Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
the Society; nor have I any faith in the statement that they so conspired. It is a creature of J.F.R.'s imagination and hides his usurpation. Though he repeatedly judges what my motives were, I do not want to judge his motives, nor have I anywhere in this reply done so. The Lord will attend to his motives. With Him I leave them. But he repeatedly asserts that a man is to be presumed as intending the natural results of his acts. I doubt the proposition of imperfect man, even if it is "legal"; but he believes it. The natural effect of his introducing and caricaturing my British Work is to hide what he knows is the real question at issue: Should he or the Board under the Lord be controller in the Society's affairs? and additionally to discredit the majority of the Board. Therefore, according to his standards, he by introducing and caricaturing British matter intended to hide the real issue, and to discredit the Board! I will leave to the Lord to decide, if this was his intention; but I feel justified in saying that many sober-minded brethren who know him, his methods and the situation fear that this is his motive. I will say this much: that judging from the impression that "Harvest Siftings" as a whole gives, from its stating partial facts misleadingly, from its suppression of many known facts that give a totally different impression, and from its many fabricated "facts," I should not be at all surprised, if the British matter were introduced and caricatured to hide the real question at issue and discredit the Board members. The Lord knows! He will make it known in due time!
After a restful journey I landed in New York April 9. Soon I was at Bethel, where my reception was icy, due to J.F.R.'s warning the family against me. Several days after my arrival, I had my first private talk with him. Haughtiness and contempt characterized his face and voice almost throughout this conversation. That noon he invited four members of the Board and two other brothers for what
he called a conference. I thought it was to be that for which I asked, a hearing before a full meeting of the Board. However, that meeting he calls in "Harvest Siftings" one of the "two Board meetings" where I had a "hearing." If any prosecutor treated an accused more unjustly than J.F.R. did me that day, my heart would bleed for the accused. I was supposedly having a hearing. This is what occurred: Though knowing that I was quite unwell, for over an hour he acted like a pettifogging prosecutor browbeating an accused person. Instead of letting me have a chance to tell my story, he brought forth one distorted thing after another against me—calculated without explanation to prejudice my case. Repeatedly I remonstrated, asking for an opportunity to present my case. I was answered with sneers, sarcasm and ridicule. His face expressed more contempt than that of any other face upon which I have ever looked. Despite my oft-repeated requests, he would not let me tell my story; but insisted on setting me forth to disparagement. I thought of Caiaphas' treatment of Jesus. I thought how differently Bro. Russell would have done. After about an hour of his browbeating and my repeated requests to be given an opportunity to have a hearing, and repeated statement that I was under fire and was appealing from J.F.R.'s decision to the Board, and should, therefore, first be given the chance to tell my story, and afterward let objections be urged, if they were desired to be urged, he still refusing to let me set forth my case, I solemnly protested, exclaiming, "In the name of God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Saviour, I solemnly protest against this gross injustice!" Even this did not quiet him. Only then did he quiet down somewhat, when he noticed that his conduct was unfavorably impressing a number of the brothers present. Amid almost constant pettifogging interruptions I finally succeeded in squeezing in a little about my credentials and the "scheme." This
travesty of justice he calls in his "Harvest Siftings" a hearing before the Board for two hours. How different he appears on the platform before an audience; but his unjust and wrongful treatment of the brethren is becoming more and more known.
