Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult?

It seems that my blog describing my experience as a child in the Jehovah’s Witnesses has caused a reaction, and here I will reply to an e mail I received from Tiffany.

Watchtower Publications

It is absolutely correct to say that reading Watchtower publications is the main reading material of a Jehovah’s Witness. More so than the bible. The claim to aid study of the bible is fine – until you realize that different editions of the same publications can have differences in theology – with no mention in the preface.

Examples – The Live Forever book mentioned that those destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah would be resurrected on the Day of Judgement. A new edition changed this to they would not be resurrected as they had already been judged. Both interpretations had scripture.

A further was the book used in Theocratic Ministry School. The new edition had less pages. The main reason was a whole section in the old that explained that Jehovah was not the accurate pronunciation of the Hebrew god was gone.

The point I am making is that what you read is the publications from the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society – and only them. One publisher to aid in the understanding of the bible. One source. Now that may not be a good idea – good to know where there are differences of opinion. Now to restrict yourself to only one source of information, to have faith in one body that changes its views without recognizing these changes openly?

As to paying for the books – well yes I paid for them from the book shop at the Kingdom Hall – at print costs. Whether that was passed on to the person being witnessed was another matter. That was in the 1980s and I mention that had changed. You inform me that is based on members giving donations (voluntary) towards costs.

Meetings

The times I give include the talks and the socialising that happened afterwards. But I can assure you that Elders and Ministerial Servants do take a watch over their flock. Contributions are noticed – and with four meetings a week pretty easy for all to keep tabs on people. I never suggested that was anything sinister like note taking going on. I am sure they could see the spiritual development, and make judgements.

Isolated

Now the lack of socialising at parties, Christmas, Easter, pancake day, Valentines and anything else that remotely resembles ancient pagan practice you cannot participate in. As a child that proved very isolating.

As a citizen you do not vote or participate in government. Because this system of things is part of Satan’s world. Again, this view of society is one that isolates.

Bad associations spoil useful habits – I was constantly being told would Jesus hang out with these people? Which considering the people he did hang out with seem ironic. But it led to being isolated from people that were not part of the faith.

Women

The head covering of women while leading prayer in the presence of a brother is not one of respect. It is one of submission of one gender to another. Now not everyone embraces the idea of gender equality. For example only men can be Ministerial Servants or Elders. To defend this on bible principles is to suggest that we cannot move pass the views and prejudices of bible writers. Nor reason for ourselves. Or discuss that the Jehovah’s Witness dogma could be wrong? Yet time and revision has shown that to be the case.

Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult?

This description at the end of my blog upset you. Now in simplest forms denying the divinity of christ would make the JWs a cult of christianity. But my meaning is more this:

UNIVERSAL DEFINITION

 

CULT – Any group which has a pyramid type authoritarian leadership structure with all teaching and guidance coming from the person/persons at the top. The group will claim to be the only way to God; Nirvana; Paradise; Ultimate Reality; Full Potential, Way to Happiness etc, and will use thought reform or mind control techniques to gain control and keep their members. This definition covers cults within all major world religions, along with those cults which have no OBVIOUS religious base such as commercial, educational and psychological cults. Others may define these a little differently, but this is the simplest to work from. THE ‘ORTHODOX BIBLE-BASED CULT’

A group is called a cult because of their behaviour – not their doctrines. Doctrine is an issue in the area of Apologetics and Heresy. Most religious cults do teach what the Christian church would declare to be heresy but some do not. Some cults teach the basics of the Christian faith but have behavioural patterns that are abusive, controlling and cultic.

This occurs in both Non-Charismatic and Charismatic churches. These groups teach the central doctrines of the Christian faith and then add the extra authority of leadership or someone’s particular writings. They centre around the interpretations of the leadership and submissive and unquestioning acceptance of these is essential to be a member of good standing. This acceptance includes what we consider non-essential doctrines e.i. not salvation issues (such as the Person and Work of Christ.) The key is that they will be using mind control or undue influence on their members.

http://www.religio.de/cudef.html

Not alone in definition

Now for me the Jehovah’s Witnesses qualify as outlined here and in the previous blog. To be baptized is a very serious commitment. The constant mantra that Satan controls this system of things and bad associations spoil useful habits does control how you behave and interact with people. The chain of command of the whole organization, the lack of debate about doctrine within a Kingdom Hall, that interpretation flows from the top down. And is accepted, even when it changes, as being the will of Jehovah. The format of meetings, repeating what you have already read before the meeting at the meeting, than answering from what you have read – in triplicate – is a great mind enforcer.

The interpretation to die over a dietary commandment to ancient Israelites is one that especially marks out the faith for cult behaviour. The prohibition on blood transfusions makes no rational sense, there is nothing in the bible that suggests that it takes precedence over life and death situations. Prove it goes beyond the kitchen and the plate. It is also a big lie for an organisation that has predicted the end of the world from the founder Russell (in 1905 Abraham, Issac and Jacob were to be ruling on earth) to the generation that saw 1914 would see the end of this system of things when I studied. That too has changed, only that was not so easily put to one side unlike a new edition.

The definition of a false prophet is one that in the name of god predicts something which does not come to pass. To live by bible principle how do you get pass this one?

Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Naturally I have an unfair advantage. I do not believe that one writer or book or organisation is special or more sacred than another. Ancient superstition does not hold me in the same way because of it nor do I prefer supernatural explanations for things best left to a bygone era. The evidence speaks for itself, and I hope that one day you realise that happiness is not dependent on you having something you call truth or holding to dogma you have no part in forming or questioning. I sincerely hope that you realise that the whole system of the organisation is one that is self serving and depends on you not to be a freethinker or to question – just to believe and help others to convert.

I can respect you – we both have the right to religious freedom and none. But I cannot respect the belief that leads to such inhumane treatment and degradation – legitimising it as being of god’s word.

John

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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49 Comments

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49 responses to “Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a cult?

  1. The core dogma of the Watchtower organization is that Jesus had his second coming ‘invisibly’ in the year 1914.Their entire doctrinal superstructure is built on this falsehood. Jehovah’s Witnesses door to door recruitment is by their own admission an ineffective tactic.

    They have lost membership in all countries with major internet access because their false doctrines and harmful practices are exposed on the modern information superhighway.
    There is good and valid reasons why there is such an outrage against the Watchtower for misleading millions of followers.Many have invested everything in the ‘imminent’ apocalyptic promises of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and have died broken and beaten.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult because they try to cut you off from others who do not have the same beliefs, including family. Yes,you can ‘check out anytime you want but you can never leave’,because they can and will hold your family hostage.

    The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.
    The ‘message’ is their false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming already in 1914.The problem with this,is it’s not just a cute fairy tale, Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim “..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple”
    The Watchtower’s Gospel “kingdom” is a man-made “different version”.(Gal.1:8)


    Danny Haszard born 1957 as a 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness http://jehovahwitness.vox.com/

  2. Jacqueline

    Dear John,
    I have been a JW for 59yrs and still attend loosely. I wish I could disagree with your reply to Tiffany. However you are not up to date. They are sinister now. It was not always like that. They will tolerate no questioning at all and the Elders are like German Gestapo. Some know they are treating the sheep wrong but they are taking orders. I have children that are not enlightened yet and many family members still not aware. I cannot leave entirely and not br there for them as they realize. If I openly diassociate myself or get DFW they won’t talk to me.
    I love them. I am doing the David.
    Jacqueline

    • Richard

      Jacqueline
      You have a tough situation.My wife and I left JW’s in 1997,after the article on 1914.That was enough for me.I was a 4th generation witness ,my wife was 3rd and our son was 14 at the time.We faded away,we chose this because the majority of our families are witnesses and we wanted family members like yourself to approach us without consequences( we are shunned by most of the family unless they need something).We had no idea what the outside world was like, we just knew sitting in the kingdom hall for the rest of our lives was a bad idea.That was 12 years ago “what a long strange trip it’s been”.Without get too wordy,We didn’t go crazy,we did make a lot of mistakes but we learned from them.We went from cleaning houses to corporate jobs .One thing I want to mention,we did go to a “refocus” group.It put things in perspective for us ,we sat there with mormons,church of christ,scientology,bruderhof,life spring etc,etc,all sounding like us.We were just a little piece of the big picture.I guess there’s a cult for everyone.Well as Jack says “good luck”????(is that the god of luck?-Sorry bad witness joke,couldn’t help it.

    • Stevan Lucas

      Dear Jacqueline,

      I have friends and co-workers that are JWs. I’ve never seen them walking around with rifles and helmets. To compare them with the German Gestapo is extreme and is ridiculous. I’ve listened to their reasoning and it is up to the individual to believe it or not. These people are non threatening and are no different than any other group trying to get a message out to the world. Only time will tell if they are correct or if what they believe is the truth. Be strong and get on with your life.

      Stevan

      • Time has already proved them to be wrong.

        Whether it makes people feel good to belong to an organisation that has made false prophecies when the bible says beware of false prophets is one thing if you believe in the bible.

        I’ll look elsewhere for feeling good.

  3. I am sorry that you feel that way and that is what it is like for you. I can understand that. I was taught at home. Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses meant that I had no childhood friends whatsoever. What mattered to me was how the truth about the history was covered up (old publications no longer available) changes to dogma either concealed or brushed to one side. The fact there was another way at looking at the world.

    As a child I perhaps missed the pressure adults, and baptized members experience. You have to remember that I hid my own research purposes, and when I realised how bad it was just left. For me yes it was making a quick break, and I did not have contact with any of them though not shunned because I was not baptized – only confirmed to be so.

    But there is something better out there. It is possible to live without the fellowship of people that will bully you if you do not agree. That would look down on you if you had a contrary point of view. And to turn your back on an organisation that would treat people, and the honesty of inquiry in such a way.

    Please feel free to talk to me about it. There are many people out there who made the break (wish I had known them at the time). It will seem different, scary. But there is one thing that I can say to you.

    It is never too late to change. It is never to late to be what you want to be and to stand up. You are not alone. And there are friends that will love you for the differences about you and them. They do exist.

  4. Danny:

    Yes they are false, with false promises.

    I fear that they are not alone in that delusion. I just want out of religion, and wonder why anyone would want it to be true. Which is not really the point – as far as I can tell religion is all too human.

