Dialogue 5a: How honest is the Watchtower about its history? Part 1

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR LESSON 10: “Practices That God Hates”)

What is the Watchtower’s definition of a lie? Has the Society used “theocratic war strategy” in covering-up their history? How well has the Watchtower distanced itself from objects inspired by spiritism?

 CINDY: Hello, Karen. Have you had a chance to look over our next lesson in the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?

KAREN: Oh, yes, Cindy. I’ve been reading the lesson on “Practices that God Hates” and I have a question. What do Jehovah’s Witnesses teach about lying?

CINDY: Well, Karen, just as our last lesson discussed “God’s servants must always speak the truth. Liars will not enter God’s Kingdom.”1. And just as we are studying today “Jehovah God cannot lie.…Persons who want his approval must avoid lying.” 2.

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KAREN: I agree with that, Cindy, but what would you do if you found out that someone you love had lied to you? Would you be able to trust what that person tells you in the future?

CINDY: Well, I’m not sure I would Karen, but why are you asking me this?

KAREN: Cindy, if you knew that the Watchtower Society has lied to Jehovah’s Witnesses by covering-up their history, would you want to know about it?

CINDY: Oh, Karen, you’ve got to be very careful about what you read. Apostates write all kinds of bad things about the Watchtower because they’re bitter about some experience they had in the organization. Remember, Satan will use anything he can to try to get you to stop studying about Jehovah. The Watchtower is our “Mother.”3. Apostates write those things to hurt us. How would you feel if someone wrote bad things about your mother? Wouldn’t you be hurt too?

KAREN: Cindy, if your mother had cancer, would you want her to be honest with you even though you know the truth would hurt, or would you want her to cover it up and make excuses for it?

CINDY: Well, I guess I would want to know, but I don’t want to read anything from apostates.

KAREN: We’re not reading anything from apostates. Let’s just look at some of your own Watchtower literature and you can be the judge.


KAREN: Cindy, do you remember the history book that the Watchtower Society published in 1959 called Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose? Would you read this statement about Charles Russell here on page 63?

CINDY: “But, is it true you have never published a biography of Pastor Russell? That’s right. Jehovah’s Witnesses admire the qualities he possessed as a man, but were we to give the honor and credit to Pastor Russell, we would be saying that the works and success were his….”

KAREN: Is the Society saying that they “never” published a biography of Pastor Russell because they didn’t want to give “honor and credit” to him?

CINDY: Yes, Karen, that is what they’re saying.

KAREN: Do you remember how Charles Russell, founder of the Watchtower organization, wrote several books which the Society published as a series called Studies in the Scriptures? This book I have here is a 1925 edition of the first book in that series, called The Divine Plan of the Ages. As you can see in this 1925 edition, the first thirty pages of this book contain a written “Biography of Pastor Russell.”

CINDY: That’s interesting, but I was reading the Society’s new history book, Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, published in 1993, and the Society now admits on page 64: “A brief biography of Russell along with his will and testament was published in The Watch Tower of December 1, 1916, as well as in subsequent editions of the first volume of Studies in the Scriptures.” So as you can see, Karen, the Society now admits that they did publish a biography of Russell.

KAREN: Cindy, why do you think the Society lied about the biography for over thirty years?

CINDY: I don’t know, but I’m just glad they are honest about it now.

KAREN: Cindy, besides the first volume of Studies in the Scriptures, where else does the Society say they published the biography?

CINDY: Well, they say it was also published in the December 1, 1916 issue of The Watch Tower.

KAREN: That’s right, Cindy. I have here the December 1, 1916 issue of The Watch Tower which as you can see contains the biography of Russell. Would you read this statement here on page 377 under “A Personal Tribute to the Pastor”?

CINDY: Alright. “Truly these words fittingly apply to our beloved Brother and Pastor! Charles Taze Russell, thou hast, by the Lord, been crowned a king; and through the everlasting ages thy name shall be known amongst the people, and thy enemies shall come and worship at thy feet.” WHAT? They told the people to “worship” Russell? No way! I can’t believe this!

KAREN: Cindy, you are holding the article. As you can see, nobody made this up. Even though it was the December 1, 1916 issue of The Watch Tower and not the biography that actually told the people to “worship” Russell, it was the biography along with the Watchtower literature at that time, that promoted the false worship of Russell. Is it any wonder that in their history book, the Society lied about the biography for over thirty years? Since God is the God of Truth, how could He be behind an organization that promoted false worship of a man and lied about it in order to cover-up the evidence? Since the Society is still trying to make excuses for the false worship of Russell in its history, how can we trust this organization to teach us the truth?

CINDY: I don’t know Karen.

KAREN: Cindy, do you know what the Watchtower definition of a lie is?

CINDY: No. What is it?

KAREN: Under the heading “Lie” in Insight on the Scriptures, volume 2, pages 244-245, the Society states: “Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth.…While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it.”

Friends, are you “entitled to know the truth”? Jesus said: “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”4. Instead of trusting a dishonest organization to tell you the truth, why not place your complete trust in the one who is “the truth”—Jesus Himself.



1. What Does God Require of Us?, 1996, p. 19:6
2. What Does God Require of Us?, p. 20:3
3. The Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p. 274
4. John 14:6, New International Version

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