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"He that answereth a mattgr, before he heareth it, it is folly and
shame unto him."
""Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
A Message to the Watchers,
Being a refutation of "'Harvest Siftings"
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"Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for Myname's sake,
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said, 'Let the Lord be glorified'; but He shakk apfiear
to your joy and they shall be ashamed."
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Our Present Counselor
E ARE LIVING in a time when, if it were possible, "the very elect" would
be deceived, but God's Word, our safe guide, assures us that this cannot
be done, even though the Adversary should use some of his ablest instru-
ments for that purpose. Jesus' safety was found in what was written,
and that constitutes our security also. We are not ignorant of the
devices of our Adversary.
In New Testament days he used letters and words and spirits pur-
porting to come from the right source and through the Lord's channel
in order to deceive the early Christians, but this was unavailing. He even
caused some of his ablest ministers to write letters that were so nearly
ngs found in the Holy Scriptures that some could not tell them apart, and
accepted them as inspired writings. This gave rise to the Apocryphal
may be found in the Catholic Bibles between the Old and New Testaments.
This should cause the Lord's people to be especially on guard at this time, when
we are so near the end of the way, entering into Gethsemane, previous to the binding
of Satan.
One of these pseudo-writings may be found in a document recently published and
mailed to the friends all over the world, entitled "Harvest Siftings," which is an imita-
tion and counterfeit of our dear Brother Russell's Harvest Siftings, but a careful exam-
ination of the two writings bearing the same title will reveal the fact that they are
entirely different. Brother Russell's Siftings was a real thing; the latter is a deception.
Brother Russell's production was for the purpose of giving a plain, simple, straightfor-
ward, loving, Christian-like explanation of certain false charges which had been made
by certain ones who had conspired against him. This latter document is altogether dif-
ferent. It is written for the purpose of condemning Brother Russell's fellow-servants,
and is the work of a Prosecuting Attorney rather than that of a Christian. In the one
instance the Adversary attempted to disrupt the work of the Society by a conspiracy of
brethren who were sifted out; in this instance he has proven a little more successful
through the processes of usurpation, casting out faithful brethren, and then saying,
"The Lord be glorified."
This pseudo-"Siftings" is nothing but a legal document to prove what a wonderful
President the Society has-a supposedly real hero who has saved the Society from
being wrecked, whereas in reality it is a covered effort to overcome Brother Russell, as
represented in his fellow-servants, to the extent of splitting the Church, and the usage
of the Lord's money contributed by His consecrated people. Brother Rutherford is
using the Lord's money in this way. He is using the Lord's people, and he is using
consecrated time and talents in the same direction.
If you will carefully scrutinize his so-called "Siftings," you will readily observe
that it has every ear-mark of the Lawyer, the Counselor, the Prosecuting Attorney. It
is a lawyer's business to accept his client's case for money considerations, and to do
everything in his power to prove his case. Lawyers argue on only one side of a case,
and that is always their side-the selfish one. It is not a matter of strict justice (as it
ought to be), but a matter of winning the case by arguments. To accomplish this pur-
pose, such arguments only will be used that tend to establish their point. All other
points will be suppressed, ignored, and omitted, and, at the same time, they will do
everything they can to overcome the arguments on the other side, no matter how true
they may be. Besides this, statements of witnesses are ofttimes colored to suit their
case, and misrepresentations are frequently indulged in. In these, and in other ways,
they either win the case, or come so near to it that their client seems satisfied, unless
an appeal case can be worked up. YOUwill find all these things used in this so-called
"Siftings" to prove a point and to show what a wonderful champion the Society
(Rutherford-Van Amburgh) has found in Our President.
He has set himself up as the Counselor of the Church, and this is the kind of coun-
sel he is giving them. It might be well to notice in this connection that this word
Counselor is one of the titles of the Lord Jesus, and is one of the principal works of
the Advocate, and was never previously recognized as an ofice in the Church.
