Governing Body

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    hooberus posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 02:26:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 317 of 2345
    Joined 2/26/2002

    Special thanks to gopher for the use of his WT CD rom, saving me alot of typing. I have edited and combined my posts here.

    GOVERNING BODY

    Russells time:

    "Having up to December 1, 1893, thirty-seven hundred and five (3,705) voting shares, out of a total of sixty-three hundred and eighty-three (6,383) voting shares, Sisiter Russell and myself, of course, elect the officers, and thus control the Society; and this was fully understood by the Directors from the first. Their usefullness, it was understood, would come to the front in the event of our death." A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings 4-25-1894 (written by Russell)

    "For more than thirty years, the President of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY managed its affairs exclusively, and the Board of Directors, so-called, had little to do. This is not said in criticism, but for the reason that the work of the Society peculiarly requires the direction of one mind." Harvest Siftings 8-1917 p. 10 (written by Rutherford)

    So we see that during the period of Russell, the WTBTS Board of Directors was not much into "governing" the society. This would be fine, except for the fact that the WT magazine now seems to be re-writing the Societies history as seen below.

    From the incorporation of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania in 1884 until 1972, the president of the Society exercised great authority in Jehovah's organization, while the Governing Body was closely associated with the Society's board of Directors. Watchtower 5-15-1997 p. 17

    To give the Bible Students legal status, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was incorporated in 1884 in the United States, with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its directors served as a central Governing Body, overseeing the global preaching of God's Kingdom. Watchtower 2-1-1999 p.17

    In fact the term "Governing Body" is not found in the Bible. I believe that it is a legal term, used to describe the directors of corporations as well as cities. In my home town the city directors are referred to in the news paper as "the governing body of the city of _______________ " The Watchtower Society has taken a modern legal term and has read it back into the Bible in order to make the early christians have the same arrangement that the WT Society does today!

    Furthermore they have also re-written this same term and concept back into their own history in order to make the early "Bible Students" have the same arrangement that the WT Society does today!

    Rutherfords time

    *** w90 3/15 17-18 Cooperating With the Governing Body Today ***There were legal requirements involved in publishing magazines and other Bible study aids. Hence, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was set up and registered in the state of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. For years, the visible Governing Body came to be identified with the seven-member board of directors of this corporation established to publish the Bible study aids needed and used by the Lords people earth wide.

    10 The Societys seven directors were faithful Christians. But their role in a legal corporation might have suggested that they owed their positions on the Governing Body to their being elected by legal members of the Watch Tower Society. Furthermore, by law such membership and its voting privileges were originally granted only to certain ones who made contributions to the Society. This arrangement needed to be changed. This was done at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation of the Watch Tower Society held on October 2, 1944. The statutes of the Society were amended so that membership would no longer be on a financial basis. Members would be chosen from among faithful servants of Jehovah, and these have come to include many serving full-time at the Societys headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and in its branches throughout the world.

    13 Until 1971 those of the Governing Body were still identified with the seven members of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The Societys president carried the main load of responsibility for making decisions affecting the operation of the Societys branches throughout the world. But epoch-making talks were delivered at the annual meeting held on October 1, 1971. The Societys president spoke on the subject "Bringing the Holy Place Into Right Condition," and the vice president on the topic "A Governing Body As Different From a Legal Corporation." What difference is there between the Governing Body and the legal corporation?

    14

    As already mentioned, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has a board of directors limited to seven members. These dedicated Christian men are elected for three-year terms by corporation members totaling no more than 500, the majority of whom are not anointed Christians. Moreover, since the corporations existence is purely legal, with a fixed geographic headquarters, it can be dissolved by Caesar, that is, the State. (Mark 12:17) However, the Governing Body is not a legal instrument. Its members are not elected. They are appointed through the holyspirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. (Compare Acts 20:28.) Moreover, those making up the Governing Body are spirit-appointed men without any obligatory fixed geographic location or headquarters.

    Here is a summary of points from the above arcticle:

    1. From the incorporation of the WTBTS until 1971 the Governing Body was the seven member Board of directors. These were faithful Christians.

    2. While the fact that the Governing body members were also on a legal board might have suggested that they owed their positions on the GB to their being elected, this was not actually the case.

    3.The Governing Body members were not elected but appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.

    Now for the punch line: The Proclaimers book on pages 66 through 68 gives the account of what happened during 1917.

    Not everyone was supportive of the new president. C. T. Russell and J. F. Rutherford were very different men. They had different personalities and came from different backgrounds. These differences were hard for some to accept. In their minds, no one could fill Brother Russells shoes.

