Those Crazy Jehovah's Witnesses
First off I’ll tell you about why I’ve written this essay. Primarily this is one of the worst sects of Christianity there is. The numbers might not be all that great, but that doesn’t stop them from being annoying. They’re the ones who come to your door trying to convert you to their religion, even if you’re already a Christian. For some reason they think believing in God isn’t enough.
I’ve divided this essay up into seven sections in this order; the JW history, beliefs, issues of blood, society of numbers, Christian perspective, and my own opinions about them from an atheistic point of view. Now let’s start off with their history.
HISTORY OF THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
The history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is divided into four periods, corresponding to the four presidents(1). First off is Charles Taze Russel. He founded Zion’s Watchtower in 1879 (now called just The Watchtower) and the Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society in 1884. Next to his speaking and editorials, he wrote six volumes called Millennial Dawn (later re-titled as Studies in Scriptures). When he died in 1916, the Jehovah’s Witnesses
had most of their morals and laws established.
The next president of the Watchtower was Joseph F. Rutherford. Under his leadership, the former name of Bible Students was changed to Jehovah’s Witnesses. He wrote many books, and averaged about one new book per year. Many doctrinal and Scriptural reinterpretations were made in his administration. Rutherford was the “new oracle for God’s message for this age.”
Nathan H. Knorr followed Rutherford. This is the period where many new Jehovah’s Witnesses joined. They raised from 115,000 members to 2.5 million by 1977, the year in which Knorr died.
Fred Franz was the next president. Not all that much had happened during his administration. He died on Dec. 22, 1992 at the age of 99.
The vice president Milton G. Henshel replaced Franz. A few new publications have been released during his presidency, including the “Knowledge That Leads to
Everlasting Life” book and some new tracts and brochures.
Here I will list the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses(2).
-Jehovah is the only divine being from eternity
-Jesus Christ is a god, the beginning of the creation of Jehovah God. He was made human as the man Jesus and suffered death to produce the redemptive price for obedient man. (this suggests that Jesus was not God
and man, just man) He is now Michael the archangel just as he was before.
-The Holy Spirit is an active force and has no personality.
-The Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God as it was originally given (this implies the right to alter it as it suits to what they think the original says).
-Those who follow Jesus faithful to death will inherit the heavenly kingdom with him. Men of good will who accept Jehovah and his theocratic rule will enjoy the new earth and all others will be annihilated (this suggests that man has a good will and that their will be two tiers in the kingdom of God: heavenly and earthly).
-The man Jesus was resurrected as a spirit creature.
-The soul of man is not immortal but mortal. Animals also have souls, but man has pre-eminence by special creation (Job 14:22, Gen. 35:18 clearly state otherwise).
-Hell does not exist. It is a common grave where the departed sleep until the resurrection (read Lk 16:23-31 for the counter).
-Eternal punishment does not mean eternal torment of living souls, but rather annihilation.
-Jesus Christ took his father's throne in 1914(this too is a lie, read Matt24:23,27. They have been wrong on his return date at least 5 times).
Those are the basic beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I am an atheist, I can only say that those are false, but since I would not be able to judge fairly on it since I’m not exactly a Bible scholar, I’ll just put in the Christian response.
This entire section will be taken from http://users.uniserve.com/~suncrest/jw.htm.
“We ask then, what is the process JW's use to convert others to their faith. According to Schnell their is a seven step program of indoctrination into the Watchtower system. They are:
1 - Begin by getting literature into the hands of the prospect
2 - Continue through a process called back calling
3 - Instigate book study
4 - attendance at a kingdom hall
5 - Attendance at a service meeting
6 - Become active in publishing: passing out tracts
7 - Become baptized
To the JW's conversion provides important psychological rewards because they are working for the earthly kingdom.
Rogerson asks , 'what sort of people choose to become JW's?'. One answer to that is that they in large part are disillusioned church members from Christianity. They are religious people searching for answers as to why there is evil, and why are they here. We quite well know that evil exists because of the fall of man and we are here to glorify God, but many cults and sects try to provide answers that are more satisfying to the rational mind.
Newly converted Witnesses are expected to adopt a new personality and interact with society differently than before. This is why they react so differently when you talk with them. They are trained to think in terms of kingdom and Armageddon and while you may be familiar with these
words their definitions are much different than yours.
When dealing with them we must keep in mind that these people are used to 'persecution', so that anything said against them or their faith is considered persecution. Because the mind set is that way, criticism will get you nowhere and proof virtually means nothing to them. Why?
