The Fastest-Growing Religion in the World

“The Fastest-Growing Religion in the World”
by Robert Anton Wilson

from Ralph Ginzburg’s fact:
 Nov-Dec 1964
Volume 1, Issue 6

Despite a history of horrible persecution and despite a theology that makes even the Holy Rollers seem rational, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been so successful they’ve got all good Catholics and Protestants worried.

Of the three major religions that have been born in America-Mormonism, Christian Science, and Jehovah’s Witnesses-it is the last that has met with the most success. Today, 1,200,000 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are knocking on doors and distributing literature on all six continents and reaping 5000 new con­verts a year-in the last 20 years the Witnesses have increased their membership by an amaz­ing 700%. Total circulation of the religion’s main magazine, The Watchtower, published in 66 languages and in Braille, is 4,300,000­ – only 10 U.S. magazines have larger circulations. Another Witness magazine, Awake!, is pub­lished in 25 languages and has 3,950,000 sub­scribers. And the religion’s main textbook, Let God Be True, published in 194 countries, has a circulation second only to that all-time best seller, the Holy Bible. Not only is the Jehovah’s Witnesses the fastest growing religion in the world, but a Catholic writer, William J. Whalen, has stated (in Armageddon Around the Corner, 1962), “Should the growth of Jehovah’s Wit­nesses continue at anywhere near the pace set during the past 30 years, the cult may very well become a serious threat to organized Chris­tianity .”

And there isn’t the faintest sign of any let-up. Even now the Witnesses’ 1,200,000 “pio­neers” (members engaged in door-to-door mis­sionary work) are tirelessly circulating through­out the ten zones into which the world has been divided by strategy planners at the Jehovah’s Witnesses International Headquarters in Brook­lyn. Each zone has already been covered again, and again, and again. A pioneer has probably been to your own door once or twice already. He will be back, in a month, or a year, or a decade. Meanwhile, a continuous program of conventions goes on in all the major cities of the world. The United States alone had 22 such conventions this summer, everywhere from Yuba City, California, to Austin, Texas, to Brewer, Maine. Each of these conventions averages about 10,000 in attendance; the largest attendance so far has been 253,000 (in New York).

My main task, in writing this article about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was to find out why this particular religion is gaining converts so easily and quickly while Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism are lucky to make even slight gains. What, in short, is the secret of the phe­nomenal success of the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

First off, I betook myself to the Witnesses International Headquarters in Brooklyn, which I found to be a startlingly modern building complex on the East River, with an unsurpassed view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the looming Manhattan skyscrapers. Like all Jehovah’s Wit­nesses enterprises, it has never been segregated. A staff of 400 co-ordinates and organizes the preaching activities of the pioneers throughout the world. A few blocks away, in a somewhat slum­mier neighborhood, stands the factory where an additional staff of 300 produces the Watch­tower magazine. Every single employee, from Witnesses’ President Nathan Knorr on down, receives the same compensation: lodging, food, clothing, and $14 a month. Yet the morale in this factory is amazing. In 3 hours of sightsee­ing, I didn’t meet a single bored-looking worker. Everybody, devoutly convinced he is doing Je­hovah’s work, is happy, enthusiastic, and ef­ficient. Many of the machines were designed by the workers, who put together parts of previ­ously-existing machines. One contraption, which looked like an illustration for a science-fiction magazine, was made from three other machines. Those three machines had taken ten men to operate, but the new monster needs only three operators. “Seven more men,” the manager told me, “released to return to pioneer work in spreading the Message!” Unique among printing plants, nowhere on the floors in this fac­tory will you find a piece of scrap paper. Each department has a chute for scrap paper, and on the second floor one department receives all this waste and wraps it into 1200-pound bales, aver­aging about 20 bales a day, which are then sold. The factory also generates its own electricity and makes its own ink.

