Trusting a Deceitful Organization

How much trust can you put in an organization? For many Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower Society is believed to be Jehovah’s organization in which they are to put their blind loyalty for divine guidance:

In the preceding article, we learned that our trust in Jehovah is manifested when we turn to him in prayer, when we seek direction from his Word, and when we look to his organization for guidance” (The Watchtower, September 1, 2003, 13)

In 2012, the Watchtower announced its adjustment in its doctrine of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ declaring that:

“The evidence points to the following conclusion: “The faithful and discreet slave” was appointed over Jesus’ domestics in 1919. That slave is the small, composite group of anointed brothers serving at world headquarters during Christ’s presence who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food. When this group work together as the Governing Body, they act as “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Annual Meeting Report 20102).

This unscriptural designation of a “class” of men as making up the faithful and discreet slave is primarily aimed at upholding the concept of a centralized authority vested by power from above. This is the means by which the governing body wields control over JWs by demanding their allegiance and submission.

This belief is aimed at diminishing individual discernment, faith, responsibility and discretion and elevating the Governing Body to a divine plane as The Watchtower bluntly puts it: “the faithful and discreet slave is directly under the control of Jesus Christ.” (March 15, 2002, p. 14)

But there are three major historical incidents that shatter these hallowed claims appropriated by Watchtower leadership into bits.

  1. The Society’s support of the Nazis

The Watchtower loves to attack Christendom for colluding with Hitler while mining a huge moral capital for itself by citing the resilience of many JWs who were imprisoned and killed for refusing to compromise their neutrality. But they are silent about how Joseph Rutherford had initially praised Hitler for his antagonism against the Jews and the Anglo-American empire.

Rutherford not only hated Christendom, he also promoted anti-Semitism and denounced Anglo-American empire as “the most oppressive empire on earth.” This is one of the areas where he dissented from his predecessor, Charles Russell, who was a Zionist.

Due to the refusal of many Jehovah’s Witnesses to offer their allegiance to the government or serve in the armed forces, in 1933, the Watchtower office in Berlin was closed and JWs were banned in several German states.

To appease Hitler into lifting the ban, Rutherford drafted a Declaration of Facts and sent a letter to Hitler, stating the Watchtower support for the Nazi regime. A part of the letter translated into English reads:

The Brooklyn headquarter of the Watchtower Society is pro-German in an exemplary way and has been so for many years. For that reason, in 1918, the president of the Society and seven members of the board of directors were sentenced to 80 years in prison, because the president refused to use two of the magazines published in America under his direction for war propaganda against Germany. These two magazines, “The Watchtower” and “Bible Student” were the only magazines in America which refused to engage in anti-German propaganda

“The enclosed declaration underlines this fact and emphasizes that the people leading in such propaganda (Jewish businessmen and Catholics) also are the most rigorous persecutors of the work of our Society and its board of directors…

“The conference of five thousand delegates also noted – as is expressed in the declaration – that the Bible Researchers in Germany are fighting for the very same high ethical goals and ideals which also the national government of the German Reich proclaimed respecting the relationship of humans to God, namely: honesty of the created being towards its creator.”

The Declaration of Facts was reprinted in their 1934 Yearbook where they stated that: “Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles” (pp. 134-138, English edition).

The above letter in support of Hitler was also mentioned in the Watchtower Yearbook of 1974 (p. 111), yet in a gross display of hypocrisy and revisionism, the Watchtower chided church officials for not writing letters of protests against the Nazis as Jehovah’s Witnesses did in Germany! (The WT., October 1, 2011, p. 14).

  1. The betrayal of the Malawians

In 1964 (as well as 1970s and 1980s), Jehovah’s Witnesses in Malawi were heavily persecuted and harassed for their political neutrality. According to the Watchtower:

“It is because Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to buy the Malawi Congress Party Card. This card declares the holder to be a member of the ruling political party of Malawi. But for Jehovah’s Witnesses to buy a political card and thus join a political party would be an open denial of what they believe and stand for.” (Awake! August 8, 1976, p. 5)

Thousands of Malawian JWs were brutally tortured and killed for their adherence to this Watchtower doctrine. In each wave of violence, beatings, torture and even murder went virtually unchecked by the authorities. Raymond Franz wrote:

“In the first attack, 1,091 Malawi families saw their little homes burned or otherwise demolished with 588 fields of crops destroyed. In the 1967 attacks, Witnesses reported the raping of more than one thousand of their women, one mother being sexually violated by six different men, her 13 year old daughter by three men” (Crisis of Conscience, 1983 p. 112).

