(Investigator 61, 1998 July)

Jehovah’s Witnesses prepared TWO mansions in California to house Bible heroes like Abraham and Moses in the resurrection.

Beth-Sarim or "House of Princes", which they owned from 1929-1947, is common knowledge. (Investigator 45)

Recently the J W Research Journal  carried information about another, secret,  property – called Beth Shan meaning "House of Security" – which the Watchtower Society (WTS) owned from 1939 to 1945.

Beth Shan was a 75 acre property located next to Beth Sarim – with a bigger mansion than Beth Sarim. It had several out houses, a 4,000 gallon tank of diesel, 7 acres of cultivated land, a well plus a 10,000 gallon water-storage tank, and two secret underground bomb shelters with storage shelves and 3-foot thick concrete ceilings.

Access to Beth Shan was by a ½ mile dirt track and a gate guarded by WTS personnel.

The Beth Shan deed said in part:

NOW THEREFORE this trust is created and said trustee shall hold the title to said property in trust for the use and benefit of the following named persons, whose names appear in the Bible at the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, verses one to forty, to wit: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sara, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel.

Until such time as the aforementioned persons return and identify themselves to the legal representatives of the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY and the consent of said Society take possession and control of said premises, the President of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY shall have the right and be duty bounded to direct the management and use of said premises hereby conveyed and to determine who shall be in possession and have the active management thereof.
(J W Research Journal Vol. 4, No. 3, Summer 1997 p. 4)

Beth Shan was so secret it was mentioned in WTS literature only once – in the magazine Consolation 1942 May 27 p. 9. The context was a dispute about burying "Judge" Rutherford, the deceased WTS president. The authorities had turned down a WTS request for a one-grave cemetery at Beth Sarim. Therefore the WTS next tried for a grave site at Beth Shan – which was also turned down.

Why did the WTS buy and develop Beth Shan? 

According to the deed Beth Shan was intended to accommodate the resurrected Bible heroes and meanwhile be a retreat for the WTS president.

But there seems to be another reason. In 1926 the WTS magazine The Golden Age predicted:

… the next war will be…an annihilation!  There will be poison and explosion everywhere, beneath the whole canopy of the heavens... (June 2 p. 55)
In 1935 the WTS booklet Universal War Near  referred to:
...the few remaining months until the breaking of that universal cataclysm... (p. 27)
By 1938 the WTS taught that the totalitarian governments would rule the world just prior to Armageddon. For example in the booklet Face The Facts (1938) it says:
The totalitarian combine is going to get control of England and America.  (pp. 20, 21, 27)
Face The Facts also taught that Armageddon was too close for marriage and child rearing (pp. 46-50).  This message was further drummed via the books Salvation (1939 pp. 318-331) and Children (1941). The latter is about two JW juveniles who discuss WTS doctrine and decide to forego marriage for "a few years" so as to preach full time until Armageddon comes. (pp. 328,  274-281)

The storage shelves in the  Beth Shan bomb shelters are explained by:

In passing, the opinion is here expressed for the information of those who have hearing ears, that a great famine is certain to afflict the many nations of the earth in the very near future. The United States is also in line for much suffering...  (The Watchtower 1941 November 15 p. 343)
In 1941 The Watchtower again had the expression "the remaining months before Armageddon".  (September 15 p. 288)

From all this it appears that the purpose for buying and developing Beth Shan was to protect the WTS leaders from war, famine and other trials during those "remaining months before Armageddon"!

By 1945 events proved WTS leaders wrong regarding world rule by the Nazis/Fascists and Armageddon being only "months" away.  Beth Shan was therefore no longer needed to protect them and was sold.

Many well-researched articles about Jehovah's Witnessess:

Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses at: