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“Doug's scribblings”

                        Jehovah's Witnesses

A religious sect practices exclusivity, in which God’s salvation is available only within the confines of their organisation.

This places enormous power and influence in the hands of a handful of people. This small group then demands unquestioning loyalty, especially at those times it alters its “truth”.

In extreme cases, this affects an adherent’s internal reasoning ability and on external relationships with other family members.

Worse, adherents do not admit this, which can have serious impacts mentally.

The objective of any person wishing to help a member of such a sect must see that person as a victim, of being mentally manipulated.

The victim needs to be shown the agape (
agape) of God, which he extends, whether the person is a member of an organisation or not.

My material is on Jehovah’s Witnesses but there are many other religious groups in which a few people endeavour to control the thoughts and actions of millions, saying these few people have exclusive access to God’s love.

The followers should be treated with love and empathy, not with any sense of superiority.

Who are the Witnesses at Isaiah 43:10-12?

                  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
                  “and my servant whom I have chosen,
                  so that you may know and believe me
                  and understand that I am he.

                  "Before me no god was formed,
                  nor will there be one after me.
                  I, even I, am the LORD,
                  and apart from me there is no savior.

                  "I have revealed and saved and proclaimed
                  —I, and not some foreign god among you.
                  You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God."
                  (Isaiah 43:10-12, NIV)

According to this, the purpose of being a witness of YHWH is to see, know, believe and understand that he is God. When a person is witnessing YHWH, they are seeing him, and they perceive that he is unique, and their only saviour. They have witnessed for themselves that he is indeed God.

These verses are from a poem that commences at Isaiah 40:1. It was composed at the time of Judah’s subjection to the might of the
neo-Babylonian empire. In all probably it was written by scribes living in exile, since Nebuchadnezzar always focused on removing Judah’s elite, the power brokers.

As the context from the beginning of the poem shows, these words were part of YHWH’s repeated plea to the peoples he had formed:

                  “But now, this is what the LORD says—
                  he who created you, O Jacob,
                  he who formed you, O Israel:
                  ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
                  I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’ ” (Isaiah 43:1, NIV)

At Isaiah 43:14-20, YHWH reminds them of his mercy towards them, of the manner in which he cared for them. He had done this so that his people would praise him. Yet these people who had witnessed for themselves that he is God, turned their backs on him, and for that reason they were suffering at the hands of the Babylonians. Despite witnessing YHWH, they offended him. For this reason he will destroy his witnesses, Jacob and Israel, as the direct context shows.

                  “Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob,
                  you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.
                  You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
                  nor honored me with your sacrifices.
                  I have not burdened you with grain offerings
                  nor wearied you with demands for incense.

                  “You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
                  or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
                  But you have burdened me with your sins
                  and wearied me with your offenses.

                  “I, even I, am he who blots out
                  your transgressions, for my own sake,
                  and remembers your sins no more.

                  Review the past for me,
                  let us argue the matter together;
                  state the case for your innocence.

                  “Your first father sinned;
                  your spokesmen rebelled against me.
                  So I will disgrace the dignitaries of your temple,
                  and I will consign Jacob to destruction
                  and Israel to scorn.”
                  (Isaiah 43:22-28, NIV)

               

Description

Download

The WTS treats the Bible like a flat board, which allows it to jump around it like a knight in a game of chess, ignoring all obstacles. And then it lands on a different colour.

It sounds like a Knight, it jumps like a Knight, but it looks like a Castle.

knight jump hermeneutic

Why does a Jehovah’s Witness find it so difficult to hear what you are saying?

What makes it difficult for a Witness

This picture depicts the foundation of the Governing Body’s authority and the resulting claims of power and privilege.

Please let me know how it may be improved.

authority model

This picture is my attempt to provide a factual description of the organization’s structure as it affects the average Witness.

