revised: July 14, 2002
In 1928, Roy Goodrich, a Jehovah's Witness, went to an E.R.A. practitioner on the advice of Watchtower Society representatives. What he witnessed convinced him that the E.R.A. methods were spiritism and the operator of the oscilloclast was a spirit medium. He began a one man campaign to eradicate the use of this medical procedure from Jehovah's Witnesses. After a shouting match with the Society's president, J.F. Rutherford over this issue, Goodrich wrote an article for The Golden Age in 1930 explaining his views. The Society had a "Bethel" doctor, Mae Work, write a response for a subsequent issue, declared the matter closed, and continued to use the E.R.A. Goodrich found out that the E.R.A. "ouija board" methods were still being used at Bethel in the 1940s. He complained once again to Watchtower officials that they were involved in spiritism and was disfellowshipped as a result.
In January of 1928, Roy D. Goodrich and his wife were sent to an E.R.A. clinic (for medical treatment) on the advice of Watchtower representatives. What Mr. Goodrich (a JW) observed at this clinic convinced him that the E.R.A. devices and procedures were "demonism." He came to believe that the oscilloclast treatment machine of Dr. Abrams was nothing more than a complex ouija board and the operator of it a spirit medium.
He began a one man campaign to eradicate this "spiritistic plague" from "God's organization." During a meeting with "Judge" Rutherford, the two apparently got into a shouting match over the issue and Goodrich was "commanded" by Rutherford to write an article on this for The Golden Age. In the article he explained why he believed the oscilloclast to be a complex ouija board by documenting the uses of the device by the doctor he and his wife visited. Many of the experiences he mentioned clearly reflect a psychic and occult use of the machine.
In his 1969 booklet, Demonism and the Watch Tower, Goodrich gave an account of how he came in contact with the E.R.A. in 1928. He said he was "induced" to join the "throng" of Watchtower pioneers at a Jonesboro, Arkansas by Society officials. Once there he said that:
Providentially, our scientific training enabled us to discover and unearth the demonic nature of this particular brand of quackery. 
He said he wrote to the doctor who ran the clinic, Mary LeCocq. He also wrote to J.F. Rutherford, Society president in 1928, stating that he had spent considerable time and "consecrated money" at the behest of the Watchtower to consult a spirit medium. Rutherford wrote back that he didn't want him to mention the Abrams technique again. Goodrich wrote another letter to Rutherford as well as to The Golden Age (C. J. Woodworth). He also corresponded with the authors of Golden Age articles that supported the E.R.A. 
Goodrich confronts Rutherford
Goodrich's account of his being allowed to write an article for The Golden Age denouncing the E.R.A. as "demonism," despite the fact that the Society still promoted it, is interesting. He said:
For nearly two years I had been trying to get the ear of Judge Rutherford or SOMEBODY at headquarters, to stop the advertisement of demonism in THE GOLDEN AGE, and by Society representatives, of the kind which I had discovered the broken down pioneers flocking to, in Jonesboro, Ark. All I had been able to do was to get a curt rebuke from Judge Rutherford, that in exposing demonism I was "judging Sister DeCocq [sic.].
From the Philadelphia convention in November 1929, I journeyed to Brooklyn for the express purpose of interviewing the Judge. After brief greetings and formalities, JF said: 'Well, Brother Goodrich, what is on your mind?" When I mentioned the name "Abrams", the Judge terrifyingly growled: - "IS THAT ALL YOU CAME UP HERE FOR?!!! With equal force and alacrity, I replied, "IT'S ENOUGH SIR!!! WHICH IN YOUR OPINION IS THE MORE DANGEROUS TO GOD'S ANOINTED: SPIRITISM OR ALUMINUM!!!!!!!?
While he was getting his breath and words, I had pounded the table before him for about thirty minutes, telling him what I knew. He had forgotten to open the door and throw me out. He called a secretary and said: "Take a letter to Brother Woodworth: (dictating) Brother Goodrich will submit manuscript on the Abrams treatment which is to be published, providing he leaves out names and addresses." Then he explained to me that he wanted to avoid possible damage suits, and COMMANDED, --not requested,--me to write the article and "MAKE IT JUST AS STRONG AS YOU CAN.".... 
The oscilloclast a ouija board?
