Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
and W. Crawford in Britain have set aside some, and attempted to set aside others of Brother Russell's arrangements, so J.F.R. is doing here. Just as they kept the W.T.B.&T.S. in the background, and over-emphasized the I.B.S.A., so he is setting aside provisions of the Society's charter, and is putting controllership into the hands of the People's Pulpit Association, its subsidiary. As they there were lording it over God's heritage, so he is doing here, even though "a reign of terror" results! As they are wrecking the churches there, so he is doing here. About 35 members of the Bethel family in various ways have been driven away because they protested against his highhandedness in this matter. In his "Harvest Siftings" he advises the friends to read Brother Russell's article in Nov. 1, 1916, "Tower," on "The Hour of Temptation"; yes, by all means let the friends do so; for it warns against those leaders who grasp for power over the Church; and urges their deposition. This he is doing on a larger scale than anybody else attempted in the history of the Harvest! Did he not show his affinity to H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford by siding with them against me in a conflict brought on by their attempting to make elders lords over God's heritage, and by their setting aside Brother Russell's arrangements? No wonder therefore that my criticisms of them made little impression on him! In view of these facts, is it not time for the shareholders to consider and pray over what they should do with one who has arbitrarily set aside such provisions of the Charter and such members of the Board as were in the way of his "absolutism"? Let us stand for Bro. Russell's wise arrangements! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Will! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Board! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's Charter! Let us stand for Bro. Russell's W.T.B.&T.S.! The Society's only right to the things that Bro. Russell bequeathed to it is that the intents of his writings, will, and charter be obeyed.
No one has a right to exercise any authority in the Society, unless he submits to Bro. Russell's expressed wishes respecting those bequests. These J.F.R. has disregarded; and therefore has morally forfeited the right to exercise any authority with respect to the W.T.B.&T.S. Will not the shareholders bring such pressure to bear by their votes as to enforce compliance with them, and set aside those who do not comply with them? Would not Bro. Walter Page, a former vice-president, make a much better President than J.F.R.?
The above is a truthful statement of the main facts of the case. The Lord knows how my heart has bled at the necessity of giving it. He knows my unfeigned love for the brethren, as well as those of whom "Harvest Siftings" has compelled me to write. He knows my great grief at the distress of the brethren caused by J.F.R.'s "Siftings." He knows my great joy at the privilege of serving the Church, and my ardent desire to continue to serve them along the lines of that Servant's teachings. My stand for the Lord, the Truth, the Brethren and Bro. Russell's polices in Britain and here does not deserve the treatment that I have received. My mistake on the Steward was at my own initiative recalled as soon as I saw it. Any other mistake that I may have made would as soon as seen be as frankly acknowledged. The things that I did in England, in the Bethel and Tabernacle affairs, were required by the necessities of the situation, and were performed in harmony with the powers that the Executive Committee gave me to believe I had. The Lord has made them stand in spite of J.F.R.'s efforts to overthrow them.
The above review was written in August ; but various considerations prevented its earlier publication. Oct. 7, "Harvest Siftings," Part II, came to hand. To only a few points therein will I make reply. Sad to say, it, too, abounds in misrepresentations; in
some places many of these are in a single sentence. Some of these relate to matters sufficiently explained above; others, except two, I will pass by in silence. It is regrettable that J.F.R. applies a railing title, "Opponent's paper" to "Light After Darkness." But I rejoice to notice that J.F.R. concedes what he before disputed, that the Board alone could make bylaws, and should control in the Society's affairs, though I fear his insistence on his headship, which implies controllership, disannuls the second concession. But I must dissent from his statements that the Board has always controlled, and that the issue was not whether it or he was controller in the Society's affairs. This was decidedly and unquestionably the issue. The issue was not whether he was executive and manager, as distinct from controller. During Bro. Russell's life he, and not the Board, was the controller as well as executive. But he usually used another as manager. In view of what he was about to turn over to the Society, before he would organize it, he stipulated with the proposed shareholders that he must control until death even though the Charter affirms the Board's controllership. This agreement was emphasized when he gave his copyrights, etc., to the Society; because these were a more valuable asset than all possible financial donations. During his lifetime the Board acted (1) in an advisory capacity, and (2) in a sanctioning capacity (for certain transactions, when required by law so to do); but it did not control. Only between Bro. Russell's death and the Board's passing the by-law making J.F.R. executive and manager did the Board control. More or less confusion exists by reason of the double use of the word "manage"; and J.F.R. takes full advantage of this confusion. To clarify the subject, let us notice the main functions of a Board as controller, of an executive and of a manager. A Board as controller initiates all matters of policy and program, i.e., what is to be done, and
the ways and means of doing it; it also makes by-laws, rules and ordinances, unless the Charter provides otherwise; it also passes on all acts of the officials, approving, disapproving, rescinding, modifying, or adding to them, as it sees fit. An executive carries out the policy and program; and usually acts as the Board's intermediary with others. A manager supervises the office or shop, and general details. In their relation to one another a manager is subject to an executive, and an executive is subject to a Board. The word "manage" is sometimes used to designate the work of a manager, and sometimes of a controller. Our Charter and the majority of the Board in "Light After Darkness" use the word "manage" in the sense of control; and the word "management" in the sense of controllership. These four brothers differed from J.F.R. (and I share their opinion), because he insisted on interpreting the word "management," as it occurs in the by-laws that he drew up, in the sense of controllership, and acted in harmony with this interpretation. If it is asked whether the issue was one of management, as distinct from controllership, the answer is emphatically no! The issue was: Who is controller, the Board or J.F.R.? The majority of the Board, which includes Bro. Pierson (who by the way assured me lately that he stood for "Light After Darkness"), claimed controllership for the Board; J.F.R. both by word and act claimed controllership for himself. The following facts show that he performed distinct functions of a controller.