It shows that the structure is not designed to facilitate communication with Jehovah or with the Governing Body. Rather, it shows the downward “theocratic government” operation. This is indicated with terms such as “Governing” and “Overseer”.

org chart

The WTS promotes “family values”, instructing JW fathers and mothers of their responsibilities and duties to their children. The WTS also strongly advises children of their responsibilities within the family unit. Although the WTS holds that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding on Christians, it would not go against the command: “Honour your father and your mother”.

Nevertheless, when the “purity” of the WTS organization is at stake, the hierarchy commands its followers to demonstrate “pure hatred” to any dissenter, even within the family. It bemoans the fact that modern society and Christian law forbids a dissenter being put to death, as happened in ancient times.

The WTS moves one step back from taking the law into its own hands and commands all Witnesses to totally ignore the existence of any person whom it deems has fallen out of favour. That person is treated as if they are dead. This is termed “shunning”, and it has to be practised even within the family unit.

Heart-rending stories abound from families that have been torn apart because of the WTS’s practice of shunning.

The fear of shunning forces an unnatural unity and an unhealthy state of mind. Because of their fear of the consequences of shunning, many Witnesses accept the WTS’s prohibitions on the medical use of blood. This results in the unnecessary deaths of several Witnesses, including children, every day.

The WTS would do well to understand and teach the meaning of the Greek word “agape”, which the Christian community adopted as its Greek word for “love”.

STOP Talking to Your Family OR ELSE

The WTS repeats itself to ensure a listener automatically produces the desired reaction.

mind processing kingdom

mind processing 144000

As the Watchtower’s debacle with 1975 fades into a distant memory, some more recent Witnesses are not fully aware of what happened.

During that time, my good friend Bruce Price produced a magazine aimed at helping Jehovah’s Witnesses. With his permission I have provided a copy of his October 1975 issue (reissued in 1976 with additional information provided on the last page) as well as the pages on 1975 from his “Our Friends” Manual, issued in 1997.

Witness Mag Oct 1975

Bruce Price on 1975 (1997 edition)

This Study, The “Faithful and Discreet Slave” and its “Governing Body”, provides an objective analysis of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (GB).

                               OUTLINE

  • It claims to be the sole voice on Earth of God’s government.
  • The operational structure demonstrates the GB’s direct legal and ethical accountability.
  • The Parable resorted to by the GB.
  • Interpreting the Parable.
  • Demystifying the GB’s claims by demonstrating that it operates identically to ancient and contemporary eschatological movements.

NOTICE

With The Watchtower magazine of July 15, 2013, the Governing Body [GB] confined the term “Faithful and Discreet Slave” [FDS] to itself alone. The magazine removed all other spirit-anointed persons from the FDS class.

Previously, the term FDS was applied to the whole group of spirit-Anointed, which numbered 144,000. At the time, the GB said that it represented the FDS (meaning all of the spirit-anointed ones).

This present Study – The Faithful and Discreet Slave and its Governing Body – provides the evidence that the GB had applied the term Faithful and Discreet Slave to all of the spirit-anointed. All aspects covered in this Study remain issues of contention, such as, for example, on principles of interpreting parables.

A Study on the changes introduced with The Watchtower of July 15, 2013 is available below at:

http://www.jwstudies.com/The_Truth_Changes.pdf
 

FDS and its GB

Charles Taze Russell was the founder and first President of The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

When he died, his will was printed in The Watch Tower magazine.

In his will, Russell did not name Rutherford as a member of the Editorial Committee. Also, Russell held strong views on “The Ransom”.

Russell’s death in 1916 was followed by a splintering of the group.

Rutherford obtained legal control of the organisation’s name and set about changing all of its beliefs, including that of “The Ransom”.

Russell taught that Christ’s Parousia had occurred in 1874. Rutherford still taught this in 1929.

WILL AND TESTAMENT OF CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL

In The Watchtower of December 15 1971, page 749, the WTS issued an organization chart.

1971 Theocratic Organization

During the early part of WW2, the Australian Newspaper “Smith’s Weekly” conducted a vendetta of fear against Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If any Australian researcher is interested in reading the articles, the download file provides the dates and pages in the “Weekly”.

