Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A personal post

by "Jerome"

Blogs are funny things, and there is no accounting for what appeals to readers out there.
I am very pleased to have been granted an outlet for writing on Society history on this blog for nearly four years now – plus more on the restricted blog - although I corresponded with Bruce for some time before that, and contributed to other forums in the past.
This post is really a personal one, but also raises a question that puzzles me. In the scheme of things, there is a list for blog administrators of the most accessed posts of all time. It lists the top nine (why nine and not ten I have no idea). Six of mine have made it, which is very gratifying, although that is probably because I generally write articles rather than requests for information. The latter are staple fare for this blog, and will be far more useful for the overall project, but by their very nature, tend to date quickly.
In the given list, first by a long way is a post from Bruce entitled Millennial Dawn from 22 April 2008. This was a very early post that discussed the amount of assistance Maria may or may not have given CTR in writing Millennial Dawn: The Plan of the Ages. No doubt this material has been incorporated into later re-writes, and will see the proper light of day in Volume 2 of the project.
Then two of my articles come second and third. For several years, the second highest was Guest Post - Review of Charles Taze Russell – His Life and Times – The Man, The Millennium and The Message. This was published on 18 February 2010.
This was my very first post on this blog, sent originally to Bruce and posted by him. I had read Zydek’s book, found him to be very readable and very sympathetic to CTR, but – alas - with many details incorrect. One only wishes the author had checked with a few more “historians” before going to press – it would have been quite easy to rectify the more obvious errors, based on hearsay statements and “folk tales” rather than primary sources. It was a shame, because the overall ambience of the book was fine by me. However, on reading subsequent comments, it appears my friendly criticism did not go down too well with all readers. Readers today can still access this article if they wade back through the blog to 18 February 2010 or just punch the relevant search terms into Google or similar.
But in recent months, another article has been gaining on this in overall readership, and this week forged ahead to second place. This was an article entitled The Emphatic Diaglott and the Watch Tower Society and first published on 20 November 2011.  The article was later expanded as a result of further research, and the more recent version can be found on 23 July 2013.
If this post encourages anyone to read back, the more recent version will give a fuller picture.
But I do find it hard to understand how this article became so widely read – and is still being read. Is there some link from a site other than Society-related?
At the time, I viewed it as a “fringe” article – when I was at a loose end research-wise, and could find nothing more direct to write about. It was prompted by the discovery of who really was the anonymous donor of the Diaglott plates to the WT Society – an acquisition that no doubt annoyed the Church of God/One Faith movement no end at the time. However, anybody who reads through the transcription of the 1907 hearing between CTR and Maria would discover that information. I have come to the conclusion that while many people have copies of historical documents, far fewer take the time to actually read them. I am sure there is much key information out there already in our collections just waiting for someone to actually read the bits that matter today.
So, on a personal level I guess it is keep reading, searching and keep writing, and hopefully we will all soon have the promised volume one from Bruce and Rachael to add to our essential reading list.


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