Elders and Governing Body

Is the Governing Body Inspired? Reflections on the November 2016 JW Broadcasting

In JW broadcasting for November 2016, Garret Loesch, the longest serving member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, reminded his listeners that the Governing Body does not claim to be inspired. Some may think this is a new admission or revelation, but in reality, this has always been Watchtower policy. The question naturally arises from those of us who have been Jehovah’s Witnesses, but who are now awake and wonder why we think this is a new teaching. The answer is surprisingly simple, and gets to the very nature of the personality of the Watchtower Corporation. That corporation has indeed taken on a personality of its own, forged by the likes of Russell, Rutherford, Knorr and Fred Franz.

In my opinion, the corporate personality of the Watchtower is hypocritical to the very core of its being. What Garret said is, indeed, not a new teaching. The reason why so many think that it might be, is because the Governing Body acts as if they are inspired, and demand to be treated as if they are inspired.  For example, if you disagree with the Governing Body, you are subject to disfellowshipping [excommunication and shunning]. Disagreeing with the Governing Body is equated to disagreeing with God. Their literature oftentimes compares those who disagree with the Watchtower authority structure to those who are disagreeing with God, and rebelling against him.

“Jesus, in turn, has assigned his “faithful and discreet slave” to look after the spiritual needs of God’s people on earth. (Matthew 24:45-47) The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses serves as “the faithful and discreet slave.” As in the first-century Christian congregations, elders today receive instructions and counsel from the Governing Body, either directly or through its representatives, such as traveling overseers. When we as individuals respect the authority of Christian elders, we are obeying Jehovah.”
~ Keep Yourselves in God’s Love book, page 43

The impact is that they, the Governing Body, act as if they are inspired, and demand to be treated as if they are inspired, under pain of severe punishment – shunning – but say they are not inspired. If that is not hypocrisy, then I must not understand the word.

The explanation of how this works was described by George Orwell in his book 1984. I can’t remember the exact words, or where in the book they are to be found, but it goes something like this: “To be a successful party member, one must have the ability to hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time.  They must know when to bring up the correct belief, and when they do, it must be their absolute truth.”

The party in Orwell’s book corresponds to being an indoctrinated Jehovah’s Witness. In this particular case, Jehovah’s Witnesses must know the that the Governing Body teaches that they are not inspired, yet they also know that they must treat the Governing Body as if they are inspired by God, and as if they speak for him. They hold those two strongly conflicting beliefs, and bring up the proper one at the proper time, always believing that whichever belief is correct for the time is the absolute truth.

gbThis plays out in the day to day lives of JWs. They know that their teachings are constantly changing, many times contradicting older teachings.  To a neutral observer, it is fairly simple to see that such changes indicate that it is impossible for God to be directing or using such a group of charlatans. However, the JW ability to believe the right thing at the right time causes them to see this proof of lack of inspiration as directly the opposite. They never stop to think that, what the Governing Body is saying about their God, is that he either doesn’t know what he is doing, or he has no plan and constantly changes his mind, or worse, he is just maliciously playing with people so that their expectations are never met.

The striking irony of the November 2016 JW broadcasting is that Garret Loesch also takes this time to go to pains to explain to people what a lie is, what the different degrees of lying are, and how to be a champion of truth. This, coming from an organization that, in their most recent history book, in my opinion purposefully falsified their own history, and actively hides the information from their followers. I think they cover every level of lying in that single action.  They say things which on some level could be argued to be true; that is the Bible Students didn’t know what to expect in 1914. However, that is at best a half truth, because the Bible Students indeed had great expectations for 1914. Those expectations were taught as sure truths for decades by Russell.

weasel-wordsHowever, not a single one of those expectations came true. God’s self-proclaimed mouth piece, Pastor Charles T Russell, got everything totally wrong.  But, since he didn’t specifically say he was inspired, the Watchtower gives him a pass. It seems to be irrelevant to them that to claim to be “God’s mouth-piece” is exactly the same thing as claiming to be inspired.  They go to any length in their use of weasel words to avoid this plain and simple truth.