We are confident that the friends do not wish the money they have contributed for
the spread of the Truth to be used to propagate falsehoods and to push the Primacy so
as to split the Church. Neither do they wish the name, memory, contributions, sacri-
fices and prestige of our dear Brother Russell to be used in this manner. Therefore,
we are inviting your careful and prayerful consideration of the facts stated in the writ-
ings herewith sent forth to the Lord's people in His name, which, we believe, will be
one of the means the Lord will use at this time to shield and protect His people-His
sheepfrom those that would otherwise devour and destroy.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of
Jesus Our Lord."-2
Peter 1 :2.
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in jrtdgmenf fhou shalt
condemn, This is the heritage of the sewants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the
Lord."-Isaiah 53 :17.
A. N. Pierson
Brother Russell occupied positions of trust in the work of the
I. F. Hoskins
(2) That the Author of 'Hars-est Siftings," while hnow-
ing that St. Paul enjoins, "speak ev11 oi no man," has seem-
ingly lifted all restraint from his tongue a~d
J. F. Rutherford 1 vs. R. H. Hirsh
W. E. Van Amburgh j T. D. Wright
i?. I. Ritchie
ITTLE did we thinlc when we looked upon the
dead body of our great leader, Pastor Russell,
less than nine months ago, that in so short a
time it ,would become our painful duty to
sound an alarm to the Lord's people every-
where, in the statement we are now- about to
make. Little did we then think that those who
would undertake to manage the affairs of the
Society after Brother Russell's death would at-
tempt to pervert and change the time-honored
customs and usages left us by our dear
Pastor, or that there would be introduced such flagrant and
sweeping departures from the form of government as outlined
in Brother Russell's Will and in the Charter of the Watch
Tower Bible and Tract Society, written by his own hand.
For months past we have been hoping to avert the pres-
ent issue, and now it is necessary that we relate to you
the history of the unhappy circumstances which have led up
to the present trouble. Even now, we would hesitate to speak
of these things were it not for the fact that certain brethren,
whose names we must herein mention, have sent out broad-
cast lengthy statements which have distorted the facts and
which are calculated to mislead the Lord's people with regard
to the true situation at headquarters. Accordingly, we have
received hundreds of letters requesting a true and complete
explanation of the affairs and happenings here. Failure to
correct the misleading statements and tell you the truth would
surely mean a culpable neglect on our part to fulfil our sol em^.
and sacred duty to protect and safeguard the interests of the
Lord's flock.
THE WATCHTOWERreaders have received a paper styled
"Harvest Siftings." It bears the signature of the President
of our Society, J. F. Rutherford. Several facts are apparent
at once to the minds of all who have read this paper care-
fully, namely:
(1) That the author has attempted to assassinate the good
reputation of some of his brethren, Directors of the Watch
Tower Bible and Tract Society, who for many years under
pen and through-
out his paper has carried on a campaign of slander and evil
(3) That while on page one of his "Siftings," Brother
Rutherford declares that God is his Judge, he seems unwilling
that God shall judge his brethren, but proceeds himself to be
their judge and to unmercifully condemn them.
(4) That while on the first page of "Siftings," our brother
says he has no unkind feelings toward anyone, he proceeds to
express, time after tirne, unkind sentiments toward these
(5) While in the concluding paragraphs of his paper, he
exhorts that no bitterness be allowed to come in, he has re-
peatedly said many things therein to arouse bitter thoughts
in the minds of the Lord's people.
' (6) That throughout his statement our brother has at-
tempted to link with Brother Johnson's affairs in England the
proceedings of the majority members of the Board of Direc-
tors, and that without there being any relationship whatsoever
and in face of repeated protests on our part.
(7) That on the first page of "Harvest Siftings," top of
second column, the author exhorts "that you do not form any
distinct opinion until you have read all this statement"; the
inference being that you should immediately form a distinrt
opinion after reading his statement.
We have too much confidence in you, dear brethren, to
think that after follo~lingthe leading of the Lord under
Brother Russell, many of gou for years past, you could at this
late hour be so misled as not to be able to discern between
this and the spirit of the wise man of old: "He that answereth
a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."
