The Watchtower's benefit from War Production Materials
 by Towerwatcher
During WWII the Watchtower Society needed paper, ink, and other supplies of which Max Larson (now President of Watchtower) made requests for these goods to the United States "War Production Board."
During that war time period in history nearly everything could be used to make weapons of war.  Tin cans could be melted down to make bullets, panty-hose were made into parachutes, peanut shells and chicken fat could be made into explosives.
Our purpose in this research is not to accuse the Watchtower Society of any major scandal, but to show the hypocrisy of it's claim of being separate from the world.  How neutral can you be when the very Bible your reading or Watchtower magazine your holding, is made from the materials the United States Government had intentioned to be processed into war instruments?  This was certainly the case during WWII!
What good name can the Watchtower have when one minute they are condemning all governments to destruction, and yet the next minute they are crawling on their hands and knees requesting assistance from them?  And not once, but several times!
Max Larson would like for us to believe that these materials the Watchtower Society received from the War Production Board, were direct blessings from Jehovah God Himself!
Ok!  If we assume that Max is right, then we can safely say that Jehovah does indeed work through the "higher authorities" or governments of this world to answer prayers and supply the Watchtower with it's needs.  But that assumption doesn't quite meet Watchtower policy does it?  After all, Jehovah only works through the Watchtower, right? 
What is the "War Production Board?"
Here is a little information about the War Production Board.

Powers and Responsibilities

During World War II, the government needed to ensure that the armed forces and war industries received the ever-growing resources they needed to win the war. The War Production Board (WPB) assumed that responsibility. The WPB decided which companies would convert from peacetime to wartime production and allocated raw materials to key industries. The WPB also organized nationwide drives to collect scrap iron, tin cans, paper, rags, and cooking fat for recycling into war goods. Across America, children scoured attics, cellars, garages, vacant lots, and back alleys looking for useful junk. During one five-month-long paper drive in Chicago, school children collected 36 million pounds of old paper, or about 65 pounds per child.

The head of the War Productions Board, Donald M. Nelson from 1942-1944 and Julias A. Krug from 1944 to 1945, had great and wide reaching control over the economic affairs of the United States. Over its three-year lifespan, the board supervised the manufacture of $185 billion worth of weapons and military supplies. It offered businesses lucrative contracts to switch over to war productions; large commercial farmers also had incentives for war production. Labor unions offered "no strike pledges" during the war, although few were kept, and taxes in general were raised, all in an effort to get the country prepared for war. New York investment banker Ferdinand Eberstadt was appointed chairman of the Army and Navy Munitions Board and vice chairman of the War Productions Board. Eberstadt developed the organizational structure known as the "Controlled Materials Plan" that allowed the armed forces to prioritize their needs that in turn allowed the private sector to prioritize its production to meet the military's needs.

The War Productions Board was quickly dissolved in November 1945, after the defeat of Japan. The Civilian Production Administration was set up in order to take over the reconstruction aspect with the WPB would have overseen.


179.2 Records of the War Production Board
1918-47 (Bulk 1939-47)



In an oral interview with Willis G. Armstrong, we are informed that raw materials, goods, paper, and all materials during that time frame were allocated by the "War Production Board!" 

Oral History Interview with
Willis G. Armstrong

Official, Lend-Lease Administration and Foreign Economic Administration, 1941-45; War Shipping Administration, 1945-46; adviser on state trading, U.S. Dept. of State, 1946-48; asst. chief, Division of Commercial Policy, 1951-52, and deputy director, 1952-54, U.S. Dept. of State.

ARMSTRONG: Yes, some of us in the Lend-Lease Administration had lived in Russia; we knew the Russians, and we knew why they couldn't provide advance data on requirements, because their system didn't simply permit it. And, therefore, we made up their requirements in advance a year ahead, and we figured out the numbers ourselves and gave them to the War Production Board and that secured their allocation for them. When the time came around, our guesses had turned out to be pretty good, and the Russians said, "Thanks very much." So that wasn't really a problem.

When they wanted something they told us in no uncertain terms what they wanted, and if we[4] thought it was useful in the war effort we gave it to them, if we had it, within the framework of an annual schedule. We had an annual schedule worked out called the "protocol," which was renegotiated every year; and it was broken down into military end items, raw materials, industrial equipment, food, chemicals, Quartermaster stores, and all that sort of thing.


