The Fantasy of George Orwell's "1984" Society

Compared with the Reality of the WatchTower Society

(excerpted from "Witnesses of Jehovah" by Leonard Chretien)

The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is one of the most authoritarian religious organizations in the world today. It maintains absolute control over its membership, not only in areas of religious doctrine and teaching, but also in almost every other aspect in their lives. This authority stems from the fact that it has persuaded its membership that it, and it alone, is being used by God as His earthly representative. It is claimed that God's theocratic organization has been established and made manifest here on earth, particularly since 1919, when Jesus Christ examined and selected a "faithful and discreet slave" class.

Once the modern [Jehovah's] Witness accepts the idea that Jesus chose a "slave class" to administer his affairs, it is easy to convince him that this "slave class" has a Governing Body to direct or administer the outworkings of God's visible earthly organization.


Every dictate, change, rule, and prophetic or theological speculation comes to the individual [Jehovah's] Witness from the top down -- theocratically, so to speak! It is very difficult for mortal man to argue with God. [Jehovah's] Witnesses are counseled not to use their own reasoning but to rely on Jehovah's organization, his "channel of communication":

"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." In the same article just quoted, "The Watchtower" magazine reminds its readers of the source of the spiritual food, and the necessity that they swallow all that is presented to them without complaining:

"Are we assigned as individuals to bring forth the food for the spiritual table? No? Then let us not try to take over the slave's duties. 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." 2

The WatchTower Society refers to itself as "the mother organization," even using Scriptures that only have application to a person's physical mother to cement their authority. For example, they use Proverbs 6:20, "Forsake not the law of thy mother," (KJV) as proof of their authority. 

Further, the [WatchTower] Society likens the normal father-and-mother care and guidance of children to that of God the Father and their "motherly" organization. This emotionally conditions the [Jehovah's] Witness and engenders a strong, almost familial loyalty to the organization. It also keeps the adult [Jehovah's] Witness in a childlike state of dependence, always looking to "mother" for instruction.

In an article in "The Watchtower" magazine entitled "Show Respect for Jehovah's Organization," they contrast Christendom's "children" with the New World Society of Jehovah's Witness "children ." The "children," of course, refer to the followers of the respective organizations. Why do [Jehovah's] Witness "children'' have light while Christendom's do not? After all, both have the same lamp -- the Bible. The answer: [Jehovah's] Witnesses have accepted enlightening instruction through the heavenly Father's motherly organization.

The article goes on to inform the [Jehovah's] Witnesses that the "mother organization" is used by God to interpret the "light" contained in the Bible:

The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light.

"Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. ... It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother."

Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that they alone have an exclusive understanding of God's purposes, and that all other persons calling themselves Christian are in the dark. This includes individual [Jehovah's] Witnesses who may develop independent thinking and endeavor to develop a personal relationship with their Creator, thereby forsaking, as it were, "mother."

"Some who call themselves Christians and who claim God as their Father boast that they walk with God alone, that he directs their steps personally. Such persons not only forsake the teaching or law of the mother, but they literally throw God's woman out into the streets. The light of God's truth is not for them." 6

That is why [Jehovah's] Witnesses are reminded, when going door to door, to refuse any literature which a householder may offer. They are not going to people's doors searching for truth; rather, they have already learned the truth. So it is considered a waste of valuable time to expose themselves to any literature other than that published by the organization.

The [Jehovah's] Witness is conditioned to believe that to resist any new teaching or understanding that may be presented to them in the WatchTower literature is akin to going against God Himself. This is done with phrases such as "Not one of Jehovah's witnesses would deliberately insult either our heavenly Father or his motherly organization, would he? Rather, they should appreciate the good food served by their mother, and have nothing but praise for such worthy parents."

Sometimes it is difficult for [Jehovah's] Witnesses to distinguish between their human and organizational mothers when they hear the word "mother" spoken or see it written. Indeed, besides the physical mother that every [Jehovah's] Witness has, plus the earthly, spirit-directed organization, they are taught that the woman described in Revelation 12 is a heavenly mother organization. If this seems confusing, we will later see that the WatchTower organization also teaches that besides their natural father, the [Jehovah's] Witness has two heavenly Fathers, one of which is their Grandfather!

Be Organization-Minded

Most assuredly, the WatchTower organization sets itself in a lofty place. Once [Jehovah's] Witnesses accept the concept that all truth comes through the "faithful and discreet slave," they hand their minds over to the mother organization to do their thinking for them, and they accept whatever is presented as coming from God. They are told, "It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the 'slave' as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision."

This "voice of God" says that if [Jehovah's] Witnesses desire blessings from God they should accept the leadership of the [WatchTower] organization, abandoning their own standards and judgment: 

"Recognizing the rich blessings that Jehovah has poured out upon the 'faithful and discreet slave' as a class, can we not conclude that these same benefits will result to individuals who follow that example, who pattern their course after the one taken by his organization? Why, then, should we insist on choosing our own way, setting our own standards or endeavor to evalutate our own individual judgment more highly than that of this proved faithful 'slave'?" This submission to the organization is especially true as it relates to finding understanding of the Bible:

"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." 10

Thought Control

In 1978, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman authored a book entitled "Snapping" in which they examined and documented what they term "America's epidemic of sudden personality change." They examine the changes that individuals make when abandoning the larger world community to immerse themselves in authoritarian cult religions or extravagant psychological fantasies. Conway and Siegelman state: 

"In America today, aware, intelligent individuals of all ages are being persuaded to stop thinking voluntarily. While many, do so in their escape from the real world through authoritarian cult religions. ..."

Many persons would call this process brainwashing or thought-control. Conway and Siegelman call it "information disease," which they define as an "alteration through experience of a person's fundamental information-processing capacities."

Have Jehovah's Witnesses been persuaded to stop thinking voluntarily? In a "The Watchtower" article entitled "Exploring the Devil's Subtle Designs," under the subheading "Avoid Independent Thinking", they are told that questioning the organization imitates Satan's rebellion against God:

"From the very outset of his rebellion, Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by question- ing the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization."12

In a backup article from the same issue of "The Watchtower", there was further warning about the danger of independent thinking:

"... 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 evidence of pride. ... 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!" 13

Although it may seem difficult to believe, millions of [Jehovah's] Witnesses have submitted themselves to the autocratic control of the organization. Thought-control or brainwashing connotes a negative experience. The average [Jehovah's] Witness would resist strenuously the idea that he is thus manipulated in this way. Nevertheless, millions of persons have surrendered their freedom to think for themselves, and instead they accept anything their leadership tells them.