    A few, especially at headquarters, actually resented Brother Rutherford. The fact that the work was moving ahead and that he was making every effort to follow the arrangements that had been put in place by Russell did not seem to impress them. Opposition soon mounted. Four members of theboard of directors of the Society went so far as to endeavor to wrest administrative control fromRutherfords hands. The situation came to a head in the summer of 1917, with the release of TheFinishedMystery, the seventh volume of StudiesintheScriptures.

    Brother Russell had been unable to produce this volume during his lifetime, though he had hoped to do so. Following his death, the Executive Committee of the Society arranged for two associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, to prepare this book, which was a commentary on Revelation, The Song of Solomon, and Ezekiel. In part, it was based on what Russell had written about these Bible books, and other comments and explanations were added. The completed manuscript was approved for publication by officers of the Society and was released to the Bethel family at the dining table on Tuesday, July 17, 1917. On that same occasion, a startling announcement was made the four opposing directors had been removed, and Brother Rutherford had appointed four others to fill the vacancies. What was the reaction?

    It was as if a bombshell had exploded! The four ousted directors seized upon the occasion and stirred up a five-hour controversy before the Bethel family over the administration of the Societys affairs. A number of the Bethel family sympathized with the opposers. The opposition continued for several weeks, with the disturbers threatening to "overthrow the existing tyranny," as they put it. But Brother Rutherford had a sound basis for the action he had taken. How so?

    It turned out that although the four opposing directors had been appointed by Brother Russell, these appointments had never been confirmed by vote of the corporation members at the annual meeting of the Society. Therefore, the four of them were not legal members of the board of directors at all! Rutherford had been aware of this but had not mentioned it at first. Why not? He had wanted to avoid giving the impression that he was going against Brother Russells wishes. However, when it became evident that they would not discontinue their opposition, Rutherford acted within his authority and responsibility as president to replace them with four others whose appointments were to be confirmed at the next annual meeting, to be held in January 1918.

    On August 8, the disgruntled ex-directors and their supporters left the Bethel family; they had been asked to leave because of the disturbance they had been creating. They soon began spreading their opposition by an extensive speaking and letter-writing campaign throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. As a result, after the summer of 1917, a number of congregations of Bible Students were split into two groupsthose loyal to the Society and those who were easy prey to the smooth talk of the opposers.

    Here is a summary of points from the proclaimers arcticle.

    1. Four members of the Board of Directors opposed Rutherfurd.

    2. Rutherford used the fact that their positions on the Board of directors had not been confirmed at annual elections to dismiss them from governing the Society.

    3. The arcticle admits that these members were appointed by Russell.

    By comparing the 1990 arcticle with the Proclaimers account the following becaome obvious:

    A Majority of the "Governing Body" opposed Rutherford. Rutherford used a legal-techniquality to dismiss them even though the 1990 arcticle says that they did not hold their positions on the Governing Body due to their being directors. Hense it was an unjust dismissal. The Directors which were appointed by Russell must also have been "appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ." Rutherford ignored this appointment (which came from Russell, holy spirit [sic], Jehovah, and Jesus Christ) and kicked them out anyway!

    Edited by - hooberus on 5 February 2003 22:37:22

    Edited by - hooberus on 7 February 2003 15:12:49

    Edited by - hooberus on 7 February 2003 15:20:36

    Dia posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 03:44:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 619 of 616
    Joined 6/7/2002

    It would be a fascinating study in psychology and manipulation, to observe the way that the whole issue of the Governing Body so gradually reveals itself to new JWs. It's fun to see how the media points up, straight away, how JWs believe that their GB has an 'inside track' with God. How many JWs would not be JWs if that had been pointed out to them from the beginning?

    Now, you bring up this whole point about the origins actually having to do with business decisions and legalities.

    I'm happy to see all this exposure at last coming to an evil corporation that well deserves it.

    M justhuman posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 13:39:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 75 of 1544
    Joined 8/18/2001

    There NEVER was a GB in the early christians they were acting by the Holy Spirit...in fact in Acts 15 does it look like a GB. The GB takes decisions behind close doors. The Christian congregation makes decisions and they are observed openely from the public.

    And why did the fist christians got their name in Antioch instead of Jerusalim were the GB supposed to live there?

    Apostle Paul has circimcised Timothy(gentile) contrary to the decision of the GB mentionted above in Acts 15. So Paul is an APOSTATE

    metatron posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 14:56:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 1663 of 7440
    Joined 4/7/2001

    You hit the nail on the head by refuting the GB concept in noting that each Christian
    was inspired by holy spirit.

