding
with Adolf Hitler, and with the German JWs
that signed it, regarding Hitler's commonly known and unfortunately popular
which is, y'know, pretty bad. It's a lot like the way JWs lead-
ers have bashed other religions, notably Christian,
with a bigotty broad brush
of propaganda before and since. But since about a generation ago, the popular
of the Holocaust and greater awareness in the U.S. to not be anti-
Semitic, seems to have finally led the JWs leaders to
leave Jewish people to be
implied by the damnation of not being JWs without mentioning them specifically.
That the letter to Hitler badmouthed the way the U.S. and Great Britain ran
things as by "commercial Jews," and
seeing the other anti-Semitic statements
Rutherford and Woodworth made during the period (see the timeline lower on this
reaffirms that interpretation for me. There are ways Rutherford's propa-
ganda against countries of Christendom would
overlap with Hitler's propaganda
about those countries, too.
But at the extreme of making too little of it, the recent JWs leaders' litera-
ture defense is that there's nothing
to be offended about in the letter at all
unless it's misunderstood:
"The Society said the denunciation of
'commercial Jews' in the Declaration
'clearly did not refer to the Jewish people in general, and it is regrettable
if it has been misunderstood and has given cause for any offense.' It ex-
plained that Jehovah's Witnesses
rejected antisemitic views, and that the
'high ideals' they shared with the Nazis were those of family values and
"Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"--Chicolini (Chico Marx)
impersonating Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho
Marx) in "Duck Soup," 1933--it's also a
good line for the JWs leaders' requirement that JWs agree that Jesus appeared
Then again, I'm familiar with the JWs leaders revisionist history efforts,
such as in writing that earlier
JWs leaders were the real God's chosen deal when
they really got prophecies wrong and such, as shown on p.1a. The
next two exam-
ples show something similar, criticizing that it was as recent as 1873 when
Pope Pius IX expressed disagreement
with the racist curse of Canaan idea for
black people. It's hypocritical since Watchtower leaders (Rutherford, I
pose) showed a beleif in the curse of Canaan idea even more recently.
1929 "Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?
It is generally believed that
the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was
the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said,
Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,' he pictured the
future of the Colored race.
They have been and are a race of servants.. There
is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and
the joy that
he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in
the world." ("The Golden
Age," July 24, 1929, p.702)
1982 about 1873: "Have the churches of Christendom always treated 'everyone
on the same basis'? Consider
how the Catholic and Lutheran Churches supported
Hitler's scheme to produce a 'master race.' And for centuries the
Church taught that Negroes were a cursed race. John F. Maxwell states in his
book Slavery and the Catholic
Church that this view 'apparently survived until
1873 when Pope Pius IX attached an indulgence to a prayer for the "wretched
in Central Africa that almighty God may at length remove the curse of
Cham [Ham] from their hearts."' And even to
this day some church organizations
openly practice racial discrimination."
"Regardless of how politicians and religionists view the matter, the Bible and
science indicate that all races
are equal and descend from a common source. In-
terestingly, The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1970, Vol. 2, page 149,
the 'scientific concept of the equality of the races' and admits the 'scientif-
ic validation' of humanity's
"Awake!" Feb. 8, 1982 pp.14,15 "The Races—-What Is Their Origin?"
So the JWs
leaders hypocritically showed racism more recently and tossed in
anti-Catholic prejudice to boot. (Note: most Catholics
fought Hitler and most
JWs didn't even fight Rutherford.)
The JWs leaders taught that Christendom, notably the Catholic leaders, sup-
ported Hitler during WWII.
If that were true, I think Hitler would have won.
Regarding the Watchtower reference to those of other religions supporting
for a "master race," the JWs leaders' seem to like their propaganda in an ironic
style--see the entries for Nov.12,
1930 to Oct.28, 1942 (not long after Ruther-
ford passed away) below about the JWs leaders support of eugenics and anti-Sem-
while the Nazi government blatantly furthered both.
A proper generalization refers to what's mostly true--most Catholic and Pro-
testant effort was to fight against
the aggressive, criminal Nazi effort, and
Rutherford had most JWs bug people in the U.S. with sound trucks and record
that their religion and government, therefore military, was evil, adding
a JWs-centric hope that God was going to destroy
them soon and the JWs 144,000
would help Jesus, Abraham, etc., rule the JWs world (see the timeline below).
Rutherford seemed to have taken lessons from the same PR agent except
Hitler's vision of destructiveness and domination
was more immediately destruc-
tive but not as 'centric and far-reaching in scope.
I won't condone beating the c**p out of someone because they're meekly differ-
ent in a way we should tolerate,
peacefully assimilating and hoping to persuade,
and the way Jesus and apostle Paul taught to spread the word (1 Cor.10:32-11:1).
you don't go around in the manner Rutherford had it done, shown in the time-
line lower on this page, using trucks with
loudspeakers and damnation up front,
triple damn daring someone to get PO'ed over the most upsetting concerns of the
that many were risking their lives to fight about, using bogus prophet-play-
ing methods that endangered the followers,
then pretending the persecution hap-
pened due to a commitment to sincerity by their leader.
My main criticism of that is that Rutherford conducted that poorly, with in-
flexible "144,000" elitism and an
expanded definition of worldliness, and put
the followers into conflict without scriptural necessity but for whatever per-
reasons--I'd think to stir up PR for his literature sales. Ironically, it
created some good secular court case PR
about freedom of speech but was an un-
reasonable imposition on the followers' Christian freedom and was disastrous for
of the followers he put on the front line in Nazi Germany.
So I scrounged together various things of related context--prejudice, poli-
tics, the military, etc.--to
understand "The Declaration of Facts" in and made
a timeline of it. It added a few more twists to the story, if anything,
me. And it's got a few items useful in analyzing the JWs leaders for a show of
God or "not God" regarding
their claim of being God's sole channel of informa-
tion on Earth.
Thanks to the heraldmag.org and ctrussell.us web sites for a lot of the lit-
erature of Charles Taze Russell:
Thanks to the strictlygenteel.co.uk web site for a lot of the literature by
Joseph F. Rutherford:
Thanks to watchtowerdocuments.org and /wtarchive.svhelden.info for copies of
"The Golden Age."
Thanks to the Catholic-forum.com 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
Food at the Proper Time" by an elder of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Thanks to jwfacts.com, wtarchive.svhelden.info, and wiki.jw-archive.org, too:
Timeline of JWs leaders in regard to human government, war, propaganda, and
1884 The first Watch Tower president, Charles Taze Russell, regarding Matt.
24:6-8, wrote: "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 never indicate its close." ("Watchtower Reprints," Sept., 1884, p.661)
1891 Russell's 1891 passport, for which he took an oath of allegiance to the
USA, can be seen at the next
1898 On April 25, the Spanish-American War was declared: The United States
declared war on Spain; the U.S.
Congress announced that a state of war had exis-
ted since April 21 (later backdating one more day to April 20).
It lasted till
1898 "Notice that there is no command in the Scriptures against military ser-
vice. Obedience to
a draft would remind us of our Lord's words, 'If any man
compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.' The government
may compel march-
ing or drilling, but cannot compel you to kill the foe. You need not be a good
Watchtower," Aug.1, 1898, reprint, p.2345)
I'll suggest that it might have been a good idea to run that one past the sar-
geant first before he sent men
into positions in the heat of battle.
1917 Joseph F. Rutherford became the 2nd Watchtower president.
1917 "The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of
the Scriptures. (Rev. 16:16-
20.)" ("Pastor Russell's Sermons," 1917 ed., p.676)
In June, 1917, six months after Rutherford became Watch Tower president, Con-
gress passed the Espionage Act,
laying heavy penalties on all persons who in-
terfered with mobilization of military forces. The Sedition Act of
1918 was an
even more severe measure to suppress war criticism. Dissenters were often ar-
rested without warrants,
hauled off to jail, and held incommunicado without
bail. Prejudicial courts sentenced war critics to extraordinarily
terms: one adolescent girl was given twenty years. There were government lis-
teners and informers
everywhere. Intelligence agencies of the departments of
War, Navy, and State employed amateur as well as professional
collect information on citizens.
As mentioned on p.1a, the JWs leaders claim that Jesus picked them as his sole
religious leaders on Earth in
1919 (which Russell had been indicating about him-
self for decades). Part of that story uses Rev.11. The anointed
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
"exoneration" of them--that they were cleared from accusation or blame. The JWs
leaders teach that Jesus
then put them in charge of the Master's household and
care of all his belongings on Earth.
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, that Jesus
fulfilled a prophetic 1,260 days (time, times, and half a time) waging war with
and casting the demons to Earth from 1914 to 1918, then picked Rutherford
and associates as his leaders on Earth, the Faithful
and Discreet Slave class of
Matt.24:45, in 1919.
1917 Rutherford released "The Finished Mystery" (see p.1a).
Thanks to Atlantis at the Jehovahs-Witness.net web site for quotes from the
controversial pages, later deleted
to appease the government, from "The Finished
It tries to use the Bible to put defense, used by police and militia to mini-
mize crime in the world, on the
same moral plane as offense and call both mur-
der in all cases.
"Come out of the mouth of the dragon. — The three fundamental truths of his-
tory are man's Fall, Redemption
and Restoration. Stated in other language these
three truths are the mortal nature of man, the Christ of God and
Kingdom. Standing opposite to these Satan has placed three great untruths, hu-
the Antichrist and a certain delusion which is best described
by the word Patriotism, but which is in really murder, the
spirit of the very
Devil. It is this last and crowning feature of Satan's work that is mentioned
The other two errors are the direct cause of this one. The wars of the
Old Testament were all intended to illustrate
the battlings of the New Creature
against the weaknesses of the flesh, and are not in any sense of the word justi-
for the human butchery which has turned the earth into a slaughter-
house. Nowhere in the New Testament is Patriotism
(a narrow-minded hatred of
other peoples) encouraged. Everywhere and always murder in its every form is
and yet, under the guise of Patriotism the civil governments of earth
demand of peace-loving men the sacrifice of themselves
and their loved ones and
the butchery of their fellows, and hail it as a duty demanded by the laws of
"'"Everything in Germany, Italy, Austria, England and Russia is held back by
the confiscation of the proceeds
of industry carried on for the support of the
army and navy. In the United States the development of our resources
by this same fatal policy." "— C. E. Jefferson, American Association for Inter-
""War is in open and utter violation of Christianity. If war is right, then
Christianity is wrong, false,
a lie. If Christianity is right, then war is
wrong, false, a lie. The God revealed by Jesus, and by every spiritual
of the race, is no God of battles." " But I must go farther — I must speak not
only of war in general,
but of this war in particular. Most persons are quite
ready to agree, especially in the piping times of peace, that
war is wrong. But
let a war cloud no bigger than a man's hand appear on the horizon of the na-
tion's life, and
they straightway begin to qualify their judgment; and if the
war cloud grows until it covers all the heavens, they finally
"This brings about the curious situation of all war being wrong in general, and
each war being right in
particular. Germans denounce war, with the exception of
course of the present conflict with England. Englishmen
condemn war, but ex-
clude from their indictment the present fight against the central Empires. If
you tell me
that this war is fought for the integrity of international law, I
must ask you why it is directed only against Germany
and not also against En-
gland, which is an equal, although far less terrible, violator of covenants be-
"If you say it is a war of defense against wanton and intolerable aggression,
I must reply that every blow which
we have endured has been primarily a blow
directed not against ourselves but against England, and that it has yet to be
that Germany has any intention or desire of attacking us." "'In its ul-
timate causes, this war is the natural product
of our unchristian civilization.
Its armed men are grown from the dragon's teeth of secret diplomacy, imperialis-
ambition, dynastic pride, greedy commercialism, economic exploitation at
home and abroad. In the sowing of these
teeth, America has had her part; and it
is therefore only proper, perhaps, that she should have her part also in the
of the dreadful harvest. In its more immediate causes, this war is the
direct result of unwarrantable, cruel, but
none the less inevitable interfer-
ences with our commercial relations with one group of the belligerents. Our
in the war, therefore, like the war itself, is political and eco-
nomic, not ethical, in its character. Any honor,
dignity, or beauty which there
may be in our impending action, is to be found in the impulses, pure and unde-
which are actuating many patriotic hearts today, and not at all in the
real facts of the situation. The war itself
is wrong. Its prosecution will be
a crime. There is not a question raised, an issue involved, a cause at stake,
is worth the life of one blue-jacket on the sea or one khaki-coat in the
trenches.' — Rev. John Haynes Holmes, Church
of the Messiah, Park Ave. and 34th
St., New York City."
"'While the Germans have on every battle flag and upon their soldiers' belts,
"God with us," the British ministers
are quoting Bible texts to encourage en-
listment of their young men and to throw a halo of glory upon their soldier
(Z.'15-267.) 'The clergy are finding themselves in a tight place. They
are expected to be faithful to their
country, right or wrong. They are expected
to preach the War as the will of God and the going to war as a meritorious
ter that will have Divine reward and blessing. They must encourage recruiting,
in obedience to the commands
of their earthly king, and in violation of the com-
mands of the Heavenly King, who has directed them to be peacemakers,
and to fol-
low peace with all men and do no murder, either under legal sanction or other-
1918 The second Watchtower president Rutherford was jailed for "unlawfully,
feloniously and willfully causing
insubordination, disloyalty and refusal of
duty in the military and naval forces of the United States of America when the
States was at war." Rutherford and friends tried to talk people out of
going into military service but overlooked
the legal point that the JWs were
not an organized religion recognized for conscious objection because they had
creed. (The JWs prophet's holy spirit isn't just a bad fortune
teller--he makes a lousy lawyer.)
Also notice that the judge of the trial seemed patient about it, yet recent
JWs leaders' literature refers back
to the trial as a case of Satan trying to
stop Rutherford, and that he was later released from "Babylonish captivity" and
A summary is at the next two links:
The information in this section is a summary by Amazing:
What actually transpired is that the convicted defendants filed a Petition
for a "Writ of Error." (Trial
Transcript, pages 1-10, parts 1-30 ) The Writ
of Error was allowed by the trial Court, Judge Howe, and granted by
strict Court Judge Chatfield, whom the Society earlier objected to and had re-
moved from their trial, because
they felt he would not be fair to them.
What does this mean? During the course of any trial, the defense attorney
will take exceptions and objections
and note any errors in procedure and prac-
tices customary to common law. If the defendants lose and are convicted,
defense attorney can use these 'errors' as a basis for appeal.
Judge Howe, who presided over the trial of Joseph Rutherford and his co-de-
fendants, was very generous to note
defense objections and exceptions, and
openly stated in Court several times that he would act to preserve the rights
the defendants, and acknowledged that they could make appeals.
What then is a Writ of Error and how is it processed? "WRIT OF ERROR, prac-
tice. A writ issued out
of a court of competent jurisdiction, directed to the
judge of a court of record in which final judgment has been given,
ing them, in some cases, themselves to examine the record; in others to send it
to another court of appellate
jurisdiction, therein named, to be examined in
order that some alleged error in the proceeding may be corrected."
That is it! In this case, the Writ of Error was granted, and the case re-
manded back to the United States
Attorney as is customary. The prosecuting At-
torney then decides whether he wants to re-try the case, correcting
let it drop. Such 'errors' do not mean that the defendants are suddenly 'not
guilty' or in any way 'exonerated,'
but rather that if the case were tried,
less the errors, it might possibly have a different result.
What essentially happened is that the US Attorney decided not to pursue the
case, and as a result, in accordance
with the Writ of Error, the Defendants
were released, and the original charges were not refiled. Double jeopardy
not apply, because this goes to the matter of how the first trial made errors.
If they would have had a new trial,
that trial would then be treated as the
'correct' trial, and the original trial would be treated as a mistrial.
Were the errors significant, possibly suggesting that the Defendants did not
get a fair trial? So far,
from reading much of this 1500 page transcript, I
have found nothing that jumps out as outrageous or even unfair to the
Most all the objections and exceptions taken by the defense were minor.
While I do not have conclusive information as to why the US Attorney backed
off and did not pursue a new trial,
it appears that after WWI, the nation set-
tled down, and going through this issue again may have seemed pointless to the
There you have it. Joseph Rutherford and company were NOT exonerated, but
simply let off of the hook because
of procedural errors.
"The Finished Mystery," 1918, noted on p.1a, is described at the next link as
including "strong criticism
of Christendom's clergy which prompted clergy pres-
sure for government censure and eventually a wave of persecution in
ca and Europe." (I'll bet the bad prophecy ideas in it didn't help things
(Author?): "The adverse conditions in prison caused Rutherford's health to de-
teriorate considerably and he
remained plagued with health problems throughout
his life (Sprague, 1942). Sentenced to harsh terms of twenty years
endured prison for nine months before they were released on bail while their ap-
peal was pending.
As a result until he died Rutherford prociferously condemned
the American government and its courts, and especially the
which he felt influenced his imprisonment.
"Many people responded to Rutherford's condemnation of America by unleashing
one of the worst waves of violent
persecution against a religious group in
United States in the twentieth century (ACLU, 1941) world wide."
I'll add that he mainly ranted from his mansion or behind his security men
while the common followers bore the
brunt of it door to door and sent him the
money. Comparing their methods of playing prophet, Russell could be an
(see 1910, others, p.1a), but Rutherford seemed more motivated to crank up ten-
sions unnecessarily to set his
group off as different, and to recklessly risk
the well-being of the followers for PR for sales. Before you feel
too sorry for
1918 Joseph Rutherford wrote that God's Kingdom will be reestablished on
Earth, millions now living will
never die, and Bible notables Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, and the prophets of Hebrews 11 will physically return to Earth in
("Millions Now Living Will Never Die," 1918, p.89.) (See p.1a.)
Rutherford had a mansion built in 1929 and moved into it himself pending the
return of Abraham, etc. (Heb.11)
to claim it, which didn't happen.
1920 The National Socialist Party, the Nazis, became a party.
1921 On July 28, Adolf Hitler became their party chairman. After some inter-
nal conflicts, he became
the sole fuhrer--leader. His main goals weren't about
socialism but national expansion and anti-Semitism. He
believed Germany's ene-
mies Britain and France (and later the Soviet Union) were controlled by the
group used the swastika as a symbol of the Aryan race.
Hitler was raised by Catholic parents but abandoned the Catholic church and
didn't receive the sacraments.
In contrast to the scriptures by apostle Paul
about assimilating among the Jewish and Gentile people and persuading their
peacefully (Jesus didn't teach to find people who believe differently and beat
them up), with God showing no favoritism
about race (Acts 17:16; 1 Cor.10:32-11:
1), abiding by government unless it calls on them to go against God then follow
(Acts 5:29; Rom.13:1-7), Hitler was taken by a pseudo-scientific racist
version of social Darwinism to the extent of favoring
eugenics and was murder-
ously anti-Semitic and nationalistic. When it came to a choice between Chris-
and those things, he went with those things.
Hitler only professed to be Christian at times for political reasons since he
otherwise denied that he was and
had strongly anti-scriptural beliefs and prac-
tices. Whatever slim chance there was that he may have believed he
tian at times, the Bible believer, rightfully offended by Hitler's version, can
make a case for him being
an apostate, and a critic of Christianity who wants to
paint with a broad brush to bash it (ironically with as much discernment
"Christian" with Hitler's blend of beliefs) may take his superficial quotes out
of context to leave the impression
that he was Christian. Without being a mind-
reader, I know apostle James would advise you can tell his faith by
his works so
to see Hitler as insincere. Whether one wants to believe in the Bible or not,
if Adolf Hitler isn't
an example of an apostate, I'd hate to see what you'd need
dredged up to meet the requirement.
Part of Hitler's PR for power involved pandering to Christian faith for sup-
port against a popularly felt
threat of Stalin's intolerant atheistic persecu-
tion of religion--as long as the church didn't want much control in the
Part of it was bonding with brutal anti-Semitism and nationalism.
Into this mix came JWs, who hadn't helped fight to keep Germany from losing
(or winning) in WWI, were Zionists
till Rutherford cancelled it and even showed
anti-Semitism, favored eugenics till 1942, and had a regimented outlook against
in any non-JW religion and bashed it as Satanic. Rutherford tried
bonding with Hitler over anti-Semitism but Hitler's
bigger appeal was to Pro-
testants and Catholics that Rutherford bashed. When Hitler came out against
JWs and business, Rutherford gave the followers a regimented out-
look against involvement in any government as Satanic,
including Hitler's na-
tionalism (and against helping the Allies), and put the followers on the front
line as scapegoats
from his mansion in San Diego.
In 1921, the SA (aka brownshirts and stormtroopers) became the militia of the
party and began attacking other
"The Sturmabteilung (SA, German for "Storm Division", usually translated as
stormtroops or stormtroopers) functioned
as a paramilitary organization of the
NSDAP – the German Nazi party."
1922 The Hitler Youth program was established.
1922 Rutherford made his first radio broadcast on Sunday, April 16, 1922--
"Millions Now Living Will Never Die"--at
the Metropolitan Opera House in Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania, on station WGL-AM (called Howlett station because it was
by Thomas F. J. Howlett), 2303 North Broad St., North Philadelphia.
The station disappeared in a couple of years.
See 1924 for Rutherford's WBBR.
1922 Clayton Woodworth's Sept., 1922 passport, for which he took an oath of
allegiance to the USA, is at
the next link.
Archives of some of the issues of "The Golden Age" and "Consolation" which
Clayton edited for the Watch Tower
Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania are
at the next links. Since 1946, the publication has been called "Awake!"
1924 The first broadcast of Rutherford's WBBR occurred on Sunday evening,
From Feb.24, 1924 to March 31, 1957, the Watchtower Society used radio
station WBBR which was located in Rossville,
Staten Island. In 1931, the main
studios were moved to 124 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights. ("The airwaves
New York" by Bill Jaker, Frank Sulek, and Peter Kanze, pp.39,40) The Society
sold the station on April 15, 1957.
1924 JWs were supposed to be politically neutral. They weren't supposed to
take part in human-led
government but could criticize it. Rutherford did en-
courage a political view, if not activism, by writing a "Watchtower"
denounced prohibition for "The Watchtower," Nov.1, 1924:
Again, looking for a sign of God or not God for the JW leaders claim to be
God's sole channel on Earth, I'm seeing
the double irony of:
- a boozer writing about the evils of boozing, and
- a boozing religious leader writing that the bigger evil was of political and
religious leaders coming out against
booze who really weren't.
It's not like I needed to find another way to decide if the JWs leaders were
God's sole channel, which, if they
showed they were, could actually clinch their
distinctive doctrine claims such as their transfusion ban. I just thought
was a kind of interesting example.
1925 On July 18, Hitler's "An Account" was published. A second volume was
published in 1926, and
together they became known as "Mein Kampf" ("My Strug-
gle"). It includes strongly anti-Semitic outlooks, such as
that the Jews had a
plot to take over the world (actually, Rutherford would have made a more appro-
priate suspect for
that). He wanted to erase the Jews and Communism from the
face of the Earth. In his racist view, the Aryans
were at the top of the order
of things and the Jews and Gypsies were at the bottom. The struggle he believed
was between the superior Aryans and the non-Aryans who wanted equality.
Unfortunately, the book became very popular in Germany and made Hitler
1927 "Be it known once and for all that those profiteering, conscienceless,
selfish men who
call themselves Jews, and who control the greater portion of the
finances of the world and the business of the world, will
never be the rulers in
this new earth. God would not risk such selfish men with such an important pos-
("The Golden Age," Feb. 23, 1927, p.343)
Why did Hitler hate the Jews?
I'll throw in
the disclaimer this is ostensibly why Hitler hated the Jews.
None of us are mind readers to know what of it he actually
believed and what is
a cynical politician pandering to or manipulating people.
And I wouldn't look for any good reasons. A sociologist would say the Jews
were pretty well assimilated
at the time so there wasn't any point to Hitler
making the trouble he made for them.
(I have criticism of certain conservative Abrahamic religious stances if my
research indicates they're misinformative
and needlessly harmful such as Moses
having homosexuals cut off Lev.18,20. Hitler didn't use these criticisms
his reasons. For example, he had homosexuals incarcerated and wear pink
In the fall of 1919, Gen. Erich Ludendorff falsely blamed the Jews for the
Gernman army losing WWI. Actually, the
German army lost the war in the field but
blaming the Jews became the popular "official" excuse in German right-wing
This view was repeated by Gen. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg on
Nov.18, 1919 and others.
In "Mein Kampf," 1925-1926, Hitler, in order to get the German people to
follow his National Socialist German
Workers' Party/Nazi Party, wanted to give
them an enemy outside Germany and one inside Germany. For outside it he
Stalin's Russian communism and for inside it he made a scapegoat of the Jews for
the spread of "Bolshevist-Jewish"
communism. He identified the Jews and "Bolshe-
viks" as racially and ideologically inferior and threatening and "Aryans"
National Socialists as racially superior and politically progressive. He used
anti-Semitic clichés (that Jews
are greedy, scheming, etc.)--he even accused the
Jews of being subhumans.
He came up with a combination of junk science about better and worse races
with Jews listed as among
the worst combined with eugenics (taken to mean to
operate on people so they couldn't reproduce, or to even execute them)
He made laws causing Jews to be unable to marry here, live there, work there,
till he herded them into ghettos then prison camps of horrible condi-
tions. He had Joseph Goebbels head up the Reich
Ministry of Public Enlighten-
ment and Propaganda (the main cause of our negative connotation of the word
which put out newspapers and movies (think "Birth of a Nation"
except with Nazis instead of KKKers and Jews instead of
Sunday, June 22, 1941, Hitler began war with Russia--Operation Barbarossa--and
he began the Holocaust--attempted genocide (from which we get the word
"genocide") of the Jews, mainly operated by Heinrich
Himmler. It led to the
murder of about six million European Jews.
An example of propaganda Hitler probably didn't really believe in was Positive
Christianity--a Nazi oriented
anti-Semitic reading of the New Testament. People
who knew him said behind the scenes Hitler said things indicating
really believe in Christianity. It was an attempt to nazify the Protestant
Church in Germany but, to
their credit, some preachers didn't preach it and most
Protestant Germans didn't follow it.
"German Christianity and The Third Reich | Hearts Divided (WW2 Christianity
This brings up a point to keep in mind about these things. The JW leaders
were critical of the Nazi
government (notably after it became critical of them),
including Nazi persecution of the Jews. Are the JWs leaders'
meant to justify their own rules about the roles of these others in prophecy
(whoever else damned but
JWs) or something else indicating a broader bigoted
outlook (common bigotry ironically meant to support the JWs religious
tions but in contradiction to scripture)? Try to decide if the JWs leaders'
comments about Jewish people
- Biblical theological points refuting the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah,
- the JWs leaders' rules about the role of the Jews in their prophecies, or
- non-denominational, secular bigotry.
