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A note on copyrights. The Watchtower (the publishing arm of the Governing Body) is very litigious when it comes to their copyrighted material. This is strange behavior for a group that claims to be a modern-day “prophet” (Watchtower Oct. 1, 1982, p.27, par.8) charged with “spreading the word.” What sort of prophet copyrights its words, and takes measures to prevent others from seeing what they said in the past? The Bible tells us to distinguish true prophets from false ones by testing to see if what they prophesied in the past came true or not. (Deut. 18:22; 1 John 4:1) So why would a true prophet put up obstacles to a biblically mandated process? Only a false prophet would seek to make its previous words inaccessible.
The GB has made some of its publications available online. This includes The Watchtower magazine from 1950 onwards, and the Awake! magazine from 1970 onwards. In citing our sources, we have gone first to this font (on either jw.org or the Watchtower’s other site: wol.jw.org). Material prior to 1927 is now public domain, their copyrights having expired. That leaves a gap of material from 1927-1949 (or 1925-1969 for the Awake! magazine). To fill that gap, when necessary, we have linked to non-Watchtower sites, so that no copyrighted material appears either in the video or on this webpage, other than quoted excerpts covered under the “fair use” law.Line 1: We’re the Governing Body
The Governing Body (GB) of Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) currently consists of eight men, headquartered in New York state. The number varies as members die (or, in one case, leave) and may or may not be replaced. According to the GB, there has been a GB of Christians since the first century. (Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? p.23) In modern times (since approximately 1879) they claim that the role has been filled by the president and/or directors of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (a publishing company used in distributing the words of the GB). (Watchtower Sept. 1966, p.558, par. 15)Line 2: Imperfect, yet so godly!
The GB have described themselves as "imperfect." (Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, p.21, par. 11). No surprise there, but in their claim to be acting as "God's channel of truth": the sole pipeline of God's messages to humankind, that self-assigned role logically requires perfection in its performance. Anything less not only casts doubt on their claims, it is in fact, incompatible with them.
Also, being of the "anointed class" (the heaven-bound 144,000) they expect to become part of the Christ; sharing in the "divine nature." (Watchtower May 1, 1980 p.22 par. 17. Also: “The Christ is composed of Jesus, the great and mighty head, and 144,000 members.” The Harp of God (WBTS 1928) p.191)Line 3: We’re both faithful and discreet:
Most Christians view this as a parable, with the moral that we should all do our duty as if our boss might walk in the door at any moment. There is no individual or group meant by the phrase, anymore than there is one individual or group meant by the "good Samaritan." Rather, it is a parable applicable to all of us. In fact, in Luke's account of the FDS parable, Peter asks Jesus,
"Lord, are you telling this illustration ["parable" in most translations] just to us or also to everyone?" ((Luke 12:41 NWT)
In Mark's account, Jesus' answer is recorded as:
“But what I say to you I say to all” ((Mark 13:37 NWT)
So, the GB have no biblical basis for turning this universal parable -- which Jesus said was applicable to us all -- into a prophecy solely about themselves and their made-up role as sole arbitrators of Christian policy and beliefs.Line 4: the richest slaves you’ll ever meet!
If the GB are slaves, then they certainly are the richest ones you’ll ever meet: with their gold rings, watches, expensive suits, luxury cars, fully stocked liquor cabinets, and access to the untold labor, property and dollars donated by their followers. Granting their foolish wish, I thought it appropriate to depict them in golden chains.Line 5: Yes, we are slaves, it’s oh so true.
The definition of a slave is:
“A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey him.” (Google’s English dictionary provided by Oxford Languages)
Does this sound like the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses? According to the Bible, Christians are not “forced to obey,” but are supposed to serve God willingly:
"Therefore, as a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of the Christ and a sharer of the glory that is to be revealed, I make this appeal to the elders among you: Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers, not under compulsion, but willingly before God;" (1 Peter 5:1-2 NWT)
So, there is a contradiction inherent in the GB boasting about being a slave. It's also rather insulting to those who have experienced -- or had ancestors who experienced -- genuine slavery. Have any members of the GB been forcibly separated from their families? Have they received whippings? Have they toiled long hours in the fields under the hot sun on starvation diets? No, they have not "earned their stripes." Which is why I thought it fitting to put a whip in an Almighty hand, hovering threateningly above them.Line 6: But what does that fact make of you?