[Jehovah's] Witnesses are instructed that they must remain loyal to the [WatchTower Society]. The interests of the organization must be put ahead of one's own interests, or for that matter even the interests of family. To reject the organization -- even for loyalty to a family member -- is to reject God!14

"Sometime in the future a test may be imposed upon us to comply with certain information that God brings to our attention. It may hit something that we love very dearly. What will we do'? Will we hesitate in applying counsel, perhaps pondering in our mind as to what we want to do about it? If that would be the case, wouldn't we really be asking ourselves the question, "Do we really want the rulership of Cod?" Would not a failure to respond to direction from God through his organization really indicate a rejection of divine rulership? ..."

Doctrinal Changes

If there is anything constant in the WatchTower [Society] organization, it is change. The man-made theology is continually adjusted to accommodate failed prophecies or to present "new light." When "God's channel" makes prophetic blunders or changes long-held doctrines, it is difficult not to notice such events. Frequently these changes are complete turnarounds and not just minor adjustments. ... Down through the years, the organization has often reversed itself, teaching the very opposite of its former position. Because [Jehovah's] Witnesses are conditioned to expect "new light," the vast majorty of [Jehovah's] Witnesses do an about-face and accept the change as a revelation from God through His channel.

Paradise Delayed

Big mother is alive and well and living in New York state! Her "children" live with the constant reminder of that fact. While the Christian is taught to have faith in Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses are told to put faith in an organization. An individual [Jehovah's] Witness has no direct personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Their hope of eternal life depends not upon Jesus alone, but upon a chain of salvation in which the [WatchTower Society] organization is an essential link. That chain consists of: a) the individual Jehovah's Witness who seeks life; b) the "spirit-directed" organization referred to as the "ark of salvation" or "the place of safety"; c) Jesus Christ, the Mediator; and finally d) Jehovah, the Life-giver.

This key role of the [WatchTower Society] organization cannot be ignored. Should a Jehovah's Witness be disfellowshipped for any one of a number of reasons, or should a [Jehovah's] Witness disassociate himsclf, or resign from the organization, he is taught that his relationship with God is severed. A [Jehovah's] Witness who dies either naturally, or at the battle of Armageddon, without reconciliation with the organization, goes immediately into eternal death, along with all mankind who do not come to God's true spirit-directed organization.

The WatchTower organization claims for itself the distinction of being the "faithful and discreet slave", who since 1919 has full authority to serve spiritual food. Under this unique authority, the [WatchTower] organization is used as a "prophet" to prophesy future events. All persons must come to that organization for salvation, and remain in good standing, in order to be saved. For over a hundred years, [Jehovah's] Witnesses have been taught that the times are urgent and that it is incumbent upon them to spread the message of hope and doom. Numerous dates have been set for the end of the world, including the end of the "generation of 1914." ... 

The Utopian-paradise "carrot," which is now over one hundred years old, is held before the loyal [Jehovah's] Witness, who soldiers forward with the message, by selling literature and converting new victims. ... Of course, the idea of a Utopian society is not new. The vision of a world wherein peace, security, and the betterment of man prevails is not exclusive to WatchTower thinking. However, the WatchTower organization has elevated the concept to new heights, exceeding even the wildest speculations of previous centuries. ... 

Today, there is a virtual blizzard of material exposing the WatchTower organization for what it is really. The [Jehovah's] Witness[es are] particularly warned not to read this literature, because the leadership knows full well that the information contained therein is irrefutable. Much of the literature is [authored] by former Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather than address the issues that they raise, the [WatchTower] Society simply labels the writers as apostates who should be shunned.17 

So it is, that millions of [Jehovah's] Witnesses exist in a tightly sealed, closed society. A society that keeps them in constant check -- not permitting the membership to examine any material that would expose the organization. A society that does all the thinking for Jehovah's Witnesses. It sounds remarkably like another society depicted in a popular novel earlier this century. A comparison of the two is most educational. ...

Jehovah's Happy Organization

A major publishing event occurred in 1949, when George Orwell's book, "1984", was released. The novel has since become the classic examination of totalitarianism. It depicts a future "super-state" of Oceania. The inhabitants of Oceania are split into three castes: a small group of powerful and brutal rulers, a larger group of middle-level bureaucrats and functionaries, and a large majority of mindless slaves. These are called (in order) the "Inner Party", the "Outer Party", and the "Proles".

The doctrines of the Party in Oceania are enforced by the "Thought Police", who watch for "thoughtcrime", "facecrime", and a multitude of smaller crimes not in keeping with the Party's aims. Opposition to the Party is punishable by death. Children are taught to spy on and turn in their parents. The Party intrudes into all personal relationships, and will not tolerate any unorthodox thought.

In order to insure that everyone is thinking according to the Party line, the Party carefully alters facts to suit its present situation. It abolishes and obliterates the past through the "Ministry of Truth", a large and important department at headquarters. Clerks work incessantly at altering historical records to suit the present. Reality is what the Party decides it should be, and with power over the records, the Ministry of Truth alters it daily. The actual truth has been altered and distorted beyond recognition. As written records are destroyed or altered, and as memories fade, truth becomes whatever the Party decides. 

The Party of Oceania relies upon this control of reality to maintain authority over the populace. The Inner Party members have become as badly deluded by their own lies as are the most ignorant Outer Party members, while the bewildered Proles know nothing, and accept everything the Party tells them.

A mythical figure, "Big Brother", is the head of Oceania in name only. He represents the Party. He is God, President, and Friend in the quest for victory over Oceania's foes. Big Brother becomes, in effect, the Party or organization. The Party's ideology is called "Ingsoc", in which control of thought and action is the essence. The credo is "Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

Big Mother -- Big Brother

Jehovah's Witnesses have an expression, "the truth," which refers to their religion in total. For example, a [Jehovah's] Witness might say concerning someone who has left the WatchTower organization, "He is no longer in the truth, " or perhaps about someone who is very zealous in the organization, "She really works hard for the truth." When meeting someone for the first time, a common question is, "How long have you been in the truth?"

EDITOR'S NOTE: Various Second Adventist sects, and other "smaller religious groups" used all the terms and phrases mentioned here. Such were absorbed into the WatchTower Society exactly as were Second Adventist teachings. 

The expression originated in the days of C. T. Russell and J. F. Rutherford, when the expression used was "present truth." It has evolved into just "the truth" and has become an everyday word among Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses equate "truth" with the religious system of the WatchTower organization. They believe that they alone have the truth, and that all other religions are untruth, according to the WatchTower organization.

Orwell stated:

"Whatever the Party holds to be truth -- is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the part. That the truth changes, and changes regularly, is a given fact accepted by [WatchTower] Society membership. The expression "present truth" as used in Russell and Rutherford's day is in reality a more accurate expression, because "present truth" is just that -- for the present only. It may or may not resemble "past truth" and will become a different "truth" in the future."