Roy Goodrich's article, "Ouija-Boards, Large and Small" appeared in the March 5, 1930, Golden Age. In it he claimed the oscilloclast was a ouija board. This was not the Society's position and this article had the following disclaimer by Woodworth, The Golden Age editor:
We print the following because The Golden Age is in the nature of a forum wherein subscribers may express their convictions on almost any subject and be sure of a wide audience. Some will object to this presentation by Mr. Goodrich, and the same courtesies which have been extended to him will be extended to his critics, provided they explain the point which he raises as to what it is that makes that button stick or not stick, so that a plain, ordinary man can understand it without having to stand on his head, and provided also that the reply is not obviously an attempt to secure valuable free advertising.--Editor. (p. 355)
Goodrich begins his article by defining what a Ouija board is:
A OUIJA BOARD is a small primitive instrument,... by the use of which intelligent answers to questions may be obtained from an occult source.... So far as this article is concerned, then, a ouija-board is any device by or through which communication with the spirit world is effected. (p. 355 ¶1)
After pointing out that the spirit world thus communicated with is demonic and condemned in the Bible, he then states the thesis of his article:
In this article proof is set forth that the "Diagnostic Machine of Dr. Albert Abrams" is nothing more and nothing less than a complex ouija-board; that this said diagnostic machine cannot possibly be used to diagnose disease unless the operator thereof is a spirit medium;... (p. 355 ¶3)
He refers to the Oscilloclast in this article as a "clever device of the Enemy" (p. 355 ¶3) and a "pseudoscientific sham of pure demonism" (p. 361 ¶3).
He introduces the individuals involved in this article's case study as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. A presented themselves in Dr. B's "Abrams Electronic Clinic" for diagnosis and treatment of the latter, who for more than a year had suffered a complete breakdown (sometimes called a "nervous breakdown",...). She was very weak, and one wee hour in the day was all that she could stand in her chosen work as a witness for Jehovah God.... As critical scientific bystanders, let us observe with them what happened.
He then describes what to him indicates an occult use of the diagnostic machine:
Doctor B explained briefly the theory of E.R.A., and requested Mrs. A to write her name on a piece of paper. Did any one ever visit a spiritistic seance or consult a clairvoyant and escape being asked to do that very thing? We are told that a drop of blood or of saliva would have done just as well, but the paper and pencil were handier. The pencil used was a public one, and the paper used was freely handled by everybody. The name written, the doctor takes the slip and cuts off the wee period only, at the end of the name, and, to show the super-sensitiveness, not to say super-silliness of the machine, the dot only was cast into the cavity of the main unit..... This wee dot made by Mrs. A, with a public pencil, was so impregnated, the doctor said, with electrons, vibrations or what not, that now the machine would not register any vibrations broadcast by Mrs. A or any of the busy assistants and stenographers in the room! (p. 356 ¶2)
He then ridicules this "vibration" stuff mercilessly:
Now put on your "thinking cap". Picture yourself as a scientist, watching those dear little vibrations busily emanating from the hand of Mrs. A. as she grasps the pencil. Notice, too, those other billions of vibrations which previously emanated from the doctor, from his assistants, and from no telling how many previous patients,... as they chase like children playing hide and seek, so as to get themselves all safely out of the way. The last little rascal jumps off the point just as Mrs. A takes the pencil. The way for her vibrations is now clear. Behold how they run!!! She writes very quickly. How they did jump that wooden insulation, and concentrate themselves in the billions on the very point of that lead!!!.... Now in every jot and tittle of that name they stand in solid phalanx at attention, ready to serve.
Now watch those well trained electrons in the doctors fingers, as he picks up in his uninsulated fingers that bit of paper. Not one of his electrons gets into the paper, or into the dot on it; and not one of Mrs. A's electrons gets out of that period!!! Isn't it wonderful!! Had the E.R.A. theorists stuck to the drop of blood or saliva they would have been richer in plausibility; but the handwriting foolery leaves not the slightest camouflage of "science" to cover up all this monstrous twaddle. Yet such is the Abrams theory at work.... Some police job for those poor little incarcerated 'lectrons in the dot!!! (p. 356, ¶3,4)
Goodrich spends much time in his article denouncing and ridiculing the theory and practice of the E.R.A. device in this manner. His style is exaggerated and emotional, but at least he makes himself clear.
