Critical Review of

Preparing For Child Custody Cases

by Randall Watters

This section of the Watchtower's booklet contains questions that may be asked of a Witness elder regarding the practices and lifestyle of Jehovah's Witnesses. "Sample" responses are also given by the Watchtower's legal department on what to say in court to such questions. The text of the booklet is always represented in black type font, and my comments are made in red. Most of my comments are contained in the sections designated as "sample responses" by the Watchtower.

Certain paragraphs throughout the booklet will be highlighted in blue and underlined, and is my way of conveying to you some counter points regarding what the Watchtower is saying. Just click once on the blue text, and you can read my comments on their statement.

Since almost all my references in challenging their stated position are taken out of recent Watchtowers from the last 15 years or so, and since every Jehovah's Witness can obtain the entire text of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines for the last 20 years or so, there is no need to photodocument their statements, for they can be verified by any Jehovah's Witness who has a library or their 1993 or 1995 CD-ROM of Watchtower publications. Quotes are reproduced for the benefit of the reader in order to see what they have said on the issue. Page numbers are indicated in green, after each page, for the sake of reference. If a paragraph is split by a page break, the page number indicator falls after the end of said paragraph, rather than in the midst of it, to facilitate reading.

Randall Watters




(For example, you might wish to share some of the following educational and culturally-enriching subjects from the Society's publications:

Arts and Crafts

"You, Too, Can Learn Calligraphy!" Awake! August 8, 1985, p. 25-27

"Oil Painting--Wholesome Relaxation," Awake!, May 8, 1974, p. 21-23

"A Closer Look at Famous Works of Art," Awake!, January 8, 1982, p. 16-20

"Keeping Small Hands Busy," Awake!, May 8, 1985, p. 24-27

"Are We Losing the Art of Learning?" Awake!, September 22, 1982, p. 22, 23

Hobbies and Recreation

"Choosing a Hobby Wisely," Awake!, November 8, 1961, p. 13-16

"Beauty in the Rocks," Awake!, September 22, 1969, p. 20-22

"The Value of Toys," Awake!, January 8, 1971, p. 9-12

"Stamp Collecting as a Hobby," Awake!, July 8, 1971, p. 20-23

"Is Home Sewing for You?" Awake!, August 22, 1973, p. 9-12

"Knitting as a Lifetime Hobby," Awake!, May 8, 1978, p. 23-26

"The Origin of Playing Cards," Awake!, August 22, 1978, p. 9-12


"Home Computers--Are They for You?" Awake!, February 8, 1984, p. 12-15

"Cooking Spaghetti Giulia's Way," Awake!, January 8, 1986, p. 25-27

"Cheese--Are You a Connoisseur?" Awake' August 8, 1986, p. 25-27

"Will the Abacus Survive Again?" Awake' December 8, 1986, p. 19

"Young People Ask . . . What About After-School Activities?" Ibid., p. 16-18

"Exploring Earth's Last Great Frontier," Awake!, December 22, 1986, p. 16-19

Music and Entertainment

"What Should Your Child Read?" Awake!, March 22, 1978, p. 16-21

"Can I Television Benefit Us?" Awake!, April 22,

"Control Your Television!" Ibid., p. 17-20

"What Do You Do for Entertainment?" Awake!, January 22, 1979, p. 3, 4

"Don't Ignore the Need for Entertainment," Ibid., p. 5-8

"Playing Indoor Games," Ibid., p. 9-12

"Understanding and Enjoying Music," Awake!, February 8, 1979, p. 20-24

"Music Lessons for Your Two-Year-Old?" Awake!, February 22, 1980, p. 25-28

"A Sense of Humor--God's Gift," Awake!, September 8, 1980, p. 25-28

"Begin Teaching Your Baby to Read," Awake!, September 22, 1982, p. 23-27

"What Is Your Kind of Music?" The Watchtower January 15, 1983, p. 3, 4


"Bridge That Gap With Conversation," Awake!, June 8, 1983, p. 24, 25

"They Are Helping Children to Read," Awake!, June 22, 1985, p. 23

"Reading--It Can Enrich Your Life," Awake!, September 8, 1985, p. 3-8

"Young People Ask . . . How Can I Have a Good Time?" Awake!, November 8, 1986, p. 10-12