Truth, as understood by Jehovah's Witnesses, changes continually as "new light shines forth." [Jehovah's Witnesses] are conditioned to expect and accept change as a normal consequence of advancing or progressive truth. Witnesses accept this phenomenon even though the change may reverse a belief long held dear, and may be very costly to the individual [Jehovah's] Witness.

As with the "Ministry of Truth" in Orwell's society, the WatchTower organization sanitizes its own history, and eliminates anything that discredits it. These adjustments by the "faithful and discreet slave" organization are made continually, and are passed off as increasing "light", or a refinement of understanding:

"Things published were not perfect in the days of Charles Taze Russell, first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society; nor were they perfect in the days of J. F. Rutherford, the succeeding president. The increasing light on God's Word as well as the facts of history have repeatedly required that adjustments of one kind or another be made down to the very present time. But let us never forget that the motives of this 'slave' were always pure, unselfish; at all times it has been well-meaning. ... Actually, any adjustments that have been made in understanding have furnished an opportunity for those being served by this "slave" to show loyalty and love, the kind of love that Jesus said would mark his followers. ... For those who truly love God's law there is no stumbling block."

Once a [Jehovah's] Witness accepts this kind of logic, he will accept the continued adjustments and "increasing light." This is accomplished by distorting the previous teaching, and either directly changing it, or else by careful innuendo, alluding to something entirely different.

An example of this is the complete distortion of facts in connection with the so-called appointment of the "faithful and discreet slave" in 1919. The story that the Watch Tower organization presents to its membership today is a fabrication. The actual facts are hidden. A completely different version of the events of the time are presented in a manner designed to legitimize the present claim. All of the events of the time period are carefully massaged and adjusted to imply fulfillment of Scripture and prophecy.

To buttress and support their credibility with the membership, it is necessary for the WatchTower [Society's] leaders to reinterpret or eliminate any reference to specific prophecies once they have failed. This is not a new concept, for C.T. Russell utilized the very same system. When the world did not end in 1914, and Russell and his followers were not raptured to glory, it was necessary to make changes in the "Studies in the Scriptures" textbooks. 

Volumes 1 and 2 in the "Studies" had much to say about the year 1914 and the chronology that supported it. The dates were changed in subsequent editions of these books. Russell made reference to these changes, and with an adept sleight of hand dismissed them as trivial! To those who had sacrificed all in hopeful expectation, he went on to say:

"The present is a time of testing, we believe, to many of the Lord's people. Have we in the past been active merely because we hoped for our glorious change in A.D. 1914, or have we been active because of love and loyalty to the Lord and his message and the brethren!" 

This appeal to the followers to show love and loyalty to the Lord and His message was designed to provoke feelings of guilt in those who doubted.

Now You See It, Now You Don't

In 1930, Judge Rutherford admitted the failure of the WatchTower's predictions for 1914:

"The Watch Tower, and its companion publications of the Society, for forty years emphasised the fact that 1914 would witness the establishment of God's kingdom and the complete glorification of the church. During that period of forty years, God's people on earth were carrying on a witness work, which work was fore-shadowed by Elijah and John the Baptist. All of the Lord's people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning. and the Lord's people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular; and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their 'prophecies' had not been fulfilled. This was a rare adtnission of the fact that the Watch Tower organization had made grandiose prophecies concerning 1914. In an excellent Orwellian example of the 'past being controlled by the present', 55 years later the organization altered the past, presenting an entirely different view of the time period to a new generation of Jehovah's Witnesses:

"From 1876 onward, Jehovah's people served notice upon the world, and particularly upon Christendom, that the Gentile Times would end in the fall of 1914. The clergy could not ignore this preliminary work of almost 40 years -- a work corresponding to that of John the Baptizer. Those clergymen waited eagerly to pounce upon this journal's editor should 1914 pass without any outstanding events to correspond with those about which he warned. But, oh, how they were silenced when on July 28, 1914, peace was shattered by the outbreak of World War I!" 6

They state that from 1876 onward the organization had pointed to 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times, which is true. However, they neglect to mention that the organization had also prophesied that 1914 would see the end of the world and the glorification or rapture of the church, as admitted by Rutherford. The above quote implies that the outbreak of the first World War silenced the clergymen, connoting that the war was what had been prophesied. Rutherford's earlier statement showed that in 1914 the clergy had much reason to ridicule the organization. In actual fact, the war was incidental to the grandiose claims that the Watch Tower organization had made! This example is but one of numerous expedient adjustments continually made to color the facts of WatchTower history.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This XJW author, as well as most others continuing right into the 2020s, fails to include any of the ABUNDANCE of newspaper articles and denominational magazine articles published in late 1914 through 1916, in which Charles Taze Russell was ridiculed for the failure of his prophecies for 1914-15. In addition to such, XJW authors also have failed to adequately publicize Russell's severe downsizing of WatchTower HQ in 1915.

Orwell wrote:

"And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it."

Whoops! From time to time the WatchTower organization changes doctrinal positions or explanations within the course of the same year! For example, in 1975, the book "Man's Salvation Out of World Distress Is at Hand", stated on page 208, in connection with the parable of the mustard grain:

"It is the fake 'kingdom of the heaven', the counterfeit, namely, Christendom, that is filled with these symbolic birds, 'the sons of the wicked one'. Today it is big enough to hold them all. In the parable, the 'man' that sowed the mustard grain pictures the 'wicked one', Satan the Devil."

Later in the same year of 1975, in "The Watchtower" of October 1, on page 600, the sower of the mustard grain changed from Satan the Devil to Jesus Christ! The "Kingdom Ministry" of November 1975 explained briefly:

"In the October 1, 1975, 'Watchtower', page 600, paragraph 22, we read: 'Jesus Christ, with his prophetic foresight, could foreknow the outcome for the symbolic mustard grain that he planted in the first century.' So Jesus is to be considered as the planter referred to in this parable. An adjustment is being made in the printing of all future copies of the 'Man's Salvation' book to read in harmony with this viewpoint."

Orwell wrote:

"This holds good even when, as often happens, the same event has to be altered out of recognition several times in the course of a year." 8

The Watch Tower organization takes pride in presenting itself as keepers of integrity -- people who are loyal to God and His organization, who will endure all manner of persecution for "the truth." To that end, there is a continual barrage of articles designed to convey this image. The following incident reveals how the organization will alter facts to foster this image and present [Jehovah's] Witnesses in a favorable light. In the April 15, 1982, in "The Watchtower", on page 25, the following account was presented in an article entitled "Enduring Joyfully Despite Persecution":

"In March, 1963, at Gbarnga, Liberia, about 400 persons attending a district assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses were rounded up and held for four days without food at a military compound. In an effort to force them to compromise their religious beliefs and salute the Liberian flag, the Witnesses were ill-treated and their belongings were plundered. While a few did give way and compromise because of fear, the great majority maintained integrity."