The next night I was supposed to have two hours to explain the British matters before the same brothers. This also was not an official Board meeting. He did not allow me to take up the British matter at all, claiming that it was settled. I remarked, "I have not been heard." That seemed the last thing in the world to concern him. He then used much time, trying to inveigle me into promises to submit to his decision on passages which he had not studied, without their being discussed. Of course I would not permit myself so to be entrapped. Then I was given insufficient time to give my views on the Steward. This is what his "Harvest Siftings" calls my second "hearing before the Board" on the British situation. The British situation was not discussed at all. He had settled that without the Board, despite my appeal to the Board from his decision. This act proves conclusively that he considered that he, not the Board, was the final authority as he claimed. From his attitude I saw that for the present there was nothing to be accomplished. Smiling despite my disappointment, I left, as he says, in a friendly spirit. The brethren separated without a discussion, much less a statement, that I was under a mental delusion, though he says they so decided. I will not speak of his repeated mistreatment of me at the table, much of which was due to my defending some of Bro. Russell's views against his opposing doctrinal views. As his mistreating me before the six brothers in the "two hearings before the Board" aroused sympathy in my case among some of them, so his mistreating me at the table aroused sympathy in not a few of the family. Beginning early in May I was given on six
Sundays appointments to fill. Surely J.F.R. would not have arranged these services for me, if he believed me insane, and having done so wickedly in Britain as his "Harvest Siftings" sets forth! At none of these places did I say a word about the trouble, though he says I traveled from place to place at the Society's expense seeking to stir up prominent brethren against him; nor did I at any time advise the Board to gain the support of prominent brethren. I likewise withheld the matter from the Bethel family. I was waiting to tell it to the Board, where it belonged, which up to the present, despite my petition, I have not been permitted to do. Early in June I respectfully asked him for a return to Britain. For this he severely censured me, which I took meekly. I unqualifiedly deny that at that time, or any other time, I attempted to force my return; nor did I at that time, or any other time, tell him that I would appeal to the Board to go. Probably a week later I asked for a full hearing of my British activity before the Board, and did not say a word about a return to England at that time. I did not on his refusal say, "You are a usurper, and I will appeal to the Board, and see that I have a hearing"; nor did I use words to that effect. Learning that a majority of the Board could by petition secure a meeting, I asked and secured the signatures of four members to a petition that I drew up, asking for a Board meeting to hear my case. J.F.R. claims that I conspired with these four brothers. This I deny. Before I had spoken to any of them on my affair I found that they were opposed to his claim of, and acts in, controlling the Society's affairs. The following I did do: As said previously, I showed three of them, who had not before seen it, my protest and petitions of March 7. I also told the four enough about the British situation to convince them that I ought to have a fair hearing before the Board. Bro. Pierson also thought so. This certainly is not a conspiracy,
much less a conspiracy to wreck the W.T.B.&T.S. Nor was it conspiracy to ask them to petition for a Board meeting for me to have a hearing. Apart from my protest and petitions, on two subjects only do I recall having advised any of the four on their difficulty with him, before I was accepted by both sides as mediator. The one led up to mediation; the other is the following: He claims that (despite the fact that the W.T.B.&T.S. Charter says that its Board shall make its by-laws and authorizes nobody else to do this) the shareholders can legally make binding by-laws according to the Charter. One of the four asked me my opinion on this. I replied that I did not think they could; but not being a lawyer I suggested that he ask one. This he did, with the result that the lawyer, a thoroughly loyal Truth brother, Bro. McGee, who is an assistant of the Attorney General of N. J., whom Bro. Russell and J.F.R. had several times asked for legal advice, answered that according to the charter, the shareholders could not legally make by-laws for the Society. One day J.F.R. was contending for his view of this point, as being legal, when without any authority whatever to use the word "we," referring to Bro. McGee's opinion, I replied that "we" also had legal opinion, and that it said the opposite. I did not speak in a heated manner; I did not shake my finger at him; I did not say, "We are consulting lawyers and we know what we can do with you." Before the Bethel family, July 17, reporting this manufactured statement, he gave the last clause as follows: "And we'll fix you." Quite a change! Instead of my becoming angry, he became angry, crying out loud enough to be heard at least 50 feet away: "You are in a conspiracy." Then he shouted out to Bro. Eshelman, who was about 20 feet away, to come; and to me to repeat my statement in the presence of a witness. Seeing that he was intent on proving me guilty of what I was innocent, I declined