1929 Rutherford reinterpreted Rom.13--"higher authorities" can't be earthly,
they must be God and Christ.
So JWs began calling the secular authorities "de-
monic" and such instead. ("The Watchtower," June 1 and 15, 1929) (Reversed
"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.... Those who have insisted that the apostle
ferred exclusively to the Gentile powers when he said, "The powers that be are
ordained of God,' cite in support
thereof the words of Peter, to wit; 'Submit
yourselves to every ordinance of man [human creation, Greek] for the Lord's
whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them
that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers,
and for the praise of
them that do well.'" ("The Watchtower," June 1, 1929, p.167)
The standard idea, shared by the JWs leaders since 1962, of Rom.13:1-8, taken
with other scriptures like Mark
12:13-17, is that Christians follow the human
authorities unless they have to choose between that and God's word, in which
they follow God and not man (Acts 5:29). That interpretation was the JWs
leaders' view before Rutherford's reinterpretation,
and has been the JWs lead-
ers' interpretation since 1962, too. This needs to be tempered with the under-
that the Watch Tower leaders since Russell have always added extra
stipulations and propaganda about what God's word about
it was. Making one in-
terpretation and then the other is both an excess of playing at being "God's
and not real steady in the way you'd expect from people who really
But the JWs leaders' stance on it from 1929 to 1962 only exaggerates the shaky
irony their stance on human government
as being too worldly, basically held from
Russell's day to today, always makes me think of--allegedly, human governments
led by Satan who's been put in charge by God to do good in the world, so JWs
shouldn't be any part of it. And does
evil Christendom teach you that? No.
Well, they're evil Christendom. What do they know? Meh.
Rutherford originally had JWs continue Russell's religious beliefs about Zi-
onism (a belief that the Jews should
have a homeland in Israel; in Christian
Zionism, it's also the belief that it's intended by prophesy). In "Life,"
Rutherford had written that the British conquest of Palestine in 1917,
the Balfour Declaration, etc., were fulfillments
1929 "National Socialism...is a movement that is acting directly in the ser-
vice of man's enemy, the Devil."
("The Golden Age," Oct.15, 1929, US and German
1929 On October 24-29, the Black Thursday stock market crash happened on the
New York Stock Exchange and
began the Great Depression.
1929 Rutherford had the mansion "Beth Sarim" built at 4440 Braeburn Road in
San Diego, CA, and moved into
it. It was supposed to house the Bible notables
of Hebrews 11 (Abraham, etc.), whom Rutherford predicted would return,
didn't happen--it just housed him till he departed.
1930 On April 5, in an act of civil disobedience, Mahatma Gandhi broke Brit-
ish law after marching to
the sea and making salt.
The contrast I see with Gandhi or a Martin Luther King and Rutherford is with
someone believing in something
good and acting wisely, even risking their skin,
to do it, and someone sending the followers out to the front lines, door
door, with unwise bombast and damnation, meant to establish his elitist prophet
pose, from his mansion.
1930 On April 15, in response to gossip that JWs were assisting the Jews in
subversive political movements--the
dangerous, Bolshevik, "Jewish worm"--the
German edition of "The Golden Age" stated: "We have no reason to regard this
accusation as an insult as we are convinced that the Jew is at least as
valuable a person as a nominal Christian; but we
reject the above untruth of
the church tabloid because it is aimed at deprecating our work, as if it were
not for the sake of the Gospel but for the Jews." (German edition
of "The Golden Age," April 15, 1930)
"Nominal Christian": "nominal" means "in name only, minimal"--as with Rus-
sell's use of the phrase, it carried
a curse. Rutherford made his harshest
curses about mainstream Christianity, which he taught was Christian in name
a minimal amount in common with what Rutherford taught it should be.
The Golden Age meant that you should expect the JWs
to collaborate with the Jews
as much as with mainstream Christianity (i.e. not at all)--that to accuse Ruth-
and the JWs of corroborating with or working for the sake of either one
instead of the Rutherford customized gospel was
As Hitler rose to power, there were about 20,000 JWs in Germany and maybe as
many more who were sympathizers.
The JWs grew quickly there in the social un-
rest of the place and time.
1930 In contrast with many Creationists of the time, the Watch Tower produced
an issue of "The Golden Age"
on Nov.12 with an article by Mr. MacArthur, the
secretary of The American Eugenics Society, written at the request of the
tower. The article favored eugenics...
...as a way to solve social problems, an idea which was given as expected to
meet "with hearty approval by many
of our readers." It said "we do not seem to
be making very marked progress" in solving social problems, but "modern
has put into our hands (the) means of preventing much of this suffering. The
study of human heredity reveals
the possibility of...eugenics, the science
which deals with the conscious direction of human existence."
Since "blood tells," "families cursed with a hereditary of shiftlessness, lack
of foresight, and indifference
to the rights of others" could be kept from
breeding to prevent a "horde of inferior human beings." ("Sterilization
Unfit" by MacArthur, the secretary of The American Eugenics Society, "The Golden
Age," Nov.12, 1930, p.116)
(Compare 1933 and 1942.)
1931 On March 3, the Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as the United States
Rutherfords' literature, from 1932, reported persecution of JWs and Jews
(whose persecution was a much bigger
and harsher news story) as evils of the
Nazis, but not in Germany about the Jews until Nov., 1938.
1932 Rutherford reinterpreted Rom.11: Jehovah's Witnesses are the only "Is-
rael of God," not the Jews.
("Vindication Book II," 1932, pp.257258)
Normally, it's taken to mean the Gentiles are a branch that will be grafted
onto the tree, which has a remnant
of Israel for the roots. Rom.11:26: All Is-
rael will be saved. (Non-JWs may also interpret "All Israel" to
mean the ethnic
people of the land of Israel in some way or another.)
Rutherford dropped his support of Russell's Christian Zionism (not long before
the 1932 "Declaration of Facts,"
in fact). In 1932, "Life" (1929) wasn't cir-
culated, "Vindication" was. In it, he wrote:
Regarding Israel and the Phoenician seaport Tyre: "...doubtless from
Tyre the Jews learned how to cheat their fellow man. This may also pic-
ture how some of
God’s covenant people permit themselves to be choked by
the weeds and thorns of this world,
and the deceitfulness of riches, and
who therefore resort to improper commercial schemes to gain
("Vindication," J.A. Rutherford, 1932, book 2 at pp.70,71)
Rutherford wrote that this especially applied to the "selfish" Roths-
child’s bankers and other Jewish financial establishments who "conspired"
with their "political
allies" in the U.S. congress. ("Vindication," J.A.
Rutherford, 1932, book 2 at pp.170,179)
"The Jews were evicted from Palestine and 'their house left unto them
desolate' because they rejected Christ. To this day the Jews have not
repented of this wrongful
act committed by their forefathers. Many of
them have been returned to the land of Palestine,
but they have been
induced to go there because of selfish reasons. During the long period
elapsing from the time of their expulsion to the present day the Jews
have not borne the shame
of the heathen for Jehovah's sake, nor the
name of Christ. During all this period of time,
and particularly dur-
ing the World War, the true followers of Christ Jesus devoted to God,
and to his kingdom, have been bearing the shame of the heathen and have
been hated by all nations
for Christ's sake and for the sake of Jeho-
vah's name. (Matt.24:9; Mark 13:13).
"In contrast to this, during the World War the Jews received the recog-
nition of the heathen nations. In 1917 the Balfour Declaration, spon-
sored by the heathen
governments of Satan's organization, came forth,
recognized the Jews, and bestowed upon them great
favors. In this
seventh world power took the lead. Now Big Business and other wings
Satan's organization place the Jews alongside of and in the same cate-
gory as the Gentiles. Heretofore even God's people have overlooked the
fact that the affairs
of God's kingdom with reference to the things of
the earth are of far greater importance than
the rehabilitation of that
little strip of land on the eastern side of the Mediterranean sea.
Jews have received more attention at their hands than they have really
deserved. Therefore this prophecy must have its chief fulfillment upon
the true people of
God's kingdom which are now on the earth." ("Vindica-
tion," J.A. Rutherford, 1932, book 2 at
"Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics Under Perse-
James M. Penton. 2004, p.22, p.8
1933 There were 25,000 JWs in Germany, the second biggest number in a country
after the U.S..
Wikipedia estimates that from about 1933 to 1945 there were about 20,000 JWs
Maybe as many more were sympathizers. The JWs grew quickly there in the so-
cial unrest of the place
and time. Upwards of half went to Nazi prison camps.
1933 Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany on Jan.30. The National
Socialist movement took
over in Germany. The Nazis harassment of JWs intensi-
fied. It became increasingly severe over the next six
See the first couple of listings for 1929 for Watchtower damnation of human
government and Hitler's political
party specifically, and 1932 for how recently
Rutherford stopped supporting Zionism.
To understand just how unnecessarily dangerous Rutherford's prophet playing
act was as something to guide the
followers' lives in Nazi Germany, a few things
should be remembered.
Rutherford had put his followers in a precarious position already. Most peo-
ple didn't consider Rutherford
a prophet but an unpopular religious literature-
selling con man--the "144,000" claim was arrogant, his predictions always
and he propagandized about whoever that disagreed with him. With his
unnecessary prophet-playing customizations about
the Bible and expanded rules
about worldliness, that meant most of them. Hitler could have sent his men
the JWs just to appeal to the majority.
If he tried nothing more unique than a conscientious objector's approach, he
could have had a lower profile problem
with fewer in concentration camps, and
tried to get some active in the Christian underground or trying to leave Ger-
I know an easy way they could have done it, too--put the fathead at the
front of the door to door line.
At this juncture, Rutherford demonstrated the art of the prophetic prankster
pirouette and pratfall. Apparently
due to the rise of Hitler's party, Ruther-
ford changed his sales PR. His about-face on Zionism was meant to allow
bigotry about those of non-Rutherford religion, including the Jews, to continue
anywhere in the world without Zionism
causing a PR problem in Germany, except it
was obvious why he changed his position about it when it did. His stance
man government, including German National Socialism (see 1929) and Hitler's
treatment of the Jews, being Satanic
was meant to continue in non-German coun-
tries without it causing a PR problem in Germany.
What Rutherford tried to pull off was to pander to Germany and bigotry about
Jews, silent about persecution of
them, out of one side of his mouth while pan-
dering to non-Germans and bigotry about Jews, if critical of Hitler's persecu-
of them, with criticism of Hitler's government out of the other side of his
mouth. The only credible consistency
to see in it isn't a religious belief, or
even the best care for the followers selling his literature, but just to con-
to sell his literature. He took a reckless chance Hitler wouldn't get
wise to it--otherwise, he'd be triple-damn
daring Hitler, probably already in-
clined, to show everybody he condemned it by cracking down on the followers.
Nobody in Hitler's place would buy Rutherford's transparent duplicity and nei-
ther did Hitler. Hitler
was evil but not stupid. Rutherford had a lot of JWs
going door to door in Germany being harassed because Hitler
saw them as a minor-
ity that was a political nuisance that propagandized against the religions of
his majority and
against human government, including criticism of Hitler's own
government in non-German publications.
These things should be remembered when Rutherford fails to bond with Hitler
over anti-Semitism and loyalty
to Hitler's government on June 25, 1933, with the
Declaration of Facts and a letter to Hitler.
The information in this segment came from a site which is no longer at the
1933 "Probably there is nothing so indicative of primitive consciousness in
the entire Nazi program as
the anti-Jewish sentiment it so passionately advo-
cates." ("The Golden Age," not the German edition, Jan.4, 1933, p.209)
And the "playing both sides of the fence" award goes to Clayton Woodworth.
Imagine the torment of his spiritual
dichotomy: badmouth a different religious
group or an opposing human government as being guided by Satan. The decision
the the long run wasn't really hard: being of neither one, badmouth both (and
non-JWs Christianity, the U.S. government,
1933 "The Jews in Germany and Austria are having a hard time, all the power
of the Nazis being used against
them in boycotts and otherwise." ("The Golden
Age," not the German edition, July 5, 1933, p.623)
"However, as far as we can gather, the German editions did not print
similar criticism on the Nazi persecution of the Jews until after
the Night of the Broken Glass (Kristallnacht)
in November 1938. As a re-
sult of the first widespread boycott of Jewish business and the purge of
the civil service, judiciary and universities in March 1933, a German edi-
tion of The Golden Age did mention
these events, but the matter-of-fact
wording and the absence of any comment did not demonstrate much compassion
with the victims or aversion to these enactments.
"(See Das Goldene Zeitalter 143 (May 1, 1933). Since the WBTS was banned
in 1935 and operating fully underground since then, it is unclear why the
movement’s German editors
refrained from criticizing the persecution of the
Jews until after the Kristallnacht.)
"Instead, the Jewish fate was seen as inextricably linked with scriptural
prediction. According to Trost,
the German edition of Consolation (succes-
sor of The Golden Age), of July 15, 1938: 'The Jews clearly exemplify
terrible it is not to have Jehovah’s blessing. Being cut off from God’s
favor, also here [in Germany] they have no peace. Sow the wind and reap
the whirlwind! How much
longer?' (reviewer’s translation).
"As noted by Garbe, the attempts by the German management of the WBTS to
the conflict with the Nazis during the first six months of
1933 may have resulted in omitting any 'offensive'
notes that originated
from the Brooklyn headquarters. The Magdeburg leadership had even conveyed
its discomfort to the U.S. State Department, pointing out that the New York
editors did not take the new ideological
situation in Germany into account."
("Zwischen Widerstand und Martyrium," supra n. 23, p.91)
"Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich,"
1933 On Feb.28, the Reichstag Fire Decree (Order of the Reich President for
the Protection of People and
State) became law in Germany, which enabled Hitler
to have opposers of the Nazis harassed and imprisoned.
1933 On March 5, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a "bank holiday",
closing all United States banks
and freezing all financial transactions (the
'holiday' ended on March 13) in reaction to the Great Depression. On
the U.S. Congress began its first 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation.
1933 On March 15, Rutherford taught that very few JWs were worthy of eating
at the Lord's Supper with him.
Only the "remnant," the 144,000, could eat the
bread of the Lord's Supper and "show forth his death and participate in
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)
Stalin had the Russian Orthosox Church put through "Continuous persecution in
the 1930s" which "resulted in its
near-extinction: by 1939, active parishes
numbered in the low hundreds (down from 54,000 in 1917), many churches had been
and tens of thousands of priests, monks and nuns were persecuted and
killed. Over 100,000 were shot during the purges of
"Many religions popular in the ethnic regions of the Soviet Union including
the Roman Catholic Church, Uniats,
Baptists, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc.
underwent ordeals similar to the Orthodox churches in other parts: thousands of
were persecuted, and hundreds of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples,
sacred monuments, monasteries and other religious
buildings were razed."
1933 On March 20, Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, was completed.
It opened on March 22.
1933 On March 23, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, making Adolf Hitler
dictator of Germany.
1933 In March, regions of Germany began to ban Rutherford's Bible Students.
Through 1934, for distributing Rutherford's literature and refusing to heil
Hitler, many German Bible Students
were sent to prison, even concentration
camps, but were usually released soon afterward. ("Jehovah's Witnesses and the
Reich" by M. James Penton, p.169)
(It took a few years for Germany to change from the name "Bible Students" or
"Earnest Bible Students" to "Jehovah's
1933 "Nazi Germany," or "the Third Reich" (officially "the German Reich"),
refers to Germany when governed
by the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1945.
April 1, 1933 Jewish doctors, lawyers, police, teachers and stores were boy-
cotted. Only six days
later, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional
Civil Service was passed, banning Jews from government jobs.
the Jews became increasingly severe over the next six years.
April 4, 1933 The Watchtower Society offices in Magdeburg were seized.
("Awake!" Aug.22, 1995, pp.6,7)
1933 On April 28, 1933 The seizure order was rescinded and property was re-
turned. ("Awake!" Aug.22, 1995,
1933 On May 10, the Nazis encouraged censorship by staging massive public
book burnings in Germany.
1933 On May 26, the Nazi party in Germany introduced law to legalize eugenic
1933 On June 13, the German Secret State Police (Gestapo) was established.
1933 (undated) Nazi Germany formed the Expert Committee on Questions of Pop-
ulation and Racial Policy
under Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick.
1933 On June 25, at the Convention in Berlin, Rutherford's "Declaration of
Facts" was adopted.
(See the section about it near the start of this page.)
A copy was sent to Hitler with a letter that included:
"Dear Reich Chancellor,
"On the 25th June 1933 at the sports hall Wilmersdorf, Berlin, a conference
was convened by some 5000 delegates
of the Bible Students of Germany [J.Ws],
representing several millions of Germans. These have for many years been
and supporters of this movement. The purpose of this convention was for
these representatives to explore ways, to
inform fully the Reich Chancellor and
the other esteemed officials of the German Empire, as well as to all other
the following standpoints:
"In certain parts of the country measures have been and are being taken
against Christian men and women, who
are unified in their positive belief. This
in essence amounts to the persecution of Christians by other Christians,
there have been accusations against us from the clerical front (especially from
the Catholics) and which are
"Though we are absolutely convinced of the objectivity of government depart-
ments and individual officials,
we nevertheless observe, because of the extent
of our literature and demands of the examiners of the material, the content
significance of our organisation is generally being falsely judged, and also is
what our religious opponents in
full prejudice bring against us.
"The Brooklyn presidency of the Watch Tower Society is and always has been ex-
ceedingly friendly to Germany.
In 1918 the president of the Society and seven
members of the Board of Directors in America were sentenced to 80 years'
onment for the reason that the president refused to let two magazines in Ameri-
ca, which he edited, be used
in war propaganda against Germany."
(?? Compare this with the account given for his trail and imprisonment at the
link for 1918 above.)
"In the same way our Society's presidium not only refused to take part in re-
cent months, in the horror stories
against Germany, but has even taken an oppos-
ing stand, which is underlined in the accompanying explanation; the clue
is that the elements leading this onslaught of war propaganda (horror stories)
in America, i.e., the Jews with
business interests and Catholics, are also the
ones who are conducting the most rigorous persecution against this Society
its leadership. By this and other resolutions hereby given, the rejection of
this insidious calumny should
follow automatically, i.e. that the Bible Students
were actually supported by the Jews. The five thousand delegates
at their con-
vention have with great satisfaction taken note of the ensuing statement by the
local government president
at Magdeburg, namely that the relationship between
Bible Students and communists or Marxists, as maintained by our clerical
nents, is not provable (demonstrable), and is, therefore, also slanderous (li-
bellous). A directly related
press release was reported in the Magdeburg Daily
News Nr 1 04 5th May 1933.
"Following on from this most earnest application and explanation comes a hum-
ble plea, namely to grant an opportunity
for a commission (delegation) from our
number to present personally to the Reich Chancellor or Minister of the Interior
Office) a responsible and true representation of our situation. On the
other hand the Reich Chancellor himself could
appoint a commission, which is not
opposed to us by religious prejudice and themselves would not be professionally
biased, but would evaluate our position totally without prejudice,
corresponding to the Reich Chancellor's own just principles
laid down for such
purposes. With these principles in mind we beg to quote from point 24 of the
manifesto of the German
National Socialist Workers party:"
This letter quotes paragraph 24 of the program of the National Socialistic
German Party of Workers, which makes
a special point about "positive Christian-
ity" and which reads:
"We demand the freedom for all religious persuasions within the state, in so
far as they do not endanger its
position, or offend against the moral and ethi-
cal sensibilities of the Germanic race. The party as such supports
the view of
a positive Christianity, without preference to any one denomination; it combats
the spirit of Jewish materialism
within and without, and is convinced that a
lasting recovery of our people can only succeed from the inside out.
"We too are firmly convinced, that, if we are judged without religious preju-
dice, firstly according to God's
word, secondly to the points set out in this
application (petition), then the national German government will have no cause
prevent our services or missionary activity."
Whatever else he was, Hitler wasn't stupid enough to buy it. Despite claiming
common enemies for the
sake of bonding--"commercialistic Jews" control New York
and London, etc.--the "Declaration of Facts" declared a goal of
ly neutral, which in Hitler-ese would be interpreted as passive aggression. The
generally taught was that human government is Satanic (see
1929)--Rutherford wouldn't have his group attack a government
but prophesied and
led belief that God would destroy it. Persecution of JWs intensified.
Rutherford didn't really become especially critical of the German government
of Hitler, famous for "Mein Kampf,"
till Hitler had action taken against the JWs
specifically. As noted above, Rutherford's German publications weren't
of the cruel treatment of the Jewish people in Germany till Nov., 1938, by which
time the German JWs had retreated
from the streets for years.
I better add something else about a cultural reference Rutherford made to his
new pen pal that's probably lost
on a lot of people today--he didn't mean what
you might think of, regarding outreach programs or such, by "positive Christian-
According to the Wikipedia article at the next link:
"Adherents of Positive Christianity argued that traditional Christianity em-
phasized the passive rather than
the active aspects of Christ's life, stressing
his sacrifice on the cross and other-worldly redemption. They wanted
this with a 'positive' emphasis on Christ as an active preacher, organizer and
fighter who opposed
the institutionalized Judaism of his day. At various points
in the Nazi regime, attempts were made to replace orthodox
Christianity with its
"However, the party was careful to stress that Positive Christianity need not
contradict the traditional theologies
of established churches. As early as 1920
the Nazis proclaimed in their manifesto that,
"'The Party as such takes its stand on a positive Christianity but does
not tie itself in
the matter of confession to any particular denomination.
It fights the spirit of Jewish materialism inside and outside
"The German Christians led by Ludwig Müller were the principal agents in Hit-
ler's early attempt to Nazify Christianity
in Germany by uniting the Protestant
churches under Müller's leadership, but this proposal met with resistance, as it
rejected by many Christian pastors under the leadership of Martin Niemöller.
Following this failure, Hitler backtracked
on attempts to directly Nazify the
1933 On June 28, there was a second occupation of the Watch Tower Magdeburg
Antisemitism--the Rutherford-McFadden connection
This clarifies what kind of antisemitism Rutherford taught.
Thanks to leolaia at jehovahswitness.net for pointing
and supplying some of the research material.
Louis Thomas McFadden (1876-1936) was a Republican U.S. Representative from
Pennsylvania in Congress from 1915
On June 10, 1932, McFadden made a 25-minute speech--a Federal Reserve conspir-
acy theory rant--before the House
"The Crisis," released in early 1933, was a booklet containing three radio
talks that Rutherford had given
in the United States. ("Watchtower," Nov.1, 1991,
"The campaign with the Crisis booklet led to a ban in Bavaria on April 13.
This was followed by bans in Saxony
on April 18, in Thüringen on April 26, and in
Baden on May 15. Other German states followed." (Watchtower "1974 Yearbook,"
Joseph Rutherford propagandized against mainstream clergy and Jews as notable
figures behind the corrupt "Big
Business" of the world. In his 1933 booklet "The
Crisis," he described "Big Business" using the word "octopus" in
the way common-
ly used at the time as an anti-semitic canard--that Jews were trying to control
the world like an octopus
covering the Earth.
"The three visible component parts, which govern people are: the commercial,
the political, and the religious, the most powerful of which is the commer-
cial. With avaricious hands, compared
to the feelers of an octopus, the great
trade appropriated the wealth of the nation. People who have developed the
American country are robbed and today have to beg for a piece of bread in a
land of innumerable abundance."
(I wonder if Rutherford partly meant to direct any African American JWs re-
sentment for social inequities away
from himself, an especially indulgent Euro-
pean American businessman, and aim it toward the Jews and mainstream Christian
(pp.5-28: "Can the American Government Endure?" is a printed version of a lec-
ture Rutherford gave to veterans
in Washington, DC, and over the radio, on June
26, 1932, and which was preceded the day before by 300 jws giving jws brochures
books to members of the Bonus Army.)
"Can the American Government Endure?"
"For more than a hundred years America has stood in the very foremost rank
of the governments
of the earth. In natural resources America is today the
richest country under the sun. The United States
and Britain constitute the
two pillars of the great seventh world power, which power is described in di-
vine prophecy as the double or twofold government. Both nations claim to be
Christian, and they form the chief
part of the realm called 'Christendom',
but, in fact, Satan is their invisible ruler and god.
"The founders of the American nation desired greater freedom than they pos-
That they might be free and independent of cruel and oppressive
rulers they fled from Europe and established the
American republic, to which
nation men have long pointed with pride. When the nation was young many of
her statesmen were patriots, because they loved their fellow man and honest-
ly and valiantly contended for a just
government. Today there is no true
patriotism among the rulers of the nation. It is now impossible for
people to elect men to public office and to expect them to enact just laws
and to administer the affairs
of the government for the general welfare.
"The three visible elements of men that rule the nation are, to wit, the
the commercial, the
political, and the religious, and of those three the
commercial is the most powerful. Among the earlier statesmen
there were some God-fearing men who foresaw the advance of a mighty and
selfish power and gave
warning that the greedy would some day destroy the
liberties of the people. That warning was unheeded, and
the selfish commer-
cial element, which is otherwise called 'Big Business', has stealthily and
moved forward to its goal. With grasping arms like the tentacles
of a mighty octopus it has laid hold upon
practically all of the visible
wealth of the Nation. At the same time the men who by laborious efforts
have developed the country and produced the wealth of the land have been un-
justly treated and robbed, and today
they are crying for bread, and that in
a land of boundless plenty. Many Americans in sorrowful tones are now
ing the question: Can the nation of America long endure while such unjust
"Big Business has no regard for the rights of the common people. The
Civil War of 1863
was fomented and carried forward for the purpose of creat-
ing a condition by which Big Business could obtain a
strangle hold upon the
nation. To free the land from the traffic of human flesh and blood was the
ostensible reason for that war, but the real reason was to enable a selfish
company to control the finances and
all the business interests of the nation.
In 1917 Big Business, for ultraselfish reasons, needless-
ly and wantonly forced the American nation into the World War, which resulted
in the greatly increased
wealth and power of a few men and made serfs and
paupers of many millions of people.
