JWfacts makes it as simple as possible to determine if Jehovah's Witnesses have "the truth."
Since its 1879 inception, Watchtower has preached "the End" is soon, originally predicting it would occur in 1914 and then 1925. This claim was subsequently adjusted to say the End will be very shortly, culminating in billions of humans being killed at God's war of Armageddon. Only Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved, surviving to live forever on this earth. It is common for leaders of fundamentalist religions to teach that only they know truth and their followers alone are worthy of salvation.
Core is the need to belong to Jehovah's organization, which is represented by the Faithful and Discreet Slave; the Governing Body. Yet neither the word organization nor term Governing Body appear in the Bible, and the concept of the slave is reliant on a parable.
This site concentrates on three areas:
- With a history of significant errors and changes, can God be directing Watchtower?
- Is Watchtower honest when quoting secular sources and presenting its history?
- Are current Watchtower doctrine and practices justified Biblically?
Conducting unbiased evaluation of whether your own religion is truth is exceedingly difficult and the following articles are recommended as a first step in putting relevant issues in perspective.
Watchtower encourages you to conduct thorough research into its' teachings and history.
"In a similar way, people today need to examine the facts. They must compare what they are taught by God's people with what the Scriptures say. They also need to study the record of Jeohvah's people in modern times. If they do a proper "background check," they will not allow prejudice or hearsay to blind them." Watchtower 2021 May 1 pp.3,4
If you feel guilty researching outside of Watchtower publications, consider the following quote.
"It is important, then, that you "keep testing whether you are in the faith," as Paul declared. Keep checking to see whether the things you believe are in keeping with God's Word. But the question is, Are you willing to put your religion through such a test? There is nothing to fear, because if you have the right religion you can only be reassured by the examination. And if what you believe is not in keeping with the Bible, then you should welcome the truth, because it leads to light and life." Watchtower 1958 May 1 p.261 Is Your Religion the Right One?
If people of other faiths are encouraged to examine their religion, you should be prepared to do the same. If what you believe is The Truth, any examination should strengthen your faith.
Jehovah's Witnesses have the highest turnover of any religion - Watchtower statistics. Key issues instrumental in members leaving in recent years have been:
- Watchtower pedophile policy
- Watchtower UN NGO association
- Generation changes
- Misquotes, Deception & Lies
Over a million Jehovah's Witnesses have been disfellowshipped in the last 15 years. The most damaging aspect of Watchtower lore is that when a person no longer accepts the teachings as truth and are disfellowshipped, they are to be shunned by all Witness friends and family. As a result, many have been estranged from family for decades.
I was raised a Witness with both parents in full time service and spent over 7 years as a Pioneer and at Bethel. Being a Witness was my life, nothing else mattered because Jehovah would rectify everything in the New System. Yet two things always bothered me:
- If holy spirit directs the organization, why are incorrect doctrine introduced that later require being changed?
- How can Jehovah destroy billions of people, when many will never hear his name?
The Watchtower uses "the light gets brighter" to explain that the Bible predicts minor clarifications of truth. However, looking through this site will quite simply prove that the changes have been significant. If reading literature from former members worries you then reading Russell's Studies in the Scriptures is enough for many people to realize that the religion Russell started has very little resemblance to the Witnesses today. Early Watchtower teachings on Pyramids and use of Freemason symbols are discussed in Da Vinci Code. There are also over 20 wrong dates, many that were part of Watchtower doctrine for over 50 years. "F&D Slave" shows that there has never been a line of Jehovah's Witnesses that even remotely believe current Watchtower truth. In fact every Witness prior to 1950 would have been disfellowshipped for apostasy for numerous reasons. What is disappointing is the way that current Watchtower articles refer to these changes. When a significant doctrine has changed back and forth, or been introduced and then renounced, a person must ask "Can I believe that God directed the organization to make such mistakes?"
