Jehovah's Witnesses Who Publicly Proclaimed the
American Flag to be a Meaningless Piece of Rag
KENTUCKY v. ROSE JASPER
Until now, the 1940 prosecution of Rose Jasper, an "anointed" Jehovah's Witness Female, has gone undocumented and unheralded. Why so, when Rose Jasper's scenario was so similar to the cases of hundreds of other Jehovah's Witnesses across the United States which the WatchTower Cult and their liberal allies heavily spun, and even historically rewrote, so as to make heroes out of misfits, malcontents, and even criminals, and so as to make monsters out of patriotic and otherwise good Americans who had been intentionally manipulated and maneuvered into temporarily deviating from their lifelong pattern of lawful conduct.
Rose Jasper's case was swept under the historical rug by liberal historians because that "anointed" Jehovah's Witness Female had made the mistake of revealing during the midst of a nationwide firestorm the ACTUAL attitude which the WatchTower Society had been instilling in its Jehovah's Witness members about the Government of the United States, the American Flag, and displays of patriotism. Rose Jasper was not the first Jehovah's Witness whom had made that mistake (see Baker interview and Davis court case below), nor was she the last (see the Peacock, Rafalski, and Johnson court cases below). What makes Rose Jasper's case so UNIQUE, and therefore historically significant, is that Rose Jasper was the ONLY Jehovah's Witness whom we have found who was PUBLICLY CONDEMNED BY THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY -- not once, but TWICE -- for her forthrightness.
Understanding the historical context of KENTUCKY v. ROSE JASPER is essential to understanding the case itself. In 1940, summaries of world events were delivered daily by newspapers and semi-daily by radio. Firsthand accounts of ongoing world events were the exception. Extremely exceptional coverage occurred when newspapers published actual photographs of national events -- much less international events, and when radio broadcast recorded audio from newsworthy events anywhere.
World War II began in September 1939 when Germany invaded, smashed, and occupied Poland. World War I was only one generation removed, and was still a recent memory of most Americans. However, WW2 then merely smoldered throughout the Winter of 1939-40. Then, in mid-April 1940, America's newspapers and radio lit up with reports of Germany's further invasions into Denmark and Norway. Then, in mid-May 1940, Germany invaded France and Belgium. Into early June 1940, the German army "blitzkrieged" through the French and British military forces like a hot knife through butter.
Most Americans knew that the entry of the United States into the war against Adolph Hitler, Germany, and Hitler's Axis allies was only a matter of time. Americans also knew that this second war was not going to be another WWI. This second war against Germany and her new allies was going to cost Americans far, far more in American lives and American wealth. In fact, Germany and her Axis allies were so successful, so quickly, that many Americans genuinely considered the possibility that the Axis Powers could win this second war, and even rule over a defeated United States of America.
With their very existence seemingly in jeopardy, Americans were in no mood to tolerate on their own front porches and city sidewalks the anti-American antics of "Judge" Rutherford and his pesky band of social/economic/political misfits and malcontents. Across the United States, good American citizens, honest American citizens, patriotic American citizens, rose to meet the challenge from that loudmouthed minority of ASSHOLES -- whom were that time period's "Westboro Baptist Church". If historians would look closely and objectively they would see that, typically, that the Jehovah's Witnesses merely were matched tit for tat. When individual or small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses trespassed into the personal space of ordinary citizens, a few of those antagonized citizens pushed back. When "Judge" Rutherford ordered a hoard of his "agitators" to invade a town or city -- typically on a sleepy Sunday morning -- the local citizenry met such invasions of their community enforce on only a few occasions. On those few occasions when Jehovah's Witnesses were injured and/or their property was damaged, a fair and honest assessment of those incidents will reveal that the Jehovah's Witnesses had been picking, picking, and picking at those communities and their citizens for weeks and even months until the citizens inevitably gave those WatchTower Cult agitators what they sought.
Although such has been mainly ignored by historians, many of the personal conflicts between Jehovah's Witnesses and non-JWs occurred within the opinion pages of America's newspapers, where citizens of every intelligence and educational level battled with their pens and pencils. In Kentucky, during the 1930s and 1940s, THE COURIER-JOURNAL was Kentucky's leading and most widely distributed newspaper. There, in its Opinion section, Kentuckians were permitted with moderation to express both their controversial and non-controversial opinions and beliefs.
On Monday, June 3, 1940, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the MINERSVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT v. GOBITIS case. SCOTUS ruled that schools were not required to excuse students from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or saluting the American Flag. This was headlines news across the United States.
On Tuesday, June 4, 1940, three male Jehovah's Witnesses living in Harlan County, Kentucky, were arrested and charged with "sedition" for their distribution of "un-American" WatchTower literature. There were only about 1000 Jehovah's Witnesses scattered across the 120 counties of Kentucky at that time. Harlan County was a very Appalachian county in far southeastern Kentucky on the Virginia state line. Those three local JW Males had rented a storefront in the county seat of Harlan, Kentucky, and had decorated their rented "Kingdom Hall" with signs containing WatchTower Cult slogans such as "Religion is a Snare and a Racket", etc. Harlan County was only one county over from the site of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, and frankly, those JWs were quite fortunate that they were only arrested.