*     *      *

All this modern technology and wonderful ef­ficiency really jolted me, knowing what I did about the ideology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If someone sat down and deliberately dreamed up all the most nonsensical clap-trap he could think of, he probably couldn’t top what the Jehovah’s Witnesses actually believe. Among other things, the Witnesses are opposed to the Roman Catho­lic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, Protestantism, Judaism, Christmas trees, reli­gious crosses, segregation, the theory of evolu­tion, fishing, hunting, blood sausages, movies, cigarettes, voting (no Witness voted in the re­cent election), the doctrine of the Trinity, yoga, extrasensory perception, fortune-telling, Com­munism, Fascism, and saluting national flags – all of which they regard, literally, as Devil-in­spired plots to lead mankind away from Je­hovah God. The battle of Armageddon, foretold in Revelations, has already begun (in 1914) and is drawing to a close. Contrary to the lead­ing Jewish and Christian scholars, Yahweh is not the correct name of the Old Testament God. The correct name is Jehovah (which, accord­ing to most historians, wasn’t invented until the 11th Century). Scientists who think the earth is 2 ½ billion years old, and Fundamentalists who think it is 6000 years old, are both wrong.  It is 42,000 years old. Jehovah, who resides in the constellation Pleiades, is very touchy about his name and can’t abide being called any such general noun as “Lord,” “God,” or “Almighty” unless “Jehovah” is included before or after it; otherwise, for all He knows, you might be in­voking some upstart deity of the heathens. Only 144,000 people will be admitted to heaven, and sinners will not go to hell (which doesn’t exist) but will merely be annihilated. Millions who are neither saints nor sinners, but who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, will happily remain on earth after the Last Judgment. As for the secular world, the Witnesses regard every government on earth as a devilish conspiracy. They firmly believe that Satan himself-a real Fallen Angel dedi­cated to fighting against Jehovah God-is the hidden ruler of every government based on force. Nor are they internationalists, at least in the secular, liberal sense. When the League of­ Nations was founded, Jehovah’s Witnesses de­nounced it as another clever plot by the Devil; they have the same attitude toward the United Nations. Add to this carnival of eccentric dogma the orthodox Christian repugnance to­wards physical love, and you have the whole theology of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Despite their theological hodge-podge, the Witnesses themselves are far from being odd­balls, as I discovered when I attended a conven­tion at West Springfield, Massachusetts, from July 23 to July 26 of this year. A Jehovah’s Witnesses’ convention is not what you would expect if you identify them with Billy Graham or the Holy Rollers. They make no attempt at Instant Christianity; indeed, they positively avoid quick, emotional conversions. Their speakers may crack a few jokes and shout oc­casionally, but the basic tone is one of what they call “intellectual” persuasion. And if you accept their fundamental premises-which are that the Bible contains prophecies and that their readings of controversial Hebrew and Greek words are the correct readings-much of what they say is logical.

*     *     *

A mass baptism was going on when I arrived early on the morning of the 24th. Like many Protestant ‘sects, the Witnesses believe in, total immersion. The ministers and the candidates all wear bathing suits, and the women are bap­tized separately from the men. The actual bap­tism is a striking spectacle. The candidate wades out to a depth of about 4 feet, where the minis­ter is waiting. No words are exchanged (the verbal part of the ceremony has been performed on shore). The candidate holds his hand tightly over his nose, as if smelling a vat of Lieder­kranz, and the minister, wasting no motion, smartly grabs his shoulders, leans him back­ward, and dunks him. I watched 300 baptisms, including that of a one-legged woman, and I chatted with a few Witnesses, who explained to me that the ceremony was symbolic only, and not a magic ritual.

The Witnesses – like the ones I’ met in Brooklyn – were conspicuously polite and con­spicuously middle-class in appearance. (Actu­ally, the appearance is deceptive. A sociological study has clearly demonstrated that the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to the lower-in­come brackets.) I noticed one interesting pattern when I began asking various Witnesses why they had been converted: A significant number who had lost faith in the religion of their parents investigated several other religions and settled on Jehovah’s Witnesses for ethical reasons. Some of the remarks I heard were, “It’s the only religion that practices what it preaches,” “It’s the only desegregated church in America,” and, “Every time I met an honest man in business, he was a Jehovah’s Witness.” One man told me how he had accidentally discovered that his parent’s church was involved in local business corruption, so he set out to find for himself a church that wasn’t corrupt. “Jehovah’s Wit­nesses,” he said, “is the only one I found that isn’t up to its neck in political and commercial graft.”

One of the factors, I discovered, that helps explain the’ sky-rocketing growth of the move­ment is, not the conventions or the pioneers, but the Hydrogen Bomb. All the speakers at the convention eventually got around to paying their respects to the Bomb. It is their boffola, their clincher. It condemns the society which made it, justifies their own withdrawal from that society, and provides a suitably apocalyptical vocabulary for the letting-off of personal anger and pain. If the Bomb didn’t exist, they would have had to invent it.

