Russell did not recommend Rutherford as his successor. He knew that Rutherford could not be trusted and that he was an opportunist. So in 1915 Russell dismissed Rutherford and gave him $1,500.00 to set up a practice in California. When Russell died, Rutherford was an elder in the Los Angelos Ecclesia of Bible Students. He had a regular job as an attorney for a department store.
Judge Rutherford did a hostile takeover of the International Bible Students assets after Russell's death. Then he vilified them and rewrote the History of the Watchtower Socirty. A few years later he changed the name of his group to Jehovahs Wtinesses to further separate them from the Russell's group of Bible Students. That is why the new name was given. Rutherford wanted to make sure that his group was not mistaken for the Bible Students, which was Russell's group. The only link between the two groups was the assets; buildings and printing equipment and such that Rutherford took. Rutherford was an evil ambitious man but all his dupes were his personal slaves.
Try and convince Jehovah's Witnesses of these facts. Show them the proof from their own writings and they still won't believe it. And when they finally do accept the fact that Rutherford ursurped the authority of the directors in his hostile takeover, they simply say "It was Jehovah's will." And they proceed to cite scriptures to prove that Jehovah uses illegal means to accomplish his work.
On the other hand, the Bible Students have the same attitude ... they simply say "it was the Lord's will, no sense crying over spilt milk, we have work to do." Both groups are absolutely pathetic.
If Rutherford had no position in the Watchtower Society how did he get on the Board so quickly?He got on the board the same way many do in this world. It's who you know! Rutherford was an opportunist. And he made a name for himself travelling and debating. He also had friends in high places, namely VanAmburgh and MacMillan. These two no doubt pulled some strings to get Rutherford on board. After all, they could agree, he was a Lawyer, he knew business. he is well liked and respected and knows the truth. He would be an asset to the organization.
So he got on this little committee that was simply going to get thing organizaed for the elections in January 1917.
For those who wonder why Russell included Rutherford in his Will, well he didn't. Booze Rutherford got his name put on the Will after Brother Russell died. Brother Russell, while not faultless, knew that Rutherford was a pain in the ass he was NOT the type of person he wanted left in charge. And sure enough, once Rutherford illegally restled control away from those who Brother Russell wanted to run the show, things started changing. A good example is both men's view towards Jews: Russell was sympathetic towards them, Rutherford, while initially carrying on this belief, eventually revealed his true colours and was very anti-Semetic.
I vaguely recall reading somewhere else that Beth Sarim was built to get Rutherford out of office as no one could stand him at Bethel. While alot of Brother Russell's ideas were far-fetched, he was alot more laid back than the fanatical nazi-like regieme that Rutherford created.
Further, under Russell the president was just a figure, the power was in the hands of the board of directors, so it didn't matter what the president did or said. If the directors did not approve it, it would not be done.
You know the rest of the story. When it came time for the election of the officers, Rutherford was elected as president, only he added a little by-law which gave all power to the president. Now the Society and all its assests were in his hands and the directors were powerless. Before the directors could have these by-laws rescinded, the Judge tied things up and dismissed any and all who would challenge him. By then the majority of the Bible Students basically told the judge, you can have it, we don't need it, and moved on. Thus, Jehovah's Witnesses were born. Their leader was a fake, a liar and a scondrel. Is it any wonder that they all their doctrines are ridiculous and all of their predictions fall flat?
To get the full story of the Rutherford takeover and it's consequences, see this website. The book is called HARVEST SIFTINGS.
HARVEST SIFTINGS was written by Joseph Franklin Rutherford in 1917. This book was authored by J.F. Rutherford during the period of factional infighting following Russell’s death. Opposed by a majority of the Society’s board of directors, Rutherford spared no weapon in his struggle for control of the organization. As a lawyer he skillfully unseated the directors Russell had appointed for life, and as a communicator he destroyed them in the eyes of his readers. This is a fascinating piece of Watchtower history.