THE STORY of
THE HOUSE of PRINCES
(Investigator 95, 2004
DOOMED RELIGIONISTS GNASHED THEIR TEETH
book The New
World (1942) stated:
What was the testimony of the "House of Princes" over which religionists of this doomed world gnashed their teeth?
Judge Rutherford…in 1916 succeeded the late Charles Taze Russell of Brooklyn, founder-president of the International Bible Students Association.
Members of the organization designate themselves as Bible students. Their creed holds that Biblical prophecies govern all earthly events… An erroneous prophecy that the year 1928 would provide a cataclysm – "Nations will battle; the dead will be dung on earth" – upset considerably the Bible Students' calculations… (1930, March 31
The JW book, Salvation
MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE
In 1919 Judge Rutherford and his "Bible Students" promoted the public sermon Millions Now Living Will Never Die. The sermon was published as a book in 1920.
that the ancient
Bible heroes would be resurrected to live on Earth in 1925. They would
take over and rule the world. Everyone who supported them would get
life and prosperity and never be sick again:
heretofore set forth,
then, that the old order of things, the old world is ending and is
passing away, and that the new order is coming in, and that 1925 shall
mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old and the beginning
of reconstruction, it is reasonable to conclude that millions of people
now on the earth will be still on earth in 1925. Then, based upon the
set forth in the divine Word, we must reach the positive conclusion
millions now living will never die. (p. 101)
BIBLE STUDENT EXODUS
The "Millions" message was nonsense. It was WTS rubbish. It wasn't even in the Bible!
In 1926 the
deserted the cult:
Rutherford's much-criticized drinking problem began at this time, his us-versus-them anti-religion propaganda became more provocative, and his demands for loyalty and unity more vigorous.
Rutherford put the prophecies for 1925 off to 1926 and 1928 – both dates by implication rather than direct statements. This initially slowed the decline. Then in 1928 the outward flow became a torrent.
figures for the annual
Memorial or Lord's Supper demonstrate the exodus:
|1919||17,961 (Your Will, 1958, pp 335, 337)|
|1927||88,500 (Reference not known)|
|1928||17,380 (Yearbook of JWs, 1958, p. 284)|
|1935||63,146 (The Watchtower 1996, August 15, p. 31|
Rutherford halted the disintegration by advertising for new recruits via radio and by telling remaining followers their salvation depended on them publicly distributing WTS tracts, booklets and books.
Also the Beth Sarim property was purchased in 1926 and the house built in 1929.
Sarim to his cult
as evidence the princes were still coming and that eternal life without
sickness or poverty still lay just ahead.
BETH SARIM AND THE RESURRECTED PRINCES
acres of land. The
deed, published in the cult's magazine The Golden Age, said in
…the said Watch
Bible and Tract Society
shall hold the title perpetually in trust for…the men above named.
(The Golden Age 1930, March 19)
OFFICIAL EXPLANATION FOR BETH SARIM
Before Judge Rutherford would accept and use the home, he insisted upon writing the deed that it shall forever be held in trust by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society for the use of the Lord's work in the earth, with the expectation that in due time Abraham, Melchisedec, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah or some others of the patriarchs or prophets of olden times will appear and will be glad to use this home which has been prepared for one or more of them… (July 25, 1931, pp 6 & 8)
Their Monuments To False Prophecy cites inside sources that Beth
was also built, "to get the drunken and declining Rutherford out of
In 1931 the
arrival of the
princes was so
near that infants would still be children when they arrived:
Hence the little girl is named Princess Bonnie Balko, and the little boy Prince Joseph Barak Balko. We know from the scriptures that both Joseph and Barak will be among the princes, and since there are some women also mentioned amongst these faithful ones it is hoped that these two little ones may grow up at Beth-Sarim to be with the rulers of the earth and live forever to the glory of Jehovah's name... It might be that this little prince and princess would be stenographers or office children or clerks about the place, or perform some other duty that will be necessary in the Kingdom. (The Messenger, 1931, July 30, p. 2)
that the two
still be "children" when the princes arrived was not inadvertent error.