"Today Big Business owns practically everything visible. By the manipula-
tion of the
finances of the nation Big Business has acquired title to almost
all of the real estate, while hundreds of thousands
of honest toilers are
losing their homes and their land. A few ultrarich men fix the prices of
food produced by the farmers, and which food products are reaped down by
laborers; and by reason thereof the farmers
are robbed and the laborers are
caused to starve, and that within the borders of the richest nation of the
"Big Business owns the ships that ply the seas, and that fly through the
air. It owns
and controls the railways and other ways and means of trans-
portation. Big Business has acquired the preferred
securities of the public
carrier corporations, while some of the common people hold the less desir-
stocks and securities. When the railways were recently pressed for
money to pay the interest on their preferred
securities Big business caused
the American government to advance a hundred million dollars to the banks
upon the pretext of helping the banks to thaw out their frozen assets and
to stimulate business immediately, but
instead of so using that money Big
Business immediately absorbed the entire hundred million and ap-
plied it to the payment of interest on the preferred securities which it
"Big Business, which is composed of a very few men, owns and controls
the telegraph lines,
the radio, the electric and power lines, and it owns
and controls the mines that produce the fuel and the building
which all the people are compelled to use. It owns and controls the banks
and most of the
money in them. It is in possession of the greater portion
of the gold that rightfully belongs to the government.
The factories and
the great mercantile establishments are owned and controlled by the same
"Big Business has in its employ the most astute lawyers of the nation,
who write the contracts
always in the interest of their clients, and the
common people must take the ragged end. Every branch of government
taminated and improperly influenced by Big Business. It controls the two
parties of America and names and elects at will the public
men to office who will best serve its selfish interests.
Big Business con-
trols the army and the navy, the guns and the ammunition, and the police
power of the
"Practically all of the business corporations of America are owned or
controlled by Big Business.
Thre employees of these mighty corporations
have a hook in their nose, so to speak, and they dare not call themselves
their own. They must obey the selfish men who are the mighty lords of fi-
nance or else lose their jobs.
They need their salaries to feed and clothe
and their families; hence they are at the mercy of Big Business and are
"Big Business either directly or indirectly owns or controls almost all of
and magazines of America, and which agencies serve as propa-
gandists for Big Business and for their immediate political
allies. The same selfish interests own and control the professional clergy-
these men make merchandise of the World of God in order to keep the
people in ignorance and in subjection to the
ruling powers. Thus it is
plainly seen that the power of the government is centralized in the hands
of a very few.
"I venture the opinion that"
(M. James Penton in "Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Poli-
tics Under Persecution," p.117,
adds the phrase "before the end of the year"
here. Did Rutherford's speech include a prediction that, since it was
failed one, was edited out of "The Crisis"?)
"the American government will be ruled by a dictator, aided by a company of
advisors that are selected
and directed by the chiefs of Big Business.
Such will be a military rule and one which the people will be compelled
"Hence Satan and his entire organization must fall, and that includes the
"The American government has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
all other nations, it soon shall fall.
(Compare to McFadden's testimony during the hearings for H.R. 7986 in March
1934, which uses a lot of the same
ideas nearly word for word, given below.
Thanks to leolaia at jehovahswitness.net)
Rutherford's "Declaration of Facts," released at a convention in Berlin on June
25, 1933, made clear he led
a group that distanced itself from Jewish money,
which he described in terms of contempt, and that he taught that the Jews
the main backers of deplorable "Big Business" (economic antisemitism).
"It is falsely charged by our enemies that we have received financial sup-
port for our work
from the Jews. Nothing is farther from the truth. Up to
this hour there never has been the slightest
bit of money contributed to our
work by Jews. We are the faithful followers of Christ Jesus and believe
upon Him as the Savior of the world, whereas the Jews entirely reject Jesus
Christ and emphatically deny that he
is the Savior of the world sent of God
for man's good. This of itself should be sufficient proof to show that
receive no support from Jews and that therefore the charges against us are
maliciously false and could
proceed only from Satan, our great enemy. The
greatest and the most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American
pire. By that is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of
America forms a part.
It has been the commercial Jews of the British-Ameri-
can empire that have built up and carried on Big Business
as a means of ex-
ploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly
to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business.
This fact is so manifest in America that there
is a proverb concerning the
city of New York which says: The Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it,
and the Americans pay the bills.
"The present government of Germany has declared emphatically against Big
and in opposition to the wrongful religious influence in
the political affairs of the nations. Such is exactly
"Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of
Germany, we stand
squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah
God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization
of these prin-
ciples and will give to the people peace and prosperity and the greatest de-
sire of every
"A careful examination of our books and literature will disclose the fact
that the very high
ideals held and promulgated by the present national gov-
ernment are set forth in and endorsed and strongly emphasized
in our publi-
cations and show that Jehovah God will see to it that these high ideals in
due time will
be attained by all persons who love righteousness.
"Let us remind the government and the people of Germany, that it was the
League of Nations
compact that laid upon the shoulders of the German people
the great unjust and unbearable burdens. That the
League of Nations compact
was not brought forth by the friends of Germany." ("Yearbook 1934," pp.134-
138, English Edition)
In the letter Rutherford included with the copy of the "Declaration of Facts"
sent to Hitler, Rutherford made
clear his stance approved of Hitler's "positive
Christianity"--notably in that it "opposes the Jewish materialist spirit
tically and abroad":
"We demand the freedom of all religious confessions in the state so long
they do not endanger
its existence or conflict with the ethical and moral
beliefs of the German race. The Party, as such, represents
of positive Christianity without associating itself with a specific confes-
It opposes the Jewish-materialist spirit domestically and abroad and
is convinced that a lasting recuperation our
people can only happen from the
As leolaia at jehovahswitness.net pointed out, Rutherford wanted Hitler to know
Rutherford opposed the 1933 American
Anti-Nazi boycott of German businesses in
favoring the German Nazi policy against Jewish businesses.
Rep. McFadden used the same sort of ideas as Rutherford's "The Crisis" in his
propaganda against Jews regarding
government and business. McFadden's testimony
during the hearings for H.R. 7986 in March 1934 not only used many
of the same
ideas as Rutherford's "The Crisis" but did so nearly word for word to the point
of plagiarism. (Thanks
to leolaia at jehovahswitness.net)
Segments of McFadden's speech:
"I would like to say that for more than a hundred years America has stood
in the very foremost
rank of the governments of the earth. In natural re-
sources America is today the richest country under the
"The three visible elements of men that rule the Nation are the commercial,
and the religious, and of these three, the commercial is the
most powerful. Among the earlier statesmen of
America, there were some God-
fearing men who foresaw the advance of a mighty and selfish power and gave
warning that the greedy would some day destroy the liberties of the people.
That warning was unheeded, and the selfish
commercial element, which is oth-
erwise called 'Big Business', has stealthily and constantly moved forward to
its goal. With grasping arms like the tentacles of a mighty octapus it has
laid hold upon practically all
of the visible wealth of the Nation....
"'Big Business' has no regard for the rights of the common people. In
1917, 'Big Business',
for ultra selfish reasons, needlessly and wantonly
forced the American Nation into the World War, which resulted
in the great-
ly increased wealth and power of a few men and made serfs and paupers of
many millions of
people. Today, 'Big Business' owns practically everything
visible. By the manipulation of the finances
of the Nation, 'Big Business'
has acquired title to almost all of the real estate, while hundreds of
of honest toilers are losing their homes and their land. A few
ultra rich men fix the prices of the food products
that are reaped by labor-
ers; and, by reason thereof, the farmers are robbed and the laborers are be-
ing starved; and that within the borders of the richest Nation of the world.
owns the ships that ply the seas, and that fly through the
air. It owns and controls the railways and other
ways and means of transpor-
"'Big Business' has in its employ the most astute lawyers of the Nation,
who write the contracts
always in the interest of their clients, and the com-
mon people must take the ragged end. Every branch of
government is contamin-
ated and improperly influenced by 'Big Business'. It controls the two major
political parties of America and names and elects at will the public men to
office who will best serve its selfish
interests. 'Big Business' controls
the Army and the Navy, the guns and the ammunition, and the police power
"Practically all of the business corporations of America are owned or con-
trolled by "Big
Business". The employees of these mighty corporations have a
hook in their nose, so to speak, and they dare not
call themselves their own.
They must obey the selfish men who are the mighty lords of finance or else
lose their jobs...
"'Big Business' either directly or indirectly owns or controls almost all
of the newspapers
and magazines of America, and which agencies serve as prop-
agandists for 'Big Business' and their immediate political
and religious al-
lies. The same selfish interests own and control the professional clergymen,
these men make merchandise of the Word of God in order to keep the people
in ignorance and in subjection to the
ruling powers. Thus it is plainly seen
that the power of the Government is centralized in the hands of a very
"'Big Business' and their mouthpieces, namely, the commercialized clergy
referred to are reprehensible
before God for hindering the truth concerning
the present conditions in America and the means which might provide
for the people, by God's help. There should be some action taken to further
stop such intolerance
in the use of radio (and that during this session of
Congress) to prevent the further entrenchment of such powers.
That is the
reason why I have introduced this bill and am asking for consideration of it
at this time."
(Compare to the June 26, 1932 Rutherford speech printed in the 1933 book "The
Crisis," some of which is reprinted
above, which McFadden used a lot of the same
ideas from nearly word for word. For instance, there's that "Jews contol
world" economic antisemitic "octopus" again. Strange they'd let the Nazis flour-
ish if they controlled the
world.... Thanks to leolaia at jehovahswitness.net)
"In 1934, he made several anti-semitic comments from the floor of the
house and in newsletters
to his constituents wherein he cited the Protocols
of the Elders of Zion, claimed the Roosevelt administration was
by Jews, and objected to Henry Morgenthau Jr., a Jew, becoming Secretary of
Drew Pearson claimed in his "Washington Merry-Go-Round" col-
umn that, in a publication by the American fascist
Silver Shirts, McFadden
had been 'extensively' quoted 'in support of Adolf Hitler.' In September
the Nazi tabloid Der Stuermer praised McFadden. He was also lauded by the
publications of William Dudley Pelley,
leader of the Silver Shirts, on sev-
eral occasions. On election day that year he lost to Charles E. Dietrich
'about 2,000 votes.' This was the only election between 1912 and 1950 when
the district elected
"According to McFadden's Jewish Telegraphic Agency [[obituary]: ‘In Janu-
he announced his candidacy for president with the backing of an
organization called "the Independent Republican
Committee" on a platform to "keep the Jew out of control of the Republican
Party!"’ Not garnering much support for his presidential bid, he tried to
win back his congressional
seat. He lost the nomination by a wide-margin
to Col. Albert G. Rutherford who went on to win the general
McFadden submitted H. R. 7986 to Congress on Feb.14, 1934, to protect the
freedom of speech on the airwaves.
"There should be some action taken to further stop such intolerance in the use
of radio (and that during this
session of Congress) to prevent the further en-
trenchment of such powers. That is the reason why I have introduced this
am asking for consideration of it at this time."
Rutherford, who broadcast a notably controversial and propagandistic politi-
cized religious radio program, prepared
a "Petition and Protest" for JWs to dis-
tribute throughout the country to support the proposed bill. They obtained
signatures. "The Golden Age," March 28, 1934, p.397 had the following
remarks on the petition and bill H.R. 7986:
"Free Radio Essential to People's Liberties
"The petition circulated by Jehovah's witnesses and others, calling upon
Congress to safeguard
the right of the people to hear over the radio whatso-
ever they wish to hear, received a wide response. It
manifested that the
people want to have the truth told. The clergy, to shield themselves in
inconsistent position before the people, not only have sought to mis-
represent and oppose Judge Rutherford, but
have also misrepresented the peti-
tion which was signed by nearly two and a half million persons.... Petition
or no petition, this is the issue, and it is up to Congress to take appropri-
ate action. Bill H.R. 7986,
now before the Congress for consideration, meets
the needs of the case exactly, and if passed, will prevent further
ence with the free use of the radio or unjust discrimination against some and
in favor of other
broadcasters." (Thanks to leolaia at jehovahswitness.net)
Rutherford had thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses petition and lobby for public
support for passage of this Congressional
bill into law ("The Golden Age," March
28, 1934, p.397), and Arthur R. Goux, the Secretary of the Watchtower Bible &
Society, testified in the Congressional hearings in support of the bill.
Rutherford's views on "Big Business" and Jews were strikingly similar to those
of McFadden, so when McFadden
failed in his bid for re-election, "The Golden Age"
published an article that praised him as "courageous and honest and
asserted that McFadden was used by God and his loss at the election was the work
"Naturally the Devil and his ally, the Roman Catholic Church, would do
to prevent the return to Congress of any man who would
dare to stand for liberty and righteousness in this evil
time. We are as-
sured that God, who gave him such great privileges of usefulness last winter
McFadden submitted H. R. 7986 to Congress], is not forgetful or indif-
ferent and the time will come when Louis
T. McFadden will look back and re-
joice that he was permitted to be absent when scenes about to be enacted
shall occur." ("The Golden Age," Jan.16, 1935, p.237) (Thanks to leolaia at
In the next quote from a 1935 "The Golden Age," "The Gentile Front" refers to
"The Gentile Front seems to be bad propaganda. It maintains the so-called
'Protocols of Zion'
are of Jewish origin, despite the fact that this has
been proved false wher-ever the courts have looked into it.
Nothing could be
more devilishly narrow-minded, more fiendish, more contemptible, than the so-
'New Germany' to which The Gentile Front looks up and upon which The
Golden Age looks down with loathing inexpressible.
The Jews are money lov-
ers, granted; but they are not pig-headed wild beasts." ("The Golden Age,"
Rutherford used his politicized religious sermons to teach the economic anti-
semitism of greedy Jews and tried
to bond with Hitler on the point to curry fa-
vor, but he drew the line at Hitler's accusations of them being animals to
inate. That aspect put Hitler in Rutherford's category of evil government.
Maybe this says it: if the issue were LGBT people in 2012, it's like Rutherford
would be a more outspoken president
of Chick-fil-A, McFadden would be an anti-
LGBT people activist he supports, and Hitler would be the president of Iran
considers LGBT people criminals punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment,
or execution) that the Chick-fil-A
president tried to find favor with over the
"The Golden Age," various issues 1930-1934
Full text of "1934 The Golden Age magazine"
in the Google search engine to get this result.)
"Be it known once and for all that those profiteering, conscienceless, selfish
men who call themselves Jews,
and who control the greater portion of the
finances of the world, will never be the rulers in this new earth. God would
risk such selfish men with such an important position" (Golden Age, 23 February
1927, p. 343).
"Jesus was telling in parabolic phrase what was coming upon the Jewish nation.
A few years after His crucifixion
the Jews were cast away and the Gentiles,
represented by the pauper, came into God's favor. Thus we see that the
nation, represented by 'the rich man', ceased to exist and, as a nation, went to
hell" (GA, 15 October 1930,
"It is noted that Judah and the land of Israel had commercial intercourse with
Tyre, and doubtless from Tyre
the Jews learned how to cheat their fellow man....
The Jews were evicted from Palestine and 'their house left unto them
because they rejected Christ Jesus, the beloved and anointed King of Jehovah. To
this day the Jews have
not repented of this wrongful act committed by their
forefathers" (Vindication, Vol. 2, 1932, pp. 70, 257-258).
"Even to this day the Jews are the greatest merchants in the earth, and it is
selfish gain that leads them in
that course and causes them to ignore Jehovah and
his Word. The turning away of the Jews from Jehovah and the turning
to the Devil
brought great violence upon themselves as well as upon others" (Watchtower, 15
December 1933, p. 373).
"The Jews have always been opposed to Christ Jesus the King...The international
bankers are backing the League
of Nations with their money. Many of the strong
men in that financial power are called Jews but they are not Jews
in fact. It is
true that they are descendents of Hebrew stock, but the word 'Jew' or 'Judean'
properly means one who
serves and praises Jehovah God; which the international
bankers do not. They have made gold their god" (GA, 23 May
1934, pp. 520-521).
"The people now on earth and which are called Jews are a commercial people.
Among them are some of the richest
and most avaricious men the word has ever
known. Some of the chief men in Big Business are called Jews. Many
people are very arrogant, self important and extremely selfish" (Favored People,
1934, p. 5).
"Amongst her instruments that she uses are ultraselfish men called 'Jews', who
look only for personal gain, and
who therefore readily yield to and join with the
Hierarchy in any unrighteous schemes" (Enemies, 1937, p. 281).
(Thanks to Leolaia at jehovahswitness.com)
1933 On July 14, "The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Off-
spring" was proclaimed in
Germany. It "required physicians to register every
case of hereditary illness known to them, except in women over
of age. Physicians could be fined for failing to comply. In 1934, the first
year of the
Law's operation, nearly 4,000 people appealed against the decisions
of sterilization authorities, 3,559 of the appeals
failed. By the end of the
Nazi regime, over 200 'Genetic Health Courts' were created, and under their rul-
over 400,000 people were sterilized against their will." (Compare 1930 and
1933 The Reichskonkordat was signed on July 20, 1933, by Eugenio Cardinal
Pacelli and Franz von Papen on
behalf of Pope Pius XI and President Paul von
The evidence I'm finding indicates that the truth isn't the same as Ruther-
ford's "144,000"-centric propaganda
about Catholic leaders:
1933 Rutherford taught that Jesus returned invisibly in 1914, which is when
the "last days" began. ("The
Watchtower," Dec.1, 1933, p.362)
1933 According to Wikipedia: "In 1933 the Gleichschaltung forced Protestant
churches to merge into the
Protestant Reich Church and support Nazi ideology.
Opposition was forced to go "underground" to meet, and created the Confessing
The German Christian (Deutsche Christen) group was formed in 1932 and led by
Ludwig Müller. "The Nazis
found the group useful during their initial consoli-
dation of power, it was claimed and remembered as a fact that the
killed Christ, thus appealing to and actively encouraging anti-Semitic senti-
ment among Christians in Germany."
(Compare Clayton Woodworth's statements at
the 7th listing for 1934.)
"The Confessing Church engaged in various forms of resistance, notably hiding
Jews from the Nazi regime."
1933 On Oct.7, the German government returned the Magdeburg properties but
65,189 kilograms of books,
bibles, and pictures worth 92,719.50 marks had been
destroyed, and the witnesses, as a banned organization, weren't allowed
the property to publish Watch Tower publications.
1933 Since the Watch Tower lost control of the Magdeburg printing plant prop-
erties, Rutherford's effort
to appease Hitler, and seem less dangerous a risk to
prospective German witnesses, to the degree of the "Declaration of
over. In the Nov.1 Watch Tower, Rutherford wrote:
"To everything there is a season...A time to love, and a time to hate; a time
of war, and a time of peace."
"Some will say, 'If in the face of so much perse-
cution and opposition we continue to go out amongst the people and publicly
these truths, then I fear we may be killed.' That is true; and probably many of
the faithful will be killed
because they continue to faithfully proclaim the
truth which they have learned in the secret place of the Most High.
course, foreknew these facts, and therefore in the prophecy he said further,
'And fear not them which kill
the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but
rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in [gehenna].'
28 [of Matthew 10]) The inference to be drawn from those words is that
some of the faithful will be killed.
Satan and his agents both visible and in-
visible can kill Jehovah's witnesses, and we know they are trying to do so; but
cannot destroy the very existence of these faithful ones. Only Jehovah's
Great Executioner can do that. The
question is put squarely up to the remnant
[Jehovah's Witnesses]: Shall we fear man or fear Jehovah God? It is written,
Proverbs 29:25: 'The fear of a man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust
in the Lord shall be safe.'
The fear of man will certainly bring the remnant
into a snare."
Afterward, more than half of Rutherford's German Bible Students stopped meet-
ing and preaching--perhaps 2/5ths
of the German witnesses continued to preach.
("The Watch Tower," Nov.1, 1933, p.323,328, German translation Dec.1,
"Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich" by M. James Penton, pp.64-68
1934 On January 1, Nazi Germany passed the "Law for the Prevention of Heredi-
tarily Diseased Babies."
1934 JWs began to employ sound trucks which played Rutherford's recorded
speeches through loudspeakers.
The records, made from 1934 to 1942, were later used on wind-up phonograph players in door to door work, too (see
1934 On Feb.9, Rutherford sent a letter of protest to Hitler:
"This letter is a kindly notice and warning of things that are of vital impor-
tance to your welfare. You
will find it in your interest to read it carefully.
"In Germany for many years faithful and goood men and women have been teaching
the doctrines of God's Word, which
people jointly work under organizations bear-
ing the name of EARNEST BIBLE STUDENTS and the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT
TY, which names merely represent the Society or corporate organization for car-
rying on their work. These
men and women are devoted to Jehovah God and serve
Him and His witnesses, telling the people what is the truth of the Bible.
seek to do good to all men and injury to none.
"In the early spring of 1933 your government without just cause or excuse for-
cibly compelled these earnest
Christian people, who are Jehovah's witnesses, to
cease the worship of Jehovah God in which God has commanded them to worship;
their Bibles, song books, Bible textbooks, and other Bible literature,
and their furniture, drove them out of their places
of worship, and forbade them
to assemble together to study the Scriptures and to worship God, and to preach
"Your government also without just cause or excuse seized a great amount of
books, Bibles, paintings, paper and
other material, and destroyed the same by
fire, which property belonged to the aforesaid Society. Many of these innocent
faithful witnesses of Jehovah God your officers have incarcerated in prison,
and illtreated them. Your being a very
busy man, probably many of these things
have not been brought to your attention, but that is not the fault of those who
been unjustly and cruelly treated.
"Enemies of Jehovah's witnesses have maliciously misrepresented them amd told
vicious lies against them in order
to induce your government to do injury to
them. In order that the government might be informed as to the real facts
than seven thousand of Jehovah's witnesses assembled in Berlin, Germany, on the
25th day of June, 1933, and there
issued a Declaration setting forth the facts
concerning their work in Germany, which declaration was furnished to all the
officials of your government, and millions of copies thereof were dis-
tributed amongst the people until such distribution
was forcibly stopped by of-
ficers of your government. That Declaration, a copy of which is hereto at-
called upon your government to see to it that these faithful people, who
are Jehovah's witnesses, might 'without hindrance
obey Jehovah God's command-
ments and worship Him as commanded,' and tell the people of His kingdom for the
of all 'the families of the earth'.
"That request has been ignored by your government, and you have refused to
permit these witnesses of Jehovah
to serve Him and worship Him as commanded by
the Most High.
"These faithful followers of Christ Jesus and who are Jehovah's witnesses have
waited and suffered long, hoping
that you would cause their unjust treatment to
cease and permit them to go on with their worship and service to Jehovh
without interference. But you have failed to do so. During the past ten years
the rulers and people
of Germany have received notice by the wide publication of
literature that God's kingdom is here and His King, Christ Jesus,
a righteous government on earth for the blessing of the people. They have been
warned that those
who oppose God and His kingdom will be destroyed by the Lord
at Armageddon. Such notice and warning have been ignored
by your government.
"Permit me to remind you that Jehovah God sent Hs servant Moses to Egypt to
give notice and warning to Pharaoh
that he must let God's chosen people go and
worship him in the manner that He had commanded. Such notice and warning
aoh not only ignored, but he defied Jehovah God, and the result was that Jehovah
killed all the firstborn of Egypt
and then destroyed the ruling power. (See
Exodus 12:29,30; 14:23-28) The scriptures plainly declare that what
Egypt will come in far greater degree upon all the world, and particularly upon
those who oppose Jehovah God
and His kingdom. You may successfully resist any
and all men, but you cannot successfully resist Jehovah God.
"Pharaoh said to Moses: 'Who is the Lord [Jehovah], that I should obey His
voice?' (Exodus 5:2) Later he
learned to his sorrow who Jehovah is. Jehovah's
witnesses have done everything within their power to show your government
they only want to freely worship Jehovah God and serve Him as He has commanded
them, but their efforts have been
ignored and their maltreatment continues by
your officials. Once more in their behalf, as the president of the Society
organization under which they work, and in the name of Jehovah God and His an-
nointed king, Christ Jesus, I demand
that you give order to all officials and
servants of your government that Jehovah's witnesses [who are EARNEST BIBLE STU-
and the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY] in Germany be permitted to
peaceably assemble an without hinderance worship
God and obey Hs commandments by
teaching to the people the Bible truths concerning God's kingdom under Christ,
kingdom all Christians have long prayed.
"If by the 24th day of March, 1934, there is no response to this earnest de-
mand and nothing done by your government
to grant relief of the aforesaid Jeho-
vah's witnesses in Germany, then God's people in other countries will begin the
throughout the nations of the earth of the facts concerning Ger-
many's wrongful treatment of Christian people there, an
having delivered the
testimony, we will submit our case and leave it to Jehovah God by and through
Christ Jesus to administer
the punishment of the guilty ones in His own good
way. Permit me to remind you that Jehovah warns that no one shall
anointed. (Psalm 105:15) Christ Jesus is now on His throne, and the battle of
the great day of God
almighty is just ahead, and it will be the greatest tribu-
lation ever known, and there is just one way of escape: 'Be
wise now, therefore,
O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear,
with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from
the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all they that put
their trust in him.'
Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society
("Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich," M.James Renton, pp.312-315)
1934 On March 25, Rutherford, having gotten no response from Hitler, gave a
speech that was broadcast across
the nation from a Watchtower convention in Los
Angeles, California. Rutherford complained about the problems of his
in Germany, and the witnesses at the convention adopted a statement of protest:
"For many years Jehovah's witnesses, unitedly working under the WATCH TOWER
BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, have engaged
in bearing testimony to the name and kingdom
of Jehovah God. During the past year the German government without cause
cuse has wrongfully seized, confiscated and destroyed the Bibles, song books,
furniture and other property of
these faithful Christians, prohibited them to
meet together and worship God according to His commandments, and has cruelly
and imprisoned many of them, and like Pharaoh of old, that govern-
ment has wickedly opposed Jehovah and defamed His name.
"Therefore, We their brethren as followers of Christ Jesus do earnestly and
vigorously protest against such unwarranted
treatment of Christians by the Ger-
man ruling power, and we call upon all true Christians and fair-minded people
the earth to join in this vigorous protest and demand that Jehovah's
witnesses, without let or hindrance on the part of
the German government or oth-
ers, shall be permitted to go on in their worship and service of Jehovah God in
which He commanded, and we register our protest be declaring against
Satan and all such oppression and by taking our stand
on the side of Jehovah,
His kingdom and His people."
Let me understand the strategy here. (Knock, knock.) "Hello? Yes, we're the
ones with the sound trucks
saying the good Lord will destroy you and all your
loved ones soon and we'll rejoice. There are some people in Germany
shut us up and we'd like to know if you'd join us in vigorously opposing them."
