George Storrs was a Christian teacher and writer in the United States. George Storrs was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire on December 13, 1796, son to Colonel Constant Storrs and the former Lucinda Howe. A Congregationalist since age 19, George Storrs was received into the Methodist Episcopal Church and commenced preaching at age 28, his biography notes, "Storrs, while a member of the New Hampshire Conference, was a strong man and influential in its councils, the beloved pastor of several important churches."Storrs engaged in the debate over anti-slavery preaching by ministers. In his article, "Desecrating the Sabbath," he defended abolitionists from the charge they were desecrating the Sabbath by preaching against slavery from the pulpit. "I solemnly believe the Sabbath belongs, in a peculiar sense, to the slave," he wrote in the article, reprinted by the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. In 1837 he found a copy of a pamphlet by Henry Grew on a train, concerning the doctrines of conditional immortality, hell.
For three years he studied the issues on his only speaking about it to church ministers. However, in 1840 he resigned from the church, feeling he could not remain faithful to God if he remained in it. Storrs became one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes, he began publication of his magazine Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks. After a considerable amount of study, Storrs preached to some Adventists on the condition and prospects for the dead, his book Six Sermons explained his conditionalist beliefs. Storrs' writings influenced Charles Taze Russell, who founded the Bible Student movement from which Jehovah's Witnesses and numerous independent Bible Student groups emerged. Works by George Storrs at Faded Page Biography, The Herald of Christ's Kingdom Bible Examiner, from Google Books George Storrs Biography, Adventist Pioneer Library "Six Sermons", George Storrs "Working in the'Field' Before the Harvest", The Watchtower, 15 October 2000
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins
Jehovah's Witnesses publications
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society produces a significant amount of printed and electronic literature for use by Jehovah's Witnesses. Their best known publications are the magazines, The Watchtower and Awake! The Watchtower was first published by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement, in 1879, followed by the inception of the Watch Tower Society in 1881. Supporters adopted the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931. Since 2001, when referring to other Watch Tower Society publications their literature has stated that it is "published by Jehovah's Witnesses", though the edition notice identifies the publisher as the Watch Tower Society. Along with books and brochures, other media are produced, including CDs, MP3s and DVDs, Internet downloads and video streaming. New publications are released at Jehovah's Witnesses' annual conventions. Most literature produced by Jehovah's Witnesses is intended for use in their evangelizing work. Publications for preaching are routinely studied by members, both and at their meetings for worship.
Their most distributed publications are: New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, a translation of the Bible published in whole or part in over 130 languages. This is the Bible translation used by Jehovah's Witnesses. Awake!, published in over 100 languages three times per year, a general-interest monthly magazine covering many topics from a religious perspective. The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, published in 240 languages monthly, focuses on doctrine; when interested individuals are encountered, Witnesses offer a home Bible study course, using a current publication, such as What Does the Bible Really Teach?, which outlines their primary beliefs and interpretations of the Bible. The Witness visits the student on a regular basis considering a chapter on each visit. Students are requested to examine the material prior to the arrival of the Bible study conductor, using the questions at the bottom of each page, to "help prepare the student for the Bible study". Jehovah's Witnesses customarily read each paragraph aloud together with the student, ask the question provided for that paragraph.
Students are encouraged to read the scriptures cited in the material. Bible students are expected to be making progress to become baptized as a Jehovah's Witness by the time the course is completed, may be asked to study a second publication, such as "Keep Yourselves in God's Love". Jehovah's Witnesses offered their literature for a price determined by the branch office in each country, to cover printing costs. Since 2000, Jehovah's Witnesses have offered their publications free of charge globally. Printing is funded by voluntary donations from members of the public. Jehovah's Witnesses accept donations if offered by householders, are instructed to invite donations in countries where soliciting funds is permitted; some publications, such as the hymnal Sing to Jehovah, The Watchtower Study Edition, the textbook Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education are for use by those who attend congregation meetings. Others, such as the organizational manual Organized to Do Jehovah's Will and Watchtower Library CD-ROM, are reserved for members.