Four years later, in 1935, Rutherford wrote that "universal war", i.e.
Armageddon, was only "months" away:
THE BIBLE HEROES DIDN'T COME
The princes did not return and the WTS sold Beth Sarim in 1948.
In 1954 Federick W Franz, then vice president of the WTS, was cross-examined in a Scottish court about Beth Sarim:
Q.- What has become of the mansion?
A.- It has been sold.
A.- Because it was there, and the prophets had not yet come back to occupy it, to make use of it, and the Society had no use for it at the time, it was in charge of a caretaker, and it was causing expense, and our understanding of the Scriptures opened up more, and more concerning the Princes, which will include those prophets, and so the property was sold as serving no present purpose.
Q.- Am I right that it was at one time forecast that in 1925 Abraham and other Prophets would come back to earth?
A.- They were expected to come back approximately then.
Q.- But they did not come?
Q.- It was published, was it not, to the body of Jehovah's Witnesses that that was to be expected in 1925?
Q.- But that was wrong?
A.- Yes, and Judge Rutherford.
(Walsh vs. The Minister of Labour and National Service, 1954, p.120)
DOCTRINE CHANGED – FOLLOWERS CHEATED
When Rutherford wrote this, the emphasis was still on the realization of prophecy in the 1920s. A standard WTS procedure, however, is to promote several dates simultaneously so that when one date fails there's another "carrot on the stick".
"Twenty five years" terminated in 1950.
The JW leaders often give their failed dates alternative importance – they pretend the date was right but the precise expectation wrong. That's what they also did in 1950 regarding the princes.
F W Franz
JWs at their 1950
convention in New York. The official WTS assembly report says:
A tremendous and sustained clapping of hands and shouting for joy assured the speaker that nothing at the moment interested them more.
Franz then outlined a new interpretation. The "princes" are Jehovah's Witness overseers the guys in charge of individual congregations. Some of these overseers would survive Armageddon and help to rule the post-Armageddon "new world". The Bible heroes would still be resurrected but after Armageddon.
A 16-year-old JW
the occasion years later:
The spectators were roused to tears by the prevailing excitement, expecting to see these biblical figures. Some stood up; others rushed to the entrance near the speakers' stand, where they would have a better view. The speaker quieted the crowd and … assured them that they were the new princes, those who had turned their backs on a world slated for doom and who must persevere in going forward to build the New Jerusalem.
in fact, a denial
of a previously cherished and defended belief, couched so as to make
feel that something had been added unto, not taken away from, them.
didn't pop out of the dugout, and Solomon didn't surface on the
stand; but Franz had thrilled his audience nonetheless. (I myself was
irritated – though I applauded as fervently as anyone else; I had a
of having been had, and I felt guilt as a consequence. And I wondered
many coronaries Franz had occasioned by his initial provocative
And from some of the mutterings I heard as I left the Stadium that
I deduced that others were irritated as well…)
(B G Harrison, 1978, Visions of Glory, chapter 8)
The post-Armageddon New World failed to arrive many times after 1950. Failed dates include 1975, the 1970s, "within our twentieth century", and for the period called "this generation".
The princes – by
pre-1950 definition – are still awaited by JWs.
doesn't come the arrival
of the princes fails again and lots of other stuff fails too.
THE "ONE RIGHT RELIGION"
In 1942 JWs
The ancient Bible heroes didn't come, nor did Armageddon. Although the WTS held the title of Beth Sarim "perpetually in trust" it was a trust betrayed in 1948 when the place was sold.
be buried at Beth
Sarim. The San Diego County Planning Commission refused. The JW leaders
Had the authorities allowed a cemetery at Beth Sarim it might have been difficult to sell the property. But JW leaders weren't grateful and didn't apologize for the above outburst.
apologize – not for
their false predictions, not for the false "Millions" message, not for
anything. Theirs is the one right religion and to apologize is
with being right. An article of theirs titled Only One Right