  5. Jacqueline

    homoecoeconomicusnet,

    I agree with your concept of all religion is manmade. Worship of God, and almighty creator is what most persons want. I believe it is hard wireed into us to look to a creator. It is not software. I say this because even persons raised away from mainstream religions when found, are worshiping something. What are your thoughts? I feel JW’s anf some of the other religions are able to understand the doctrines that will led you to God. They err when they try to explain everything in the Bible and say they got it from God. That is a major point of where the so called Governing Body of Jehovah witnesses err. They sat themselves up as a God, humans will not tolerate that they will fight against a taking away of their basic right to worship God. Since it is so universal I say we are hardwired that way
    Jacqueline

  6. “Breaking the Spell – religion as natural phenomena” by Daniel Dennett sums it up for me.

  7. John Payzant

    You can’t out talk a Jehovah’s Witness, You can’t beat an argument with them.
    I’ve been told if they are they go back to the Kingdom Hall and work on it.

    Whip out the bible quote John 17:3 and their interpretation that Jesus is not a part of God and then walk away but I read with someone else the whole chapter 17 and found verses that emphasised that Jesus is a part of God.

    The person quoting John 17:3 said, looking at me,”(some) people have a lot of their own ideas”, not too long before she walked away.

    Another one said,”(You) have over 300 mistakes in your bible”, sounded quite frustrated could’ve been comparing to the New World Translations by Judge Joseph Rutherford to the King James Version which is also the official bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    James Penton author of Apocalypse Delayed mentioned that Rutherford was thrown in Jail for 10 years,drove a Cadillac V-16 during the 1930s depression and was an alcoholic. He tried to ally with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis but was rejected and as a result became anti-war.

    So, one Jehovah’s Witness once flew this one at me said,”I have a question to ask you, how come (you) go to war and (we) don’t?” This was after I asked if they believe in any religion outside of Jehavah’s Witnesses, they didn’t answer me but instead gave me the above reply.

    Almost seems like a mentality to out talk and put one on the spot kind of seems defensive?

    I don’t know if it addresses any possible doctrinal issues or denies them?

    Does or can this cause growth for the persons saying what they said to me?

  8. Pingback: The courts and blood transfusions « Homo economicus’ Weblog

  9. First let’s take the last one “John Payzant” this is the answer for you
    we are not trying to be defensive my friends be humble and learn

    john 17:3 read it, it is very clear. in that scripture Jesus said to have Everlasting Live, we have to know the only true God and Him. Jesus himself make a difference between him and the only true God.
    and on this chapter John 17 Jesus was praying to his Father, Read the whole chapter, he called his father the only true God, we can say anything you want that will not change the scripture Jesus called his Dad the only True God. IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11: 3 YEARS AFTER JESUS WENT TO HEAVEN, HE WAS IN HEAVEN AT THAT TIME
    VERSE 3 SAID: The head of every men is the christ, in turn the head of a woman is the men and pay attention. “THE HEAD OF THE CHRIST IS GOD”
    You can say anything you want about that scripture that will not change THE HEAD OF THE CHRIST IS GOD. MEANING CHRIST HAS A HEAD. WHO DOESN’T HAVE A HEAD? I GUESS YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT IF YOU ARE HUMBLE ENOUGH.

    what about the accusations against Joseph Rutherford?
    Do you really know what you are talking about?
    Let me tell the true that can be verify. on june 20, 1918 J Rutherford and his associates were sentenced to 20 years each. thereafter it was demonstrated that there were 130 Procedural errors in that highly Prejudiced trial.
    the facts were well-known by those who lived at that time.
    on May 5, 1920 the charges against JOseph Rutherford and his associates were dismissed.

    on March 22, 1919 Appeal to Reason, a newspaper published at Girard, Kansas protested, Pay attention you might learn something.

    “Followers of Pastor Russell, Pursued by Malice of Orthodox Clergy, were Convicted and Jailed without bail, Though they made every effort that was possible to COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ESPIONAGE LAW……WE declare that Regardless of wheter or not the Espionnage Act was technically constitutional or ethically justifiable, these followers of Pastor Russell WERE WRONFULLY CONVICTED UNDER ITS PROVISIONS. AN OPEN MINDED STUDY OF THE EVIDENCE WILL SPEEDILY CONVINCE ANY ONE THAT THESE MEN NOT ONLY HAD NO INTENTION OF VIOLATING THE LAW, BUT THAT THEY DID NOT VIOLATE IT.

    YEARS later in the book Preachers Present Arms, DR. Ray Abrams observed:
    AN ANALYSIS OF THE WHOLE CASE LEADS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CHURCHES AND THE CLERGY WERE ORIGIANALLY BEHIND THE MOVEMENT TO STAMP OUT THE RUSSELLITES. PAGES 183-5.

  10. tHIS IS FOR YOU JACQUELINE
    it is a simple answer.
    Elders give counsels based on God’s word the bible. Galatians 6:1

    imagine you was living in the time of Moses, what will you say then about moses if you say elders are Gestapo today?
    NUMBERS 25:5 MOSES SAID TO THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL: EACH ONE OF YOU KILL HIS MEN WHO HAVE AN ATTACHMENT WITH THE BAAL OF PEOR.
    TODAY ELDERS DON’T KILL BUT THEY ARE FIRM REGARDING BIBLE PRINCIPLES, ANYONE WHO REFUSE TO FOLLOW GOD’S WORD WILL BE DISFELLOWSHIP.