Yet, the Governing Body took an opposite position when a similar situation occurred at about the same time in Mexico.

At the time, men of draft age were required to undergo a specified period of military training for one year. On completion of service, young men would receive a certificate or “Cartilla” noting down their attendance at weekly military instruction classes.

Like the card used in Malawi, the “Cartilla” was required for transactions such as obtaining a passport or driver’s license and it was illegal for officials to fill in the attendance record if the registrant has not attended military classes, but officials could be bribed to do so. This was what many JWs did.

The Governing Body of the Watchtower Society ruled that:

If members of the military establishment are willing to accept such an arrangement upon the payment of a fee then that is the responsibility of these representatives of the national organization. In such a case the money paid does not go to the military establishment, but is appropriated by the individual who undertakes the arrangement. If the conscience of certain brothers allow them to enter into such an arrangement for their continued freedom, we have no objection” (Letter to Mexico Branch Committee, June 2, 1960, reproduced by Raymond Franz in Crisis of Conscience p. 121).

In other words, Malawian Witnesses were hypocritically forced to uphold a higher standard than was expected of those in Mexico. No thanks to the Governing Body with its surprising detours and contradictory stances. The Watchtower used their (apparently inferior) African followers as bullocks to be sacrificed to uphold their image.

  1. The secret league with the United Nations

For decades, the Watchtower Society has launched its missiles against the United Nations, identifying it as an anti-Christ organization, the image of the wild beast and Satan organization set up against Jehovah and his witnesses.

“No, the UN is not a blessing, even though the religious clergy of Christendom and the rabbis of Jewry pray heaven’s blessings upon that organization. It is reallythe image of the wild beast,” the visible political and commercial organization of “the god of the system of things,” Satan the Devil. So the UN will soon be destroyed along with that beastly organization” (The WT 1984, Sep. 15, p. 15)

“The United Nations is actually a worldly confederacy against Jehovah God and his dedicated Witnesses on earth.” (The WT, 1987, Sep. 1, p. 20).

But, in October 2001, a stunning revelation emerged that the Watchtower Society had been an associate NGO with the United Nations since 1992! In 1991, the Watchtower Society applied to be a NGO associate of the UN and their application was being renewed annually. Few days after it became public knowledge that they were working with the UN, the Society pulled out of the alliance.

Stephen Bates, a correspondent with The Guardian (UK), was the first to expose this astonishing hypocrisy on October 8, 2001:

“The United Nations is being asked to investigate why it has granted associate status to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the fundamentalist US-based Christian sect, which regards it as the scarlet beast predicted in the Book of Revelation. Disaffected members of the 6 million-strong group, which has 130,000 followers in the UK, have accused the Witnesses’ elderly governing body of hypocrisy in secretly accepting links with an organization that they continue to denounce in apocalyptic terms. The UN itself admitted yesterday that it was surprised that the sect whose formal name is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, had been accepted on its list of non-governmental organizations for the last 10 years.”

Again, we are confronted with the unjust double standards which the Watchtower holds for itself and those under its control. No JW is allowed to work even as a janitor for any political or worldly organization such as the UN. To do so would be a violation of their theocratic “neutrality” and will result in one being disfellowshipped.

Yet, this same Watchtower Society was for decades in partnership with the very organization which they declare to be an anti-Christ organization – and they even went ahead to mislead their followers when their affiliation with the UN became public knowledge.

These are simply inexcusable stances showing an organization under the control of the father of lies and hence cannot provide any divine guidance. The lives and overall well-being of many JWs all around the world are being sacrificed on the altar of the Watchtower leadership which lives above its own austere diktats.

Jesus described them perfect: “For they say but do not practice what they say. They bind up heavy loads and put them on the shoulders of men but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger … Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel!” (Matthew 23: 3-4, 24 NWT)

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Who Mediates for the “Great Crowd”?

The key to reaching Jehovah’s Witnesses is by asking them the right questions that will get their thinking wheels spinning. This is because their mode of brainwashing is often so thorough that it’s almost difficult to reach them by engaging them in a Bible verse shooting contest. I’ve walked that path before and I can tell you it leads nowhere.

The right questions are aimed at making them realise that what the Watchtower Society teaches doesn’t agree with the Bible. That should be the crux of your arguments. If you ask the wrong questions (e.g. “Why don’t you people preach about heaven?” or “Why do you reject blood transfusion?”) or make direct attacks (e.g “You guys are rank heretics”), you will likely get into a Bible ping pong game that will leave both parties exhausted and exasperated.