Because they are trained to think and react a certain way. They all say the same thing, read the same literature, and are under an organization that speaks with absolute authority. In other terms, you can say that in the area of religion, they are in an altered state of consciousness. Socially they still buy their fruit and veggies like you and me, but religiously they don't act the same. For
example, they do nothing outside of themselves except evangelize. Even their children are discouraged from higher learning. They say, and I quote:
" most parents feel the potential benefits of a university education are not worth the possible horrendous costs, especially when children would have to go unsupervised to another city or country" (WT July 1982). Only practical training is valued. This shows the walls they build around
themselves so that no human can get through to these people. God the Holy Spirit can, and your greatest weapon in the arsenal of heaven is prayer and the Word. They are this way because they are mentally blind, spiritually dead and lost in transgression and sin. That's what it says in 2Cor 4:4." (2Cor 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God.) RSV
They are lost because Satan has blinded them. Let me illustrate this with an example. Imagine leading a blind man across a major street in a traffic jam and all of a sudden the traffic begins to break up. You and the blind man are caught in the middle of traffic now whizzing by at break neck speed with horns honking and tires squealing. The blind man can't see it and is terrified, but you pull him along to safety. The blind man looses his reason and hits and abuses you. Frustrated, he yells at you, but you get him to the other side. Now even though your flesh is bruised and your pride hurt, you can forgive him because he is blind and couldn't handle his surroundings. In the same way JW's attack Christianity about the trinity and the
resurrection etc., but forgive them for Jesus sake. Love them and persevere.”
The above statements are usually constant among most non-Jehovah’s Witness Christians. I, of course, do not believe in what either side says, but that is also not the purpose of this essay. That concludes this section, now onto the next.
One of the most controversial parts of the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. Out of these, probably the biggest cause for controversy would be their standing on accepting blood, which is also the main focus of this section. In a nutshell, even if it means your life, or sadly even the child’s life, you cannot take the blood. Due to this, there have been many children that have died because of this completely sick and twisted claim.
JWs primarily use Genesis 9:4 to back their claim up. Gen. 9:4 states;
“Jehovah made a covenant with Noah following the Flood, and included therein was this command: flesh with life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”
Unless you’re an idiot, you’d know that getting a transfusion is not eating the blood, but rather putting blood into the circulatory system. NOT the digestive system. Therefore getting a transfusion is not eating the blood.
The JWs medical expertise should be taken with a grain of salt. Next to that there is no evidence that their understand of the Bible is any better.
Because of this clearly hypocritical standing on the blood issue, there have been many more rules concerning blood that the JWs follow. Here is a list of them(3):
"-JWs are obliged to check with their butcher if there is any chance that the meat sold comes from animals not properly bled. Further, they will have to find out which words are used for blood products in their local area, and check with the manufacturer if in doubt. (The Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1961, p. 669)
-The JW must ensure that fish is properly bled (ibid.)
-JWs cannot feed their pets with food that contains blood, neither can a pet receive a blood transfusion (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1964, p. 127)
-JWs cannot allow a leech to feed on their own blood (The Watchtower, June 15, 1982, p. 31)
-JWs cannot use fertilizer containing blood (The Watchtower, Oct. 15, 1981 p. 31)
-A JW owning a store is not allowed to sell blood products (The Watchtower, July 15, 1982, p. 26)
-JWs can not store their own blood before an operation (The Watchtower, March 1, 1989, p. 31)"
Not adhering to these rules can get a JW disfellowshipped from the congregation. To me this would be more helpful than hurtful. If you think this disturbing, then look at this:
“Lifesaving efforts by unscriptural means can never produce
results of lasting good. How foolish it is to think that one can save life by violating the laws of the Life-giver! While it may produce seemingly beneficial results at the moment, it may ultimately take its toll in disease and stillborn children as a direct result of such an ill-advised course. Even if no physical harm results to the patient or to one’s offspring, violation of the law of God seriously jeopardizes one's opportunity to gain eternal life
in God's new world.” (The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1961, p. 565)"
Stillborn children! That is very disturbing. How can a person be in this sick religion? Nuff said.
This section will focus on the how the Watchtower Society shows hatred towards certain groups of people. I will mention instances where they have shown their intolerance towards nonbelievers.
First off we’ll start with their obvious hatred for homosexuality. They say that they don’t hate the person, but hate the sin. Does this really warrant homosexuals being disfellowshipped and shunned just for one type of sin? Other Christians, and I myself, do not think that being gay should matter. I mean really since when did people start having the right to nose around in people’s personal lives?
A group has formed in San Francisco called the Common Bond. It is a support group for homosexuals, bisexual, and transgendered active JWs, inactive JWs,
disassociated JWs, and disfellowshipped JWs. It has helped many people cope with the hatred put forth by the Watchtower against homosexuals. A good group indeed. The
Watchtower Society even tried to get this place shut down, and that isn’t the first time they’ve tried doing that to anti-JW webpages. They seem to do it constantly!
There has even been instances where certain races have been prejudiced against by the Watchtower. I saw this on alt.religion.jehovah-witn. I’m not sure where the
article posted there had come from, but I’m not doubting that the Watchtower would do something racist. In fact, it’s been done by them before. That will be mentioned in the next section.
The Watchtower has also tried to shut down certain web sites because of them posting top secret documents held by the Watchtower, ex-JW support groups, gay and lesbian JW groups, reform Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even more. Truly they just want to make sure that the people in the this religion don’t see them so they won’t leave the organization, hence causing a small financial loss.
The Watchtower has shown its hateful ways many times. Now here’s one of the worst cases of them yet.