    1 CORINTHIANS 5: 13 SAID WHILE GOD JUDGES THOSE OUTSIDE? REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

    Titus 1:5 read: For this Reason I left you in Crete, that you might CORRECT THE THINGS THAT WERE DEFECTIVE AND MIGHT MAKE APPOINTMENT OF OLDER MEN IN CITY AFTER CITY, AS I GAVE YOU ORDERS.

  11. FOR YOU AGAIN JACQUELINE

    John 4:24 Jesus said:THOSE WORSHIPING GOD MUST WORSHIP WITH SPIRIT AND TRUTH.
    SO ACCORDING TO JESUS IF A RELIGION IS TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD THEIR MEMBERS ARE NOT REALLY WORSHIPPING GOD.
    EXAMPLE IF A RELIGION IS TEACHING TRINITY AND TRINITY IS NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE THE MEMBERS OF THAT RELIGION CANNOT WORSHIP GOD.
    SAME THING FOR HELL FIRE, OR IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL ETC……

    SO JACQUELINE YOU BETTER KNOW IF YOU ARE IN THE TRUE OR NOT.

  12. jack

    answer for you Homo Economicus

    First question is Jehovah witnesses a Cult?
    Let’s take your definition: any group which has a pyramid type of authoritarian leadership with all the teaching and guidance coming from the person/persons at the top.
    What is the source of Jehovah witnesses teaching?
    This world is satan world is that come from some leaderships among the witnesses.
    take your bible and Read 1John 5:19 and Revelation 12:9-12 and will see the answers to that.
    what about the warning against bad association?
    1 corinthians 15:33 said Bad association spoil useful habits.

    Debate about doctrines in kingdom Hall. is that really necessary?

    Before someone become a witness that can take months sometimes years.
    this is how it happens. a witness knock at your door,offer you a bible study, and it is up to you to accept the study. if you accept they give you the book that will be used for the study . the study is done everyweek. you have the time to study the book, to read the scriptures way before the study with the witness.
    and during the study you have plenty of time to ask questions. and it is up to you to accept or not the informations provided based on the bible.
    when someone choose to become a witness it is a personal decision after months and years of study the bible with the witness and assisting their meeting.
    it is still a personal choice even is your parents are witnesses, and parents take the time to study with their kids. when the kids become adult they choose if they want to stay a witness or not.
    why would you debate about doctrines at the meetings since you had plenty of time to do it, months, even years to do it before you make your own choice to become a witness?

    what about authoritarian leadership ?
    Jehovah organization don’t force their believes on anyone. any witness is free to abandon the organization at any time. our believes are based on God’s word the bible
    so if any witness refused to follow what the bible say Romans 16:17 will be apply

    Romans 16:17 Now I exhort you brothers to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned and avoid them.

    let’s take one teaching based on God’s word the bible the refusal of Blood Transfusion.
    is that really based on the bible?
    is that really only a dietary commandment. Let’s examine the fact.
    Leviticus 17:10, 11 said:
    as for any man of the house of Israel or some alien resident who is residing as an alien in your midst who” EATS ANY SORT OF BLOOD” and I shall indeed CUT HIM OFF from among his people.
    For the live of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon THE ALTAR TO MAKE ATONEMENT FOR YOUR SOULS, BECAUSE IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKES ATONMENT BY THE SOUL IN IT.

    IS THAT ONLY A DIETARY COMMENDMENT?
    God’s People at that time will not blood for a reason, Blood had special meaning for God. It represents life. You eat to sustain your life, according to these scriptures God’s people should not eat blood to sustain their life.

    it is true modern therapy employing blood did not exist at that time, but using blood in medecine is not modern. for some 2,000 years in Egypt human blood was used as remedy for leprosy.
    Israel was slave in Egypte did they used blood as a remedy? Read Leviticus 13:46 and you will see the answer.
    “the leper was isolated outside the camp.
    how do you think God will feel if a family choose to give blood to their son for example to cure him from leprosy like the egyptians were doing? think..
    we agree to say it was more than a dietary commendment.

    what about the first century christians in Romans time?
    Acts 15:29 said:”KEEP ABSTAINING FROM BLOOD”
    what was the meaning for the first century Christians?
    in Romans time human blood was also used in medecine. Pliny a contemporary of the apostles and the second century physician Aretaeus Report that Human Blood was a treatment for EPILEPSY.
    Can you think of a Christian drinking Blood in other to cure his epilepsy?
    not according to Tertullian, according to him: Early christian would risk death rather than take in Blood.

    Experiment with blood transfusion began in the 16th century. Thomas Bartholin professor anatomy at that time objected:
    Those who drag in the use of human blood for internal remedies of diseases appear to misuse it and to sin gravely. Cannibals are condemned. Why do we not abhor those who stain their gullet with human blood? Similar is the receiving of alien blood from a cut vein, either through the mouth or by instruments of transfusion. The authors of this operation are held in terror by the divine law, by which the eating of blood is prohibited.’

    Jehovah Witnesses Value Life and we seek good medical care(there are many alternatives to blood transfusions), but as we see God’s commandment to abstain from blood also applied to medical use of Blood.

