March 17, 1956
My dear Brethren:
Grace and peace through our Beloved Master!
Herewith is presented
“The Case of John J. Hoefle” Reviewed
In the March Present Truth our Executive Trustee “finds it necessary to say and do things that are very unpleasant” in exposing the “unruly, oppositional and revolutionistic” course of John J. Hoefle – a brother whom he has “esteemed highly and loved dearly.” Then at the top of page 20 his “dear love” prompts him to relate a request “for a loan of a large sum of money” – although he fails to reveal which “unruly”, which “oppositional”, or which “revolutionistic” act is exposed by his little recital. Why didn't he say the “large sum of money” was $5,000? And why didn't he quote the letter of November 27, 1952 which dealt with the item? One short paragraph would have been sufficient for the purpose. Any time we have discussed him, his letters have been reproduced in full – word for word – so the brethren could freely judge for themselves which cause had true merit. In his loud and profuse contention that the “Great Company is and forever will be” a Class higher than the Youthful Worthies, he would be well advised to start now in this life to show just a little of his “class” in his conduct and ethics.
The letter of November 27 was simply a penciled note (of which no copy was kept), telling him of a profitable investment which was certain to return to him in a short time the $5,000 “well padded with interest.” This note was much the same as others we had written to Brother Johnson over the years, so it never occurred to us to keep a copy of it. Little did we realize in 1952 with whom us were dealing; little did we realize there had arisen a “Pharaoh who knew not Joseph.” Incidentally, the investment for which we wished the $5,000 has since tripled in value, in addition to paying a good return on the amount in the meantime; so it would seem in order to ask how well he himself has handled that money over the same period of time?
Now that he himself has injected money into his “exposure”, it is considered proper to state that on at least three occasions during Brother Johnson's life he entrusted to us each time – for business ventures – many times $5,000 – without even once asking for as much as a receipt for his money. It was such transactions that prompted him to tell other brethren that he “knew he could trust Brother Hoefle.”
Lest the foregoing be challenged as just a mere fabrication, some provable facts and figures are now presented. Much of what follows is being made public for the first time, not even members of our immediate family having ever heard it before this date: In 1931 this “Sifter” contributed $18,000 to the work. The total financial receipts that year were $22,014.15, which left a balance of $4,014.15 to come from all other supporters of Brother Johnson. He told us personally that had it not been for our large contributions in 1931 the work that year would have come to a halt. Here are a few sentences from his report for that terrible depression year:
“Particularly one brother, whose Epiphany knowledge helped him financially, very generously came to the relief of our treasury, and that in time to guarantee financially the European and Trans‑Mississippi trips. Had his large contribution not come to hand, the other contributions would not have sufficed to finance both trips, though they would have financed the European trip. Later in the year this same brother more than doubled his first large contribution. Accordingly, the year, which at first threatened to be disastrous to us financially, became our banner financial year.”
This year 1931 is discussed here because the figures can be verified – not necessary to take this “Sifter's” word for anything; because the figures are recorded in Docket No. 75350 of the United States Court of Tax Appeals in the case of Hoefle vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. It was the fighting of this case through the Courts – all at this “Sifter's” personal expense – which does not include contributions heretofore mentioned – that forced the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to recognize the laymen's Home Missionary Movement as an organization within the law, contributions to which must be recognized as deductible expense on Income Tax returns. Any one wishing to verify the foregoing need only refer to the legal records.
Then, in the years following 1931 Brother Johnson insisted upon this “Sifter” accepting a mortgage for $35,000 on all the assets at Philadelphia. After holding this mortgage for some time, it was eventually discharged without this “Sifter” receiving one dollar when the release was finally made. This case is mentioned, too, because it can be verified in the records of the Court House at Philadelphia.
Also, in the year 1933 Brother Johnson informed this “Sifter” that the property at 1327 Snyder Avenue (which he had been renting on a monthly basis) was to be sold, and it would seriously disrupt the work if he had to move. So this “Sifter” purchased the property, and delivered to Brother Johnson a deed “clear, free and unencumbered” – another contribution to the good work Brother Johnson was doing. At Brother Johnson's death, our Executive Trustee suggested it seemed expedient to dispose of 1327 Snyder Avenue, to which this “Sifter” readily agreed, and which was eventually accomplished in 1952. Thus, at the very time of the request “for a loan of a large sum of money”, the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement bank account had been enriched by about $11,000, and our Executive Trustee was “eating my bread” (Psa. 41:9) at the time. And now, for him to begin his “Brief History” with his cheap recitation, simply reveals his desperation for a suitable weapon of “exposure” after all these years – and clearly manifests his malevolent character.
But, to give the brethren a complete and clear picture here, another incident should be mentioned. During 1930‑31 a situation not involved in any may with the $18,000 already mentioned, came to this “Sifter's” attention. A worthy brother in Cincinnati, Ohio became penniless and bedfast; so this “Sifter” went to his aid, too – provided for him suitable living quarters, hired a nurse and a physician, then gave him a respectable burial – all at his own expense. This item is also mentioned because it can be proven. After the funeral, came the following letter from a Sister we had never met (which accounts for her incorrect reference to a Saint):
Nov. 9, 1931
Dear Bro. Hoefle: – I am writing you thanking you for all you did for Dear Bro. S ‑‑‑‑‑. Had it not been for you he would have suffered. A few of the Brethren did for him minor kindness but it was you who financed him, your money buried him. It was you who eased his dying body, and I know you are numbered among the Saints.