I saw these pages at the State Library of Victoria (SLV) but do not know which other libraries also provide the newspaper.

Vendetta of fear by Smiths Weekly

In 1933, Methodist minister Rev George Lloyd attacked Rutherford in a 24-page pamphlet, “Witnesses out of the Bottomless Pit? Judge Rutherford under the Searchlight”. Lloyd was at times Prisons Chaplain to the Metropolitan police of Victoria, Australia.

A couple of typographical corrections should be noted.

The title page comments: “The self proclaimed witnesses out of the bottomless pit. “(See page 16)” should indeed be “(See page 17)”.

Note also that the word “goals” at the top of his page 17 should be “gaols”, which is an alternate spelling of “jails”.

Witnesses out of the Bottomless Pit (1933)

None of Russell’s predictions came to pass, so words in his books were altered and they continued to sell them.

Today, Witnesses are told that 1914 was a year “marked” by Russell, but they are not told that Russell expected an outbreak of enduring PEACE with 1914, under the auspices of fleshly Jews.

This file provides key alterations they made to Russell’s books “Millennial Dawn” [MD], subsequently renamed “Studies in the Scriptures” [SS]. The initial title reflected Russell’s teaching that the Millennium had already dawned.

Changed MD and SS words

This paper, “A Psychological and Sociological Study of Jehovah’s Witnesses” is a study conducted during WW2 in Sweden of 135 JW conscientious objectors. The reporting doctor provides a sensitive and balanced report which could easily bring a lump in the throat and a tear to the eye as one contemplates their unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

Scandinavian Medicine March 8 1946

In this study by Jerry Bergman, which is provided here with permission, he reviews scientific literature, including the Swedish study provided above, on the rate of mental illness among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In his Summary, Bergman writes:
“The Watchtower has carefully cultivated a public image of a devout, God-fearing people, determined to ferret out God’s truth from the Scriptures and fully live their lives according to it. Behind this optimistic vision lies a nightmare that has resulted in a rash of mental illness and social problems considerably higher than that found in virtually every other American religion.”

Paradise Postponed Jerry Bergman

John Spencer, consultant psychiatrist at Heathcote Hospital in Western Australia, studied 50 Jehovah’s Witnesses admitted to the Mental Health Service facility. In this report in the British Journal of Psychiatry (1975), he concluded that “members of this section of the community are more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital than the general population”.

Mental health JWs John Spencer

John Stedman, a Christian psychiatrist with a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses as patients, provides a summary of four studies as well as his own experiences and suggestions. I believe this article appeared in the CARIS Newsletter of Volume 1, number 2.

JWs mental illness John Stedman

Writing under the pseudonym of “Havor Montague”, Jerry Bergman writes that “the mental illness rate among JW’s far surpasses that of the population as a whole. Many factors are found to contribute to this.”

Pessimistic Sect's Influence Montague Social Compass 24

Using original sources, this provides the context of the people who helped shape Charles Taze Russell.

People important to Russell

The May 15, 1984 cover of The Watchtower magazine showcased sixteen people who were born before 1914. The heading reads, “1914: The Generation That Will Not Pass Away”.

The Watchtower’s intention was to provide tangible proof that the generation alive in 1914 would not die out before the end of the world at Armageddon.

Every one of these sixteen people is known. Fourteen were long-term members of the organisation’s headquarters staff in New York; the other two served there temporarily.

By 2008, every one of them had died. The prediction that these sixteen would survive until Armageddon has thus been shown to be yet another failed Watchtower prediction.

The picture (provided as JPG and as PDF) identifies each of the sixteen people on the magazine cover. The picture also provides the evidence that none of them has survived.