I just thought I'd ask." That's the strategy?
Of course, if the plan was to have a lot of witnesses get the crap beat out of
them and killed and not have anyone
do much about it, the man was a wizard and
not a big, dumb, drunk fathead.
The Golden Age, April 25, 1934, reported that witnesses lost their jobs or
welfare payments for not voting
in Hitler's Nov.,1933 election or not giving the
Hitler salute, had been jailed, etc.
("Jehovah's Witnesses and
the Third Reich," M.James Renton, pp.164.165)
1934 On June 6, the New Deal was established: U.S. President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signed the Securities
Exchange Act into law, establishing the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.
1934 The Night of the Long Knives goes on from June 30 to July 1.
1934 On August 2, Adolf Hitler became Führer of Germany, becoming head of
state as well as Chancellor.
All of the German armed forces had to swear a personal oath of loyalty to the
1934 Albert Speer was chosen to be the first architect of the Reich.
1934 "The Journal of the A.M.A. is the vilest sheet that passes the United
States mail.... Nothing
new and useful in theraputics escapes its unqualified
condemnation. Its attacks are generally ad hominem. Its
editorial columns are
largely devoted to character assasination.... Its editor (Morris Fishbein) is
of the type
of Jew that crucified Jesus Christ." ("The Golden Age," Sept.26,
1934; it was a Watch Tower tract of more secular concerns
like "Awake!" has
been in recent years)
Apparently, after dispensing so much bad medical advice over the years, in-
cluding unsubstantiated accusations
aimed at medical practitioners, Clayton
Woodworth of the Golden Age, or someone Clayton identified with on those terms,
met with criticism by the Journal of the A.M.A., possibly Morris Fishbein.
In writing "The type of Jew that crucified Jesus Christ," Clayton was making
an expression of Christian religious
anti-Semitism--it's the identical view of
the German Christian group described in the last listing for 1933 (see above).
likely refers to the idea of adding selfish concerns to the meaning of Matt.
27:25--"And all the people answered, 'His
blood be on us and on our chil-
dren!'"--to count any contemporary Jews that reject Jesus as their savior as
of killing Jesus. Since about all Jewish people reject Jesus as the Mes-
siah, this has a long ugly history of being
used in bashing Jewish people with a
It's probably related that Rutherford knew the second biggest population of
JWs lived in Germany, where Adolf
Hitler and his anti-Semitism had too much sup-
port, such as with the German Christian group.
Actually, the theology is that Christ gave his life (John 10:17,18) for the
sins of the world, for salvation
to any who have faith in the meaning of it
(Rom.5:6-8; 1 Cor.15:3; Eph.2:8-10), giving offense to Jewish or Gentile people
spreading the word goes against Paul's teaching (1 Cor.10:32-11:1), both
Jewish and Christian people prefer good medical
advice to bad, and the Watchtow-
er diagnosed these things about as well as they played prophet.
1934 On Oct.7, since Hitler hadn't responded to Rutherford's letter, Ruther-
ford had the Jehovah’s
witnesses in Germany send a letter to the officials of
Hitler's government. It said:
"TO THE OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT:
"The word of Jehovah God, as set out in the Holy Bible, is the supreme law,
and to us is our sole guide for the
reason that we have devoted ourselves to God
and are true and sincere followers of Christ Jesus.
"During the past year, and contrary to God's law and in violation of our
rights, you have forbidden us as Jehovah's
witnesses to meet together to study
God's Word and worship and serve him. In his Word he commands us that we shall
forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) To us Jehovah
commands: 'Ye are my witnesses that I
am God. Go and tell the people my mes-
sage.' (Isaiah 43:10,12, Isaiah 6:9, Matthew 24:14) There is a direct
between your law and God's law, and, following the lead of the faithful apos-
tles, 'we ought to obey God rather
than men,' and this we will do. (Acts 5:29)
Therefore, this is to advise you that at any cost we will obey God's command-
will meet together for the study of His Word, and will worship and serve
Him as he has commanded. If your government
or officers do violence to us be-
cause we are obeying God, then our blood will be upon you and you will answer to
"We have no interest in political affairs, but are wholly devoted to God's
kingdom under Christ his king.
We will do no injury or harm to anyone. We
would delight to dwell in peace and do good to all men as we have opportunity,
since your government and its officers continue in your attempt to force us
to disobey the highest law of the universe,
we are compelled to now give you no-
tice that we will, by his grace, obey Jehovah God and fully trust Him to deliver
from all oppression and oppressors."
"Respectfully, JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AT ------."
On the same day, Jehovah's witnesses in 49 other countries met in special as-
sembly and sent the following telegram
" — — Oct. 7, 1934.
"Your ill-treatment of Jehovah's witnesses shocks all good people of earth and
dishonors God's name. Refrain
from further persecuting Jehovah's witnesses,
otherwise God will destroy you and your national party.
"JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, --------."
("Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich," M.James Renton, pp.315, 316)
("Awake!" Aug.22, 1995)
(Actually, the Allies did that to the Nazis while Rutherford damned the Allies
and other people for not agreeing
with his idea of important things, like what
year to put his invisible Jesus in, from his mansion.)
1934 Joseph Rutherford wrote "Favored People." On p.5 it says:
"The people now on earth called Jews are a commercial people. Among
them are some of the richest and most avaricious men the world has
ever known. Some of the chief
men of Big Business are called Jews.
Many of these people are very arrogant, self-important, and extremely
selfish. They have little or no faith in God's Word and do not be-
lieve at all in the Lord
Jesus Christ as the Savior of man."
Even if that were true, it would only be grounds for a bonding experience.
Rutherford printed Watchtower articles encouraging subservience to God (which,
according to him, was only taught
by one religious leader--him) unto pain of
martyrdom. In the Nov.1 issue of "The Watchtower," printed a month later
German, Rutherford wrote:
"Some will say: 'If in the face of so much persecution and opposition we con-
tinue to go out amongst the people
and publicly tell these truths, then I fear
we may be killed.' That is true; and probably many of the faithful will
killed because they continue to faithfully proclaim the truth which they have
learned in the secret place of the
Most High." ("The Watchtower," Nov.1, 1934,
According to the Wikipedia articles at the enxt links, the Nazi party tried to
control "all aspects of cultural
and social life." "Film in Nazi Germany glori-
fied the party, Hitler, and martyrdom for Nazism."
"The period from 1933 to around 1937 was characterized by the systematic elim-
ination of non-Nazi organizations
that could potentially influence people, such
as trade unions and political parties. Those critical of Hitler's agenda,
pecially his close ties with the industry were suppressed or intimidated. The
regime also assailed the influence
of the churches, for example by instituting
the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs under Hanns Kerrl. Organizations
the administration could not eliminate, such as the education system, came un-
der its direct control."
Rutherford reminds me of Faye Dunaway's character Diane Christenson in "Net-
work," 1976, at this point, for
some reason. With this and playing prophet by
banning saluting the flag (see below), sending sound trucks of JWs
to damn other
religions, all human government, etc., Rutherford seems similarly bent on put-
ting his followers into
situations of unnecessary conflict, even dangerous ones,
At 1 Cor.10:31-11:1, Christians are to go among Jews and Gentiles without giv-
ing offense, being to the other's
advantage more than their own to gain them to
If I were a German JW, I'd be saying, "Rutherford, leave someone at the man-
sion to let Abraham and David in
if they show up. Get your Canadian whiskey-
drinking butt over here and lead the way, Martin Luther Rutherford.
You do it
first. I'll be waiting in Ottawa. Send me a postcard if it works out." If you
want to fight
the Nazi movement, you're more effective if you aren't a hostage
or in a grave. The last I heard, the Governing Body
hasn't initiated a similar
strategy, with sound trucks and accusations of non-JWs leaders' religion being
in Saudi Arabia (although "Mein Kampf" is popular in some Arabic coun-
tries in recent years and they could likewise try
to correct those views into
the JWs leaders' light....), so I don't think I'm alone in thinking Rutherford
a great plan.
(Rutherford's strategy also reminds me of Russell's Aug.1, 1898 advice about
carrying a gun for the military
but not having to hit targets.)
There's a special historic point to make here: the thing that ticked Hitler
off and got JWs sent to prison camps
was Rutherford's big mouth--not the Catho-
lics, Protestants, or Jews. The JWs hadn't been targeted for death as
were--Hitler just wanted the JWs, like everyone else, to tow the line political-
ly, or at least not get in
the way. It was a violent dictator's reaction to
Rutherford's big, dumb, false prophet, anti-Semitic, propagandizing,
butt-kissing mouth, threatening to send unarmed followers into the streets with
anti-Hitler tracts, that got
Later JWs leaders (see 1996) will try to take credit for the JWs position of
political neutrality (which Rutherford
was too politically active to genuinely
qualify for) of the time having kept the followers in wise guidance (which Ruth-
endangering the flock with propaganda in Nazi Germany from the safety of
his San Diego mansion, wasn't a wise pacifistic
political activist about let
alone a Martin Luther King leading the way to prove his conviction--JWs leaders
1935 On Jan.9, The first documented case of a JW incarcerated in Moringen
concentration camp was Anna Seifert.
1935 On Jan.23, the Reich and Prussian Interior Ministry issued a decree that
removed Rutherford's German
Bible Students from civil service employment and
private industry. Cooperation grew between the Gestapo and the Ministries
Labor, Interior, and Justice, so German Bible Students were increasingly unem-
ployed, arrested, and put in concentration
("Persecution and resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses during the Nazi regime" by
Hans Hesse, 2001)
1935 Saluting flags and singing national anthems were banned by Rutherford.
According to "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose," 1959, pp.143,144,
in 1932, JWs didn't salute the flag
of Germany, the USA, or Canada (it doesn't
say why other than due to allegiance to God, but I'm guessing it was due to
teaching of June 1 and 15, 1929, that the higher authorities of Ro-
mans 13 were God and Jesus, leading to ideas that human
government was too
worldly, in an expanded idea of "worldly," and even controlled by Satan).
See the Wikipedia article "Minersville School District v. Gobitus" for a
fuller version of the next section.
Some comments by me in the next section are
On Monday, June 3, 1935, Rutherford, was interviewed at a Witness convention
about "the flag salute by children
in school." He told the audience that to
salute an earthly emblem, ascribing salvation to it, was unfaithfulness
and said that he would not do it. It wasn't an established policy of the Jeho-
vah's Witnesses (though
saluting the flag wouldn't be a matter of ascribing Bib-
lical salvation to it), but some families soon agreed.
In Sept., 1935, a Lynn, Massachusetts Jehovah’s Witness in the third grade,
Carleton Nichols, refused to
give the Pledge of Allegiance and was expelled. It
got a lot of media coverage and soon other JWs refused to give
the pledge, too.
On Oct.6, 1935, during a radio broadcast, "Saluting a Flag," Rutherford said
that pledging allegiance to the
flag would be worship of an image or representa-
tion in disobediance to Ex.20:4-6.
(It wouldn't. The Exodus section is meant as a ban of worship of whatever
other than God as God, idolatry,
not a ban of using a symbol as part of a way to
declare your commitment to the good of a country.
(The phrase "under God" wasn't incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance un-
til June 14, 1954, and even that
didn't make the flag an object of idolatry. An
objection to that phrase could be made in wanting separation of church
state, but wanting Nativity scenes removed from government property, etc.,
wasn't what motivated Rutherford, either.
He was just trying to define his
exclusiveness as spokesman of a literal 144,000 by creating a rule nobody else
or saw any sense in--that the pledge of allegiance is idolatry.)
Schools in the USA began expelling JWs students and firing JWs teachers.
Rutherford's broadcast was later published
in the 1935 booklet "Loyalty" to make
the stance the official JWs' stance.
"Loyalty," p.11: "If a child has been taught by its parents to love and to
obey Almighty God and Christ Jesus,
as directed by the Bible, and the child be-
lieves that it is a violation of God's law to salute any flag, is it right
school boards to expel such a child from school and thus deny the child the
benefit of an education?"
Witnesses hired teachers and set up Kingdom schools to continue their chil-
dren’s education. Walter
Gobitas, recently converted to the JWs, told his
children to not give the pledge at their Minersville, PA, school.
was 90% Catholic.
(Rutherford's well-publicized Catholics/Protestants/Jews bashing, such as
equating Catholics with Nazis, had
already created animosity for the JWs there.
A couple of examples are given below.)
1933--Rutherford's radio broadcast criticizes the Catholics as Satan's
damns them as doomed to fire and brimstone at Armageddon,
etc., in the YouTube clip at the next link.
1934--"It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire
built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting
and oppressing the peoples of many nations....This
fact is so manifest
in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York....
'the Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the
bills." (1934 Yearbook,
p.134--this quote is from Rutherford's "Declara-
tion of Facts" for Hitler.)
Also see the Catholic bashing in the section of this timeline below for
Also see Rutherford's quotes about Trinitarianism on p.8 of "GTJ
Like Russell, Rutherford taught that Jesus was created yet
was to be worshipped. But he was against
The children were taunted and bullied, a local Catholic church started a boy-
cott of Gobitas' family store,
he paid to enroll them in a private school, and
that school board expelled them without appeal.
The case was argued in Philadelphia on Feb.15, 1938. During the trial, school
displayed contempt for the beliefs of the children,
stating that he felt they had been "indoctrinated" (sounds like a wise,
tive person about that, anyway) and that the existence of even a few dissenters
would be "demoralizing," leading
to widespread disregard for the flag and Ameri-
can values. Four months later, District Judge Albert B. Maris found
board's requirement that the children salute the flag was an unconstitutional
violation of their free exercise
of religious beliefs.
Within two weeks, the school board unanimously agreed to appeal the decision.
Oral arguments in the appeal were
made before the Third Circuit of the U.S.
Court of Appeals on Nov.9, 1938. One year later, the three-judge court
mously affirmed the district court decision.
Despite two defeats in the lower courts, the school board took its case to the
Supreme Court, authorizing its
attorney to file a petition for a writ of certio-
rari, which the Court granted on March 4, 1940.
The Court heard oral arguments on April 25. Rutherford, the president of the
Watch Tower Society and a
lawyer, took over the defense assisted by the new head
of the religious group's Legal Department--Hayden Covington.
The ACLU and the
Committee on the Bill of Rights of the American Bar Association filed amicus
The Court's decision was nearly unanimous--only Justice Harlan F. Stone dis-
sented. In an 8-to-1 decision,
the Court upheld the mandatory flag salute, de-
clining to make itself "the school board for the country."
Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote the majority decision relying primarily on the
"secular regulation" rule, which
weighs the secular purpose of a concededly non-
religious government regulation against the religious practice it makes
or otherwise burdens the exercise of religion. He identified the Pennsylvania
as an intrinsically secular policy enacted to encourage
patriotism among school children.
Frankfurter wrote that the school district's interest in creating national
unity was enough to allow them to
require students to salute the flag. Accord-
ing to Frankfurter, the nation needed loyalty and the unity of all the
Since saluting the flag was a primary means of achieving this legitimate goal,
an issue of national importance
was at stake.
The Court held that the state's interest in "national cohesion" was "inferior
to none in the hierarchy of legal
National unity is the basis of national security. To deny the legislature the
right to select appropriate
means for its attainment presents a totally differ-
ent order of problem from that of the propriety of subordinating the
ugliness of littered streets to the free expression opinion through handbills.
Weighing the circumstances in this case, he argued that the social need for
conformity with the requirement was
greater than the individual liberty claims
of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He emphasized that conscientious scruples have not,
the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the indi-
vidual from obedience to a general law not
aimed at the promotion or restriction
of religious beliefs.
Frankfurter further wrote that the recitation of a pledge advanced the cause
of patriotism in the United States.
He said the country's foundation as a free
society depends upon building sentimental ties.
The flag, the Court found, was an important symbol of national unity and could
be a part of legislative initiatives
designed "to promote in the minds of chil-
dren who attend the common schools an attachment to the institutions of their
Harlan Stone, the lone dissenter from the majority's decision wrote:
"The guarantees of civil liberty are but guarantees of freedom of the human
mind and spirit and of reasonable
freedom and opportunity to express them...The
very essence of the liberty which they guarantee is the freedom of the individ-
from compulsion as to what he shall think and what he shall say..."
On June 9, a mob of 2,500 burned the Kingdom Hall in Kennebunkport, Maine. On
June 16, Litchfield, Illinois
police jailed all of the town's sixty Witnesses,
ostensibly protecting them from their neighbors. On June 18, townspeople
Rawlins, Wyoming brutally beat five Witnesses; on the 22nd, the people of Parco,
Wyoming tarred and feathered another.
American Legion posts harassed Witnesses nationwide. On June 27, members of
the American Legion forced
Witnesses from a trailer camp in Jackson, Mississippi
and escorted them across state lines to Louisiana, where they were
from county to county, finally winding up in the vicinity of Dallas, Texas." A
Nebraska Witness was
castrated. Little Rock Witnesses were beaten with pipes
and screwdrivers. West Virginia Witnesses were forced
to drink castor oil and
then tied together with police department rope. Witnesses were jailed for sedi-
jailed for distributing literature, jailed for holding a parade, and
jailed for canvassing without a license.
The American Civil Liberties Union reported to the Justice Department that
nearly 1,500 Witnesses were physically
attacked in more than 300 communities na-
tionwide. One Southern sheriff told a reporter why Witnesses were being
of town: "They're traitors; the Supreme Court says so. Ain't you heard?"
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt appealed publicly for calm, while newspaper edi-
torials and the American legal
community condemned the Gobitis decision as a
blow to liberty. Several justices signaled their belief that the case
Partly because of the violent reaction to its decision, the Supreme Court re-
versed itself a few years later.
On 14 June 1943 (Flag Day), the court handed
down West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. Justice Robert
echoed Judge Stone's dissent when he wrote, "If there is any fixed star in our
it is that no official, high or petty, can pre-
scribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other
ters of opinion."
Justice Frank Murphy considered the reversal to be an important personal land-
mark. The elevation of Harlan
Fiske Stone to Chief Justice, and the appointment
of two new members to the Supreme Court were also factors in the Court's
sal of policy.
The active persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses abated somewhat, although thou-
sands were arrested during World
War II for seeking religious exemption from
(See 1935 on p.1a.)
The main focus of my expose is evidence of the JWs leaders creating a phoney
exclusiveness, especially if any
of the followers are hurt by it. In this case,
Rutherford created an exclusive rule for followers to avoid something
trous. It was an exclusive rule because the something wasn't idolatous. He had
the followers distribute
and broadcast fighting words about non-JWs' faiths and
governments knowing the followers were being attacked--sometimes
this isn't the Martin Luther King story--Rutherford didn't lead any marches.)
Regarding customers who broke his rule about not saluting the flag, he insti-
tuted some serious peer presssure
that might damage some relationships between
JWs friends and family, too: in the 1936 Yearbook, Rutherford wrote that bap-
Jehovah's Witnesses who saluted the flag were breaking their covenant with
God and were "guilty of death." He forced
a choice: put up with non-JWs harass-
ment or lose your JWs friends and family.
Sorry for taking so long to set up a punchline.
See the article at the next link: Watchtower presidents Rutherford, Knorr,
Franz, and Henschel are shown in their
passport photos for which they signed an
oath of allegiance to the United States. In the case of Rutherford, it was
to the 1935 onward ban (3/28/22), but for Knorr (6/8/68), Henschel
(9/16/52), and Franz (?/8/88), it was after the ban
"Because Christians can be loyal both to God and to earthly governments they
can take oaths of allegiance to
defend the Constitution, as is required of citi-
zens in some countries in order to get a passport." ("The Watchtower,"
According to the jwfacts site, the JWs leaders ruled against such pledges and
oaths as idolatrous and worldly
and out of the question--except when making an
identical oath to a country for a passport or citizenship (so the JWs could
freely travel to sell JWs leaders' literature and for whatever reasons the JWs
leaders had to travel).
See "Lemon Pledge" at 1993 on the timeline on p.1a and pictures of the
passports on p.1e.
1935 On March 16, Adolf Hitler announced German rearmament in violation of
the Versailles Treaty.
1935 In March, Germany made it compulsory to be in the military of the German
1935 On April 1, JWs missionary activities, including encouragement not to
serve a worldly government,
were outlawed by the Reichstag as overtly political
1935 (date?) Rutherford made it compulsory for JWs to refuse to serve in the
1935 On April 17, Sun Myung Moon claimed to have a revelation from Jesus
telling him to complete his mission
from almost 2000 years ago.
1935 On Sept.15, Nuremberg Laws were passed prohibiting marriage to Jews and
citizenship for Jews.
1935 "Mistreatment of Fleshly Israel." ("The Golden Age," not the German edi-
tion, Oct.9, 1935, p.6)
A copy of the Oct.9, 1935 Golden Age (not the German edition) is at the next
For a while, all I knew about this issue was the phrase "Mistreatment of
Fleshly Israel," so I thought it might
be about propaganda against and persecu-
tion of the Jews in Nazi Germany instead of the usual JWs leaders' propaganda
whatever non-JWs, including Jews, seen in other JWs leaders' literature of
the time. But a standard part of the way
Rutherford and Hitler made false
claims of exclusiveness about themselves and their followers was to propagandize
certain other whole groups of people, and this issue continues Russell's
and Rutherford's propaganda against Catholics.
P.4 There's an account of workers in Berlin on May Day being forced to parade
to Tempelhof Field to see
Hitler. "What do you think about that, you Americans?
Is that what you want in America? Well, it is what you
will get, if the Roman
Catholic Hierarchy is allowed to have its way."
P.6 "Mistreatment of Fleshly Israel" gives realistic accounts, mainly quoting
other sources, of the persecution
of Jews in Nazi Germany.
But I didn't see any Jws listed in the section of religious people (including
Catholics) who assisted Jews in
fleeing the Holocaust in the article at the next
However, the Golden Age account of Nazi persecution of the Jews is used as a
prelude for their own article about
what they consider even worse on pp.7-11:
P.7 "The Devil's Real Target--Jehovah's witnesses." The Watchtower claim is
that persecution of Rutherford's
followers is more important to the Devil be-
cause they're the only true followers of God (see pp.17,18). The Golden
cused Roman Catholics of being to blame for German newspaper quotes critical of
Rutherford and his followers,
including that the followers are Communists,
though the newspapers don't give Catholics as the authors and Rutherford had
created enmity with Hitler's government for years by then.
P.8 "Let the New York Times take note that the Roman Catholic hierarchy has no
reason to fear what its clerk,
Hitler, will do against it. All of its columns
and columns of stuff about proposed attacks on ther Catholics and
was intended to cover up the fact that Germany at that very time had about 2,000
of Jehovah's witnesses
in prison, and was putting more of them in prison every
"Papal Control of the News
"THE New York Times of July 20 tells of twenty-two of Jehovah's witnesses sen-
tenced to terms of imprisonment
ranging from two months to three years, at Wei-
mar, Germany, because they rejected military service and the Hitler salute.
identity was concealed by the name 'Bible Researchers': the news about
them was crammed into one inch in the center of
a column-long article filled
with pure bunk as to what Hitler was 'about' to do to Jews, Catholics, and Pro-
It was sent out by the Associated Press and was clearly prepared un-
der Roman Catholic Hierarchy control--all camouflage
of the facts."
Rutherford practically called "Nazi" and "Catholic" synonyms. Accounts that
are more trustworthy about
Hitler vs. Catholicism, such as the Nazi government
causing the imprisonment of thousands of priests, hundreds of whom
are at the next links. Rutherford would have shown better care and strategy if
he had avoided risking
his followers' necks unnecessarily and had them join
those of the Catholics and others who were against Hitler in other
P.11 has the misleading sub-heading "The Crime of Being a Christian" for a
section on Nazi persecution of Jws.
Actually, Hitler didn't have a plan to ex-
terminate the Jws like he did for the Jews but only stop the Jws if they got
his way politically. Rutherford requiring his followers to agree with his vari-
ation of Rom.13 was a personal
effort at exclusiveness, not a scriptural neces-
sity, and the Nazis only persecuted JWs if they refused to renounce Rutherford,
Ironically, the Golden Age even blamed the Catholics for getting a lot of
Rutherford's followers imprisoned,
though the imprisonments, even deaths, were
mostly due to Rutherford threatening Hitler that Rutherford would send unarmed
JWs into German streets with tracts meant to destroy Hitler's government
with criticism and Rutherford encouraging his
followers to become martyrs. And
since a bigger part of the German population was Catholic, Rutherford propagan-
against them would only give Hitler more of a political motivation to
persecute Rutherford's followers.
Page 17 and 18 Rutherford gave his organization as God's only organization
and made a literature sales
pitch in "God's Organization." "The end of the
world has now come, and within a short time Jesus Christ as the mighty
of Jehovah will destroy Satan's power; but before doing so the Lord sends forth
men and women as His witnesses
to tell the people of His purpose and of His pro-
vision for their blessings. For that reason Jehovah's witnesses
now come to you
(See Jan., 1968. "During World War I God's people expected it to lead direct-
ly into Armageddon, but Jehovah
prevented such a climax at that time. We didn't
succumb to such an expectation during World War II." "Kingdom Ministry,"
Seven pages under the heading "Political--Domestic and Foreign" are mainly
meant to connect Hitler and Catholicism
and have subtitles like "Hitler Catholic
at Heart." For example:
P.18 "The job of the Jesuits is to make it seem desirable, even necessary,
that the government of mankind should
be turned over to the Roman hierarchy."
"Every reader of The Golden Age will be fascinated, but more than fascinated;
he will be instructed as to just how the Devil is working his game. The
article takes down the screens and lets the
honest reader see just how the Jesu-
its are planning world control by Fascism, and how they are succeeding."
A Wikipedia article about Jesuits is at the next link.
Pages 30,31 As if Rutherford's followers didn't have enough problems, there's
a batch of medical advice
from Clayton Woodworth (see "Blood transfusions aren't
the only things the Watchtower leaders have had distinctive medical
rules about" on p.11 of "GTJ Brooklyn"). Due to previous Golden Age articles
recommending that followers
not get vaccinated for smallpox, p.31 has an article
commending a parent who describes the legal troubles they went though
vaccinating their public school-age child against smallpox.