In the most recent Watchtower History book, “God’s Kingdom Rules” published in 2014, they dishonestly state in a caption on a picture in page 20 “In 1914, the Bible Students began to discern the sign of Christ’s invisible presence.”  This book quotes articles going back to the very earliest of Russell’s writings in the 1880s. So, there is no excuse for the authors of this book not to know the Bible Students at that time taught that Christ presence began in 1874 with him taking kingdom power in 1878.  They taught this until the 1930s, possibly up to the early 1940s. Books published by Rutherford, including “The Harp of God,” published in 1921, contain this teaching; 1921 is after 1914, so there is no possible way the Bible Students “began to discern” the signs of Christ’s presence.  In truth, they thought he had been invisibly present for decades by then.  The only reason the Watchtower can get away with publishing such dishonest statements about their own history, while obviously in possession of the clear evidence of their dishonesty, is because the vast majority of their followers do not have access to this information.  The Watchtower purposefully hides it from them.

The action described above, again in my opinion, constitutes a malicious lie on the part of the Watchtower.  They seem to purposefully lie about their past, and they go out of their way to hide the truth, vilifying those who attempt to make it known.  The aim of this action is to get people to become their followers.  When a person does so, they are forced to ignore their own desires in life, and start performing free service for the Watchtower corporation in the form of distributing literature, attending meetings, recruiting others, and building Watchtower buildings for free, all while donating money to the organization.  They are also forced to abandon any friends or family they have who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses, associating only with other Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Some lose their lives when they refuse blood transfusions under Watchtower strict coercion (you are considered to disassociate yourself and are shunned if you accept a blood transfusion).  Some are forced back into abusive relationships, and child abusers have been shielded from prosecution as was made manifestly clear in the Australian Royal Commission hearings.  In short, the Watchtower uses their dishonesty to assist them in stealing the very lives of their adherents.  That, in my view and in my experience, is extremely malicious.

If indeed the Watchtower is acting out of purity of motive, I hereby challenge them to make easily available to the public all of their old publications, and encourage your followers to study them.  There are several libraries around the world where such literature already sits, and several private collections.  Stories are out there about people who woke up just by reading the old publications.  If, indeed, the Watchtower is a champion of truth, I challenge them: Prove it.

1506460_270647163083248_594169496_nHonestly admit to your followers the truth of the Australian Royal Commission.  Show your followers the website set up by that government commission that chronicles the proceedings.  Show them that a Governing Body member pretended to have no knowledge of the inner workings of the Watchtower when he was under oath.  Show them that a high branch official tried to act as if that GB member, Jackson, only had responsibility for translation.

So Watchtower, I put the ball squarely in your court.  Demonstrate that you are not malicious liars and slanderers.  Come clean.  Prove us wrong using proper documentation.  We refuse to believe the mere baseless assertions of a group that has a history over 130 years long of being wrong about their predictions, and then misleading people about what they predicted.  Champions of truth, indeed.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society stand as one of the most hypocritical, dishonest organizations currently in existence.  Prove me wrong, and I’ll retract everything and issue an apology.  I’m waiting.  Until then, you are, and remain, scared senseless of anything that resembles truth.  As such you are utterly incapable of honesty, and completely not worthy of any trust.  Prove my opinion to be wrong.  I believe I have facts to back it up.  Show me otherwise, and I’ll recant.

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Editor’s Note: Lest anyone from Watchtower actually try to use lack of an address as an excuse, you can visit the About page and use the contact form there to send a message, and I’ll gladly forward it to Spike Raynor myself. You can also visit his YouTube channel and leave a comment or message him.

~ Alexandra James

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21 replies »

  1. Anyone who has ever read Raymond Franz’s book “Crisis of Conscience” will immediately and clearly see that the GB cannot be inspired. (For those who don’t know who Raymond Franz was, he was a Governing Body member, and it was during his stint as a GB member, when he really got to see and experience what went on behind closed doors, that he had a crisis of conscience.) The GB VOTES to determine if a policy should be enacted or re-enacted or changed. So long as 2/3 of the group vote one way, even if the other 1/3 disagreed, a decision, which can detrimentally impact the lives of millions, is made. Sometimes decisions were made only after a couple of hours of discussion. If the GB is inspired of God, or spirit driven, or God’s Earthly mouthpiece, then why would this group of privileged men have to discuss anything and then vote on it? This group of men, living their cushy lives at headquarters, having all of their needs taken care of, make decisions that negatively impact millions of people who have to live and work in the real world. Outsiders looking in can see how crazy this is; insiders have been so brainwashed that they can’t see it or don’t want to see it, because opening their eyes will mean very painful consequences. I would like to see this cult banned in every country. I applaud what Russia has done; others need to follow suit.

  2. Since the gb is not inspired nor infallible, i grew a beard. That was the very little thing that opened my eyes. I said, if they can not do anything other than talk to me about my beard, is because they are wrong about it, and if they are wrong about that little thing hmmmm….Got it? Its been months and i still attending meetings with my beard. i dont leave because i think that every time i go the kh and they look at my beard is like saying to them: ” I know your wrong!”

  3. Once again, a very poignant article. Thank you. I would also like to see them produce the list of known pedophiles within their organization, notably numbering 23,720 predators. Of course that is only those proven thru evidence from their ‘two eye witness’ rule. Imagine the actual number. And think of how many victims each perpetrator has left in their destructive wake. This is very bad. Besides myself, I personally know 5 people who were molested and or raped within ‘The Society’. I long to see their inevitable end.

  4. wow a bunch of bad guys here! Would you guys do something more productive than doing something not helping yourselves?

    • This is to help you and other people still believing the GB is God’s sole communication channel. Be glad there are people that spend their time unselfishly to set you free.

    • You funny. You haven’t seen anything. My former coordinator was just like you. He engineered my shunning. Now he is as bitter as Satan after suffering shunning himself. When it gets you, you will surely come around and we will be here for you

      • It is funny that you think you know what I have seen, and rather arrogant. Unless you have known me for a few decades, I am at a loss as to how you could possibly think you know what I have or haven’t seen. Additionally, I don’t know what you expect me to come around to. Perhaps you could help me out by telling me what it is that I presented here that is not true? If there is something untrue, I would like to know so I can correct it. Otherwise, I am not the one who needs to come around.

  5. You are right the Watchtower speaks with forked tongue& the Governing Body live in beautiful new surroundings in their Lakeside HQ at Warwick unlike Jesus who had nowhere to lay his head or Apostle Paul who was a TENTMAKER so he wouldn’t be a financial burden on the brothers.

    • JW’s have propagated two contradictory claims (cognitive dissonance) for many years with regard to being inspired or not. The following is a quotation from the September 2007 Kingdom Ministry Question box “Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought” and remain “stabilized in the faith.” (1 Cor. 1:10; Col. 2:6, 7) ”

      Another quotation from the Watchtower June 15, 1957 page 370. “Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. Listen to the inspired answer to the situation, in Matthew 24:45-47 (NW): “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.” And has he? Yes, particularly since 1919 has it been true that he has appointed the collective body of the anointed remnant over all the visible interests of the Kingdom.”

      “These decisions, if you want to call them a decree, are made collectively. So, when that direction comes out, to branch committee members, or when it comes out to the… congregations, if you want Jehovah’s blessing on you as an individual or a family, certainly as a elder or a congregation, it’d be best to just ask Jehovah to help you understand it, obey, the decision.”
      “This is a theocracy ruled by God. Not a collection of man-made decisions. This is governed from heaven.”
      Anthony Morris III, Morning Worship, September 2015.

