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Jehovah's Witnesses

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—Watchtower. WTBTS. January 15, 1983. p. 22.[1]

Jehovah's Witnesses (also called Jehovah's Witlesses) are a millennialist Christian cult famous for their long history of failed Second Coming prophecies. Their theology focuses on active proselytizing and seeking out converts, an activity referred to as "preaching" or "witnessing" — members ("Witnesses" or "JWs") believe that it is necessary to do so in order to:

  1. refute "untruths" about God, Jesus, and the Bible
  2. fulfill Jesus' commandment at Matthew 28:19-20
  3. foster continuing "Jehovah's Witnesses Are Bothersome" jokes by annoying their neighbours on volunteered time
  4. torment anyone who's LGBT, a woman in a position of any amount of power, anyone above the poverty line, a non-JW (especially ex-JWs), and current insufficiently-brainwashed JWs

There is concern that manipulation of existing JW members may be increasing.[2] Though to give them credit, they are one of the least racist sects of Christianity that officially portrays Jesus as white, and at times, they could claim Michael Jackson and Prince as supporters.

The JW hierarchy requires Jehovah's Witnesses to be loyal to Jehovah. As he's not available in person and his basic existence can't even be demonstrated, the faithful are left with the requirement of being loyal to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses instead. "Loyalty" in this context may include the shunning of close friends or family members who have been disfellowshipped by the organisation, regardless of any harm coming to the shunned people.[3]

The Witnesses are an offshoot of 19th century Adventists, and can be traced back to the preacher Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) in the 1870s. In 1879, Russell founded the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, ancestor of the JW's famous publication The Watchtower. He soon attracted followers around the US, constituted in 1880 as the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society; in the 1880s followers were often known as Bible Students. In 1909, its headquarters moved to Brooklyn, and after Russell's death in 1916, Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942) took over, instituting a more authoritarian organisation which he called Theocratic Government. He in turn was replaced by Nathan Homer Knorr (1905-1977), a skilled organiser who founded Bible colleges and organised a new Bible translation. Meanwhile, the Witnesses' refusal of military service and even conscription into civilian roles found them at odds with the US government, and persecuted by Nazi Germany, although in 1962 they changed their doctrine and decided they could obey most secular laws. Despite repeated predictions of the end times, notably in 1975, the church marched on.[4]

Appearance and behavior[edit]

The central quasi-ritual of Jehovah's Witnesses is "preaching", which means discussing the Bible and their faith with nonbelievers. They do it predominantly at the nonbelievers' doorsteps, but also on the street and in other public places, often annoying a lot of people in the process. More recently, Jehovah's Witnesses have taken to standing in public places and offering free literature without accosting passers-by.[5] Preaching JWs are usually encountered in pairs and dressed in an outfit considered smart by local custom, but often ruined by a sports backpack used to carry biblical publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the publishing arm of Jehovah's Witnesses.

JWs are organized into congregations, generally smaller than one monkeysphere, which meet two times per week in buildings known as "Kingdom Halls". The "Our Christian Life and Ministry" meeting takes place during the work week and is devoted to improving the preaching skills. The second takes place during the weekend and involves a biblical lecture intended for a general audience and studying articles from the Watchtower magazine.

JWs celebrate only one holiday, called the Lord's Evening Supper, or Remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. It is equivalent to the sacrament of Eucharist in other denominations, but held annually instead of every week. The celebration takes place after the sunset of 13 Nisan of the Hebrew lunar calendar (thus, actually on 14 Nisan, as in the Hebrew calendar days end at sunset) and involves a biblical lecture about the significance of the death of Jesus for humanity. During the lecture, unleavened bread and red wine are passed around the audience. Baptized and potential JWs are expected to just pass it along; only members of the "remnant" are allowed to consume them (see below).

Jehovah's Witnesses regard same-sex sexual activity as sinful; however, they do not make homosexuals the target of ill-will, ridicule, or harassment, and say that all fellow humans should be treated in a theoretically respectful and dignified manner.[6] A primary-school age child with a friend being brought up by a same sex couple could be advised to tell her friend that Jehovah disapproves of the same-sex relationship.[7]

JWs have developed a large vocabulary of newspeak for concepts related to their religion. This is mainly because they frown upon using the terminology of mainstream Christianity (such as: church, reverend, pastor, or Mass), which they consider apostate. Usage of newspeak sourced from Watchtower publications acts as a shibboleth among Witnesses. Trying to discuss their beliefs from an atheist perspective using their own terminology can result in shunning as a disfellowshipped JW or a heretic.