(See the timeline at 2001 on p.6a--the Watchtower claims Rutherford led his
followers with integrity during WWII:
"Courageous Integrity Keepers Triumph Over
1935 "How effective was Wilhelm Canaris and
the German resistance?" by TIK
1936 From spring 1936 onward, the authorities told German Bible Students to
leave the Bible Students and
have their children use the Hitler Salute and sa-
lute the German flag (and, starting on Dec.1, join Hitler Youth) or else
authorities would try to get a court to decide that they're not fulfilling their
obligations to the state, in which
case the Bible Students would lose custody
of their children, who would be sent to a reformatory. Between 1936 and
least 860 (Jehovah’s Witnesses sources) or 500 (Worldview Times) children were
taken from their parents.
1936 On June 24, State police and the Gestapo formed a special unit to fight
the Watchtower movement.
In Sept., 1937, through a number of arrests and infil-
tration, it succeeded in bringing the public spread of the movement
to a stand-
still. Thereafter, reports of Witness activity was mostly limited to prisons,
and some young JWs men who were executed for refusing mili-
(Compare 2007--date of authorship? "Thus, the Witnesses never expressed sup-
port for the Nazi Party.
Moreover, in the exercise of religious freedom, they
did not intend to stop their public preaching.—Matthew 24:14;
By the end of WW II, around 2000 members suffered in the camps, 635 died, and
203 were executed. ("Yearbook,"
1974, p.212; "The Watchtower," July 1, 1979,
1937 In July, Buchenwald concentration camp was established.
1937 The Rhineland Bastard program of sterilizing children with mixed German
and African parentage began in the
1937 (date?) In Rutherford's tract "Uncovered," he gave his side of a debate
which didn't take place between
him and Catholic leaders, so he gave his stances
uncontestedly as though decisive.
"It is a well-known fact that the order of Jesuits is an instrument of and a
part of the Roman Catholic organization,
and that it is such organization that
now dictates to and rules Germany, Austria, Italy and other nations and is now
prosecuting a bloody war in Spain to obtain control of that country.
The abundant literature or propaganda issued by the
Roman Catholic Hierarchy
concerning 'Catholic action' overwhelmingly proves that the Roman Catholic Hier-
archy is vigorously
attempting to gain control of and rule all the nations of
the earth. Such alone is conclusive proof that the Catholic
church is not the
church of God, and does not act with authority from God and Christ, but that it
is the instrument
of the Devil, used to blind sincere persons and turn them away
from God and Christ." (pp.40,41)
(For similar statements by Rutherford about Catholic action, etc., and my res-
ponses, see "1940 (Date?) The
following excerpts from Rutherford's booklet "CON-
SPIRACY AGAINST DEMOCRACY" below.)
On pages 42-46 of "Uncovered," Rutherford didn't just give the Protestant
stance of disagreement with the Catholic
use of sacrementals but used the bigot-
ry of accusing the Catholic church of image worship, and he added his stance
saluting the flag, which he likened it to.
(See the articles at the next two links, various sections about the JWs lead-
ers' stances on holiday
celebrations as having pagan connotations on p.1a, and
"cross" on p.6b.)
1937 While followers had spread speeches by using records and sound cars
since 1934, they typically
left the phonograph player in their car unless in-
vited to take it into someone's home. They began to be equipped
phonograph players to take Rutherford's speeches door to door: "...at an assem-
bly in Columbus. Ohio,
on September 15-20, 1937, the work using the portable
phonograph on the doorstep was introduced." The follower told
a household mem-
ber said he had an important Bible message then played a record. ("Jehovah's
Witnesses In The Divine
According to Stan Milosevic at theocraticlibrary.com, the records used from
1934 to 1942 were 78 rpm and four
and a half minutes long. The discourses con-
tained on 150 records included "upwards of 90 different discourses by
president of the Society, J. F. Rutherford" and "over a million were put to
In 1938 "there were 430,000 discs with lectures in sixteen languages in use on
19,600 sound machines. In
1937 there were reported 10,368,569 listeners, and
for 1938, 13,070,426." ("The Watch Tower," July 1, 1955, pp.394,395)
With Rutherford's combative stances making it increasingly hard to get spon-
sers, the Society voluntarily withdrew
from all commercial radio broadcasting
contracts after October 31, Hallowe'en, 1937 except for convention broadcasts
aired till 1941. WBBR was sold in 1957--the new station, WPOW, aired
The second biggest percentage of JWs at that time lived in Germany--the big-
gest percentage lived in the
U.S.. Most JWs, then as now, lived in the U.S. and
what would become the Allied countries of WWII.
Rutherford continued to have the JWs take sound trucks (since 1934) to spread
his message. Especially in
the period leading up to and including WWII, his JWs
message included messages of other Christian groups, notably Catholics,
government involvement being Satanic. See p.5 and the entries for 1940 on this
later Knorr, caused most JWs to try to talk potential con-
verts out of fighting the Nazis. This was, unsurprisingly,
the period of the
most persecution of JWs.
1937 Regarding the Roman Catholic church: "Amongst her instruments that she uses are ultraselfish men called
‘Jews’, who look only for personal gain, and
who therefore readily yield to and join with the Hierarchy in
any unrighteous schemes."
"No one on earth can tell exactly what will come to pass; but those devoted to
the Lord, and according to the
divine rule of applying the well known facts to
God's prophecy now in course of fulfillment, can well reach a reasonable
sion as to what shall come to pass. The question is, Will Great Britain and
America become Facist under
the dominating control of the Roman Catholic Heir-
archy? The Scriptures and the facts seem to support that conclusion."
mies," J.A. Rutherford, 1937, pp.281,291)
1937 JWs activities stopped in the Reich with a second wave of arrests in the
fall of 1937.
(Compare 2007--date of authorship? "Thus, the Witnesses never expressed sup-
port for the Nazi Party.
Moreover, in the exercise of religious freedom, they
did not intend to stop their public preaching.—Matthew 24:14;
1937 "Why the Nazis Weren’t Socialists" the myth of "The Good Hitler Years" Between
1937 Part 2 of 2 by TimeGhost History hosted by Indy Neidell (Feb.19, 2020)
1938 "Stalin’s Paranoid Military Purges" "The Great Terror" Between two wars
1938 Part 4
of 4 by TimeGhost History hosted by Indy Neidell (March 18, 2020)
1938 On February 4, Adolf Hitler created the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High
Command of the Armed
Forces), giving him direct control of the German military,
and sacked political and military leaders considered unsympathetic
to his philo-
sophy or policies.
The Wehrmacht--the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945
"World War II: The Wehrmacht - Documentary | Second World War - Allies in Pacific,
Germany & Italy" by Janson Media
1938 On May 4, the JWs leaders' "Consolation" (not the German version) said:
"History never recorded a
more systematic, efficient, devilish obliteration of
Jews than at present in Germany.”
1938 March 12--Anschluss: German troops occupied Austria; annexation was de-
clared the following day.
1938 July 6-13--the Évian Conference was initiated by Pres. Roosevelt. Rep-
resentatives of 31 countries
met to decide what to do about Jewish refugees.
Hitler offered to let them take the refugees. But the only country
accept a substantial number was the Dominican Republic, which offered to accept
up to 100,000 refugees on
generous terms. In 1940, an agreement was signed and
Rafael Trujillo donated 26,000 acres (110 km2) of his properties
ments. The first settlers arrived in May, 1940: only about 800 settlers came to
Sosúa and most later
moved to the United States.
1938 On September 29, the Munich agreement of German, Italian, British and
French leaders agreed to German
demands regarding the annexation of Sudetenland.
1938 Here's the Rutherford record "Fascism or Freedom" made in New York on
Oct.2, 1938, with references
to events that happened in Australia sometime
around Easter, 1938:
The first thing he says on it is that Jesus was resurrected exactly 1935 years
ago, which in 1938 would have
been 3 AD. That's usually put around 33 AD. He
mistakenly gave the time of Jesus' birth as the time of his
seems to be giving the speech he intended for Australia around the time of Eas-
He then makes his case of equating the clergy of Jesus' time (the Pharisees)
with Catholic and Protestant (anything
Christian and non-Rutherford) clergy of
Rutherford's time--that all were/are a Satanic hierarchy, including fascists,
tried to keep people from learning God's truth about Jesus (via Ruther-
ford's stances). Rutherford characterizes
himself as like Jesus in his past/
present analogy in that his stances were honest but were met with persecution.
Rutherford, on his recording, alleges that the Devil organized a world-wide
effort to stop his speech, lie about
what it contained, and that he was told by
the newspaper official (not named) in charge at the Sydney Herald that Ruther-
intended speech is entirely true but couldn't be printed because, regret-
tably, the "hierarchy's violent opposition" prevented
According to the Adenaide Australia newspaper The Mail, Sat., April 23, 1938,
the Director-General of Posts and
Telegraphs (Mr.H.P.Brown) banned Rutherford's
broadcast from Sydney because Brown wasn't supplied a copy of the script
three week period in which it could be provided and shown not to be objection-
able to the listeners.
A petition, with more than 10,000 signatures, protesting
Rutherford's broadcast was sent to the Postmaster-General.
The speech was
transmitted by telephone to the Tivoli Theatre in Adelaide but not broadcast be-
Whatever small percentage of those Rutherford accused who impeded Rutherford's
freedom of speech to some degree,
I'd at least agree with them that Rutherford's
bid for one-in-the-world exclusiveness wasn't an honest difference of belief
was a devisive flame war instigated by a scam artist for profit. My feeling is
that some people in Australia
clicked the Spam button on their E-mail, so to
1938 On October 16, Winston Churchill, in a broadcast address to the United
States, condemned the Munich
Agreement as a defeat and called upon America and
western Europe to prepare for armed resistance against Hitler.
1938 (date?) "Those Jonadabs who now contemplate marriage, it would seem,
would do better if they wait
a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon is
gone...." (Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders
to predicting Armageddon soon during WWII.)
"HITLER AND THE POPE
"The following statement, written by a Catholic priest of Berlin and published
in The German under date of May
29, 1938, is proof of the conspiracy between the
Papacy and the Hitler totalitarian government of Germany:
"There is now one country on earth where the so-called 'Earnest Bible Stu-
dents' [Jehovah's witnesses] are forbidden.
That is Germany! The dissolution
of the sect which, at that time, had found a strong foothold in Germany, did not
to pass under Brüning [chancellor of the German Reich before Hitler], al-
though the Catholic Church in Brüning's time
urged to have this done. However,
the 'Most Catholic Chancellor' Brüning answered that he had no law which author-
him to dissolve the sect of the 'Earnest Bible Students'.
"When Adolph Hitler had come to power and the German episcopate repeated their
request, Hitler said: 'These so-called
"Earnest Bible Students" are trouble-
makers; they disturb the harmonious life amongst the Germans; I consider them
I do not tolerate that the German Catholics be besmirched in such a man-
ner by this American "Judge" Rutherford; I dissolve
the "Earnest Bible Students"
in Germany; their property I dedicate to the people's welfare; I will have all
"However, the American episcopate, even Cardinal Mundelein, is not able to
have Rutherford's, books, in which
the Catholic Church is slandered, to be taken
away from the book-market in the United States.!" ("Face the Facts," 1938)
See the listing that's several listings from the end of those for 1933 for a
more balanced view of the Pope.
1938 On November 9, the Kristallnacht began. In Germany, the "night of bro-
ken glass" began as Nazi troops
and sympathizers looted and burned Jewish busi-
nesses (the all night affair saw 7,500 Jewish businesses destroyed, 267
gues burned, 91 Jews killed, and at least 25,000 Jewish men arrested).
Rutherford's Watchtowers in Germany began to criticize the treatment of Jewish
people by the German government.
By this time, the JWs movement had been off
the street since Sept., 1937 (see 1936).
The Holocaust would go on to murder just under 6 million Jews.
"Broader definitions include between 220,000 and 500,000 Romani, and the
200,000 disabled and mentally ill who
were killed, because these groups were
also targeted for eradication. A broader definition still includes political and
dissenters, two to three million Soviet POWs, and 5,000 to 15,000 gay
men, bringing the death toll to nine million. This
rises to 11 million if the
deaths of 1.8 to 2 million ethnic Poles are included. The broadest definition
6 million Soviet civilians, raising the death toll to 17 million.
R.J. Rummel estimates the total democide death toll of
Nazi Germany to be 21
A list of those who assisted Jews during the Holocaust is at the next link.
1939 Adolf Hitler was the Jan.2, 1939 Time magazine "Man of the Year" (as
most influential during the course
of the year--the choice isn't always an ad-
mirable person) for 1938.
1939 On February 2, Hungary joined the Anti-Comintern Pact.
1939 On March 3 in Bombay, Mohandas Gandhi began to fast in protest of the
autocratic rule in India.
1939 On March 15, German troops occupied the remaining part of Bohemia and
Moravia; Czechoslovakia ceased
to exist; the hostilities began that led to WWII.
The Ruthenian region of Czechoslavakia declared independence as Carpatho-
1939 On March 22, Germany took Memel from Lithuania.
1939 On May 22, Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.
1939 On June 4, the SS St. Louis, a ship carrying a cargo of 907 Jewish refu-
gees, was denied permission
to land in Florida after already having been turned
away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, most of its passengers
in Nazi concentration camps.
1939 On July 4, the concentration camp Neuengamme became autonomous.
1939 On July 6, the last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were closed.
1939 "The abundance of Scriptural evidence, together with the physical facts
that have come to pass showing
the fulfillment of prophecy, conclusively proves
that the time for the battle of the great day of God Almighty is very
that in that battle all of God's enemies shall be destroyed and the earth
cleared of wickedness, preparatory
to the complete establishment of righteous-
"At San Diego, California, there is a small piece of land, on which, in the
year 1929, there was built a house,
which is called and known as Beth-Sarim.
The Hebrew words Beth Sarim mean "House of the Princes"; and the purpose of ac-
that property and building the house was that there might be some tangi-
ble proof that there are those on earth today
who fully believe God and Christ
Jesus and in His kingdom, and who believe that the faithful men of old will soon
resurrected by the Lord, be back on earth, and take charge of the visible af-
fairs of earth. The title to Beth-Sarim
is vested in the WATCH TOWER BIBLE &
TRACT SOCIETY in trust, to be used by the president of the Society and his as-
for the present, and thereafter to be for ever at the disposal of the
aforementioned princes on the earth."
Rutherford, 1939, pp.310,311) (Compare with the 1968 claim that
the JWs leaders didn't succumb to predicting Armageddon
soon during WWII)
1939 Rutherford used pretty brave words to send the followers out with from a
mansion in San Diego.
If anyone did attack San Diego, Beth Shan, "House of Se-
curity," built in 1939 as the companion mansion to Rutherford's
Sarim, had a bomb shelter or two for Rutherford to hide in:
1939 On Sept.1, Germany invaded Poland which began the Second World War in
Europe. On Sept.2, Danzig
(now Gdansk, Poland) was annexed to Nazi Germany.
1939 On September 3, France, Australia and the
United Kingdom declared war on
Germany. On September 4, Nepal declared war on Germany. On September 5, the
States declared its neutrality in the war. On September 6, South Africa
declared war on Germany. On September
10, Canada declared war on Germany.
Phoney War (German: Sitzkrieg)--an eight-month period (Sept.3, 1939 to May
1940) at the start of World War II
"Why Did The Allies Ignore The Early Signs Of Invasion? | Secrets of War |
by Timeline - World History Documentaries narratewd by Charlton Heston
1939 On September 16, a Cease Fire ended the undeclared Border War between
the Soviet Union
(and Mongolian allies) and Japan. On September 17, the Soviet
Union invaded Poland then occupied eastern Polish territories.
1939 On September 27, Warsaw surrendered to Germany; Modlin surrendered a day
later; the last Polish large
operational unit surrendered near Kock eight days
1939 On October 8, Germany annexed Western Poland.
1939 On October 11, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt was presented with a
letter signed by Albert Einstein
urging the United States to rapidly develop the
1939 "Within many nations of the earth Jews are cruelly persecuted. Is there
any good reason why
any person should be persecuted merely because that person
is a Jew? There is no just cause or excuse to persecute
anyone. There is no
reason or just cause for the persecution of the Jews.... The common people
amongst the Jews
believed Jesus, and received Him gladly; but their religious
leaders rejected and persecuted Jesus. The persecutors
of Jesus were leaders of
religion, that is, the Pharisees, doctors of the law, who taught the Jewish peo-
The leaders of the Israelites, called "Pharisees" and "doctors", indulged
in the practice of religion... Jehovah God had
caused His prophet to foretell
that such perseuction would come upon Jesus by that class of persons (Isaiah 53:
This fact explains the cause for the persecution of the Jews, and from
what follows it will be seen that all perseuction
is induced by the Devil...
"The Jews suffer cruel persecution at the hands of those who practice religion
of one kind or another.
For instance, Hitler has his peculiar religion, which
is clearly the product of the Devil. Christians in Germany
and elsewhere in the
earth suffer persecution at the hands of religionists because Christians serve
God and publish
His name and His kingdom. All persons who desire righteousness
refuse to indulge in the persecution of others, regardless
of what others may
believe. While it is true that the Jews are not Christians, yet because that
nation and people
once bore the name of Jehovah God, even though they were cast
away as a nation, they are still the objects of the Devil's
hatred and he in-
duces their persecution as a further reproach to the name of the Almighty God.
No doubt many Jews
do wrong, but that is no reason or excuse for their persecu-
tion. The present generation of Jews are in no wise
responsible for what the
Pharisees and others did nineteen centuries ago. Because of their name the Dev-
them and causes their cruel persecution." ("The Watchtower," Nov.15,
1939, pp.16-18, "Jews")
Rutherford meant to include his followers among those persecuted and turn the
responsibility away from how he
mishandled the situation and brought harm to his
followers. As with Russell's teaching, the "religionists" he equated
Pharisees of the time of Jesus' ministry on Earth were the current leaders of
Christendom (meant disparagingly)
whom he blamed for persecution of JWs.
Rutherford intends the irony that the Jews who persecuted Christ were reli-
gionists (meant disparagingly--the
Pharisees were the forerunners of modern Ju-
daism) and so are the leaders of Christendom, and that it was prophesized
the Devil who motivated those Jewish leaders to persecute Jesus would motivate
the current Christendom leaders
to persecute the Jews and the JWs. He charac-
terized his leadership as creating no greater offense than by serving
Actually, the anti-Semitic persecution was born of bigotry, Rutherford spread
bigotry about whatever non-Rutherford
groups in contradiction to 1 Cor.10:32-11:
1 (see other sections of this article for other JWs leaders' contradictions
scriptures), most Christians and Jews fought against the Nazis, most JWs were in
the U.S. and if anything were
taught to try to talk converts out of fighting the
Nazis, and the first thing responsible for the imprisonment and deaths
wasn't Christendom but was Rutherford's foolish bungled prophet-playing culmin-
ating with a threat to Hitler
on Oct.7, 1934 (see above).
1939 "The Jesuits no doubt joined Hitler in his Jew-baiting and were de-
lighted to find a means of eliminating
Jews rather than baptizing them as was
done in the glorious days of Inquisition... The facts will show that what really
taken place is, the abrogation of German law and its replacement by Papal
laws. These might be indicated as below:
"(a) The resurrection of the old Papal laws in restraint of the Jew--reinsti-
tution of the ghetto, peculiar
dress and systematic robbery...
"(f) Merciless torture of 'heretics' and 'Jews'; among the former, [Pastor
Martin] Niemoeller and Jehovah's witnesses."
("The Watchtower," Nov.29, 1939,
pp.7,8, "A Critical Review of Mein Kampf")
Likewise, Rutherford blamed Catholic leaders instead of himself for getting
his followers hurt and even killed.
1939 November 30, Soviet forces attacked Finland and reached the Mannerheim
Line, starting the Winter War.
1940 On January 4, Luftwaffe General Hermann Goering assumed control of all
1940 Rutherford: "Religion is the worship and service of the Devil and his
associate demons.... Religion
is the chief means that puts fear into the minds
of the people and leads them into the Devil's snare.... Truly then,
'religion is a snare and a racket,' employed to collect money from them under
false representations." ("The
Watchtower," Jan.15, 1940, p.29)
"Religion is a Snare and a Racket" was one of the 1939 recordings by Ruther-
ford. Besides JWs being sent
with this message (the devil uses big business,
government, and the major religions to do his work, that the leaders of
cism are the harlot of Revelation, etc.) in sound cars and phonograph players,
JWs were sent to carry picket
signs with this message to picket churches. ("Reli-
gion," Rutherford, 1940)
It's pretty transparent how Rutherford meant to artificially engineer his fol-
lowers to bond into an unfortunately
"us verses them" overly-'centric peer
"THE RULERS of all nations now see that disaster is near and that they are
done for unless some way of averting
the calamity is found. Filled with fear,
yet boasting of man's ability to avert disaster, with one accord they say:
must have more religion, else our nation will perish.' All nations have forgot-
ten God, and they give no
heed to his Word. All nations are against the THEO-
CRATIC GOVERNMENT. They trust in man and in religion.
'Just any kind of reli-
gion,' they say, 'but some religion is indispensable.' The prophecies of Al-
the fulfillment of which now clearly appears from the physical
facts, show that the end of religion has come and with its
end the complete
downfall of Satan's entire organization." ("Religion," Rutherford, p.336, 1940)
(Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't succumb to pre-
dicting Armageddon soon during
"The Theocracy" (government run by God) "is at present administered by the
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society,
of which Judge Rutherford is the president
and general manager." ("Consolation," Sept.4, 1940, p.25)
God (speaking of God), what a hambone. Speaking of it being possible to has-
tily put faith in a man....
On the plus side, Rutherford's effort to stir up fights for PR for his litera-
ture sales, with lawyers trying
to get courts to understand Rutherford's follow-
ers deserved freedom of religion though Rutherford denied he led one,
some changes expanding freedom of speech, inadvertently doing someone other than
himself some good.
On the minus side, his message of selfish leaders being insincere and phoney
to make money was ironic.
Besides the ways that's shown about his affected ex-
clusiveness elsewhere in this article, it's also shown in how his
PR efforts in
this period went against Apostle Paul's teachings to spread the word without
giving offense to Greek or
Jewish people, people of different cultures and reli-
gions, sacrificing selfish concerns to gain them to Christ (1 Cor.10:31-11:1).
also shows the falsehood of recent JWs leaders' literature that characterizes
the followers of that time as doing the work
of the Bible yet persecuted for no
understandable reason (as compared to doing it for a con man who saw money to be made
in a sales method that put his followers in the way of harm by having them act like 'centric creeps).
1940 On February 16, the British destroyer Cossack pursued the German
freighter Altmark into Jossingfjord
in southwestern Norway, breaking interna-
tional law and provoking Norway`s entry to the war. 290 British sailors
freed, and seven Germans killed.
1940 On March 5, the members of the Soviet politburo: Stalin, Molotov, Lazar
Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin,
Kliment Voroshilov and Lavrenty Beria, signed an
order, prepared by Beria, for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia,
cluding 14,700 Polish POWs. The action was known as the Katyn massacre.
1940 On March 12, the Soviet Union and Finland signed a peace treaty in Mos-
cow ending the Winter War.
Finns, along with the world at large, were shocked
by the harsh terms.
1940 On March 18, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at Brenner Pass in
the Alps and agreed to form
an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.
April 9 - WWII: Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in operation Weserübung.
The British campaign in Norway simultaneously
1940 On May 10, the Battle of France began--German forces invaded Low Coun-
tries; neutral Iceland was
invaded by the United Kingdom; and, with the resig-
nation of Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister
United Kingdom. On May 13, in his first address as Prime Minister, he told the
House of Commons, "I have
nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and
1940 The May 15, 1940, issue of Consolation said: "Hitler is such a perfect
child of the Devil that these
speeches and decisions flow through him like water
through a well-built sewer."
1940 On May 20, German forces, under General Erwin Rommel, reached the En-
glish Channel. The concentration
and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau opened in
1940 On June 3, Franz Rademacher proposed the Madagascar Plan.
1940 (date?) Rutherford's "Consolation" said: "There were 3,500,000 Jews in
Poland when Germany began its
Blitzkrieg..., and if reports which reach the Wes-
tern world are correct their destruction seems well under way."
By 1946, "The
Golden Age" and "Consolation" had identified 60 prison and concentration camps.
1940 On June 10, Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom. U.S.
President Franklin D.
Roosevelt denounced Italy's actions with the "Stab in the
Back" speech from the graduation ceremonies of the University
of Virginia. Can-
ada declared war on Italy, Norway surrendered to German forces, and the French
to Tours. On June 12, 13,000 British and French troops surren-
dered to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux.
June 10, 1940 to May 13, 1943 The North African campaign/defeat of Rommel
1940 On June 14, the French government fled to Bordeaux. Paris fell under
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Naval Expan-
sion Act into law which aimed to increase the United States
Navy's tonnage by 11
%. And a group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów became the first
the Auschwitz concentration camp.
1940 On June 17, Operation Ariel began. Allied troops started to evacuate
France, following Germany's
takeover of Paris and most of the nation. Luftwaffe
Junkers 88 bomber sank British ship RMS Lancastria that was evacuating
from near Saint-Nazaire, France. The death toll was over 2500. Wartime censor-
ship prevented the
story from going public.
1940 On June 18, Winston Churchill spoke to the House of Commons: "...the
Battle of France is over. The
Battle of Britain is about to begin." General
Charles DeGaulle broadcasted from London calling on all French people
ue the fight against Nazi Germany: "France has lost a battle. But France has
not lost the war."
On June 28, General Charles DeGaulle was officially recog-
nized by Britain as "Leader of all Free Frenchmen, wherever
they may be."
1940 On July 19, Adolf Hitler made a peace appeal to Britain in an address
to the Reichstag. Lord
Halifax, British foreign minister, flatly rejected Hit-
ler's peace terms in a broadcast reply on July 22. On August
Churchill paid tribute in the House of Commons to the Royal Air Force: "Never
in the field of human conflict
was so much owed by so many to so few."
1940 (Date?) The following excerpts from Rutherford's booklet "CONSPIRACY
...further indicate what caused the conflicts and fighting his JWs sound
trucks stirred up during the WWII era
in a mostly Christian U.S.A.. Besides the
irony of Rutherford's pose of cursing anything that isn't clearly supported
his message, emphasizing the damnation aspect of his exclusivist
pose, can be summed up this way:
Rutherford taught his followers his customized definitions to go with his
pose: that "religion" was created by
Satan soon after the last apostle died and
is in direct opposition to the Bible. The Satanic religious and government
lies are "Many Jews, Catholics, and so-called 'Protestants,'" notably the Catho-
lic church, which he said "acts
in full harmony and conjunction with the cruel
dictators, including Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and others of like political
bition. The head of that great religious organization is the adviser and close
ally of Hitler, who has threatened
to overrun all the democracies of the world."