I wrote Bro. Johnson telling him of all your kindness to our Dear Brother S‑‑‑‑‑‑. You certainly must be numbered with the Little Flock. Your love for the Brethren has taught the Cincinnati Class a lesson. Ever praying God's richest blessing upon you, I am your Sister in Christ, Sr. ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
Now, alongside the foregoing it would seem proper and timely to give Brother Johnson's statement about one R. G. Jolly in Vol. E‑10, page 585 bottom and top of page 586:
“Another incident illustrative of antitypical Elihu's unfair and unkind criticisms of J. occurred in connection with J.'s advocating the Ecclesia's giving financial help to an aged Youthful Worthy widow who was both sick and penniless. Certain ones not pleased with her carried on a whispering campaign against her and against J. for advocating her being helped by the Ecclesia, resulting in such feeling being aroused as almost made a division in the Ecclesia; and R. G. Jolly again was J.'s main opponent before the church on the subject. Actually the sister by a combination of starving and cancer died; and the hospital blamed the ecclesia to J.'s face therefor.”
It should be noted that a “whispering campaign” was carried on against this defenseless Sister and against Brother Johnson, which enabled one R. G. Jolly to come out boldly as the last Star member's chief opponent – much the same as a “whispering campaign” has been carried on against this “Sifter” for the past five years, the same having been intensified over the past year, thus enabling R. G. Jolly finally to come out boldly into the open in this last Present Truth. It seems “whispering campaigns” are R. G. Jolly's choice “secret weapon” against the Lord's faithful; and Brother Johnson's recorded statement that he – R. G. Jolly – had a “bad conscience” was undoubtedly overruled by the Lord for the protection and help of His people after Brother Johnson's demise. (Please see also 1 Jno. 3:17.)
Behold, your Pastor and Teacher, Brethren; behold, the leader of the “Faithful”, the leader of the “cleansed” Great Company and “good” Youthful Worthies (self admitted champion of slanders, liars, etc.); behold the “Epiphany Parallel” of That Wise and Faithful Servant!! Behold, too, the “Sifter” whom he is “exposing”! Take a good look at both of us – A REAL GOOD LOOK!!
He also makes a reference to “J. F. Rutherford, who delivered Brother Russell's funeral oration”, although he doesn't say whether or not he is “making” a parallel here. However, in case any of the brethren may have gained such impression, here are the facts: Faithful Brother Johnson and other Pilgrims and prominent Truth Brethren officiated and spoke at the afternoon services for Brother Russell – just as was done for Brother Johnson. And J. F. Rutherford had almost complete charge of the night service, just as R. G. Jolly had almost complete charge of the night meeting in Philadelphia. Then, immediately after Brother Russell's services, JFR took charge of the Society and its arrangements, subsequently disfellowshiping “Sifter” Brother Johnson. So also, our Executive Trustee took full charge after Brother Johnson's funeral, eventually disfellowshiping “Sifter” Brother Hoefle. So, if he is thinking of “making” a parallel here, it would seem he would be well advised to try elsewhere, as a pretty good one already exists – without him or any one else trying to “make” one.
There are some other things about the funeral, too: During the months before his death, Brother Johnson repeatedly had said he wanted Brother Hoefle to conduct his funeral if he should happen to die. But not a word was said about this by the Executive Trustee or other Brethren at the Bible House – altho at least three brethren knew about it. Therefore, when the telephone call came that Sunday afternoon that “Brother Johnson died this afternoon, and you are to handle the funeral”, it was such a blow that we almost collapsed. Our relationship and love for each other had been so close that his death hurt worse than did the death of our own natural father. So, if any of you should receive a completely unexpected telephone call that your father had died and you are to conduct his funeral, you would have some idea of just how we felt that afternoon. And during the next five days the assignment seemed just more than we could accept – what with coming to Philadelphia and preparing the funeral discourse, too. Without the Lord's help, it could not have been done; but with grateful heart do we know that the promise is sure, “The Lord will give strength to His people.”
And all the more so is this true in view of our Executive Trustee's absolute refusal to occupy the platform with us during the services – although we repeatedly and pleadingly urged him to do so. But he was adamant; he would not take “any of the honor from us”! For a few years we were greatly puzzled that Brother Johnson would request us to conduct his funeral service, with the Executive Trustee right there in the house. Events of the past few years have clarified this somewhat; and causes much conjecture – did Brother Johnson see in those last few months that all was not the polished “silver” he had supposed it to be?
