Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I post our work here so you can see where our research is heading and to allow blog readers to give us feedback. It is frustrating when I post what I believe to be significant work but get no comments. I'm no longer posting long sections of research. No-one is interested.

While we will finish volume 2 of Separate Identity (We're too far along to not finish it.), we will not write the third book we had projected. There is insufficient interest. When volume 2 is published our work will end.

Zydeck's book, which is crap history, has drawn many reviews. Ours few. People do not want solid history; they want ear-tickling mythology. We devoted years of our life to this project. I believe there is nothing better out there. But what sells is polemic, myth and junk.

I'm terribly disappointed. I expected reader participation through this blog. It has not been forthcoming.


Donald Jacobs said...

You just need good promotion. Would you welcome some help? I would like to help. If you say the word.

Plus could I please make a constructive criticism? Your work is solid, a very high standard. But I have a problem with your habit in the first volume of not naming secondary sources. "One history said this", "another work claims that" is NOT the way to reference secondary sources and is extremely frustrating. Please, please references all sources in full, including secondary sources you are criticising. In academic terms it's just as important to cite secondary sources you are engaging as it is to cite primary sources. It is in no way an optional extra.

Sorry for the criticism but your work is absolutely fantastic, and it saddens me that you let yourself down on such a "minor" but absolutely crucial point in academic terms.

Semer said...

Well, I'm deeply interested in the topic, but my role is just that of a reader. Unfortunately, I can't contribute anything but my gratitude.

Johnsc11 said...

I read them all. Didn't know you wanted feedback. What was wrong with Zydeks book?

jerome said...

I for one am very interested. But sometimes other things in life - responsibilities and all that - take over for a little while, and one may not be able to comment immediately before a post is perhaps whisked away. So I would say to be patient and perhaps give readers a little more time. The logs show how many people actually read the blog on any given day, and considering that many will not check every day, I personally wouldn't find the number disheartening for a very niche subject. Zydek's book has been promoted, but I don't know how many people have actually bought a copy. (I did and reviewed it critically on the blog a million years ago). For your project, most of us cannot add information - because the research is as exhaustive as it can be already at this distance from the events - but I agree it would be nice for more comments on the material as it stands.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

The decision to omit some references did not rest with me. Mr. Schulz tried to balance correcting common mistakes and leading readers to obnoxiously wrong material. His decision was final. But I appreciate the feedback and will make certain he sees it.

And yes, promotion help is always welcome.

A review of Zydeck's book is found in the blog archives. Use the search function. We note some of his errors in footnotes in Separate Identity vol 1. He made things up. And he is a less than careful researcher. Historians cannot ethically fabricate history,though that's not an uncommon practice. Presumption turns into 'fact' in the work of some historians.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

A simple comment noting that you read it is good. Tell us that you understood it or did not. Ask questions if you have them. As work approaches a final version, comments on clarity are welcome. I don't expect additional research from blog readers, though that's always welcome.

Ton did that. He commented regularly and was an avid and adept researcher. He was my friend, as close a friend as one can have when separated by half the world. I miss him terribly and share his family's loss.

roberto said...

Hi Rachael, I always read your posts, always. I will continue to help you in different practical ways in the next weeks and months. The death of Ton is so sad for everyone of us. And so, I'll try to do my best for our researches.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachael

I haven't commented here before because the subject of the research (the early American history of the Bible Students) is beyond my ability to add anything much constructively. But I check the blog frequently and much enjoy its content.

I agree wholeheartedly with the comments of Jerome that patience is the key. The value of your work will likely not be acknowledged for some time, but I believe Bruce and yourself have set the benchmark for future studies. No little achievement. Well done!

So the message I think is keep up the great work and have faith, it will not be in vain.

Yours gratefully,
Son of Ton

Andrew Grzadzielewski said...

I, for one, do not want ear-tickling mythology. I want the clear, detailed and accurate history that you so painstakingly discovered and write about. As a long time admirer of Russell, I now, because of your efforts, see his humanity, his strengths and weaknesses, and the influences of others on him in a more clearer light that I could have ever hoped. I have searched in vain for decades for Watchtower sources on its early history, but any that I find are over-simplistic and mostly revisionist history. Your efforts to illuminate the true story of Russell and his contemporaries is a gift to me that I could never repay. All I can say is thank you. I wish I could do more.

I think there is more interest that you realize. For those of us interesting in this history, you are probably right that we do not express our gratitude and interest enough. There are ten in my congregation in addition to me who follow this blog, and are fascinated by the history you have uncovered. Several of them have Volume One. They just don't comment. But they are fascinated, just as I am, by each nugget you uncover and we regularly communicate about the blog with each other.

As for subsequent Volumes, all I can say is that I do not think anyone could do a better job of your team in revealing the true nature of the aftermath of Russell's death and the appearance of Rutherford on the stage. The story of the four directors and their ouster, and the split among the Bible students a story that has so many different versions that I fear the truth will never be known. Contemporary Bible Students have their own version, and the Watchtower Society has their own version , which we know to be mostly self-aggrandizing. What a fascinating story waits to be revealed.

I hope you reconsider and continue to write about that era. Your team has the capacity to tell the truth about what really happened once and for all. I think that many others would echo my sentiments, and we all are very grateful for your careful and concise research.

But I know that a "Thank you" does not pay the bills, nor does it make research any easier. But that is all that some of us have.

Thank you !


Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

I also agree with previous omments. I always read your contributions and I try to give you my little help with my little comments and my little resources. Your contribution to the knowledge of Watchtower history is GREAT!!!!

Here you have one link in which you can download a recent dissertation. One of your articles is cited in a note.Sorry if you knew this quotation (page 3, note number 9). But here you have it: http://digital.library.sbts.edu/handle/10392/4865

Do you have a profile in Google Scholar, ResearchGate, AcademiaEdu ?
Sorry if you have one and I haven't found it yet. But this platforms can be useful to disseminate your work.
Many people search directly in google and these other social and academical networks.