Generalizations should refer to what's mostly true, so Rutherford's words must
have seemed ironic to most of
Rutherford's targets, most of whom fought against
Hitler, coming from someone who encouraged people not to defend anyone
Hitler made public statements of being Christian to promote his anti-Semitic
"positive Chrstianity," which failed.
Privately, he wasn't Christian.
"Joseph Goebbels, for example, notes in a diary entry in 1939: 'The Führer
is deeply religious,
but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as
a symptom of decay.' Albert Speer reports a similar
statement: 'You see,
it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the
religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the
highest good? The Mohammedan religion
too would have been much more com-
patible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with
its meekness and flabbiness?'
"In the Hossbach Memorandum Hitler is recorded as saying that 'only the
of Christianity, and the symptoms of age' were res-
ponsible for the demise of the Roman empire. In 1941,
Hitler praised an
anti-Christian tract from 362CE, Julian's Against the Galileans, saying 'I
known how clearly a man like Julian had judged Christians and
Christianity, one must read this...' He was
reported to say that religion
should die on its own accord."
But most knew Hitler was an apostate from his public actions.
Because of Stalin "tens of thousands of priests, monks and nuns were perse-
cuted and killed. Over 100,000
were shot during the purges of 1937–1938."
Mussolini "denounced socialists who were tolerant of religion, or who had
their children baptized. He believed
that science had proven there was no God,
and that the historical Jesus was ignorant and mad. He considered religion
disease of the psyche, and accused Christianity of promoting resignation and
cowardice. Mussolini was an admirer
of Friedrich Nietzsche. According to Denis
Mack Smith, 'In Nietzsche he found justification for his crusade against the
virtues of humility, resignation, charity, and goodness.' He valued
Nietzsche's concept of the superman, 'The supreme
egoist who defied both God and
the masses, who despised egalitarianism and democracy, who believed in the weak-
going to the wall and pushing them if they did not go fast enough.'
"In 1938 Mussolini began reasserting his anti-clericalism. He would sometimes
refer to himself as an 'outright
disbeliever,' and once told his cabinet that
'Islam was perhaps a more effective religion than Christianity' and that the
was a malignant tumor in the body of Italy and must "be rooted out once
and for all," because there was no room in Rome
for both the Pope and himself.'
He would publicly back down from these anti-clerical statements, but continued
similar statements in private.
"After his fall from power in 1943, Mussolini began speaking 'more about God
and the obligations of conscience,'
although 'he still had little use for the
priests and sacraments of the Church,' despite his return to the Catholic faith.
this time he was convinced of Pope Pius XI's earlier statements that he had
been 'sent by God to redeem society.'
He also began drawing parallels between
himself and Jesus Christ. Mussolini's widow, Rachele, stated that her husband
remained 'basically irreligious' until the later years of his life. Musso-
lini was given a Catholic funeral in 1957."
Rutherford's taught that "Christianity" was created by God and is just led by
Rutherford. He taught that
he was the spokeman of God's Theocracy on Earth, see
the 2nd listing for 1940, who was restoring the original church, one
peared too quick to leave any evidence in related history that it existed--see
the section on Russell on
"That which is called 'the Christian religion' is not Christian. It is
a religious practice carried on under the name of Christ, but which is in
defiance of the law of Almighty
God, and which gives honor to creatures
rather than to Almighty God, and which deceives millions of
"After the days of the apostles a sincere body of men organized them-
selves as Christians. Thereafter subtly Satan, the chief of demons, in-
duced men in that organization
to advance and teach their views contrary
to the Bible, and thereby they substituted religion for Christianity.
Thereafter they taught the traditions of men. That has been dubbed the
although entirely contrary to God's Word.
Rutherford wrote about "Catholic Action" as a conspiracy by Catholics to rule
government. Actually, in
the 1800's, it was meant to encourage social action in
anti-clerical regimes. In the U.S. around the time of WWII,
it was actually
meant to combat communism and racial bigotry and provide charity.
"Because the Christians in Germany refused to yield to such religious ceremon-
ies" as heiling Hitler and saluting
the flag "thousands of them have been incar-
cerated in prison and many of them killed." Rutherford again tried to
blame for that away from the recklessly egotistical way he led them--see the
listings for Feb.9 and Oct.7,
1934, and Jan.9, 1935.
"The Hierarchy and their allies who attempt to compel citizens to sa-
lute the flag are willful violators of the law, denying them freedom of
conscience freedom of speech,
freedom of assembly, and freedom of wor-
ship, which rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and for
flag stands. Such fanatical religionists are therefore the lawbreakers,
and the righteous suffer at their hands."
Rutherford's version of social activism was of a narrow ambition--to make a
case for the freedom of his followers
to obey him as their theocratic spokeman,
which was mainly to do what he needed them to do to sell his literature--see
section above on "The Watchtower outlooks on freedom of speech."
If there's any honest modesty to admire in Rutherford here, it's if you can
manage to find it in that he underplays
the matter in making out Christians as
being the only ones who would find his unfounded boastfulness and accusations
It would be a decade before Ed Wood competed for his territory of
Eros the alien regarding people of earth: [with disgust] "Stronger. You see?
You see? Your stupid
minds! Stupid! Stupid!"
Rutherford accused those of "religion" of persecuting Rutherford and his fol-
lowers for no good reason:
"Many Christians have been associated with religious organizations be-
cause they did not know that religion is a snare. When these honest and
sincere ones learn the
truth, they flee from religion and flee to God
and Christ. Jehovah's witnesses have no fight with
any person because of
his religious belief.
"The proclamation of that message has greatly disturbed and angered the
religious leaders and the dictators, and hence, as the work of Jehovah
progresses in having this testimony
concerning his name and kingdom de-
clared, the opposers have increased in their hatred of Jehovah and
bitter persecution of his witnesses on the earth."
But if you're going to send people around with sound trucks to lie about peo-
ple, damning practically everyone
who listens to hell, especially as people who
tried to talk the Allies out of fighting the Nazis during WWII, you better
more to back it up than an invisible early history and invisible substantiation
for forced points attested to by
an invisible Jesus who talks through a guy who
keeps out of sight behind the security guards at his mansion, where he secretly
drunk. Rutherford's sales PR incorporated an act that he was unable to
imagine that if he sent his followers door
to door all over town triple damn
daring someone to belt them in the head, eventually they'd find someone to ac-
This is a good example to contrast with what I mean by apostle Paul teaching
that Christians are to assimilate
among the Jews and Gentiles, all kinds of peo-
ple, and hope to persuade (1 Cor.10:32-11:1). You're not supposed
to go with
'centric bombast and damnation ahead of you like Rutherford instigated from his
mansion in San Diego and
getting the door to door followers to put it in other
people's faces to provoke them into conflicts and fights. And
tions should refer to what's mostly true, this also basically shows what Ruther-
ford had his followers
contribute during WWII instead of helping the Allies
fight off the Nazis, even in some safer pacifistic way, a point not
lost on the general
"When Jehovah's witnesses make known publicly that it is the purpose
of God, in the near future, at the battle of Armageddon, to destroy all
opposers of his kingdom, that
message greatly disturbs and angers the
dictators and their religious allies."
"All the evidence now strongly points to the fact that Armageddon is
very near and that soon we may witness Satan's defeat and the complete
vindication of Jehovah's name.
That will mean the beginning of endless
joy, peace and life to all creation that love righteousness
and hate ini-
"The signs of the times seem now to clearly show that God's due time to
smite the enemy is very near."
Rutherford wanted it known that very soon God would destroy everybody except
those who agreed with everything
he said (the literal 144,000 and other JWs).
(Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't succumb to pre-
dicting Armageddon soon during
1940 On November 5, Democrat incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Repub-
lican challenger Wendell Willkie
and became the United States' first third-term
1940 On November 14, the city of Coventry in England was destroyed by 500
German Luftwaffe bombers (150,000
fire bombs, 503 tons of high explosives, 130
parachute mines leveled 60,000 of the city's 75,000 buildings; 568 people
killed). On November 16, in response to Germany leveling Coventry two days be-
fore, the Royal Air Force
begins to bomb Hamburg (by war's end, 50,000 Hamburg
residents died from Allied attacks). On December 29, the "Second
Great Fire of
London"; Luftwaffe carried out massive incendiary bombing raid starting 1500
fires. Many famous buildings,
including the Guildhall and Trinity House, were
either damaged or destroyed.
1941 On January 20, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swore in US. President
Franklin D. Roosevelt for
a third term. This was Charles Evans Hughes last
swearing-in of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
March 11, Lend Lease was enacted. The USA supplied the UK (and British
Commonwealth), Free France, the Republic of
China, and later the Soviet Union and other
Allied nations with food, oil, and materiel between 1941 and 1945. This
ships, warplanes, and other weaponry. The aid was generally free although some hard-
as ships) were returned after the war. In return, the USA was given leases
on army and naval bases in Allied territory
during the war. Canada operated a similar
smaller program called Mutual Aid.
1941 On June 22, Hitler began Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union which
at great cost of human life, reversed the fortunes of the Third Reich.
(For example, Germany didn't attain the oil of the
"Feeding the Meatgrinder - The Red Army - WW2 Special" by World War Two (Sept.28,
1941 On July 31, under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann
Göring, orders SS general
Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible
a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures
for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."
1941 On August 9, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at Argen-
tia, Newfoundland. The
Atlantic Charter was created as a result.
1941 On August 18, Adolf Hitler ordered a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's
systematic euthanasia of mentally
ill and handicapped due to protests. However,
graduates of the T-4 Euthanasia Program were then transferred to concentration
where they continued in their trade.
1939 to 1945 The Battle of the Atlantic--USA notably Sept., 1941 onward
"Battle Of The Atlantic | Secrets Of War (WWII Documentary) | Timeline" by
- World History Documentaries
Sept., 1941--The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is first flown in missions
"The de Havilland Mosquito:
Bandit Of The Air | Battlefield Mysteries | War Stories"
1941 Regarding Dan.11: "Today (1941) 'the king of the north' is easily iden-
tified as being represented
in the so-called 'Axis powers' composed of Greater
Germany, Italy, and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, with chief offices
City.... The Bible and historical facts plainly identify "the king of the
south" as the world ruling-power
that claims the right to rule and rules in the
name of Democracy." ("The Watchtower," Sept.15, 1941, p.278)
1941 Rutherford declares that we're living in "The remaining months before
Sept.15, 1941, p.288) (Compare Jan., 1968)
1941 From October 1941 to January 1942 the Soviet army
pushed the Nazis away from
'Battle of Moscow | Animated History" by The Armchair Historian (Sept.29,
1941 "A great famine is certain to afflict the many nations of the earth in
the very near future.
The United States is also in line for much suffering...."
"The United States is faced with world disaster now impending
and about to
fall...." ("The Watchtower," Nov.15, 1941)
1941 Rutherford's last book was called "Children," 1941. "Cartons of Chil-
dren that had been deposited
in The Arena were now opened...."
"Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or
plaything for idle pleasure, but
the Lord's provided instrument for most
effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." (The Watchtower,
I get the picture of Rutherford writing that himself--that's the sad thing.
"Can I put in that the adults in
the stands, with a mixture of sadness and joy,
strained to watch through their tears as the sun glinted off...."
"Armageddon is surely near, and during that time the Lord will clean off
the earth everything that offends and
is disagreeable." "We can well defer our
marriage until lasting peace comes to the earth. Now we must add nothing
burdens, but be free and equipped to serve the Lord." "Eunice, my decision is
made. I shall shun
politics, religion, and commerce, and I shall avoid the
cities." "Our present duty is plain. We must now be
witnesses to the name of
Jehovah." ("Children" by Rutherford, Nov., 1941, p.366)
(Compare the last several listings with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders
didn't succumb to predicting Armageddon
soon during WWII.)
He's in the bedroom, now, he's out of control. Everyone except people who
agree with everything he says
hasn't been killed yet, but Rutherford is still
pitching for the idea. Instead of taking one more belt to the head
the JWs should have thrown this silly little bastard to the front of the door to
1941 On Dec.7, the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack consisting of two
full regiments on the United
States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the Uni-
ted States into World War II. On Dec.8, the U.S., China, and
declared war on Japan. Japan launched invasions in Hong Kong, Malaya, Manila,
"FDR Knew about Pearl Harbor?! - WW2 - Reading Comments" by World War Two (July 22,
"The Code Breakers That Halted The Japanese Invasion | Secrets of War | Timeline"
by Timeline - World History
"Which Minor Country had the DEADLIEST & BRAVEST Soldiers of WW2?" by The Front
"Why The Soviet Union's Overshadowed Atrocities of WW2 Must not be Forgotten" by
The Front (Nov.19,
"Why Japan Got off Easy in WW2 - The HORRIBLE Atrocities of the Japanese Empire" by
The Front (June 6,
"Japan's secret Unit 731 – where biological warfare was conceived | RT Documentary"
by RT Documentary
(Undated) "During the Second World War, Japanese soldiers carried out human
experiments on the Chinese
and Koreans on different parts of the conquered
lands. One of the most infamous troops carrying out such kind of
was Unit 731."
1941 On December 10, the British battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Re-
pulse are sunk
by Japanese aircraft in the South China Sea north of Singapore.
1941 On December 11, Germany declared
war on the United States.
1941 On Dec.11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.; the U.S. declared
war right back at them.
1941 "Finishing Off the Jews in Austria." ("Consolation," Dec.10,1941)
Rutherford didn't like Hitler killing a lot of the Jews in Europe. Then
again, look at the previous listing--he
hoped God killed all of them soon.
1941 "Nowhere in the prophecy does it appear that the 'king of the north',
that is, the 'Axis powers',
shall be victorious in the present war between the
two 'kings', nor does the prophecy indicate that 'the king of the south'
suffer defeat.... All nations composing 'the king of the south' become arbi-
trary and totalitarian....
All admit that regardless of the outcome of the
present war the nations will never return to the former method of rule."
Watchtower," Dec.15, 1941, p.372)
(Later, JWs leaders called communist Russia the King of the North, a stance
which got "prophetically, historically,
and Biblically" screwed up when the
Soviet Union collapsed in Dec., 1991.) ("Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!"
pp.269-281,284; "The Watchtower," Nov. 1, 1993, p.19)
1942 On January 1, the term "United Nations" was first officially used to de-
scribe the Allied pact. (See
the listing for the fall of 1942 below.)
1942 The Battle of Bataan from Jan.1 to April 9.
1942 On Jan.8, the JWs president Rutherford passed away. Nathan H. Knorr
soon took over as the JWs
1942 All official Watchtower literature began being written anonymously,
which has remained the case to
the present. ("Apocalypse Delayed" by M. James
Penton, 1985, p.78)
1942 On February 19, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued United
States Executive Order 9066.
About 120,000 ethnic Japanese people were held in
1942 On June 4 to 7, six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month
after the Battle
of the Coral Sea, there was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater
of World War II--the Battle of Midway. The
U.S. Navy under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz,
Frank J. Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance defeated an attacking fleet of the
Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near
Midway Atoll, inflicting
devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that rendered their
aircraft carriers irreparable.
"145a - Midway, pt.1
- Clash of the Titans - June 5, 1942"
"145c - Midway pt.2 - A New War? - WW2 - June 7, 1942"
Midway Round Two? - World War Two - August 28, 1942" by World War Two
(June 5 and 7, and Aug.28, 2021)
1942 From Aug.23, 1942 to Feb.2, 1943 The Battle Of Stalingrad took place.
"The True HORROR
Of The Battle Of Stalingrad - The Bloodiest Battle Of WW2" by
TheUntoldPast (July 8, 2021)
1942 The Nazis use eugenics "very much like the breeding and raising of live-
stock" and "demons, not men"
do that. ("Consolation," Oct.28, 1942, p.12) Com-
pare Nov.12, 1930.
1942 In the fall of 1942, Nathan Knorr made a speech which served as the
basis for the booklet "Peace--Can
It Last?" Page 21 contains the claims that
"The association of worldly nations will rise again" and "ascend out of
abyss" "(Rev. 17:8) again after the end of the war?" Later JWs leaders' litera-
ture has claimed Knorr made
a successful prophesy in that the League of Nations,
which failed in preventing WWII, would arise again, which came true
formation of the United Nations.
However, p.26 of the booklet shows Knorr also predicted that the peace to
come "will be very short-lived" and
would lead to Armageddon. Things didn't
turn out as his 1943 prophecy predicted, either (see below). (Also
with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't succumb to predicting Armageddon
soon during WWII.)
Various millenarian prophecy-believing Christians were say-
ing things similar to his idea of the return of something like
the League of Na-
tions, even earlier than Knorr did.
The idea of the United Nations appeared when Roosevelt and Churchill led twen-
ty-six nations, including the
Soviet Union and China, in a "Declaration by Uni-
ted Nations" on Jan.1, 1942.
According to the article at the first link below, "The declaration committed
the twenty-six not to cut separate
peace deals with the Nazis and to subscribe
to the principles of the Atlantic Charter for the post-war world. The
provided the political basis for countering Nazi ideology; it caught the imagin-
ation of people around the
world, including the young Nelson Mandela and other
(See the article by Carl Olof Jonnson
at the 4th link below, and see 1944,
1945, 1999, and 2001.)
1942 On October 29, leading clergymen and political figures in the United
Kingdom held a public meeting
to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecu-
tion of Jews.
1942 "The Scriptures give good reason to believe that it shall be shortly be-
fore Armageddon breaks.
In this expectation the house at San Diego, California,
which house has been much publicized with malicious intent by the
my, was built, in 1930, and named 'Beth Sarim,' meaning 'House of Princes.' It
is now held in trust
for the occupancy of those princes on their return. The
most recent facts show that the religionists of this doomed
world are gnashing
their teeth because of the testimony which that 'House of Princes' hears to the
To those religionists and their allies the return of those faithful
men of old to rule with judgment over the people shall
not bring any pleasure.
But to the people whom the angels sang about, 'men of good will,' it shall be an
unbounded jubilation, and they shall rally to the side of those
princely representatives of the kingdom of heaven." ("The
New World," 1942)
(Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't succumb to pre-
dicting Armageddon soon
1943 After 1942, conditions improved for Jehovah’s Witnesses in concentration
camps. SS leaders
used female JWs for domestic help and child care though many
of them had lost the custody of their children.
1943 (date?) JWs leader Knorr's "Consolation" said: "Whole nations like the
Greeks, Poles and Serbs are
being exterminated systematically."
1943 On January 15, the Japanese were driven off Guadalcanal.
1943 On February 11, General Eisenhower was selected to command the allied
armies in Europe.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower came from a JWs family. I would think being a
General would get you disfellowshipped,
though. He kept a close relationship
with his mother anyway, who remained a JW--I say good for them. His father
out of the Bible students decades earlier over Russell's 1914-1915 sil-
liness. Dwight became a Presbyterian in 1953.
1943 On February 18, the Nazis arrested the members of the White Rose move-
1943 On April 18, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who oversaw major engagements including the
attack on Pearl
Harbor and the Battle of Midway, was killed by Operation Vengeance.
"The Secret Mission for Pearl Harbor Revenge
- Operation Vengeance" by Dark Docs
(April 10, 2020)
1943 From July 5 to August 23 German and Soviet forces engaged in the Battle of Kursk,
the last major
offense by the Germans against the Eastern Front of Russia.
1943 "The final war will come as a most sudden and complete surprise...."
"Nevertheless, the appearing
of the 'desolating abomination in the holy place'
is an unerring proof that the unknown day and hour of the beginning of
war is dangerously near." ("The Truth Shall Make you Free, 1943, 1953) (Compare
that with the 1968 claim that
the JWs leaders didn't succumb to predicting Arma-
geddon soon during WWII.)
1943 "In fact, the prophecy does not disclose which one of these 'kings'
shall be victorious in the present
war, but the opinion is here expressed that
neither one will have complete victory. The end of the war will come
about in a
manner somewhat different from what worldly prognosticators say. What this part
of the prophecy does
appear to mean is that, before the 'END', within the mean-
ing of the prophecy, all the nations, including those forming
the 'king of the
south', will take on or become dictatorial governments." ("The Watchtower,"
Aug.1, 1943, p.360)
Mosaic law fans, grab your rocks. OK, don't throw them, but could somebody
tell the babble of Knorrmandy
to shut up?
1944 On Feb.26, filming began for the propoganda film, "The Fuehrer Gives a
Village to the Jews" in Theresienstadt.
1944 (date?) According to Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, SS Chief
Heinrich Himmler often used
the "fanatical faith" of Jehovah's Witnesses as an
example to his own SS troops. In his view, SS men had to have
the same "unshak-
able faith" in the National Socialist ideal and in Adolf Hitler that the Wit-
nesses had in Jehovah.
Only when all SS men believed as fanatically in their
own philosophy would Adolf Hitler's state be permanently secure.
Hoess also described the faith and behavior of several female JWs who worked
as servants of SS officers in Auschwitz:
"The strange thing was that all of them
were convinced that causing suffering to the Jews and killing them was justi-
because their ancestors betrayed God." ("The Commandant of Auschwitz Tes-
tifies," Rudolf Franz Hoess, 1964)
According to Michael Kater, the SS tried to categorize the JWs as a Jewish
organization to bring the persecution
of the Jews to bear on JWs. But Himmler,
in 1944, said the JWs were "intensely anti-Jewish." And Rudolf Hoess,
witz, said JWs let Jews suffer and die "because their forefathers had once be-
trayed Jehovah." However,
Bruno Bettelheim said the JWs anti-Semitism "was a
mild one and took the form that they resented that the Jews denied the
of Christ." (Kater should have used a small "g" for the JWs view of Jesus.)
("Jehovah's Witnesses and
the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics Under Persecu-
tion," James M. Penton. 2004, p.22. Thanks to Google Book Search.)
Bruno Bettelheim, a psychoanalyst and concentration camp survivor, described
the JWs as "very aloof and set apart
from the social life of the camp." ("The
Informed Heart: Autonomy in a Mass Age," 1960, by Bruno Bettelheim)
(For some reason, my tripod site requires that you Copy and Paste the next
link into an Address Bar and press Enter to
get it to work.)
According to the "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust," the JWs in the Nazi prison
camps "refused to cooperate with
other illegal political groups, to try to es-
cape or to rebel against SS...in the end the SS exploited this unusual behavior
the 'Bible Students' for their own benefit. For example, by the orders of
Heinrich Himmler, they were allowed to
gather mushrooms and fruits outside the
camps, because there was no danger of them trying to run away or to attack mem-
of the SS. As a result of this policy change by SS, the conditions of 'Bi-
ble Students' in the camps improved."
(The "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust,"
(For some reason, my tripod site requires that you Copy and Paste
link into an Address Bar and press Enter to get it to work.)
This is how they are described by a Jewish survivor of the concentration
camps: "In the camps in Poland they
did not always behave according to their
teachings. They served the cruel Nazi enemy very well with everything connected
murdering the Jews." ("Face to Face with Nazis–-fighters tell their story,"
published by the "Association of
Invalids of War on Nazism" in cooperation with
1944 The JWs leaders referred to the Allies, the United Nations: "one of the
most positive evidences
that 'the kingdom of heaven is at hand' and that the end
of the world arrangement is now near. Jesus foretold the
setting up of that an-
ti-Christ organization." ("The Kingdom Is at Hand," 1944) (See 1942, 1945,
1999, and 2001)
(Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't
succumb to predicting Armageddon soon during WWII.)
1944 On June 6, the Battle of Normandy, D-Day, began.
1944 On July 21, the Battle of Guam began. Two American divisions fought for
a month to retake the
island of Guam from the Japanese.
1944 "2,000,000 Slain at Treblinka." ("Consolation," June 21, 1944, p.21)
1944 On August 1, 1944, General Patton took command of the Third Army.
1944 Sept.18 to 29 "Shermans vs Panthers: How Patton's Third Army Crushed Hitler's
Best Panzers? |
Battle of Arracourt" by FactBytes (July 16, 2021)
1944 On Nov.7, Franklin D. Roosevelt won reelection over Republican challeng-
er Thomas E. Dewey to become
the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth
1944 In Nov., Japan began releasing fire balloons that carried bombs to the
United States. A similar
operation, which ended in Sept., been conducted by En-
gland to send balloons with bombs to Germany.
1944 On Dec.16, Germany began the Ardennes offensive, later to become known
as the Battle of the Bulge.
(GTW note: that's where my uncle Russell Glen True
1944 On Dec.22, Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the U.S.
forces defending Bastogne,
refuses to accept demands for surrender by sending a
one-word reply to the German command: "Nuts!"
1945 On Jan.16, Adolf Hitler moved into his underground bunker, the so-called
Führerbunker. On January
17, Nazis began to evacuate from Auschwitz concentra-
tion camp. (Undated): American troops crossed The Siegfried
Line into Germany.
1945 On Feb.4, WWII: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom Winston
Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin began the Yalta
Conference (ended February 11).
1945 In Feb., the Manila Massacre by the retreating Japanese army kills at
least 100,000 civilians.
1945 On Feb.19, about 30,000 United States Marines landed on Iwo Jima start-
ing the battle.
1945 "Terrible Plight of Hungarian Jews." ("Consolation," Feb.28, 1945, pp.
1945 On April 12, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-
1945) died suddenly at Warm
Springs, Georgia; Vice President Harry S. Truman
(1945-1953) became the 33rd President. On April 28, Italian dictator
Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as
they attempted to flee the country.
Their bodies were then hung by their heels
in the public square of Milan.
1945 On April 30, Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, committed
suicide as Red Army approached
the Führerbunker in Berlin. Karl Dönitz suc-
ceeded Hitler as President of Germany. Joseph Goebbels succeeded
Chancellor of Germany. On May 1, Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide
after killing their 6 children.
Karl Dönitz appoints Count Lutz Schwerin von
Krosigk as the new Chancellor of Germany.
1945 May "What Happened when Tired & Enraged Allied Armies Started Discovering
Camps in WW2" by The Front (March 11, 2021)
“Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down
the road of history
some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.” - Dwight
D. Eisenhower (actual quote? He
possibly just said something like it.)
1945 On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.
1945 On June 1, 1945, the medical use of blood transfusions were banned for
(Earlier publications taught JWs not to eat blood, but
this doctrine didn't come about till after transfusions became popular
as a way
non-JWs helped each other during WW II. (See p.11.)