The funeral service was to commence at one p.m.; and the writer arrived at the Tabernacle about 12:45. Probably through the Lord's prompting, he casually asked if all was in preparation. Imagine the surprise when it was divulged that nothing had been done – the loud speaker on the rostrum' had not even been connected, much less tested; and not a single hymn book was to be found anywhere. Just think of it! The writer immediately put on all pressure to have things in order; but it could not possibly be completed by one o'clock. Such a solemn service, and that was the uproar just before it started – and then started late, of course. And, then of all things, when the writer went to the rostrum to take charge of the service, there was even then not a hymn book anywhere on the platform; and, rather than cause any more commotion, he went through the entire service without one – joining in the hymns as best he could from memory. At the time we made generous allowance for human weakness in the matter; but subsequent happenings would certainly seem to cast a different interpretation upon it. Can it longer be attributed to happenstance – unless one be very gullible? At the risk of more “evil surmising” and “ascribing more evil motives”, the suggestion is here made and recorded that there was far more to it than meets the eye – much more!
Next we shall consider his complaint of “hard and abusive words” used against him. Here is a person who publicly called three different people a “Thief” over the past seven years – each time in violation of the criminal laws of the United States. In two of those cases, had the maligned ones wished to enforce their legal rights, they could have had him thrown into jail for criminal slander. And is this now the same person who is complaining about “hard words” against him? The very same person? “People who live in glass houses”!!
Then on page 20 he again takes up the slander case – confusing it with his usual profusion of words. He says, “JJH claimed a slander was being circulated far and wide about him”. Just what does he mean by “claimed”? He himself admitted the truth of this “claim” in his May 1955 Present Truth; his statements there show there was absolutely no doubt in his own mind of it having been done. Also, Brother Eschrich admitted he repeated it; but denied doing so to Brother Gavin. At the Jacksonville Convention in February 1955 “on the Convention floor between meetings” Brother Gavin, in the presence of witnesses accused Brother Eschrich of repeating it to him, “in Springfield, Mass., on September 12, 1954, and you said Brother Jolly had told it to you.” Here, then, were two Pilgrims placing the lie upon each other; and no one knows to this day – aside from those two brothers – which one of them is lying. And into such a situation does our Executive Trustee inject himself by offering a defense of both those brethren, claiming that should be sufficient to silence this “Sifter”. Just where does he receive his authority to settle “by proxy” the sins of his Pilgrims – or any other brethren for that matter? In the Berean Comments for Luke 17:3‑4 Brother Russell says sinning brethren should be rebuked – “to fail to do so means to injure him.” And “if he repent, forgive him, but not otherwise.” Also, in Vol. E‑9, page 150 (top) Brother Johnson writes: “God does not forgive the impenitent, since such a course would encourage sin.” Also in Vol. E‑13, page 34: “Too much leniency with evildoers in an executive position encourages them in their wrong ways.” At the Philadelphia Convention in 1950 this writer expressed these thoughts in his discourse, saying it is wrong to forgive those who do not repent, although we should always have our hearts in the attitude of forgiveness. This brought forth quite an extensive wail of criticism from numerous persons especially a group of Sisters –; and R. G. Jolly was quick to silence these protests from the platform, supporting the speaker who has “given the Truth on the matter.” Now, because of his delicate and embarrassing position, he is revolutionizing against that Parousia and Epiphany Truth.
And, as so often happens in such cases when one revolutionizes against a Truth, he must accept other errors or commit other sins to support his position. This was conspicuously true in the course of That Evil Servant in his downward course. In Brother Gohlke's letter on page 34 (which will receive further attention later on) the idea of “no punishment for wrong” is stressed; and this position is approved by our Executive Trustee in his publication of that letter. This contention by the two of them is simply an improved modern counterpart of the old Papal sale of indulgences. We say “improved” because not even money is necessary now to gain permission to sin. Go right ahead and slander your brother, steal his money, seduce his wife, manhandle his children – until he catches up with you; then just quickly and loudly yell – “I've stopped wronging you; and that stops you from further pursuit of the matter; just go home, lick your wounds, and SHUT UP!” Just how blind to Truth and Righteousness can we become — especially those of us who have claimed to understand Parousia and Epiphany Truths?
It should not require further explanation to convince just a very casual observer that Jolly‑Eschrich‑Gavin trio is now engulfed in a sullied atmosphere of falsehood, which apparently accounts for R. G. Jolly's urgent and hasty move to “cover up” for the other two. It should be noted that when King Saul was trapped in his rebellion (Revolutionism), he immediately added sin to sin by resorting to lying (1 Sam. 15:13). What abundant corroboration we have here of Brother Johnson's statement that R. G. Jolly was untruthful! What a clear type we have here of the crown‑lost leaders, of whom Saul was a type! And what a cogent affirmation we have for the abject failure of the “Attestatorial Service”, and other efforts over the past five years. “I am against them that cause my people to err by their lies, saith the lord” – Jer. 23:32. “The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the lord troubled him.” – 1 Sam. 16:14.