Millions of [Jehovah's] Witnesses were no doubt thrilled to read about these faithful brothers and sisters. Since the source cited for the information was the 1977 Yearbook, a number of {Jehovah's] Witnesses decided to go and read the actual account for themselves. They discovered that the Yearbook actually said that the majority compromised their faith. There must have been many inquiries about this, because in "The Watchtower" of July 15, 1982, on page 3 1, we read:

"The Statement in the Watchtower of April 15, 1982, is in error. Actually, according to the Yearbook of 1977, pages 176 and 178, there were about 100 Liberian Witnesses who went through the Gbarnga persecution maintaining integrity, while approximately 200 compromised their faith. ..."

The article then goes on to obliquely say that, of course, the worldwide picture is far more encouraging -- no doubt the great majority have proved faithful under persecution. The writers of the April 15 article "Enduring Joyfully Despite Persecution" had to review the 1977 Yearbook account to be able to quote from it. Besides bringing into question the integrity and honesty of the writers of the article, what about the committee that approved it for publication? A committee of members from the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses check and approve all articles before publication.

This altered incident was used to prove that Jehovah's Witnesses are faithful under test or persecution, and that those who attend meetings regularly are "the loyal ones." The facts are that among the compromisers were seven congregation servants (presiding overseers), nine special pioneers (full-time missionaries), and one Gilead graduate! These persons, all appointed by headquarters, must certainly have been regular meeting attenders. If the Watch Tower had not been caught, this deception would have become part of the record.

Orwell states:

"The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth." 9

How can the authors of these articles write such distortions of fact? It becomes understandable after an investigation of the [WatchTower] organization's past record of fact manipulation. As in George Orwell's "Ministry of Truth", it is company policy. No area is sacred. Renowned Greek scholars are misquoted. Historic and archeological facts are denied or twisted. Even the Bible itself is adjusted to fit [WatchTower] Society theology. The book "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" (as well as its vastly expanded replacement -- "Proclaimers") is a totally biased history, relating the story about the movement as the organization would have it appear, and not as it actually is. Articles in current [WatchTower] publications use quotations from earlier [WatchTower] publications, ostensibly to substantiate their claim of the moment. However, these quotes are interspersed with ellipses, editing out what was really said, which is often opposite to what they are trying to imply, just as in the Gbarnga, Africa story.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this book was published, I believe that it has been twice that WatchTower publications have been caught citing as evidence (for whatever malarky it was then advocating) foreign language secular publications which, in fact, were themselves quoting and/or citing from previous WatchTower Society literature. Apparently, the Bethelite writers did not expect that "apostates" would discover their intentional fraud.

Orwell stated:

"Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made." 

Should a Jehovah's Witness decide to do some research, there is a Watch Tower Index available to assist them through the labyrinth of publications. How is it then that the Witness is unaware of these deceptions? Usually the Witness is so busy that he has little time to do in-depth research. Also, the Watch Tower "Ministy of Truth" removes damaging references from newer editions of the indexes.

So we see that, as in Orwell's Ministry of Truth, the WatchTower organization has twisted truth to fit their goals. But there is another interesting parallel between Orwell's state and Jehovah's Witnesses -- the "Ministry of Love".

Ministry of Love

Oceania's Ministry of Love had as its goal the total regimentation of the subjects of the Party. This was accomplished by an elaborate spy system in which everybody reported on everybody else. Any deviation from the Party line and ideology had to be reported, and those reported on were severely punished. No one was exempt. Wives reported on husbands, husbands on wives, children on parents, parents on children.

Within the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses, all members are counseled to turn in other members should they become aware of some infraction against organizational policy. They report on each other to the congregation elders, who are equivalent to Orwell's "Thought Police". [Jehovah's] Witnesses receive this counsel:

"It requires strength of Christian personality to inform appointed elders of the serious sin of a fellow believer. But if we are to have Jehovah's favor, we must not let personal friendship blind us to the wrongdoing of another individual. Our relationship with God is of far greater importance than loyalty to a friend who is guilty of serious wrongdoing and refuses to reveal the matter to the appointed elders."

Parents are counseled to turn in their children or else share in the sin. Wives and husbands are not exempt and frequently turn each other in to the elders. Even elders are not exempt, and one elder may report another elder. Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that if they do not inform on each other, then they are actually sharing in the sin committed by the wrongdoer.12

[Jehovah's] Witnesses have a rather long list of what they may or may not do. They may not salute a flag, must not attend another church, can't celebrate birthdays, Christmas, or other traditional holidays, cannot question Watch Tower teaching, cannot serve in the military or work for a military or political organization. ... the rules go on and on. 

With these regulations gleaned from Watchtower teaching, Jehovah's Witnesses become in effect the conscience of other members of the congregation. This procedure of spying and reporting on each other goes on not only at the congregation level at the local Kingdom Halls, but also at the various branch offices, missionary homes, and even Brooklyn Bethel headquarters.

Paul Blizard, a former worker at Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn, told us that people spied on each other at headquarters and turned one another in. "I thought it was incredible that someone was watching me every moment of the day," he said. 

Gary Botting, a second-generation [Jehovah's] Witness, wrote about his pioneer work in Hong Kong as a young man. At first he lived at the Bethel branch office, "where I received a curious initial assignment -- spying on the two Chinese translators, both of whom were graduates of the Watch Tower Society's missionary school of Gilead." 13

Orwell wrote:

"We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer." 14

Judicial Committee

What happens when a person is reported to the elders? The offender is brought before a judicial committee of elders. This committee holds the power to reprove, counsel, or disfellowship (excommunicate) according to its decision. The offender is interrogated, sometimes mercilessly; and the judicial committee decides if the offender may have somebody speak in his defense or not. Accusers may or may not be identified to the accused, and their testimony usually is given to the elders without the accused being present. Although there is an appeal arrangement for those judged guilty, the original decision of the elders is rarely overturned.

When a person is disfellowshipped from the organization, he is treated like a leper. He must be totally shunned by [all Jehovah's] Witnesses. He cannot even be greeted on the street. Should a [Jehovah's] Witness decide to ignore this rule and associate with the disfellowshipped friend or relative, he in turn will be disfellowshipped.

Because the Watch Tower organization is losing hundreds of thousands of its members to what it terms "apostasy", and because these persons have disassociated (resigned) from the organization, the Watch Tower now includes these persons in their shunning program. This, of course, is a clever device to keep the membership ignorant as to the real reasons why these so-called "apostates" have left the organization. 

These persons are not "apostates" in the biblical sense. Most have not abandoned God and Christ Jesus. Rather, they have discovered the truth about the WatchTower [Society] and have turned their back on it. This dark device of "shunning" is a high form of censorship, because if the leadership permitted the rank-and-file Witness to communicate with persons who have disassociated themselves, the floodgates would be opened, and they could not contain the exodus!