United States Supreme Court cases[edit]

As examples of a stopped clock, in the United States, numerous cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses are now landmark decisions of First Amendment law. Such cases include:

  • West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), which ruled that schoolchildren could not be forced to pledge allegiance to or to salute the U.S. flag.
  • Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), which established the fighting-words doctrine, an exception to the First Amendment.
  • Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York v. Village of Stratton (2002) decided that you don't need a permit to preach door-to-door.

Child sex abuse[edit]

Child sexual abuse allegations have smeared Jehovah's Witnesses[8] with accusations of mishandling.[9] In at least one UK case, the courts supported the complainant and awarded high damages.[10] Contradictory reports exist about the frequency of occurrences and of how they were handled.[11][12] Jehovah's Witness doctrine, publications, and discussion preach safety education for and protection of children, cooperation with law enforcement authorities, and responsible handling of abuse or molestation accusations.[13] An Australian Royal Commission found Jehovah's Witnesses do too little to protect children from sex abuse.[14][15][16]

Since 1997, the Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States have had a policy of hiding all sexual abuse allegations from the police.[17] The Jehovah's Witness headquarters has a trove of sexual abuse allegations from local branches that an anonymous source has been leaking.[17][18] The redacted documents have appeared on the FaithLeaks website.[19]


Watchtower theology differs from that of most other Christian denominations on several points.[note 1]

Name of God and the Bible[edit]

The name of the religion comes from the belief that it is important to use the personal name of God in worship. This name is thought to be "Jehovah", which corresponds to the (incorrectly transcribed) Hebrew letters יהוה, used in the Old Testament to denote the name of God, with vowels from the Jewish euphemism "Adonai", meaning "My Lord". Modern reconstructions suggest the real pronunciation of the name was closer to "Yahweh", just as Jesus was closer to "Yeshua", but JWs insist that using the name at all is more important than how it really sounded.

JWs believe that only the Bible as written in its original languages is divinely inspired, and translations are subject to errors (they got that second part right, at least). As such, they claim to spend a great deal of attention on studying the precise meaning of the text in its original language and cultural context.[note 2] These claims are pretty hypocritical, as all translations of their Bible rely on the English version.[20]

The Trinity and Jesus[edit]

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in a trinitarian view of God.[21] They do believe Jesus was chosen by God to be the savior, but they do not believe Jesus is God, but rather "a god" — a divine being inferior to God. They believe that Jesus was the Archangel Michael before his birth and became Michael again after his death.[22] They believe the Holy Spirit is but an impersonal force, not a third person of the Trinity. Jesus is believed to have been created as the first being distinct from God, and then to have assisted God in the rest of creation. As a justification, they cite John 1 and the plural form used in Genesis. This is equivalent to what conventional Christian theology calls Arianism.Wikipedia

They do believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, but not in the Crucifixion, believing instead that Jesus was hung on a vertical stake, not a cross. Displaying or venerating the cross, an apostate symbol, is condemned as idolatry. The same goes for any other kind of religious sign, painting, or sculpture (unless it's in The Watchtower, of course: see left). It is one of the main reasons why Jehovah's Witnesses do not have any commonly recognizable symbol. New converts are expected to destroy all items associated with other religions they might have (as opposed to selling them).