1984_Watchtower_Cover_1914_Generation JPG

 

1984_Watchtower_Cover_1914_Generation PDF

The Watchtower magazine of July 15, 2013 introduces significant changes for the Governing Body, the organisation, and for all Jehovah’s Witnesses. In recasting its eschatology (study of the “Last Days”), the GB has cut away from its past, distancing itself from previously held applications – which up to now had to be vigorously defended by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

With this magazine, the GB completely changes several key positions, and in the process remodels its past, its attitude towards Russell, the Bible Students, and to 1914. In the process, the GB is moving its focus from past dates to an anticipated future – without making commitments to dates. The centenary of October 1914 looms, and the events of those times slip ever further away.

This Study provides an analysis of the changes the GB is imposing through this magazine.

“Simplified” Edition of The Watchtower
The Truth Changes in the simplified Watchtower

“Study” Edition of The Watchtower
The Truth Changes

This analysis of the changes in The Watchtower of July 15, 2013 was produced by an anonymous author, possibly a Jehovah’s Witness.

Adjustments to the July 15 2013 Watchtower

La revista la Atalaya (Watchtower) de Julio 15 del 2013 introduce cambios significativos que afectan al Cuerpo Gobernante, la organización, y a todos los Testigos de Jehová. Al reorganizar su escatología (estudio de los "Ultimos Días"), el Cuerpo Gobernante se ha desligado de su pasado, distanciándose de interpretaciones previas – que hasta la fecha habian sido defendidas vigorosamente por los Testigos de Jehová.

Con esta revista, el Cuerpo Gobernante completamente cambia varias posiciones importantes, y en el proceso remodela su pasado y su actitud hacia Russell, los Estudiantes de la Biblia, y 1914. En este proceso, el Cuerpo Gobernante mueve su enfoque en fechas pasadas hacia un futuro anticipado – sin comprometerse a fechas espec¡ficas. El centenario de Octubre de 1914 yace en un futuro muy cercano, y los eventos de ese tiempo se deslizan hacia un pasado que se aleja cada d¡a más.

Este Estudio provee un análisis de los cambios que el Cuerpo Gobernante esta imponiendo en los Testigos de Jehová por media de esta revista.

La Verdad Cambia (otra vez), La Atalaya, 15 de Julio de 2013

When I set out to prepare this Study, my intention was to show that the leadership of the Christian congregation at Jerusalem did not exert total control, nor did it decide the Christian sacred Scriptures.

The objectives I set out to reach are important. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses [GB] says it is modelled on first century Christianity, in which a Governing Body located at Jerusalem controlled a united, structured, organised community.

Is the GB’s depiction correct? Were James and Peter part of that “Governing Body”? Was Paul part of that “Governing Body”? Did a “Governing Body” govern Paul?

I was not surprised when this Study took me by the hand along many interesting avenues. Each avenue deserves deeply contemplative research, which is impossible to canvass in detail in this Study. Although my initial intention was to focus on the claims made by one contemporary organisation, the consequences of this Study impact the core of Christian belief.

Make certain that the contents of this Study are fully understood before linking to it or making it available from another web site.

Did a 'Governing Body' govern Paul
(Part 1 - The Study)

Did a 'Governing Body' govern Paul
(Part 2 - Readings)

Parts 1 and 2 combined:

2013 - Did a 'Governing Body' govern Paul

Chapter of Version 1 that was updated:

Updated chapter Did a Governing Body govern Paul

 

In his book, “Judgment Day Must Wait”, Poul Bregninge explains why the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society [WTS] focuses on the Day of Judgment. Poul tells of multiple “days of reckoning” that have passed uneventfully and how the WTS reevaluates each failure to foretell yet another imminent apocalypse. He illustrates his observations with withering documentation.

Poul provides a comprehensive view of the WTS’s history, its upheavals and struggles. He demonstrates the manipulation and cruelty it deals to those it charges with expanding its membership. By keeping Judgment Day ever coming and very close, the WTS ensures a ready supply of workers who work for free for the movement’s central organization. The fear of that moment keeps Jehovah’s Witnesses firmly in the Watchtower’s fold.

