LIFE CHANGING INVENTORY
COLORFUL & INFORMATIVE LISTINGS
Webster's Dictionary defines a "lie" very simply as a statement which the maker knows to be false, or a statement which the maker knows will give a false impression.
However, the WatchTower Society has provided Jehovah's Witnesses with a much more complex definition of a "lie". The WatchTower encyclopedia states:
Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person. -- INSIGHT ON THE SCRIPTURES, Volume 2, Page 244.
That WatchTower encyclopedia article also cites certain Biblical situations where it erroneously implies that the Bible teaches that lies and deceit are appropriate when such allow God's people to escape trouble from their enemies. Conspicuously absent from their misconstrued examples is the incident when the apostle Peter denied Jesus Christ three times in order to avoid suffering the same fate as Christ. If Peter had been a Jehovah's Witness, he not only would have NOT thereafter "wept bitterly", but rather he would have been extremely proud of himself, even boasting of how he had outwitted those who had meant him harm.
The WatchTower Society teaches Jehovah's Witnesses that if a given person is "not entitled" to be told the truth, JWs can tell that person a pure falsehood. Or, the JW can tell a half-truth which gives the person a false impression. In either case, the Jehovah's Witness does so with a clear conscience.
The WatchTower definition even permits a lie to be told to a person whom a JW deems "entitled" to be told the truth, so long as the lie is not intended to "injure" someone.
Who determines if and when someone is "entitled" to be told the truth? Who determines whether the lie will cause "injury"? Each Jehovah's Witness makes those decisions themselves. When applied to real life situations, the room for abuse is obvious.
However, the full significance of this WatchTower teaching is not understood unless you also understand the WatchTower's Theocratic War Doctrine. What is that?
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that a "theocratic war" of sorts is currently going on between God's forces and Satan's forces. JWs believe that they are the only people on earth who are on God's side, which means that every other person and every other societal institution is on Satan's side, thus an enemy of the JWs and the WatchTower Society.
The ramifications of combining these two religious teachings should be obvious. Any JW, at any time, can intentionally lie to any non-JW, and they do so without a twinge of conscience. Ironically, JWs become so accustomed to the irrational thinking that they even use it against each other by [ir]rationalizing that the other JW is not entitled to know whatever is at issue.
Dr. Bergman's book discusses this phenomenon, but particularly how such impacts those who have the misfortune to clash with JWs in the judicial system.
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