The Watchtower Society - Comical "Counsel" Not Found in the Bible...or Anywhere Else!
"Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah's organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God's holy spirit or active force... To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book." - Watchtower July 1, 1973 pg.402
As stated countless times in the Watchtower, Awake, Golden Age and other publications...the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is the only organization or collection of people on earth today that are directed by holy spirit and have understanding of the Bible. The rest of us simply have to go to "the Society" if we are to have a relationship with God or to understand His Word.
In the past, this group was said to include all those of the 144,000 still alive on earth today. They are called 'the anointed' by Jehovah's Witnesses. The Watchtower states clearly that this group is the primary reason for the Bible; they alone have unique understanding. However, as of October of 2013 at the Annual Meeting of the organization, this group now only consists of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses; eight men who reside in Brooklyn, New York. This group is often referred to as 'the faithful and discreet slave class.'
"[A mature Christian] has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave." Watchtower August 1, 2001 pg.14
As noted thousands of times over in Witness literature, there is never a reason to question these men nor their interpretations of the Bible. Furthermore, they have carte blanche in what is considered 'good counsel' within the pages of their literature. To question anything they decide or write to the congregation is considered putting yourself in opposition to God himself.
Imagine the weight of being the organization...or men...on earth today to translate God's thoughts to paper! With the force of God himself behind them, a person investigating Jehovah's Witnesses or the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society should find well over one hundred years of incredible wisdom!
If you're a person looking into Jehovah's Witnesses or the Watchtower Society...
- What sorts of 'nuggets of wisdom' has God personally shared with them as an organization?
- As God's mouthpiece since the late 1800's, what is some of their counsel printed well before it's time?
- Aside from prophecies, are their other facts, anecdotes, or life saving suggestions to be found in their publications?
Let's take a brief look into some of the 'faithful and discreet slaves' wisdom as they claim was given to them by God's Holy Spirit.
The Watchtower's Medical Genius
"Tonsillectomy is called a minor operation. If so, getting well is a double major. If any overzealous doctor condemns your tonsils go and commit suicide with a case-knife. It's cheaper and less painful." - The Golden Age April 7, 1926 p.438
While you're likely reading and rereading the quote above, rest assured, there is more 'wisdom' where that came from. There may not be a more interesting niche of material to read from the Watchtower Society than the Golden Age articles of the early 1900s.
Remember, if you're looking into Jehovah's Witnesses or the history of the Watchtower Society, it's important to look back to the very time they claim Jesus took his throne, looked all over the earth, and decided that THEY were the people that he would use to represent him moving forward. It was during this very time Jesus found them the finest among mankind that "the Society" was printing some of the most bizarre and downright humorous material they ever printed.
I want to include some of my all time favorites. However, I encourage you to look these up and read them with your own eyes. Remember, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is God's chosen mouthpiece to mankind. Without them, you cannot come to know God or the Bible. So as you consider these next quotes, keep in mind that they claim this information comes from God himself:
- "It has never been proven that a single disease is due to germs." - The Golden Age, January 16, 1924, pg. 250
- "The earlier in the forenoon you take the sun bath, the greater will be the beneficial effect, because you get more of the ultra-violet rays, which are healing." - The Golden Age 1933 September 13 pg.777
- "A subscriber.... finds a drop or two of kerosene excellent for quickly cleaning sinks and bathtubs; it cuts the dirt immediately and leaves no odor; and when applied to cuts the cuts heal sooner. Try it." - Consolation December 1, 1931 pg.12
- "Do not use X-Rays... they are destructive and sure to harm the grandchildren of those exposed to them." - The Golden Age September 23, 1936 pg.828
- "In the future man will get his food directly from the sun." - The Golden Age Oct 5, 1927 pg.10
And who needs a blood transfusion when you can just drink a glass of orange juice:
- "one cup of sweet orange juice by mouth answers any emergency in which blood transfusions would be used.” The Golden Age, July 25, 1928, page 679
Can you imagine what modern day science and medicine could do with this tidbit, brought to the Watchtower by God himself:
- "Cancer ...Here is a herbal remedy that has cured many very severe cases. Violet leaves, yellow dock, red clover tops..." - The Golden Age February 6th, 1929
As you read that small sampling of "Godly wisdom" written by God's representatives on earth, you may likely decide you no longer need the care of a professional doctor. (sarcasm mine). Please don't try these suggestions at home.
