Why Judge Rutherford went to prison

By “Alfred”

It’s been over 93 years ago, so we’ll probably never know all the facts, but the Watchtower Society continues to claim that its president, Joseph F. Rutherford, and other officers of the corporation were falsely accused and sent to prison on charges of “sedition”. However, a May 9, 1918 New York Times article that covered these arrests and sedition charges states that the accused were charged with “spreading doctrines calculated to promote unrest and disloyalty among the men of the army and navy.” The article concluded that the indictment was based largely upon printed matter published in the Watch Tower magazine, Kingdom News, and the book The Finished Mystery.

I looked up “sedition” on Wikipedia and found this definition (in part):

“In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition…”

It might interest current and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses to know that Rutherford ordered the Bible Students to rip out pages 247 through 253 in all copies of The Finished Mystery in his last ditch attempt to avoid jail time. Surprisingly, the Proclaimers book (p. 652) partially admits that this happened (that the pages were removed), but does not explain that it this was done so that Rutherford could avoid jail time.

On March 5, 2011, I posted on Jehovahs-Witness.net some bullet points based on my recent reading of the book The Finished Mystery. (See previous article on Ex-JW.com.) What I forgot to mention at the end of my post were the notes I took from while reading pages 247 through 253, the “seditious pages” that Rutherford later ordered ripped out.

Below are my notes about those pages. I’ll let you decide whether the charges of “sedition” were false – or not…

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