-Pro\erbs 18:13. See Vol. VI, pages 293, 294.
Il-e would not publish this article merely in defense of our
naine. n'e hale nothing that is not fully devoted to the Lord
and the Truth: we suffer because of our faithful effort to
serve these and you, and realizing this, we are not distressed.
"IX'e know whom we have believed and are persuaded that
He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him
against that day."
The purpose of this explanation is not to retaliate, either, thought that he would have a successor in this special office,
for, by the LordYsGrace, we trust to follow the
of but rather that the Board of seven Directors should "come
to the front" and be his successor, and exercise complete
management of the Society and its affairs.
when He was reviled, reviled not again.w There-
fore, we will leave out personalities and bitter words in the
(3) ~h~~ the charter of the watch T~~~~ ~ibl~
and T~~~~
We believe that it will not be speaking evil to
confine ourselves to some of the official acts of the Presi-
dent of the Society, for every voting shareholder has a
right to information of this character. Our only purpose,
dear brethren, is to set matters before you in such a manner
that you may see the facts and principles involved and be
prepared to recognize the Lord's leading and guidance through
this fiery trial, to the-intent that you may endure the same,
without any real injury.
Herewith we set forth the salient points that you may be
assisted in following the events up to the present sad crisis:
(1) That during the lifetime of Brother Russell, he exer-
cised complete control and management of the Watch Tower
Bible and Tract Society, and all of its affairs, for the reason
that he created the Society with his own money and intellect
under the special guidance of the Lord's spirit, which he
possessed in large measure.
(2) That as he looked forward to his death, it was not his
Society, written by Brother Russell, stated in plain terms the
form of government by which the Society was to be governed.
This, he declared, was intended to apply especially after his
(4) That at his death, Brother Russell left a will (see
"Watch Tower," December 1, 1916), in which he explains why
he had control of the Society during his lifetime and the man-
ner in which he desired the affairs to be continued after his
(5) That Brother Russell had not been dead more than
a few days when his Will was declared to be illegal and. there-
fore, not binding, and that its provisions need not be
observed by those who took charge, thus beginning the real
murmuring against Brother Russell's arrangements, which has-
continued ever since.
(6) That Brother Rutherford, being well assured in ad-
vance that he would be elected President of the Society, drew
up some by-laws before his election, which were taken to the
shareholders' meeting at Pittsburgh, January 6, and placed
in the hands of a committee of three brethren, with the in-
struction that they suggest before the shareholders' meeting
that these by-laws be adopted by the Society for the govern-
ment of its affairs.
(7) That these by-laws, prepared by Brother Rutherford,
expressly stated that the President should be the executive
and manager of the Society and that he should have full
charge of all its affairs, both in foreign lands and in America.
(8) That the passage of ihese by-laws, under Brother
Rutherford's instructions, by the shareholders was contrary
to the Charter of the Society, and, hence, not binding, since
the Charter provides that "the Directors shall have full power
to make by-laws." (See charter, Sec. VII, elsewhere in this
(9) That Brother Rutherford, knowing that these by-laws,
recommended by the shareholders, were not legal, on return-
ing from the election called a meeting of the Board of Direc-
tors, at which there were present Brothers Rutherford, Van
Amburgh, Pierson, Ritchie and Wright. Brother Hoskins, be-
ing ill, was absent, and Brother Rockwell had just removed
from Bethel. At this meeting of the Board, these by-laws,
placing the control in the hands of Brother Rutherford, were
adopted thus making them legal.
(10) That the Brethren present at this Board meeting
who took part in the adoption of these by-laws, not being
able to forecast the future, and not surmising that our brother
would misuse the power, thought best at that time to take
this action.
(11) That not many weeks had passed before there were
misgivings in the minds of several of the Directors as to the
wisdom of the action taken, and though they expressed no im-
mediate protest, they recognized that they had placed altogether
too much confidence in Brother Rutherford in giving him such
sweeping control, for they saw that he was interpreting the
by-laws to niean that he alone was the controller of the So-
ciety to the exclusion of the Directors.