    This point is so simple - and they all overlook it. The idea of a Governing Body
    in the first century is silly because ANY CHRISTIAN might speak in tongues or heal
    or prophecy. Any sister, brother or child could be inspired by holy spirit to act or
    speak.

    This is why churches had to come up with some theoretical form of governance of their
    organization - because there was little need to have one in the first century.

    metatron

    F blondie posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 14:59:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 2897 of 37613
    Joined 5/28/2001

    You might like looking at these publications deveoped by ex-JWs regarding the FDS and whether God has ever had an organization.

    Blondie

    http://www.brci.org/Publications/Publications.html

    hooberus posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 22:57:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 324 of 2345
    Joined 2/26/2002

    If someone could use their WT CD and cut and paste the following pages I have some additional comments on the majority of the Governing Body being "kicked out" of the WT Society in 1917.

    Watchtower March 15, 1990 p. 17-18

    Proclaimers 1993 p. 65-68

    If these complete pages could be posted here it would help. Thanks

    M Gopher posted Thu, 06 Feb 2003 23:22:00 GMT(2/6/2003)

    Post 2561 of 10951
    Joined 3/18/2001

    I had trouble getting the exact pages out of the Proclaimers book, but here is what I could find in the publications you requested:

    *** w90 3/15 17-18 Cooperating With the Governing Body Today ***


    There were legal requirements involved in publishing magazines and other Bible study aids. Hence, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was set up and registered in the state of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. For years, the visible Governing Body came to be identified with the seven-member board of directors of this corporation established to publish the Bible study aids needed and used by the Lords people earth wide.

    10

    The Societys seven directors were faithful Christians. But their role in a legal corporation might have suggested that they owed their positions on the Governing Body to their being elected by legal members of the Watch Tower Society. Furthermore, by law such membership and its voting privileges were originally granted only to certain ones who made contributions to the Society. This arrangement needed to be changed. This was done at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation of the Watch Tower Society held on October 2, 1944. The statutes of the Society were amended so that membership would no longer be on a financial basis. Members would be chosen from among faithful servants of Jehovah, and these have come to include many serving full-time at the Societys headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and in its branches throughout the world.

    11

    Reporting on this improvement, The Watchtower of November 1, 1944, stated: "Money, as represented in financial contributions, should have no determining voice, should in fact have nothing to do with the filling of the governing body of Jehovahs witnesses on earth. . . . The holy spirit, the active force which comes down from Jehovah God through Christ Jesus, is that which should determine and guide in the matter."

    Different

    From a Board of Directors

    12

    The progress of the preaching work during the following decades proves that Jehovah blessed the foregoing refinements in the understanding of the Governing Body. (Proverbs 10:22) Why, the number of Kingdom proclaimers throughout the earth jumped from less than 130,000 in 1944 to 1,483,430 in 1970! But further improvements were yet to come.

    13

    Until 1971 those of the Governing Body were still identified with the seven members of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The Societys president carried the main load of responsibility for making decisions affecting the operation of the Societys branches throughout the world. But epoch-making talks were delivered at the annual meeting held on October 1, 1971. The Societys president spoke on the subject "Bringing the Holy Place Into Right Condition," and the vice president on the topic "A Governing Body As Different From a Legal Corporation." What difference is there between the Governing Body and the legal corporation?

    14

    As already mentioned, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has a board of directors limited to seven members. These dedicated Christian men are elected for three-year terms by corporation members totaling no more than 500, the majority of whom are not anointed Christians. Moreover, since the corporations existence is purely legal, with a fixed geographic headquarters, it can be dissolved by Caesar, that is, the State. (Mark 12:17) However, the Governing Body is not a legal instrument. Its members are not elected. They are appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. (Compare Acts 20:28.) Moreover, those making up the Governing Body are spirit-appointed men without any obligatory fixed geographic location or headquarters.

    15

    As to such refinements in understanding, The Watchtower of December 15, 1971, said: "Thankfully Jehovahs Christian witnesses know and assert that this is no one-man religious organization, but that it has a governing body of spirit-anointed Christians." The Governing Body of the anointed slave class and of their millions of companions among the other sheep has been progressively equipped to take care of its office of oversight.

    *** jv 67-9 6 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***


    J. F. Rutherfords Background

    Joseph Franklin Rutherford was born of Baptist parents on a farm in Morgan County, Missouri, U.S.A., on November 8, 1869. When Joseph was 16, his father consented to his attending college, provided that he pay his own way and that he pay for a hired laborer to take his place on the farm. A determined young man, Joseph secured a loan from a friend and managed to go to college while also studying law.