Certain publications are limited to members in appointed positions, such as the manual for congregation elders, Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock. Some publications are distributed only to members, but may be supplied to other interested individuals on request or made available in public libraries; these include the biblical encyclopedia Insight on the Scriptures and Jehovah's Witnesses' official history book Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Many of these publications are available from their website in the Watchtower Online Library. In addition to Jehovah's Witnesses' distributed journals, various publications have received attention from the media and other commentators. Aid to Bible Understanding was the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovah's Witnesses, published in full in 1971. Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body who left the organization claimed to have been one of the researchers. Research for the book led to new interpretations of some concepts, providing a catalyst for changes in doctrine.
It was replaced in 1988 by Insight on the Scriptures, which contains much of the original content from Aid to Bible Understanding. Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?, first published in 1985, presents the Old Earth creationism of Jehovah's Witnesses, their criticism of evolution. Biologist Richard Dawkins criticized the book for presenting a choice between intelligent design and chance, rather than natural selection; the book was supplemented by the 1998 book, Is There a Creator Who Cares About You?, the 2010 brochures The Origin of Life—5 Questions Worth Asking and Was Life Created? The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life was a Bible study textbook published in 1968 and revised in 1981; the 1975 Guinness Book of Records included this book in its list of highest printings. According to the Watch Tower Society, by May 1987 publication had reached 106,486,735 copies in 116 languages. Jw.org - Download of publications of Jehovah's Witnesses and official website Watch Tower publications listed in Online library
History of Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses originated as a branch of the Bible Student movement, which developed in the United States in the 1870s among followers of Christian Restorationist minister Charles Taze Russell. Bible Student missionaries were sent to England in 1881 and the first overseas branch was opened in London in 1900; the group took on the name International Bible Students Association and by 1914 it was active in Canada, Germany and other countries. The movement split into several rival organizations after Russell's death in 1916, with one—led by Russell's successor, Joseph "Judge" Rutherford—retaining control of both his magazine, The Watch Tower, his legal and publishing corporation, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Under Rutherford's direction, the International Bible Students Association introduced significant doctrinal changes that resulted in many long-term members leaving the organization; the group regrew particularly in the mid-1930s with the introduction of new preaching methods.
In 1931, the name Jehovah's witnesses was adopted, further cutting ties with Russell's earlier followers. Substantial organizational changes continued as congregations and teaching programs worldwide came under centralized control. Further refinements of its doctrines led to the prohibition of blood transfusions by members, abandonment of the cross in worship, rejection of Christmas and birthday celebrations and the view of the biblical Armageddon as a global war by God that will destroy the wicked and restore peace on earth. In 1945 the Watch Tower Society, which Russell had founded as a publishing house, amended its charter to state that its purposes included preaching about God's Kingdom, acting as a servant and governing agency of Jehovah's Witnesses and sending out missionaries and teachers for the public worship of God and Jesus Christ; the denomination was banned in Canada in World War I, in Germany, the Soviet Union and Australia during World War II. The group initiated dozens of high-profile legal actions in the United States and Canada between 1938 and 1955 to establish the right of members to sell literature from door to door, abstain from flag salute ceremonies and gain legal recognition as wartime conscientious objectors.
Members of the denomination suffered persecution in some African countries in the 1970s. About 1869 17-year-old Russell attended a meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania of a group he called "Second Adventists" and heard Advent Christian preacher Jonas Wendell expound his views on Bible prophecy. Wendell, influenced by the teachings of William Miller, rejected traditional Christian beliefs of the "immortal soul" and a literal hell and interpreted scriptures in the books of Daniel and Revelation to predict that Christ would return in 1873. Russell became convinced that God would reveal his purpose in the last days of the "Gospel age" and formed an independent Bible study group in Pittsburgh, he rejected Adventist teachings that the purpose of Christ's return was to destroy the earth and instead formed the view that Christ had died to pay a "ransom price" to atone for sinful humans, intending to restore humans to Edenic perfection with the prospect of living forever. Like Wendell, he rejected the concept of the immortal soul.