Later that same first week of June 1940, Elmer Hopkins, of Loyal, Kentucky, also in Harlan County, whom was a friend of Rose Jasper, was also arrested. (Elmer Hopkins was reared in Mount Vernon, and continued to have family and business ties there, which gave him opportunities to occasionally visit with Rose Jasper while her non-JW husband was at work. In 1945, Rose Jasper delivered her fifth child. She named him "John", after "John the Baptist", supposedly at the suggestion of Elmer Hopkins. Elmer Hopkins and his non-JW wife are buried only about 50 feet from where are buried Rose Jasper and her non-JW husband.) Also arrested was a JW Couple named Lehman, whose then residence was given as Middlesboro, Kentucky, in Bell County, but who actually may have been regular WatchTower Cult "agitators" from another state. Only the five JW Males were jailed. A seventh warrant also was issued for a Harlan County male named Boyd McClendon, but we can find no further record of McClendon being arrested or prosecuted. All of these Harlan County events received limited media coverage -- mainly in Kentucky and surrounding states.
On Wednesday, June 12 1940, The Courier-Journal, on Page 6, published the following two edited Letters To The Editor. Note the mild tone of each LTTE selected for publication. Neither LTTE should have been the target of harsh criticism from anyone -- JWs or Non-JWs. (Note that the CJ Opinion Editor entitled the LTTEs he chose for publication. Also, noone knows how much editing occurred to any individual letter. The following LTTEs are necessarily further edited and receive "emphasis" by us.)
The Courier-Journal, Wednesday, June 12 1940, Page 6.
Might Help Them See
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. Why does not someone point out to "Jehovah's Witnesses" that the raising of the hand toward the flag, in saluting it, is merely a gesture of respect? If a gesture of respect is an act of worship, a man worships a woman when he lifts his hat to her, an assembly worships a speaker when they rise in his honor, and a soldier worships his superior officer when he salutes him. Do they believe the Deity would condone their worshiping a fellow mortal, and not an inanimate object? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" went hand in hand with the command, "Thou shalt not make unto Thee any graven image." Perhaps this line of thought would help them get rid of their idea that a salute is an act of worship.
E. A. G.
Why Persecute Them?
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. Reference is made to your editorial of June 5, 1940, in regard to the item, "The Court, the Mob and Jehovah's Witnesses." I am sure everyone should love the American flag. I think that, if the Government was playing the game the flag represents, there would not be any excuse for anyone not loving and wanting to salute "Old Glory." Why should we persecute those for not saluting our flag, thereby conditioning those who do not know any better to dislike it, perhaps for evermore?
John Wm. Moore.
Berea (College?), Ky.
Although by 2016, few if any Americans still know or even care when is "Flag Day" and "Flag Week", due to the aforementioned events, the Friday, June 14, 1940, celebration of "Flag Day", and the June 8-14, 1940, celebration of "Flag Week", were the largest such celebrations in U.S. history. Literally, the entire stock of the country's American Flags were sold out in June 1940. Procrastinating Americans were reduced to cutting pictures of American Flags from newspapers, books, and magazines.
We can only wonder how much the "Flag Week" celebrations motivated Rose Jasper to author and mail the following Letter To The Editor to The Courier-Journal, such that it was included in the Monday, June 17, 1940, edition. Note the extremely poor reading comprehension of Rose Jasper. Rose Jasper completely misinterprets and misconstrues E.A.G.'s comments regards the respectful act of hat-tipping, and not only does the same to the separately addressed respectful acts of an audience standing when a public speaker makes his entrance, and soldiers in the military exchanging salutes, but the possibly DRUNK AGAIN Rose Jasper mixes the two separate acts before biblically condemning them. Rose Jasper's published LTTE does not criticize the same-issue LTTE submitted by John William Moore. We suspect that the CJ Opinion Editor deleted those remarks due to LTTE length restrictions.
From One of Jehovah's Witnesses
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. In answer to E. A. G. of Louisville, I'd like to explain that Jehovah's Witnesses give their entire allegiance to God, "whose name alone is Jehovah," and to His government or kingdom on earth under Christ Jesus, Earth's Rightful Ruler, for which He taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." They are entirely devoted to God. "Ye cannot serve both God and mammon."
Now as far as any man's lifting his hat to a woman, I see nowhere in the Holy Word where God requires any such. For Christ is the head of the "True Church," "the little flock." The man is the head of the woman. If anything, the woman should look up to her man. This is just a tradition for a man to lift his hat to a woman. Now talking of an assembly arising in honor of a soldier or superior is taking sides with the world for "that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." Creature worship is equal to idolatry. Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of thus world." "If a man love the world or the things of the world the love of His Father is not in him." "A friend of the world is an enemy of God." "Ye adulterers and adulteresses know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God." We were taught to look, hope and pray and give full devotion to God's coming (government with Christ as King for which Jesus taught us to pray). The great promise Jehovah bound with His oath to Abraham, saying, "in thy seed all the families of the earth be blessed."
So, Mister E. A. G., instead of saluting a piece of rag that represents anything in this wicked world, we shall give our allegiance and full support to Jehovah God, Christ our King and His coming kingdom or government which is the only hope of the world in this time of distress and perplexity for there is salvation in no other and no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. Please read this great prophecy of Daniel 2:44; 7:27; Micah 4, and Revelation 11:15.