      “There are some who make spectacular predictions of the world’s end to grab attention and a following, but others are sincerely convinced that their proclamations are true. They are voicing expectations based on their own interpretation of some scripture text or physical event. They do not claim that their predictions are direct revelations from Jehovah and that in this sense they are prophesying in Jehovah’s name. Hence, in such cases, when their words do not come true, they should not be viewed as false prophets such as those warned against at Deuteronomy 18:20-22. In their human fallibility, they misinterpreted matters”.*

      In the footnote they say:-

      “Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus’ second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions ‘in the name of Jehovah.’ Never did they say, ‘These are the words of Jehovah.’ The Watchtower, the official journal of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has said: “We have not the gift of prophecy.” (January 1883, page 425) “Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible.” (December 15, 1896, page 306) The Watchtower has also said that the fact that some have Jehovah’s spirit “does not mean those now serving as Jehovah’s witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine The Watchtower are inspired and infallible and without mistakes.” (May 15, 1947, page 157) “The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic.” (August 15, 1950, page 263) “The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)”—February 15,
      1981, page 19

      Awake March 22, 1993 pages 3-4

      SeeDeut 18:20-22

      And yet in 1959 they wrote the following:-

      “Do all the clergy of Roman Catholicism and of Protestantism agree that Jehovah’s witnesses have been and are God’s prophet to the nations? but, Who discerned the divine will for Christians in this time of the world’s end and offered themselves to do it? Who have undertaken God’s foreordained work for this day of judgment of the nations? Who have answered the call to the work and have done it down till this year 1958? Whom has God actually used as his prophet?
      14 By the historical facts of the case Christendom is beaten back in defeat. Jehovah’s witnesses are deeply grateful today that the plain facts show that God has been pleased to use them. All the preaching and all the Bible educational work that they have done till now in 175 countries and islands of the sea they confess has been, not by help of a military army, nor by human power, but by God’s spirit, his invisible active force. (Zech. 4:6, AV) It has been because Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths. It has evidently been because he commissioned them to be over the nations and over the kingdoms. Happy are all those who have seen what the work of Jehovah God for now is and who have volunteered to do it”.
      Watchtower Jan 15, 1959, pages 40-41

      Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths

      “Consider, too the fact that Jehovah’s organization alone in all the earth,
      is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force… Only God by his holy
      spirit could have revealed this to those early Bible students so far in
      advance.” (Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p.402)

      There were many claims of “divine guidance” or “direction” “speaking for” or transmitting communication from Jehovah going back to the time of Russell.

  6. Holy Schizophrenia, Batman!

    I tried sharing Christ with some JW’s I was studying with (on account of a question I was foolish enough to ask) . We were reading What Does the Bible Really Teach? and I could not get three pages into chapter four, “Who IS Jesus Christ?” Those poor souls don’t have clue one WHO Christ is! To them, he’s either a god or the archangel Michael.

    Sorry to get semi-preachy, but whoever or whatever inspires such doctrines, it’s NOT God. He’s not the author of the very confusion that runs rampant in JEHOVAH’S ORGANIZATION . It’s positively ORWELLIAN, how people are supposed to hold two contradicting views at the same time. On one hand, the governing body isn’t Inspired. On the other hand, the Watchtower is Jehovah’s SPIRIT DIRECTED Organization. If God is directing the WBTS, doesn’t that imply inspiration?

    Then again, their actions (or IN-action) on the Child sex-abuse issue, their insidious shunning policy and allowing people to die because of their reprehensible blood edict is the hallmark of a hierarchy on a megalomaniacal power-trip.

    • What about when someone gets baptized? They now have to answer the following questions (1) On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will? And (2) Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? If they are “spirit-directed” how can they ever get a prophecy wrong?

      • Excellent! And the answer is, they can’t. Nor would they want to.

        At the very LEAST, the GoBo do not actually believe in the Jehovah they preach. Or they are the WT’s ‘Jehovah’ meaning that they make the rules as they go along; and they Bible doesn’t really have anything to do with what they preach. Well, duh. 😉 That is the only thing that makes sense, given the JW’s inability or refusal (I’m not sure which) to deal with verses like John 20:28, 29 , Phil 2:5-11.

        At the very worst, there is a devil at work 😈, lying to these people. There is a verse about “deceiving and being deceived…” 2 Tim 2:13 which is exactly the situation the GoBo are in.