to repeat my remark to the effect that we had contrary legal opinion. Whatever the four Board members were doing they kept to themselves so far as I was concerned. Never once did I attend any of their meetings where they were planning Board procedures. I knew, of course, their view of the Board's powers, and later of their difference with him, that there had been a discussion between them and him on this matter, but I did not know their plans, nor, except that they were going to discuss their difference on controllership with the President, did I know what they were going to do in their various moves, e.g., I knew nothing about the visit of the four brothers to the Tabernacle, when a policeman was called to put them out, in what J.F.R. claims was their attempt to take control by force, until I was informed of it some days later. I knew nothing about their alleged plan (which they deny) of exploding a bomb the night of July 18, before the congregation; therefore I could not have lost heart and desisted therefrom. Lately I found out that two of these four brothers were not at that meeting. These facts, of course, prove that they were not acting under my direction. He surmised this, as I believe he surmised the rest of the conspiracy. That I agreed with them that the Board, and not he, who over and over again claimed not to be subordinate to the Board, should control the affairs of the Society, according to Bro. Russell's statement on the Directors' duties after his death, in a booklet entitled "A Conspiracy Exposed" and according to the Charter, could not properly be called my being in a conspiracy. Nor should the fact that they shared my view that it would be safer for the work, instead of having him as the sole executive to have two others with him, as an executive committee, a view with which he agreed June 22, be considered an evidence of a conspiracy "to wreck the Society." That they had a letter procurable from me alone, which I showed
them to prove that it was right that the Board as controller hear my case, i.e., a carbon copy of the letter that J.F.R. dictated to the English Managers Nov. 10, quoted above, far from proves that I was in a conspiracy with them "to wreck the Society." That heavy loss of sleep moved me to decline a pilgrim trip about the time that he wanted to send I. F. Hoskins on a trip to the West coast (not for only two weeks as he says) that would have kept him away from important Board meetings, for which he says he declined the trip, is poor proof of a conspiracy on the part of the four and myself. From what frail materials he seeks to construct his Conspiracy Building! Gladly have I been, and most gladly would I continue, laying down life for the work of the Society, but wreck it–NEVER!
The petition June 13, for a hearing before a full Board meeting was denied by J.F.R., who, W.E. Van Amburgh concurring with him in this sentiment, said he had neither the time nor the inclination to hear me. In denying the petition of the majority of the Board again he acted as the controller of the Board, whether their meeting was official or not. Instead, he appointed four brothers a Board Committee to investigate my case and report it to the full Board for their action. Though disappointed, I accepted this as the best arrangement obtainable. He furnished them the reports, which gave the evidence of the English Commission on the Tabernacle and Bethel matters, and the findings on the Tabernacle matters, but not the findings of the Bethel matters. He said he did not have the latter. In April he knew of their contents, for he admitted that they favored my dismissing the two brothers; but said that he did not agree with the English Commission's findings on the dismissals, a Bethel, not a Tabernacle matter. What has become of the Bethel findings I do not know. The Board Committee studied the Bethel evidence, and claimed that
the two Managers deserved dismissal. Thus they agreed with the English Commission. For five hours, occupying two sessions of one day, not for a week as he says, I went over the English situation with the Board Committee and was at no other of their meetings, while they were going over other phases of their inquiry. They, too, reported to the Board in my favor. He claims I sought unduly to influence the English Commission and conspired with the American one! Their report was so violently opposed by him that they thought it wise not then to press it further; instead a compromise was accepted, they putting off for more favorable conditions a final settlement of the case, a thing with which Bro. Pierson later came into agreement. Bro. Pierson had not yet heard my case from me. I decided after the above-mentioned compromise to seek to lay it before Bro. Pierson, which I did at Cromwell in July. While I was there so doing, I said not a word to anybody else about the trouble at Brooklyn. He gave me a full hearing, and he, too, took my view of the British situation, convinced by the facts, documents and letters that I presented to his attention. Thus five members of the Board, the only ones who have fully heard me, approved my course on the British matter, except the matter of the Steward. The other two did not have the time and inclination to hear me, but one of them later had both the time and inclination to prepare against me "Harvest Siftings" by which, next to Bro. Russell, I have been more grievously misrepresented than any other servant of the Lord in the whole harvest period. These five Board members, knowing well that I and the British matters, though the occasion, are not the cause of their difference with J.F.R., at the Boston Convention issued August 4 an open letter over their signatures is which the following occurs: "Bro. Johnson is in no sense the cause of the controversy between the President on the one side
and Bros. Pierson, Ritchie, Wright, Hoskins and Hirsh, on the other side. The President's treatment of Bro. Johnson is only one of the circumstances in which we could not approve of Bro. Rutherford's course. Our contention is that Bro. Johnson, in whom Bro. Russell reposed great confidence, and who manifested much love and zeal for the Truth, during the 14 years of his public service, during which he traveled as Pilgrim, paying his own expenses except for one year, should be given full and fair opportunity to present his case. At present he has been condemned without a trial and to our personal knowledge has been shamefully misrepresented and treated."