Here, in the song, the GB turns to addressing its followers: the Jehovah's Witnesses.Line 7: You’re slaves of slaves: the lowest rung
If the GB is a "slave," then their followers, who must "listen and obey," are their slaves: "slaves of slaves." This is in direct conflict with the Bible's admonition to:
"stop becoming slaves of men." (1 Cor. 7:23 NWT)
There is a hierarchy in the religion, with the GB at the top. (Watchtower Apr. 15, 2013 p. 29)
The lowly "publisher" (i.e., a Jehovah's Witness who puts in the minimum number of hours in "field service") is indeed the "bottom rung." In fact, anyone who is not of the "anointed class" is viewed as almost an after-thought. The GB claims that Jesus was the mediator only for the anointed (Watchtower April 1, 1979, p.31), and that most of the Christian Scriptures are directed exclusively to them: not the "other sheep" who can survive Armageddon only by clinging to the coat-tails of the anointed, and serving them. (Watchtower June 15, 1974, p.380, par.8) In this way, the GB has usurped the role of Jesus as the mediator for all humankind, and have completely contradicted 1 Tim 2:5-6:
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people."(1 Tim 2:5-6 NIV)
Line 8: Like flies upon the rankest dung.
Just poetically driving home the above point. The dung in this case is "the world," by which they mean everyone outside of their organization. Non-Witnesses are regularly depicted as wicked, and poisonous associates:
"worldly people are existing as slaves of corruption"(Awake Oct. 22, 1996 p.15)
See also the entire article Breathing This World’s “Air” Is Death-Dealing! (Watchtower Sept. 15, 1987, p.10-15) for a taste of the GB's negative view of their fellow humans on earth, and how they view "the world" as little better than a sh*t-hole.
The JW "publishers" are just barely above the world: like flies crawling on it and buzzing over it.Line 9: You can’t live life the way you please;
Jehovah's Witnesses must live their lives in accordance with the dictates of the GB. Obedience to the GB's organization is mandatory. The organization, headed by the GB, is likened to a mother (while Jehovah is the father). Obedience to the mother is just as vital as to the father. (Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p.274, par. 4)
Congregations are there to enforce the rules, and "mark" those who fall short, and shun those who attempt to live their lives according to their own conscience, if that differs from the GB's notions.Line 10: ’Cause you must follow our decrees.
Just as the Pharisees ticked Jesus off by creating a mountain of rules on top of the already bloated 613 Mosaic Laws, the GB have invented their own plethora of rules. There is an actual rule-book, filled with the decrees regulating the behavior of Jehovah's Witnesses. It's called "Shepherd the Flock of God," but is not supposed to be viewed by anyone below the rank of elder. However, most JWs know what sorts of behavior will get them on the sh*t-list, and they take steps to avoid getting caught doing such things.Line 11: Don’t think an independent thought
Witnesses have been explicitly told to "Avoid independent thinking." (Watchtower Jan. 15, 1983 p.22)
They must not harbor personal opinions or private ideas, but must rest their complete confidence in the GB! (Watchtower Aug. 1, 2001, p.14, par.8)Line 12: Remember: you’ve been sold and bought!
Just another reference to JWs being "slaves of slaves": property of the GB, and regarded as worth "a dime a dozen."Line 13: We’ll tell you what to do and say
The GB has declared that JWs must do what they are told, even if what they are told makes no sense to them. Failing to do so will mean their very lives:
"At that time, the direction that you receive from Jehovahs organization may seem strange or unusual. But all of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether we agree with them or not, because obeying these instructions will save our lives. If any are putting their trust in the education of this world, material things, or human organizations, they must change their way of thinking now. You must be ready to help any who may not be putting their complete trust in Jehovah." (Watchtower Nov. 15, 2013, p.22, par. 17)
Lest you write off the above quote as an abberation, be aware that in a talk at the 2021 Annual Meeting by GB member Sanderson, the above words from the 2013 WT were quoted, and were called very sober words, that apply so well at this particular moment.