Coming now to his “Bible in Films”, which he claims “the Lord has richly blessed”, and for which this “Sifter” did indeed predict failure more then two years ago. Why doesn't he offer some support for his statement, other than just his word? Let us take a look at the figures for 1955: In 486 Public Meetings there was an attendance of 15,914 – an average of about 33 to the meeting. Of course, the Bible in Films was not shown at nearly all these meetings; and some of the meetings where they were shown had almost no strangers. If we hark back to the Photo Drama during the Little Flock's Attestatorial Service, it's certainly not much exaggeration to say that in any one city where they were shown there was a larger public attendance than in all meetings combined with the Bible in Films. Our Executive Trustee certainly has the figures for total number of showings, total attendance, how many Truth people and how many strangers, and how much money was spent for the Films, advertising, halls, etc. Why doesn't he give these figures to the Brethren; then let them determine how much truth there is in his statement that the effort has been “richly blessed”? Does he have the courage to do it?
In addition to the foregoing, he lost again last year 170 subscribers to the Present Truth — a decrease of about 12% from 1954. He also lost 108 subscribers to the Bible Standard — a decrease of 6.5% from 1954. And this should be a “parallel” to 1915, which was just about Brother Russell's peak year! Probably influenced by the results of 1914‑16, our Executive Trustee had, early in 1954, predicted “large numbers” coming into the Epiphany Truth; whereas, this “Sifter” predicted abject failure for his “Attestatorial Service.” Well, the facts are given here, Brethren – the truth‑telling relentless facts. Let each one now determine who had the wisdom and mind of the lord in the matter, our garrulous superficial Executive Trustee, or this “Sifter”. Those of you who were at the Philadelphia and Chicago Conventions will certainly remember his loud and prolonged explanations about the “new ones who are coming in to take the places of those that have left.”
Here it should be stated once more: Brother Johnson clearly taught that after the Great Company are “cleansed” they will have a fruitful ministry; so the foregoing figures are ONE CLEAR VISIBLE PHYSICAL PROOF THAT THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY NOW BE CLEANSED. More about this later on. Yes, the Great Company would have “to serve themselves” after Brother Johnson's demise; and what a service this “Higher Class” has been receiving! When we write on the Epiphany Solomon, the reason for this will become crystal clear; but it is proper to observe here that the last years of Solomon's life were evil, so they could not possibly be antityped by a Saint. Those years would have to be antityped by an “uncleansed” person, possibly, even, by an evil person (note we say “possibly evil”). As the Parousia David ruled for 40½ years, so the Epiphany Solomon must rule 40½ years, to the Passover of 1957; and no other person than R. G. Jolly could possibly fit into this picture – he now sits in Solomon's seat. Here is another clear reason why the Lord removed Brother Johnson on October 22, 1950. When the Lord blessed us with an understanding of this type, it was no problem at all, no exhibition of superior wisdom or unction as a prophet, that enabled us to predict abject failure for R. G. Jolly's efforts. We had hoped it would not be necessary to make public this antitype; but this last Present Truth clearly reveals that the expostulations and failures of the past five years have sobered R. G. Jolly not at all. Therefore, harsher truths will be necessary; and they will appear shortly, D.v.
On page 8, col. 2 of his Annual Report for 1955, bottom, he states he “served no camp meeting or other comparatively large assembly during 1955.” Here, then, another of his efforts has resulted in abject failure. Or, was this effort so “richly blessed” that he just could hold no more of it?
Next we consider his defense of his “Faithful and Measurably Faithful Servants”, on page 25. He tries to ridicule our citation of the “Faithful and Measurably Faithful” at the top of page 96, saying that article ended with par. 10. Anybody who can read the English language would know that; but any one who knew Brother Johnson would know, too, he was not such a bogus teacher as to use an expression at the top of a page, then use the identical expression in an article begun at the bottom of that same page, without clearly stating that he did not mean that expression in the same way the second time – if that was his thought. But the Question we cited on page 151, which has to do with par. 14 on page 99, leaves no doubt whatever as to what he was thinking. “In what activities have the faithful and the measurably faithful servants of the Truth shared?” The answer on page 99: “Facts prove that both crown‑retaining (the “faithful”) and crown‑losing (the “Measurably Faithful”) servants have ministered, are, and will yet minister both of these kinds of Truth”. How much clearer could this be?
Then he tries to make a point that the “Faithful” at the top of page 96 is capitalized. When he makes such ridiculous comments, it causes us to wonder where this “professor” received his education – this “professor” who has on different occasions tried to belittle his opponents and overawe his readers with his “superior” knowledge of the English language? (Please understand this matter is not cheapened by mention of belittling his construction; it is treated only because his grammatical observations tend to bury the unmistakable Truth.) On page 96 “Faithful” is a noun, a synonym to “Bride” in line 1, and in conjunction with Christ, both of which are capitalized; while “faithful” on page 151 (14) is an adjective, not used in relation to a capitalized noun. By the same process of absurdity, perhaps we should conclude that “crown retaining” on page 99, which is not capitalized, cannot mean the sane thing as the “Bride” and the “Faithful” on page 96, which are capitalized. And when Brother Johnson says the “faithful” (not capitalized) “are ministering”, was he not certainly referring to himself and other Little Flock brethren? R. G. Jolly makes the observation on page 26, col. 1, par. 1 that “we do not know precisely what Brother Johnson had in mind when he wrote the pertinent statement in E Vol. 4, P. 99, line 19 (and who can say positively?)”. Well, R. G. Jolly may not know; but the statements are so clear‑cut that a beginner in the Truth would have no difficulty in knowing what Bro. Johnson “precisely had in mind.” Nor was Brother Johnson ever such a hypocrite that he expressed himself in such garbled words as to lead astray even the “unstable and the unlearned”; and his statements in Vol. E‑4, pages 96‑115 are no exception. R. G. Jolly's treatise in 1954 on the “Faithful and the Measurably Faithful” was pure nonsense to start with; and his defense now simply accentuates and further manifests his deplorable confusion on the matter.