Shortly after the above-mentioned Board meeting I was told, June 22, there was no more work for me at the Tabernacle (where in addition to preaching on Sunday and occasionally leading a Berean Lesson week days, I worked half time, as much as my health permitted. Despite this, in one place J.F.R. says I was doing absolutely nothing in the harvest work!) Instead, I was told that he wanted to see me. He proposed a pilgrim trip. I replied that my health was not sufficiently restored for pilgrim work; that my sleep was too poor. He suggested a short one as a trial. I hesitatingly assented, asking that I be sent homeward, where I could see my wife. He did not suggest my going home that day. The next night my sleep was very poor. I concluded that a week or two in the pilgrim work would put me back where I was four months before; while, if I could wait for probably three or four weeks my sleep might warrant steady work. I respectfully told him this the next morning. Instead of his making the nice little speech that he puts into his own mouth in his "Harvest Siftings," he blurted out: "Go home then; leave Bethel, for you are the cause of all the trouble here." I replied that such was not the case; but his "grasping for power," like H.J.S., was the cause of
the trouble. To his insisting that he as the head of the home, had the right to put me out I assented, except that the Board was superior to him as the final authority, and that therefore I appealed to it against his decision that I leave. With that he dropped the matter. He brought up the matter of my leaving Bethel no more until July 27. In fact, he later arranged for a new room for me. Therefore I could not have been living in Bethel for weeks in defiance of his orders for me to leave. I did not then call him a usurper. The first time that I used this expression of him was after he ousted the four Board members, July 17. At the time of the suggestion that I go on a pilgrim trip, I was supposed to head a conspiracy. Query: If he believed me an arch conspirator and the wrecker of the British Church, why should he have arranged a pilgrim trip for me?
After Bro. Russell's death I loved J.F.R. above all other brethren. Remembering our old friendship, I sought hopefully and repeatedly to come into peace with him. This prompted me, e.g., on one occasion, June 22, to put my arms around him and say, "We have been such good friends, surely we can as brothers talk over matters and adjust our difficulties. When shall we make the effort?" He agreed to 3: 00 o'clock that afternoon, but at that time sent his secretary to me, saying that he would have to see me at another time. The next morning, June 23, and not June 21, as he says, I asked when it might be, but I received reply that it could not be before a trip that he had in view. We then had a short conversation in which I briefly mentioned the following things that in my opinion in his conduct were displeasing to the Lord:
(1) Expecting to be elected President (a thing that he conceded), he should not have prepared beforehand the bylaws (of which Bro. Ritchie assured me he was in total ignorance, until they were shown him) that among other things were to give
him executive and managerial power, nor insisted on their unaltered recommendation by the resolution committee through browbeating it, nor sought to influence their passage by the shareholders, knowing that the Charter did not give the President such powers, nor the shareholders the right to make by-laws. I told him that in my opinion humility would have led him to accept, and faithfully do such work as the Board would offer him, and not grasp for more.