Even more recently, the Watchtower has again reiterated this policy:
"As the end of this system of things draws near, we need to trust in Jehovahs way of doing things as never before. Why? During the great tribulation, we may receive instructions that seem strange, impractical, or illogical. Of course, Jehovah will not speak to us personally. He will likely provide direction through his appointed representatives. [Though Jehovah will not speak to them directly, either; theyll just kick around ideas and vote on them.] That will hardly be the time to second-guess the direction or to view it with skepticism, wondering, Is this really coming from Jehovah, or are the responsible brothers acting on their own? [Even though thats exactly what the Bible tell us we must do: test the words of those claiming to speak for God: 1 John 4:1.] How will you fare during that crucial time in human history? The answer might be indicated by how you view theocratic direction now. If you trust the direction we receive today and readily obey, you will likely do the same during the great tribulation." (Watchtower Feb. 2022, p. 6 par.15)
Further, the GB has demanded that JWs lie by telling people that they have arrived at their beliefs via their own decisions based on their personal study of the Bible, rather than the reality of having been denied all independent thought and having being forced into believing and doing whatever the GB says! (Watchtower Mar. 15, 1998, p.19, par.4)Line 14: and you must listen and obey!
The GB has produced a song, and video for children featuring the phrase, "Listen, Obey, and be Blessed." See also: Obey Jehovah, where a child, frightened by his mother's Bible stories and talk of Satan, throws away his toy in order to "make Jehovah happy."
Given the GB's ban on life-saving medical procedures, the phrase would be more accurately rendered as "Listen, Obey, and be Dead."
But, as we’ve seen, this strict obedience to the dictates of the GB is not limited to children.
"Those who recognize Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the 'faithful and discreet slave' and be submissive to it... It is essential for life... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements. "(Watchtower Oct. 1, 1967 pp. 587-92)Line 15: To Keep our grip on you secure,
The GB has discouraged the reading of non Watchtower publications, and the visiting of websites other than their own jw.org site. (Watchtower July 15, 2011, p.19, par.7) Ostensibly, this is to keep their followers' minds from being corrupted by Satan. In actual fact, it is because they know their beliefs will not stand up to external scrutiny, and they don't want to lose members along with their donations.Line 16: we’ve banned apostate lit’rature.
The GB has declared that "apostate literature" (i.e., writings by former members that contain honest criticism) is off-limits to their followers. (See link, above.)
If their teachings are "the truth" that they claim them to be, they should have no cause to fear objective critiques of their policies and beliefs. They themselves have seen the logic of this when the criticism is directed anywhere but at themselves:
"We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us, and then to do it.—John 8:32. "(The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life (WBTS 1981) p.13, par.5)
"If you were on trial in a court of law, would it be fair if only your opponent was allowed to present evidence? No, you would surely want the court to hear your side of the matter …. Reasonable persons agree that the only fair method is to examine the evidence on both sides, both for and against a disputed theory. That is how one arrives at the truth."(Awake! Oct. 22, 1973 p.6)
"Every man should be persuaded in his own mind and no man should permit himself to be deterred from examining a question based upon the Bible because a clergy man or any one else makes the unsupported assertion that it is dangerous or unworthy of consideration. Error always seeks the dark, while truth is always enhanced by the light. Error never seeks to be investigated. Light always courts a thorough and complete investigation."(Millions Now Living Will Never Die (WBTS 1920) p.13 [pdf-page 14])
However, they act as if they would melt under any honest criticism. Despite the constant indoctrination of JWs, the GB's banning of outside literature implies that they think exposure to any outside analysis of their beliefs would result in a mass exodus of their followers. What does this tell you about the quality of their "truth"?
The books shown here (and highly recommended) are:
- Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz (former Governing Body member)
- Jehovah's Witnesses: A Gentle Self-Deprogramming Guide by Frank Anon
The GB has explicitly stated that they are not infallible. (Watchtower, Feb. 2017, p.24, par.12)
However, their stance really makes no sense. The Catholic religion has recognized this fact. Their pope is considered infallible when expounding religious doctrine and policies. If he wasn't infallible, it would certainly call into question the religion's claim of his being God's ambassador on earth: giving his followers the latest news from heaven. If he is "God's channel of truth," being used by God to communicate to Catholics, then he should at minimum be getting those messages correct, and not fail in communicating these truths to Catholics. Any mistake in policy or doctrine would make it painfully obvious that his supernatural claim of being the "viceroy of God" was bogus.
The GB has put themselves in the exact same position to the JWs as the pope is to Catholics. They claim to stand between Jehovah and the JWs, communicating the truth to them. To be at all believable, they would have to be infallible. If they declare -- as God's truth -- what turns out to be error, then either God is telling lies, or the GB is failing to communicate what God tells them.Line 18: we make mistakes an awful lot.
