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

False Prophecies
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



1Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom (At-lanta: Commentary Press, 1991), 410.

2Randall Watters, “Understanding Watchtower Mind Control,” Bethel Ministries (July/August 1989): 1.

31 Tim 4:1-2.

42 Pet 2:1.

5The material presented in chapter one of this paper may be used for this purpose.

6The material presented in chapter two of this paper may be used for this purpose.

7You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1982), 187.

8Many Jehovah’s Witnesses, though spending countless hours reading Watchtower literature about the Bible, have never actually read through the entire Old and New Testa-ments.

9All baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses are viewed as “evangelists” and expected to participate regularly in door to door evangelism.



Understanding the Root of the Problem
A person under the influence of mind control might be likened to someone secluded in a high-walled fortress. Con-siderable effort must be exerted in climbing the walls (or breaking them down) before any meaningful dialogue can be conducted. He or she is in God’s organization and is walk-ing in the truth–anyone outside is under the influence of Satan and is not to be trusted.

Again, a victim of mind control could be compared to a small boy whose mother has been convicted of first degree murder. If the boy loves his mother and has been the recip-ient of the mother’s love, it will be nearly impossible to convince the boy that his mother is a murderer. No amount of factual evidence or methodical reasoning will be of any use. The child has placed all of his security and trust in his mother; the possibility that his mother committed murder is a thought too fearful and devastating to consider. He must therefore reject the evidence as being a lie.

As already demonstrated in the previous chapter, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to regard Jehovah as their father, and the organization as their “mother.” The average believer is incapable of developing a personal relationship with God; he or she must rely on the Watchtower for guidance and instruction. The Jehovah’s Witness is reminded repeat-edly that “mother” can be trusted and that she only has members’ best interests at heart. Anyone criticizing “mother” is to be looked upon as a dangerous enemy.

This type of indoctrination prevents the Witnesses from thinking objectively. It also stirs up strong emo-tional reactions whenever they sense that “mother” is under attack. Questioning the motives or truthfulness of the organization is a frightening and unthinkable option.

“Bible Ping-Pong” Will not Work
Many well-intentioned Christians, desiring to help a Jehovah’s Witness, will engage in what is often referred to as “Bible Ping-Pong.” This “game” is typically character-ized by two individuals smashing Bible verses back and forth at each other across a table of argumentation. Though it may be of some value in the area of mental calisthenics, rarely does a heated game of “Bible Ping-Pong” result in any penetration of the armor of mind control.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses generally have answers to all of the “proof-texts” used by Christians. Though their rea-soning is faulty at best, for them that is not a problem. It is “mother’s” explanation, and they believe it to be true. As long as the Christian quotes Scripture, the Wit-ness will respond by quoting organizational doctrine and Bible verses taken out of context. They are, simply put, not in an information-receiving mode. In the words of for-mer Governing Body member Raymond Franz,

A Witness may, in conversation with a “worldly” neighbor or fellow employee or business associate, steer discussion into religious topics but, as I know from experience, the thought is always “how to give the per- son a witness.” There is concern that the direction of the conversation will be one way and one way only. It is not to see if the Witness might learn something from the other person or to have any genuine interchange of thoughts and ideas. After all, that would be useless since the other person is “not in the truth!”1

Critical Information Can Shorten the Conversation
The power of mind control is weakened and objective thinking is made possible only to the extent that the indi-vidual loses faith in the claims–or nurturing ability–of the mother organization.2 Seeds of doubt sprout up in a number of ways: a negative experience in the group; physical or mental fatigue; contact with critical information about the group. Of these, critical information often has the most dramatic impact–if the individual is willing and ready to receive it.

Here again, uninformed and overzealous Christians can do more harm than good in their efforts to reach Jehovah’s Witnesses for Christ. Acting on the false assumption that all Jehovah’s Witnesses are objective enough in their think-ing to examine and weigh critical information about the Watchtower, Christians will begin to expose the false pro-phecies of the organization, point out contradictions in Watchtower doctrine, or appeal to examples of people victimized by an inconsistent organizational policy. The Christian’s presentation may be faultless in logic and even be solidly supported by copies of Watchtower literature. However, if the Jehovah’s Witness is not prepared to reex-amine his or her view of the Watchtower, the information will be regarded as merely an attack on “God’s organiza-tion,” the Christian will be seen as an enemy, and the conversation will come to an abrupt and unpleasant conclu-sion. Encounters of this kind may actually result in the strengthening of the Witness’s faith. The Witness has been taught by “mother” to expect opposition and “persecution.”