(2) After the Board made by-laws of his resolutions passed by the shareholders, instead of confining his activities to the office of Executive and Manager he was claiming and exercising controllership in the affairs of the Society as against the Board. Thereupon he said that he was the Controller in the affairs of the Society, and had all the authority therein that Bro. Russell had, who was not only Executive and Manager, but also Controller. About the middle of April he had told me the same thing, claiming that Bro. Russell had so arranged matters (he did for himself; but for no one else), and that the Board had almost nothing (except where legal formalities existed) to say or do in the Society's affairs. This is contrary not only to Bro. Russell's statement in the booklet "A Conspiracy Exposed" as to the Board's place in the Society's affairs after his death, but also to J.F.R.'s written and published opinions referred to above. I pleaded with him in God's name almost with tears in my eyes to desist from his course, as it was self-exaltation, like Lucifer's, and was causing the trouble that was now common property in Bethel. Had he heeded this plea the present worldwide trouble in the Church would not have occurred. It was on this occasion that I stated that we had "opposite legal opinion" and that he cried out, "you are in a conspiracy."
July 17 came. On a legal technicality that, if binding, applied to him as well as them, he ousted four
members of the Board. In "Harvest Siftings" he claims the reason was that they were conspiring to wreck the Society. In truth, as far as I know the case, they were simply resisting his usurpations by which he was claiming and exercising controllership as against the Board, and sought for the Board that it be allowed to perform its duties, duties that he has both written and published included controllership in the affairs of the Society. That afternoon six brothers, myself among them, protested against his arbitrariness, in ousting these brothers. Not the remotest hint was made in these protests to anything connected with Vol. 7, which had not yet been given to the Bethel Family and whose sending to others was unknown to the protestants. Therefore their protests against his ousting the four members of the Board, even if it be conceded that Vol. 7 is the penny, cannot be construed as the parabolic murmuring at those called as laborers in the 11th hour receiving in Vol. 7 as much as the protestants, as a brother in preaching and in print claims. Let us be above beclouding a question by such tortured and totally inapplicable interpretations. It should further be remarked on the interpretation of the whole parable given by the brother who suggested the above application, that according to his view, each hour representing three years, his parabolic day, beginning October, 1881, would not end until October, 1917; therefore his penny was given before his evening time! Thus his first hour was from October, 1881, to October, 1884; his third from October, 1887, to October, 1890; his sixth hour from October, 1896, to October, 1899; his ninth hour from October, 1905, to October, 1908; his eleventh hour from October, 1911, to October, 1914; the evening would then follow October, 1917, nearly three months after Vol. 7 was first distributed. This is fatal to his theory! Where in the Scriptures is a symbolic day of 36 years referred to? Let him search the history of the Harvest
and, except throughout his first hour (which is Bro. Russell's third less four months), he will find throughout his call hours no specially large numbers called accompanied by siftings confined to his call hours. Both of these things occur in the call hours, as Bro. Russell interpreted the parable. Why not stand by Bro. Russell's satisfactory interpretation, known as such by the brother whose interpretation has just been reviewed? Why seek, as the brother does, to convey the impression that Bro. Russell looked for a fulfilment in line with a different interpretation from his own?