"The Governing Body is neither inspired nor perfect. It can make mistakes when explaining the Bible or directing the organization." (Watchtower Feb. 2017, p.24, par.12)
The dismal record of the GB's mistakes is what forces them to declare themselves fallible. The signs held up in this video represent a small sampling of "truths" formerly held, and now recognized as errors, and no longer believed (what they refer to as "Old Light"):
- Ban on Vaccinations
With their current, admirable, stand on encouraging Covid vaccinations, it may come as a surprise that the religion banned vaccinations for years!
"Vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood." (The Golden Age Feb. 4, 1931, p.293 [pdf-page 70])
"Vaccination has never saved a human life. It does not prevent smallpox." (ibid., p.294) [pdf-page 71]
This was during the height of the smallpox pandemic. Unvaccinated people were 40 times more likely to die if infected with smallpox. So, while the despised "World" was busily eradicating smallpox from the face of the earth via vaccination, those foolish enough to listen to the Watchtower were unprotected, and selfishly adding to the problem by their lack of cooperation.
The GB lifted the ban in 1952. (Watchtower Dec. 15, 1952, p.764) Later, the GB admitted that:
"There can be little doubt that vaccinations appear to have caused a marked decrease in the number of people contracting contagious diseases... including “smallpox” and “polio"" (Awake!, August 22, 1965, p. 20 [pdf-page 500])
Then they lied about their mistake in one of their many cover-ups, by falsely claiming:
" Previous articles in this journal and its companion, The Watchtower, have presented a consistent position: It would be up to the Bible-trained conscience of the individual Christian as to whether he would accept this treatment for himself and his family."(Awake! Aug. 8, 1993, p.25)
All of which drives home the point: to err is human [not “divine”] nature; what is reputation-destroying is attempting to cover up our mistakes.
Another important take-away from this fiasco: if the GB was truly “discreet” and the “channel of truth from God,” how can we possibly account for this lethal miscommunication of God’s law from the “F&DS”? If they thought this ban was God’s will, then they obviously don’t know God’s will (since the ban was later lifted for having been mistaken). On the other hand: if they weren’t sure that this was God’s will, then they were not being “discreet” in announcing the ban. Either way, it proves that they cannot possibly be what they claim to be.
- Ban on Blood Fractions
Currently, the GB permits the transfusion of "blood fractions" (i.e., "blood components" that have been broken-down) into the veins of loyal JWs. (Watchtower June 15, 2004, p.30)
However, this was not always so. Initially, blood fractions were prohibited, the same as whole blood is to this day:
"Is God’s law violated by such medical use of blood? Is it wrong to sustain life by infusions of blood or plasma or red cells or the various blood fractions? Yes! ... regardless of whether it is whole blood or a blood fraction... the divine law applies. God has not given man blood to use as he might use other substances."(Watchtower Sept. 15, 1961, p.558, par.16 and ibid., p.559 par.19)
If they were wrong in prohibiting blood fractions, why would anyone think that they are right in prohibiting whole blood? Think of those JWs who died for want of blood fractions during the years the GB prohibited them; they might be alive today (or certainly would've lived longer) if they hadn't blindly followed the erroneous dictates of a GB who evidently don't know God's laws from their collective ass.
- F&D Slave = Russell Anointed
At first, the Watchtower "unhesitatingly proclaimed” that Charles Russell (the first President of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society) was the sole "faithful and wise servant," (Watchtower Mar. 1, 1917, p.67 [pdf-page 26]) and that the role died with him in 1916.
This view was held for many years after his death. (Watchtower Mar. 1, 1923, p. 68, par.8 [pdf-page 69])
Later, the belief changed. The FDS was then believed to be all of the anointed class (the “144,000”). (Watchtower May 15, 1995, p.16, par.4)
As we shall soon see, this view changed again in 2009.