The WTS’s efficient method of brain washing, which is based on constant repetition, locks in Jehovah’s Witnesses to a degree that outsiders find it difficult to imagine. The WTS’s method lowers a Witnesses’ intellectual ability to think critically.

Poul dismantles their main Biblical driving force, the WTS’s interpretation of Matthew 24, which the leadership uses to provide “signs” of the impending end. He demolishes the WTS’s explanation by systematically examining the most important verses in Matthew 24 and documenting the WTS’ misinformation.

Judgment Day Must Wait” provides valuable material that is not widely known. For example, the book includes a pamphlet that the WTS has belittled ever since it was published in 1903. This pamphlet can be read in its entirety in Poul’s book.

Judgment Day Must Wait” contains a lot of new information, and Poul places these into new and surprising contexts. Although Poul’s book poses a threat to the WTS, his weapons are not hateful allegations but they are a fair analysis. He calles the WTS a
movement rather than a sect or a cult.

Judgment Day Must Wait” is available at:
http://ybkpublishers.com/#Judgment
and from Amazon.com at:
http://tinyurl.com/kbsdhcb

Publicity - Judgment day must wait

How does a non-religious person become drawn in to a fundamentalist religion? What would cause a young man to choose prison instead of military induction? In his book, I Wept by the Rivers of Babylon (A Prisoner of Conscience in a time of War), author Terry Walstrom delivers a gripping, cautionary tale that is often humorous. Step by step, he tells a well-written story never before told.

It began with Terry as a non-religious teenager whose best friend was one of Jehovah's Witnesses. He attended their Kingdom Hall, and little by little, he watched and listened.

The year is 1967. The British Invasion of the Beatles is going strong; Hippies and Flower children are marching and protesting the War in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Terry Walstrom, a 20 year old conscientious objector, is facing the F.B.I., the Draft Board, a District Judge and up to six years in Federal prison.

I Wept by the Rivers of Babylon (A Prisoner of Conscience in a time of War) is the personal story of a 20 year old conscientious objector who refused induction into the Vietnam War because of the policies of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It secretly advised young men to refuse alternative hospital and civilian duty under the assertion that knocking on doors and publishing their magazines and books was a higher duty in service to God. As a result, Terry found himself on his way to prison.

In the first half of his book, Terry provides a detailed and harrowing account of his experiences. The second half of his book explores the history of conscientious objectors from ancient Rome to the end of the Vietnam War.

Not for the squeamish or the faint of heart, Terry’s book describes his experiences in vivid detail. There are moments of sadness and violence, laced with comic relief. The reader’s emotion and intellect will respond to this evocative book.

The paperback is available from Lulu at:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-walstrom/by-the-rivers-of-babylon/paperback/product-21220300.html

The ebook can be downloaded at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-walstrom/i-wept-by-the-rivers-of-babylon-a-prisoner-of-conscience-in-a-time-of-war/ebook/product-21222925.html

 

Pages 1766-1767 of the 2013 NWT states that the “Message of the Bible” is God’s Right to Rule. Given that the WTS declares that God’s Kingdom Rule began in 1914, one would suspect that this would feature. Instead, there is a vague reference to something that supposedly happened “about 1914”.

2013 NWT, pages 1766, 1767

The Watchtower magazine of January 1, 1989 writes of Paul laying a foundation “that would be completed in our 20th century”. The bound version of that magazine, however, amended the words to “completed in our day”.

When the '20th century' became 'our day'

Under the heading of "Can it be delayed until 1914?" in Zion's Watch Tower of July 15, 1894, Russell advised his readers that the trouble they  were experiencing was taking place exactly as he had anticipated 17  years earlier.

Russell's readers were concerned that, given the troubles they were experiencing, matters could not hold out until 1914.

He comforted them with the information that 1914 was not the date for the beginning of the time of trouble, but for its end.

Watchtower 1894 07 15 page 226

This was written by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1976 following the failure of Watchtower Society’s false expectations with 1975.