In the mid-1870s, he published 50,000 copies of a pamphlet, The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return explaining his views and his belief that Christ would return invisibly before the battle of Armageddon. He acknowledged the influence of Adventist ministers George Storrs and George Stetson in the formation of his doctrines. In January 1876 Russell read an issue of Herald of the Morning, a periodical edited by Adventist preacher Nelson H. Barbour of Rochester, New York, but which had ceased publication because of dwindling subscriptions. Barbour, like other Adventists, had earlier applied the biblical time prophecies of Miller and Wendell to calculate that Christ would return in 1874 to bring a "bonfire". H. Paton had concluded that though their calculations of the timing of Christ's return were correct, they had erred about its manner, they subsequently decided that Christ's return, or parousia, was invisible, that Christ had therefore been present since 1874. Russell "rejoiced" to find that others had reached the same conclusion on the parousia and decided their application of Adventist time prophecies — which he said he had "so long despised" — merited further examination.
He met Barbour, accepted his detailed and complex arguments on prophetic chronology and provided him with funds to write a book that combined their views. The book, Three Worlds and the Harvest of This World, was published in early 1877, it articulated ideas that remained the teachings of Russell's associates for the next 40 years, many of which are still embraced by Jehovah's Witnesses: it identified a 2520-year-long era called "the Gentile Times", which would end in 1914, broke from Adventist teachings by advancing Russell's concept of "restitution" — that all humankind since Adam would be resurrected to the earth and given the opportunity for eternal perfect human life. Russell claimed it was the first book to combine biblical end-time prophecies with the concept of restitution, it discussed the concept of parallel dispensations, which held that there were prophetic parallels between the Jewish and Gospel ages, suggested the "new creation" would begin 6000 years after Adam's creation
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of 8.58 million adherents involved in evangelism and an annual Memorial attendance of over 20 million. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible, they believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, that the establishment of God's kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity. The group emerged from the Bible Student movement founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell, who co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881 to organize and print the movement's publications. A leadership dispute after Russell's death resulted in several groups breaking away, with Joseph Franklin Rutherford retaining control of the Watch Tower Society and its properties.
Rutherford made significant organizational and doctrinal changes, including adoption of the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931 to distinguish them from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider the use of God's name vital for proper worship, they reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, birthdays or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity, they prefer to use their own Bible translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, although their literature quotes and cites other Bible translations. Adherents refer to their body of beliefs as "The Truth" and consider themselves to be "in the Truth".
They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, most limit their social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may be reinstated if deemed repentant; the group's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and their activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries; the organization has received criticism regarding biblical translation and alleged coercion of its members. The Watch Tower Society has made various unfulfilled predictions about major biblical events such as Christ's Second Coming, the advent of God's Kingdom, Armageddon.
Their policies for handling cases of child sexual abuse have been the subject of various formal inquiries. In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed a group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to study the Bible. During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the burning up of the world. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; the book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874 inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times," at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth. Beginning in 1878 Russell and Barbour jointly edited Herald of the Morning. In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, stating that its purpose was to demonstrate that the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.
From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, in 1884, Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles. By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs, was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred traveling preachers. Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry, by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States. Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship, he identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association.
By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement and congregations r
Watch Tower Society unfulfilled predictions
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society publications have made a series of predictions about Christ's Second Coming and the advent of God's Kingdom, each of which has gone unfulfilled. All the predictions for 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918 and 1925 were reinterpreted as a confirmation of the eschatological framework of the Bible Student movement and Jehovah's Witnesses, with many of the predicted events viewed as having taken place invisibly. Further expectations were held for the arrival of Armageddon in 1975, but resulted in a apology to members from the society's leadership. English researcher George D. Chryssides has argued that although there have been some "unrealized expectations", changes in Watch Tower chronology are attributable more to changed chronological schemes, rather than to failed predictions; the Watch Tower Society has acknowledged errors, which it said helped "sift" the unfaithful from its ranks, but says adherents remained confident that "God's Word" had not failed. Since its formation in the 1870s, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has claimed that God has chosen the organization from among the churches to fill a special role in the consummation of prophetic history.