- Ban on Transplants
In 1967 the GB issued a ban on organ transplants, which were then regarded as "cannibalism." (Watchtower Nov. 15, 1967, p.702)
In 1980 the GB must’ve gotten an update from Jehovah (who evidently hadn't noticed till then that his Witnesses dying for want of transplants for 13 years). The ban was lifted. Transplants were somehow no longer cannibalistic. The GB had been fatally wrong about God’s law, yet again! (Watchtower Mar. 15, p.31)
Once again, if the GB had been "discreet" they wouldn't have announced this life-and-death ban without being positive that this was God's law. The fact that they later lifted the ban shows that either they are not discreet, or they are not the recipients of God's messages. Either option destroys their claim upon the lives and blind loyalty of their followers.
- U.N. Membership
This isn't so much an "old truth" as it is an egregious mistake. For decades the Watchtower had railed against the United Nations as the "image of the Wild Beast" of Revelation. (Watchtower Nov. 15, 1963 p.695, par.35) It accused other Christian religions of being disloyal to God's kingdom by their support of the U.N., and boasted that they alone were loyal and pure in their separation from governments of the world. (Watchtower Jun. 1, 1991, p.17, par.10)
Then, an investigative reported discovered that the GB had been a [non-governmental] member of the U.N. for years! (The Guardian Oct. 8, 2001)
Amidst the public humiliation, and outrage of its followers, the GB gave a feeble excuse, then withdrew from membership in the U.N.
- 1914 Generation
For decades, the GB taught that the "generation" mentioned in MT 24:34 meant the people who were alive in 1914 and who recognized that year as the "start of the last days." They taught that these individuals would live to see Armageddon. As that "generation" got older and older, it served to make the urgency of their message ever more intense: the end was coming very soon indeed!
"People who were alive in 1914, and who are now well along in years, will not all pass off the scene before the thrilling events marking the vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty come to pass." (Survival into a New Earth (WBTS 1984) p.184, par.5)
But after those individuals had all died (they would be 133 years old today, given the Watchtower's own "age of understanding" of 15 years old (Awake! Oct. 8, 1968 p.13)), the poor GB had to come up with some way to save face.
So, they came up with the idea that the "generation" really referred just to the fact that there would be wicked people milling about:
"In the final fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy at Matthew 24:34-39, to what does the expression "this generation" refer? Jesus apparently refers to the peoples on earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but fail to mend their ways." (Watchtower Dec 15, 1995, p.30)
But that did not add to the sense of urgency needed to motivate Witnesses to distribute Watchtower and Awake magazines, and contribute monetarily.
Their next ploy was to say that the "generation" referred to the anointed. As long as there were anointed still alive, "the generation" was still hanging around, and Armageddon was not late, after all.
"As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day "generation" of contemporaries that will not pass away "until all these things occur." This suggests that some who are Christ's anointed brothers will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins." (Watchtower Feb. 15, 2008 p.24, par.15)
But, again, this didn't make Armageddon seem imminent; new JWs were still -- annoyingly -- claiming to be anointed (actually increasing the number).
We'll see how they have currently "resolved" this issue in the annotation to line 20, below.
- Rape Victims = Fornicators!
Believe it or not, the GB has held that if a rape victim failed to scream, then the rape victim was guilty of fornication!
"Thus if a Christian woman does not cry out and does not put forth every effort to flee, she would be viewed as consenting to the violation... she would not only be consenting to fornication or adultery, but be plagued by the shame." (Watchtower Jan. 15, 1964, p. 63, par.5)
The above attitude is called a “misconception” and a “myth” in a later Awake article. (Awake! Mar. 8, 1993, p.5)
- Ban on Marital Oral Sex
Boldly poking their noses where no one has dared to go before, the GB declared oral sex (and anal sex) between husband and wife a sin! (True Peace and Security (WBTS 1986) p.150, par.20)
Though they have wavered back and forth on this issue, the latest word on the subject leaves the matter ambiguous: not specifying whether the prohibition includes a married couple. (Shepherd the Flock of God (WBTS 2020) chapter 12, par.3 [pdf-page 79])
At one point, the GB actually came to the same conclusion that has always been apparent to everyone else, and admitted that the Bible has no rules regarding the sexual practices of married couples, and therefore the GB should keep its nose out of it. (Watchtower Feb. 15, 1978, p.30-31)
As we’ve already abundantly demonstrated, JWs are required to believe whatever nonsense the GB is currently spouting, even if it seems wrong to them. So, it’s both a "duty" and a "plight." A heavy burden, in sharp contrast to Jesus’ words about his load being “kindly and light.” (MT 11:30)Line 20: to act as if we now are right.