He also ridiculed the idea that the body and all of its parts are "broadcasting stations" of electronic vibrations that allow for a diagnosis and treatment of disease:
Now the real work of "diagnosis" begins. All of Mrs. A's "vibratory rates", unhindered and untrammeled, emanate from brain and bronchi, from lungs and liver, from muscles and membranes, from corns and cornea, from bones and bunions, all, into the little "aerial", to be scientifically measured; at least so the E.R.A. theory says. We take this say-so with more than the ordinary grain of allowance, since the first simple scientific test or experiment showing even the existence of these vibrations is yet to be performed. There is more bona fide evidence that the moon consists of a freshly made cheese than there is for the E.R.A. theory; for the moon looks to be about the color, size and shape of a new cheese, but there is not that much similarity between the duodenum [part of the small intestines] and a broadcasting station. (p. 357 ¶1. material in brackets mine.)
At this point Goodrich anticipates an objection from the Golden Age's readers who believed that the device has cured individuals. He says that he is willing to grant one million well documented cases of cures for the sake of argument. That still doesn't prove the ERA theory true or that it is not occultic. He says:
We will now turn to the Christian Scientists for proof that there is no reality in matter, and we get another million or so of "well documented cures". We next turn to the faith healers and get some more thousands of testimonies... Furthermore, we must not forget the "well authenticated cases" of the witch doctors, the spirit mediums, the clairvoyants, and the magnetic healers.... cures do not prove theories about cures. (p. 357 ¶2, italics in original)
A "Yes" and "No" Ouija
He then examines the diagnostic procedures that leads him to conclude that the E.R.A. machine is not only not a medical device, but is, in fact, a "yes" and "no" style Ouija Board:
We return to his clinic, with Mr. and Mrs. A.... Dr. B now rubs the black button, with a handkerchief-covered forefinger, as he adjusts the knobs. Suddenly the forefinger adheres to the button, making a slight noise as it slips. He reads his indicators at the base of knobs, and announces, "It is a beef worm, no, two beef worms, in the stomach." After the administration to the patient of two glasses of water (charged up 20,000 strong with electric magic), the doctor again rubs the button, and announces the beef worms moved to the duodenum, to continue their broadcasting.
While the electronic policemen in the wee dot prolong their valiant fight for Mrs. A's vibrations,... the diagnosis progresses to the main organs of the patient's body. If the finger adheres to the button, then it is "this". If the finger adheres not, then it is "not this". (p. 357 ¶1,2)
Goodrich asked the doctor for the "scientific" reason why the finger adhered at a certain time and not another. The answer he got from the "doctor" was, "Search me!! You will have to ask the makers of the machine." He said he tried rubbing the button himself and found that it would stick only when the "pressed a little" on it.
He then said that he spent several hours observing the doctor and the machine with his "scientific eye" (he said he had eight years of scientific training in this field) and said that he believed in the doctor's whole-hearted honesty and sincerity. He didn't think, in other words, that the doctor was purposefully exerting the pressure needed to make his finger stick when it did. "However", he said:
I must tell frankly and truthfully what I saw.... He had held the handkerchief more or less tightly, so that all that went on was plainly visible to anyone who was there as a scientific observer and not listening much to the twaddle about beef worms in the stomach.... Now get this: The doctor's finger was constantly flexed upward loosely while silently passing over the button. But in every instance when the finger "stuck" it had suddenly become flexed downward, with every evidence of the exertion of muscular pressure. Since its inception, the E.R.A. theory has stood challenged with this question: Whose intelligence operates that forefinger? Do electrons do it? If so, then electrons are unseen intelligences, demons or fallen angels. To call an evil or familiar spirit an electron does not change its nature. (p. 358 ¶2, 3)
Since to Goodrich the finger stuck apparently with the exertion of muscular pressure, you would think that he believed the doctor simply pressed down and was therefore a "quack" or fraud and that it was not "demons" that did it. However, in addition to believing in the honesty and sincerity of the doctor, he gives further examples of the way the device was used that clearly indicates to me an overtly occultic or psychic use of the device:
Dr. B went on to tell us that he had received from the makers of the machine a "truth" number; in other words the "vibratory rate of truth". By the magic of this number, as we shall see, the complex machine was transformed into a simple "yes" and "no" ouija-board. For example, a patient's telegram was traced, and true and false words determined. The assistant was then called in and he traced the telegram with identical result. (p. 358 ¶8)
He gives two other examples and then relates how the machine was used again for things beside diagnosing and curing all known diseases:
We were told of the machine's "expectancy" number. By the magic of this number, one's expectancy of life could be determined at will,.... "Recently," the doctor confided, "I discovered that the expectancy of the majority of Bible Students was just thirty-two years, By further tests I found that my own expectancy would become 31, on October 15." Of course the machine fulfilled its own prediction, exactly on time. (pp. 358-359 ¶9)
These uses of the "device" sound like typical occult and psychic techniques and scams. The life "expectancy" questions have been directed to Ouija Boards with the same or similar results. 
