The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is a publishing company with a purpose.
The ultimate aim of the publishing company is the ownership of the minds and lives and energies of the readers! What an amazing purpose! It is a purpose that has produced much fruit.
Throughout the history of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society the claims made by the publisher have impacted the lives of their readers like the doses of a slow poison over time. The track record is now available for any honest inquiry. Whatever claims the corporate bosses might make to the contrary, the results of even a casual investigation leave no room for evasion. This is an insidious business. It is protected as a non-profit corporation on one side and completely immune to taxation as a religious instrument on the other. The instructions which emanate like a noxious gas from the top of the corporate food chain have choked out all naysayers, whistle-blowers and policy critics. Control is a fetish and absolute control is the powerful weapon wielded upon the millions who subscribe to their purpose.
Their purpose, however, like a flickering candle in a drafty room, has fluttered about and cast troubling images throughout their history. The shadow of evil intent is everywhere. The Watchtower seized its readers in the grip of religious mania for end times in the mid 19th century and squeezed the last ounce of expectation out of every article it published. Like a barker in a sideshow hustling customers with a singsong patter of lurid enticement, the Armageddon hucksters gathered a crowd eager to escape the end of the world. Like any phony peddler rousting a gathering of rubes ripe for plucking, the Watchtower articles and books presented graphs, charts, dates and measurements based on any imaginary concoction it could pluck from its corporate behind; Pyramidology, convoluted dates, ad hoc measurements, pseudo-historical events said to parallel contemporary happenings, etc. Bottom line? Stay tuned for the next magazine article, the next book, the next explanation....DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL!!
This juggling act could only command attention just so long before the balls started hitting the ground and bouncing away in disarray. Outrageous claims of miracles on the horizon have to be backed up eventually, don't they? Or, do they?
In every traveling carnival there is a shell game at work. You've seen them; we all have. The pitchman entices a group of people to watch him place the pea under one of three walnut shells as he hides it and switches quickly first this and then the other shells. The object of the game is to bet something on where the pea might be. Guess correctly and you win! Lose and you try again.
The Watchtower hides Armageddon under its doctrinal shells which it switches in a blinding confusion of dates, explanations and cop-outs. The winner gets Paradise on Earth or a special prestigious trip to Jesus on the Rapture express. All you have to do to play is pay up front for the privilege of betting it all on where the pea will be!
And bet they do! You see, readers of the Watchtower have been on a wild ride over the decades. They went from being anxious about the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven in 1874 to finding themselves knocking on doors spreading the word about an invisible Jesus commissioning magazine sales. In fact, they bet their lives, their honor and their fortunes on picking where the pea would turn up. (Hint: it never turns up! Surprise!)
The crazy shell game started with the readers of the Watchtower being Bible Students. Then, they were colporteurs on street corners peddling end times like newsboys shouting out a headline: "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Armageddon has already started! The end comes in 1914!" (1918, 1915, 1975!)
The faithful believers bet it all on where the pea would land and came up short every time! One date followed another as each was explained away. Like any circus crowd of onlookers interest waxed and waned over the years. The bet was always a big one. But, the stakes got heavier fast!
The second Watchtower president, J.F. Rutherford upped the ante on the old shell game. Now Bible Students had to bet the whole wad: absolute compliance with rigorous policy changes. To play the game and find the pea (Armageddon) you had to ignore your country's flag, stop celebrating holidays, shun your family if they didn't tow the line and you might have to let your loved one's die avoiding a blood transfusion. But, hey! That's not all! If you act now you get to go to prison refusing alternative military service, avoid pasteurized milk, abstain from aluminum cookware, refuse antibiotics--and (drum roll) for the first time ever, Christians get to change their name to Jehovah's Witnesses! No more heralding the presence of the King Jesus Christ; no! Knock the doors, peddle the books and get the money for JEHOVAH!!