We now consider Azazel's Goat and relevant thoughts: R. G. Jolly says this writer “fails to take into account the great variation between groups and individuals in the Great Company.” Well, we'll try to take that into account sufficiently right now to convince our readers that we have at least “taken it into account” for all immediate purposes. He quotes Brother Johnson's expression that some “have lost Little Flockship only by the skin of their teeth.” He seems to like this expression; quotes it quite often; nor do we dispute it. Presumably, tho, he includes himself in that Class, so we'll take a close look at his case: He was closely associated with Star Member Brother Johnson right from the start of the Epiphany; had his Saintly example and benign influence and teachings for a good twenty years; but was so little influenced by such favorable circumstances that he resorted to bold Revolutionism in 1937 by trying to usurp power and control of the true Pastor and Teacher. But, even after the harrowing humiliations of 1937‑38, Brother Johnson clearly revealed that R.G.Jolly had not yet cleansed himself in 1943 – 27 years after the Epiphany had begun. If 27 years could not do that for him, who claims to have lost out “only by the skin of his teeth”, then we can only conclude that the “skin on his teeth” must be pretty thick indeed! And what shall we say of those who missed the second death just by the skin of their teeth? How many times 27 years will be required to cleanse them?
Then, let us consider the withdrawal of brotherly fellowship – and here we emphasize again we are discussing “brotherly fellowship” and not “priestly fellowship”, which are decidedly two different things. He says that “At the February 1955 Jacksonville Convention Question meeting many hypercritical and oppositional questions were turned in.” Here again, why doesn't he publish those questions instead of asking his readers to accept his word for it? It is easily understandable that those questions would appear that way to him. But those questions were asked for information, with a definite purpose in view; and his answers clearly revealed his confused state of mind at that time. He very definitely declared he had been abandoned to Azazel from December 1937 to February 1938; then in answer to the Question, “Did Brother Johnson ever withdraw brotherly help and favor from you”, his answer was a flat denial, with no intimation or slightest hint of “attenuated withdrawal”. He has since had a belated awakening that his answer at Jacksonville placed him in a ridiculous and untenable position for some of his other claims, so he now embraces his “attenuated withdrawal of brotherly fellowship.” We hope from statements which follow to show conclusively that Brother Johnson did not withdraw brotherly help and favor from the Good Levites in the LHMM in an “attenuated sense”, or any other sense, except R.G. Jolly's “non”‑sense!
He asks how “JJH knows exactly how Brother Johnson dealt with the Good Levites, since he was not even present in 1937‑38?” JJH knows it from what Brother Johnson wrote; and experience has taught him that is vastly to be preferred over anything uncleansed Levites may say or write. In Vol. E‑10, page 398 (middle) Brother Johnson wrote:
“As long as the Priesthood does not abandon crown‑losers, Azazel cannot possess himself of them. ... Azazel could not get them fully into his control.”
If the above was true of That Evil Servant, who eventually “went to his place”, how much more would it be true of R. G. Jolly, even if he was only ten per cent then in 1937‑38 of what he now claims to be! And that shall we say of those others in the LHMM who had never even had PRIESTLY fellowship withdrawn from them and who were immovably convinced right up to October 22, 1950 that they were of the Elect? At least two of such are now staunch supporters of R. G. Jolly; and one of them was so crestfallen after Brother Johnson's death that he was not himself for weeks. Was it this that caused him to stay away from the funeral of one whom he claimed to love and honor so highly?
The statement quoted above from Vol. E‑10 was published in 1941 – at the time when Brother Johnson was at the pinnacle of his sanctified reasoning powers –; is a direct contradiction to the basic premise of this last Present Truth; and proves much of that premise to have been spun wholly and completely from the ethereal cobwebs of Azazelian jugglery.
Brother Russell clearly, and properly, counseled that the spirit of love would not allow us to let go the hand of an erring brother until we had exhausted every effort to reform him. This was just another way of saying he should not be abandoned to Azazel until we had done all to save him from such. Quite clearly, Brother Johnson was motivated by this principle when he exerted every possible angle to avoid abandoning That Evil Servant to Azazel. So the question now quite properly appears:
IS R. G. JOLLY CONTENDING – OR ADMITTING – THAT BROTHER JOHNSON HAD EXHAUSTED EVERY EFFORT TO REFORM HIM, BUT HAD FAILED TO DO SO, SO THAT HE WAS EVENTUALLY FORCED TO ABANDON HIM TO AZAZEL?