Mrs. Rose Jasper.
Mt. Vernon, Ky.
INTERESTINGLY, although Rose Jasper's LTTE had appeared in Monday's edition of The Courier-Journal, only two days later, in Wednesday's edition, The Courier-Journal published a responding LTTE submitted by the Kentucky Spokesman for the WatchTower Society which PUBLICLY CONDEMNED the "anointed" Rose Jasper's LTTE.
OBVIOUSLY, in order for an unanticipated LTTE and a second responding LTTE both to have been published within a period of only three days, this PUBLIC CONDEMNATION OF ROSE JASPER had to have been authored on Monday evening and hand-carried to the CJ Opinion Editor early on Tuesday morning. We can only wonder how much telephone communication occurred between WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn and their Kentucky Spokesman, and possibly even between WatchTower HQ and The Courier-Journal's management and liberal owners. Additionally, the WatchTower Society's Spokesman must have privately condemned Rose Jasper even more extremely to the staff, management, and owners at The Courier-Journal in order for him to receive their immediate cooperation.
The Courier-Journal, Wednesday, June 19, 1940, Page 6.
Jehovah's Witnesses for the Flag
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. In your issue of June 17 you published in the Point of View a letter from Mrs. Rose Jasper under the heading, "From One of Jehovah's Witnesses," part of which seriously misrepresents the views of this organization. I have been active in the work of Jehovah's Witnesses for over 40 years, during most of which time I have held positions of some responsibility in the organization and am familiar with all of its publications. In the last paragraph of Mrs. Jasper's letter she says, "instead of saluting a piece of rag that represents anything in this wicked world, we shall give our allegiance and full support to Jehovah God." Presumably she refers to saluting the flag.
In order that the issue may be clear, let me say that her reference to the flag as a rag is obnoxious and absolutely contrary to the letter and spirit of all publications on the subject by Jehovah's Witnesses. The flag of the United States stands for freedom to worship God, and as such it has our sincere respect. We resent the un-American activities of anyone, be he priest or peasant, who would misuse the flag so as to take from it its significance as the "flag of the free." God commanded in Exodus 20:3-5, that no symbol or likeness should be worshiped, and since the salute to the flag has been defined as an act of worship, we cannot salute the flag, but we can and do respect the flag.
I would also like to call attention to an able talk by the Hon. Francis Biddle, Solicitor General of the United States, given over a Nationwide radio chain Sunday, June 17, in which he stated that the mistreatment of Jehovah's Witnesses was wholly unwarranted; that they had committed no crime, and that an immediate investigation had been ordered of the outrages. He said that those perpetrating such outrages were really tools of the fifth column.
A. G. Wakefield.
WHO WAS A. G. WAKEFIELD?
A. G. Wakefield was at one time one of Charles Taze Russell's most prominent Bethelites and traveling Pilgrims, and possibly was a relative of "R. Wakefield", whom was one of Charles Taze Russell's earliest followers, whom Russell published multiple times in his WATCHTOWER magazine. Seventeen year-old A. G. Wakefield's name appears for the first time in the WATCHTOWER magazine in June 1908, in a list of the WatchTower Society's 30 most prominent corporate directors, corporate officers, Pilgrims, Bethelites, etc., who were named as being in support of Russell's newly instituted "VOW". Wakefield states in the above Letter To The Editor that he had "been active in the work of Jehovah's Witnesses for over 40 years". Note that Wakefield was only 49 years-old at that time.
Around 1908-09, eighteen year-old Averett G. Wakefield married fellow Bethelite Ora Sullivan, who was the 20 year-old daughter of then WatchTower Pilgrim and Bethelite, Owen L. Sullivan
. In the WatchTower Society's "U.S.A. History" found published in the 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Ora Sullivan Wakefield is quoted multiple times as someone who had firsthand knowledge about the WatchTower Society's Pittsburgh Headquarters during the early 1900s.
After the near collapse of the WatchTower Society following its failed predictions for October 1914, A. G. Wakefield was cut loose by Charles Taze Russell during the 1915 HQ downsizing
. Wakefield obtained employment with the U.S. Government in South Carolina, then Delaware, and finally in 1924, in Louisville, Kentucky, where Averett Wakefield retired in 1946. Averett Wakefield and Ora Sullivan Wakefield never had any children, so it will be assumed that these two former Bethelites probably later applied multiple times for service at Brooklyn Bethel, or as a traveling field representative couple. It is our speculation that the Wakefields were never permitted those insider positions because Ora Sullivan Wakefield's father, O. L. Sullivan, had left the WatchTower Society in 1925, and had begun working for the WatchTower's universalist spin-off -- the Concordant Publishing Concern
However, A. G. Wakefield was never that distant from the workings of WatchTower HQ. Wherever the Wakefields lived, A. G. Wakefield served both "Judge" Rutherford and Nathan Knorr as that area's main WatchTower Society spokesperson. When Wakefield traveled for his work, he would speak to those out-of-state congregations. Wakefield also held prominent parts at WatchTower assemblies and conventions. From 1924 until the retired A. G. Wakefield relocated to Florida, A. G. Wakefield served as the WatchTower Society's main resident spokesperson in the state of Kentucky.