        If you wanna take a secular route, a well known quote goes, “There are None so BLIND as those who REFUSE to SEE”.

      • Yes John good points .. Spirit directed or inspired?? Means the same to most educated people? But not so with the governing body.
        Can the GB…. ‘CLARIFY’ what they mean ? They love to use the word Clarify a prophecy they have got wrong & not say they have ‘CHANGED ‘ the Prophecy.
        Playing with words again as usual.

    • The WT has gone too far because they not only claim that they are guided by holy spirit but also they make others take their word as directly from God. If they ask you to do something in harmony with the Bible, that is fine; however, the WT would require you to take their instructions as something from God, even you think it is not based on the Bible. I have my own experience in that.

  7. Great article: On this topic I would draw your attention to two recent Watchtower articles that I believe will soon bring this evil, hypocritical religion crashing down: In the Apr 15, 2010 we are told that because of “increased light” i.e. direct communication between Jehovah God and the G.B., Armageddon will come before the 1914 “overlapping” generation passes away.

    The Feb 15 2006 tells us that “increasing light” from Jehovah “refines” His people “… doctrinally and morally”. Therefore the overlapping generation “light” cannot be wrong! A future G.B. cannot even claim to have misinterpreted that “light” because if that is true how do we know they didn’t misinterpret previous “light”? What about the 1945 “light” regarding blood transfusions?!!

    When the 1914 overlapping generation passes away… so will this disgusting religion!!

  8. You only have to go WT’s official website and read the answers they give on the FAQs link as examples of weasel words. It’s full of logical fallacies obviously designed to mislead. Important questions, such as ‘Are former members shunned?’ are simply not answered, but given the appearance of being answered, like clever politicians who linguistically dance around answering uncomfortable questions. They have skilled wordsmiths writing for them.

    Just a small point, his name is Gerrit Losch. He’s hardly qualified to lecture rank and file JWs on the subject of lying. He publicly lied on an affidavit stating, among other things: “I do not answer to Watchtower…….Watchtower does not have, and never has had, any authority over me.”

    The ‘God’s Kingdom Rules’ book is revisionist history, a lie designed to ‘massage’ the WT’s appalling history to the current generation of JWs, who in the main, have no idea of the truth of the matter. At least the Proclaimers book, while also revisionist history, at least contained some surprising admissions.

  9. It was an old publication that I found in the Kingdom Hall library which began my exodus (I was a JW for almost twenty years).
    It read that as long as Jehovah proves the means for preaching, JWs will continue it.
    Means is money and I know it is people who provide the money for the Watchtower.
    It is written that Jesus’ followers are no part of the world as he is no part of the world.
    Money is nothing but a worldly thing so it can’t be that Jehovah is providing it directly.
    Respect for Jehovah might be one reason the money comes in, but can that honestly be called from Jehovah?

    Another terrible lie they tell is that it is Jesus pictured on the white horse at Revelation 6:2.
    If the rider is really he who comes instead of Christ and they are calling it Christ, and if he who comes instead of Christ is the antichrist, then they are calling Jesus Christ the Anti-Christ. That is like the Pharisees calling Jesus Satan.

    I think the Bible proves my point that 2 Peter 3:3 is really about them and all people like them who are by their words saying that Jesus isn’t present.* I think it is about mockers mocking the Jews who were stiffed necked and unteachable.

    If you don’t believe me, why not look up Strong’s Greek 4226 “where”? (2 Peter 3:4) Someone thinks it can even mean “nowhere”. i know they teach that Jesus can’t be with an individual and I know Jesus isn’t with them, so really they are saying Jesus is nowhere.

    *because if Jesus was present, how can they be lying in his name and by extension be lying in God’s name?

    • WOW!!! The mind boggles at what these poor people teach and believe. I tried to share John 14:6 with some JW friends and they skimmed over it. They believe they are in the truth and yet Jesus has no place in their organization. Leastwise, NOT the REAL JESUS.

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