Will R. G. Jolly have the courage to answer the above question? Also, will he please explain what “sense” Brother Johnson withdrew brotherly help and favor from Brothers Gavin and Eschrich when he did not even withdraw PRIESTLY FELLOWSHIP from them? It should now be quite apparent that it was not merely an attempt to be facetious when labelling his “attenuated sense” as “non”‑sense. It would indeed be a solemn obligation from the Lord to every Priest, and especially to Star Members, to resist Azazel to the full in such cases. As both Star Members repeatedly stated, it was the avowed purpose of Azazel to destroy all New Creatures, so their understanding as true Priests would force them to exert every effort at reformation before withdrawing brotherly help and favor before the Lord had clearly demonstrated that He Himself had abandoned them to Azazel in a final effort to reform them. Such abandoned ones do indeed “sit in the shadow of death”; and it has been this “Sifter's” acute realization of their condition that has prompted five years of long‑suffering attempts to help R. G. Jolly by many private conversations and letters, etc. – which instead of helping him seemed only to prompt him to the use of his “secret weapon”, the “whispering campaign”, of the “hard and abusive” charges which he has refused even to acknowledge in Many instances.
Then he proposes another question: “Is it possible that JJH has lost sight of the distinction between Azazel and the Fit Man?” Well, just so the Brethren could know that he himself clearly understands the “distinction”, why didn't he explain it?
Of course, we readily admit there is indeed a distinction – along the same lines as the distinction between vitalized justification and spirit‑begettal: The “distinction” is so pronounced that it's just impossible to have one without the other. The extreme phase of “Fit‑Man” experiences is “persecuting persons”, who are in turn the tools of Azazel, and are instigated, motivated and directed by him. By comparing this explanation with R. G. Jolly's question, it prompts us to wonder if he himself knew what he was talking about when he placed his question.
And in the same paragraph, col. 2, page 26, with the above question, he belittlingly states re our statement of the last Great Company developing truth to appear in the 80‑year period – “it is appearing rather late – in his Nov. 15, 1955 circular.” Well, well!! He loudly and repeatedly has contended – and correctly so – that “classes of individuals are frequently represented in their leader or leaders.” But now – with his usual sleight‑of‑hand – he tosses that teaching out the window because it seems to suit his convenience. On January 18, 1954 the following statement was sent to him by this “Sifter”:
“When you recognized that the last Priest had left the earth, you should also have recognized that the last act of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, before removing his linen garments, was to deliver Azazel's Goat into the hands of the Fit man (Lev. 16:20‑24). It seems to me that the awful realization of your appalling position should have caused you to prostrate yourself before God and the brethren. But, instead, you began to assert yourself with emphasis; those who could not immediately agree with you were ‘stubborn and selfwilled' I know of my own knowledge that your attitude caused some to leave us. Perhaps their leaving was `for good'; perhaps `they went out from us because they were not all of us'. I say, Perhaps! But, perhaps the words of Jesus should be considered here, too: Offenses indeed must come, but woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh. Seemingly, you learned little or nothing from observing the terrible course of That Evil Servant, who immediately began `to smite his fellow‑servants' (his equals).”
On page 34 is quoted in full “a letter from Bro. A. Gohlke”. Here again R. G. Jolly gives lurid evidence of his "Higher Class" by failing even to mention that a clear‑cut and unevasive answer had been given to that letter. And of course his "Higher Class" just wouldn't permit him to quote that answer; so a copy of it is enclosed along with copies of two other letters.
R. G. Jolly says he “may treat later” some others of this “Sifter's” errors; and he is here extended a cordial invitation to do so. It is suggested, too, that the brethren write him, urging him to do so, but reminding him at the same time to dispose of the “unfinished business” before us before he opens up anything new. Some of the “unfinished” items are:
(1) His nonsense on the Star Members; (2) his nonsense on “Judas not a thief”; (3) John's Beheading; (4) the Faithful and measurably Faithful; (5) Matt. 18:15; (6) the Slander Case; (7) Bro. Russell's Epiphany Parallel; (8) “Attenuated” withdrawal of brotherly help and favor.
The foregoing pages still leave several outstanding items of difference to be analyzed; and we here offer the assurance they shall receive clear and unevasive recognition in due course, D.v. With this comes the prayer of the writer that each recipient may be blessed with “the spirit of a sound mind” in evaluing the Truth for the Truth's sake to the Glory of our Beloved Lord and Master.
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
2020 Witherell Avenue
Detroit 26, Michigan
February 18, 1956
Dear Brother Gohlke:
You say you do not expect an answer to your letter of February 8, but you do expect me to have the moral stature to give public approval to a number of your foolish conclusions. I freely admit I do not have that kind of moral stature. Also, you say my November 18 letter “did not request, nor seem to require any acknowledgment”; but I did tell you were now faced with an obligation. Obligation to whom – R. G. Jolly, The King of England, or to me?
You say you were “sorry to see, and could not approve” what I had done in August, yet you had not disfellowshiped me on Labor Day, although you had several weeks to think it over. Therefore, your action at Chicago in October could hardly hark back to what I had circulated in August.