Despite the acknowledged fact that the GB has repeatedly been fatally wrong in the past, JWs are required to believe that whatever they are currently saying is true!
In the video, the signs display some of the more outrageous things they currently are saying are true. ("New Light")
- Women Inferior & Subject To Men
The GB are adamant that women cannot serve as ministerial servants, elders, or act as judges in any matter. (Video of GB member Jackson testifying that Women Can’t be Judges) This is in spite of the fact that the Bible explicitly states that Deborah “judged Israel.” (Judges 4:4 NWT)
GB member Herd has explained the reasoning: women, he says, have smaller brains than men: brains that were made to follow the dictates of their husbands! (The Value of Our Theocratic Sisters [Audio of Herd’s 1971 speech in Oakland, CA])
- Ban on Whole Blood (& "Components")
Though other medical bans have been lifted, and implicitly recognized as fatal errors, a ban remains in effect on whole blood (and what the GB calls the "components" of blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets). This, in spite of the fact that every bit of blood is allowed to be transfused, as long as it is first fractionated! (Watchtower Jun. 15, 2004 pp. 29-31)
This is like telling a morbidly obese person that they can no longer eat cake; however, they can eat every bit of the cake as long as they take the ingredients and cut them up into very small pieces! Or telling an alcoholic that as long as they cut each drop in half first, they can drink as many bottles of booze as they wish!
The biblical prohibition on blood was never about us; it was about showing respect for the life of the animal killed for food. Cutting up the blood misses the biblical point entirely.
A book that utterly demolishes the "reasoning" behind this fatal policy -- and one that I wish was in every emergency room -- is the "self-deprogramming" book previously mentioned in line 16. Also see a series of online articles: The Jehovah’s Witness Blood Issue: Resolved!
- F&D Slave = US! ("God's Prophet")
"Similarly, today a limited number of anointed men have the responsibility of representing the slave class. They make up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses." (Watchtower June 15, 2009, p.24, par.18)
As previously shown, they have also claimed to be "God's prophet" (Watchtower Oct. 1, 1982, p.27, par.8)
This claim puts them in a precarious position. Since they have undeniably made false prophecies (Millions Now Living Will Never Die (WBTS 1920) p.89-90), what kind of a prophet does that make them? A true prophet or a false prophet? It seems that a true prophet would make prophecies that came true, while a false prophet's prophecies would fail to come true. And this is exactly what the Bible -- and the Watchtower -- tells us:
"When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him." (Deut. 18:20-22)
"Jehovah, the God of the true prophets, will put all false prophets to shame either by not fulfilling the false prediction of such self-assuming prophets or by having His own predictions fulfilled in a way opposite to that predicted by the false prophets. " (Paradise Restored to Mankind - by Theocracy (WBTS 1972) p.353-354 par. 22)
So, perhaps the GB, in finding themselves in the parable of the faithful and wise servant, are looking in the wrong place. It seems that the following verse is more applicable to them:
"Many false prophets will arise and mislead many" (MT 24:11)
- "Theocratic Warfare" (Strategic Lying OK)
"Theocratic Warfare" is the name the GB gives to lying, or with-holding the truth. They justify this action in furtherance of the truth(!?) Yes, that's right, boys and girls, they tell lies to spread "the truth"! (Use Theocratic War Strategy - Watchtower May 1, 1957, p.285-286)
"Various characters of the Bible have been accused of lying, such as Jacob, Rahab, the Gibeonites, David and others, but there is no record in the Bible that they came under divine disapproval for this. " (Christians Live the Truth — Watchtower Oct. 1, 1954, p.598, par.25)
Examples of this strategy include lying in court, under oath (Lying for Jehovah (video)), and telling the authorities that refusing blood transfusions is "a matter of personal conscience" (rather than the disfellowshipping offense it truly is: a punishment that Witnesses are duped into believing means the loss of their everlasting life, and for which they will be shunned by family and friends alike.) (The Guardian Jul. 15, 2000)
- The World Is Ruled By Satan!
This is a basic, core doctrine of the religion: the world is ruled by Satan, and all other religions are under Satan's influence. (Watchtower Aug. 1, 1956, p.469 par.5, see also: Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs -- Wikipedia article)
- Overlapping Generation
This is the GB's "solution" to the 1914 fiasco (in which the people alive in 1914 were still supposed to be alive at the start of Armageddon).