'Questions' by JWs (abt 1976)

If reasoning with a JW on the Governing Body’s interpretations such as of the Kingdom of God, Parousia, the Cross, Blood, and so on is unlikely to break the Governing Body’s mental stranglehold, what then is its Achilles’ Heel?
----------
Si el tratar de razonar con un Testigo de Jehová acerca de las interpretaciones del Cuerpo Gobernante referente al Reino de Dios, Parousia, La Cruz, Sangre, y muchas más, resulta en una estrategia fútil para liberarlos del control mental completo ejercido por sus líderes, ¿cuál es entonces el talón de Aquiles del Cuerpo Gobernante?

The Watchtower's Achilles' Heel

Spanish version
El Talón de Aquiles de la Watchtower

Some of the correspondence written in 1917 concerning the rift within the Watch Tower Society. Note that since the size of the lettering is small, it is also provided in landscape format.

1917 Correspondence

1917 Correspondence (landscape)

Word and PDF files of “The List” that is freely and openly available at:
http://hourglass2.com/historical/the-list/List7_01.htm

The List from Hourglass (Word file)

The List from Hourglass (PDF)

The Watchtower magazine for March 15, 2015 presents Jesus’ stories at Matthew 25: The Ten Virgins; The Talents; and The Final Judgment (“Sheep and Goats”).

With each story, the magazine says that the context has to be understood.

However, it does not give contexts in terms of Matthew’s Gospel but in terms of the Watchtower Society and its organisation.

Its self-obsession and its self-importance suffocate and distort the Biblical message of each story. The truths are swamped by the wet blanket of the WTS’s soteriology and its eschatological framework.

The Watchtower and the Contexts of Jesus' Stories

Early Watchtower sources dealing with the identification of the “Great Crowd”.

1935 in Divine Purpose and contemporary publications

Typical appearances of “144,000” and “anointed Christians” in The Watchtower from 2000 to March 2015.

WT magazines from 2000 to 2015 on 144000 and the anointed

Extracts from a Bible commentary relevant to the “144,000” and the “Great Crowd”

Extracts sorted, Word Commentary. Rev 6 and 7

A Study on the pillars that create and support the existence of the Governing Body: 144,000, “Little Flock”, “Great Crowd”, and “Other Sheep”.

I added a Summary to my initial Study, thus creating Version 2. The Summary is provided for those who downloaded Version 1.

The Tower of sand

Summary, The Tower of sand

What was the seismic shift in thinking that Rutherford required when he created the “great multitude” in 1935? When did the “great multitude”, or the “great crowd” as it is now known, become “Jehovah’s witnesses”?

The Great Crowd before 1935 and since

Does the following paragraph on page 22 of the June 15, 2015 Watchtower magazine provide an accurate assessment of Charles Taze Russell? Does the paragraph contain mistakes and omissions?

“When the time approached for God’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus to start ruling from heaven, Jehovah helped his people to understand the timing of events. In 1876, an article written by Charles Taze Russell was published in the magazine Bible Examiner. That article, ‘Gentile Times: When Do They End?,’ pointed to 1914 as a significant year. The article linked the ‘seven times’ of Daniel’s prophecy with ‘the appointed times of the nations’ spoken of by Jesus.—Dan. 4:16; Luke 21:24.”

How Many Mistakes in one Paragraph

This Study presents and analyses 450 Watch Tower Society quotations from 1876 to 2015 under the following headings:

  • The Divine Plan
  • The High Calling
  • The Christ
  • The Mystery
  • The Mediator
  • The Memorial
  • The Theocracy
  • Language
  • Palestine

The Watch Tower Society Reveals Itself

Every appearance of “This Generation” in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

1. Did Jesus use the term “this generation” as a compliment?
2. Was Jesus speaking to people living at that time?
3. Was Jesus speaking about people living at that time?
4. Was Jesus making a promise, a judgment or a warning to “this generation”?

This Generation

The “144,000” are located on earth while the “Great  Multitude” is before the throne in heaven.

Revelation chapters 6 and 7

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