Both J.F.R. and the four ousted brothers accepted my offer of mediation on July 18, on the basis agreed to by both parties, that the legal questions involved should be referred to the decision of a court in a friendly suit. This plan was at least just, whereas his procedure in ousting them was unjust, since it made him the accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. I sought honestly and impartially to mediate. I never once gave as my reason for desiring privately to settle the trouble between him and the Board that it would discredit him, if it became public. I desired to keep it from the brethren at large; because I thought, to know of it would be, not to their edification, but to their injury; and so told him repeatedly. My first difficulty as mediator was caused by his refusal to keep a promise given to me several times July 18, i.e., to let the four brothers have the legal opinion which was read, July 17, before the family as the legal ground for the ousting; and which they desired to have their counsel study. This refusal brought me into difficulty with the four. I tried in vain for an hour to persuade him to keep his promise. Then he refused to submit the case to a court in a friendly suit. I submitted another proposition, i.e., that each side select a lawyer and that these two select a third; and before these, as an Arbitration Board, let the legal
points be argued by counsel representing each side, both sides binding themselves beforehand in writing to accept the decision of this Board on the legal points; and afterward to get together as brethren and settle matters Scripturally. The four accepted this proposition, which all will agree is fair. Apparently succeeding at first to gain, later I sought in vain to maintain his adherence to this fair plan. I worked back and forth between the two parties for a week with various offers. I had a number of brethren offer special prayer for the effort. It was made in all honesty, no attempt being made to deceive him, as he intimates, my desire among other things being to save the Church from distraction. How much better, for the Church, had he followed this course! Finally, July 25, he served me with an ultimatum to deliver to the four, to the effect that they must accept the new Board; agree to work on in peace in harmony with this arrangement, or leave Bethel; if they would not keep such a peace, he would publish the whole thing, including the British matter. This ended mediation. The following Sunday, July 29, his "Harvest Siftings" was read to the Boston Elders: Thus while I was working as mediator he was preparing his "Harvest Siftings"! I was the one who was deceived! July 27, at the close of a meeting of the People's Pulpit Association, when they failed to agree with his ultimatum, nor would discuss matters further with him without legal counsel, he, in great anger, arose, saying, "Then it will be war." So far as he is concerned, it has been assassination from then on. Verily "the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Alas! Alas!! Alas!!! How his ambition and uncontrolled temper have injured God's Church!
I will pass by many things that I suffered and saw at Bethel, including an espionage system, a "whispering" campaign wherein a "confidential statement" of distorted "facts" was spread abroad against me by
him and A.H. Macmillan, exposure of the trouble in the Board to the family in a partisan way, etc., illustrative of what one of the finest characters in Bethel almost in tears assured me, i.e., that, while I was in Europe, there had been a veritable "reign of terror" in Bethel. I will describe the scene that occurred just after the noon meal of July 27, in the presence of the majority of the Bethel family. He remarked that while his controllership in the Society's affairs was disputed, it was indisputable that he was in control of the affairs of the People's Pulpit Association, in whose name the Bethel property stood. (Bro. Russell in Dec. 1915, "Tower" said that the People's Pulpit Association could act only as directed by the W.T.B.&T.S.) Therefore, he ordered me to leave Bethel that day, and the four Board members to leave the following Monday. I was denied a respectful and repeated request for the privilege to make a statement to the family. Therefore I said nothing. Then Bro. Wright asked to make a statement. He was refused; but spoke anyway. Bro. Hirsh asked to read a letter that Bro. Pierson wrote, to the effect that he disapproved of J.F.R.'s ousting the four brothers from the Board, and that he would firmly stand for and with the old Board. J.F.R. fairly shouted that he was induced by Bro. Johnson's "falsehoods" to write that letter. I denied falsifying to Bro. Pierson. This angered him. He shouted out, "You broke up the British Church." I replied: "If it is broken up, before God and this family I charge you with the responsibility." Then still more angry he shouted, "Bro. Johnson stole $1500.00." I replied, "That is a false statement, and you know it is." Still more wrathful, he ordered me to leave Bethel on pain of legal proceedings. I replied that I had appealed to the Board from that decision; and that since I recognized the Board as in control, and, in the case of an appeal, as having the right to decide the question, I
awaited its decision; that if it ordered me to leave, I would do so at once. At this he completely lost self-control. To enforce his order he rushed at me crying out, "You leave this house." Grabbing me by the arm, he almost jerked me off my feet. So violently did he squeeze my arm that, if it were not quite muscular, I feel sure, he would have made black and blue marks on it. I called the family's attention to the fact that he exercised physical violence on my person. A.H. Macmillan, springing to his side, prevented one of his descending hands from striking me on the head and took his other hand off my arm. He continued to abuse me. R. J. Martin, who was standing nearby, repeatedly asked him whether he should not call the police. Again I called the family to witness that he had used physical violence against me. A.H. Macmillan then said, "He did not hurt you." I replied that he jerked me so violently as nearly to knock me down in plain sight of many. At this R. J. Martin started to hoot at me, and was joined in by quite a number of J.F.R.'s sympathizers. So greatly were the feelings of the majority, myself among them, outraged by this exhibition of rowdyism that they and I left the dining room.