Since they couldn't pretend those people were still alive, they decided to change the meaning of the word "generation"! Now, they say, generation means any anointed person who was born while anyone of the original 1914 "generation" was still alive!
"How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about "this generation”? He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation." (Watchtower Apr. 15, 2010, p.10, par.14)
The example they give is Fred Franz, former Watchtower president and GB member, who was born prior to 1914 and died in 1992. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Fred was the last anointed one of that generation, then any anointed member born prior to 1992 would be part of the "overlapping generation," and Armageddon only has to start before he (or most of his ilk) dies. (David H. Splane: Close to the End of This System of Things (JW Broadcasting video))
Essentially, this doctrine -- as ridiculously transparent as it is in attempting to “save face” -- has allowed them to hit the "reset" button: upgrading 1914 to 1992, and buying them many decades of a continuing power-trip over those gullible enough to fall for this.
- Two Witness Rule
The "Two Witness Rule" is what makes Kingdom Halls a "paradise for pedophiles." It requires that there be two witnesses to an act of child molestation before the elders in the congregation will take any relevant action. (Shepherd the Flock of God (WBTS 2020) chapter 12, par.40 [pdf-page 93]) Of course, few pedophiles invite observers to their crimes, so they mostly get off scot-free. This doctrine is meticulously taken apart and reduced to cinders in the Self-deprograming book. A representative sample of its arguments can be read online in the article The Folly of the “Two Witness” Rule. See also, the excellent article: Watchtower Policy on Child Abuse. Also well worth a read is the article: Jehovah’s Witnesses fight law on reporting child sex abuse to police -- Reveal Feb. 1, 2016.
- Shun Your Disfellowshipped Family Members
The GB demands that disfellowshipped members be shunned: “strict avoidance” is said to be necessary, and even “a simple ‘Hello’” is warned against. Family members must also be shunned. When these are children, living at home, the bare minimum of contact is allowed (Keep Yourselves in God’s Love (WBTS 2014) p.207-208 see also: Watchtower Apr. 15, 2015, p.31)
Since friendships outside of the organization are discouraged, (Watchtower Jul. 1, 1961, p.399-405) being shunned by both family and JW "friends" leads to a lonely existence, and has led to suicide in many cases.
It must be kept in mind, in this regard, that disfellowshipping happens not just for grossly immoral behavior, but for seemingly innocuous activities such as:
- Disagreeing with the GB, and expressing that "independent thought." (Shepherd the Flock of God (WBTS 2020) chapter 12, par.39 [pdf-pages 92-93]).
- Celebrating Christmas (ibid.)
- Practicing yoga [regarded as “spiritism” (Watchtower Aug. 1, 2002, p.22)] (ibid.)
The GB, as part of the "anointed class" is expected to join Christ in the battle of Armageddon. In Watchtower illustrations they are shown riding horses down from heaven, swords in hand (borrowing from the imagery of the biblical book of Revelation). (e.g., the illustration for the article Are You Ready for Jehovah’s Day? (Watchtower Mar. 1, 1997, p.9) Unfortunately jw.org does not include that illustration online. They do show a similar (less sinister looking) illustration for their story The End of All Badness in their children’s book (My Book of Bible Stories (WBTS 2004) p.114)
At the 2021 Annual Meeting, GB member Herd clenched his fist and growled in eager anticipation of being a super-spirit riding down from heaven to kill millions of non-Witnesses Sam Herd relishes killing all who don't follow the Governing Body (video)Line 22: to kill all those not on our side.
The swords are not just for show. The Watchtower has delighted in expending tons of ink describing how "the world" will be subject to mass killing at Armageddon, when Jesus and the 144,000 anointed ones kill everyone who is not a loyal Jehovah's Witness.
"Jehovah must and will execute all of his enemies... Christ Jesus associates others with him in the execution of Jehovah’s judgments... This is further supported by the statement: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all…” (Jude 14,15) This scripture refers to the execution of final judgment. As to those who are associated with Christ Jesus in this work: “To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.” — Ps. 149: 9.
Christ Jesus and his army, the Greater-than-Jehu, will take the base of operations of the enemy and go into the very private quarters of the Devil’s organization, and destroy everything in connection with his organization, including the conspirators of his invisible organization, as well as all of the tangible part of the Devil’s worship and organization on earth... in which honor all the saints participate." (Vindication book III (WBTS 1932) pp. 13, 92, 96-97[e-book pages: 6, 46, 48] [What they used to call “saints,” are now called “the anointed” by the GB.])