Paper was in high demand for war maps, U.S. currency, letterhead, and could be made into other wartime materials.  However, Max Larson informs us that "other supplies" were also needed as well from the War Production board, of which Max made several trips to Washington DC to secure!


Even Mom's patty-hose could be used for war efforts!

American women had only a sampling of the beauty and durability of their first pairs of nylon hose when their romance with the new fabric was cut short. The United States entered World War II in December 1941 and the War Production Board allocated all production of nylon for military use. Nylon hose, which sold for $ 1.25 a pair before the War, moved in the black market at $10. Wartime pin-ups and movie stars, like Betty Grable, auctioned nylon hose for as much as $40,000 a pair in war-effort drives.

During the War, nylon replaced Asian silk in parachutes. It also found use in tires, tents, ropes, ponchos, and other military supplies, and even was used in the production of a high-grade paper for U.S. currency. At the outset of the War, cotton was king of fibers, accounting for more than 80% of all fibers used. Manufactured and wool fibers shared the remaining 20%. By the end of the War in August 1945, cotton stood at 75% of the fiber market. Manufactured fibers had risen to 15%.


While the Watchtower strongly encouraged not getting married or having children, we find that it was indeed CHILDREN who were instrumental in harvesting up hundreds of tons of scrap PAPER that was turned over for the war efforts. This same recycled harvested paper in turn ended up in the Watchtower's warehouses for Watchtower literature!  So the Watchtower certainly owes CHILDREN a debt of gratitude for their efforts during this difficult time frame!







 Making Full-Time Service a Career



Before Government Officials

During World War II, there was a great shortage of raw materials that we needed to carry on our publishing work. Therefore, I made several trips a year to Washington, D.C., to meet with War Production Boards and with Senate committees. I appealed to them for paper and other supplies, and Jehovah greatly blessed these efforts. 

On one occasion I made my presentation by displaying various pages from prominent newspapers that advertised nonessential items. Pointing to one full-page advertisement for a fur coat in the principal New York paper, I said: “The amount of paper used for this ad in one Sunday’s edition is equal to the total extra tonnage that we are requesting for the entire year.”

“You have made your point well,” one senator replied. As a result of Jehovah's blessing on these trips, we never had to stop our presses during the war because of running out of paper or other supplies. But, obviously, we did not need the tremendous supplies of paper that we do today.


Here you will find several galleries of "salvage drives" that were conducted during WWII.


So while thousands upon thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses were going through the great depression, thinking that Armageddon was right around the corner donating their last dime into the Kingdom Hall's contribution box and barely existing, the Watchtower was actually receiving assistance from the government it counseled it's members was part of Satan's worldly system of things!

The Watchtower could have made an announcement in their Watchtower magazine to their members to keep their contributions for a short period of time, because the people at that time were starving in some areas and needed every cent they had.  However, the Watchtower never considered announcing to the JWs that they were being assisted by the government and the War Production Board, now did they?

More gallery photos of children gathering scrap for "salvage drives" during WWII.

Yes, while the Watchtower leaders sat up in their plush offices sucking up the proceeds from Rutherford's liquor cabinet, children were out working their butts off in the cold weather working for the war efforts, which in-turn benefited the Watchtower and the "several"  material requests made by Max Larson!

Paper, ink, and other materials were scarce at that time and women also helped to build warplanes.  Yet according to Joseph Rutherford the second President of the Watchtower Society, women were nothing but a "hank of hair!"

Despite shortages of newsprint, ink and skilled labor, Seattle's newspapers became essential guides to the homefront. Men left the pressroom and the newsroom for the war, just as they had left the shipyards, and women became key to the homefront Times.

At right, "Rosie the Riveter" assembles the tailgunner's bullet-proof enclosure on a B-29.
Photo Credit: Boeing Co.

LONGTIME PUBLISHER C.B. BLETHEN HAD DIED TWO MONTHS BEFORE PEARL HARBOR, and the newspaper, set suddenly adrift, was steadied by its critical wartime role. The Times printed war news, photos and comics; it tracked down rumors and worked hard to keep up civilian morale. Though the newspaper conducted hard-hitting investigative reporting on waste and payroll-padding in area shipyards, it never pursued the dark mysteries of Hanford, just over the mountains. 