Life after death[edit]

According to JWs, consciousness ceases after death, but that's not necessarily the end. People with "heavenly hope", which means those among 144,000 people chosen by God to rule with him over his future kingdom (which will be instituted after Armageddon on Earth), will regain consciousness and ascend to Heaven.[23] People with "earthly hope", which means the vast majority of the JW followers who didn't get enough points, will be resurrected to live eternally in a paradise on Earth. There will be no wars, no diseases, humans and animals will live together peacefully, and everyone will be happy. Most of the sinful (meaning the rest of us suckers — 99.03% of humanity) will be resurrected along with the faithful (see #Armageddon), and they shall be the slaves servants to those 144,000 Golden Ticket winners. Exceptions are people who died through personal actions of God, like the people who died in the Great Flood, the members of the 144,000 chosen ones that left the faith (those who have committed a "sin against the holy spirit"), and the faithful members of the 144,000. The former two will not be resurrected, while the last group will be resurrected to live in Heaven. There is no eternal damnation in Hell for humans, as this is considered to be at odds with God's mercy; the "lake of fire" described in the Bible is taken figuratively to mean a state of destruction and nonexistence, rather than eternal torment.

The 144,000 places in heaven are reserved for people chosen by God. This group has several names in JW terminology, including "little flock", "remnant", and "the spirit-anointed". It consists of faithful servants of God from the past, including the Apostles and the writers of the New Testament, and a small number of very devoted Witnesses that still live on Earth. Membership in the little flock is a prerequisite to membership in the JW Governing Body, which is considered God's "faithful and discreet slave" and is responsible for determining the official doctrine and approving the content of JW publications. It's not clear how new members of the "remnant" are identified; among rank-and-file JWs, it is commonly believed that some people are just born with an inner conviction that they will live in Heaven after death. The places in Heaven are said to have run out in 1935 and thus the recruitment is over, but there's a catch that God can replace the chosen ones that have proved unfaithful with new ones (but he apparently can't change his mind and choose to expand its membership).

Yearbooks list the total number of people left in the "remnant" (though not broken down by country) along with other statistics. For the last two decades, the number of people considering themselves to be in the "remnant" was slowly increasing, even though the doctrine clearly implies that it should be decreasing.[24][25]

JWs consider proselytizing and belonging to the Watchtower Society organization to be essential to salvation. People who share the JW worldview but do not actively spread it are regarded as accessories to the death of sinners who will die in Armageddon. This is somewhat at odds with the belief that only "confirmed sinners", e.g. those that had the opportunity to learn about the JW doctrine but rejected it, will die during Armageddon.


Contrary to what many persons think, homosexuals are not born that way but their behavior is learned.
—Your Youth getting The Best Of It. (A book published by Jehovah's Witnesses).[26]

Homosexuality is disapproved of and seen as contrary to the wishes of Jehovah. Even children are taught to teach other children to be homophobic.[27][28][29]


Armageddon in JW theology is a future war between God and the nations of the world allied with Satan. It will commence some time after the Governing Body decides that spreading the word of God is complete. Once Jehovah's angelic army triumphs, Satan will be imprisoned and all people (with some exceptions) will be resurrected. This will be followed by a 1000-year period of achieving perfection in an earthly paradise. At the end of this period, Satan will be released for a short time to test humankind's faith. Those who prevail will live eternally on Earth, while those who succumb to the temptations of the devil will die.

Note that Armageddon is not synonymous with the Second Coming of Christ. JWs think this already happened, in 1914, when Jesus fought Satan in Heaven, cast him out, and became the righteous ruler of Earth. This marked the beginning of the End Times, during which humanity remains under the unprecedented influence of Satan, because he is much closer to Earth now than he was in Heaven. This explains World War I, World War II, and most problems that humanity has faced since 1914.

Jehovah's Witnesses, and its predecessor groups, have predicted the start of the battle of Armageddon would be in 1873, 1874, 1914,[30] 1918,[31] 1925,[32] 1942,[33] and 1975. They now seem to have settled on vaguely proclaiming that Armageddon is "imminent" to avoid further embarrassments.

Note that JWs do not believe in the Rapture. They interpret 1 Thessalonians 4:17 as saying that members of the 'remnant' who die do not remain dead until the Armageddon, but are instantly resurrected in heaven.[34]


I love you + will miss you + I look forward to a time when we can be united in serving Jehovah together as a family again. But, until then, please do not call me. This is non-negotiable. It is my response to Jehovah’s direction…
—Jehovah's Witness mother to daughter she refuses to see again.[35]

When a baptized Witness commits a grave sin (which includes any form of consensual extramarital or premarital sex and spreading beliefs not in line with official Watchtower teaching) and does not show repentance, they will be disfellowshipped. A sinner who is only moderately repentant may be disfellowshipped for not being repentant enough. All this conflicts with Jesus — who, according to the Gospels, talked to sinners, ate with them, and told them to stop sinning.[36] A young woman was disfellowshipped for leaving a partner who was violent to her and broke her ribs.[37] Members threatened with disfellowshipping face a group of elders in secret without anyone to help them put their case.[38] The consequence is ritual shunning by devout Jehovah's Witnesses, including close family and former friends.