1945 On Aug.6, 1945, President Truman had a nuclear weapon dropped on Hiro-
shima, and on Aug.9 one was
detonated over Nagasaki in Japan.
1945 On Aug.15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.
Operation Downfall--proposed Allied plan for the invasion of the Japanese Home
Islands. Canceled after
the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945
"Operation Downfall: The Allies Secret Plan To Invade Japan | Secrets Of War |
Timeline" by Timeline - World History Documentaries
Amerikabomber--the Nazi Plan To Bomb NY A 1998 film feat. Wernher von Braun, the
Horten brothers, and
Eugen Sänger Dreamtimeent (Nov.18, 2020)
1945 "Propagandists think the people have short memories. It is their intention
to erase past history,
presenting themselves in the modern disguise of benefac-
tors, their incriminating record being covered up." ("Consolation,"
1945 According to Wikipedia, after the League of Nations failed to prevent
WWII, "it was decided in 1945
at the Yalta Conference, to create a new body to
supplant the League's role. This body was to be the United Nations."
1945, the United Nations was founded "at the signing of the United Nations Char-
ter by 50 countries, replacing
the League of Nations, founded in 1919. The UN
was founded after the end of World War II by the victorious Allied
Powers in the
hope that it would act to intervene in conflicts between nations and thereby
avoid war." (See 1942,
1944, 1999, and 2001.)
1945 On Nov.20, the first of the Nuremberg Trials against 24 Nazi war crimin-
als of World War II started
at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice.
http://en.April 29, 1946--International Military Tribunal for the Far East
Convened on April 29, 1946 and adjourned
on November 12, 1948
"Tokyo War Trials - Japan's Nuremberg Trial" by TheUntoldPast
April 29, 1946--International Military Tribunal for the Far East
Convened on April 29, 1946 and adjourned
on November 12, 1948
"Tokyo War Trials - Japan's Nuremberg Trial" by TheUntoldPast
1946 A year after WW II, the late Rutherford's book "Let God Be True," used
for the next eight years to
make converts, blamed the Jews for much of the Jews
"Much of their suffering has been brought upon themselves by their com-
rebellious course of action. They will ever be a target of assault
by Satan and his agents until Armageddon
cleanses the earth of all opposers
of Messiah-Christ. Therefore, their only hope is to accept Jehovah's
siah, Christ Jesus, and come under the protection of his kingdom."
("Let God Be True,"
J.A. Rutherford, 1946 edition, p.209--omitted in the re-
vised 1952 edition)
JWs leaders have a way with irony sometimes. The problems of the JWs follow-
ers in Nazi Germany were
largely brought on by the bogus prophet routine of
their own leader, Rutherford, a highlight being when he threatened Hitler
he'd send the followers door to door with tracts critical of Hitler.
Rutherford didn't just drop Russell's Christian Zionism, he refuted Rus-
sell's prediction about 144,000
Jews in a restored Palestine and predicted that
there wouldn't be a Jewish nation (we now know as Israel):
"The facts and prophecies prove that the natural Jews will never again
a chosen, regathered people. They have as a people flagrantly rejected
the Messiah, his truth
and his kingdom. It is a false hope that they must
be regathered to Palestine and be converted
in mass to Jesus Christ prior
to his second coming as a sign of the early establishment of his kingdom."
"Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics Under Persecu-
tion," James M. Penton, 2004, p.31
I guess sympathy for persecution can be a transient thing.
1946 "The disaster of Armageddon, greater than that which befell Sodom and
Gomorrah, is at the door." ("Let
God Be True," 1946, p.194)
(Compare that with the 1968 claim that the JWs leaders didn't succumb to pre-
dicting Armageddon soon during
WWII. They did it every year of WWII and were
still going strong right afterward.)
The second edition, 1952, on p.218, adds: "Israel's applying for admission
into the United Nations and her accepting
membership in that worldly body which
assumes to take the place of Messiah's rule is a flat rejection of God's kingdom
the heavens. The remant of spiritual Israelites, as Jehovah's witnesses,
have proclaimed world-wide the establishment
of God's kingdom in 1914. But
again, as natural Israel did nineteen centuries ago, it has rejected its true
Jesus Christ, and has declared it has no king but Caesar. So again
Jesus the King will refuse to give them a special
sign for their mass conversion
in Palestine to him. Therefore let individual Jews open their eyes of under-
to behold the great composite sign which Jesus foretold betokening this
world's end, and let them join the great flock
of 'other sheep' which now seeks
refuge under his kingdom. That way they will be gathered into 'one flock' under
shephard' and be restored to divine favor and gain eternal life in the new
world.--John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17." ("Let
God Be True," 1952, p.218)
At the next link try Edit > Find on this page > Jew
1948 The State of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948, and it was admitted
as a member of the United
Nations on May 11, 1949.
East Germany--the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokrat-
ische Republik, DDR)--was formed
on October 7, 1949 from the Soviet Zone, was
socialist, and existed from 1949 to 1990.
Between 1945 and 1961 2.5 to 3 million, about a sixth of the GDR population,
left. After the Berlin Wall
was erected on August 13, 1961, thousands made the
dangerous effort to leave.
In Oct., 1949, there were between 12,000 (average) and 17,000 (peak) Jehovah’s
Witnesses in East Germany.
As during the reign of Nazi Germany, JWs leaders Knorr then Franz continued
Rutherford's version of Rom.13 and
expanded stances about worldliness and gov-
ernment (the government isn't generally good and to be obeyed unless it calls
you to sin, but is something worldly to not take part in, even Satanic), which
caused the JWs to be considered hostile
by the East German government.
1950 On Aug.31, the GDR Minister of the Interior, Dr. Steinhoff, had the JWs
removed from the list of authorized
religious organizations and banned. It was
accused of "systematic agitation against the existing democratic order
laws" as well as espionage. Until the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, Watch
Tower literature reached
the GDR via West Berlin.
From 1950 to 1961, the GDR authorities arrested 3,006 JWs, of which 2,170 (in-
cluding 641 women) received prison
sentences of an average of 5.7 years and fif-
teen recieved a life sentence. Judgments declined after 1961.
At least 250 of the JWs who were imprisoned, mostly in the 50s, had been in-
carcerated under Nazi National Socialism.
Between 1945 and 1990, presumably (status Aug., 1998) over 5,000 JWs were im-
prisoned in penitentiaries and
work camps. Of them, at least 57 (43 men and 14
women) died in prison or from the consequences of imprisonment, abuse,
malnutrition, and old age. ("Chronology: Development and Persecution of Jeho-
vah's Witnesses" by Hans-Hermann
Dirksen, Jürgen Harder, Hans Hesse, and Jo-
1952 The JWs leaders' published a long article which, while describing segre-
gation in the U.S. as evil,
seems meant to reassure whoever of the more preju-
diced white people of the 1950's that the JWs leaders wouldn't give
trouble by motivating any effort against it. In that regard, it seems like an
update to Rutherford's
Declaration of Facts and related letter to Hitler, in
which Rutherford admitted some theological distinction from the mainstream
but was meant to appease Hitler that he wouldn't cause Hitler any trouble.
The main objection given is that white people's lives could be put at danger
entering black communities or that
it would incite mob violence and risk lives
to buck the segregation laws.
"Why do we tolerate the segregation laws and policies of certain governments
and organizations of this world?
Because Jehovah has not commissioned us to con-
vert the world, which is wicked beyond recovery and hence will be destroyed.
has commissioned us to preach the gospel. Now what should we do? Drop
preaching to fight racial issues?
We never have separate meetings and baptisms
when we can have them together. But when impossible, shall we have separate
and baptisms, or none at all? Shall we serve spiritual food to all,
even if separately, or serve it to none?
Shall we provide baptism for all, even
if separately, or provide it for none? Should we buck Caesar’s segregation
when they do not force us to violate God’s laws? God does not forbid sep-
arate assembly and baptism, and he
commands assembly and baptism. (Matt. 28:19;
Heb. 10:25) So should we disobey God to fight a racial issue?
To buck the seg-
regation laws would bring on disruption of the witness work, halting of it, mob
violence, and possible
loss of life. Only laws prohibiting gospel-preaching
will we buck at that price."
"Some may argue segregation is prohibited by God, citing Galatians 3:28 (NW):
'There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor freeman, there is
neither male nor female; for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.'
Paul spoke in a spiritual sense and not in a literal, physical sense is obvious,
since actually there were male
and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek. Be-
cause of the existence of Jew and Greek he specially accommodated
his preaching to such classes. (1 Cor. 9:19-22) His recognition of slave and
freeman we will consider
in more detail, since it bears directly on segregation.
How so? Because segregation is rooted in slavery, is the outgrowth
of slavery. Segregation, the stain left by slavery, is a lesser evil than slav-
ery. So if
the Bible does not instruct Christians to fight slavery it would not
sanction them to battle the lesser evil of segregation,
at the expense of gos-
pel-preaching." ("The Watchtower," Feb.1, 1952, p.95)
The JWs article both brings up scripture about there being no racial distinc-
tion in Christianity and rationalizes
that Paul tended to differences regarding
ones who did and didn't follow Mosaic law. Those differences were theological,
racial, practical concerns in leading a Christian view that branched from
Judaism, though--they make no concession to people
being 'centric about race.
As Paul is quoted as saying, dealing pragmatically with slavery being the law
of the Roman Empire of the time,
a slave should try to be free (if legally pos-
sible). The democratic system of the U.S. created greater legal possibility
challenging existing laws for ethical change for the better, and you don't do
that and try to create freedom by
accepting the status quo.
In their usual overdone stance of worldliness and what's ruled over by Satan,
the JWs leaders even charged that
efforts to change segregation (like Martin Lu-
ther King's efforts soon afterward) were Satanic. (This reminds me
bragging that it was a badge of honor for Nixon to put them on his enemy list.)
"Jehovah is no respecter of persons. Neither are his people. But the world
in which we live is.
Whites are prejudiced against colored, colored are preju-
diced against whites. In some colored communities after
nightfall a white per-
son would enter at the risk of his very life. To justify this on the grounds
that the whites
started the discrimination is not Scriptural. (Rom. 12:17) Now,
where the danger is extreme should white persons
enter these hostile communi-
ties and suffer beating and possibly death to prove they have a democratic right
there? Should a white witness endanger his life to attend a meeting of
colored witnesses in such places, or stay
overnight with his colored brothers
there, just to prove his democratic right to do so?"
"Many colored persons practice color-prejudice against their own people.
Lighter-colored Negroes will shun the
darker ones. Some from the Western Hemi-
sphere look down upon the very dark ones from Africa. In South Africa,
discriminate against the mixed coloreds, the mixed coloreds against the native
blacks, the native blacks against
the Indian coolies, and in their native India
the Indians discriminate against the no caste or outcasts. Who is innocent
throw the first stone? Can we not see that all classes of the human race are
evil, that if we start reforming
we shall be lost in an impossible task, with
endless discriminations and many varieties or injustices to beat down, which
social and political organizations of this world have hopelessly
fought for years? For us to become like them would be
to fail with them, con-
sume our time in such reforms, lose out as Jehovah’s witnesses, and please only
"So let us please God by preaching the gospel despite the undesirable condi-
tions the Devil’s world may
make for us. Let us not be sidetracked by Satan and
caught in a subtle snare camouflaged in lofty motives and ideals.
Can we not
wait upon Jehovah to avenge the wrongs we suffer now? Really, our colored
brothers have great cause
for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and
from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase.
What if the worldly
wise and powerful and noble look down on them as foolish and weak and ignoble,
not on an equality
with self-exalted whites? It is to God’s ultimate honor, for
he confounds the wise of this world by choosing
those the world considers fool-
ish and weak and ignoble. Let us boast in Jehovah and in our equality in his
rather than wanting to boast in equality in the world’s sight. (1 Cor. 1:
26-31, NW) In due time the exalted
ones will be humbled, and the humble ones
will be exalted. (Matt. 23:12) All of us await this vindication from God,
will come in his due time. Until then, as Paul advised concerning slavery we
advise concerning its lingering
trace, segregation: 'Do not let it worry you.'
(1 Cor. 7:21, NW) When possible we will meet together, when not possible
will meet separately; but in either event we are always united in spirit, broth-
ers equal in our own sight, in Christ’s
sight, and in God’s sight." ("The Watch-
tower," Feb.1, 1952, p.95)
I should add that, as with slavery in Mosaic law, Paul, living in the Roman
Empire in which slavery was also
the law of the land, at the least taught to
temper the understanding of it with an understanding of treating others as
want to be treated yourself, be kind, etc., in how he sent a slave, now con-
verted to Christianity, back to the
slave owner with a note for the slave owner.
It's not clear beyond that if that slave was set free.
"If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. But if he has
wronged you in any way or owes
you anything, charge that to my account; I, Paul,
am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it not to mention to you
owe to me even your own self as well)." (Philemon 1:17-19, NASB)
I should also add that the JWs leaders just gave the first part of 1 Cor.7:21
and the second part is pertinent
to the subject:
"Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able
also to become free, rather
do that." (1 Cor.7:21, NASB)
"For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman;
likewise he who was called while free,
is Christ's slave. You were bought with a
price; do not become slaves of men." (1 Cor.7:22,23)
The JWs leaders were delinguent in regard to Paul's advice to rather try to be
free which found greater possibilties
in the legal situation in the U.S. of the
1950's in a country with a non-violent civil rights movement. The problem
from 'centric ethnic outlooks which caused harsh disparity in education between
races and less potential for
black people to make what they wanted with their
lives. There was scriptural guidance for a moral imperative to change
better beyond just realizing that people of different races could find salvation
from faith in God (Num.12;
Luke 6:31; 10:27, others).
"and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of
the earth, having determined their
appointed times and the boundaries of their
habitation." (Acts 17:26, NASB)
"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." (Luke 6:31, NASB)
"And he answered, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND
WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL
YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Luke 10:27, NASB)
1 Timothy 1:8-11: slave traders are listed among law breakers.
A defense of the JWs leaders (all white till adding one black man to the Gov-
erning Body in recent years) might
point to however unfortunately common the
selfish lack of motivation to end racial inequity was. But my focus is
at the JWs leaders' claim of being of an especially righteous "144,000," and you
want to see some show of eternal
Godly wisdom for an elitist claim like that.
They dropped the ball pretty clearly on this one. They acted not only
ately common, but discouraged efforts to make things right, accusing people who
did that of being "sidetracked
1952 "We might wonder, then, since this congregation which God is developing
or bringing into existence
is based on love, why anyone should ever want to talk
about disfellowshipping or putting people out of this congregation.
tainly must be some reason. Well, the reason for disfellowshipping is that some
persons get into this
congregation of God that do not love Christ." "Those who
are acquainted with the situation in the congregation should
never say ‘Hello’
or ‘Goodbye’ to him. He is not welcome in our midst, we avoid him."
individual has no place in the clean organization or congregation of God. He
should go back to the wicked
group that he once came from and die with that
wicked group with Satan’s organization." ("The Watchtower, March 1,
1956 "Jewish persecution throughout the centuries is such a towering tragedy
that the mind cannot fully
comprehend it. Since it was engaged in primarily by
confessed Christians, it is no wonder that many Jews feel an
anything claiming to be Christian.
"The persecutions the Jews suffered bear grim testimony to the accuracy of the
Biblical warning as to what the
Jews could expect if they went contrary to their
maker, Jehovah God. (Leviticus 26:14-33) At the same time it should
them with the need of putting their trust, not in silver and gold, nor in men
and human agencies, but solely
in Jehovah God." ("Awake!" Dec.,22, 1956, p.20)
The JWs leaders' last statement gives with one hand while taking away with the
other. It basically advises
followers to not be bigoted about Jewish people
while it panders to the bigoted ideas of greedy Jewish people characterized
Shylocks who are trying to take over the world, as "worldly" people bringing bad
things onto themselves for being
Chist killers, etc.
1960 Former Governing Body member of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
Raymond Franz released the
book "Crisis of Conscience," 1983. The "strong, un-
yielding statements" he refers to below are rules by the JWs
leaders used to
handle the problems of JWs in Malawi in 1964 (described in a listing below)
which were in contradiction
to their rules used to handle the problems of JWs
in Mexico. Their rules about the JWs' political problems in Mexico
decided by the JWs leaders in 1960:
"What I find amazing is that at the same time these strong, unyielding
were made those making them were aware of the situation in Mex-
ico. When I supplied each member of
the Governing Body with a copy of the
survey of Branch Committee reports on alternative service, I included
terial sent in by the Branch Committee of Mexico. It included this por-
with the 'Identity Cartilla for Military Service.
("Cartilla" means a certificate.)
[The letters are printed in the book]
"Put briefly, in Mexico men of draft age are required to undergo a speci-
period of military training during a period of one year. Upon regis-
tration the registrant receives
a certificate or 'cartilla' with places for
noting down attendance at weekly military instruction classes.
It is ille-
gal and punishable for any official to fill in this attendance record if
has not actually attended. But officials can be bribed to
do so and many men in Mexico do this.
According to the Branch Office Com-
mittee this is also a common practice among Jehovah’s Witnesses
[Letters from the Mexican Branch to the New York Headquarters and New York
to Mexican Branch
about the bribery practice show that the Governing Body
in Brooklyn knew of the practice and approved of it.]
"Four years after that counsel was given to Mexico the first eruption of
attacks against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Malawi took place (1964) and
the issue of paying for a party
card arose. The position taken by the Ma-
lawi Branch Office was that to do so would be a violation
of Christian neu-
trality, a compromise unworthy of a genuine Christian. The world headquar-
ters knew that this was the position taken. The violence subsided after a
while and then broke out again
in 1967, so fiercely that thousands of Wit-
nesses were driven into flight from their homeland. The
reports of horri-
ble atrocities in increasing number came flooding in to the world headquar-
"What effect did it have on them and on their consciences as regards the
taken in Mexico? In Malawi Witnesses were being beaten and tor-
tured, women were being raped, homes
and fields were being destroyed, and
entire families were fleeing to other countries--determined to hold to
organization’s stand that to pay for a party card would be a morally trai-
act. At the same time, in Mexico, Witness men were bribing military
officials to complete a certificate
falsely stating that they had fulfilled
their military service obligations, and when they went to the Branch
fice, the staff there followed the Society’s counsel and said nothing to
in any way that this practice was inconsistent with organizational
standards or the principals of God’s
Word. Knowing this, how were those in
the position of highest authority in the organization affected?
[Letters from the Mexican Branch to New York and from New York to the Mex-
ican Branch show
the Mexican JWs asked if the bribery practice should con-
tinue and Brooklyn saw no reason to change the practice.]
"What makes all this so utterly incredible is that the organization’s po-
sition on membership in the military has always been identical to its posi-
tion on membership in a 'political'
organization. In both cases any Wit-
ness who enters such membership is automatically viewed as 'disassociated.'
Yet the Mexico Branch Committee had made crystal clear that all these Wit-
nesses who had obtained the completed
certificate of military service (by
means of a bribe) were now placed in the first reserve of the military.
The Witnesses in Malawi risked life and limb, homes and lands, to adhere to
the stance adopted by the organization
for their country. In Mexico there
was no such risk involved, yet a policy of the utmost leniency was
There, Witness men could be members of the first reserves of the army and
Circuit or District Overseers, members of the Bethel family! The re-
port from the Branch Committee makes
this clear (as well as showing how com-
mon the practice of bribing to get the certificate was among the Wit-
nesses)." ("Crisis of Conscience," Raymond Franz, 1983, pp.117,119,123-126)
Again, I call attention to the JWs leaders' claim of being of an exclusive
144,000, their efforts to make a pretension
of it with unnecessarily expanded
ideas about what "worldly" means, and how this has led JWs into harmful situa-
that could have been handled differently. (This same posturing has led to
the JWs leaders' rulings about the medical
uses of blood which has led to other
See the listing for 1968 for more about the way the JWs leaders guided things
1962 The higher powers of Rom.13:1-8 are again called worldly governments by
the JWs leaders. ("The
Watchtower," Nov.15, 1962). (Compare June 1 and 15,
1963 The persecution of JWs in WWII was "...a horrible Nazi persecution of
worse than that of the Jews." ("Babylon the Great Has
Fallen! God’s Kingdom Rules!" 1963, pp.549-550)
I can see the JWs leaders trying to get away with lying about obscure things,
but that's just dumb.
1963 "One tantalizing instance of this occurred when Pope Pius XI of Vatican
City, who was a Concordat
partner of dictators Mussolini and Hitler, proclaimed
1933 to be a holy year. When he inaugurated it on April 2,
he held out hopes of
peace and prosperity as a result of observing that year as holy. In quick suc-
the startling broadcast on April 23, 1933, over 55 radio stations,
with WBBR of Staten Island, New York, as the key station.
This hour's address
by President Rutherford of the Watch Tower Society was on the subject 'Effect of
Holy Year on Peace
and Prosperity.' This expose of Holy Year was transcribed on
phonograph records, and a broadcasting of these was
made on the following June
25 over 158 radio stations. Among other things, the president's speech said:
"...With all kindness and sincerity I remind you who listened to the 'Holy
Hour Service' held in New York on
the 2d of April that the name of man was there
exalted by frequently using and applying to men such terms as 'Holy Father,'
Eminence,' and 'Your Excellency'; whereas the name of Jehovah God, His
King and His kingdom were not mentioned at all.
No reference was made to God's
expressed purpose of dealing with the human race by and through His kingdom....
"The act of declaring this a 'holy year' for the bringing in of peace and
prosperity is a presumptuous sin before
Almighty God. No man or company of men
are running Jehovah's business so as to enable them to 'change times and laws,'
it is so stated in Daniel 7:25....
"... Peace and prosperity cannot be brought to the earth by men, but will come
by God's kingdom under Christ.
"-The Golden Age, as of May 10, 1933, pages 483-490.
"By the events of history since then, let all readers judge whether the Watch
Tower president spoke the truth
or not. Let them verify by authentic recorded
history whether the idolized 'sun' of this old world ceased from its
heat after the 'holy year' of 1933. Informed persons know that in that same
year Hitler became dictator
of Nazi Germany, a horrible Nazi persecution of Je-
hovah's witnesses, worse than that on the Jews, began, and in that
League of Nations was scuttled by the Nazi-Fascist Axis Powers and the gory
World War II was launched by
these. Finally came the exploding of atomic bombs
on the 'heathen' member of the Axis Powers. Then the hydrogen
bomb was in-
vented. We face nuclear war!
"Jehovah's witnesses could not be killed of by Nazism, Fascism and Catholic
Action or by World War II.
The more they kept growing in numbers and spreading
the Kingdom message and establishing new congregations, the more the
men kept blaspheming the 'name of God.' To this day it is true that 'they did
not repent so as to give
glory to him.' (Revelation 16:9) Unquestionably they
feel the effects of the pouring out of the fourth plague." ("Babylon
Has Fallen!--God's Kingdom Rules!" pp.549,550)
Persecution worse than suffered by over 6,000,000 Jews? Regarding the
"144,000"-centric bashing of Pope
Pius XI, see the July 20 listing for 1933.
Again, the blame for the deaths of JWs in Germany is shifted away from Ruther-
phony prophet act, therefore pretentiously exclusive rules about worldli-
ness, leading him to make an over-indulgent,
fatally reckless threat to Hitler
to attack him with tracts of Rutherford propaganda distributed by unarmed JWs in
The inflexible 1963 JWs leaders continued to propagandize the correctness of
their 144,000-'centric claim of
exclusive righteousness, weak faith about what
"worldliness" means, and bashing of others. They were about to drive
lowers into another equally inflexible government leader.
1964 According to the articles at the next links, the JWs in Malawi refused
to salute the flag, to
buy $.25 membership cards in Malawi’s Congress Party, or
buy and wear badges with the picture of the President--Dr.
H. Kamuzu Banda. Dr.
Banda ran a brutal government with a cult of personality and harsh treatment for
There were waves of persecution in 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1975.
JWs' activities were outlawed, but JWs continued to go door
to door. Soldiers
put about 1/3rd of 12,000 to 15,000 JWs in prison camps. Without police protec-
JWs' homes were burned, many were beaten and raped, and many fled to, and
several hundred died in, an inadequate Zambia
refugee camp. (See 1960.)
I'll add that you don't get the story right unless you add that the JW leaders
through this period played prophet
and still required the outlook that involve-
ment in government is too worldly (except regarding the Identity Cartilla
Military Service in Mexico--see 1960). As with Rutherford's way of handling
Hitler, or Popoff wearing his
radio transmitter and tellin followers they were
healed and should throw their nitroglycerin tablets and insulin away,
it was es-
pecially cynical to maintain the pretension inconsiderate of the fatalities pos-
sible. Maybe the flock
would otherwise have worn the dumb badges, spread the
word of scripture, and in private said what a jerk Banda was.
But my criticism
is for the leaders--another combination of cynical government leader and cynical
JWs leaders with the
flock bearing the brunt of it.
1968 "During World War I God's people expected it to lead directly into Arma-
geddon, but Jehovah prevented
such a climax at that time. We didn't succumb to
such an expectation during World War II." ("Kingdom Ministry," Jan.,1968,
(Compare that with the listings for the WWII years above and at the next
1968 The JWs leaders' own report about the tragedies in Malawi (see 1960),
partly the result of their inflexible
stance on their own 144,000 status and
their rules about worldliness:
"In one place a number of these Christians were beaten unconscious and one of
them placed on top of a pile of
wood, which was then set afire, all at the in-
stigation of a member of Malawi’s parliament. But then this
politician began to
have second thoughts about the matter and so had the unconscious Christian hur-
riedly pulled off
"In another place one night a group of these Christians was awakened by Con-
gress Party officials. The
men were beaten and slashed with sticks and pangas
[machetes] and then were forced to look on while ten of their women
Two of the women were pregnant, one of whom later had a miscarriage as a result.
"Late in October a large number of Christian women from the Mlanje area were
assaulted and raped, and on October
25, 1967, a fifteen-year-old girl at Mkuwila
Village, because of refusing to compromise her religious convictions, was
to a tree and raped six times. How sadistic these persecutors were can be seen
from the fact that they even
forced a wooden plug into one Christian woman.