Opening the Closed Mind
Any meaningful dialogue with Jehovah’s Witnesses must begin with non-threatening discussions that cause them to open up and think for themselves. The key is to enter into the heart and mind of the Witness and plant seeds for thought without tripping off the mental defense system. There must be no direct reference made to the Watchtower, unless it is in a positive note. Ideally, the name “Watch-tower” or “Jehovah’s Witness” should not come out in the conversation at all.2

One effective method of conversation might focus on characteristics of other cults which can also be seen in the Watchtower organization. In this indirect approach, infor-mation about other groups is presented, and the Jehovah’s Witness is left to see the similarities with his or her own group. There is no pressure; individuals are free to draw their own conclusions.

Discussions About Cults
A Jehovah’s Witness will, without exception, readily agree that there are many false and dangerous religions (cults) in the world today. Quotes from the following Scriptures will be greeted with hearty approval:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.3

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even deny- ing the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.4

These and other Bible verses can be used as an intro-duction to a discussion of cult-related problems in modern society. Specific examples could be given of tragic inci-dents caused by the activity of cult groups (the Jonestown mass-suicide, the Aum Supreme Truth subway gas attack, etc.). The following comments might then be added:

As a Bible-believing Christian, I am very concerned about the destruction caused by cults. I am also deeply troubled by religious groups that twist the Scriptures and distort the good news about Jesus Christ. This has caused me to do some research about the characteristics of cult groups. Would you mind if I briefly shared this with you? I would love to hear your opinion.

The Jehovah’s Witness is not forced into the position of a learner (Members believe they already have the truth and are proud of the fact that they are responsible for teaching others.) but is asked to offer comment on or insight into the discussion at hand. The Christian may then proceed to give a brief summary of the distinguishing char-acteristics of a cult group.5 The presentation should be made in a casual and inoffensive way.

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses will totally agree with the conclusions that are drawn. As long as they do not feel threatened, they are capable of maintaining an objective point of view. While voicing agreement, however, they will at the same time begin to see similarities between cult groups and the policy of the Watchtower. Once the individ-ual begins to think, doubts begin to form. He or she has unwittingly started out on the road to deliverance from the bondage of mind control.

Discussions About Mind Control
“Mind control” is a term that has come to be widely used by the mass media. The average Jehovah’s Witness is also well acquainted with the expression. Though uninformed of specific details, he or she is not completely unaware of the general public’s fears about mind control techniques. The Christian might therefore start a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness in the following manner:

Have you ever come across the term “mind control?” It disturbs me to think that religious leaders can gain total control over the hearts and minds of innocent peo- ple. I’ve heard it said that some cult members lose the ability to even think for themselves–they become like robots. Have you ever done any study on mind control?

Again, the Jehovah’s Witness is asked to share infor-mation or insight on the problem. Any comments offered by the Witness can then be followed by a casual summary of mind control techniques as used by other groups.6 At certain intervals the Christian may want to actively seek a response from the Jehovah’s Witness in order to emphasize a specific point. This can be done by asking one or more of the following questions:

What do you think of a religious group that won’t allow its followers the freedom to read any material critical of the leadership? To me, that sounds a lot like what they do in communist countries. Don’t you think so?

Groups that use mind control say that doubting the lead- ership is a sin. Do you agree with that? Don’t you think that could lead to blind obedience?

I’ve heard that fear keeps a lot of people from leaving a cult group. Have you ever heard of any groups that use fear-control? Are you familiar with the term “love shower?”