The most important doctrine of any religion is in regard to the God that they worship, so of great significance is that until the 1950's Jehovah's Witnesses were told they must worship and pray to Jesus. Since 1954 to do so has been a disfellowshipping offence. This indicates that until the 1950's all Witnesses were polytheistic. Measured against current Watchtower truth all early Witnesses and Bible Students were involved in false worship and therefore can not be part of the heavenly little flock. More surprising is that until 1999 the Watchtower Charter stated that the purpose of the organization was to promote the worship of "Almighty God and Christ Jesus".
Underpinning the Watchtower Society is the doctrine that Jesus heavenly rule commenced 1914. 1914 contains original Watchtower quotes showing that prior to 1914 the Watchtower claimed that Jesus rule commenced 1874 and predicted that in 1914 Armageddon would destroy all religion, all government and that the dead would be resurrected on to earth. It is startling to see what the Watchtower now claims it said prior to 1914. Truth corresponds to ascertainable fact and if the Watchtower promotes falsehoods it is not Truth.
Being a Jehovah's Witness has benefited many lives, as following Christian standards on morality and love can be beneficial. There is no attempt here to point the finger at any individual, as in general Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely believe they are doing what is right and are genuinely nice people. However, issues such as the dangerous and inconsistent stance on blood, and the extreme practice of shunning even family members, possibly for life, are issues that require careful consideration. Before following such life altering practices a person deserves access to information in order to make an informed decision as to whether the Governing Body is directed by Holy Spirit and should be followed without question.
What entitles this organization to claim to be God's only visible organization, the only "Truth" and only means of salvation, when it is directed by men? God's Holy Spirit does not guide the religion, as proven when:
- Brothers have been appointed elders whilst molesting children.
- Doctrines change as the Governing Body leadership changes.
A critical concept for a Jehovah's Witness to realise is that they are in no way unique; neither in doctrinal beliefs, displays of love or techniques of control, and I feel the most important section of this site is to learn the techniques of mind control through fear, and also to understand that there are many religions that are very similar to Jehovah's Witnesses.
Proving that the organization is not directed by Jehovah took me many years because of fear; fear of change, fear of my own motives and fear of researching outside of the Watchtower. I ended up researching and writing hundreds of pages of information before I was content that I was not "misled by Satan." I hope that this site can help make that process far quicker and easier for others. I now understand that I suffered what is commonly referred to as cognitive dissonance. In order to understand that the way you may be thinking, feeling and justifying is common to members of many similar organizations I recommend reading When Prophecies Fail.
Researching earthquakes had a profound effect on me, upon finding the glaring deceptions that are present in Watchtower articles. This and subsequent research helped me understand that current Watchtower doctrine is often incorrect, inaccurately presented, and that other religions have good reason for why they differ to Jehovah's Witnesses.
To come to the realisation that Jehovah's Witnesses do not represent truth is devastating. To realise that your whole life, all friendships and possibly even your relationship with God may be affected has extreme emotional effects. However, I can assure you that being realistic about truth and the Watchtower Society is worth it. Many Witnesses do not want to know about these things, using the thought stopping question "Where else would I go?" This mis-statement indicates over reliance on the organization, encouraged by the Watchtower (w75 9/1 p.531 "Where could we turn if we would leave God's organization today? There is nowhere else! (John 6:66-69)") What Peter actually said to Jesus at John 6:68 was "Lord, whom shall we go away to?" The first step is to understand the truth about Watchtower and the difference between following Jesus, and following a self promoted organization. Life becomes a wonderful journey as the Bible and spirituality start to reveal themselves.
The majority of quotations on this site are from the Watchtower Library CD, which can be ordered through the kingdom hall. The Watchtower CD only contains the Awake! and other publications back to 1970, and the Watchtower to 1950. Publications since 2000 are available online at the official Watchtower website at wol.jw.org. To verify other quotes that appear on this site, it is possible to find older publications in some congregation libraries. Alternatively, go to Historical Publications for links to scans of most historical Watchtower publications.
Written 2005, latest update July 2021.
Paul Grundy 2005 - 2022