And your other comments on Page 1 with respect to Matt. 18:15 are simply so much nonsense. If a brother in Philadelphia stole a thousand dollars from you, then said to you, “Now, Brother, I'm not stealing from you any more, so the wrong has been stopped; and that stops you from taking any action against me”, what would you think of that argument? And, if he should steal your good name, instead of the trash in your pocket, he would be guilty of a much more heinous offense; he would then be guilty of murder (See Berean Comments on 1 John 3:15). Brother Russell's teachings for this situation are to be found in his article of November 15, 1908, which article R. G. Jolly has been avoiding as though it were poison; and you now seem to be doing the same thing. Why? The trouble with you here is that you are confusing “punishment” with “restitution” (an undoing of the wrong to the extent of ability). I realize, my Brother, that you are keeping leprous company, which is being sadly reflected in your warped spiritual perceptions. You say “the brethren in general know your stand with respect to Truth and Righteousness”, but I wonder if they do; in fact, I wander if you know it yourself. I am assuming your heart is right, that it is simply your head that is so pathetically off balance; and that is my sole reason for writing this letter to you. I think the obligation rests upon me.
On Page 3, par. 2, you try to plead the cause of Brother Gavin with respect to his error on the Tabernacle, and you “naturally look for some explanation or public correction from me”. Having heard just one side of this, it seems that was enough for you to reach pretty definite conclusions. Well, here's the other side of it: He very clearly taught that there was a pewter pitcher at the base of the laver, with which the High Priest drew water on the Day of Atonement, etc., to wash the blood off his hands after sacrificing the animals. He said he had received this from some remote brother somewhere. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible to support either the pewter pitcher, or the High Priest's use of it; but there is certainly good clear Reason in dispute of it. Our God is not inefficient or bungling, and He certainly never instructs His people to be that way. If the High Priest had a pitcher of water in one hand, just how effectively could he wash the blood off his other hand? “One hand washes the other” is an old axiom. There is not the slightest analogy in Brother Gavin's teaching and your citation of Numbers 5. The High Priest washed himself at the laver; but in Numbers 5 his only part in that “bitter water” was the preparing and handling of it – the suspected sinner had to drink it, and not the Priest. Also, the vessel was wood, not pewter; Numbers 5 does not call it a pitcher; the capacity of the human stomach is about one quart, and it seems hardly likely the Lord would require the drinking of even that amount, since the woman might possibly be innocent. Here you have my side of the argument; do you still think I owe Brother Gavin some “public explanation”?
Then Page 3 (2) you cite 1 Tim. 1:15, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief”. A little reflection – just a very little reflection by you – should have caused you to realize your misapplication of this Scripture. If St. Paul was “chief among sinners”, that put him into substantially the position of a murderer, an adulterer, a drunkard, a robber, etc. Now honestly, Brother, do you think that was Paul's condition at the time he wrote that letter to Timothy – when he was an Apostle of Him who knew no sin? Do you? Do you think that could be the condition of any one in the Body of Christ?
Then on Page 4 (3) You cite my “seemingly unloving course” re the Gavin-Krewson matter. You say you “don't believe” the statements I have made; so you are concluding I am a liar before you have heard even a good fraction of the case. Perhaps I'll now seem even more “unloving” when I quote you the words of Solomon, “He that judgeth a matter before he heareth it is a fool”. I have written proof for my statement – plenty of it. You try to make some excuse for Brother Gavin – he did what he did before the “sifter had been exposed”. I can go along with you on this to a certain extent; we all make mistakes, and “to forgive is Divine”. But here is a brother, supposedly in the Truth before Brother Krewson was even born, who wholeheartedly encourages this younger man in a wrong course; then forsakes him and flees when the battle gets too warm. If he had just a little self‑respect – just a little of the Spirit of the Truth –, don't you think the obligation would rest heavily upon him to undo the wrong he has done? Or do you consider this another case where “Let's just forget it, Brother” is all that's required of him? And what about his obligation toward others than John Krewson, to whom he recommended him so highly? Don't you think he has a duty before the Lord – a most solemn duty – to advise each one of his change of heart toward John Krewson? Come, now Brother, give me an honest answer here, won't you? If I saw you attempting to drink from a glass in which I knew there was deadly poison, wouldn't the “love of Jesus” compel me to tell you about it – even though you might be my bitter enemy? But those people he encouraged to “drink” of the Krewson brew are still receiving his writings; yet Brother Gavin does nothing about it. I do indeed wonder what interpretation you give to the text, “We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”?