Other Possible Topics for Discussion
Jehovah’s Witnesses pride themselves in the fact that they are not only students of the Bible but also “doers of the Word of God.” They are also thoroughly convinced, as a result of reading Watchtower literature, that Christians in general have no real respect for God’s Word; Christians believe in evolution, deny the accounts of miracles in the Bible, and spend little time studying the Scriptures or practicing them.7

This Watchtower propaganda can be used to initiate a thought-provoking conversation. Opening the Bible to a well-marked, well-worn page, the Christian might say,

I have been a lover of God’s Word for many years. God has spoken many precious truths to my heart from this book, and I have tried to live by those truths. Do you have a favorite Scripture? How many times have you read through the entire Bible?8

Along with “respect for the Bible,” the Watchtower points to its follower’s evangelical zeal as proof of divine sanction and blessing. Each believer is obligated to submit a monthly report indicating how many hours were spent in evangelism, how many magazines were distributed, how many Bible studies were started, etc.9 These figures are then released in the monthly Our Kingdom Ministry and, along with regular criticism of Christianity’s lukewarmness, serve to undergird the faith of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Watch-tower organization. The Christian can easily demonstrate, however, that that faith is built upon a shaky foundation of biased and fragmentary evidence:

I have always been very impressed by the evangelistic activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You must find great fulfillment in going door to door and sharing your faith with other people. It’s the same with me. Nothing gives me greater joy than preaching the word of God to people who have never heard the good news. I think that the Great Commission should be given first priority in the life of every Christian. How do you feel about that?

Testimonies of successful evangelistic endeavors can also be helpful in planting seeds of doubt. Any information of a non-threatening nature which contradicts the propaganda of the Watchtower will leave a lasting impression upon the Jehovah’s Witness.



1Steven Hassan, Combatting Mind Control (Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 1988), 7.

2Ibid., 7, 55.

3Ibid., 59.

4With some cult groups isolation can be literal. In other words, the member is physically removed from his original environment and forced to live a communal-style life with other cult members. However, in many cults, the isolation is psychological. This means that the cult member is mentally and emotionally isolated from contact with the outside world. He will frequently refuse to watch television, read a newspaper, or listen to any critical information about his group.

5Hassan, Combatting Mind Control,

61. 6Robert B. Cialdini, Influence (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1984), 212.

7Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), xii.

8Cialdini, Influence, 170, 172.

9Hassan, Combatting Mind Control, 14.

10Ibid., 82.

11Ibid., 80.

12Ibid., 64.

13Ibid., 45.

14The Watchtower, February 15, 1994, 4.

15No one can deny that Jesus and His disciples were falsely accused, but that does not mean that this is true of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many cults cite evidence of their group being persecuted or criticized, and in the process, identify themselves with Jesus and the early church. However, the mere fact that opposition exists neither proves nor disproves the charges against them. Each accusation must be carefully examined to determine if it has any basis in fact or not.

16This is a classic example of what is known as a “straw man” argument. The Watchtower sets up a fake “straw man”–the non-sensical description of Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Russian official first heard–and then easily knocks down that straw man. This is done to create the impression that all opposing arguments can be easily refuted in the same way. In reality, however, the organization conveniently ignores the problems that have basis in fact and for which it has no answers.

17The same can be said of countless other groups that are labeled as “cults.” Of utmost importance is determining whether the group is truly studying the Bible or merely twisting the Scriptures (see 2 Pet 3:16).

18Secretiveness is not an issue that cult researchers regard as significant in judging the danger-level of a cult group.

19Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly do not fit into the category of a small fringe cult, but this does not rule out the possibility that they may be a large major cult.

20It will be demonstrated that this is a misrepresentation of the facts.

21The truth of this statement will be examined in the light of evidence from Watchtower publications.

22The Watchtower, February 15, 1994, 6.

23Ibid., 6.

24Perhaps the most amazing aspect of “double-think” lies in the fact that cult members fail to recognize the contradiction involved.

25The Governing Body is the ruling council for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. In recent years its membership has varied from ten to eighteen men.

26The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, 197.

27The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1971), 70, 292.

28The Watchtower, June 15, 1964, 365.

29The Watchtower, June 1, 1982, 17.

30The Watchtower, December 1, 1981, 27.

31The Watchtower, June 1, 1993, 21.

32The Watchtower, March 15, 1969, 172.

33The Watchtower, June 1, 1967, 337.

34The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, 370.

35The Watchtower, February 15, 1976, 124.

36Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1991), 421

37You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York), 237.

38The Watchtower, August 1, 1980, 19. “Apostate” is a term that refers to a former Witness who now denies Watchtower doctrine. It is also often used to describe anyone who opposes the Watchtower organization. In either case, the opposer is viewed as someone worse than a prostitute, murderer, or child abuser. “Apostate” is the most derogatory term in a Jehovah’s Witness’s vocabulary.