    Next— what is it that sometimes Jehovah witnesses change their explanation on bible scriptures? are they really false prophets?
    in the contrary that showed Jehovah Witnesses are very humble and they are willing to accept the correct explanation of scriptures.
    Regarding prophecies for example DAniel 12:4 say:
    “and as for you o DAniel make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the TRUE KNOWLEDGE WILL BECOME ABUNDANT”.
    According to this scripture The True knowledge will become abundant in the time of the end.
    Meaning God’s servant had to wait until the time of the end to completely understand the book of DAniel or bible prophecies. Increased knowledge often requires adjustments in one’s thinking

    Sometimes we have to wait on God to reveal the true understanding of certains bible prophecy to his true servants.
    Let’s take for example Bible Prophecies regarding the Messiah. jesus Disciples knew these prophecies but do they really understand them?
    Matthew 16:21-23
    Jesus explained to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem suffer and died and raised up on the third day as prophecied. what did peter said to him:”Be kind to yourself Lord, you will not have this destiny.
    Peter knew the prophecies about the Messiah but him and the others did not understand them
    imagine that they had Jesus teaching them but they still did not understand.
    it was after Jesus dead and Resurrection that they fully understand the messianic Prophecies.The Bible shows that GOD enables his servants to understand his purpose in a progressive manner.
    Acts 1:6 Jesus disciples asked him: Lord are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?
    jesus disciples did not fully understand God’s purpose because of that they had wrong expectations, it was the same for Jehovah witnesses.

    Regarding Happiness the bible say that God is teaching us for our benefits
    We can only have true satisfaction in life if we obey God, serve God with his true Organization. if you want to choose something else, good luck with your choice.

    Good luck, keep in mind 2 thessalonians 1:6-10

    • JW POLICE

      Absolute ignorance. Jehovah Witness’s religion pathetic new religion that scares and warps members to be stuck into your surreal way of life. Knocking on doors, putting in 40 hours of time a week to be “saved”. Unbelievable. 144000 people will be saved? There is over 6 billion on this planet and you ignorant puke think that just your religion will be honored with everlasting life? This religion is fake, it is a cult, it discourages research about its origin. Why? Because its ludicris. Kingdom Hall this Watchtower that. Its so stupid. Even more than scientology.

  13. Hi Jack

    The key critical point is that saying it is written in the bible does not legitimise whether:

    a) what is being said is good/accurate
    b) that the interpretation reflects the author’s meaning
    c) that there is a rationale that supports what is being said, independent of a book or god.

    The circular reasoning you use means that any organisation could get any number of things wrong and yet still claim to be the truth progressively . For most people however making predictions about the end of the world that did not come to pass in the name of god is a very difficult thing to come back from because the bible says very clearly that makes you a false prophet.

    By that definition alone, and if we take the bible at it’s word, then the organisation is not sanctioned by god. The disciples admitted they did not know or understand – that was missing when Russell et al made their predictions.

    As for debate being necessary – well it is usually considered a good way to be progressively right about things ….

  14. Jack

    What makes Jehovah witnesses different from other religions is that their believes are based on God’s word. there cannot be more than one interpretation on scriptures only one interpretation will be the correct one.

    Let me give you an example take the trinity.
    those who believe in the trinity will use scriptures to proof it. let’s take one of them:
    Jesus said in John 10:30 I and the father are one.

    A lot of people use that scripture to proof the trinity, there can only be one explanation, how can we understand that scripture:

    first of all if you read John 3:16 said God loves the world that he sent his son to die for us. so Jesus is God son, any explanation of scriptures about the Relationship of God with his son should not contradicts that scripture if it does it is wrong.
    you can understand John 10:30 if you take Jesus words in John 17:20, 21.
    praying for his disciples he said: IN order that they be one, just as you father are in union with me and I am in union with you ……

    there can only be one true explanation: when Jesus said I and the father are one he did not mean like the trinitarians think that him and his are the same exact person.
    he simply mean there’s unity between him and his dad.

    The bible explain itself, when the interpretation reflects the author’s meaning it will be wrong. there are many other examples I could use but that one is enough.

    I said based on Daniel 12:4 in the time of the end the true knowledge will become abundant for God true servant, the time we are living what now.
    and the religious organization in the world today don’t get any number of things wrong, they don’t even know the true God. their believes are based on Human traditions and philosophy, like the trinity, immortality of the souls, celebrations of pagan holidays, etc…. these organizations cannot claim to receive the truth progressively from God, they don’t even know God.
    Jesus Disciples never say to him they don’t understand the prophecies regarding the Messiah, when they don’t understand an illustration they ask Jesus not the prophecies.

    you sound like a very pride man, debating will not help anyone find the truth.
    have you never see a debate, what usually is the outcome?

    Have to go out I will get back with you later.

