THE STORY IS IN THE DETAILS
I read it, I composed a comment, and poof - the original post had gone. So whether this comment makes any sense now to blog readers I don't know.I enjoyed this introduction, and the background to what we might call Watchtower belief with its well-researched historical basis, and the emphasis on “optimism” rather than “pessimism.”It is probably off the point, but I have always felt that ideas that flourished through history in small pockets of society suddenly took off globally in the 19th century because of the dramatic increase in communications. This would include Watchtower belief. Certainly in Britain, the huge increase in literacy (fuelled by Acts of Parliament) meant that huge swathes of people could now for the first time read for themselves and come to conclusions themselves. Not necessarily wise conclusions, but they did have the opportunity. And the telegraph, and the railway and the steamship suddenly made the world into what today we might call the “global village.” Ideas expressed in one small section of the world could now travel very quickly. And yes, some would see that very fact a fulfilment of Bible prophesy.The existing literature on the Bible Student movement singled out a few culprits, Gruss, Martin, Conkin, Zydek, etc. I feel a little sad about Zydek. You write that your criticism of his work made some readers unhappy. I corresponded with Fred Zydek many, many years ago, and since my very first article on this blog was a point by point criticism of his work I have an interest here. Zydek is entertaining reading. He is very sympathetic to CTR and his work. Had it been presented as a novel based on CTR’s life it might have been fine. And it could have been so different had the author had his work proof read by the right people. Perhaps it is good to note that we are being made to wait for the second instalment of Separate Identity – to make sure that things can be really checked to the fullest extent possible.I don’t feel sad that the authors have Gruss in their sights. Ex-JW Gruss has produced a body of work that clearly identifies his agenda; in fact the title of the work cited, “Apostles of Denial,” nails his colors to the wall. Like everybody else he can believe what he likes, but if facts can be established they should be shared fairly. Gruss’s coverage of the Ross libel trial repeats the material and slant of Walter Martin. (Incidentally, and again off the point, the Mormons did a 320 page hatchet-job on Martin in “They Lie in Wait to Deceive” – which is a most entertaining read.)On the actual King v. J J Ross hearing, it is probably significant that none of the newspapers covering the hearing picked up on anything to do with CTR’s knowledge (or lack of it) of Biblical languages. It wasn’t an issue in the reporters’ minds who were there at the time. I would however, just suggest one possible correction. You write “Cole quoted from the King v. J J Ross transcript to refute Ross’ booklet. Instead of contacting either I Cole or the Watchtower Society for access to the transcript, Gruss dismissed it all.” I spent a lot of time in the 1980s trying to track down this transcript, and have a copy of a letter Cole wrote to a fellow researcher dated 2/15/89. Cole wrote:“I’m sorry, due to moving and mail delays I am just now receiving yours. But more disappointing, I do not have these records. A long time ago I did see a record of this hearing, circulated by some one critical, but I never had the material myself. I hope you find it somewhere.”So Cole states that he never personally saw the transcript. Which raises questions in my mind about Walter Martin’s claims to have been shown it. Whether this answers any questions or opens more, I leave it to you to decide. As noted in your introduction, CTR didn’t have a hope of winning this case legally, since Watchtower adherents were unlikely to riot in the streets as a result of Ross’s booklet. In retrospect, once Ross was not frightened off, it probably wasn’t the best of legal advice.
I saw the updated post/article earlier this morning. But was planning for the ministry and so decided to visit and digest this later in the day. Alas, having revisited there is no longer an article to understand or comment on. What a disappointment!Gary
Cole quotes from the transcript. He either saw it or he made it up. The transcript as he quotes from it seems authentic. I think he was confused in his old age.
I don't think Cole would have made it up and I don't think he was confused in his old age. His letter was written when he was 73 and he lived to be a lucid 93. See his obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/marley-cole-obituary?pid=1000000126904964&view=guestbookIt's no big deal, but I still have a question as to who saw exactly what in its original form in the 1950s.
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