I had a discussion with two Jehovah’s Witnesses online recently. The first one had commented on a thread ridiculing a Christian church, gloating in the freedom he thought he has found in this religion, but I told him that he is still a slave to the Watchtower Society. A slave is still a slave if he cannot think independently.
“We are not slaves of anything or anyone” another JW chipped in. So I proved my stance by quoting from their Watchtower literature (reproduced later in this article) and pointed it out to both of them that blind submission of one’s mind to a religious organization is the mark of a cult and most religious slaves are often too “high” to realise their spiritual state. The first JW responded:
“It would be useless to argue with apostates. I refuse to throw my pearls before the swine.”
To which I replied: “You don’t even have any pearl to throw because I know your religion in and out and you can’t pull wool over my eyes. They have programmed you to avoid “apostates” because they know they can show you the light to see how you have been ensnared. I can only hope you grow up and start thinking independently and questioning your Watchtower leaders. The day a slave realises his chains, he will be free.”
Notice that he instantly dismissed me as an “apostate” (i.e. an ex-JW) even though I was never one of their number. This defensive response is common with brainwashed people. When you quote from their materials to establish their falsehoods, they quickly label you as biased or hateful. Muslims will say you are “anti-Islam” while Mormons will say you’re “anti-Mormon.”
When they use these emotion-laden words, they disconnect their brains from what you are saying and project their moral or doctrinal deficiencies onto your person. They have to attack you to protect their authority.
Therefore, to understand Jehovah’s Witnesses, you need to understand how they think. When you know this, you can then understand why they use the Watchtower literature to recruit. The Watchtower has replaced the reasoning, feelings, thinking or opinions of the individual Witness, making him a Watchtower robot. Consider these quotes:
“Theocratic ones [Jehovah’s Witnesses] will appreciate the Lord’s visible organization and not be so foolish as to pit against Jehovah’s channel their own human reasoning and sentiment and personal feelings.” (The Watchtower, Feb. 1, 1952, 80)
“He [the Jehovah’s Witness] does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his son, Jesus Christ, and ‘the faithful and discreet slave [Watchtower leadership].” (The Watchtower, Aug. 1, 2001, 14)
“Avoid Independent Thinking. How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s organization.” (The Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983, 22)
“Fight against Independent Thinking. Such thinking is evidence of pride. If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: “Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of truth had it not been for the guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?” No, we cannot!” (The Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983, 27)
From these quotes, two things stand out, blind devotion and mind control. It’s the modus operandi of all dangerous religious groups. This is why quoting the Bible to JWs usually has no effect; it won’t “get to them.” When you understand their mind frame, your approach will be different. Rather than arguing Bible texts, what you should do is pit their reasoning, ideas and opinions against the Watchtower from which they are deriving their answers.
You force them to think independently of the Watchtower and question its authority. Once these are done, they become receptive to the Gospel. The easiest way to do this is to ask them thought-provoking questions like:
1. If The Watchtower was so important as an aid to Bible understanding, how did millions of people all through the centuries before the Watchtower Society was established understand it? Or are you saying no one got it right until 1879?
2. If you were to loose your Bible and your Watchtower magazine, which of the two losses would be more greater to you? Why? If he answers “the Bible,” ask him, “So why do we need the Watchtower?” If his answer is “the Watchtower,” ask, “Are you saying this uninspired writing by fallible men has more eternal value and purpose than God’s inspired word?”
3. Since Jesus is the way, truth and life, what qualifications do the Watchtower Society have that equal Jesus’ claim? If John 14:6 is true, then why do you need the Watchtower Society?
4. Who is source of your life conviction and direction, Jesus or the Watchtower?
5. If the Watchtower Society is really God’s spokesperson, which is the greatest of all gifts to mankind, Jesus or the Watchtower Society? Why?
Please do not rush through these questions! They are to be presented one at a time. Give the JW time to do some thinking. The moment he/she admits that inspired Scripture takes precedence over a religious organization, then you have a soul ready to accept the Gospel of Christ. You can now lead him/her to the Scriptures.