Jehovah’s Witnesses are conditioned to think and speak as the ruling body of the Watchtower Society wishes them to. Witnesses have no individual thought or freedom of expression concerning religious belief. They must believe only the pronouncements of the Society as if they emanated from Jehovah God Himself. Through a process of circular reasoning, Jehovah’s Witnesses accept whatever the Watchtower Society tells them because the Society is God’s channel of communication. In this post we find out about the Watchtower Society and mind control.
They believe this because they believe that the Society is the only religious organization on earth teaching the truth. They arrive at this conclusion because they accept everything the Society tells them. The Society’s ruling body does not tolerate any divergent opinion. In support of this position it cites 1 Corinthians 1:10, "Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought." The Watchtower Society uses this verse to impose strict conformity among its adherents. Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed not to accept or read "the religious literature of people they meet,"1 not to listen to "criticism of Jehovah’s organization"2 and not to speak words "expressing criticism of the way the appointed elders are handling matters."3 Jehovah’s Witnesses are further instructed to "Avoid independent thinking . . . questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization," and to "Fight against independent thinking."4
Witnesses are not allowed to disagree with the Society on any point of doctrine. All Scripture must be interpreted exactly as ordained by the Society. All questions and answers are carefully interpreted for the membership through the continuous publication of books and periodicals. While the Jehovah’s Witnesses use the phrase "Bible study" what they actually mean is a study of The Watchtower magazine and Watchtower books. Through its indoctrination program members and potential members are conditioned not to think independently but to merely repeat what the Watchtower Society has ordained. Those who do not abide by its decisions stand the risk of being disfellowshiped.
The Watchtower Society does not want its members to consider the implications of its years of teaching falsehood. It does not want its members to scrutinize the Watchtower Society’s teachings with the same standards it sets for others. The Watchtower Society states that "We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. . . . If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."5 So why does the Watchtower Society fear examination of its teachings? The following will illustrate:
". . . we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished at the end of A.D. 1914." (Charles Taze Russell, The Time is at Hand [Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 2], Brooklyn: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1888, 1889 [1908 ed.], p. 99)
"Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of ‘Christianity.’" (Russell, The Finished Mystery [Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 7], Brooklyn: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1917 edition, p. 485)
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter 11, to the condition of human perfection." (J.F. Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1920, pp. 89-90)
"Receiving the gift [Children], the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." (The Watchtower, September 15, 1941, p. 288)
"Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity? . . . Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end." (Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3)
Jehovah’s Witnesses may claim they do not personally bother with date fixings of the time of the end of this world order, but the truth is that the Watchtower Society’s doctrines and beliefs center around the end of this world order. From its inception it has made predictions that have been proven false by the mere passage of time. The Society contends that what it teaches is "Jehovah’s will as emanating from God’s throne in heaven"6 and that it is God’s "sole collective channel for the flow of Biblical truth to men on earth,"7 The Watchtower Society as revealed through its publications has failed not only the biblical test of the true prophet, as found in Deuteronomy 18:22, but even its own test: "Jehovah, the God of the true prophets, will put all false prophets to shame either by not fulfilling the false predictions of such self-assuming prophets or by having His own prophecies fulfilled in such a way opposite to that predicted by the false prophets. False prophets will try to hide their reason for feeling shame by denying who they really are."8
We ask members of Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider one more statement found in a Watchtower Society publication: "Knowing these things, what will you do? It is obvious that the true God, who is himself "the God of truth" and who hates lies, will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood. . . . And really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?9
Footnotes: 1 The Watchtower, May 1, 1984, p. 31. 2 Ibid., May 15, 1984, p. 17. 3 Ibid., January 15, 1984, p. 16. 4 Ibid., January 15, 1983, pp. 22, 27. 5 The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1968, p. 13. 6 The Watchtower, July 15, 1960, p. 439. 7 Ibid., p. 439. 8 Paradise Restored to Mankind-By Theocracy, Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1972, pp. 253-254. 9 Is This Life All There Is? Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1974, p. 46; The Watchtower, November 15, 1963, p. 688.