He then relates another use of the device:
Dr. B told us at length of still other marvels being discovered by means of this diagnostic machine. But recently an Abrams practitioner, who was also interested in the work of the I.B.S.A., had discovered how to charge a bit of celluloid with vibrations of marvelous health-giving power. From this machine this doctor had learned that it was the will of Jehovah God that the device be sold for just one dollar, and that it be not sold for any price to anyone not a member of the I.B.S.A. (!!!) How those blasphemous demons (or electrons) must have chuckled as they pulled this one over!!
I am heartily ashamed to tell it, but.... I actually took one of those little celluloid squares offered me by Dr. B, held it in the palm of my hand as directed, stretched it out toward a certain point of the compass, accepted a glass of water in the other hand, blew in the water (ten times, I believe it was) as commanded, and then drank down the water, still holding my magic square outstretched.... I felt like a fool in a pantomime... Can any one beat it among the fetish worshipers of the South Sea Islands? (p. 359 ¶1, 2)
Prepared by all this exercise of your diaphragm, you will be ready for the next "wonder" appearing in the spooky heavens of the Abrams theory. This time it is a little piece of aluminum, about six inches square, with certain holes in it; nothing more, and nothing less, unless it be some alleged billions of those spooky electrons, alias "vibratory rates". These were stored up in the aluminum plate.... And all this storing up of vital energy was accomplished by the diagnostic machine, which is admittedly "dead" without electrical connection or battery. My! One wonders what it would be able to do if it were only connected to the socket!!! (p. 359 ¶3)
Dr. "B" told Goodrich that the doctor who discovered these "bits of trash" (as Goodrich called them) believed that it was Jehovah God himself who had brought it all about and through the "truth" number even told this person to manufacture and sell for a certain price these aluminum squares. To which Goodrich wrote:
There you have it! Jehovah the great Creator, dragged down from the skies, to barter health to all, and to dictate the division of the profits. And all of this, and much more, "proven" by rubbing a button. If your finger sticks, it's "yes". If it doesn't stick, it's "no". Oh, that mountebank Joker of the E.R.A. technique, The Button!!! If a clearer case of spiritism is on record, where, I ask, shall we find it? (p. 359 ¶5)
Goodrich then writes that he sent a letter to a "similar institution" with the "data" on his experiences at the clinic with "Dr. B" as described in this article. He asked specifically about the "Joker" of the E.R.A., its button. He claims the reply he received didn't mention the role of the button at all. The lame arguments used by the clinic to defend the E.R.A. machine are then refuted by Goodrich.
Goodrich then refers to the March, 1924, Scientific American article in their series examining the E.R.A. (pp. 360-362).
The article's statements are interesting. The authors state that the E.R.A. practitioner is supposedly able to diagnose the health of an individual from a blood sample or even their handwriting. He can diagnose not only diseases the patient currently has, but future ones as well. Even the religion of the patient is ascertained by the practitioner according to its proponents.