Spokesmen and publications for Watchtower give evasive answers and try to prevent outsiders from knowing the extent of shunning and its seriousness. Shunning amounts to emotional blackmail[39] and it is hoped that the pain of separation will bring the sinner back. The pain parents, for example, feel when forced to end communications with a son or daughter is considered the fault of the disfellowshipped former member. Disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses should blame themselves for the pain they suffer and that their friends and relatives suffer over breaking the relationships.[40] Family and longstanding friends in the movement breaking with someone who leaves Jehovah's Witnesses is very common. Some family and former friends stop all contact, others send messages which can be paraphrased as, "I love you. I hope you return to the cult Jehovah. Unless you return I can't (be your friend/treat you as human family)."[41] Disfellowshipping is seen as an act of tough love which can sometimes bring an errant former member back to acting like a brainwashed Witness back to Jehovah.[42] Shunning can also be traumatic, especially if victims lose contact with all those who were close or important in their lives, and JWs are discouraged from forming close relationships outside the movement (thus making the shunning even more devastating).[43] Shunning can also contribute to suicide.[44] See Former Jehovah’s Witness Shares Daughter’s Disturbing Drawing This link includes a drawing by an 8 year old crossing her father out because he is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Unbaptized adherents cannot be disfellowshipped, since formally they were never Jehovah's Witnesses to begin with.[45]

Blood transfusions[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Blood Transfusions: How Safe
The blood is the life!

Perhaps their most distinctive belief, and one which they put a great deal of emphasis on, is their opposition to blood transfusions (even their own). However, the rules have changed over the years and some blood products are allowed.[46] Nonetheless, members can and do sometimes die through refusing blood or blood products.[47] Road accident victims die from refusing transfusions, as do sufferers from blood or bone marrow cancer and many others.[48][49] These deaths are applauded.[50] In the United States, Jehovah's Witness mothers die in childbirth very much more frequently than others giving birth; it is estimated that in the US, there are ten unnecessary deaths among JW new mothers a month,[51] and similar deaths happen in other nations.[52] In most cases, a surviving baby and/or existing children grow up without their mother.

Baptized JWs who willingly accept a blood transfusion are regarded as having voluntarily renounced their faith. While they are not disfellowshipped, they can no longer take part in the normal activities of a congregation. Nothing unholy about pharmaceutical addiction, though; just look at the happy endings of Michael Jackson and Prince.

All this does have one unexpected positive side effect for science, however. While JWs reject blood transfusions, they have no such scruples with accepting blood substitutes[53] — chemical mixtures designed to act as oxygen carriers in times when it might not be possible to use the real thing (e.g. lack of supply). As most of these products are still in development, their willingness to use them makes JWs the primary source of human test subjects for clinical trials of blood substitutes, even those that are based on hemoglobin.


See the main article on this topic: Religion and abortion

Most Jehovah's Witnesses strongly condemn abortion.[54][55] According to TJ-Encyclopedie (a French Jehovah's Witnesses wiki), abortion is forbidden in almost all cases and Jehovah's Witnesses having an abortion are passible of disfellowshipping.[56] However, JWs believe in blood transfusions even less, so if a pregnant mother desperately wants out, she can always put in the religious cheat codes and cut through her veins to freedom. Just don't expect there to be one of the devil's ambulances waiting to rescue you.[47]

Other beliefs[edit]

"From my own research, I met Jehovah's Witnesses who do celebrate birthdays, vote for political candidates, sit around Christmas trees (albeit with the closed curtains), have premarital sex, let off fireworks at New Year's Eve and smoke an occasional cigar after a good meal. So, drawing conclusions from the movement's literature (particularly back editions) to evaluate the day-to-day practices of a specific family may render an inaccurate picture of their proper religious involvement.
— Richard Singelenberg[57]

JWs' teachings also include rejection of the celebration of most holidays, such as Christmas and Easter due to their pagan roots, "nationalist" holidays such as Independence Day, and birthdays. Their staunch neutrality means that they refuse to salute flags or sing anthems, and in keeping with a broader tradition of Christian pacifism, they refrain from any participation in such functions of government as military, judicial, or law enforcement. Sadly for many German JWs, their refusal to be nationalistic or serve in the military made them targets for the Nazis, and they were persecuted along with Jews and Roma during the Holocaust.