(12) That one of the seriously objectionable results of this
power in the hands of the President was that he appointed a
special representative, Brother A. H. Macmillan, who for
two months previous to this time, since Brother Russell's
death, had shown himself unfit to represent the Society and
its affairs in such an important position, and that to this special
representative was delegated autocratic powers by the Presi-
dent, so that in the absence of the President, the word of his
special representative was declared to be final on all matters,
much to the sorrow and discomfort of many of the force.
(13) That instead of properly representing the Society
and assisting the President in preserving inviolate its charter
and Brother Russell's will, Brother Macmillan did the very
reverse. He apparently viewed Brother Russell's Will as a
mere trifle, not worthy of consideration, and time after time
as he visited various parts of the country, he held up t1.e
Board of Directors to contempt and ridicule.
(14) That instead of the President exercising restraint
over his special representative, he apparently sanctioned his
unseemly conduct, as indicated in his statement in "Harvest
Siftings," page 11, where he says Brother Macmillan "has
proven faithful and loyal."
(15) That after three months or so had passed, it became
clearly evident to the majority of the Directors that they had
seriously blundered in placing the complete control in the
hands of one man, contrary to the charter (Xrticle VI of which
reads: "The corporation shall be managed by a Board of
Directors, consisting of seven members"), and that under this
one-man rule the Directors were not allowed to direct, and
could get little or no information regarding the affairs of the
Society, for which the laws of the land held them responsible.
(16) That Brother Van Amburgh is the only Director who
has fully supported the President in his methods and policies;
whereas prior to Brother Russell's death, Brother Van Am-
burgh frequently opposed Brother Russell in the business that
he brought before the Board for consideration, thus taking
hours of Brother Russell's valuable time; and that since
Brother Russell's death, Brother Van Amburgh has given his
undivided support to Brother Rutherford, and is permitted
to exercise more authority than ever before; and has re-
peatedly refused members of the Board the privilege of get-
ting information from the Society's records.
(17) That prior to the time of Brother Johnson's return
from England, in the early part of April, things had not been
running smoothly and to the satisfaction of the Board of
Directors, and that Brother Johnson's return had nothing
whatever to do with the real issues.
(18) That when Brother Johnson returned to America he
appealed to the Board of Directors for a hearing of the diffi-
culties in England. Two hearings were allowed by the Presi-
dent, neither of which was an official Board meeting, and in
neither of these was Brother Johnson given more than slight
opportunity to state his case.
(19) That when Brother Johnson requested time and again
that the President call a meeting of the Board to give him a
fair opportunity to state his case, the President became angered
and told Brother Johnson and the Board it was none of their
business, that the management was all in his hands, and that
he had closed up the matter of Brother Johnson's affair and
would not open it again.
(20) That when the members of the Board saw this atti-
tude on the part of the President, which was but another ex-
hibition of the same autocratic powers which he had many
times exercised since his election, they concluded it wise to
take counsel together and earnestly prayed over the matter, the
result of which was that at the next Board meeting, one of
our number offered a resolution to amend the by-laws which
the Board had unwisely adopted eariy in the year.
(21) That the purpose of the Directors in wishing to
amend the by-laws was not that the four members of the
Board might take over the control of the Society, but that the
Board might be restored to its proper position, according to
Brother Russell's will and charter.
(22) That when this resolution was offered to rescind the
objectionable by-laws, the President was greatly angered and
offered such strenuous opposition that the Board yielded to
his suggestion to hold the matter over for about a month.
(23) That meantime the President took a trip West and
completed the scheme by which he has attempted to declare
illegal and put off the Board four of its properly constituted
members, three of whom for many years past were recognized
by Brother Russell as legally chosen Directors.
(24) That the President's declaration that these members
of the Board have had no legal standing as Directors for years
past, would mean, if true, that Brother Russell has been
transacting "illegal business" through an "illegal Board" for
many years.