I. He initiated new policies and programs, and that without even consulting the Board.
1. He appointed personal representatives of the President (and so designated them, making them answerable to him alone) in various countries delegating to them the power of doing in his absence what he might do, if present. These representatives control in those countries, e.g., J.H. in Britain and Ireland.
2. He changed the organization of the Pastoral work.
3. He uses his presidency of the People's Pulpit Association to control the Society's affairs.
4. Treats the People's Pulpit Association as if it were not the Society's subsidiary.
5. Accepted the donation for Vol. VII without crediting it to the funds of the Society.
6. Published Vol. VII without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board.
7. Copyrighted Vol. VII not in the name of the Society, but of the People's Pulpit Association.
8. Appoints persons to, and dismisses some from, offices of special responsibility apart from the Board, i.e., Pilgrims, and heads of departments, W. Bundy as the head of the Jamaica work.
9. Took the headship of Bethel family without authorization of the Board.
II. Without authorization by, and knowledge of, the Board he prepared a set of Home and Office Rules for the Society's affairs, providing for special powers for himself and fellow-conspirators; and when he had procured the sanction of the too trustful Board, expounded the Rules to exclude Board members, not working at the Tabernacle, or not on Committees, from visiting the office during working hours. The law regards members of a Corporation's Board as the partners of a firm.
III. He insisted that the habitual exercise of any function by Bro. Russell justified him in doing the same; hence claimed Bro. Russell's powers to control.
IV. He acted as if the Board were subject to him.
1. Without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board he recalled Bro. Johnson, though sent by the Board, from Europe.
2. Without authorization by, or knowledge of, the Board he cancelled his Society-sealed credentials.
3. Refused to allow the Board to question his decision
on the British matter, claiming that it was exclusively his to settle.
4. While Bro. Johnson was before the Board on an appeal to it from his decision on the British matter, he refused to let him finish presenting his case to the Board for their decision, claiming that the Society had settled it, he, not the Board, allegedly having so done.
5. He ousted the majority of the Board, because they were seeking to take from him its usurped controllership.
V. He violated several provisions of Bro. Russell's Will, implying thereby that he is controller.
1. He suggested the publication of one, and admittedly permitted the publication of two, of his discourses as volunteer matter. The Will directs that volunteer matter consist of Bro. Russell's discourses alone. He should have refrained from such a suggestion. He should also have prevented others overriding the Will in this matter.
2. He dominates the Editorial Committee, and appoints a substitute editor, when he is long absent; not even the Board should do these things.
VI. Whoever opposes his controllership is made to feel it by a process of "smiting."
VII. He is carrying on a world-wide campaign to secure actual controllership, though ostensibly not so doing.
These facts, except the last, show that the issue was controllership, as distinct from management. Of course, he knows that the Board as controller would have to act as such either by unanimity or by majority; and this is the position: he ousted the majority of the Board, because, as the majority, they wanted to set aside his controllership. Later when Bro. Pierson came to see the real issue, he joined the four, and to this day disapproves of J.F.R.'s usurpatory course. Certainly he claimed controllership of the Society's affairs, just as Bro. Russell did, for which, however,
he does not have Bro. Russell's proprietary rights.
The reason Bro. Russell was not annually elected a Director is not because his annual election as President made him a Director; for he had first to be a Director before he could stand as a candidate for President; as the Charter expressly states that the officers shall be selected from among the Directors. The reason why Bro. Russell was never but once elected a Director is the same as that for which no other Director, including J.F.R. and W.E. Van Amburgh, was ever elected but once, i.e., the Charter expressly states that the Directors shall hold office for life. For a similar reason Bro. Russell was not annually elected President and biennially a Director of the Peoples Pulpit Association; for he by its Charter was to hold these offices for life. This clause of the Charter applies to the first President only, for it says that the President of the P. P. A. shall be elected President for life at the first meeting of the Association. This language proves that this clause with the power of controllership that the Charter lodges with its President was meant for Bro. Russell alone; as he was the only one elected President at the first meeting of the P. P. A. See "Harvest Siftings," page 16, under the caption "The Peoples Pulpit Association" for the wording of this clause. This clearly proves that Bro. Russell never intended that, except himself, any one individual should control even the limited affairs of the P. P. A., much less those of the Society.