Higher education, career advancement, and spending time with non-Witnesses is discouraged, since it encourages critical thinking and exchange of ideas that could cause one to wake up takes away time that could be spent spreading the good news to worldly heathens. The old wisdom that it's good to listen more than you speak is not looked upon highly by JWs.

They also insist that Jesus died on a stake rather than a cross for some reason.


Jehovah's Witnesses publish a translation of the Bible, called The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures,Wikipedia in a number of languages. It is copyrighted, unlike pre-1923 translations, but available online.[58] It uses the word "Jehovah" where the original Hebrew text contains יהוה (YHWH), in place of traditional honorifics like "LORD". Mainstream biblical scholars are divided on the quality of this translation, with some (generally those associated with rival Christian denominations) staunchly criticizing it, primarily for rendering critical passages in a way that does not admit a trinitarian interpretation,[note 3] and others praising it for accuracy. The most criticized feature of the translation is the replacement of the Greek word "kyrios" (Lord) in the New Testament with "Jehovah" whenever it refers to God.

Another JW translation, the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, also published by the Watchtower, is actually considered pretty good, and notably differs from the New World Translation in certain key places.[citation needed]This text is now available online.[59]

JWs have two main serial publications, The Watchtower and Awake!. The Watchtower has a more spiritual theme and has two issues per month. The issue that appears at the beginning of the month has articles intended for a general audience and is used during preaching. The middle-of-month "Study Edition" issue contains articles for study during the weekend meetings and is rarely disseminated outside of the congregation. Awake! contains general interest articles written with a JW viewpoint and comes out monthly. Minor serials include the monthly Our Kingdom Ministry, which contains organizational information and preaching advice, and Jehovah's Witnesses' Yearbook, which contains statistical information about membership and testimonials from countries around the world.

In addition to the serials, JWs have published a wide array of books, brochures, and tracts on topics such as family life, the doctrine of the Trinity, life after death, world religions, the Book of Isaiah, the prophecies from the Book of Revelation, the history of Jehovah's Witnesses, and creationism.

Conflicts with science[edit]

Carnivorous dinosaurs are a big problem for the JW worldview. Chomp!
Let God be true, and every human being a liar.
Romans 3:3-5[60]

JWs maintain that the Bible is consistent with modern science, except the entire field of evolutionary biology and parts of geology and archaeology, which are wrong because of the influence of Satan, pagan philosophy, and depraved Christian clergy.

Their beliefs about the origins of life and humankind are mostly old Earth creationism. They believe that each "day" in the Genesis creation story refers to an unspecified period of time, which could be millions of years (day-age creationism). Man is thought to have been created roughly 6000 years ago, based on something similar to James Ussher's chronology. All events and persons described in the Bible, including the Great Flood, are considered historical facts. The level of acceptance for evolution mirrors that of other creationists in that "microevolution" is acknowledged to occur but common descent is denied. JWs avoid exploring their hypotheses rigorously, instead directing attention to trust in the Bible. As a consequence, they do not promote hilarious nonsense such as baraminology.

Dinosaurs are thought to have gone extinct before the creation of humans, and consequently, before the Fall of Man. This poses an interesting contradiction: because the paradise which will be formed on Earth after the Armageddon is thought to represent the conditions on Earth before the Fall, and animals in paradise will only eat plants, it follows that all creatures that went extinct before the creation of man were herbivores. Unfortunately, some dinosaurs definitely look like carnivores. JW literature does not address this problem in detail, saying only that the food eaten by those apparent carnivores could have failed to fossilize or is yet to be discovered.