While reading such 'suggestions' can be very funny, consider what it was like for those that read this nonsense at the time it was written! They to were subjected to the constant reminder that only this group has God's blessing and Holy Spirit. The trust a person puts in someone that claims to represent God is without question. Clearly, the counsel above was NOT from God. However, those that followed it during those time periods believed it was. Despite the humor and utter stupidity of the things written by this organization, they continue to claim that they alone have God's direction.
But such medical marvels aren't reserved for years in the past. In recent times, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society continues to churn out 'information' that a Jehovah's Witness is expected to obey.
Consider the Watchtower's view on sterilization or vasectomies. They continue to claim these are God's views. Notice the heavy handed way a personal decision is handled, should it become 'known' a man has had a vasectomy:
"This would reflect mature sensitivity to Scriptural indications. Yet, what if it became publicly known that a Christian blithely disregarded God’s evaluations? Would not others doubt whether he (or, she) was a good example, having a reputation of making decisions in harmony with the Bible? Such a disturbing blemish on one’s reputation could, of course, affect a minister’s being qualified for special privileges of service, though that might not be so if one had in ignorance had this procedure performed." - Watchtower 1999 Jun 15 pp.27-28
So if a man decides on a vasectomy, his decision making ability was marred by this 'disturbing' act.
This is but a sample of the endless counsel given by the Watchtower Society. Their blood policy is an article that will be written at another time. Needless to say, it needs it's own space in order to capture the absurdity of this doctrine with any respect.
Heavy Hand Holding is a Sin...and Other Musings
The Watchtower Society has made every effort to wedge themselves into every personal decision a person may face. For example, they are notorious for commenting on such intimate things as oral sex, bedroom play and other personal matters between married couples. There is no question that much of what they have stated is blessed by God, it has caused a great deal of anguish, even divorce in many marriages.
But they don't stop there. They went through quite a period of 'inspiration' where someone within the ranks of leadership were obsessed with the personal habit of masturbation. It was then that millions were treated to this nugget of wisdom:
"Weakly giving in to sexual desires by masturbation will certainly not give you strength when faced with a situation tempting you to commit fornication-or even homosexuality. Just the opposite, it cultivates wrong thinking and wrong desire. In fact, masturbation can lead into homosexuality." - Your Youth (1976) Chapter 5 Masturbation and Homosexuality, pg.39
When such counsel isn't bordering on devastation, it can actually be incredibly humorous. Consider an example of how one writers personal opinion can become a 'rule' within the ranks of Jehovah's Witnesses. Consider one example from the Watchtower of November 15, 2009 on holding hands with your mate during prayer:
"When we are being represented in public prayer, we need to display reverential "fear of God." (1 Pet 2:17) There may be a proper time and place for some actions that would be inappropriate at a Christian meeting. (Eccl 3:1) For instance, suppose someone sought to have all in a group link arms or hold hands during prayer. This might offend or distract some, including visitors who do not share our beliefs. Some marriage mates might discreetly hold hands, but if they embraced each other during public prayer, those who got a glimpse of such conduct might be stumbled. They might think or get the impression that the couple was focusing on their romantic relationship instead of reverence for Jehovah. Out of deep respect for him, let us therefore "do all things for God's glory" and avoid conduct that could distract, shock or stumble anyone." - 1 Cor 10:31,32; 2 Cor 6:3.