Many [Jehovah's] Witnesses are being held hostage by the [WatchTower] organization, because if they speak out or decide to disassociate from the organization, they will be separated from their families. They hang on, because they cannot bear the thought of not seeing or having any contact with their parents, children, grandchildren, or other relatives.

The life of a disfellowshipped person can be very lonely. It is difficult to step back into the normal world. A woman living alone in a small town relates that she spends much of her time sitting in pizza parlors watching television just to fulfill her need to be around other people. This lady was disfellowshipped for playing bingo. She enjoyed the company of people at these games, and it alleviated her loneliness. The elders told her that she was disfellowshipped because bingo was a form of greed! Her Jehovah's Witness son will see her only when it is absolutely necessary, and she therefore rarely sees her grandchild. 15 

The stories of broken lives caused by the practice of disfellowshipping and shunning is heartbreaking. One woman wrote to tell us she was disfellowshipped for disagreeing with official Watchtower theology. Less than a year later, her 17-year-old daughter died of chronic asthma. Although neither the daughter nor the husband had been disfellowshipped, the family did not receive a single sympathy card from any of the hundreds of Witnesses with whom they were acquainted.

Another woman was turned into the elders by her husband. Her offense: voting in a primary election. She was quickly disfellowshipped, and her husband divorced her.

An elderly man lay in the hospital dying of cancer. The only chance he had for continued life was to accept a blood transfusion. The elders in his congregation heard about it, and forced their way into his hospital room. After grilling him concerning his "sin," they disfellowshipped him. The experience was so shattering that the man died shortly thereafter. 

A teenage girl committed suicide when she thought she might be disfellowshipped. Then the [Jehovah's] Witnesses in the community were told not to attend the girl's funeral. However, the overseer of the congregation and two women who defied the edict were disfellowshipped for standing with the parents of the girl during the funeral. 

The examples could go on and on. We have in our files numerous heartbreaking letters and notes from phone calls we have received from all over North America. They show deep pain in the face of unbelievable callousness on the part of the organization. 

One of the most unfeeling cases was reported in the Wenatchee (Washington) World newspaper. A local woman, 85 years old, who had been a faithful witness for 43 years, was forced to choose between love for her son -- who was critical of the Watchtower Society -- and loyalty to the organization. She chose her son. "The worst thing is that I can't talk to any of my friends any more," she said after she was disfellowshipped.

Although the ultimate control is in the hands of the high-level leadership, the judicial committee system serves as an effective control mechanism at the congregation level. From the day a person becomes a [Jehovah's] Witness to the day he dies or leaves the movement, he is under the eye of the congregation elders who police his life.


"A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone."16

Once a Witness begins to think for himself, and realizes that he is following a man-made dictatorial organization, he can do one of two things: He can either leave and suffer the consequences, or else remain in the organization for the sake of his family relationships. Usually, however, it is just a matter of time before his true feelings and thinking become obvious.


"Thought-crime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."17

Rick Townsend, a former Witness elder, told us of a case where a Witness man and wife, over a period of time, came to doubt WatchTower doctrine. The matter came to the attention of the body of elders, who were unable to answer the biblical questions this couple raised. Rick emphasized that the couple posed these questions in a very open, nonbelligerent manner, as they sincerely desired to know the truth. 

Finally the whole body of elders decided to phone WatchTower headquarters to see if they might have logical answers to give to this couple. The elders were asked if the Witness couple questioned the doctrines of the WatchTower. The elders answered in the affirmative. The service department representative said, "You don't have to answer their questions. Disfellowship them!"

Orwell wrote:

"The more the Party is powerful, the less it will be tolerant." 18

The WatchTower organization disfellowships over a hundred persons a day, which is probably some kind of record in religious circles. The following statement is from "The Watchtower" of January 1, 1986, on page 13:

"Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah's organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting. It is noted, also, that during the past year, 36,638 individuals had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing immorality."


[Jehovah's] Witnesses must at all times conduct themselves in a manner that shows complete and utter respect for those in authority. This has particular application to the women in the organization. At a circuit assembly in a talk entitled "Theocratic Subjection," Witness women were told, "Sisters should not express disagreement with judicial decisions of the elders even by their facial expressions." Joan Cetnar was a fourth-generation Jehovah's Witness who worked at Brooklyn Bethel headquarters. She relates:

"One day I was notified to report to Brother Larson at the factory to accept a new duty there. He informed me I would have a desk in the Correspondence Department. I would be responsible for opening mail from one section of the country and dispersing it to the proper departments in the factory. ... I was very pleased to be able to serve Jehovah in this (I thought) responsible position. So when, after several months. I was told to report downstairs to the Magazine Department to work, I was crushed, for I considered this a demotion. I felt I had not been faithful in the assignment Jehovah had given me. Also I couldn't understand why my overseer, Brother Harley Miller, had not come to me and lovingly told me how I had proved unworthy. Because I had known Brother Larson, the factory servant, from childhood, I felt I could discuss the matter with him. He informed me that my removal was because of a facial expression I had made to Brother Miller which showed a lack of respect for him." 19


"In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called."20

[Jehovah's] Witness lives revolve around a heavy schedule imposed by the leadership. All else is put to the side, and little time is afforded for personal or family interests. Paul Blizard, in the film "Witnesses of Jehovah", had this to say:

Even though we believed that God was love, we were always afraid that He was going to zap us, that sometime Armageddon might come, and we might not make it. If we didn't go out in door-to-door-ministry on a weekend, but took our family out to the lake or something, we felt guilty all the time.

Why would Paul feel this way? Because of statements like the one in the June 1, 1985, "The Watchtower" magazine, on page 12. Under a picture of a [Jehovah's] Witness father and his small daughter standing at a doorstep with literature bags in hand, the caption reads: "While fellow witnesses of Jehovah are engaging in theocratic pursuits, are you and your family often heading for some recreation spot?"


"In principle, a Party member had no spare time, and was never alone except in bed. It was assumed that when he was not working, eating, or sleeping he would be taking part in some kind of communal recreations; to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning individualism and eccentricity." 

Blind Loyalty

WatchTower [Society] leadership holds complete and total power over the membership through the concept that the "theocracy" is in place. Therefore, if [Jehovah's] Witnesses desire to please God, they must obey His divinely appointed "faithful slave" organization. To do otherwise would be tantamount to being disloyal to God. This loyalty to the [WatchTower] organization and the Governing Body has reached fanatical proportions. 

At the large conventions of [Jehovah's] Witnesses held worldwide in 1985, a discourse was given with the title "Carefully Following the Orders of the King." During the course of the talk, which centered on loyalty to the WatchTower organization, the following was stated: "We should be working under the direction of the Governing Body and the older men in our congregations. ... and if one of those instructions were for us to jump, our only response should be 'How high?' and 'How far'?"


"There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."22

The degree to which this blind loyalty can lead is best illustrated by a personal experience of a few years ago. A circuit overseer, while giving a pep talk to a group of elders, said "If the society told me that wall over there was black, then I would believe it is black." The wall was white!


"The key word here is blackwhite. ... Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary."

This is further illustrated with the 1975 prophecy failure. The WatchTower [Society] denies that they prophesied the end of the world for that year. Today, if you ask a [Jehovah's] Witness about 1975, he will state that the organization did not predict the end of the world. 

In fact, at a [WatchTower] assembly in the spring of 1985, a talk entitled "How We Know We Have The Truth" was given. During the discourse, the WatchTower spokesman raised the subject of 1975 and asked the audience, "What were we looking forward to? To survive beyond '75'?" After a pause he said, "Well, didn't we?" The audience responded with protracted and vigorous applause even though this was a tacit admission of the failed prophecy.


"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."24


Chapter 7 -- Big Mother 

1. The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, p. 80. 

2. Ibid., p. 79. 

3. Ibid., p. 80. 

4. The Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p. 274. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Ibid., p. 284. 

8. The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, p. 370. 

9. The Watchtower, May 1, 1961, p. 274. 

10. The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587. 

11. Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman, Snapping (Dell Publishing Co., 1978), p. 170. 

12. The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 22. 

13. Ibid., p. 27. 

14. The Watchtower, February 15, 1976, p. 124. 

15. The Watchtower, December 1, 1981, p. 27. 

16. The Watchtower, December 15, 1983, p. 30. 

17. The Watchtower, May 1, 1984, p. 31.

Chapter 8 -- Jehovah's Happy Organization 

1. George Orwell, 1984 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1949), p. 32. 

2. Ibid., p. 205. 

3. The Watchtower, March 1, 1979, pp. 23-24. 

4. The Watch Tower, reprints, March 1, 1915, p. 5649. 

5. Light, W.T.B.T.S., Vol. 1, 1930, p. 194. 

6. The Watchtower, September 1, 1985, p. 24. 

7. Orwell, 1984, p. 176. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid., p. 64. 

10. Ibid., p. 37.

11. The Watchtower, November 15, 1985, p. 21. 

12. Ibid., p. 19. 

13. Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses (University of Toronto Press, 1984), p. XIX. 

14. Omell, 1984, p. 220. 

15. From a personal letter. 

16. Orwell, 1984, p. 173. 

17. Ibid., p. 19. 

18. Ibid., p. 221. 

19. Gruss, We Left Jehovah's Witnesses -- A Non-Prophet Organization (P and R Pub Co., 1974), p. 95. 

20. Onvell, 1984, p. 54. 

21. [bid., p. 70. 

22. Ibid., p. 220. 

23. Tbid., p. 175. 

24. Ibid.. p. 69.

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1984 and Big Mother

By Randall Watters


No one thought much of the book "1984" when it was first published in 1949, nor did it stir much attention for a number of years thereafter. In the last two decades, however, the book "1984" by George Orwell has drawn a much greater reading audience. 

Orwell portrays a Society brainwashed by political ideologies to the point where they are intolerant of any other mindset. Ironically, though the chances are slim today that any political organization could ever have such absolute control over people's lives, religious cults have taken up the slack. 

For an absolute ideological system to really work, all of the subjects of such a system must not only believe in it, but be enthusiastic about it. Even in Communist Russia, which once almost paralleled Orwell's world, it is impossible to win all the people over to their ideology. Yet true thought control has been achieved in religious circles in a way that would make politicians envious.

Emotional Cripples

It has been said that cults make emotional cripples out of their members; and if the victim manages to leave the group, they must struggle in order to become a "normal" member of society again. Why does this happen?

Often such religious groups teach their subjects to shun normal displays of emotion; whether it be hugging, singing and dancing, crying, laughing or whatever. When a person is told that such displays of emotion or feelings are "out of line", they are forced to develop new codes of conduct, usually based on fear of men rather than fear of God. Such abrupt changes in a person's responses can cause psychological problems and confusion. But there are other, more significant problems that usually develop.

Being brought up in a certain society or culture, we develop certain normative reactions to life's circumstances. If someone punches us, we get angry with them. If they make a funny face at us, we laugh spontaneously. If they smile at us, we smile at them. If they disagree with us, we will try and accommodate if nothing vital is at stake. In other words, we learn to "get along" with others so as to be able to have friends in this world, even if we do not agree with the way they run their lives or their philosophical or religious views. 

Concern for people plays a major part in our willingness to get along in spite of differences. However, what happens when we start to think more of ourselves or our little group than of others, and form a clique? We then separate ourselves from others either physically or psychologically. We may no longer even associate with those we once considered as equals. In the religious realm, this is the first step towards cult mentality.

How does clique mentality develop into a cult mentality? There is really just a fine line between the two. The line is generally drawn when those with a sectarian spirit attempt to draw God further into the picture by making belief in their view essential to salvation. The fear of losing your life at Armageddon may be enough motivation to change your doctrine! If it isn't, the fear that you will lose your friends and family (and perhaps suffer verbal and physical abuse as well) will provide the needed motivation to get you to change. Whereas the treatment accorded by a clique to those outside of their group is usually just an aloof attitude or a looking down on the "outsider", the treatment served by a cult amounts to psychological, emotional, and perhaps (as in the case of Jonestown) even physical murder.

"1984" is a testimony to how this principle works in a political arena. Since many religions like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Worldwide Church of God, etc. are simply a "spiritualized" form of government, involving much "political" activity, there is a close analogy. Therefore I have chosen to use some excerpts from "1984" to demonstrate the similarities between the Watchtower and Orwell's world.

Orwell's book begins by painting a picture of a major world power that dabbles with truth and historical records in order to make themselves look as if they are always "right". Oceanais the world power, and Eurasia is its rival. You will notice mention of "Big Brother", or the "Society". Think about the similarities of such a political system with the "Mother" organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, also commonly referred to as the "Society" (a term used both in the Watchtower as well as the Communist world to cover the truth that the realrulership is in the hands of a handful of men). 

At this point, I cannot resist quoting from "The Watchtower" of May 1957, on page 274, which illustrates their terminology: "If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our father but his organization as our "mother."

Now we will consider some excerpts from 1984:

"... The frightening thing was that it might all be true. If the party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened -- that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.

"The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia... But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness ... if all the others accepted the lie which the party imposed if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past', ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it; in Newspeak, 'doublethink.'" (p. 32)

How real is the true reality, or what we perceive as reality? If an organization has the power to actually alter history, what horrors could be perpetrated? The past can only be recorded long-term in books--but what if the books are changed?