After A. G. Wakefield relocated to Florida, Wakefield served as the WatchTower Society's main spokesperson in the greater metro area of St. Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater. Interestingly, in a 1959 Florida appellate court decision
, A. G. Wakefield intentionally had his "honesty" questioned in a WILL CONTEST
decision in which both the trial court and appellate courts nullified a WILL
in which discerning informed readers understand that Wakefield unquestionably had exercised "undue influence" over an 80 year-old senile, dying female.
WHY THIS LENGTHY BIOGRAPHY OF A. G. WAKEFIELD?
Because we know that ALL readers who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and most others, have ZERO accurate knowledge about the history of the WatchTower Society and its main characters. Once a reader understands the decades-long prominence of A. G. Wakefield within the WatchTower Cult, they should be able understand that when A. G. Wakefield spoke publicly about issues involving Jehovah's Witnesses in the state of Kentucky, then for all intents and purposes, THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY HAD SO SPOKEN. In this instance, there is little doubt that Wakefield spoke only after multiple consultations with WatchTower HQ and its legal Department, and that the public condemnation and other statements contained in Wakefield's PUBLIC CONDEMNATION OF ROSE JASPER were exactly the statements that WatchTower HQ directed Wakefield to express.
ARREST OF ROSE JASPER
Later that very same week, on Sunday, June 23, 1940, The Courier-Journal reported that ROSE JASPER, AGE 30, HAD BEEN ARRESTED IN MOUNT VERNON, KENTUCKY, sometime earlier that week, on SEDITION charges related to the distribution of "un-American" literature. Interestingly, that same CJ article also reported that two out-of-state WatchTower agitators, a JW Couple from Ohio, named Frank and Mary Speerless, also had been arrested on the exact same charge in Pulaski County, which was the much heavier-populated county directly south of the very small town of Mount Vernon, Kentucky -- through which travelers from Ohio in 1940 would have to drive to get to Somerset, Kentucky and Pulaski County. Yet another out-of-state WatchTower agitator named Everett I. Henry, from Tennessee, was arrested in July, after he distributed WatchTower literature to inmates while visiting the incarcerated Speerless couple at the Pulaski County jail, in Somerset, Kentucky.
Given that the 30 year-old, then mother of two, Rose Jasper, was married to a barely-sympathetic non-JW Husband, whom was a local businessman and multi-generation FREEMASON (probably as were every single attorney, male court official, and law enforcement officer in the county), and given that she was pregnant with her third child, and given that she was the ONLY Jehovah's Witness living in Rockcastle County, one must wonder how much distribution of WatchTower literature had she actually done such that she was on local law enforcement radar as a threat to the security of the United States?
Not only do we believe that it was Rose Jasper's LTTE and A. G. Wakefield's condemnatory LTTE that got her arrested only a few days after their publication, BUT, we can't help but wonder whether the Speerless couple from Ohio wittingly or unwittingly had been sent to Mount Vernon by WatchTower HQ to stir up law enforcement so that Rose Jasper would be arrested and thereby SILENCED??? Any reader who believes that the 1940 WatchTower Society was incapable of such back-stabbing shenanigans against its own "loose cannons" is IGNORANT, NAIVE, DISHONEST, or all of the aforementioned.
Regardless of whatever plans were concocted or instigated against Rose Jasper, evidently the people who initially so planned were not locals who knew of her, because, as we have already mentioned multiple times previously, Rose Jasper was PREGNANT, and in 1940, most self-respecting Kentucky lawmen would have found it disgraceful to have to arrest a pregnant female on non-violent charges of "distributing un-American literature". No, whomever maneuvered the arrest of Rose Jasper were people who did not know her or her husband, nor had they ever met Rose Jasper or her husband. The responsible parties probably were sitting in offices far from Mount Vernon, Kentucky.
Typical of Jehovah's Witnesses whom believe that they have been selected by "Jehovah" to be "anointed" members of the "144,000", the mentally ill Rose Jasper additionally suffered from DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR in the years following her arrest in June 1940. One notable example was Rose Jasper's elevation of the prominence of her main "persecutor" during her 1940 arrest. Beginning in the 1960s, after he had been elected as a United States Senator from West Virginia, and after he had begun to appear on television news broadcasts and especially Sunday morning political commentary broadcasts, Rose Jasper fingered United States Senator Robert BYRD as the scoundrel whom had treated her the worst while she was under arrest in Mount Vernon, Kentucky. However, it is hard for us to believe that Rose Jasper genuinely believed that a future United States Senator from West Virginia had traveled to Mount Vernon, Kentucky, back in June 1940, simply to "persecute" the insignificant Rose Jasper. It is far more likely that Rose Jasper was INTENTIONALLY telling just-one-more LIE about her past -- especially given the fact that it actually had been the easily identified and easily remembered Rockcastle County Attorney Robert BIRD whom had lead the questioning of Rose Jasper on the day of her arrest. (Kentuckian Robert Bird was 35 years-old in June 1940, while West Virginian Robert Byrd was 22 years-old in June 1940.) And, given the fact that we have not been able to document any further legal action taken against Rose Jasper, Rockcastle County Attorney Robert BIRD actually was more of a "friend" to Rose Jasper than a "persecutor". (Non-JW readers should understand that nearly all of Jehovah's Witnesses are mentally ill to some degree -- most significantly -- otherwise they would not be JWs. Nearly all JWs suffer with delusions of grandeur. The WatchTower Cult teaches that it is the ONLY true religion, and that all other religions -- including christian-professing denominations -- have been deluded by Satan to become his unwitting partners in his fight against "Jehovah". Thus, the WatchTower Society is "special", and only "special" people are selected by "Jehovah" to become Jehovah's Witnesses. Rose Jasper not only was a "special" Jehovah's Witness, but she professed to have been chosen by "Jehovah" to be one of the "specially chosen" 144,000 "anointed" Jehovah's Witnesses, whom the WatchTower Cult teaches go to heaven to rule with Jesus Christ during the earthly Millennium -- which is 102 years overdue since the Cult also teaches that the Millennium began in 1914.)