  15. John Payzant

    To Jack
    John 17:3 and in context with all other verses in Ch17
    John 17:
    -1 glorify the son,that thy Son may glorify thee.
    -2 As thou hast give him power over all flesh
    -7 ,whatever thou hst given me,are of thee.
    -8 I came out from thee
    -10 And all mine are thine,and thine are mine;and I am glorified in them.
    -21 Father, art in me, and I in thee,that they also may be one in us;
    -23 I in them,and thou in me,
    -25 I have known thee,
    -26 that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them,and I in them

  16. John Payzant

    To Jack

    Have you read the book Apocalypse Delayed
    The Story about Jehovah’s Witnesses”
    By James Penton

    James was a 4th Generation Jehovah’s Witness who has fairly high positions within the JWs and was a History Professor at the University of Alberta.

    He was disfellowshipped was a very cruel procedure practiced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.He is now one of many Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.He said,”The Jehovah’s Witnesses is a sect that never became a denomination,it has no Systematic Theology,under Russell was the ‘Bible Students Association’ the magazine was ‘The Morning Herald’,under Rutherford was ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ and ‘The Watchtower’ changed the Goverment into a Theocracy resembles papal authority of the Roman Catholic Church”.

    I’ve seen Preachers Present Arms by Dr Ray Abrams is interesting but you should read Apocalypse Delayed.Joseph Rutherford also tried to ally with Adlof Hitler but was not accepted so churches alliances with was is not uncommon and that includes the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  17. John Payzant

    Jack

    Churches alliances with War is not uncommon.

    Quakers are anti-war

    Mennonitesm are anti-war

    Now Jehovah’s Witnesses are anti-war

    I see no evidence that Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Rutherford have any Systematic Theological Training.One was the son of a clothing chain owner and the other was a Lawyer then a Judge.

    Russell was once a Presbyterian and JWs still borrow material from Prebyterians

  18. John Payzant

    To Jack

    In the book Apocalypse Delayed by James Penton
    was mentioned the Charles Taze Russell claimed he knew Greek but was taken to court proved he did not know Greek.

    Coming out of the Presbyterian Church but compare the Jehovah’s Witnesses with other Churches of today and there is quite a difference.

    Russell believed the 144,000 was the 12 tribes of Israel but Rutherford believed it to be a -select group- sounds like a belief that could’ve come out of Calvinism of predestination and election and applied it to the 144,000.

    James Penton in Apocalypse Delayed mentioned about The Cross said,”When a Cross was put into the ground with one piece of wood going into the ground and one piece of wood nailed across it the writer would write ‘stake or pole’ the broader Greek Translation would be ‘A Tree’ . So, in those times, the writer, when writing about a Cross writing about it would use the words, stake, pole or tree.So, Jesus was hung on a Cross.John 17:21 Father art in me and I in Thee so that means that the fullness of God The Father,who is sometimes called Jehovah, is in Jesus so you come to the father through Jesus the son praying to the heavenly father who is in Jesus and ending the prayer in Jesus name.

  19. To Jack

    About the origins,the roots of Jehovah’s Witnesses lets go back to the Bible Students’ Association under Charles Taze Russell.Now Russell was from a religious Scotch-Irish Presbyterian family.The origins of Presbyterianism comes from John Calvin who originates from France.The Calvinists in France were called Heugeuenots and 1000s were slaughtered in 1580 in Paris on St Bartholemew’s Day.The roots of the Presbyterian goes back to Calvin in France.Calvinism is Christian Reformed as it reformed from Roman Catholicism.There is an area in France called Taize,Charles Russell’s middle name is Taze.Could Charles Taze Russell have had some ancestors who were French Huegeuenots who’d fled to Scotland and or Ireland to intermarry with his mother’s or his father’s families? Could he have been given the middle name Taze for having some French Hugeuenot blood in him?

    What is the history and structure of Calvinism?
    And what is the history and structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses that came out of Calvinism?
    Comparing the two and where they are simmilar and where they differ and why?
    What was behind the descisions that ended up resulting in Jehavah’s Witnesses to differ from its’ Calvinist,its’ Presbyterian roots?

  20. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have most of the similarities of a typical cult including mind control, use of fear tactics, etc…

    A good list I found is here:

    http://criticalsearch.blogspot.com/2008/04/common-cult-characteristics.html

    For the more active discussion boards as far as general information and recovery goes is here:

    http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com

    Ron

  21. John Payzant

    To Jack

    Have you read the book:

    Apocalypse Delayed

    by

    James Penton (History Professor & 4th Generation Jehovah’s Witness then disfellowshipped)

    Is is there he mentioned that:

    -Charles Taze Russel was taken to court where it was found out he did not know greek

    -He called:

    -Jehovah’s Witnesses the ‘Bible Students’ Association

    -The Watchtower ‘The Morning Herald’

    -Joseph Rutherford did try to ally with Adolf Hitler & the Nazis but was not accepted by them

    -So, then, Joseph Rutherford became anti-war

    -He remamed:

    -The Bible Students’ Association to Jehovah’s Witnesses

    -The Morning Herald to The Watchtower

    -The Watchtower articles are recopied older articles that most people don’t read

    -The converts don’t last long

    -Deprogramming of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Japan

    -He structured a Theocratic Government for the Jehovah’s Witnesses that gives a top down authority from the Watch Tower Society

    -This is run by what’s left of the 144,000

    -Charles Taze Russell believed the 144,000 to be the 12 tribes of Israel

    -Joseph Rutherford concidered the 144,000 to be a select group

    -Judge Rutherford wrote the ‘New World Translation’

    -In the 1930s Depression he drove in a Cadillac V-16

    -In this book was mentioned that Joseph Rutherford was put in jail for 10 years

    -Joseph Rutherford was an alcoholic

    -James Penton said in his book,

    -“Jehovah’s Witnesses is a sect that never became a denomination and has no Systematic Theology”

    -They don’t encourage higher University education

    -The author James Penton was disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses

    -He described the disfellowhipping as cruel

    -How Jehovah’s Witnesses practice disfellowshipping and what it it based upon?