The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses knows that in order to control the future, they must have control over the past. How? In basically four ways: By preventing the average Jehovah's Witness from accessing the past mistakes or deceptions, by coloring their history, by passing off the past as irrelevant, or by actually changing the books themselves!

To the Governing Body, reality is whatever they are teaching as current light from the "faithful and discreet slave", meaning themselves, of course. Whatever they taught in the past is not to even be considered any longer; indeed, it would amount to apostasy to go back to believing former views (which they refer to as "old light"). Jehovah's Witnesses must keep in step with the times!

For the Jehovah's Witness, this means that you must gain a series of "victories" over your memory; what was taught ten years ago is not to be remembered at present, for it would confuse the understanding of present truth. If it be necessary to explain the past teachings to someone, you can use complicated explanations as to how truth is really only relative to the progression of the organization. He must be ready to deny the past, yet subconsciously acknowledge it and compensate for it in his thinking; all the while being careful not to be conscious of fooling himself.

"... His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies ... to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself--that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink." (1984, p. 32,33)

To know, for instance, that the Watchtower Society actually did lead their people to believe that the end of the world was coming in 1975; yet to deny that and actually believe your denial of it to be truthful; to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies ... to forget that the WT had predicted the end of the world in 1914 rather than the invisible return of Christ (which was held to have taken place in 1874); to forget this when it was necessary to forget, then when cornered to draw it back into memory and call it a mistake; only to later deny it to a different person -- that is the ultimate subtlety! And then, to point to other religious groups who do the same thing and accuse them of being false prophets--is using two ways of thinking, hence the comparison to Doublethink. Notice the Governing Body's own words: "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world', even announcing a specific date ... The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing was the full measure of evidence required in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them." (AWAKE!, Oct. 8, 1968 p.23)

How can the Governing Body make a statement like this in view of their own record of false predictions? It is easily documented that they predicted an end to the world several times. It is as Orwell says, "... to forget whatever it is necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again and then to forget it again ... and to apply the same process to the process itself (to be unaware of this whole facade, in other words), that was the ultimate subtlety." Doublethink is indeed an appropriate word for it.

Self-deception is very complex, much like making up one lie to cover over another; many factors have to be considered each time you make an excuse for the Watchtower's blunders. How different this is from just plain and simply telling the truth! How often people get annoyed with Jehovah's Witnesses because they won't say what they fully believe about a subject, such as "who only will be saved at Armageddon", or, "who only can understand the Bible".

"To wear an improper expression on your face was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called." (1984, p. 54)

"A Party member is required to have not only the right opinions, but the right instincts. Many of the beliefs and attitudes demanded of him are never plainly stated, and could not be stated without laying bare the contradictions inherent in Ingsoc. If he is a person naturally orthodox (in Newspeak, a goodthinker), he will in all circumstances know, without taking thought, what is the true belief or desirable emotion. But in any case, an elaborate mental training, undergone in childhood and grouping itself round the Newspeak words crimestop, blackwhite, and doublethink, makes him unwilling and unable to think too deeply on any subject whatever." (1984, p. 174)

From personal experience in serving six years at the Watchtower headquarters, both as an elder and a factory overseer, and being well-known as an `organization man,' I sought diligently to be the epitome of what a JW was supposed to be. In reality, this could only be accomplished, not just by reading The Watchtower, but by knowing in total how the system works, and how those in charge really think; knowing what their motivations are and what makes them "tick". If one just read The Watchtower, without actually associating with Jehovah's Witnesses, one would get an inaccurate picture of the actual mentality of the organization. I spent much time with the older members of the headquarters staff, and worked daily with those who had been there for 30 years and more, even some of the Governing Body. I knew their way of thinking quite accurately, and could therefore determine the most effective way to succeed in the system, which I did. Just as in political organizations, understanding the mentality of those you are dealing with is the key factor in your moving up in the system. You soon discover why decisions are made and who made them. You understand why certain policies are adopted and not others. You also realize why new "rules" are made, but not put into print, or are couched in "double language".

The result is that the printed expression will be interpreted by two types of minds in two different ways. For instance, by the naive JW, a statement like ... "Would it be wise for a brother to wear a beard in an area where this is not common? Having a Bible-trained conscience might move him to consider the feelings of others" ... might be interpreted as it is written; as just a matter of conscience. But an elder or an organizationally-minded JW would clearly understand it to be a new position taken by the Watchtower, meaning clearly that if you expected to be treated as a brother, or if you desired any responsibility in the congregation, you had better not grow a beard! (Or if you had one, you had better shave it off!)

Often things would come out in the magazines or the Kingdom Service (an inter-organizational monthly bulletin) that were not fully understood by the average JW, but when you knew all the background information, it took on a whole new perspective. For instance, a Kingdom Service article in the late '70s stated that the Society would no longer allow JWs to hold large meetings for a special talk or program without the Society's direction of the affair. While to the average JW it meant just one more regulation, a few of the staff knew the underlying reasons.

It seemed that one of their elders, Colon Quackenbush, regularly traveled around and gave special talks for youths that were well-attended all over the country. The Governing Body was envious of the greater attention given such a program over their own appearances. Yet few even at the headquarters understood the real reasons behind their decisions. More extensive insight into this matter is given in Raymond Franz's book, Crisis of Conscience.Having been a member of the Governing Body himself for many years, he was familiar with their methods.

Why doesn't the Governing Body just plainly come out and state their dress standards and rules and codes of conduct, so that there would be no question on the matter? While claiming to allow for latitude in matters of conscience, the real reason is that to make rules for Christians is contradictory to the Bible (Rom. 7:6; 9:31,32; Gal. ch. 3) and they know it; but nevertheless they feel that they must have a multitude of rules in order to all march in step with the Governing Body. So they have unwritten laws that are only ascertained by thespirit of those in responsible positions, who thereby act as interpreters for the rank-and-file Witness. Most commonly this interpretive role is filled by the Circuit Overseers (traveling representatives who preside over several congregations). They learn to be keen on the Society's thinking through special training, and they then pass on this `enlightenment' to the local JW elders.

If a Witness is diligent to ascertain the actual spirit of the organization, he will, as Orwell similarly notes, "in all circumstances know, without taking thought, what is the true belief or desirable emotion." One of the more difficult aspects of my present ministry is not convincing JWs of the wrongness of the Society, but, rather, showing them what the Society actually teaches and believes. If the individual was never a fully `orthodox' Witness, this can be confusing at first. For one who did have the spirit of the organization, he will either see through their deception or refuse to discuss it further, as it is too devastating to him.