Note that neither this committee nor any one else has ever found the first fact which would prove that organs or organisms give off electronic or other vibratory rates like a broadcasting station. It is high time for this pseudoscientific sham of pure demonism to be known for what it really is. (p. 361 ¶3)
Remarkably, the committee's conclusion about the Abrams machine was "The whole thing bears striking resemblance to the subjective psychic phenomena." (p. 362 ¶3) In speaking of the various ways the E.R.A. practitioner gets a "yes" or "no" answer by rubbing a glass plate, the patient's abdomen, etc. they remark:
But the Abrams practitioner does not have an instrument that makes its own readings.. He... goes through a procedure which in effect answers 'yes' or 'no' to the implied question.... And the means of getting the answer is itself objectionable, in that it consists merely of the doctor's getting a certain sensation. It takes the form of a changed tone on tapping the reagent's abdomen; or a sense of greater or less roughness as the finger tips are passed over the skin; or the degree to which a glass, rubber or wooden rod sticks when thus passed. Though it may have taken him six months to acquire the ability to 'get' the reactions, he may lose this temporarily or permanently, overnight, especially if he begins to doubt the technique. A spectator with a skeptical turn of mind is apt to drive the reactions away, especially if he voices his disbelief. (The psychic member of the staff interrupts to remark, 'Where have I heard that before?') This gives strongest grounds for asserting that the whole thing is psychic. (p. 362 ¶5)
Goodrich concludes his article by saying:
We submit: There never was a spectator skeptical enough to deflect the radio waves from a receiving set; but there have been lots of spiritistic seances spoiled by the presence of such spectators. When scientific worldlings who know not God or demons can approach that near the truth, it is surely high time for Bible Students to recognize and flee this spiritistic snare of Satan, crying aloud, and sparing not. (p. 362 ¶6)
Mae J. Work and the E.R.A.
The Golden Age had a Watchtower Society "Bethel" Osteopath, Mae J. Work, who used this "ouija board", write a response to Goodrich's article. It was to be the final word on the matter as is stated in the introductory note C. J. Woodworth inserted at the beginning of the article. It said:
The Golden Age was requested to publish the article appearing in Number 273 relative to electronic treatments. The Golden Age has requested Dr. Mae J. Work to reply thereto, and the reply is herewith submitted. This will end the controversy, so far as this magazine is concerned. --Editor. 
No further contrary opinions were allowed. That Goodrich was allowed to print his article critical of the Watchtower's endorsement and claiming JWs were involved in spiritism was unusual. Today, the Awake! and Watchtower magazines are about as much open forums as Pravda was. The Golden Age wasn't much different either. Why was he allowed to write it then? He later said it was Rutherford's way to "shut Goodrich up" and carry on supporting the E.R.A. He called the open forum comments at the beginning of his article "bunk" and the comments at the beginning of Work's article "hypocritical" as no further discussion was allowed. 
In any case, this was a unique and interesting episode in Watchtower history. It apparently did "shut Goodrich up" for more than a decade. He didn't complain about the issue after his article was published. Why is unknown. Goodrich didn't comment on how it succeeded in shutting him up. Perhaps allowing his expose to be published and Work's response satisfied him that the Watchtower listened to his concerns. Also, the "doctor" Goodrich wrote about (Mary LeCocq), was apparently forced to abandon her E.R.A. practice as a result of Goodrich's piece. Goodrich later wrote:
The E.R.A. clinic discussed in G.A. #273 was that of the then far famed "Truth Sister", Dr. LeCocq, at Jonesboro, Ark. Approved Society spokesmen including George Draper, recommended it to ailing pioneers.... At the time of the writer's visit to that clinic in January, 1928, the damaging facts, later published, were discovered and exposed orally and by letter. The immediate result was the breaking up of the "nest" as pioneer Bradford of Memphis put it, and the subsequent removal from those parts, of the clinic, Doctor and all. 
Perhaps this satisfied Goodrich at the time that something was being done about it.
In Work's response to Goodrich, she doesn't refute Goodrich's claim that what he experienced at a Watchtower sponsored E.R.A. clinic was "demonism." Her argument was that unlike the one Goodrich encountered, the regular Abrams "hookup" she used did not use a button which was rubbed to obtain yes and no answers, was "scientific," and was connected to a socket and produced a measurable electric current. She said that Goodrich's experiences proves that while genuine E.R.A. methods are legitimate, there are phonies out there using occult methods. She said:
Before describing what E.R.A. is, and my connection with it, I wish to quote a few words from the pen of Thomas Colson...:
Since a time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary,... alleged diagnoses have been made by clairvoyant, psychic, or other power.... such diagnoses are no part of the Electronic Reactions of Abrams....