(25) Be it known, therefore, that Brother Rutherford in
his "Siftings" has beclouded the real issues by claiming that
the Directors have espoused the cause of Brother Johnson
and want to send him back to England, when we had no desire
or intention of doing anything of the kind; and be it further
known that Brother Johnson is in no sense the cause of our
differences here at headquarters.
(26) Be it known further that we had no thought what-
soever of interrupting the affairs of the Society by tying up
its funds, as Brother Rutherford charges us, but merely to
make them subject to the Board's direction; and that no
thought could be farther from our mind than that of wreck-
ing the Society. God knows our hearts and our intentions.
Instead, we have been for many years engaged with all our
heart and strength in supporting the Lord's work and in ex-
tending the influence of our Society and the Truth, which we
all love so much. Our aim from first ta last in this respect
has been to fulfill the duties of our office, to which three of
us were appointed under Brother Russell, and to faithfully ful-
fill the trust reposed in us ; and to estop, if possible, a gross and
wholesale departure from Brother Russell's Will, his Charter,
and the policies outlined by him to be followed after his death,
to all of which the Directors solemnly bound themselves.
We do not cease to rejoice in the Lord and to give thanks
for all the fresh evidences of our acceptance with Him which
we have enjoyed during our recent trials. Our privileges are.
it is true, somewhat curtailed; but be assured that we stand
always ready to serve any of you.
ITH ALL of the mighty power of the Society
at his back-the consecrated financial power
and the moral power-the President of our
Society has done his best to crush to the earth
four brethren whose loyalty to the Lord, the
Truth and the brethren no one ever before
questioned. All of them have been in the
service of the Truth for many years, and to
none of them was the finger of scorn ever be-
fore pointed. They worked faithfully with
their beloved Pastor until his death, and took
up their duties with the new President with renewed deter-
mination to support him as loyally as they had supported
Brother Russell. This they continued to do until they saw
that the Charter, Will, and all would be so completely sub-
verted that there might be little left if they did not at once
make protest.
It is probably sufficient to say that Brother Rutherford's
"Siftings" contains more than a hundred untruthful charges
and misleading statements, all made, too, on WATCHTOWER
paper, printed at considerable expense, and sent out from
readily as they did "The Divine Plan." We wonder if the
Adversary has been busy raising dust-clouds to obscure these
important truths, and to cover them up with false accusa-
tions of ambition against the majority members of the Board
of Directors. Time after time in Brother Rutherford's "Sift-
ings" we have been accused of seeking honor, position, etc.;
yet it should be evident to all that only Brother Rutherford's
surmises are offered in support of these charges. Thus our
earnest endeavors to do our duty and to stand in defense
of our Society, and for the protection of its sacred interests,
have been so misrepresented as to appear to be evil. Verily
again our Adversary is putting "darkness for light and light
for darkness."-Isaiah 5 :20.
We humbly believe, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
that not one of us has any ambition, save to be faithful to
the trust reposed in us by the Lord and by our beloved
Pastor. We recali in this connection the words of our Lord
and of the Apostle Paul, as fo!lovrs:
"It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful; every
man according to his several ability."-I Cor. 4:Z; Matthew 25 :IS."
We freely confess that none of us has any great ability;
but it is our desire to use to His praise whatever little we
have; and as stewards of the Society, we have sought only
to be faithful.
The trouble really had its beginning before the election
in Pittsburgh last January. Realizing that he would be
elected President of the Society, and knowing that the
Charter places the control of the Society's interests in the
hands of the Board of Directors, Brother Rutherford, before
he started for the election at Pittsburgh, prepared some by-
laws to be placed before the shareholders' meeting. In this
connection it would be well to quote a part of the Charter
of the Society respecting the only body authorized to make
by-laws. Section VII reads :
"The Corporation, by its Board of Directors [not the voting share-
holders], a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for the trans-
action of business, shall have full power and authority to make and
enact by-laws, rules and ordinances, which shall be deemed and taken
to be the law of said corporation, and do any and everything useful
ior the good government and support of the affairs of said corporation."
