The Real Struggle Begins
As outlined in the previous chapter, the process of unlocking mind control begins once the individual moves into an area of thinking that has heretofore been conveniently brushed aside or never considered. This is an area of uncomfortableness; an area of thought process that does not come automatically but requires strenuous effort. The indi-vidual is entering an arena of struggle for regaining the control of his or her mind.
Some will abandon the contest before it begins–the sacrifice is too great. But others will plod on until they have answers to the questions that are eating at their souls. The Christian is given the awesome privilege and responsibility of assisting them on their quest for truth.
Speaking the Truth in Love
Even after the Jehovah’s Witness has opened up and responded positively, great care must be taken to ensure that his or her heart remains receptive. Information must be given slowly, gently, and humbly. Even the slightest sense of a haughty, condescending, “I-told-you-so” attitude can cause the Witness to retreat back into the refuge of God’s organization. In the words of the Apostle Paul, the Christian should be careful to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15).1
The first and most difficult truth which the Jeho-vah’s Witness must face is the truth about the Watchtower organization. It is of primary importance that the individ-ual clearly sees “mother’s” dishonesty and corruption. Because of the shocking nature of this revelation, each fact must be supported by copies of Watchtower literature; with-out such evidence the information will not be believable.2
Parallels Between the Watchtower and Other Cults
Jehovah’s Witnesses should already have some aware-ness of cult characteristics. Now they will methodically check each characteristic for its parallel in the Watch-tower: devotion to the leader or organization and Jehovah’s Witnesses’ devotion to the Watchtower; manipulation and Jehovah’s Witnesses’ sacrifices in response to Watchtower prophecy; destruction and loss of life in the Watchtower.
As Witnesses compare the material in the first and latter section of chapter one, they should be able to see a pattern emerging. The Watchtower does indeed belong to the species of “dangerous cults.”
Mind Control in the Watchtower
The methodology of mind control should be carefully reviewed and compared with Watchtower doctrine and policy: cult isolation and social isolation in the Watchtower; use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subser-vience as compared to submission to Watchtower authority; powerful group pressures and the power of shunning; informa-tion management and “destroying apostate literature”; suspension of individuality or critical judgement as con-trasted with independent thinking forbidden in the Watchtower; promotion of total dependency on the group compared with “staying close to mama”; fear of leaving the group and the Watchtower’s wall of fear.
Watchtower growth and success is not due to the blessing of Jehovah. It has come about as the result of a clever and sinister method of deceit and control.
Who is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?
One of the key doctrines in Watchtower theology cen-ters around the question, Who is the faithful and discreet slave mentioned by Christ in Matthew chapter 24?
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the mas- ter has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (Matt 24:45-47)3
Charles T. Russell, founder of the Watchtower organi-zation, first made claim to the title of “faithful and wise servant.”4 Russell believed himself to be God’s mouthpiece, the sole source of spiritual food for God’s people.5 After Russell’s death in 1916, however, his successor, Joseph F. Rutherford, deemed it necessary to adjust this teaching. According to the new interpretation, the “slave” is not an individual but a class of people–the 144,000 who will go to heaven and reign with Christ, also referred to as the “annointed ones.”6 This servant class provides spiritual food to Jehovah’s Witnesses through the publications (and official representatives–the Governing Body) of the Watch-tower Society. Because this group is God’s sole means of communication and has been put in charge of all the master’s possessions, Witnesses must believe and obey all of its teachings.
According to Watchtower doctrine, in 1919, having invisibly come into power over the earth, Jesus Christ needed an organization to announce his kingdom and adminis-ter his affairs here. After carefully examining all the Christian religions, he rejected them in favor of the Watch-tower Society. The Watchtower was chosen for the following reason:
The serving of food, the right sort of food, at the pro- per time was the issue. It had to be according to this that a decision must be rendered by the returned master. Well, then, what about that body of Christians interna- tionally hated and persecuted? (Matthew 24:9) Down to 1919 C.E. they had endeavored to give “food at the pro- per time” to the “household of faith” or the “domestics” of the heavenly master. They did this despite interfer- ence by persecutors and the warring nations. Not only was the regularity in serving the spiritual food a problem, but the quality of the food itself was to be considered. In this respect the body of hated, perse- cuted Christians, who always sought to be faithful slaves of Jesus Christ, met the test.7
Of all religious groups present on the earth in 1919, the organization producing the Watchtower publications alone “met the test.” Not only had it served spiritual food with regularity, but “the right sort of food, at the proper time.” This doctrine forms the basis for the Society’s claim to absolute spiritual authority.