"Winter Can Be Fun," Awake!, December 22, 1958, p. 8-11

"Flying a Kite Can Be Fun," Awake!, March 22, 1973, p. 24-26

"How Long Could You Survive in Deep Water?" Awake!, June 22, 1973, p. 17-19

"Discovering the Wonderful World of Walking," Awake!, August 22, 1973, p. 24-27

"You Can Sail Safely," Awake!, September 8, 1980, p. 23-25

"My First Marathon," Awake!, December 22, 1980, p. 27, 28

"Lessons You Can Learn from Sports," Awake!, July 22, 1981, p. 25-27

"Sports and the Family--A Balanced View," Awake!, May 22, 1982, p. 9-11

''Surfing--What's It All About?" Awake!, August 22, 1982, p. 12-16

"Young People Ask . . . Should I Go In for Bodybuilding?" Awake!, December 22, 1986, p. 13-15)

(Other general topics include Animals and Plant Life, Economics and Employment, Health, Human Relations, Lands and Peoples, Science, World Affairs, and many more.)


(For you might consider Bible Story book and illustrate how the book is organized and how it teaches principles such as honesty, respect for authority, the value of obedience, etc. )

(You may want to refer to and give brief resume of Great Teacher and Youth books and "Young People Ask" series and discuss in similar fashion as Bible Story book resume.)

(Referring to scriptures such as 1 Timothy 5:8, Ephesians 6:1-4; and Proverbs 1:8, 9, you may want to give Bible examples of parental instruction which benefited offspring to emphasize this fundamental Bible belief. Also see "Rearing Happy Children in a Troubled World," The Watchtower, January 15, 1982, p. 12.)

(Many criticize the meeting schedule as one which is overly demanding for a young child. You may want to highlight that they are religious, educational, promote a warm familial spirit, and that young people make many social contacts at these meetings.)


(Highlight that visits are made with interested people to share good news of bright future for all mankind. Also see Kingdom Ministry, December 1977, "Are You Instructing Your Family?" and Kingdom Ministry, February 1979, "How Does God's Kingdom Affect Your Family?")

(There are various positive features to highlight. For example, many people invite Jehovah's Witnesses in and engage in upbuilding conversations; people who are not interested are left on a friendly basis; many visits are made on people who are also social contacts and conversation is not restricted to religious beliefs; many home visits are like dropping in to see friends; children who accompany parent learn to be outgoing and take an active interest in people from various backgrounds.)

(Ephesians 6:1 is to be applied to one who is not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as to a parent who is disfellowshipped. See w10/15/81, p. 19; 910/22/75, p. 27, 28; 99/22/70, p. 27, 28.)

(Jesus taught love neighbor as self, includes all; we respect others' right to worship as they choose.)

(No. Consider following objective consideration of other religions in our publications:



Young People Ask . . . Why Should I Accept My Parents' Religion?, Awake!, November 22, 1986, p. 13-15;

Young People Ask . . . Is the Bible Relevant for Me?', Awake!, May 22, 1986, p. 12-14;

A Non-Violent World-Did Ghandi Show the Way?, Awake!, April 8, 1984, p. 3-12;

What Is Religion Doing for Mankind?, Awake!, January 8, 1984, p. 3-14;

The Latter-Day Saints in Today's World, Awake!, December 22, 1982, p. 24-27;

Moon's Unification Church-What Does It Believe?, Awake!, September 8, 1982, p. 10-15;

The Church of England-An "Endangered Species"?, Awake!, July 8, 1981, p. 25-27;

Why So Many Religions in South Africa?, Awake!, January 22, 1981, p. 12-15;

A Look at Hindu Views of Life and Death, Awake!, February 8, 1977, p. 16-23;

Is Buddhism the Way to Enlightenment?, Awake!, January 8, 1974, p. 16-19;

Test Your Religious Knowledge, Awake!, April 22, 1961, p. 4-27;


Examining Islamic Teachings, Watchtower, November 1, 1953, p. 653-656.

(Principles of Ten Commandments are common to both groups.)



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