But aside from the foregoing, a number of people told me at Philadelphia Convention – after John Krewson was “exposed as a sifter”, and while Brother Gavin was standing on the Convention platform eulogizing “dear antitypical Baanah” – that Brother Gavin was even then wholeheartedly for Brother Krewson. I realize, of course, that they could all be liars; but I know of my own knowledge that Brother Gavin lied most despicably at Winter Park last March 15 – and others know it, too. I have here in my possession my shorthand record of the profuse conversation I held with Brother Gavin here in Detroit in the Fall of 1954. I may show it to you sometime; it'll surprise you. Therefore, I want more than just Brother Gavin's word for it that all these others are liars. So, when you say the situation “is down‑right mean”, I won't quarrel very much with your choice of words; but you ought to realize by now that you have hung that label on the wrong party. Yes, you are embracing leprous companions, Brother; and they are truly giving you a rough time. As Brother Johnson so well taught – Once the “plague comes nigh thy dwelling” of uncleansed levites, they come up with the worst sort of nonsense! All the other points in your letter could be shown up in the same deplorable category; but let R. G. Jolly handle those that pertain to him. You may be willing enough to let him use you as his “beard”, but I am not; let him speak for himself – openly in the public marketplace, as I have done toward him.
Now, lest you misunderstand me, I am expecting an answer to this letter. You said you are not expecting a response to yours of February 8; but you did not say you did not want to hear from me. However, any time you think you have had enough of me, please tell me so in plain language. I will then concede to you the “last word” and will take your name off my mailing list for future writing I expect to circulate. However, if you do answer this, I ask that you please tell me how much help R. G. Jolly gave you in composing yours of February 8. It is difficult for me to believe you would write such a foolish letter if left to your own quiet reflections. You will note I still address you as “Brother”, and I have gone to some considerable labor herein to do unto you as I would have you do to me. With this comes my prayer for you and Sister Gohlke for that “wisdom from above” which will guide you into all Truth.
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle
February 8, 1956.
Mr. John J. Hoefle
2020 Witherell Ave.,
Detroit 26, Mich.
Dear Mr. Hoefle:
By your advocacy and continued widespread dissemination of teaching in contradiction of the scriptures, and the teachings of the Parousia and Epiphany Messengers (some of which have been pointed out to you by correspondence, etc.), and additionally by your attacks upon the work that the Lord has through the Scriptures and the Epiphany Messenger indicated for the Good Levites to do since Oct. 1950 and Oct. 1954, you have made it evident that you are no longer a suitable person to serve in the Pilgrim office. It becomes, therefore, my unpleasant duty to dismiss you as a Pilgrim for the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement.
Additionally, I feel it to be my duty before the Lord and the brethren to withhold brotherly fellowship from you and your wife (who I understand is thoroughly supporting you in your present wrong course), until such time as you turn from your present wrong course and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, if and when that time ever comes.
I have not been desirous of taking the above action, and therefore have delayed the matter, but, under the circumstances, I believe it to be the Lord's will that I now do so, both if possible, to aid in your recovery, and for the sake of the Lord's people in general.
(Signed) R.G. Jolly Executive Trustee
NOTE: When R. G. Jolly ignores in toto those that have been disfellowshiped, and advises others to follow his example, he is once again declaring his own personal sentiments to be superior to the clear teachings of the Scriptures and of That Servant, the latter having written on page 303 of Vol. 6 as follows: “He (the disfellowshiped brother) should not be passed by on the street unnoticed by the brethren, but be treated courteously... ‘Let him he unto thee as an heathen man and a publican!’ Our Lord did not mean we should do injury to a heathen man or a publican, nor to treat either in any manner unkindly.”
2020 Witherell Avenue
Detroit 26, Michigan
February 23, 1956
To Raymond G. Jolly:
Your letter of February 8, in which you formally disfellowship me has at least one redeeming aspect – evidently you have determined no longer to play the hypocrite with me and to thus rid yourself of one of your besetting sins. During the past years when you were addressing me as “Dear Brother Hoefle”, all the while belying your “buttered” words with your acts at every opportunity to destroy my good name in the Lord's House, it was most evident to me that you were being actuated by Azazel, in whose hands you have been for so long. When you say you “have not been desirous of taking this action”, I can only conclude that you have in mind the putting of yourself on record by writing your letter, because you had shown by your acts way last fall that you had unequivocally disfellowshiped me when you refused to give me even a civil greeting while brushing elbows with me at the Chicago Convention. I hope and pray that your accepting what appears to be an honest position in the matter now may be a step in the right direction, which will lead to your ultimate cleansing.
And, when you speak of me “bringing forth fruits for repentance,” you should have made yourself plain here. “Repentance” for what? For publicly exposing your errors, your revolutionisms, your falsehoods, and your doubleminded and unstable floundering? And for publicly exposing your unfaithfulness as Executive Trustee, and your colossal blunders of the past fiveyears?
My wife Emily wholeheartedly joins me in the above sentiments. She, too, remembers most vividly your “DEAR Sister Hoefle” greeting at Winter Park last March 15, and how she had scarcely turned her back until you were directing your efforts to berate and destroy our good names by insinuations and falsehoods. At least, we need no longer concern ourselves with your Judas kiss.
It is the sincere hope of both of us that your letter of February 8 is at least the beginning of a real determination on your part to free yourself from the clutches of Azazel – that thereafter you may “offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness”. Please be assured that immediately we see any sincere effort on your part to forsake your sins and to “pursue that true Holiness without which no man shall see the Lord”, we shall be most happy once more to give you that brotherly fellowship and affection which are the blessed privilege of all the faithful and honest hearts in God's Household.
John J. Hoefle