Again, if the places of the four brothers were vacant by reason of their not having been annually elected, then J.F.R.'s, and W.E. Van Amburgh's places likewise were vacant; therefore, since the Charter states that the Society's officers shall be chosen from among its Directors, they could not have been candidates for the Presidency and Secretary-Treasurership; and therefore could not have been elected as such. Therefore their places on both the Board and in these offices
would also be vacant! Therefore J.F.R. would not have power bindingly to declare the places of the four vacant, and appoint successors. If, as he says, he knew for years of the vacancy of the places of those who were holding directorship for years, without an annual reelection, he knew for the same reason for years that his place, too, was vacant on the Board. Yet in the Dec. 15, 1916, "Tower," last par., page 390, and 1st and 2nd pars. 391, he enumerates, not vacancies, but seven members of the Board, himself among them; and shows that the officers must in harmony with the Charter be selected from among these seven directors, none of whom according to his mind were directors; for the six, not being elected for years and their places thus being vacant, could not elect the seventh, Bro. Pierson. Doubtless a Court would call his conduct in this matter fraudulent, especially as he thereby became a gainer. If their places were vacant, there could have been no quorum present at any Board meeting after his election as president; therefore all the acts of the Board since January 6 would be null and void, including the by-laws giving him executive and managerial authority! He would be now using fraudulent powers! Courts would doubtless rule that since he acted with the four as genuine Directors for nearly 6 months he could not call in question the legality of their Directorship. He is tied hand and foot. If it is true that directors must be elected annually, where this is not done, the directors would hold office until their successors were elected, twelve able lawyers claim. Among these are Assistants of the Attorney Generals of Penna. and N. J. Hence there was no vacancy on the Board; and J.F.R.'s action was not "simply filling four vacancies"; it was an illegal and disorderly ousting of four legal directors and an illegal and disorderly appointing of four pseudo-directors. When it became advisable in 1894 and in 1908 that Directors be removed, Bro. Russell did not take the law
into his own hands and oust them; but in a legal and orderly way waited, until the next annual meetings of the shareholders, when he recommended and procured their dismissal by the way laid down in the Charter. Had J.F.R. followed this appropriate example, the Society would not have been "wrecked," nor would five faithful brothers have been slandered world-wide, nor the Church be so greatly disturbed.
In the Nov. 1, "Tower," page 329, col. 1, two by-laws are given. These are the product of "J.F.R.'s Illegal Board." This makes them illegal. However, the friends can safely send in to the Secretary a modified form of the proxy on that page or any other appropriate form, filling it out, except, if they prefer not to let the Secretary know the name and address of their proxy, they can omit these, and after the form is returned with endorsement, they can fill in the name and address of their proxy. It is neither the business of the Secretary of the Society nor of anyone else to know so long in advance of the election who holds proxies. Nor is it under some circumstances safe that this be known. Considering what was done July 31 with Peoples Pulpit Association proxies it would be advisable to cut out of the proxy the words "adjourned or"; also the words "and attorney for me and in my name, place and stead," and to ask that immediately after the close of the annual meeting the proxy be returned to its giver. If a person holds proxies from a number of persons, he is thereby empowered to make as many nominations as there are persons for whom he is asked to cast the proxies, and to vote the instructed shares for each designated nominee; for he acts as the representative of those whose proxies he holds. This should be insisted upon, because at the last election by prearrangement nominations for President were closed as soon as but one nominee was presented with speeches to the meeting. A proxy holder is morally obligated to vote his proxies as instructed,
until there is no possibility of the election of the one or ones for whom he is instructed to vote. Not only should the friends refuse to fill out the blanks asking them to declare their loyalty to the Society, but should protest against their being asked to make such a declaration. Without disproof, one's loyalty is presumed.
In his comments on Section VIII of the Charter J.F.R. misinterprets the section. This section provides for the election by the shareholders at the next annual meeting, not for the places on the Board held by those directors who were elected by the Board; but for the places on the Board held by those directors who, not elected by the Board, are appointed by the President. He omits that part of section V which treats of the charter members of the Society. There were seven of these, all of whom were elected as Board members. Keeping this fact in mind enables one to see the fallacy of his claim that the titles of office added to the names of three of the Directors holding offices make them members of the Board by virtue of their election to their respective offices. The reason why these titles were added is quite a different one, i.e.: to prove to the court that the Society was really organized; and therefore could ask for a legal existence by sanction of its charter.
For grace pray much, for much thou needest grace.
If men thy work deridewhat can they more?
Christ's weary foot thy path on earth doth trace;
If thorns wound thee, they pierced Him before;
Press on, look up, tho' clouds may gather round,
Thy place of service He makes hallowed ground.
Have friends forsaken thee, and cast thy name
Out as a worthless thing? Take courage then:
Go tell thy Master; for they did the same
To Him, who once in patience toiled for them;
Yet He was perfect in all service here;
Thou oft hast failed: this maketh Him more dear.