The Finished Mystery
In 1917, two years before the “time of testing,” the Watchtower Society published a book called The Finished Mystery. This volume was the “newest light” or the “fresh-est spiritual food” produced by the organization, so logically it would be the first book that Christ would have examined in 1919. If Christ did indeed carry out his exami-nation as the Watchtower claims, and if Christ did applaud the quality of the Watchtower’s “spiritual food,” that would mean that The Finished Mystery has the unique distinction of being a book with Jesus Christ’s own official stamp of approval.
The Finished Mystery is unique in other ways as well. It offers unusual and exotic interpretations of Scripture found in no other volume on earth. “Leviathan,” described in the forty-first chapter of Job, is said to be a locomo-tive.8 The prophet Nahum, in his message directed against the ancient city of Nineveh (2:3-6), depicts “a railway train in motion–not an automobile, as some think.”9 “1600 stadia” referred to in Revelation 14:20 is the precise distance from Scranton, Pennsylvania (where work on The Fin-ished Mystery was done) to Brooklyn, New York (headquarters of the Watchtower)–if one uses the Lackawanna Railroad and the Hoboken Ferry.10 The “great earthquake” in Revelation 6:12 is the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755;11 the hail in Revelation 8:7 is the “sharp, cutting, hard truth, contained in Luther’s 95 theses nailed on the church door at Witten-berg;12 the “star that had fallen from the sky to the earth” (Rev 9:1) is John Wesley;13 the “severe earthquake” in Revelation 11:13 is the French Revolution.14 Concerning the “glory” or “splendor” of the angel in Revelation 18:1, The Finished Mystery makes the following enlightening comments:
Some of the glories of the New Day, all discovered since 1874, are adding machines, aeroplanes, aluminum,
antiseptic surgery, artificial dyes, automatic cash registers, celluloid, correspondence schools, cream separators, Darkest Africa, disk ploughs, Divine Plan of the Ages [Russell’s first book], dynamite, electric railways, electric welding, escalators, fireless cookers, gas engines, harvesting machines, illuminating gas, induction motors, linotypes, match machines, mono- types, motion pictures, North Pole, Panama Canal, pasteurization, railway signals, Roentgen rays, shoe sewing machines, smokeless powder, South Pole, subma- rines, radium, sky scrapers, subways, talking machines, telephones, typewriters, vacuum cleaners and wireless telegraphy.15
The Finished Mystery is also unique in the way it consistently offers an interpretation of the Bible which disagrees with the Watchtower doctrine of the present. The second coming of Christ is said to have occurred in 1874–today the Watchtower teaches that Christ returned in 1914.16 Michael (Rev 12:7) is the Pope of Rome–current Watchtower teaching states that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ.17 “Apollyon,” mentioned in Revelation 9:11, is Satan–the Watchtower now claims that “Apollyon” refers to Christ.18 The words “I am the Alpha and Omega” (Rev 1:8) are credited to Christ–the newest Watchtower interpretation maintains that this title only applies to Jehovah God.19 Still another unique characteristic of The Finished Mystery is its failed prophecies:
Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. . . every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.20
Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pas- tor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity.21
Our proposition is that the glorification of the Little Flock in the Spring of 1918 A.D. will be half way. . . between the close of the Gentile Times [October, 1914] and the close of the Heavenly Way, A.D. 1921.22
A Hopeless Contradiction
For the Jehovah’s Witness of today, The Finished Mys-tery is certainly not “the right sort of food, at the proper time.” It would rather be regarded as spiritual poison–any Witness caught propagating its doctrine would be disfellow-shiped for falling away from the truth and spreading apos-tate ideas.
The conclusion is simple, yet its ramifications for the Watchtower Society are catastrophic. If Christ did indeed examine the Watchtower organization in 1919 and pro-claim that it was his slave, faithfully distributing quality spiritual food, then The Finished Mystery should still be read and used as a textbook of faith. However, if the present Watchtower leadership rejects the content of The Finished Mystery, then it has no right to claim that Christ made the Watchtower his “faithful and discreet slave” in 1919.