While JWs don't directly participate in the intelligent design movement, they have tried to capitalize on it by releasing more creationism-related publications in recent years, increasing the use of ID vocabulary, and quoting from Michael Behe's book Darwin's Black Box in their publications.

Questions to ask one of Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

For Jehovah's Witnesses, the Bible is the highest authority, and they believe that their interpretation of it does not contain contradictions or conflict with science. If you can manage to persuade a JW that there is a genuine contradiction or logical inconsistency in the JW doctrine, it can eventually lead to abandoning of the faith.[note 4] The Watchtower has prepackaged explanations for several apparent contradictions, so not all of them will have any effect. If you want to instill some doubt or just annoy them, you can ask one of those questions. See the footnotes for explanation where applicable.

  • Did God design the claws and teeth of tigers, or did they evolve after the expulsion of humans from the Garden of Eden? If they were designed by God, what were they used for in the Garden of Eatin' Eden? Cracking nuts? As a related question, what did the T-Rex and other obviously carnivorous dinosaurs eat?[note 5]
  • Ask them about any of the prophets who fought military battles, like Moses and the 31 kings of Canaan, or David. Watch them struggle to explain how God "doesn't need us to do that anymore."
  • Why did JW doctrine allow organ transplants until 1967, then consider them cannibalism until 1980, then allow them again?[61] During the time transplants were banned, there were unnecessary deaths.[49] How does banning transplants and allowing them again both constitute 'the light getting brighter'?[note 6] Don't organs still contain some of the donor's blood?[62]
  • Who created viruses and pathogenic bacteria? Who created the human immune system to defend against them? The immune system is so incredibly complex that according to JW doctrine, it couldn't have evolved.
  • Why did God create dinosaurs, only to kill them long before he created humans?
  • If old age and eventual death are the result of inherited imperfection resulting from Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, then why do animals (who are presumably not intelligent and therefore incapable of sin) also grow old and die?
  • Noah took seven of each clean animal and two of each unclean animal on the ark. But how could he have known which animals are clean and which are unclean hundreds of years before the Mosaic law was revealed?
  • Why does God care more about following his own rules and proving a point to Satan than about humanity's suffering?[note 7]
  • If Adam and Eve hadn't disobeyed God, they wouldn't have experienced suffering. Why did God create the unfair rule that original sin is passed down from parents to children which prevents him from offering me the same choice?[note 8]
  • Why is the number of people in the "remnant" increasing?[25]
  • If we are living in the "end times" and the Bible says that one of the signs of the "end times" will be an increasing frequency of earthquakes, why do statistics show that occurrences of strong earthquakes (above magnitude 7.5) have no discernible trend since around 1920, and were in fact more frequent than today between 1900 and 1918?[63]
  • Why exactly is Jesus always white on the cover of Watchtower? I'll give you the purple vegan T. Rex because of Barney, but white Jesus, come on.
  • If homosexuality is 'unnatural' as the Bible describes it, why does homosexuality seem to be irreversible? Surely, if God wants us to believe that homosexuality is 'unnatural' and unjustifiable, he could make homosexuality a choice, make it reversible, and make it dangerous. What harm does homosexuality bring?
  • If Adam and Eve and the story of Noah and the flood were true, you would be able to prove it, but why is there no apparent evidence for these stories? Surely, if God wants us to believe these stories without any doubts, he could have provided the evidence that would convince researchers that these stories were actually true, and it wouldn't take any faith to accept them as facts.
  • If having a child outside of marriage is a sin, why did God create children that are born outside of marriage? Why would God reward unmarried couples by giving them a child for the sin they committed?
  • If there were only two lions and two zebras on all the Earth after Noah made landfall, what did the lions eat while the zebras built their numbers back up?
  • If God knew beforehand that Satan was going to rebel and cause most of the suffering there is, why did God make Satan in the first place?
  • If God knew beforehand that Adam and Eve were going to disobey (thus bringing sin and death to mankind), why did God make Adam and Eve in the first place?
  • If God knew beforehand that Hitler, Stalin, Osama, Ted Bundy, & people like them are going to be responsible for the destruction of many innocent lives, why did he create them in the first place?