Even knitting talents were an essential part of helping in the war efforts!


Life cover on knitting, November 24, 1941

Knitting for Victory -- World War II

On the home front during World War II (1941-1945), knitting to help the war effort and to keep American soldiers warm was a major preoccupation of Americans, particularly women. The November 24, 1941, cover story of the popular weekly magazine Life explained “How To Knit.” Along with basic instructions and a pattern for a simple knitted vest, the article advised, “To the great American question ‘What can I do to help the war effort?’ the commonest answer yet found is ‘Knit.’" The article pointed out that hand-knitters were turning out garments for soldiers despite the fact that machine-knitting was more efficient. Knitting gave people at home a way to help. The article noted that a volunteer group, Citizens for the Army and Navy, were campaigning to get one million standard-Army sweaters by Christmas. Two weeks later, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and America entered World War II. At home, more and more Americans picked up their needles to knit socks, mufflers, and sweaters to keep American soldiers warm.


What did the Watchtower Society do to repay the United States Government "War Production Board" for their assistance?  Well, one way the Watchtower assisted was in the "control of information" communicated to the American people about the war!

Controlling Information and Advertising the War
FDR relied on the Office of Censorship and the Office of War Information to regulate the communications of American citizens. The former, created shortly after the U.S. entry into the war, examined all letters sent overseas and worked with media firms to control information broadcast to the people. The latter, formed in June 1942, employed artists, writers, and advertisers to shape public opinion by explaining the reasons for U.S. entry in the war and by portraying the enemy as barbaric and cruel.
The Watchtower Society also had to "pay" for these materials it received from the "War Production Board!"  Even the Weather Bureau had to pay for it's printing equipment that was allocated to it by the War Production Board.  Paper for maps, printing presses, cameras, and so forth all had to be purchased, so the Watchtower's transactions with the War Production Board would not be handled any different.
Printing and Issuing Publications.-The Printing Section of the Weather Bureau was practically the only governmental agency engaged in the printing of weather maps and meteorological information at the time of the outbreak of hostilities in 1941. The demands for reproduction of weather information immediately became so great and exacting that prewar printing facilities were found to be inadequate. To relieve this situation priorities for the acquisition of additional offset presses and related equipment were obtained from the War Production Board. The purchase and installation of a large camera to photograph maps 40"x40" was an outstanding procurement. This camera was operated for 24 hours a day and was of strategic importance in the photographic reproduction of world-wide meteorological data for military operations. In order to operate the additional equipment during regular and irregular hours the staff of the Printing Section was greatly increased.
Yes, even the French Government who was fighting the war right along-side American soldiers had financial contracts to pay the War Production Board thru the Lend-Lease program.  Here are some of the price tags!

The maximum aid to be furnished the French by the United States under the 3(C) agreement is specified in two schedules.

The articles and services in Schedule 1 and their estimated maximum cost are as follows:

Raw materials for war use and essential civilian 
supply (cotton, metals, steel, chemicals, synthetic 
rubber, drugs, medical supplies, etc.) ...............  $840,000,000 
Food (milk, pulses, edible oils, oil seed, seeds) ....   185,000,000 
Petroleum supplies ...................................   132,000,000 
French prisoner-of-war supplies ......................    48,000,000 
Short-life manufacturing equipment for war production    250,000,000 
Freight charges (rental and charter of vessels) ......   220,000,000 
The War Production Board certainly did not "give" the Watchtower Society paper and needed supplies for free!  This would mean that the very contributions that Jehovah's Witness members gave thinking it was going for the Worldwide preaching work, actually ended up in the governments pocket which in-turn was included in the money allocated for warfare.  The Watchtower Society took just as much an active role in assisting financially for war as other organizations who needed aid and supplies.
One might argue that it is a good thing to turn swords into plow shares and I for one would certainly agree.  But, just how long do you think it would take for the congregation elders to draw up a judicial committee, when they discovered that a JW member was financially transacting with a military installation for supplies for his or her personal business?
 Not very long I can guarantee you!
The next time a Jehovah's Witness tries to convince me that their organization is "neutral" as to government affairs and "no part of the world," I think I might remind them of Max Larson and the Watchtower article that tells a different story.

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