Charles Taze Russell, a prolific writer and founder of the Bible Student movement, viewed himself as a "mouthpiece" of God and as the embodiment of the "faithful and wise servant" of the parable of Matthew 24:45-47. The Watch Tower Society is now the administrative arm of Jehovah's Witnesses, its representatives assert that they have been given insight into the true meaning of the Bible and the unique ability to discern the signs of Christ's second coming. The group's early ideology centered on the "Divine Plan of Salvation", a biblically derived outline of humanity's history and destiny, believed to be open to fuller understanding in the "last days"; the creed incorporated Adam's fall and the entry of sin and death into the world. God was believed to be permitting the world's affairs to run their ruinous course before he implemented his plan to free humanity from evil and death by means of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth after his Second Coming.
The kingdom would be inaugurated through two phases, one destructive, the other constructive. In the first phase, earthly institutions would be overturned in a tumultuous period known as the "Battle of Armageddon". For several decades the group believed the worldwide disintegration of the social order would take the form of a bloody struggle between the wealthy and laboring classes, resulting in terror and anarchy; this would be followed by an era of grand reconstruction, in which sickness and death would be removed and righteousness would triumph. Prior to the establishment of the kingdom, a chosen "little flock" of 144,000 anointed Christians would undergo physical transformation from physical to spiritual form to achieve immortality. Since 1925 the Society has taught that Armageddon will be a universal war waged by God, resulting in a slaughter of the unfaithful. With that doctrinal change, the focus of the movement's chiliasm changed from awaiting its collective escape from earth to waiting for the impending destruction of the present world order in the Battle of Armageddon.
To clarify its identity, the group, which came to form the Bible Student movement, formulated a body of historical doctrine, including a mythical self-history, which provided a comprehensive symbolic linkage with the past but fortified the movement's expectations for the future. In 1876 Russell adopted the belief promulgated by some Adventist preachers that Jesus' parousia, or presence, had begun in 1874 and that the gathering of the little flock preliminary to the grand climax was in progress. Using a form of parallel dispensations that incorporated "types" and "antitypes"—historical situations that prefigured corresponding situations in time—he calculated the harvest would extend only to 1878, at which time the gathered saints would be translated into spirit form; the year would bring the beginning of the "exercise of power" of God's kingdom, with evidence that God's favor was returning to the Jews. The failure of Russell's prediction did not alter the movement's short-term, date-focused orientation.
In early 1881 Russell asserted that 1878 had, been a milestone year, marking the point at which "the nominal Christian churches were cast off from God's favor". By 1881 Russell had found a biblical basis for extending the harvest to a new date that year, he explained: Coming to the spring of 1878... we and not unreasonably expected some change of our condition, all were more or less disappointed when nothing supernatural occurred. But our disappointment was brief, for we noticed that the Jewish church was the pattern of ours, therefore we should not expect parallels to Pentecost or to anything which happened in the beginning of this church. Russell wrote that "the light upon our pathway still shines and is more and more glorious" and that since 1878 the light had glowed stronger; the timing of their translation to heaven seemed nearer, he wrote: "We know not the day or hour, but expect it during 1881 near the autumn where the parallels show the favor to Zion complete and due to end, the door to the marriage to shut, the high calling to be the bride of Christ, to cease."The second failure in 1881 precipitated a more serious crisis in the Bible Student ranks and for several years Russell's followers waited for the belated translation to occur.
Russell's chronological timetable had identified 1914 as the ultimate end of the "time of trouble", this preserved the commitment of followers who might have been discouraged by their failed expectations for 1
Watch Tower Society presidency dispute (1917)
A dispute developed in 1917 within the leadership of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society following the death of society president Charles Taze Russell and election of legal counsel Joseph Franklin Rutherford as his successor. An acrimonious battle ensued between Rutherford and four of the society's seven directors, who accused him of autocratic behavior and sought to reduce his powers. Rutherford claimed the dissident directors had formed a conspiracy to seize control of the society and overcame the challenge by gaining a legal opinion that his four opposers had not been appointed, he subsequently replaced them with four new sympathetic directors. The four ousted directors gained 12 legal opinions that Rutherford's actions were unlawful; the leadership crisis divided the Bible Student community and helped contribute to the loss of one-seventh of the Watch Tower adherents by 1919. Watch Tower Society president Charles Taze Russell died on October 31, 1916, in Pampa, Texas during a cross-country preaching trip.