Ineffective approaches[edit]

  • Criticizing past conduct or obsolete doctrines of the Watchtower Society, rather than the present ones. JWs will either reject your facts as coming from splinter groups or explain this through the doctrine of "new light", which is JW jargon for moving the goalpost progressive revelation. They admit that the leadership's understanding of the Bible was wrong before.
  • Presenting anecdotal evidence that some JWs are not really good people. You will face a no true Scotsman, or if they have a glimmer of intelligence, they will instead point out that there will unavoidably be a few bad apples in every barrel.
  • Most things on this page.

Outright dismissal[edit]

  • Will you please get the Hell off of my porch?
  • Hitting on them often ends hilariously. Especially if you and the Witness are the same sex.
  • Spraying them with a hose is likely to be effective, but is not recommended.
  • Placing demon-looking figures on your front lawn may be a good preventative of receiving a visit, but don't expect it to make you immune.
  • Having a very large and aggressive-looking dog sitting in your front yard.
  • Put loud speakers on your front porch that plays Iron Maiden songs in a continuous loop (this might get a citation for disturbing the peace).
  • Say "Shalom" instead of "Hello". For some reason, they don't want to talk to Jews.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Official JW sites[edit]

  • Worldwide Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses - Official web site of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, with downloads of publications and other media
  • Watchtower Online Library - contains the text of almost all recent publications, including the New World Translation of the Bible,[58] the book Insight on the Scriptures,[64] which is a doorstop-sized lexicon containing extensive commentary on all biblical subjects, and Reasoning from the Scriptures,[65] a shorter book that describes the JW doctrine on various subjects in the form of questions and answers.

Other sites[edit]


  1. Taken from one of their recruitment/conversion pamphlets (that they hand out when accosting people at home in order to convince them that this is some legit theology) as well as hand out at their respective Kingdom Halls called "Good News From God!", more specifically under the section "Who Is Jesus Christ?" in which we're told that, quote: "After Jesus died, God restored him to life as a spirit person. (1 Peter 3:18)". This is the motif that the picture shows. At which point Jehovah literally sim salabims Jesus, as shown here.
  2. However, this is done selectively. A typical JW would readily accept the type of argumentation used on this site if it came from official Watchtower sources, but is required to adhere to the official belief that homosexuality is condemned by God.
  3. As an example, John 1 contains "The Word was a god" instead of the traditional "The Word was God", and "Holy Spirit" is rendered in lowercase as "holy spirit".
  4. Though given the aforementioned discouragement of forming relationships with non-JWs, there is the possibility of that doing more harm than good.
  5. As described in the previous section, JWs believe that conditions in the Garden of Eden resembled those that will be present in the paradise that will be created on Earth after the Armageddon; e.g., animals will not eat each other. This means that eating meat is a behavior that only appeared after the expulsion from Eden.
  6. "Light getting brighter" refers to Proverbs 4:18, which Witnesses use as a justification for doctrinal changes; but if the light is indeed getting brighter, i.e. doctrinal changes are a result of ever-increasing understanding of the Bible, then there should be no reason to ever revert a change in doctrine.
  7. JWs' solution to the problem of evil is that suffering is a result of humans rebelling against God in the Garden of Eden. During the time between expulsion from Eden and Armageddon, Satan will rule over the Earth, so that his actions can prove that he is incompetent. Therefore, all human suffering is to prove a point to Satan and any would-be successors. JWs effectively claim that there is a set of "higher rules" that God must adhere to, even though he made them himself.
  8. As before, human suffering is the result of rebelling against God and the original sin being inherited by all people, but it appears to be against God's justice to punish children for the wrongdoings of parents.