The shadow of these events casts a long dark pall of tragedy over the history of the Watchtower Society. New dates for the End brought in more and more bets as the population of Jehovah's Witnesses mounted. Who wouldn't want to WIN BIG? (Guess where the pea lands and win it all!!)
But, the fallout of the errors took a huge toll like the wake of a powerful storm that wipes out the assets and security of families and plunges communities into despair. The community of brothers and sisters who labored day and night spreading these phony warnings about the end became hobbled by financial woes, poor educational opportunity for the children and endless demands for more of their time and less criticism of the disharmony between the policies ever-changing and the stark evidence how empty the promises all were.
And yet, when at last the eyes of a few were opened to the petty larceny of it all--they were quickly marginalized as troublemakers and ousted from the ranks of fellow believers and consigned to the purgatory of Apostasy! Like the kid who watches the Con Man hide the pea in his hand and shouts a warning to the crowd that they are being cheated, the disfellowshipped ex-Witness finds himself escorted away and dismissed as a liar and a ne'er-do-well. The now so-called APOSTATE is on the enemy list to be avoided, shunned and ignored hence forth.
What should an ex member do, keep their mouth shut about the con that is being worked on others? Should a victim of fraud keep silent and lick their wounds in fear of losing their family to the crowd still betting away on where the pea will turn up? No! It is immoral to hide a crime perpetrated on innocent victims. Worse, it is unthinkable to allow one's own family to be defrauded in the name of God and his service.
The so-called APOSTATE begins to spread the word that a contagious and insidious harm is being carried out by a protected religious outfit that makes special claims for its authority. Then, the critics come to the APOSTATE and chide them for their passion and ridicule their motives and scold them for their message.
How is one to answer such charges of unfair criticism? Shouldn't the good of the Watchtower Society be praised equally? After all, they aren't axe-murderers!
Here is one answer.
The Watchtower has over ONE HUNDRED YEARS head start on the whistle-blower. Their propaganda machine is a well-oiled multinational high octane monster. All Watchtower- bashing all the time couldn't catch up with the damage they've done.
In short, they steal men's souls by sucking time out of people's life to do anything personally beneficial. The busy-busy slave work spreads the viral infection to others. They use as bait the dazzling promise of paradise and the ultimate escape vacation from cares and woes. What they leave behind is the dried out husks of used up people left disillusioned, spent and devoid of a shred of self-worth.
And the Watchtower needs defending?
Watchtower critics are a tiny, almost infinitesimal anti-biotic in a sea of monstrous bilge spewing forth from Brooklyn. We are awash in their hate-mongering as they label honest query and righteous demands for accountability as apostasy. They hold families hostage and pit fathers against children and husbands against wives in their bid to own the very mind of each of their captives.
I say this. Here on FREEMINDS and other sites, we are a hospital; a triage unit on a battlefield so vast and littered with so many wounded, it can never be said the succor can ever equal the devastation to damaged lives. (Read the personal stories and add up the misery!)
Stifled voices strain to cry out here after decades of cover up, repression and mind control. The tortured souls of the innocent victims seek asylum in our embrace. The moans of exasperation have reached high into the empty skies to overflow the gates of Jehovah's abandoned Palace of Justice.
This, for the "apostate," is our only paradise, our purgatory and our hell all rolled into one. Let each man, woman, and child say what he will without restraint and some small measure of balance might be restored to toppled lives hungry for amnesty from the awful shredding evil of the Watchtower menace.
Extol the imaginary virtues of the Watchtower Society as you will, their graveyard of damaged souls grows yet more vast each day. For they are but a mirage of pretended righteousness which hides a smoldering wasteland of scorched immorality; those vampires of feckless misery. I have tasted the fruits of the Watchtower ministry and the sour poison has sickened me. But, it has not numbed my tongue.
I've not one word to say on their behalf and they have none to say on mine. That is balance enough.
related: Why do I do what I do? by Randall Watters
Why we charge money for books, etc.