    -How the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are ‘The True Church’ yet have no ‘Systematic Theology?

  22. CINDY L TRUITT

    I HAVE JUST STARTED A BIBLESTUDY WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND SO FAR I HAVE SEEN NOTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS RELIGION.

  23. Thank you very much for your help, this has been a great abatement from the books,

  24. Kathy

    there is definitely a need for debate as realized by the preceding messages!debate IS necessary even at Kingdom Hall.Now,that i have your attention..it is My experience of late (with-in the last 8 months) that the JW’s who have been stopping by told me just today that if I continue arguing with them, they will have to stop coming by.WHY you ask?Because i choose to debate their theology and dogma in direct opposition to their bible-pointing, scripture-reading beliefs.SPIRITUALITY IS 180DEGREES (OPPOSITE) from structured religion (which by the way was and still is a way to keep MAN BOUND WITH-IN anothers’: opinions,phylosophys and dictates).I told my Witnesses that i considered CATHOLICISM a cult, and she said “people think that JW’s are a cult also.PERSONALLY, I THINK MOST RELIGIONS ARE.One needs to be discerning when it comes to matters of FAITH.

  25. Anna

    I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am not sure how I got into this post. I did bookmark this many months ago and today, I revisited it. I truly understand where the writers of this post are coming from, or where all the confusions lie. For it took me more than a decade to finally fully embrace the fate – reading anything against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, ect.

    The list of things that we can talk about can go on and on and on. There could be no end as to what is right or what is wrong.

    I was baptized in Sept 2007 and in less than 2 years, I was disfellowshipped for wrong-doing. Truly, for anyone outside, it is very harsh. But I NEEDED it, I needed the discipline badly. Instead of befriending people in the world, I decided to be alone just with my children – all along never missing the meetings.

    I have been reinstated a month ago and been very happy since – all of a sudden, I have an explosion of friends. True and loving friends among Jehovah’s people – and yes, they are sincere. My being disfellowshipped is the BEST thing that happened to me. When I didn’t have anyone else and felt drowning in a sea of despair (except the elders – have been kind and they would talk to me), that’s when I truly sought God in prayers and painful outcries. He finally saw the sincerity of my heart. I finally found Him. It took more than 2 decades of my life but I finally found Jehovah. He healed me. The peace and calm that enveloped my whole being is unbelievable, it is beyond normal. The contentment I feel these days is amazing.

    One can only find that when you have a DEEP PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jehovah (no, not with the Watchtower society that is only being used by Jehovah as a channel). Everything is between me and God. I pray a lot these days, thru Jesus Christ of course. Because now I know He DOES answer prayers. He healed my broken heart from 2 decades of tumultuous life. The spiritual food I get from the Kingdom Hall is what is giving me and my children strength – much needed strength in this wicked, hopeless and messy world we live in.

    Years ago, I did have thoughts similar to ones above – confusing thoughts, questioning thoughts. But eventually, I realized: TRULY THERE IS NOTHING BETTER OUT THERE. I’d rather be in the safety of Jehovah’s fold. Many people in the world are feisty, fierce, unkind. Even those who are nice by worldly standards are without true godly wisdom.

    It is not like I grew up in the Truth. I was Catholic, went to different churches, celebrated Christmas, birthdays and all kinds of Holidays. Some as a child I still have fond memories. But digging deeper into the meanings of these, of the people I celebrated it with – friends, family and even strangers – it’s all so shallow and meaningless. So it’s not like I am really missing anything. I’ve done ALL these things.

    I am glad I stayed. There is no other way to live. I am in the safety of the “secret place of the Almighty.” Really, it takes a lot of Strength and Humility. It takes Wisdom.

    And looking out there, there is NOTHING better……

    • Left blog for a year so apologises not replying sooner. I’d read the publications of the Watchtower society – I was lucky to know an elder that had a collection going back to Russell – then decide if any omnipotent being would use them as a channel. It’s not so much looking for something better but I could not stay with something false and frankly absurd.

      But that’s just me.

      You are however right that your post begging me to rejoin would not be approved. But I do this to people who agree with me to that post anything longer than my original blog (wish they’d link a response on their blog to mine).

  26. Anna

    I meant…to fully embrace the faith (not fate)

  27. randy

    Some define sect to mean a group that has broken away from an established religion. Others apply the term to a group that follows a particular human leader or teacher. The term is usually used in a derogatory way. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not an offshoot of some church but include persons from all walks of life and from many religious backgrounds. They do not look to any human, but rather to Jesus Christ, as their leader.

    A cult is a religion that is said to be unorthodox or that emphasizes devotion according to prescribed ritual. Many cults follow a living human leader, and often their adherents live in groups apart from the rest of society. The standard for what is orthodox, however, should be God’s Word, and Jehovah’s Witnesses strictly adhere to the Bible. Their worship is a way of life, not a ritual devotion. They neither follow a human nor isolate themselves from the rest of society. They live and work in the midst of other people.