If you are reading that paragraph and questioning whether this is really something God is concerned about... please relax and realize it is completely absurd. This paragraph became a congregation conversation. Now, those in charge in Brooklyn, don't want people to hold hands during a prayer. Next week we will learn when and how to sneeze. Yes, that sarcasm is mine also.
If these weren't enough (and there are MANY more), the Society went on a rampage against the dangers of aluminum. Yes...that aluminum.
- "[Aluminum cooking utensils are] a curse to humanity and their manufacture and use should be forbidden by law." - The Golden Age, October 26 1932 p.35
"...if ten thousand doctors swore on ten thousand Bibles that aluminum ware is harmless to human beings, I would not believe them..." - The Golden Age, July 25, 1928 pg. 695
Clearly, they had no concern for how this would affect the picnic industry. Or leftovers.
Smurfs, Pyramids and Noses
While it all sounds like a bad, bad joke...Jehovah's Witnesses were taught to hate Smurfs. While you won't find anything in writing from the Watchtower Society, it takes little effort to talk to a Witness that grew up in the 1980s and hadn't been told that the Smurfs were actually demons. At one point, there was an 'urban myth' (or was it?) that a Smurf had come to life and walked down the aisle of a Kingdom Hall. The Society taught a healthy fear of demons. Ouija boards, the zodiac, tarot cards....they were all out. Demons could come to life and harm you... that included Smurfs.
However, their 'inspired' view on pyramids is well documented. Charles Taze Russell, the self proclaimed "mouthpiece of God", was enamored with pyramids. He went so far as to measure the Great Pyramid of Gizeh's steps and used them to calculate the 'time of the end.' Yes, you read the correctly. His predecessor made sure the world was reminded of this divine information in 1925:
- "The great Pyramid of Egypt, standing as a silent and inanimated witness of the Lord, is a messenger; and its testimony speaks with great eloquence concerning the divine plan..."- Watchtower May 15, 1925 p.148
However, somehow the Holy Spirit...even God himself.... must have been confused. Because Rutherford returned with a new message just three years later:
"It is more reasonable to conclude that the great pyramid of Gizeh, as well as the other pyramids thereabout, also the sphinx, were built by the rulers of Egypt and under the directions of Satan the Devil... Then Satan put his knowledge in dead stone, which may be called Satan's' Bible, and not God's stone witness..." - Watchtower November 15, 1928 pg.344
If you find that amusing or even upsetting, I encourage you to take a look at the Divine Plan of the Ages. Particularly it's inside cover. Prepare to be educated in all things pyramid and how it relates to YOUR future.
But nowhere is the divine direction of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society needed more than it is for those of us that have small noses. One would think a small nose would be desired by most people... but those small noses mean something!
- "The size of the nose, as also the size of the eyes, is not without significance. The small-nosed man cannot have a judicial mind, whatever his other excellencies may be. And a man whose nose upturns can no more be expected to administer justice than a pug dog can be expected to act as a shepherd." - Golden Age, January,19 1921 pg.224
After reading those words of Godly wisdom, I became more appreciative of my fat, Italian nose. Apparently, I'm perfect for administering justice.
"Test the Inspired Expressions"
While all of this may seem amusing....and trust me, it really, really is....there is also an important lesson to be found in the example of Jehovah's Witnesses.
No matter what it is that we read, hear or see, we have been invited by God to test those things to see if they are in fact reliable. To believe in men's direction is to disobey God who has plainly stated not to put 'your trust in the son's of men' (Psalms 146:3). That includes the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Instead of reshaping your life according to the opinions of eight men in 2013, I encourage everyone reading this information to use the formula found in the Bible:
"Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” - 1 John 4:1
If you are still left with any doubt...let me assure you, having your tonsils removed is a far better option than suicide.
A SURVIVOR: Forty years in Jehovah's Witnesses; 11 years as a congregation elder, Darrin Hart is the author of the eBook: Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses - Practical Thoughts to Help You Survive and Thrive.