Presently A.H. Macmillan came to my room threatening to have me removed by the police, if I did not leave. I declined to leave because of my appeal to the Board. Thinking that he would fulfill his threat, and not desiring my things put out in confusion, I packed up. Later, on my still refusing to leave, he said, "You will either leave, or by night you will be bruised or be in jail." Later, thinking that I was unobserved, I left Bethel to make a call in a house across the street. Returning as the friends were coming from the Tabernacle to Bethel for supper, I sought to enter by the Library entrance just behind a brother, but the door was slammed shut in my face, striking against me violently as it closed. The brother who did this told me to go up to the front door. As I did
so, I saw under the eyes and at the command of J.F.R., a brother put my belongings out of doors. I asked J.F.R. if this meant that I was evicted from Bethel. He replied, "Yes," then closed the door. I rang the bell. On his putting his head out the door, held slightly ajar, with a loving heart and smiling face I said, "Well, after all, Bro. Rutherford, my sentiment is 'God bless you!'" He smiled, closed the door, then opened it again, asking me if I needed any money, but said nothing else. I thanked him, saying I had some. He then, without further remark, closed the door. Many witnessed the whole scene. Some of these assured me that for a considerable time before, guards were at the doors to prevent my entrance. Alas! it is almost unbelievable that this scene could have been staged! I now pass by Bethel from time to time. I see the dear ones go in and out. My heart cries out to them, "My beloved Brethren, God bless you! Our Father bless you! I love you!" Yes, I love them all. I love J.F.R.; I love J.H. The Lord's grace has kept me in the love of God in this long experience of the greatest injustice that has come into my life. And it has come from two, whom after Bro. Russell's death I have loved above all other brethren. But the Lord's ways are best. It is best that our severest trials come from those whom we most love; for that makes them easier to bear.
After my return from Europe I learned that J.F.R., W.E. Van Amburgh and A.H. Macmillan conspired to gain for the first Bro. Russell's full power and authority in the work and business of the Society. They began this conspiracy before the election. They prearranged every detail of the voting shareholders' meeting Jan. 6. At Brooklyn J.F.R. prepared and W.E. Van Amburgh approved the resolutions that, among other things, were to secure for the President executive and managerial authority. These W.E. Van Amburgh gave I. L. Margeson (this I state on the latter's
authority), the chairman of the Resolutions Committee, for which they also arranged. A week before the election J.F.R. furnished a brother with an account of the proceedings of the voting shareholders' meeting for publication in the press of the country, telling of his election by the Secretary casting the ballot of the convention and of the unanimity of his election, and giving some of his speech of acceptance. The Editor of the New York Herald commented on the prophetic gifts of "those Bethel people" in being able to foretell just what would happen at the election! In this account J.F.R. failed to state that by his prearrangement the nominations were so closed, that there could be no other Presidential candidates for whom thousands of voting shares were instructed, and that he prepared the resolution recommending that he be made Executive and Manager. No political convention was ever more completely or more smoothly "bossed" than the voting shareholders' meeting Jan. 6. Certainly the remark that he made to me in July, when he explained how he arranged for the election of R. H. Hirsh to the Board, applies to the proceedings of the Jan. 6, meetings. "Of course, Bro. Johnson, you know all things of that character are arranged beforehand, just like matters connected with a political convention!"