    According to the Bible, the line of witnesses of Jehovah reaches back to faithful Abel. Hebrews 11:4–12:1 says: “By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain . . . By faith Noah, after being given divine warning of things not yet beheld, showed godly fear . . . By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed in going out into a place he was destined to receive as an inheritance . . . By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of the daughter of Pharaoh, choosing to be ill-treated with the people of God rather than to have the temporary enjoyment of sin . . . So, then, because we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also put off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

    With reference to Jesus Christ, the Bible states: “These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God.” Of whom was he a witness? He himself said that he made his Father’s name manifest. He was the foremost witness of Jehovah.—Rev. 3:14; John 17:6.

    Interestingly, some of the Jews asked whether the activity of Jesus Christ represented “a new teaching.” (Mark 1:27) Later, some Greeks thought the apostle Paul was introducing a “new teaching.” (Acts 17:19, 20) It was new to the ears of those who were hearing it, but the important thing was that it was the truth, in full harmony with God’s Word.

    The modern-day history of Jehovah’s Witnesses began with the forming of a group for Bible study in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in the early 1870’s. At first they were known only as Bible Students, but in 1931 they adopted the Scriptural name Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Isa. 43:10-12) Their beliefs and practices are not new but are a restoration of first-century Christianity.

    • The history of the bible students worth reading if only to show that never was a religion’s theology more the product of human imagination and fantasy. In particular the prophecies of Charles Russell that never came to pass in the years he claimed. False prophet that does to give me confidence that the way had been rediscovered from here on in.

      The governing body is very much a human organization that in new editions changes views without stating the change, using scripture to back up each view (example those destroyed in Sodom and Gormorrah being resurrected on judgment day one I remember while I was studying) in publications.

      If only people would just stop adding to the Sermon on the Mount … Paul you have a lot to answer!

  28. hoggdogg

    the johovas witness is a cult be cause if you are not a johova witness you have to cut off every one thats not a johovas witness and they do not belive in the american flag and they said jesus was return in 1874 1925 1911 and changed their doctern 148 times and said jesus wasnt on the cross but on a stick they dont vote they dont join the service if a american dosent belive in the american flag get out of america go where i was in china and baghdad and say that

    • You don’t “have to” leave behind those not JWs. It just happens because you don’t attend birthdays, Christmas etc. Then you have four meetings, witnessing door to door.

      So you do end up in your own little bubble.

  29. hoggdogg

    the johovas say that only 144 thousand going to heaven and they donot belive you die and you just sleeping and there no hell and they say hell not in the bible well jesus went to hell and took the keys away their reglion is messed up their bible is called new world translation of hoil sprit go figure i didnt know much about the johovas till one day my wife and me was on the to church saw this guy walking so we gave him a ride he blew my mind told him we were christains we asked him if he wanted to go to our chruch and told me no off the bat he been going to the johovas snice he was 2 i asked him whats he lear about jesus they belive jesus was an prophet well let the slander jesus they will have answer for that

    • I think they still believe Jesus was the Son of God, though in human form was the greatest man that ever lived. Not god in flesh, and rejecting the trinity.

      I’d just like to stick to the Sermon on the Mount. Everything added to that is just brass.

  30. Excellent post! I’m only sorry I hadn’t seen it months ago. As far as definitions of cults go, I’d add another one: any religious organization that forbids reading the bible on your own. We can’t have people’s attention drawn to scriptures that pose awkward questions and challenges to our suffocating little structure and belief system, now, can we?

    • The irony is with JWs that while encouraged in private study you always make use of WTBS publications. So in a sense never alone reading the bible for your own reflection. Always with the Society view.

      • True. In my mother’s day, though, they made such a song and dance about forbidding anyone reading their bibles alone. Perhaps they’ve relaxed that rule now? I still feel almost heartsick thinking of the millions of people still swallowing all that crap. But then again, we woke up and got out – I’m sure an increasing number will do the same 🙂

      • True – if only the Internet had been around back then.

        The issue I think is time, that really most people would have little time outside of preparations for study group and meetings to do your own reading. It would be frowned on reading the bible and relying on yourself to understand the bible. You would never question dogma or scripture at a meeting that is for sure!

        It was looking at those old publications that made me realise they were making it all up as they went along.

  31. eddie

    bunch of blasphemies….JWS rock!!!

  32. eddie

    as long as it helps better your life all to you…. if they aren’t hurting anyone then leave them alone…

    • You mean like refusing a blood transfusion in a critical blood loss situation (including children) never hurts anyone?

      Shunning of family members that leave the faith never hurt anyone?

      Not automatically reporting child abuse to secular authorities, or having in place child safeguarding practises, never hurt anyone?

      Changing dogma, prophecies that are false, women covering heads in submission to men should they lead over a brother in prayer, and women having no position of authority never hurt anyone?

      Suggesting the United Nations, government agencies, non governmental agencies, are part of the evil system of things while not actively helping in humanitarian action for those outside the faith – that never hurt anyone?

      Everyone is free to have their religion and conscience. No one is entitled to cause harm and get away with it without comment.

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