On January 6, 1917, Joseph Rutherford, aged 47, was elected president of the Watch Tower Society, unopposed, at a convention in Pittsburgh. Controversy soon followed. Author Tony Wills claims that nominations were suspended once Rutherford had been nominated, preventing votes for other candidates, within months Rutherford felt the need to defend himself against rumors within the Brooklyn Bethel that he had used "political methods" to secure his election. In the first of a series of pamphlets from opposing sides, Rutherford told Bible Students: "There is no person on earth who can truthfully say that I asked them directly or indirectly to vote for me." By June, the dispute surrounding Rutherford's election as president was turning into what he called a "storm" that ruptured the Watch Tower Society for the remainder of 1917. In January 1917, Bethel pilgrim Paul S. L. Johnson had been sent to England with orders to inspect the management and finances of the Watch Tower Society's London corporation.
He seized its funds and attempted to reorganize the body. Rutherford—who was convinced Johnson was insane and suffering religious delusions—ordered his recall to New York in late February, but Johnson refused and claimed he was answerable only to the full board of directors; when he returned to New York and apologized to the Bethel family for his excesses in London, Johnson became caught up in a move against Rutherford by four of the seven Watch Tower Society directors. At issue were new by-laws, passed in January by both the Pittsburgh convention and the board of directors, stating that the president would be the executive officer and general manager of the Watch Tower Society, giving him full charge of its affairs worldwide. Opinions on the need for the by-laws were divided. Rutherford maintained that Russell, as president, had always acted as the society's manager, that the January 6 vote by shareholders to approve the by-laws proved they wanted this process to continue under his successor.
He claimed it was a matter of efficiency and said the work of the Watch Tower Society "peculiarly requires the direction of one mind". Bible Student Francis McGee, a lawyer and an assistant to the New Jersey Attorney-General, responded: "This is the crux of the matter, he says he is that one mind." By June, four board members—Robert H. Hirsh, Alfred I. Ritchie, Isaac F. Hoskins and James D. Wright—had decided they had erred in endorsing Rutherford's powers of management, they claimed Rutherford had become autocratic, refusing to open the Watch Tower Society's books for scrutiny and denying Johnson a fair hearing over his actions in London. At a board meeting on June 20, Hirsh presented a resolution to rescind the new by-laws and reclaim the powers of management from the president, but a vote was deferred for a month after strenuous objections by Rutherford. A week four of the directors requested an immediate board meeting to seek information on the society's finances. Rutherford refused the meeting claiming he had by detected a conspiracy between Johnson and the four directors with the aim of seizing control of the society, as he believed Johnson had attempted in Britain.
Within weeks, Rutherford gained a legal opinion from a Philadelphia corporation lawyer that a clause of the Watch Tower Society charter stipulating that its directors were elected for life was contrary to Pennsylvania law, that all directors were required by law to be re-elected annually. The legal opinion stated that because the January 6 shareholders' meeting had elected only three men to office—Rutherford, Secretary-Treasurer Van Amburgh and Vice-President Andrew N. Pierson—the remaining four board members, who had joined as early as 1904 and had not faced re-election, had no legal status as directors of the society. Hirsh, appointed by the board on March 29, 1917 following the resignation of Henry C. Rockwell, was said to have no legal standing because his appointment had taken place in New York rather than Allegheny, as required by law. Rutherford claimed to have known these facts since 1909 and to have conveyed them to Russell on more than one occasion. On July 12, Rutherford traveled to Pittsburgh and exercised his right under the society's charter to fill what he claimed were four vacancies on the board, appointing A. H.
Macmillan and Pennsylvania Bible Students W. E. Spill, John A. Bohnet and George H. Fisher as directors. Rutherford called a meeting of the new board on July 17, where the directors passed a resolution expressing "hearty approval" of the actions of their president and affirming him as "the man the Lord has chosen to carry on the work that yet remains to be done." On July 31 he called a meeting of the People's Pulpit Association, a Watch Tower Society subsidiary inco