Many Christians have missed vital witnessing opportunities because of negative attitudes. An informed, tactful and respectful approach to Jehovah’s Witnesses will work better than a bullying, aggressive and demeaning attitude.

Sadly, I’ve listened to Christians (even pastors) boast of how they shouted on and talked down at JWs and even banned them from coming to their houses! That is not only a display of immaturity and insecurity, it’s also unchristian.

The more we do that, the more we reinforce the negative ideas drilled into their minds about “Christendom” (a rather derogatory term JWs use for Christianity) and convince them of their errors. A better approach can start out by asking them, “What would you do if you found out that what the Watchtower teaches is not what the Bible teaches? Who would you obey? Jehovah God or the Watchtower?”

When you use the term “Jehovah God,” it resonates with them. This question is to probe the JW’s readiness to find the truth. Look for his/her reaction. If he admits he is willing to obey God, proceed. If he says it’s the Society he wants to go with or refuses to answer the question, you may have a tough one on your hands.

The Mediator role of Christ is an example to use. Paraphrase 1 Timothy 2:5-6 and ask, “Is Jesus your Mediator?” He will answer “Yes.” Tell him that Jesus is also your Mediator. You both agree on that after all, God’s inspired Word says so. You can then inform them, “But the Watchtower says Jesus is mediator only for the 144,000.”

Here are some quotes:

The red wine represents Jesus’ blood. That blood makes valid the new covenant. Jesus said that his blood is poured out “for forgiveness of sins.” Humans can thus become clean in God’s eyes and can enter into the new covenant with Jehovah. (Hebrews 9:14; 10:16, 17) This covenant, or contract, makes it possible for 144,000 faithful Christians to go to heaven. There they will serve as kings and priests for the blessings of mankind …

“Who should partake of these Memorial emblems? Logically, only those in the new covenant – that is, those who have the hope of going to heaven – should partake of the bread and wine” (What Does the Bible Really Teach? 2005, 207)

After instituting the Lord’s Evening Meal, Jesus made a covenant. (Read Luke 22:28-30.) Unlike other covenants, in which Jehovah is one of the parties to the covenant, this is a personal covenant between Jesus and his anointed followers. Thus, the Kingdom covenant is made with the 144,000 anointed Christians” (The Watchtower October 2014, par. 15-16).

He mediates the new covenant between God and those taken into the new covenant, the congregation of spiritual Israel. (Heb. 8:10-13; 12:24; Eph. 5:25-27) … Holding the offices of Mediator and High Priest, Jesus Christ, being immortal, is always alive and able to plead for those of spiritual Israel approaching God through him, so that he can mediate the new covenant until these persons receiving his mediatorial assistance are saved completely. (Heb. 7:24, 25)” (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2:360-363).

From these quotes, it can be seen that while the Bible says Jesus is our Mediator, the Watchtower says He only mediates for the 140,000 ‘anointed class.’ Unless the JW at your door is part of the ‘spiritual Israel,’ according to the Society, he is wrong to say Jesus is his Mediator.

This takes the question back and the Witness realises this contradiction. You can ask them, “If Jesus mediates for only 144,000 people, who then mediates for the ‘great crowd?’ Actually, the great crowd have to look up to the ‘spiritual Israel’ i.e. Watchtower Society as mediators:

That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel. – Matthew 4:4; John 17:3.” (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, 362, par. 2)

In other words, those making up the faithful slave have one mediator (Jesus) but all other JWs have the 144,000 (anointed class) as mediators. So the relationship of the great crowd Witnesses with God and their receipt of God’s blessings depend on their relationship with the 144,000 elites. This is as far from the Bible as the North pole is from the South pole.

If Jesus became the “mediator of a new covenant” (Heb. 9:15) by His blood and His shed blood made forgiveness of sin possible, by claiming He is Mediator of only 144,000 people, the Watchtower leadership is implicitly teaching that Christ’s ransom and all its benefits apply only to the ‘spiritual Israel.’ Of course, the Bible never taught that Jesus died for only 144,000 people. The blood of His covenant applies to as many receive Him, making the forgiveness of sin possible (Heb. 7:25; 9:22; 1 Tim. 2:6 etc).

If the Witness is still not convinced of the deviation of Watchtower leadership from God’s inspired Word, you can use the crucifixion and bodily resurrection of Christ to establish your arguments. Encourage him/her to study further if not persuaded. They must reach the point where they will choose between following God’s inspired Word or the uninspired Watchtower Society.