Puzzlingly, we wonder why Rose Jasper's non-JW husband did not stop her from repeating over and over this particular grandiose delusion whenever she re-told the story of her arrest to out-of-town Jehovah's Witnesses, including Circuit Servants/Overseers, and to family members born in later decades??? Certainly, non-JW Husband knew which "Robert Bird/Byrd" was which. Possibly, non-JW Husband was keeping secret so many IMPORTANT ROSE JASPER LIES that this LIE simply seemed insignificant in comparison.
INTERESTINGLY, for 11 days, The Courier-Journal failed to publish any responding LTTE that mentioned Rose Jasper's LTTE. Apparently, A. G. Wakefield's personal visit to the offices of The Courier-Journal had convinced the CJ management and staff to censor any further LTTEs sent in response to the inflammatory Rose Jasper LTTE. However, such obvious censorship could not last long amongst CJ's 1940 readership. Ignored submitters of LTTEs responding to Rose Jasper's LTTE likely overwhelmed the CJ staff, with the CJ finally being forced to start publishing some of those submissions on Sunday, June 30, 1940. That CJ issue contained THREE such unhappy LTTEs.
Not Serving God Then
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. I would like to say to Mrs Rose Jasper, reference to your religion is o.k.; but, if you follow your religion you would never have called the flag a "rag," knowing it stands for freedom to worship God as you desire. You would have said instead, "Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to salute the flag, since it is defined as an act of worship." Therefore, if you will read Cor. 1:8-10 I am sure you will see there are no divisions among us. We Americans salute the flag and serve God. You "Jehovah's Witnesses" serve God and do not salute the flag, but we Americans would never call a "Jehovah's Witnesses" house of worship a "shack" for we could not and do God's bidding. Having such unkind feelings in our hearts as you seem to have for our country, we would ignore the will of God completely.
Mrs. Geo. Atkisson.
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. Mrs. Jasper, I cannot understand how you can reasonably say that our flag is a rag that represents anything in this wicked world. Our red, white and blue banner, which you refer to as a rag, represents the blood of our soldiers, given so that you and I could have our God-given rights; it stands for purity, a virtue so honored by God, and it also represents justice which is a virtue and every man's right. Christ said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's."
Theodore J. Hermes.
Having failed to extinguish the brushfire started in Kentucky by Rose Jasper, the WatchTower Society was forced to seek the publication of a second LTTE CONDEMNING Rose Jasper in The Courier-Journal. That SECOND PUBLIC CONDEMNATION OF ROSE JASPER BY THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY was submitted to The Courier-Journal by a different Louisvillian. That second LTTE was submitted under the name of a 76 years-old female named Laura R. Ackerman.
Readers should study this second LTTE multiple times -- slowly -- and note the selected verbiage, and its flow. Does this LTTE sound as if it was authored by a 76 year-old female living in 1940, or does it sound like it was authored by the WatchTower Society's own Legal Staff? If you believe as we do that this second LTTE probably was surreptitiously authored and submitted by Hayden Covington and his legal staff, then you also should acknowledge that our suspicion that Covington may have instigated the arrest of Rose Jasper also has some validity.
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, formerly called Bible Students, for more than 50 years, I deeply regret the unfortunate language used by Mrs. Rose Jasper in speaking of our national emblem. We are loyal to our country and the laws of its government in so far as they do not conflict with God's laws. We respect the flag for the principles for which it stands freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom to worship God as our conscience dictates. If our children are taught that to salute the flag is an act of worship, which belongs to Jehovah alone, then they would be doing a grave thing to do this. To make a misdemeanor of a refusal to salute the flag, punishable by refusing them educational advantages, compulsory education being a law, and sometimes imprisonment, would seem a little overzealous. Just who is breaking the law. Are our children taught in school to disobey both God and their parents? It takes courage for youngsters to stand up for principles that make them appear peculiar and different from other children and I don't believe there is much danger of their attitude being followed by other children. Were we Communists, fifth columnists, or what have you, we would welcome the opportunity to perform such a simple ceremony as saluting the flag, knowing it would give us a firmer footing and an opportunity to ply our nefarious schemes without suspicion. On two or more former occasions the honorable gentlemen of the U. S. Supreme Court rendered decisions favorable to Jehovah's Witnesses. On the last occasion they reversed themselves. I wonder why? Is it that they just can't make up their minds or are they a little perplexed, as Luke 21:25 says they will be at this time? You supply the answers.
Mrs. Laura R. Ackerman.