"Indeed a wonderful privilege! This authority that anointed conquerors receive at their resurrection is a sharing with Jesus in wielding the “iron rod” of destruction against the rebellious nations at Armageddon." (Revelation—Its Grand Climax At Hand! (WBTS 1988) p.53, par.18)
Painting shown in background: Death on a Pale Horse (1796) by Benjamin WestLine 23: We’ll slaughter kids and babies too:
"Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." (Watchtower Sep. 1, 1989, p.19, par.7 see also: Salvation Only For Jehovah's Witnesses )
Though they don't seem to like to talk very much about this aspect of their religious beliefs, "everyone not a Jehovah's Witness" would have to include over 2 billion children and babies in the world. Here is one instance where they stated this explicitly:
"Children are affected by the course of their parents, and parents are warned that their iniquity is visited on their offspring unto the third and fourth generation. (Ex. 20:5, 6) Parents are commanded to instruct their children in God’s way, and if in these last days parents refuse to heed the divine instruction and warning they bring destruction upon themselves and their small children at Armageddon. (Deut. 6:6, 7; Eph. 6:4) According to justice God can leave such children dead, for, as Ezekiel showed, all die in their iniquity. (Ezek. 3:17-19; 33:1-6) Parents should remember that their wrong course unfavorably affects their children and may bring their offspring to destruction at Armageddon, just as a right course on the part of parents may put their small children in the way of preservation during Armageddon and opportunity for eternal life in the new world to follow." (Watchtower Nov. 15, 1950, p.463)
Painting shown in background: Massacre of the Innocents (1611) by RubensLine 24: Our bloody swords will run them through!
One oft-repeated phrase in the Bible is how people were "run through" with the sword. (e.g. Isaiah 13:15 NLT) I thought this was an apt description here, to remind us that the GB are contemplating mass murder in a brutal form. That might be "godly," but it is hardly humane or moral.Line 25: So, give up your free-will today
When you think about it, this is exactly what the GB is asking us to do: surrender our free-will to them: permitting them to make our decisions -- even life-and-death decisions about ourselves and our loved ones!
They contend that God won't interfere with our free-will, which is why we have evil in the world today (an essential component of their core beliefs). Yet, in the end, to be a Jehovah's Witness one must abandon one's free-will! Their religion has this paradox at its foundation.Line 26: or with your life you’ll surely pay!
To disobey the GB by exercising one's free-will is to invite disfellowshipping, and according to the GB, those outside of the organization have no chance of surviving the coming mass-murder of Armageddon. (See notes to line 23.) So, failing to give up your free-will to them will "surely" result in forfeiting your life!Line 27: The end is coming, it’s so near,
Since its first issue (in 1876), the Watchtower has been telling everyone foolish enough to listen to them, that the end is near. That hasn't changed, nor is it likely to ever change. Today, they admit, “...we continue to highlight the nearness of the end,” (Watchtower Jan. 1, 2013, p.8 (Public ed.))
Their many attempts at date-setting for "the end" (Unfulfilled Watch Tower Society predictions -- Wikipedia) are written off as "over-eagerness" rather than the false prophesying they truly were. (Awake! Mar. 22, 1993, p.4, footnote)Line 28: in fact, praise Jah, it now is here!
The end, at last! Praise Jah! (Jah is an abbreviation of Jehovah, used in poetry, and this exclamation. (Aid to Bible Understanding (WBTS 1971) p.865))
Mooning can express scorn and disrespect, and I think that is how the GB feels towards us all. In a private conversation, a member of the GB [now deceased] once told me that “Bethelites [JWs who volunteer to work at their world headquarters or branch offices] are more trouble than they’re worth.” The GB’s attitude seems to be: "Join our org., and kowtow to us, or we'll rejoice as we murder you and your family, then we'll watch with glee as the birds peck the eyes out of your sockets! Good riddance to you all!"
Despite their long-standing promises, the only "end" JWs will ever see from the GB is their collective rear-end, which Witnesses must dutifully and continuously kiss. But the GB has been “talking out of their ass” for so long, and ruining so many lives in the process, that instead of a kiss, the following response might be more fitting (metaphorically speaking, of course).