    After completing his academy education, Rutherford spent two years under the tutelage of Judge E. L. Edwards. By the time he was 20, he became the official court reporter for the courts of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit in Missouri. On May 5, 1892, his license to practice law in Missouri was granted. Rutherford later served for four years as public prosecutor for Boonville, Missouri. Still later, he served on occasion as a special judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri. That is why he came to be known as "Judge" Rutherford.

    Interestingly, to help pay his way through school, Rutherford sold encyclopedias from house to house. It was not an easy jobthere were many rebuffs. On one occasion he almost died when he fell into an icy stream while calling on farms. He promised himself that when he became a lawyer, if anyone ever came to his office selling books, he would buy them. True to his word, he accepted three volumes of "Millennial Dawn" from two colporteurs who appeared at his office early in 1894. Several weeks later he read the books and promptly wrote a letter to the Watch Tower Society, in which he said: "My dear wife and myself have read these books with the keenest interest, and we consider it a God-send and a great blessing that we have had the opportunity of coming in contact with them." In 1906, Joseph F. Rutherford was baptized, and a year later he became the Watch Tower Societys legal counsel.

    [Box

    on page 70]

    Victims

    of Clergy-Inspired Persecution

    By the middle of 1918, J. F. Rutherford and seven of his associates were in prisonvictims of clergy-inspired opposition. But those eight men were not the only targets of such hatred. During earlier years it had been C. T. Russell who was primarily the object of attack by the clergy and the press. Now the Bible Students themselves were victims. "The Golden Age" (now "Awake!") of September 29, 1920, published a graphic, extensive report of vicious persecution they endured in the United States. It read like something out of the Inquisition. Included were the following accounts:

    "April 22, 1918, at Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Claud Watson was first jailed and then deliberately released to a mob composed of preachers, business men and a few others that knocked him down, caused a negro to whip him and, when he had partially recovered, to whip him again. They then poured tar and feathers all over him, rubbing the tar into his hair and scalp."

    "April 29, 1918, at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, W. B. Duncan, 61 years of age, Edward French, Charles Franke, a Mr. Griffin and Mrs. D. Van Hoesen were jailed. The jail was broken into by a mob that used the most vile and obscene language, whipped, tarred, feathered and drove them from town. Duncan was compelled to walk twenty-six miles [42 km] to his home and barely recovered. Griffin was virtually blinded and died from the assault a few months later."

    "April 30, 1918, . . . at Minerva, Ohio, S. H. Griffin was first jailed and then released to a mob, then lectured fifteen minutes by the minister, then struck repeatedly, cursed, kicked, trodden upon, threatened with hanging and with drowning, driven from town, spit upon, tripped repeatedly, jabbed repeatedly with an umbrella, forbidden to ride, followed five miles to Malvern, Ohio, rearrested, jailed for safety at Carrollton and finally taken home by brave and faithful officials who, after examining his literature, said, in so many words, We find no fault in this man."

    [Footnotes]

    Pp. 712-17.

    [Box/Picture

    on page 69]

    No

    Men on Earth More Highly Favored

    On June 21, 1918, J. F. Rutherford and several of his close associates were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, having been falsely convicted of conspiracy. Their feelings? In a handwritten note dated June 22-23 (shown below), from the Raymond Street jail in Brooklyn, New York, Brother Rutherford wrote: "There are probably no men on earth today more highly favored and who are happier than the seven brethren now in prison. They are conscious of their entire innocence of intentional wrongdoing, and rejoice to be suffering with Christ for loyally serving Him."

    Edited by - Gopher on 6 February 2003 23:15:53

    hooberus posted Fri, 07 Feb 2003 00:34:00 GMT(2/7/2003)

    Post 327 of 2345
    Joined 2/26/2002

    Edited by - hooberus on 7 February 2003 15:14:31

    hooberus posted Fri, 07 Feb 2003 00:47:00 GMT(2/7/2003)

    Post 328 of 2345
    Joined 2/26/2002

    The WT Society has also stated on more than one occasion that the Governing Body can contine to function on its own without the legal corporations of the watchtower! So the dissenting directors since they formed a majority of the board (hense also a majority of the Governing Body) were the ones whom Jehovah would have been using as a Governing Body. Thus logically the WT Society was no longer God's Organization from 1917 onward!!!!!!!

    M Maverick posted Fri, 14 Feb 2003 20:11:00 GMT(2/14/2003)

    Post 19 of 2457
    Joined 2/10/2003

    I wrote a letter of Baptism Nullification that is posted in the friends forum that is directed at the corporate nature of the GB. Check it out! Maverick

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