After The Courier-Journal published the WatchTower Society's SECOND PUBLIC CONDEMNATION OF ROSE JASPER, the CJ waited for as long as its readers likely would permit -- 25 days -- before the CJ published another LTTE which addressed Rose Jasper's LTTE. It certainly was an interestingly selection assuming that the CJ Opinion Editor probably hoped that this LTTE would be the last one that he would have to publish on this topic.
We also have suspicions regarding the authorship of this letter. The WatchTower Society was not the only organization capable of submitting under a female member's name and address a LTTE actually authored by a male in a high position of authority.
The Golden Rule
To the Editor of The Courier-Journal. It's all very well for Mrs. Rose Jasper to prattle about there being nothing in the Bible to command a man to lift his hat to a woman but if everyone catered to little bits of courtesy like this they would be, in part, obeying the golden rule, "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you." That can be interpreted as none other than a command to be polite and courteous. I've been in sympathy with these Jehovah's Witnesses and been ashamed of the treatment they have received until today. But any citizen of these United States that will stand up and call our flag a "piece of rag" should be horsewhipped and expelled from this country. People have fought and died to preserve that beloved "piece of rag" because it was a symbol that their religion was free and Mrs. Rose Jasper doesn't deserve a place of protection under it. Are these Jehovah's Witnesses so ignorant they don't understand that this "piece of rag" is only a symbol for the ideas and ideals of a free people. An object can be loved and yet not worshiped. And I love Old Glory.
Mrs. Robert Anderson.
Whitley City, Ky.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ROSE JASPER CASE?
We really aren't sure. Archived copies of the local county newspaper for 1940 are reported to have been lost in a fire many decades ago. While we know for a fact that Rose Jasper was arrested and charged under Kentucky state law with "sedition" for having "distributed un-American literature", we cannot find any record of further prosecution -- no indictment, no attempted indictment, nor even a dismissal. As we have noted above, Rose Jasper, then age 30, was the PREGNANT wife of a local businessman whom was NOT a Jehovah's Witness, and Rose Jasper was the mother of two young boys, ages 9 and 3. Thus, the further prosecution of Rose Jasper was a public relations nightmare.
Given her domestic responsibilities, Rose Jasper had little time to "distribute un-American literature" anywhere other than her own neighborhood, which was in an impoverished large, rural county that had no other Jehovah's Witnesses. The local newspaper apparently refused her propaganda submissions for another twelve years. Even the Courier-Journal published no more of her letters until 1948, and we have found no more thereafter.
Followup legal proceedings kept the Harlan County Jehovah's Witnesses in the Kentucky news throughout the rest of 1940, and into 1941. The WatchTower Society threw its full legal weight into defending the Harlan County JW6. Every possible legal maneuver was initiated in both state and federal court. Eventually, in June 1941, BEELER v. SMITH, a federal court decision won by Hayden Covington and Victor Schmidt, and during which Kentuckian Frederick Franz came back to Kentucky to testify, ruled that the distribution of WatchTower literature did not violate Kentucky's sedition law, and enjoined Kentucky officials from so charging Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the state.
KENTUCKY v. SPEERLESS and KENTUCKY v. HENRY. Although indicted and jailed, Frank Speerless, Mary Speerless, and Everett Henry were not tried pending a decision in the federal BEELER case. Due to the BEELER decision, in June 1941, their cases were dismissed.
Readers familiar with WatchTower literature know that for decades that the WatchTower Cult has packed its literature with (often poorly supported) allegations that it has been local church leaders who instigated the arrests of its pesky Jehovah's Witnesses literature salespersons. Rarely has the Cult given credit where credit is due. (On the few rare occasions where WatchTower literature has credited or quoted a supposed church leader for supporting the Cult, research will disclose that that "church leader" actually was some half-baked anarchist, ultra-liberal revolutionary, ACLU shill, who belonged to the Unitarians, United Church of Christ, or the like.) The HENRY case would have been a good opportunity for the Cult to give proper credit where credit was due. During the HENRY trial, the local Minister of the Somerset Presbyterian Church used his prestige in the community to speak at length during the proceedings to give local law enforcement officials, the county prosecutor, and the judge a thorough chewing-out over the arrest and prosecution of Henry -- declaring that Henry's arrest was a violation of free speech and religion guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.
INDIANA v. CARRIE DAVIS was a 1939 Indiana criminal prosecution in which a 55 year-old female African-American Jehovah's Witness named Carrie Davis was convicted of desecrating the American Flag after she proclaimed the American Flag to be nothing more than a "DIRTY RAG" during a July 1939 protest held in Shelbyville, Indiana, because out-of-town Jehovah's Witness organizers had been refused rental of the local Armory for a WatchTower Cult meeting. Davis' husband and other JWs from Indianapolis were arrested on other charges, including intimidating a police officer.
MAINE v. RALPH A. PEACOCK
Supreme Court of Maine
Only one week after The Courier-Journal had reported the arrest of Rose Jasper, on Sunday, June 30, 1940, a 35 year-old Jehovah's Witness Minister, named Ralph A. Peacock, of Bradford, Maine, was performing door-to-door "field service" in Plymouth, Maine, when he was "supposedly" (see footnote below) invited inside by a homeowner. (2016 readers should understand that in 1940 it was an outrage for an unknown solicitor to be unexpectedly calling on homes on a Sunday. That exactly was why "Sundays" were the Jehovah's Witnesses preferred day to perform "field service".)