Doctor Colson, in the foregoing excerpt, has set forth a principle which Mr. Goodrich's experiences show to be a fact; namely, that while the E.R.A. system is true and genuine, there are fakirs and frauds endeavoring to associate themselves with it and to take advantage of its good name and reputation. 
Was LeCocq a "spirit medium" as Goodrich claimed and a "fakir and a fraud" who used "clairvoyant, psychic" and other occult powers in diagnosing patients as Work seemed to imply? The Thomas Colson quoted by Work was the successor to Abrams in publishing his ERA magazine, Physico-Clinical Medicine, which he changed to Electronic Medicine. The quote is probably from that Journal. I'm sure she subscribed to it. Perhaps there are still issues lying around the Bethel library.
Work made an interesting statement at the beginning of this article. She said the two reasons she could not "keep silent" on this issue was her interest in the truth in the "abstract," and her interest in what she called the "higher phase of truth" which was "present truth." "Present truth" refers to the beliefs of JWs at a particular time. She thus felt that the E.R.A. was part of the Watchtower's "present truth" which was a "higher phase of truth" than garden variety truth.
Mae J. Work, cancer, and the E.R.A.
Work wrote another article the following year in The Golden Age that promoted the E.R.A. It was originally a speech she delivered at the Electronic Research Association's seventh annual convention. The paper looked at the "increase" in cancer rates which she believed to be caused by aluminum. The E.R.A. was the cure, but due to patients continuing to use aluminum cookware after being "cured" by her E.R.A. treatments, patients kept coming back to her with cancer and other troubles - imagine that!
In the article she quotes a lecture by Dr. G. Schmidt delivered at the 1928 A.E.R.A. convention. This lecture was printed in The Golden Age as the article on the BDC Vagal Reflex showing aluminum poisoning in Schmidt's patients (see box on the BDC Vagal Reflex, next article). After reading his lecture she decided to see if this was why many of her patients kept returning with the same cancers six months after being "cured" by the oscilloclast. She experimented for two years with instructing her patients to quit using aluminum cookware after her oscilloclast treatments. She reviewed several cases in the article where this worked.
At the end of her article she made the following comments about the already discredited E.R.A.:
E.R.A. is in its infancy, and during the past seven years it has weathered many storms, but it still lives and our methods of diagnosis and treatment have proven their value, and electronic medicine is on a firmer foundation today than it has ever been. 
Work evidently believed the E.R.A. cured cancer but the cure was hampered by the use of aluminum which caused the cancer to return, and not that the E.R.A. didn't cure it in the first place.This is demonstrated by her closing confident words:
We can make the test for cancer, both malignant and incipient, and the electronic treatment will relieve the disease; and now that we know that food cooked in aluminum is poisonous and makes fertile soil for the growth of cancer, let us each do our share in suggesting to our patients that they abandon the use of aluminum ware and maintain good health. We have it in our power to help reduce the menacing cancer mortality and smite this dread enemy which now casts its shadow over this fair country of ours. 
Even after Goodrich's article, the Watchtower Society continued to have absolute confidence in the E.R.A. Work's article is the last reference endorsing the E.R.A. in Society literature I have found in my research to date. According to Goodrich, they continued to use the E.R.A. at Bethel into the 1940s. M.James Penton, a former Witness and author of Apocalypse Delayed, claims he was treated with the Electronic Radio Biola ERA machine by an "anointed" JW sister in 1949.
Goodrich resumes his one man campaign
Goodrich learned in the early 1940s that E.R.A. treatments were still being administered at Bethel by a Dr. M. A. Howlett. Howlett used the method of stroking a glass plate until he got a "reaction" by his fingers sticking. It was the same "yes" or "no" ouija board principle he had complained about before. Goodrich again sent letters, this time to Dr. Howlett, the Society's board of directors and to the Society's president N. H. Knorr.
In Goodrich's first letter to Howlett, he mentioned that he heard from a "Bethel boy," Chester Nicholson, that Howlett used a "radio-clast" to treat him. Chester's description of the procedure convinced him it was the same as the oscilloclast of Dr. Abrams. Howlett's only response was the following sent on a post card:
You have evidently been misinformed regarding my connection with E.R.A. I know nothing of it and have never used it. There is none such at Bethel. 