JWS AND HITLER
There are many documents, most very long, showing that the JWs were on the side of the Nazis during World War 2. Obviously, I will not take the time to add these
documents to the essay, since there are way too many and too long to put up here. Instead, I’ll just mention one case where there was anti-Semitism in the 1934 Yearbook
of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is quite long in itself, but just short enough to put in here.
"Page 134: "The greatest and the most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American empire. By that is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big
Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York which says: The
Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills."
Page 135: "The present government of Germany has declared emphatically against Big Business oppressors and in opposition to the wrongful religious influence in the political affairs of the nations. Such is exactly
Page 136: "Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization of these principles and will give to the people peace and
prosperity and the greatest desire of every honest heart."
Page 137: "A careful examination of our books and literature will disclose the fact that the very high ideals held and promulgated by the present national government are set forth in and endorsed and strongly emphasized in our publications and show that Jehovah God will see to it that these high ideals in due time will be attained by all persons who love righteousness . . .
Page 138: "Let us remind the government and the people of Germany, that it was the League of Nations compact that laid upon the shoulders of the German people the great unjust and unbearable burdens. That the League of Nations compact was not brought forth by the friends of Germany."
And there you go. Proof that the JWs at one time supported Hitler and his cause. Of course this isn’t true of every JW at that time period. Some were killed because of supporting the freedom of the Jews. But then again these were the individuals and the Watchtower itself said to go along with the Nazis. For the other documents, visit
SOCIETY OF NUMBERS
This section will about how the Watchtower seems to find numbers so attractive. Here I will mention cases where people have been disfellowshipped for not having enough hours in the preaching work, financial issues, and some other things.
First off is the field service, also known as the preaching work. There have been people who have actually been disfellowshipped for not doing enough hours. Some
Witnesses, such as pioneers, are required to go out at least 83 hours a month. This is strenuous work. Pioneers who can’t meet this requirement are kicked out by the
Sometimes the stressed caused by trying to meet this goal is extremely high. Pioneers are not allowed to start counting their time until they knock on the first door, so they rush the driver of the car and the (unfortunate) children so they can start counting
their time faster.
And who causes all this stress? The Watchtower Society. It’s the societies counting works and legalistic approach to Christianity that is the main problem here.
It might sound as if I’m a Christian here, but this is just hypothetical. I think, as well as many Christians, that how much you preach shouldn’t matter. I mean why is it so important? Where in the Bible does it say you must preach some-odd number of hours a week? No where. It just says to preach. Jesus stressed having faith.
Each year, the Watchtower puts in an issue of a Watchtower the country, number of hours preached in that country, number of people attending Jesus’s Memorial, the
number of publishers in the country, and a few other things. Why are numbers important? Is it supposed to “prove” the truth of a religion? If the society is as stupid as this, do they really deserve any respect at all? I don’t think so. Numbers could never prove a religion. Just because you have so many people preaching so many hours doesn’t mean jack, so it shouldn’t even be mentioned. It just hits me as “so many number of people wasting so many hours on doing something worthless.”
The Watchtower Society doesn’t usually ask for money directly, but they do it indirectly. The society is notorious for misusing the member’s money. The Watchtower
owns many pieces of land, and continues to gain more. They also waste the money on producing too many magazines to use in the preaching work. Most people never can give out more than a few magazines each when they go out. This amounts in a lot of wasted paper, money used to produce the magazine, and time. Multiply 5 million (number of
Jehovah’s Witnesses world-wide) by 52 weeks and that by the number of years they’ve been doing that and you have an extremely high loss of finances that the society has to
make up for. It’s the society’s fault they lose so much money. Why make other people pay for it? That about covers this section. Now for the last one.
This section might sound kind of hateful, but it’s hard to say it without using it.
First of all this is the sect of Christianity I have been subjected to most often. After seeing their sick and twisted views and the results of them about 2 times a week, I’ve developed a hatred for it that grows each and every time I have to see that Kingdom Hall. It is my hell. I became an atheist just because I saw the hypocrisy and horrible lies that this religion and most religions as a whole have caused. After I deconverted, the chances of never converting became greater every day. Perhaps I would never have become an atheist had I never been forced and nearly brainwashed by this disgusting cult (look up the definition of the word “cult” and you’ll see that the Jehovah’s Witnesses apply to it). But then again maybe it worked out for the best, since being a Christian
might not have been such a good thing, especially being one of them.
It scares me, these people. They seem to want the world to end so bad they’ll end up doing it themselves. What they say is good news, I see as a message of pessimism,
unkindness, malice, uncharitableness, unloving, etc. Pretty much everything the Bible says about why Babylon was destroyed applies to them. They are nearly like Babylon,
which they want you to believe they’re not.
Their mind controlling sickens me. I’m just glad that some people have enough will power to be able to dodge it. It bothers me to see that some people aren’t, especially when the JWs try to get them when they’re the most vulnerable, such as when a loved one dies or they are depressed.
That about wraps things up. Hopefully now you can see why the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the “true Christians” they say they are, but they are a destructive cult.