"This shocking persecution has sent many of these Christians to hospitals, and
at least five of them were killed
up to the end of November 1967. Hundreds have
fled to the bush wilderness for safety while literally thousands of
taken refuge in the neighboring Portuguese province of Mozambique, where they
have been provided with food
"Why the Persecution? Since this is the way the witnesses of Jehovah conduct
themselves, why, then, all
this violent persecution of them in Malawi? One of
the main reasons is that the Witnesses refuse to buy membership
cards in Malaw-
i’s Congress Party as well as refuse to buy and wear badges with the picture of
of Malawi, Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda. Other religious organizations,
Catholic, Protestant and Moslem, have all yielded
to pressure in these respects,
but Jehovah’s witnesses have not. Why? Because of their strictly adhering
the Word of God.
"As Christian witnesses of Jehovah they follow the example of the Son of God,
Jesus Christ, who kept free from
the politics of his day. He said that his fol-
lowers were 'no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.'
16) And before the Roman political ruler of Judea, Pontius Pilate, he testi-
fied: 'My kingdom is no
part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this
world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered
up to the
Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.' (John 18:36) Previ-
ously, when the
Jews wanted to seize him to make him king, he eluded them and
retreated alone into a mountain.—John 6:15."
"Yes, Jesus preached and gave his allegiance to 'the kingdom of the heavens,'
'the kingdom of God.' Following
Jesus’ footsteps as sincerely dedicated Chris-
tians, Jehovah’s witnesses have no alternative but to keep separate,
spot from the world.' Since they can give their allegiance only to Jehovah God
and his kingdom, they
feel obligated to refrain from participating in any action
that gives such devotion to political leaders. So they
remain neutral as to the
political affairs of Malawi, even as they do regarding the political affairs of
land in which they happen to live. It is because of this Christian
neutrality that they are being persecuted in Malawi.—Matt.
4:17; Mark 1:15; Jas.
1:27." ("The Watchtower," Feb.1, 1968, from an article on pp.17-19)
Jesus meant he was bringing a way to go to the kingdom of heaven, not a way to
fight to have the Jews control
Israel. The "world" refers to whoever doesn't
believe in God or His rules to not sin. Beyond those things,
the political neu-
trality the JWs leaders wrote about may be someone's personal opinion, but they
were playing prophet
to require it from others for salvation. Jesus didn't mean
the JWs followers should have to go through cruelty in
Malawi for the cynical
elitist pretensions of the JWs leaders.
1975 "The blame for the mass murder of Jews, however, does not rest with
Christianity. It rests with
Christendom and her churches. The reason for the
holocaust is plain: Christendom's clergy and their flocks abandoned
ings of the Bible and of Christ Jesus in favor of supporting the political
state. Centuries of history
show that this is by no means the first time they
have done so.
"By contrast, thousands of European Jews can testify that one religious group
in Germany underwent persecution
equal to that heaped upon the Jews: Jehovah's
witnesses. Hundreds of these died in concentration camps. They
cause of insisting on holding to and practicing true Christianity rather than
worship of the State." ("The
Watchtower," May 15th, 1975, p.294)
Translation from JWs leaders'-ese: the JWs leaders claim to create the only
Christianity and those of all other
branches that claim to be Christian are
false, unchristian, only political, and caused the holocaust; that the JWs fol-
that died in Nazi Germany died from a persecution that was equal to that
of the Jews, and it was due to being committed
to the one true Christianity--
that of the JWs leaders (Rutherford's).
- the JWs leaders' cynical centric claim of being of a literal "144,000" is
meant to be established by rules
so exclusive that they need to use falsehoods
to make them appear to be guaranteed (pp.1a,7-10,12-42),
- many Christians and Jews know racism is a form of centric selfishness that
causes one to bash another whole
group, a selfishness indulged in despite and in
contradiction to the scriptures, and many of the statements about either
by the JWs leaders are further examples of it,
- involvement in government isn't unscriptural as a blanket rule any more than
that Satan is the god of this
system of things is or the combination of Rom.13:
1-5 and 2 Corinthians 4:3,4 would mean Christians should thank Satan
ing sin through governments; and the JWs leaders' ban on government employment
is nothing more than part
of their 144,000 elitism,
- generalizations should refer to what's mostly true, and most Christians and
Jews did what was effective, even
giving their lives, to defend against the Nazi
onslaught, and the JWs leaders made sure no JWs could do much more than
go to a
dangerously extreme degree to sell JWs leaders' literature,
- and the first responsibility for how the JWs followers were guided unwisely,
even fatally, with inflexible
expanded rules about worldliness and elitism that
procluded involvement in underground Christian efforts against the Nazis,
rather sent defenseless followers with overt damnation about all others, damna-
tion built on childish exclusive
overblown ideas about scriptures and govern-
ment, into what would have to be harms way with no motive more apparent than
garner more worldly gain for the leader that sent them, isn't Christ's but Ruth-
erford's (German JW Erich Frost
ratting about the identities of German JWs ser-
vice directors, and whatever ratting that may have led to, didn't help).
1975 "To this day the natural circumcised Jews are suffering the sad conse-
quences from the works of darkness
that were done within their nation nineteen
hundred years ago. This illustrates what can happen to a whole nation
comes under the influence of that unseen superhuman intelligence, Satan the Dev-
il." ("The Watchtower," Nov.1,
1978 Fred Franz became the 4th Watchtower president.
1980 The fool's gold rule: have the pot call the kettle "the pan calling the
pot black." The thought
to keep in mind while reading the next part is that
both the Watchtower and the Roman Catholic Church take in a lot of
while the RCC has a history of charity, the WT mainly recommends that JWs help
"SHARING RICHES WITH THE POOR
"Perhaps the dominant appeals of the pope during his American visit were to
reject materialism and to share with
the poor. A few hours after lecturing the
United Nations on this matter, he told an audience of some 80,000 at New York's
Stadium: 'We must find a simple way of living. For it is not right that
the standard of living of the rich countries should
seek to maintain itself by
draining off a great part of the reserves of energy and raw materials that are
meant to serve
the whole of humanity.'
"However, what effect do you suppose those words have when coming from a man
clad in royal robes, who rides around
in beautiful limousines and lives in con-
siderable luxury? Bishop Mariano Gaviola, secretary-general of the 1970 Bishops
of the Philippines, gave some idea as he noted: 'When the bishops
[and we can add, the pope] condemn graft and corruption
in the government or
speak against the misuse of wealth, some people wonder whether it is not a case
of the pan calling
the pot black.'
"But will the Church follow this proposal? Will it practice sharing its wealth
with the poor, as the pope advised
the rich nations to do? It has not been in-
clined to do this in the past; whether it yet will do so remains to be seen.
"However, the really important question is not: Will the Church practice what
the pope preached? Rather, it is:
Will it practice what the Bible teaches?
("The Watchtower," Jan.1, 1980, pp.6,7, "Will the Church Practice What the Pope
1981 "Sexual Conduct… concerning the marriage bed, individuals can, however,
be advised that in their
intimate relations, as in all other aspects of Chris-
tian life, they need to… have a hatred for all perverted practices
homosexuality, bestiality, oral sex and the like (Lev. 18:22,23; Ps. 97:10; Amos
5:15; Rom. 12:9; Eph. 5:3,10-12;
Col. 3:5,6) Persons should be urged to act in
such a way as to leave them with a clean conscience, and the marriage bed
filed. (Heb. 13:4)" ("Kingdom Ministry School Textbook," 1981, p.151)
1982 "Was God really their father? Did God accept their form of religion?
Not at all!" Jews
are "from their father the Devil, and they wish to do his
desires." The Jewish religion "served the interest of the
Devil" and the Jews
"were on the way to destruction." ("You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth,"
1989 In a JWs leaders' "Awake!" under the heading "The Holocaust--victims or
martyrs?": "all those who
suffered as a result of the Holocaust were victims,
but only a minority were truly martyrs." The Jews, Poles, Russians
ians were victims, "But the case of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' in Europe was differ-
ent." The tract
claims that the JWs were the only true martyrs of the Holo-
caust. ("Awake!" April 8, 1989)
The JWs leaders meant to distinguish the Jewish people as victims who had no
choice from the JWs who were martyrs
because they had a choice--they didn't re-
nounce their faith to avoid being punished.
A few things about the comparison could be defined more clearly.
The Jewish people didn't have a leader for all of them (like a Rutherford)
that directed them to become martyrs.
The Jewish people were targeted for genocide for being Jews, whereas Hitler
just wanted the JWs to not spread
tracts with bad PR about him around Germany.
So, when a minority of German JWs refused to renounce Rutherford, it wasn't
clear choice to prefer death but most likely imprisonment. (In fact, the JWs
were among the better treated prisoners
for the last several years of the war
for making good servants for Nazi officers.)
The JWs didn't have to renounce their faith in Christianity to avoid being
punished--just their commitment to
the JWs leaders, the distinctions of whom are
covered on the pages of this article. According to Penton, most of
(see the last listing for 1933). From what I can tell from the rest of this ar-
ticle, if that's all
they had to renounce, their best option would have been to
renounce them before there was any threat at all, then go on
to do something
The Jewish people didn't just cave in to the Final Solution as if they had no
choice. Resistance to the
Final Soluion was strong among Jewish people, and,
given the humiliating circmstances, it's surprising how much rebellion
it was demonstrated.
There were also Jews (and various believers and non-believers) but no Jeho-
vah's Witnesses among the Allies
who risked their lives to fight and defeat Hit-
There aren't any Jehovah's Witnesses among the religious figures and others
who risked their lives to assist
the Jews in escaping the Holocaust.
The racial policy, including anti-Semitism, of Nazi Germany was pseudoscience.
It also condemned so-called "Aryan"
Germans who had converted to Judaism.
(The generalization that Semitic people are all Jewish could use some clarifi-
(Jewish people aren't all one race--someone can be any race and be Jewish.
(Semitic people aren't all Jewish people--someone can be Semitic and be Jew-
ish, Islamic, etc.)
The concern that someone's mother is Jewish is an Orthodox, Conservative, or
Reform (or that someone's father
is Jewish, Karaite) Jewish religious belief
concern. Other than that, it's scientifically, biologically, and any
"cally" you want to throw at it, unimportant.
Adolf Hitler made a pseudoscientific something out of nothing as a bigot in
his villification of anyone whose
mother was Jewish or who converted to Judaism.
He had a propaganda department propagandize against whoever disagreed with
but especially Jewish people as causing the most trouble for his socialist gov-
The JWs leaders make a pseudojournalistic, pseudohistorical, and pseudotheo-
logical something out of nothing
in their efforts to substantiate their claims
to be the most righteous of all mankind and the only valid human theocratic
ernment leaders and villified whoever disagreed with them. They had followers
sell their literature that
propagandized about critics but especially Christians
and Jews as causing the most trouble for their theocratic organization.
Too many Germans fell prey to stupid outlooks of the time about Jewish people
and Hitler exploited that.
The JWs leaders expressed some of the same stupidi-
ties short of a Final Solution for it (see p.1a and elsewhere on this
less you want to count their frequent and emphatic public broadcasts about Arma-
The JWs leaders describe those of Christendom that supported Hitler as typify-
ing Christendom, but generalizations
should refer to what's mostly true, and far
more Christians fought against Hitler than for him. Rutherford would
his followers more effective against Hitler if Rutherford used some sort of
plausible strategy instead of
directly threatening Hitler that he'd send unarmed
followers of Rutherford into German streets to sell literature critical
My concern isn't to pick on the JWs followers but to focus on the leaders'
methods used to affect a stance of
exclusiveness, particularly if any of the
followers get hurt or killed.
The JWs who stayed true to their beliefs under threat of death in Nazi Germany
showed loyalty, but loyalty can
be for something good or bad, as in the case of
Nazis who fought to the death even as Berlin was closed in on by the Allies.
who let their children die in hospitals rather than disobey the JWs leaders'
rules about the medical use of blood show
loyalty and sacrifice, too. But when
the JWs leaders tell their followers an extraordinary claim regarding common
material, especially if anyone could be hurt or killed, those JWs in Nazi Ger-
many, hospitals, or anywhere else,
would be better off to be loyal to the common
sense of hearing the case of both sides' best evidence and reasoning before
1992 Milton George Henschel became the 5th Watchtower president.
1995 "Scientists may never resolve exactly how much of a role nature and nur-
turing play in same-sex attraction.
But one thing is clear: All humans are born
with the tendency to succumb to wrong thinking and inclinations. --Romans 3:23.
youth who desires to please God must therefore conform to his moral standards
and shun immoral behavior, though doing so
may be agonizingly difficult. True,
some individuals may very well be prone to homosexuality...
"Similarly, a Christian cannot excuse immoral behavior by saying he was 'born
that way.' Child molesters
invoke the same pathetic excuse when they say their
craving for children is 'innate.' But can anyone deny that their
tite is perverted? So is the desire for someone of the same sex." ("Awake!"
The Watchtower stance is that homosexuality is a sin like child molestation.
Some defenses of interpreting the Bible to not condemn homosexuals:
Such conservative Abrahamic prejudice is the prime reason LGBT people are the
victims of hate crimes in the
USA and even executed in some countries.
Some defenses of interpreting the Bible to not condemn homosexuals:
A few Wikipedia articles about homosexuality:
1996 "In 1929, at a time when laws of various governments were beginning to
forbid things that God commands
or demand things that God's laws forbid, it was
felt that the higher powers must be Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.
This was the
understanding Jehovah's servants had during the crucial period before and dur-
ing World War II and on
into the Cold War, with its balance of terror and its
military preparedness. Looking back, it must be said that this
view of things,
exalting as it did the supremacy of Jehovah and his Christ, helped God's people
to maintain an uncompromisingly
neutral stand throughout this difficult period."
("The Watchtower," May 1, 1996, p.13-14)
(Summary: the Governing Body has reversed the stance again and now JWs can
as a matter of conscience. Despite
the JWs leaders' prophet-playing rules creating an overdone view of worldliness,
being one of the worst times to make a case for neutrality being wise, and
Rutherford's political activism about it, not
neutrality, being strategically
ill-advised and getting the followers into scrapes, even partly responsible for
getting JWs killed, compared to what a more normal conscientious objector's
path would have led to or genuine help it could
have contributed in the anti-
Nazi Christian underground movement in Germany, the JWs leaders only credit
for having shielded their flock with a wise neutrality.) ("The Watch-
tower," May 1, 1996, p.20)
The usual view of Rom.13:1-8 already figures God for being a higher authority
than human rule. With the
Nazi movement being big-time, homicidal, organized
crime on the march, it's not a time when I'd most admire someone's ability
be neutral--to interpret it to mean to not pitch in with the Allies and help
fight the Nazis in some manner but mainly
just bug the already too troubled
folks in the U.S. with the JWs leaders' sound trucks damning their religions and
to fight off the Nazis.
For the purpose of this article, the wavering JWs leaders' interpretation of
the "higher authorities" of Rom.13:1-8
(Russell/government, Rutherford/God and
Jesus, currently/government), interpreted to mean JWs can then can't at all then
be a little in government, weakens the JWs leaders' case for being the sole
channel of God. ("The Watchtower," August 1,
1898, p.2345; "The Watchtower," May
1, 1996, p.20)
1998 "Thus, the Witnesses never expressed support for the Nazi Party. More-
over, in the exercise of religious
freedom, they did not intend to stop their
public preaching.—Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20." ("Awake!" July 8, 1998)
(See Nov.1, 1933--about 2/5ths of the German Jws continued door to door work
after Rutherford's threatening letter
to Hitler--sent after Rutherford's letter
to appease Hitler--failed, and about 1/2 stopped meeting in homes.)
(See June 24, 1936--German state police and the Gestapo formed a special unit
to fight the Watchtower movement.
In Sept., 1937, through a number of arrests
and infiltration, it succeeded in bringing the public spread of the movement
a standstill. Thereafter, reports of Witness activity was mostly limited to
prisons, concentration camps, and
some young JWs men who who were executed for
refusing military service.)
1998 "Feelings of Having Suffered Needlessly In the past, some Witnesses have
suffered for refusing to
share in an activity that their conscience now might
permit. For example, this might have been their choice years
ago as to certain
types of civilian service. A brother might now feel that he could conscien-
such without overstepping his Christian neutrality regarding the
present system of things. Was it unrighteous on
Jehovah's part to allow him to
suffer for rejecting what he now might do without consequences? Most who have
that experience would not think so. Rather, they rejoice that they had the
opportunity of demonstrating publicly
and clearly that they were determined to
be firm on the issue of universal sovereignty." ("Watchtower," Aug.15, 1998,
1999 The JWs leaders still call political neutrality a scriptural require-
ment, but now allow a JWs follower
to vote in a political election as a matter
of personal conscience even if voting there isn't required by law.
"First, Jesus Christ said of his followers: 'They are no part of the world,
just as I am no part of the world.'
(John 17:14) Jehovah's Witnesses take this
principle seriously. Being 'no part of the world,' they are neutral
in the pol-
itical affairs of the world.—John 18:36.
"The November 15, 1950, issue of The Watchtower, on pages 445 and 446, said:
'Where Caesar makes it compulsory
for citizens to vote...[Witnesses] can go to
the polls and enter the voting booths. It is here that they are called
mark the ballot or write in what they stand for. The voters do what they will
with their ballots.
So here in the presence of God is where his witnesses must
act in harmony with his commandments and in accordance with
their faith. It is
not our responsibility to instruct them what to do with the ballot.'"
"What of a country where voting is not mandated by law but feelings run high
against those who do not go to the
voting booth—-perhaps they are exposed to
physical danger? Or what if individuals, while not legally obliged
to vote, are
severely penalized in some way if they do not go to the polling booth? In these
and similar situations,
a Christian has to make his own decision. 'Each one
will carry his own load.'—Galatians 6:5." ("Watchtower,"
Nov.1, 1999, pp.28,29)
So what was the reason for not allowing JWs to get a card in Malawi (1960 and
1968) which was required by law
but wasn't even a matter of voting?
1999 "Jesus commanded that we 'pay back Caesars things to Caesar', Cornelius
converted whilst a military officer
and at Romans chapter 13 Paul advised that
we obey political rulers, so it is with little justification that the Watchtower
insists Jehovah's Witnesses refrain from voting and politics. This has
been a cause of unnecessary persecution for
many followers. Most reprehensible
has been the plight of Witnesses in Malawi. In the 1960's the Watchtower
creed that Malawian Witnesses were not to hold a political card in a one party
state. This resulted in many
thousands of deaths, rapes and displacements of
innocent Witnesses between 1963 and 1992." ("Yearbook," 1999. pp.149-223)
1999 "'THE DISGUSTING THING IS PUT IN PLACE.' When the end of the second
world war was in sight,
another development occurred, just as God’s angel had
foretold. "They will certainly put in place the disgusting
thing that is caus-
ing desolation." (Daniel 11:31b) Jesus had also spoken of "the disgusting
the first century, it proved to be the Roman army that came to Je-
rusalem in 66 C.E. to put down Jewish rebellion.
"What 'disgusting thing' has been 'put in place' in modern times? Apparently,
it is a 'disgusting' counterfeit
of God’s Kingdom. This was the League of Na-
tions, the scarlet-colored wild beast that went into the abyss,
or ceased to
exist as a world-peace organization, when World War II erupted. (Revelation 17:
8) 'The wild beast,'
however, was 'to ascend out of the abyss.' This it did
when the United Nations, with 50 member nations including
the former Soviet
Union, was established on October 24, 1945. Thus 'the disgusting thing' fore-
told by the angel—the
United Nations—was put in place." ("Pay Attention To
Daniels Prophecy," 1999, pp.267-269) (See 1942,
1944, 1945, and 2001.)
The JWs leaders have long taught that the UN is an example of evil worldliness
which the Catholics, Protestants,
and Jewish people participated in. However,
see the listing for 2001.
2000 Don Alden Adams became the 6th Watchtower president in late 2000.
2001 "In October of 2001, the Guardian newspaper in Britain broke the story
that the Watchtower Bible and
Tract Society had been secretly affiliated with
the United Nations as an NGO for over ten years. Following a flood
by Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower quickly withdrew its membership and re-
leased an official explanation
stating that they became an NGO (non-government-
al organization) simply to have access to research materials at the UN
"However, such an explanation does not go nearly far enough in explaining the
seemingly inexplicable. According
to Paul Hoeffel, a UN official, in order to
become recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization,
applicant must demonstrate "support and respect of the principles of the Charter
of the United Nations and commitment
and means to conduct effective information
programmes with its constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities."
1942, 1944, 1945, and 1999.)
According to Paul Hoeffel, Chief of the NGO Section of the Dept. of Public In-
formation at the UN, the DPI has
honored a request from the Watchtower Bible and
Tract Society of New York and terminated the Watchtower's association with
of Oct.9, 2001.
2002 "Jehovah's servants have built up an outstanding record as integrity
keepers. When put under
pressure, they have proved that 'they do not love their
own souls' more than they love Jehovah. (Revelation 12:11)
Wisely, they do not
abandon Christian principles trying to save their present life. (Luke 9:24, 25)
They know that even
if they lose their life now because of loyally upholding Je-
hovah's sovereignty, he will reward them by means of the resurrection."
ship the Only True God," 2002, p.89)
For the recent regard of various governments for the Jehovah's Witnesses, see
the Wikipedia article at the next
link. Most cases regard the freedom of the
followers to proselytize door to door, refuse the medical use of blood
children, not participate in certain government activities, etc.--not the manner
in which the JWs leaders
affect exclusiveness which leads to their followers'
distinctive practices, and sometimes harm or death, and which is my
I guess the way my focus relates to what government allows is seen more in the
fact that there isn't a U.S. board
that determines if something is true or not--
one that only lets U.S. authors that are true or sincere be published and
con men. If it were otherwise, how would some of the tabloids show up by the
supermarket checkout lines,
how would Erich Von Daniken sell books, etc.?
The same freedom of speech that allows honesty allows lying, even the kind by
JWs leaders affecting exclusiveness
that causes harm and death, and, fortunately
for my focus, allows exposes of lying.
“It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as
being false.” ("The
Watchtower," Nov.15, 1963, p.688)
The JWs leaders have slandered other whole religions on the basis of whatever
bad behavior some showed, such
as anti-Semitism. Though the JWs have had a much
briefer and smaller populated history to show better with, Rutherford
shown he had God's guidance about Hitler's propaganda and cruelty when showing
it counted the most instead
of agreeing with it to the degree he did with his
various anti-Jewish statements, the Watchtower approval of eugenics,
blundering his prophet-playing bluster at Adolf Hitler and putting the German
JWs followers into harm's way
as shown in the timeline above. He wasn't really
critical about Hitler's government specifically until Hitler had
the JWs tar-
geted, then didn't use a safer strategy and try to get his followers into an-
other underground Christian
movement about it because he was too elitist in the
way then went with his act.
JWs were led to be pro-Zionist, anti-Zionist, and German JWs were led to sign
a letter that pandered to Adolf,
then led to spread literature denouncing the
evils of the Nazi movement and ironically ended up in his prison camps, anyway,
an exaggerated idea of worldliness that the JWs leaders must have gotten
from the world somewhere because it's not required
by the book. It seems kind
of erratic for a claim of JWs leaders being led by the holy spirit. If the JWs
holy spirit doesn't tell the future very well or read minds better, at
least he (JWs leaders' version: it) could be a little
Recent JWs Watchtower references to the "Declaration of Facts" are at the bot-
tom of the web page at the
As mentioned before, the JWs leaders' literature said that it would be a mis-
take to think the "Declaration
of Facts" indicated anything anti-Semitic. And
they want credit for having protected their flock through times of
trouble (see 1996).
Subservience unto pain of death
The idea I take from it to bear on JWs more generally, and on them following
the JWs leaders' blood doctrine
in recent years, is the extreme subservience of
the JWs to follow the word of the JWs leaders' erratic guidance, and of
ing it to the point that Nazis were impressed (see the statements by Hoess in
the 1944 section above).
And that's going a ways.
You have to be a little impressed about it yourself. That puts the "sheep"
in "sheep," and I don't think
people are supposed to put that much "sheep" in
"sheep" unless they're farmers.
The main reason I bring up the stuff above isn't because I'm an historian
that needs you to think something
about 1932-1946. I'm looking for a JWs leader
indicating they're God's mouthpiece on Earth, so as to be able to guarantee
like the JWs leaders' blood doctrine, otherwise not guaranteeable. But
I see them fumbling in a non-prophet-like
way, making some ungodly gaffes, yet
JWs following the JWs leader/Governing Body even unto pain of death. It's not
there's anything we can do to protect people that died over half a cen-
tury ago, but I also want to see if there are any
parallels between that and a
similar set-up that leads to unnecessary deaths these days.
About 635 JWs died in the Nazi prison camp fatalities according to the 1974
JWs "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses,"
p.212. (Figures differ as shown earli-
er.) Rutherford taught them to go door to door teaching all human government
of Satan. I'd say he used an overdone, Biblically unnecessary, forced "us
against the world" interpretation
for which playing prophet badly cost too many
lives and wasn't the best strategy for working against the Nazis in the time
Rutherford's Feb.9, 1934 letter to Hitler threatening that he'd send JWs door
to door with tracts criticizing
Hitler if Hitler's men didn't stop harassing the
JWs comes to mind as a pivotal cause for JWs being sent to prison camps.
Christian concerns could have been utilized otherwise, especially since Hitler
(looking at the bad JWs leaders'
prophecy track record and Golden Age medical
announcements or such) called them "quacks."
Something similar could be said about the JWs leaders playing prophet with an
overdone and unnecessary view of
worldliness and Satanic government, therefore
responsible for misguiding followers into the cruel persecution in Malawi
WWII was over a long time ago. But since then "thousands have died" where
non-blood medical treatment
wasn't available and treatment with blood was re-
fused. An analysis of the verses, such as on pp.12-42, indicates
that it's be-
cause the Governing Body played prophet for 144,000 elitism and taught a batch
of forced points that the
Bible required someone or their parents to refuse it.
My sociology teacher once taught that the social group with the least ability
to redress wrongful treatment,
and likely to be abused, in the world are chil-
dren (see p.14). This essay may help you decide what to think if
you were a kid with parents deciding on medical treatment for you at a hospi-
tal. Would you rather
have them pick freely from the whole range of possibil-
ities for the lowest risk treatment, the interpretation possibilities
Bible held in the more common regard, or have your parents fall for the JWs
leaders' forced point ban to pick
the lowest risk treatment from an unnecessar-
ily restricted range of possibilities?
And how cynical is the JWs leaders' stance of playing the prophets of the
144,000 when their teaching methods
for distinctive doctrines betray the fact
that they know it's an expensive pretension to play it knowing a higher percent-
of those kids are going to get the bad luck of the draw?