Once the purpose of Peacock's visit was disclosed to that male homeowner and his visiting relative, the homeowner asked Ralph Peacock if he would be willing to salute the American Flag. Ralph Peacock responded, "What is the flag anyway? It is nothing more than a piece of rag. If I had an American flag here now, I would strip (rip) it up, and trample it under my feet." Ralph Peacock than made physical movements demonstrating his ripping apart an imaginary American Flag, throwing it to the ground, and stomping on it with his feet.
The offended homeowner reported Ralph Peacock's words and actions to local law enforcement. Peacock was thereafter arrested and prosecuted under Maine law for "publicly" casting contempt on the American Flag -- both by his words and actions. In April 1941, Ralph A. Peacock was found "Guilty" by a local Superior Court jury.
Readers should be wondering, where was the WatchTower Society's public condemnation of Ralph Peacock? Further, why did Hayden Covington and WatchTower HQ not "order" Ralph Peacock to pursue a plea deal, or even plead guilty to the charge, to prevent Peacock's egregious words and actions from being spread nationwide by the news media during an ongoing prosecution and trial -- and a "requested" jury trial at that? (Note below who stepped in and took over the appeal of the jury's adverse decision -- in order to make certain that nothing else went wrong during this potential catastrophe.)
Readers simply have to attempt to locate any 1940 media coverage of the Ralph Peacock incident, and they will have the answer to our questions. We found one news article that briefly reported Peacock's appeal in 1941. Even better, readers should try googling any of the variations of Peacock's name, along with the term "Jehovah's Witness", and see how many liberal authors OVER THE DECADES have cited the Peacock case, and how many of those liberal authors disclosed that the Perp who displayed such contempt for the American Flag was a Jehovah's Witness Minister.
Then, as now, the ACLU and its BFF, the WatchTower Society, knew exactly which media outlets would report this news, and which liberal media outlets could be counted on to censor any news unfavorable to the liberal cause. Several of the dishonest liberal authors whom have cited this Peacock case even reported to their readers that this incident occurred at Peacock's own home -- thus making Peacock's arrest and prosecution appear "outrageous" to their unwitting readers.
Why are we so confident in our historical assessment of what occurred back in 1940-42? GUESS WHO was Ralph Peacock's attorney, or attorneys, for his appeal to the Supreme Court of Maine? The lead attorney for Ralph Peacock was none other than Hayden Cooper Covington -- the head of the WatchTower Society's Legal Department, whom also was elected Vice-President of the WatchTower Society while he was handling this appeal. GUESS WHO was Hayden Covington's co-counsel on this appeal. Co-counsel was ACLU attorney Ewing Baskette. Interestingly, at the time, Baskette was employed as the Law School Librarian at the University of Kentucky, and lived only about 50 miles from Rose Jasper.
In 1942, the Supreme Court of Maine held that while Peacock had definitely demonstrated contempt for the American Flag by his words and actions, the jury's decision that Peacock had done so "publicly" had been based on a flawed definition of "publicly" contained in the jury instructions. Peacock's conviction was overturned. The court opined that such a conversation held inside a private residence in the presence of only two other persons could not be consider to have occurred "publicly", so we are assuming that this case was thereafter dismissed by the local prosecutor.
FOOTNOTE: First, readers might be interested to know that the then unmarried Ralph Peacock had been born and reared in Canada, and at the time of this incident, he may have been an illegal alien.
Second, readers also should know that we have further suspicions as to why we have been unable to locate any contemporaneous media coverage of this June 1940 incident. With the then ongoing nationwide firestorm, it would have been BEYOND STUPID for a JW to have been going door-to-door alone. What happened to Peacock's service partner or partners, and their potential testimony? Also, does it make sense that a homeowner adverse to JWs would have invited Peacock inside their home? Do readers really believe that the conversation between Peacock and the homeowner had gone completely without controversy until the homeowner out-of-nowhere asked Peacock if he would be willing to salute the Flag?
Most importantly, could the Supreme Court of Maine have decided that Ralph Peacock's words and actions had NOT OCCURRED "PUBLICLY", if Peacock's words and actions actually had occurred on the homeowner's FRONT PORCH, where his words and actions possibly could have been overheard and observed by neighbors or passers-by, instead of inside that home? (Those readers whom do not understand legal nuances should observe closely the next time they watch an episode of their favorite COPS show. Anytime COPS go inside a home where someone has reported a "disturbance", and where the "relatively calm" resident is cursing and calling those COPS bad names inside his own home, just WAIT for those COPS to attempt to LURE that homeowner into stepping outside onto his front porch, "so they can speak to him PRIVATELY". Once the legally-uneducated homeowner steps outside and curses those COPS, they immediately will arrest him for disturbing the peace, and other ENTRAPPED charges.)
Third, readers should further be aware that UNBELIEVABLY the Supreme Court of Maine DID NOT IDENTIFY Ralph Peacock as a Jehovah's Witness in their decision, and DID NOT DISCLOSE that Peacock was performing door-to-door ministry for the WatchTower Society when Peacock made his contemptuous statements and actions. In fact, the Supreme Court of Maine decision inaccurately stated that Ralph Peacock was going door-to-door for the purpose of getting a petition signed. For us, the question is not whether there was a conspiracy? The question for us is, at what level or levels did the conspiracy occur, and whom all were involved? Local? State? Federal?