"... The speculations which might possibly induce a skeptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early-acquired inner discipline. The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction." (1984, p. 174, 175)

The Jehovah's Witness learns early in the game to kill his speculations if they veer into dangerous territory. He either senses that they will be dangerous to his relationship to other Witnesses (who will view him with suspicion), or he finds out the hard way by opening his mouth and getting a good talking to! He learns quickly that he must learn to walk in the present light, not allowing his mind to move ahead of the organization. He is not to think independently. The Governing Body will now represent his mind on all matters. It is the only "safe" way.

A Jehovah's Witness automatically learns to put aside "disturbing" thoughts, such as might develop if they go to a door where a person takes the "Truth" book out of their hands and opens it to page 13 where it says,

"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. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God's will is for us, and then to do it."

The person at the door where the Jehovah's Witness has called might now try to reason with the Witness using the logic presented in their own book, saying, "Then why don't we examine the record of the Watchtower over the past 100 years?" The JW usually responds with a blank stare or a response such as, "Were you ever a Witness before?" In other words, "How come you know so much about us?" This is thereby an unconscious refusal to follow through on a logical argument initiated by others, while at the same time attempting to initiate logical arguments themselves. They will get bored or repelled at any train of thought not initiated by themselves that could prove to be dangerous to their organizational security.

"Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his own body. Oceanic society rests ultimately on the belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and that the Party is infallible. But since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent and the Party is not infallible, there is need for an unwearying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of facts. The key word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believethat black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed to the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink." (1984, p. 175)

The Watchtower Society rests on the belief that the "Mother" organization cannot lead you astray. If they are later exposed as having made a mistake or promoting a lie, you were better off walking in the mistake or living the lie than recognizing the truth of the matter on your own! You cannot go wrong if you remain in step with your "Mother". Thus, she is, in effect, infallible (although simultaneously denying claim to such). So within the Watchtower (as with Big Brother) there is an unwearying effort on the part of their writing department to be flexible with "truth," always being ready to find some ridiculous analogy to show how they were really on the right course all along, like using the example of how a ship, in getting from point "A" to point "B" must sometimes tack, or zigzag all over, in order to get there (see the Dec. 1, 1981 WT p.27). Or the explanation might be given that Jehovah God was just "testing" you by allowing the Mother organization to lead you to believe that the world was going to end at a specific time, yet knowing well enough that it wasn't going to happen. (see the Feb. 15, 1984 WT p.26, pp.2)

However, if another religion changes its doctrines, the Governing Body will quickly criticize them by using the words of Ephesians 4:14: "We are no longer to be children, tossed by the waves and whirled about by every fresh gust of teaching, dupes of crafty rogues and their deceitful schemes."

Interestingly, the May 15, 1976 WT says on page 298, "It is a serious matter to represent God and Christ in one way, then find that our understanding of the major teachings and fundamental doctrines of the scriptures was in error, and then after that, to go back to the very doctrines that, by years of study, we had thoroughly determined to be in error. Christians cannot be vacillating "wishy-washy" about such fundamental teachings. What confidence can one put in the sincerity or judgment of such persons?" If they could only apply this to themselves! Note Orwell's comments:

"For the secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes." (1984, p. 177)

This is the ultimate desire of all intelligent cults: to combine absolute authority and infallibility with the power to learn from false prophecies and bad dealings.

The Mother organization wants absolute loyalty at all times. It claims to be a prophet like Ezekiel and Jeremiah (see the Oct. 1,1982 WT p.26,27). It claims to be a mouthpiece for Jehovah God, the Creator of the universe, yet refuses to take the responsibility of a prophet. According to their Bible at Deut. 18:20-22, they are false prophets when examined in the light of their own historical record. Sometimes the excuse is given, "We aren't false prophets, because we admit our mistakes." Well, I have news for you! Any false prophet who predicts an end to the world is going to admit their mistake the day after! How else could they hold on to their followers?

But this is precisely the desire of the Governing Body; absolute authority coupled with not having to share the responsibility for any mistakes. Who could ask for more?

Of course, some will say that "The Watchtower" is not inspired. However, they have ignored the very words of the members of the Governing Body over the years when they say this! For example, in the Olin Moyle trials in Scotland in 1943, Fred Franz, the current president, said that Jehovah himself is the editor of the magazine, and that it is set forth directly as God's Word, without any qualification whatsoever (Sec. #25962597 of transcript)! Speaking of how Jehovah passes down "truth" to the "faithful and discreet slave class," the July 1, 1943 WT says on page 203:

"He (Jehovah) merely uses the 'servant' class to publish the interpretation after the Supreme Court by Christ Jesus reveals it."

In referring to the angelic being that Ezekiel saw in Ezek. 43:6, the book "Vindication", written by Joseph Rutherford (their second third president) says in volume III, page 250:

"'The man' was the heavenly messenger, and this pictures the heavenly messengers or angels of the Lord. No doubt they first hear the instruction which the Lord issues to his remnant and then these invisible messengers pass such instruction on to the remnant. The facts show that the angels of the Lord with him at his temple have been thus rendering service unto the remnant since 1919."

Another important point in Orwell's discussion is closely related to "doublethink", namely that in a successful manipulation of the mind the person is no longer saying the opposite of what he thinks, but he thinks the opposite of what is true. Thus, for instance, if he has surrendered his independence and his integrity completely, if he views himself as a thing which belongs to the state ... he feels free because there is no longer any awareness of the discrepancy between truth and falsehood. Specifically this applies to ideologies. Just as the Inquisitors who tortured their prisoners believed that they acted in the name of Christian love, the Party "rejects and vilifies every principle for which the Socialist movement originally stood, and it chooses to do this in the name of socialism." Its content is reversed into its opposite, and yet people believe that the ideology means what it says.

This is the most frightening aspect about the deceptions of the Governing Body. By a clever program of brainwashing, they have succeeded in not only causing four million people to believe that black is white and day is night, but have successfully taught them not to question the matter at all!

Jesus told us that we must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3,7). He said that we must share real communion with him to have life (John 6:53,54). He said not to listen to those who claim that Christ has returned secretly or invisibly; but that he would come like the lightening (Matt. 24:2327) and would be seen even by his enemies (Rev. 1:7)! He said he was coming back to take his children home with him (1 Thes. 4:1417). The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is definitely not an angel (Heb. chapter 1) and the apostle John says that Jesus possesses the very substance and nature of God (though he is not the Father -- see John 1:1).

To think that I was (and that four million souls still are) so cleverly deceived by an organization which has repudiated almost everything the Christian church has stood for in 2000 years of history, and then to set itself up as the Christian church, is frightening, to say the least. We cannot sit idly by and allow them to exercise such control over people's lives. They have succeeded in convincing their people that truth is relative to organizational policy. Intellectual suicide! They have rejected everything which the "enemy" (Christendom) claims to be, and have claimed to be that themselves.