39The Watchtower, October 1, 1952, 599.

40The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, 25.

41The Watchtower, June 15, 1980, 8.

42The Watchtower, July 1, 1963, 411-413.

43The Watchtower, October 1, 1952, 599. Psalm 139: 21-22 is often quoted as Scriptural support for this line of reasoning. However, Jesus Christ taught, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

4The Watchtower, January 1, 1983, 31. It should be noted that the children, not the parents who shun the children, are the ones who are to carry the blame for the problems that result.

45Awake!, November 22, 1984, 3. See also The Watch-tower, January 15, 1989, 3-7.

46Awake!, November 22, 1984, 4.

47The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, 20.

48The Watchtower, December 15, 1984, 19. The Scriptures listed are applied to any who oppose the Watchtower organization.

49The Watchtower, May 1, 1984, 31.

50The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, 17.

51Matt 7:3-5.

52The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, 25.

53The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, 27.

54The Watchtower, February 1, 1996, 23-24. Possible sources of doubts listed are: pride, wrong thinking, apostate ideas, and worldly philosophy. There is no justifiable excuse for doubting the organization.

55The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, 80.

56The Watchtower, April 1, 1994, 32.

57The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, 80.

58The Watchtower, May 1, 1957, 274.

59John 6:68.

60The Watchtower, September 15, 1993, 22.

61The Watchtower, July 15, 1996, 20.

62The Watchtower, December 1, 1981, 27. In Watchtower doctrine, “Babylon the Great” refers to the “world empire of false religion” comprised of all non-Jehovah’s Witness religious organizations and their members.

63You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982), 255.

64See John 14:23, 15:4-5, Romans 8:15-17, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 4:13 and other Scriptures.

65See Philippians 1:10, Ephesians 4:17.

66See Romans 14:1-6.

67See John 16:13.

68Matt 28:20.

Watchtower articles designed for the non-Witness audience often challenge people outside of the organization to question their religious beliefs, no matter how long they have held them. The general public is urged to have an open mind “which is receptive to new ideas,” and to be “willing to examine and evaluate information without a biased attitude.”45 A prejudiced and closed mind is described in the following terms:

A closed mind may betray a lack of interest in the subject or a reluctance to look into the matter. In fact, it could be a sign of uncertainty or doubt. For example, if we are unable to defend our religious views, we may find ourselves lashing out against those who challenge our beliefs, not with logical arguments, but with slurs and innuendoes. This smacks of prejudice and of a closed mind. . . . Even some religious people have closed minds. They are interested only in “their” religion, showing no willingness to as much listen to the views of others.46

When dealing with the issue of “apostates” (critics of the Watchtower), however, organizational policy quickly reverses itself. Jehovah’s Witnesses are repeatedly warned not to read any material designed to expose the inconsistencies of Watchtower doctrine.

Therefore, resolve in your heart that you will never even touch the poison that apostates want you to sip. Heed the wise but firm commands of Jehovah to avoid completely those who would deceive you, mislead you, turn you aside into the ways of death. If we love Jehovah with our whole heart, soul, and mind, while loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will leave no room for penetration by apostate thinking. . . . We will not “allow place for the Devil” and will not “be quickly shaken from our reason” by some counterfeit teaching.47

We have been forewarned that there will be apostates and people who just like to have their ears tickled. Counsel such as 2 John 9-11, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 and 2 Timothy 3:5 allows no room for associating with those who turn away from the truth. Nor do we purchase or read their writings.48

Witnesses do not go to people’s doors searching for truth or enlightenment. Rather, they already have devoted countless hours learning the truth from God’s Word. . . . So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive.49

Here again can be seen a classic example of “double-think.” Those on the outside are urged to be open-minded; those inside the Watchtower are told to “beware of those who try to put forward their own contrary opinions.”50

The March 15, 1986 issue of the Watchtower magazine (page twelve) features a picture of a woman throwing pieces of paper into a large waste basket. Underneath the photograph are the words, “Do you wisely destroy apostate material?” In the background can be seen a mailman just leaving, indicating that the woman has not even examined what she received. Surely the words of Jesus are applicable here, when He says:

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.51

Independent Thinking Can be Dangerous to Your Health
Independent thinking is still another freedom not offered to the average Jehovah’s Witness. Jehovah has “an organization to direct the minds of God’s people,”52 which means that once an organizational policy or doctrine is announced to the faithful, all the necessary thinking has already been done. Any “independent thinking” is regarded as prideful and dangerous.