Raymond Franz sums up the insurmountable evidence stacked up against the organization’s claim to spiritual authority:
Why would Christ have picked out this admittedly
error-plagued source of information as the example of faithfulness and discretion, as the only one passing the test and chosen as the sole avenue of communication through which the enthroned King would now send all guidance to mankind? And why would this “chosen chan- nel” immediately embark upon a new false time-prophecy about 1925 and the start of the millennium due to come at that time–with the man directing the chosen “chan- nel” [Joseph Rutherford] later being obliged to admit (according to his own words) to having ‘made an ass of himself’ in connection with the unfulfilled prophecy based on that year? I found all this not simply puz- zling but demeaning to the Word of God and to the wisdom, power, and kingship of his Son. . . . To Ron Frye [former circuit overseer and a Jehovah’s Witness for 33 years], as to others, it seemed incomprehensible to say–after forty years of erroneous predictions based on chronological speculations. . . . –that these same persons were very quickly thereafter glorified to a new, lofty privilege of service, entrusted with handling all the enlarged interests of the Master, Jesus Christ. As Frye expressed it: That’s like going to a businessman who, through his own foolishness got himself into finan- cial difficulty and lost a good deal of your money, having to declare bankruptcy, and your then saying to this businessman, “Well done! You lost a small fortune of mine, so now I am going to entrust my whole fortune into your hands.” In essence, this is what it is claimed that Christ did.23
A careful examination of Watchtower history will reveal that the organization has made numerous predictions concerning future events. From the days of its founder, Charles T. Russell, until the present, prophecy has played a key role in the Watchtower’s evangelistic program. Warnings that Armaggedon is “just around the corner” have stirred generation after generation of believers to literally sacri-fice everything for the cause of evangelism. Prophecies also helped to gain the attention of the general public, attracting many to participate in the Watchtower’s version of “Bible study.”
In addition, the title of “prophet” also effectively reinforced the Society’s claims to spiritual authority. As “representatives of Jehovah,” the leadership soon found that they could demand obedience in the name of God, exactly as the prophets of old.
One can come to understand that Jehovah is a God of sur- passing wisdom by observing creation. . . . A second way to know God is through his Word of truth, the Bible. . . . A third way of coming to know Jehovah God is through his representatives. In ancient times he sent prophets as his special messengers. While these men foretold things to come, they also served the people by telling them of God’s will for them at that time, often also warning them of dangers and calamities. People today can view the creative works. Today they have at hand the Bible, but it is little read or understood. So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? . . . . He had a “prophet” to warn them. This “prophet” was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning, and have been joined and assisted in their commissioned work by hundreds of thou- sands of persons who have listened to their message with belief. Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a “prophet” of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. What does it show?24
If this claim to prophetic authority is true, it has immense repercussions for the entire human race. Surely, a review of the “record” is called for. The question, “What does it show?” should be asked and answered.
The following quotes from Watchtower literature form a major portion of the organization’s prophetic record for the past one hundred and twenty years:
In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i. e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. . . . It will prove that some time before the end of A. D. 1914 the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the “royal priesthood,” “the body of Christ,” will be glorified with the Head.25
We consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establish- ment of the kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914. 26
In the meantime, our eyes of understanding should dis- cern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress.27
Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity.28
The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the con- dition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representa- tives of the new order of things on earth.29
Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armaggedon.30
Meantime the German people are awakening to their horri- ble predicament. They no longer laugh as decent men and women were made to laugh, but their faces are white, pinched and filled with forebodings of what the near future will bring and is already hastening to bring to them–Armageddon, the battle of that great day of God Almighty.31
Will the present world conflict between the “Axis powers” and the so-called “democracies,” the opposers, end in a decisive victory for either side? The prophecy indicates the contrary result. . . . All the prophecies and the present-day facts indicate that the contending nations will before long enter into some sort of peace treaty.32
According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thou- sand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975. . . . How appropriate it would be for Jehovah God to make of this coming seventh period of a thousand years a sabbath period of rest and release, a great Jubilee sabbath for the proclaiming of liberty throughout the earth to all its inhabitants! This would be most timely for mankind. It would also be most fitting on God’s part, for, remember, mankind has yet ahead of it what the last book of the Holy Bible speaks of as the reign of Jesus Christ over earth for a thousand years.33