Kotwithstanding this provision in the Charter that the
Board of Directors shall make the by-laws, at Brother Ruther-
ford's instance a committee on by-laws was appointed at the
Convention in Pittsburgh. To this Committee Brother
Rutheriord's by-laws were presented, and after deliberating
upon them most of the afternoon, the Committee proceeded
toward the platform to read them to the Convention. It was
the hour set to reconvene the assemblage; but, thin:.ing that
the Committee had probably made changes during their long
dellberations (against his plan to gain the control), Brother
Rutherford held them up for an hour behind the platform
while he endeavored to force them to change the by-laws
back exactly as he had prepared them, threatening a fight be-
iore the Convention if this were not done. Little did the
conventioners know of what was going on behind the cur-
tain, and little did they realize why the Convention was de-
layed so long. There were several eye-witnesses of this con-
troversy, besides the Committee, which was composed of
Brother Margeson, of Boston, Chairman; Brother Bricker,
of Pittsburgh, and Brother Ostrander, of Cleveland.
The Committee held out courageously against Brother
Ruthelford, but fearing the threatened fight and consequent
disturbance in the Convention if Brother Rutherford did not
have his own way, they finally reported the by-laws as orig-
inally prepared by him. We rehearse these facts to show
how the Brother managed to take the power from the Board
of Directors, and to have it in his own hand. One of the by-
laws, which was suggested at the shareholders' meeting, reads :
"The Preside~tof the Society shall always be the Executive Officu
the Tabernacle, the home of the Truth.
The real issue, dear friends, is: Are we to remain faithful
to Brother Russell's memory, his methods and his plans for the
work? In view of the fact that Brother Russell concluded to
turn over to the Society all the Lord's goods, as a "faithful
and wise steward," he first had an understanding with the
Board of Directors, reference to which is made in his will,
as follows:
"In view of the fact that in donating the journal 'Zion's Watch
Tower,' the 'Old Theology Quarterly' (now the 'Bible Student's
Monthly), ar.d the copyrights of the 'Millennia1 Dawn Scripture
Studies,' Books and various other booklets, hymn-books, etc., to the
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, I did so with the explicit
understanding that I should have full control of all the interests of
these publications during my life, and that after my decease they
should he conducted according to my wishes. I now herewith set
forth the said wisheslny will respecting the same."
The first part of this agreement was carried out during
Brother Russell's life time. And now, dear brethren, we
come to the second part of it, as expressed in his Will, pub-
lished in THE TOWERDecember 1, 1916. We do well to read
it frequently to keep its various provisions fresh in mind.
Another section reads :
"My object in these requirements is to safeguard the committee
and the journal from any spirit of ambition or pride or headship, and
that the Truth may be recognized and appreciated for its own worth,
and that the Lord may more particularly be recognized as the Head
of the Church and the Fountain of Truth."
In these two quotations from the Will, it is evident that
Brother Russell expected no successor in his peculiar office
as "that wise and faithful servant" (Matthew 24:45-47).
And as he wished to safeguard THE WATCH TOWER SO that
there should be no opportunity for ambition, pride or
headship, so it is equally true that Brother Russell never
intended that anyone should succeed him in the full control
of the Society's interests throughout the wide world, and
doubtless for the same reason that he wished to keep down
headship. This thought is evidenced in many ways, and by
his printed statement to this effect:
"In the event of my death, the Board of Directors will come
forward !"
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Also a quotation from the Charter, Section VI:
"The Corporation is to be managed by a Board of Directors con-
sisting of seven members."
Thus it will be seen that after Brother Russell's death the
Board of Directors became his successors in the control of
the Society's affairs, as the Editorial Committee of five
became his successors as Editors of THE WATCHTOWER.
Sorne of the dear friends seem unable to grasp these
truths. On the other hand some appear to grasp them as
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