As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. . . . Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: ‘This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.’ This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride. And the Bible says: ‘Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.’. . . . If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: ‘Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No, we cannot!53

Along with “independent thinking,” the fostering of any doubts about the organization is also a serious matter. Doubts must be eliminated at all cost.

Fight the tendency to doubt. . . . If some tinge of doubt about Jehovah, his Word, or his organization has begun to linger in your heart, take quick steps to eliminate it before it festers into something that could destroy your faith. . . do not hesitate to ask for help from loving overseers in the congregation. They will help you trace the source of your doubts, which may be due to pride or some wrong thinking. Has the reading or listening to apostate ideas or worldly philosophy introduced poisonous doubts? . . . act quickly to rout out of the mind any tendency to complain, to be dissatisfied with the way things are done in the congregation. Cut off anything that feeds such doubts.54

Criticism of the organization is also forbidden. As the Watchtower warns:

We should meekly go along with the Lord’s theocratic organization and wait for further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us and proceed to quibble and mouth our criticisms and opinions as though they were worth more than the slave’s provision of spiritual food. Theocratic ones will appreciate the Lord’s visible organization and not be foolish as to pit against Jehovah’s channel their own human reasoning and sentiment and personal feelings. 55

The same article points out that when the organization needs direction or correction, it will come from “Jehovah and Christ.” Any advice from the average believer is not welcomed.

Stay Close to “Mama”
A Spanish Jehovah’s Witness, quoted in the April 1, 1994 issue of The Watchtower, makes the following statement about her relationship with the Watchtower Society: “We refer to the organization as ‘Mama.’ We feel close, near. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful!”56

This type of mentality has long been encouraged and fostered in Watchtower publications. Jehovah’s Witnesses are incapable of visualizing any kind of spiritual life apart from “Mother.”

After being nourished to our present spiritual strength and maturity, do we suddenly become smarter than our former provider and forsake the enlightening guidance of the organization that mothered us? “Forsake not the law of they mother.” (Prov. 6:20-23)57

If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.58

The Watchtower’s Wall of Fear
When confronted with the prospect of leaving the Watchtower organization, the average Jehovah’s Witness will inevitably respond with the words of Peter found in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel. Many disciples had walked away, prompting Christ to ask the Twelve whether or not they intended to leave as well. Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”59 In Watchtower theology, Peter’s expression of loyalty is applied directly to the organization.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are firmly convinced that, apart from “Jehovah’s organization,” there is “no place else to go for salvation and joy.”60 Only those who “stay by the faithful organization” are assured of “Jehovah’s favor and blessing.”61 All that is available outside of the organization is fellowship with “Babylon the Great.”62 God has appointed the Watchtower as the only ark of salvation for mankind.

Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God’s new system. There is only one. There was just the one ark that survived the Flood, not a number of boats. And there will be only one organization–God’s visible organization– that will survive the fast-approaching “great tribulation.”63

Reasoning of this nature erects an invisible but towering wall of fear around Jehovah’s Witnesses–fear of what may happen if they ever leave “God’s organization.” For them there is no choice but to remain inside.

A Balanced and Biblical Viewpoint
Mind control offers to many an opportunity to escape the responsibility for making personal choices and having to accept their consequences. They find it easier to let others think for them, choose for them, or make decisions for them. They seek security in belonging, through membership in a visible organization that claims to have all the answers. Many do indeed find security, but that security is obtained only at a horrendous cost. Victims of mind control lose the freedom to use and develop the mental powers that God has given them, and with that loss of freedom, forfeit all opportunities for true mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Biblical Christianity is by no means a mindless faith. Nor is it blind obedience to an organization.

Christianity is a personal relationship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.64 Christians are challenged to discern on their own what is best and to seek for themselves the knowledge of God’s will for their lives.65 They are to be convinced in their own minds about what is right for their lives, even though their convictions may not agree with other believers.66 All believers have the sure word of Christ that the “Spirit of truth” will guide them into all truth.67 And all have the promise that “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”68 Herein lies the basis for true spiritual security and genuine peace of mind.