  2. There's a Disturbing Level of Manipulation in This Year's Jehovah's Witnesses Regional Conferences
  3. Remain Loyal to Jehovah… or Else.
  4. Jehovah's Witnesses: History, BBC Religion
  5. The Jehovah's Witnesses' new tactic
  6. Awake!, 1997, 8. December.
  7. Watch: Jehovah’s Witnesses are using this creepy anti-gay cartoon to indoctrinate kids
  8. Jehovah's Witness elder guilty of sex abuse: Now charity watchdog launches investigation
  9. Jehovah's Witnesses criticised over handling of sex abuseJehovah's Witness elders 'don't take child abuse seriously'
  10. Jehovah's Witnesses to compensate woman over sex abuse
  11. Child sexual abuse covered up by the Watchtower
  12. Jehovah's Witness elders stonewalled a police probe into church member's sexual abuse
  13. Learn from the Great Teacher, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2003.
  14. Australian Commission Report: Jehovah’s Witnesses Do Not Adequately Protect Kids from Child Abuse
  15. Jehovah's Witnesses did not protect children from abuse, inquiry finds
  16. Jehovah's Witnesses condemned for using 2,000yo rules regarding child sex abuse.
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Secret Database of Child Abuse: A former Jehovah's Witness is using stolen documents to expose allegations that the religion has kept hidden for decades. by Douglas Quenqua (Mar 22, 2019) The Atlantic.
  18. New Whistleblower Site FaithLeaks Releases Confidential Documents About Child Sexual Abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses Community by Jennings Brown (1/09/18 10:43am) Gizmodo.
  19. FaithLeaks
  20. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, Chap. 27 p. 611, subheading Translation Into Other Languages.
  21. Watchtower Online Library: Trinity
  22. Who Is Michael the Archangel?
  23. Eternal Happiness—In Heaven or on Earth?
  24. The yearbook for 2000 says that there were 8,755 'Memorial Partakers' in 1999 (a.k.a. members of the remnant), while the yearbook for 2012 says there were 11,824 in 2011.
  25. 25.0 25.1 JWFacts: Increasing Memorial Partakers
  26. Your Youth getting The Best Of It,page 39.
  27. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Released an Awful Guide for Kids on How to Defend Anti-Gay Bigotry
  28. Watch: Someone fixed that creepy anti-gay Jehovah’s Witness cartoon
  30. Charles Taze Russell and Nelson H. Barbour, The Three Worlds (1907) as cited by James Penton, Apocalypse Delayed, pages 21-22.
  31. The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 485, 258, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, pages 206-211.
  32. The Way to Paradise booklet, Watch Tower Society, 1924, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, pages 230-232.
  33. The Watchtower, Sep. 15, 1941, p. 288
  34. Watchtower Online Library: Rapture
  35. Jehovah’s Witness Mother Sends Break-Up Card to Daughters: “Do Not Call Me. This is Non-Negotiable”
  36. The Myths of Disfellowshipping
  37. The ex-Jehovah's Witnesses shunned by their families BBC
  38. This Guy Secretly Videotaped His Jehovah’s Witness Apostasy Trial
  39. “Shun your disfellowshipped loved ones!”: Shocking District Convention talk hits YouTube
  40. New Jehovah’s Witnesses Video Shows Parents How to Shun Their Disobedient Child For Life
  41. Many Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Received Texts from Loved Ones Ending Their Relationships Forever
  42. Why Disfellowshipping Is a Loving Provision
  43. ‘SHUNNING’: a cult-like practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  44. The Worst Convention Ever – Part 1: Shunning
  45. "Although individual members are allowed to contact the Governing Body directly about concerns they may have, they never know if their feelings are shared by others," from Jehovah's Witnesses Reformation Movement
  46. Jehovah's Witnesses & Blood Transfusions
  47. 47.0 47.1 Jehovah's Witness ethics
  48. Jehovah's Witnesses Face Increased Risk of Death During Childbirth
  49. 49.0 49.1 What's the harm in Jehovah's Witnesses?
  50. Jehovah’s Witnesses Applaud New Mother’s Death Due to Refusing a Blood Transfusion
  51. Impacts of the WTS policy.
  52. Jehovah's Witness mother dies after refusing blood transfusion
  57. Mental Illness Amongst Jehovah's Witnesses
  58. 58.0 58.1 Watchtower Online Library: Bible
  61. Questions from Readers, The Watchtower, March 15, 1980, p. 31.
  62. Awake, June 8, 1968, Page 21
  63. Steven Dutch: Faults and Earthquakes (scroll down to "Are Earthquakes Getting More Frequent?" for a graph)
  64. Watchtower Online Library: Insight on the Scriptures
  65. Watchtower Online Library: Reasoning from the Scriptures