As far as I know, it seems to me that his first pertinent wrong was his activity (begun before his election, which he expected, but for which I do not think he electioneered) connected with his securing for himself executive managerial authority in the Society's affairs. In this activity
W.E. Van Amburgh participated, but not Bro. Ritchie, the other member of the Executive Committee. As he says, I believe that he thought it would be better for "one mind" than for a committee of three to be the Executive and Manager. His second wrong was (contrary to Bro. Russell's express statement in "A Conspiracy Exposed"
and to his own written and published view) grasping for, and usurping controllership in, the Society's affairs, instead of leaving controllership with the Board. His third wrong was his acting in many ways, particularly in the British and in the Board's affairs, in harmony with this usurpation, to the great injury of the Church. I have no doubt that he thought this course right. It seems to me that his sense of humility and justice were too weak to enable him to see aright, and to make straight paths for his feet; and thus he fell in the test. I am not judging his motive, I am simply seeking an explanation for his acts. The thought fixed in his mind that it would be in the interest of the work for his mind to be the "one mind" to control the affairs of the Society—doubtless others encouraged him in the thought, if not by word, certainly by act—he could see a conspiracy only and an attempt to wreck the Society, in the acts of those who were seeking to have Bro. Russell's ideals and charter carried out, as he wanted them after his death. Because Bro. Johnson, Mar. 7, in his protest set forth the thought of the Board's controllership versus the Executive's, and in his accompanying petitions asked for an Executive Committee instead of one Executive and Manager, and because the four brothers held the same thoughts, the first of which all of them had, before Bro. Johnson spoke with them at all on the subject, and of the expediency of the second of which, three of them were convinced before Bro. Johnson spoke to them at all on that subject; and because they sought to translate these thoughts into acts, though Bro. Johnson knew in advance almost nothing of their various moves, they must be in a conspiracy to "wreck the Society" under the leadership of Bro. Johnson! Judging from his theory set forth in his "Harvest Siftings," and the knowledge that I have of the events such seems to be his mental attitude and process.
In explanation of this mental attitude I desire to quote a remark made of him by one of his best friends in the Truth, who knows him thoroughly: "There are two Rutherfords. Bro. Rutherford whom I dearly love, and Lawyer Rutherford of whom I cannot approve." Lawyer R., not Bro. R., prepared "Harvest Siftings." And in this fact my charity finds a partial excuse for him. Almost every lawyer develops the mental habit of setting forth a theory for each case, then seeks to make everything harmonize with that theory. Whatever facts connected with the case oppose that theory are suppressed; whatever facts or partial facts interpretable in other ways, can by a twist be made to harmonize with that theory are given that twist; and whatever is lacking to make the theory plausible is invented and stated as a fact. So accustomed do most lawyers become to such practices that they become unconscious of doing such things. This is exactly what "Lawyer" Rutherford has done in "Harvest Siftings" and this accounts in part for the fact that, not only the whole setting that he gives to things is false; but also that against me alone there are in "Harvest Siftings" 220 misrepresentations, the majority of which are in his own statements! There are 32 of these in his epitome and 29 in his summary! Believing him to be a brother and a child of God, I cannot explain what he has done in "Harvest Siftings" on any other ground than that "Lawyer," not Bro., R. wrote it. Poor Lawyer Rutherford! Dear Bro. Rutherford! God bless the latter and help him overcome the former!
Why have I in a defense of myself written of some of the weaknesses of some of my brethren, whom I surely love? Not from a desire to uncover their weaknesses, but because, in harmony with Bro. Russell's article in Sep. 15, 1917, "Tower," page 283, first par., second column, I am forced so to do, under the circumstances created by "Harvest Siftings," to arouse the Church to a sense of danger! Just as H.J. Shearn