(Once again, for those readers whom have not spent sufficient time studying our two websites to understand that national and international conspiracies have occurred in the past, and are occurring in 2016, read our summary of the UNSOLVED TYLENOL MURDERS case from back during the 1980s.
Summary: The Tylenol murders ceased only after a itinerant JW Pioneer, whom was believed to contemporaneously have been in the two states where such murders occurred, was FOUND DEAD with such high levels of cyanide as to be impossible for Green to have accumulated gradually and still function as he had the days prior to his death. We didn't say it back eight or so years ago when we first posted that summary, but we will say it now. "Someone" knew for an absolute fact that Green was the Perp, and rather than take the chance of a nationwide backlash against the JWs, or chance that one or more of the many, many mentally-disturbed JWs might start copy-catting Green, the "problem" was simply eliminated without going through all the legal hassles, while still giving the American public a reason to believe that there would be no further contaminations of America's OTC medicines. That wasn't the first time "someone" thought or acted "outside the box". Neither was it the last.)
MICHIGAN v. RAYMOND RAFALSKI
INTERESTINGLY, at some uncertain time in July 1940, under unknown circumstances, a young, impressionable 21 year-old Jehovah's Witness named Raymond Rafalski, of Gardner, Massachusetts, was charged in Pontiac, Michigan with "contempt of the American flag", after Ray Rafalski stated to a local police officer, "Why should I salute that rag?" Rafalski was convicted at trial, and sentenced to a $100.00 fine, plus 60 days in jail.
We can't help but wonder whether Rafalski was somehow aware of the ongoing brushfire in Kentucky, or was it "the truth" that Jehovah's Witnesses across the United States were off-the-record and behind-the-scenes ALL being instilled with the "principle" that the American Flag was nothing but a RAG by the WatchTower Society??
If this case was appealed, we have not located such. Readers also should note that this incident did manage to receive limited coverage by the local and state media. Contrast the Michigan media's coverage of this incident with the Maine media's coverage of the Peacock incident.
ARKANSAS v. JOE JOHNSON
Supreme Court of Arkansas
In 1941, in Arkansas, another Jehovah's Witness***, named Joe Johnson, PUBLICLY proclaimed the American Flag to be a "piece of rag", or simply "a rag", depending on the witness to the event. Johnson was convicted at local trial level of willfully and publicly exhibiting contempt for the American Flag. On Johnson's appeal, the Supreme Court of Arkansas upheld that conviction. (*** Joe Johnson may have been reared by a "Bible Student" mother based on his testimony that his mother had stopped him from enlisting during WW1. At trial, Johnson made the point that he had not been a JW at the time of this incident, but had been "studying" to become such. Johnson admitted that he had since become a JW while awaiting trial. Interestingly, Johnson had lived in this part of Arkansas for only three years. Johnson and his family were from Louisiana, and in recent years had relocated from Louisiana to Arkansas, to Texas, and then back to a different part of Arkansas. The fact that at the time of the incident that Johnson apparently was not a polished, longtime JW, whom would have been trained to hide his true feelings about the American Flag, only lends credibility to our belief that Johnson's condemnation of the American Flag resulted from what he either had read in WatchTower literature, or resulted from what he had heard stated privately, behind-the-scenes by either local JWs or traveling WatchTower representatives, or both.)
In June 1941, Joe Johnson had gone to the Welfare Commissary in Marshall, Arkansas, to procure free government food for himself, his wife and eight children -- as had numerous other impoverished local Arkansasians. Johnson's file apparently had been flagged due to local rumors alleging that Johnson was a Jehovah's Witness who was both claiming more dependents than he had, and sharing his extra distribution with ineligible Jehovah's Witnesses in the area. When the female staffer inquired about these rumors, Johnson first denied overstating the number of his dependents. Then, that female staffer made the mistake of asking Johnson to salute the American Flag stationed over the front door -- "just to quiet that rumor".
Joe Johnson stated to that female staffer that he would die first. In front of a long line of fellow welfare recipients, Johnson went on a tirade about saluting the American Flag as he walked from the rear of the room to the front door, over which an American Flag was posted. When Johnson reached the door, he stopped, and either pointed or reached upwards toward the American Flag, and proclaimed (various witnesses remembered different bits and pieces), "You can't get anything here unless you salute the flag. It don't have eyes and can't see, and has no ears and can't hear, and no mouth and can't talk. It doesn't mean anything to me. It is nothing but a piece of rag. ... ... ."
FOOTNOTE: In May 1936, a Livingston, California Jehovah's Witness, named Fraulein Adolph Baker, slipped-up and spilled the beans when she explained to a reporter from THE FRESNO BEE why she would not permit her children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Rather than providing the more palatable excuse which the WatchTower Society had trained JWs to give publicly, i.e., that the American Flag was an "idol", and saluting the Flag was worshiping an idol, Fraulein Baker instead told the BEE reporter the actual reason why Jehovah's Witnesses refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
"Jehovah's Witnesses cannot give allegiance to the Kingdom of the Devil."
DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES