Closing Of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Minds

  Blindfolded People © 2012 Mass Ingenuity

Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), the prime architecture of Bible Student and Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society, to which was later renamed Jehovah’s Witnesses under Joseph F. Rutherford (1869-1942) in 1931’s Bible Student assembly in Columbus, Ohio, correctly contended:

“When one joins a sect, his mind is supposed to be given up entirely to that sect, and henceforth not his own. The sect undertakes to decide for him what is truth and what is error; and he, to be a true, staunch, faithful member, must accept the decisions of his sect, future as well as past, on all religious matters, ignoring his own individual thought, and avoiding personal investigation, lest he grow in knowledge, and be lost as a member of such sect. This slavery of conscience to a sect and creed is often stated in so many words, when such a one declares that he “belongs” to such a sect.”(Russell 1911: 185)

Sadly Russell did not see that his movement became what he explained of a sect above. In this article I showed how Watchtower Society has enslave the conscience of those who either join or are born in this movement, which if Russell observation is correct, could be tagged as a sect.

Sect: Ignoring Own Individual Thought And Personal Investigation

It was in Watchtower publication of  September 15, 1910 where Russell erected walls to which his followers were chained in what he believed to be true. Praising his six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures as “practically the Bible itself”(Russell 1910: 298), Russell feared that a person will be lost, as a member of his movement, if he began his own personal investigation if he did not read his theological works. He expounded,

Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years – if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.(ibid)

Watchtower Society, followng most of Russell’s teachings, hold it’s members captive to present times with similar chains. Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though many do not even know, are discouraged to pursue their own individual thoughts. The Society decides for them what is true and what is error. Jehovah’s Witnesses accept without questions the Society’s decisions in all religious and personal matters.

The Society teaches that personal opinions are contrary to their movement. When a Jehovah Witnesses encounter a problem, he is not to go searching for the truth elsewhere but wait for Watchtower’s solution:

We should eat and digest and assimilate what is set before us, without shying away from parts of the food because it may not suit the fancy of our mental taste. The truths we are to publish are the ones provided through the discreet-slave organization, not some personal opinions contrary to what the slave has provided as timely food. Jehovah and Christ direct and correct the slave as needed, not we as individuals. If we do not see a point at first we should keep trying to grasp it, rather than opposing and rejecting it and presumptuously taking the position that we are more likely to be right than the discreet slave. We should meekly go along with the Lord’s theocratic organization and wait for further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us and proceed to quibble and mouth our criticisms and opinions as though they were worth more than the slave’s provision of spiritual food. Theocratic ones 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. (Watchtower 1952: 79-80)

Jehovah’s witnesses minds are supposed to be given up entirely to the self-claimed channel of Jehovah, and henceforth have no opinion of their own.

Sect: No Individual Thinking: It Is Dangerous

A mark of a matured Jehovah’s witnesses is of the one who “must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbour 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 2001: 14).

To be a student of Jehovah, one “must express himself as he understands the truth. (Gal. 6:6) He cannot have independent thinking.”(Watchtower 1962: 524)

Jehovah’s witnesses accept the “discreet slave” because the Society elevates itself to the revelatory position of Christ Jesus himself, as seen above. The claim that “a spirit of independent thinking does not prevail in God’s organization, and we have sound reasons for confidence in the men taking the lead among us.” (Watchtower 1989: 23, 13).

“Avoid independent thinking” (Watchtower 1983: 22) the Society requires of their followers as they contended,

“And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. (Ephesians 4:4, 5; Matthew 24:45-47) Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.’ This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride. And the Bible says: ‘Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.’ (Proverbs 16:18) 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 the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No, we cannot!.. Fight against independent thinking.” (Watchtower 1983: 27).

Sect: Apart From The Society, You Cannot Understand The Bible

Jehovah’s witnesses “face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own.” (Watchtower 1990: 19). Those who wish to understand Jehovah God word  “should appreciate that the “greatly diversified wisdom of God” can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.”(Watchtower 1994: 8).

 For them to properly understand and apply the word of Jehovah in their lives they need the self-claimed “Jehovah’s visible organization”. “Unless” the Society teach them, ” we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do”(Watchtower 1981: 27)

Those who believe that “it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago[…].”(Watchtower 1981: 29) Jehovah’s witnesses, who need help to understand God’s word, “cannot find the scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.'” (Watchtower 1981: 19). The Society assure its follower that,

“Heavy research is not necessary, the watchtower has done it all for you. The most beneficial study you can make is to read the Watchtower and Awake magazines or any new book by the organisation” (Watchtower 1967: 338).

And concluded,

“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.” (ibid: 587)

All Jehovah’s witnesses know to be true, is what the Society say it is true. They cannot know if the Society is true since for them to checkout if it is true, would involve circular reasoning, viz., reading Society saying it is God’s channel, in Society’s interpretation and understanding of Scripture. The Society is true, because it says it is true and Jehovah’s witnesses faithfully and blindly must accept its decisions.

Sect: Watchtower Decide What To Read And How

Most Jehovah’s witnesses would not read any material you give them because it is considered as demonic propaganda and would cost them favor of Jehovah God. “How could one become guilty of partaking of the table of demons in our day?” The Society asked and answered, “By serving the interests of anything opposed to Jehovah. The table of demons includes all demonic propaganda, which is designed to mislead and to turn us away from Jehovah. Who would want to feed his heart and mind on such poison?” (Watchtower 1994: 9).

The only truth is that which the Society gives. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not to shy away from the publication provided by the organization. (Watchtower 1952:79). The Society expounded, “[s]ince The Watchtower assists in understanding the Bible, its study is imperative. Private study of the magazine is essential” then if Jehovah’s witnesses is to “have love for Jehovah and for the organization of his people, [they] shall not be suspicious, but shall, as the Bible says, ‘believe all things,’ all the things that The Watchtower brings out.”(Watchtower 1967: 156)

So What? Implication of Society’s Blindfolded Jehovah’s Witnesses

Sadly, it is nearly impossible to show doctrinal errors to a Jehovah’s witnesses because every time you pose questions or challenge their understanding of the Bible, majority of them will research within the Watchtower’s database to reaffirm their doubts. They believe the organization because the organization says so.

The Society is Jehovah God’s channel because the Society claims to be Jehovah God’s channel as it governs their Bible reading, interpretation, theology and their entire lives.

What we could do is to truly love them and try to understand their position. Welcome and  dine with them as you read the Bible together. With great gentleness and patience offer them different possible understanding of Bible passages from that of the organization, and show how early Christians ca. 30-300 A.D. understood them to mean. Let them read the primary sources of early church fathers, scholars and articles to which the Society continually misquote and misrepresent. Pray that Jehovah “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”(2 Tim. 2:5)

You and I cannot set them free from the bondage of the Society. The Spirit of Jehovah God can. We simply need to be there, not primary to debate but to love,  listen, learn, and direct them to see for themselves how the Society have closed their mind.

Bibliography:

Russell, Charles T. (1911) Studies in the Scriptures: The Kingdom Come Volume 3.

Watchtower Society (1967) Qualified To Be Ministers. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

The rest are standard Watchtower literature published at Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. I can send scanned copies at request.

Photocredite: Blindfolded People © 2012 Mass Ingenuity

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Closing Of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Minds

  1. Dear Daniel, you seem to present Ch.T. Russel as the founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, which he was not and the organisation like it is know today is something totally different Russell had in mind of serious Bible Students. Today we still have several serious Bible Students in the world with several of them being offshoots of the original Rullites and of the Thomasites.

    Today we also may be more pleased to notice a big change in the WTBSTS and JWs becoming to ask their voice to be heard.

    • Hej Marcus. For some reasons you two comments were spammed. Sorry for that.

      I contended that Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) was the prime architecture of what in 1931 was named JW by Rutherford. I know that JW organization has evolved since then and mostly under Knorr.

      Thank you for your input Marcus.

  2. Here in Finland we have a court case brewing against the Jehowah Wittnesses. They have been gathering a register of people according to their preaching and it is basicly illegal for any society to make such a register without the consent of the people they have visited.

    To me it is alarming that they use the word “slave”, but I guess it could be justified as the Bible itself does not condemn slavery as such. However, that is a bit in the heart of this entire problem. To me the Jehowas Wittnesses represent only a peak of an iceberg in what is wrong about religious moralism. People are easily manipulated when they not thaught independend ethical thinking. If we are prone to think that ethics, right and wrong are derived from some higher authority (such as a dictator, a demagogue, a book or a leaflet, or a god for that matter), we become voulnerable to such suggestions as that this authority actually expects us to act, or to inact contrary to our conscience.

  3. I appreciate this article as a former kool-aid drinking cult member. My family still tries to convince me that the shunning I have been given for 27 years now is an act of love. It is so very sad that their inability to think for themselves has destroyed our family. Although if you ask them, it was destroyed by me. I would think they would be happy that I am intelligent and can think for myself, but that is not the case.

  4. With respect to the comment from ‘Robin’, I would not that humiliation might not be the third psychological consideration. I *think* I read recently a comment (based on results from JWSurvey or similar) that 54% of the current JW members would leave the church if the practice of shunning was removed. The humuliation of being disfellowshipped – yes, brothers, there is a sinner that walks among us! – is true but consider the implications of a church where 50% of your congregation would walk out the door if they knew that there family/friends/social circle, etc would still be able to talk with them.

    The psychological tactic of creation an isolated and mutually dependent group is a key to the JWs ongoing survival.

  5. God himself actually uses fear to motivate. I am going to quote/paraphrase without reference citations, but to give a few examples: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “Do not fear men, who can only harm the body, but rather, fear God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” “If your eye causes you to sin (i.e. stumble into apostasy) then pluck it out and cast it far from you, for it is better to enter into life blind than with both eyes to be cast into the fiery hell.” Fear of God’s judgement is not in and of itself a completely wrong motivational tool.

    The problem that occurs in many cases is when church leaders (or cult leaders) prescribe requirements that are extraneous to (or blatantly against) the requirements that God himself places upon us in His infallible word. This is where personal investigation and study of God’s word is so critical in combating overbearing, cultish leaders, whether they be in a cult or in an doctrinally orthodox Christian church. However, the witness and tradition of the church throughout history is also critically important for evaluating and testing our own conclusions on God’s word. We should not blindly follow a cult leader contrary to God’s word, and we should also not (in our zeal for individualism) err on the other side and begin adopting beliefs about the Bible that no one throughout church history has ever believed before. If we do that, then we have escaped one form of cult, but we will have in essence set up our own new cult, made up of only ourselves!

    • The competition between different religions forces them to focus on the trivial, and overly perverted, unimportant doctrinal differences and lose sight of the important things they all supposedly agree on. The “difference” overtakes rational thought and they lose perception that we ALL are from HIM. Don’t we all believe in the One God, One Christ, One Baptism, One Salvation?

      This Competition means a little less of the “pie”. [MONEY] Unfortunately, money is a big motivator, just ask the Catholics.

      Power, Control, Money, Personal Agenda – are all behind most of the worlds organized religions.

      • Dear Vidasdechristo perhaps many Christians may believe in one baptism, though have totally different forms of baptism, of which child baptism is not conform the biblical baptism.
        You also say they all believe in the One God, but that is not exactly true. The majority of Christians do believe that the son of God is also the same God who can not die, but Jesus (Jeshua) really died and was a man of flesh and blood while God is a spirit.

    • As finite men the Infinite God is beyond our comprehension. For those that stand against the one True God they should fear Him. But looking for the right interpretation of scripture one often needs to go back to the original language. In the first example you cite, Psalm 111: 10 the word “fear” (yirâh) is not “terror,” but refers to a “pious posture” or attitude towards God.

  6. A cult is a religious group that denies one or more of major doctrines of the biblical Christian faith. It can also be defined as a group of people gathered about a specific person or a person’s representation of the Bible. This includes the JW’s this discourse has spoken of, the Mormons or Latter Day Saints.
    But this would also include the Christadelphians above who deny the triune nature of God. While the word “trinity” is not used in scripture the trinity is evident in both the Old and New Testaments.
    Other Christian essentials often denied by Christian cults are the virgin birth, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the bodily (not merely spiritual) resurrection of Christ.

  7. JW are loved by God even if they are on the wrong path.
    God / Jesus did not discourage questions in fact Jesus always responded to them
    We all need to use our God given minds to test what we are told, and ask the Spirit if its true.

  8. The JW seem to forget that it is God who is calling and gives Wisdom. The son of God (be careful, this is not god the son, something totally different) may be the Slave and is our mediator between God. Organisations, churches, preachers may offer themselves as slaves to Jehovah, the Only One God, but they always shall be instruments with their own individual shortcomings. None of the organisations can offer infallible wisdom, like the pope nor any person can be infallible.
    We all should make an effort to learn from the Word of God itself. We may use writings of other people, but always should be aware that it are only human scribbles, and that they always should be checked with the Word of God.

  9. >>The Watchtower society Jehovah’s Witnesses cult organization actually employs three psychological tools to maintain control and subjugation to their policies and rules.

    1. Fear
    2. Humiliation
    3. Exaltation <<

    So did every evangelical church I ever attended. Manipulation is, iby very definition, witchcraft! The use of illegitimate means to control others. In my experience at evangelical churches, GUILT was very often used as a way to get people to give money or volunteer for church work. That is witchcraft! Because guilt isn't a legitimate motivation for Christians, since Christians are NOT GUILTY. That's just one example.

    The proper criticism of a cult is not to fault them for doing the same things most of our churches do, but to examine their doctrine and practice in the light of God's word.

    • The Fear matter is not only used by JW. In many Trinitarian churches they use a bigger fear to get people stay in their churches and to give them even money. Many churches use the fear of a hell or purgatory, as places of damnation and torture, to have power over their flock.
      Humiliation is also often used by pastors who shout in those mega churches and preach doom. Some pastor mis-use the name of God and tell their followers they have to subject to them and the Holy Spirit, whom they present as a strong powerful god, while the God of the Bible is Himself Spirit who uses His Power to let His Voice be heard all over the universe. Like His Hand, His Voice, His Foot or not separate gods, the Holy Spirit is not a separate god, but also part of that One God Jehovah.

  10. The Watchtower society Jehovah’s Witnesses cult organization actually employs three psychological tools to maintain control and subjugation to their policies and rules.

    1. Fear
    2. Humiliation
    3. Exaltation

    Fear of being lost or destroyed in the upcoming, pending great battle of Armageddon where the possibility of suffering a horrendous death according to them, is a very real fear. Such a fate awaits anyone who is not counted among JW’s!
    Those who are considered spiritually strong are exalted to an elevated status within their respective congregation. Brothers can advance to the lofty position of ministerial servant, elder or overseer at which time they command the respect of all in the congregation. Sisters can achieve a highly respectable status as well, though they are not appointed to a position. Those who spend considerable time in the field ministry, pioneering for example (spending a predetermined amount of time door knocking) are considered very strong spiritually.

    Those who are deemed unfit or unrepentant non conformist can suffer the punitive measure of disfellowshippment. For most JW’s, this is a fate worst than death, to be avoided at all cost. The psychological impact this can have on an individual is immeasurable. Most JW’s will do anything in their power to avoid this type of humiliation.
    [So it is very easy to become psychologically locked into a specific action (work) with the expectation of a specific reward.

    Danny Haszard Bangor Maine born 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness

    • More JW should know that in case they do find licked in a box of a fear creating and all empowerment organisation that there are still more non-trinitarian groups than the JW WTTS wants to recognise. In case JW would like to leave the stronghold American (Brooklyn) Fort they should not be afraid to fall in a black hole. There are many non-trinitarians who would like to take them up in their family. For sure they would find some with 99% the same believes as well as groups like ours which believe about 87% the same things as the JW. So those who do not want to believe any more that The Organisation is in the position to dictate everything to its members, we would not mind welcoming them into our ranks, or they could find their way to other Bible Students, by which they could go back to the original Ch.T. Russell Bible Students.

      We do hope that they shall not fall into the trap of the more joyful entertaining denominations of evangelist, pentecostal churches. Out of the JW there are other ways to adhere to the Only One God, Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Comments are closed.