Goodrich responded with a letter to Howlett dated June 9, 1943, saying he had Chester Nicholson's description of his treatment by Howlett in writing. He also later pointed out that the E.R.A. was used by Work at Bethel since 1922 and Howlett came to Bethel years before then so his comments that he had never even heard of the E.R.A. as a Bethel doctor was absurd. Goodrich therefore believed that Howlett lied to him. He 'took it to the church' by writing a very lengthy letter to the Society's board of directors also dated June 9 and an "Open Letter" to the Society's president, Nathan Knorr.
I find Goodrich's response to Howlett and the Society fascinating at times. Goodrich, as a JW in good standing at the time, wrote to Howlett confronting him with his use of what he called a "Rahab technique." This is what JWs now call "theocratic war strategy" which involves "misdirecting" the "enemy" with false information. Most people would call it lying, and Goodrich, once convinced he was thus "misdirected" as to the truth of the matter, called Howlett on it. He said in his June 9 letter after quoting Howlett's response to him:
The one possible import of those words conveys an impression entirely contrary to the fundamental facts as I know them. I must believe, however, that your motive in writing them is the highest, -- a desire to honor Jehovah's name. Remembering Rahab's approval and the statements at the top of page 177 in RICHES, you have seemingly clear and logical justification, no doubt, in your own mind.
Page 177 of Riches says(Emphasis mine):
A LIE is a false statement made by one to another one who is entitled to hear and to know the truth, and which false statement tends to work injury to the other. A false statement made for the purpose of deceiving and working injury to another is a deliberate and malicious lie.
This implies there are some who simply are not "entitled" to know the truth and that if a person makes a false statement without intending to "work injury" to another, it isn't a lie, but what Goodrich called a "Rahab technique." Otherwise, why didn't Rutherford simply say a lie is a knowingly false statement, period. Goodrich viewed it this way and this is way the Society has since defined lies versus using "theocratic war strategy."  Goodrich continued his letter by saying:
Your words above quoted could be a malicious lie, in case Satan has gained a sufficient foothold in your mind, by this subtlty [sic]. Those words could tend to work very great harm to yourself and others. The only alibi is the one above suggested; and love can only hope that you did in fact intend a faithful Rahab technique. In this instance, however, such technique becomes a dragon to devour your position, and leaves your last state worse than your first.... In all kindness then, Bro. Howlett, the inescapable logic of the fact is that your postal to me, must be one or the other of the two following things, to wit: (1) a potentially malicious lie; or (2) an admission before the Lord that you have been practicing demonism and "fibbing" out of it. There is just one divinely provided way of escape both for yourself personally, and for the Society, from the two horrible and deathdealing horns of this dilemma. The sin, - - no matter how innocently and ignorantly committed, - - must be recognized, repented of, turned from and renounced, confession made and forgiveness sought.... A spirit medium in Bethel is a "sick" man. (Emphasis in original.)
Goodrich's 13 page letter to the Watchtower Society's board of directors and his letter to Nathan Knorr were equally direct. As a result of charging "God's organization" with "demonism," Goodrich was disfellowshipped.
However, ten years later, the Watchtower Society began printing material on the E.R.A. that made the same claims about the E.R.A. for which Goodrich had been disfellowshipped.
1. Roy Goodrich, Demonism and the Watch Tower (Ft. Lauderdale, FL.: The Bible Way Publications), 1969, pp. 1-2.
2. Ibid., p. 1.
3. Ibid., p. 2.
4. Ibid., pp. 29-30. Emphasis in original.
5. Gruss, Edmond, The Ouija Board A Doorway to the Occult (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing), 1994 pp. 3, 98, 99 etc.
6. The Golden Age, April 30, 1930, p. 483.
7. Demonism, p. 30.
8. Roy Goodrich, letter to M.A. Howlett, June 9, 1943, p. 2. Reprinted in Goodrich's Bethel Rides the Broom, n.d.
9. The Golden Age, April 30, 1930, p. 483.
10. The Golden Age, February 18, 1931, p. 342.
12. Roy Goodrich, Bethel Rides the Broom, n.d.
13. The Watchtower: June 1, 1960, p. 351; May 1, 1957, p. 285, February 1, 1956, p. 78.