But they don’t really need the Bomb to cheer them. In 3 days with the 12,000 Witnesses at this convention, and 2 days with the 700’at the Brooklyn headquarters, I never saw an un­happy Witness. Bomb or no Bomb, they are sure the Great Day is coming soon, when Dad can throwaway his truss, and Mother’s dental plate will be replaced by newly sprouted real teeth, and Aunt Sally’s cancer will be cured, and Junior won’t have pimples anymore, and the Lion will lay down with the Lamb.

During my sojourn in Massachusetts I got a chance to catch up on my reading, and nat­urally delved a bit into the history of this re­markable religious movement. And I learned that, just as the Witnesses manage to combine Medieval ideology with modern technology, their history is an outrageous combination of buffoonery and bravery. It all began in 1813 when a self-educated seaman named. William Miller, after mulling over some obscure pas­sages in the Bible, decided that the world was coming to an end in 1844. His followers, known as the Millerites, multiplied rapidly and created considerable qualms throughout the country as the year 1844 approached. When 1845 finally arrived and the world went on, the movement fell to pieces. Within a few years, however, new messiahs arrived to put the pieces together again by offering different interpretations of the same Bible passages. One sect decided that the cor­rect date for the end of the world was 1864, and others picked 1866, 1870, and 1889. In 1870, Charles Taze Russell, a self-proclaimed Greek scholar who knew no Greek, attended a meeting of one of these groups, the Second Adventists, who had picked 1889 as their year, and was inspired to go home and search the Scriptures himself for enlightenment. He quickly discovered the theological and mathe­matical errors of the other groups-especially those who had picked 1844, 1864, 1866, and 1870. He decided, however, that even the Sec­ond Adventists were wrong with their choice of 1889, and that the correct year was 1914.

Russell quickly communicated this news to the Second Adventists, but they, probably misled by Satan, refused to listen to him. In 1889 Russell had his first vindication: The world did not end, proving that he was right and they were wrong. By this time he had a few thousand followers who, cheered by his success in not picking another wrong year, en­thusiastically went forth to warn the world about the cataclysm of 1914. In those days, his followers called themselves simply “Bible Students” and were usually mockingly called “Millennial Dawners” by others. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was not officially adopted until 1931. (The word “Witnesses” refers to their belief in their God-given command to go forth and “testify to the world.”)

Some readers will claim that the world did not end in 1914. The Witnesses will quickly explain that the world began to end then and is still in the process. Of course, after 1914 a few minor changes had to be made in Russell’s books. The 1908 edition of his Millennial Dawn, for instance, states “That the deliverance of the saints must take place sometime before 1914 is manifest.” Eleven similar changes were incorporated into the 1916 edition, to make Jehovah’s plan clearer. Even so, some persons, misled by worldly vanity, dropped out of the movement after 1914.

In the 1920s the Witnesses were among the first groups to denounce Mussolini and the Vatican. This led to widespread attempts by the Catholic Church to prevent the distribu­tion of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature. In many American cities, especially in Connecticut and New Jersey, new laws were passed making it a crime to hand out leaflets without first having them approved by local officials. The Witnesses bravely defied these laws, went to court, and fought until all such precensorship regulations were declared unconstitutional. A boycott organized by the Roman Catholic bishop of Philadelphia did, however, force them off the radio there. The battle grew more bitter when Hitler came’ to power, -signed a pact with the Vatican, and, shortly thereafter, banned the Witnesses in Germany in a statement explicitly attacking them for “damaging the Catholic faith.” Henceforth, throughout the ’30s and ’40s, all Jehovah’s Witnesses’ publications car­ried blistering assaults on what they called “the Catholic-Nazi-Fascist plot” to destroy them.

*     *     *

Probably no other religionists of modern times have been persecuted more cruelly than these same Jehovah’s Witnesses. Open the official history of the movement at any page and you will find a story like the following; which oc­curred at the Neuengammer concentration camp outside Nuremberg on Sept. 12, 1943:

Seven Jehovah’s Witnesses, newly arrived at the camp, were led into the yard, where an SS officer asked the first of them, “How long will you be a Jehovah’s Witness?” “Until my death,” the prisoner replied. He was flogged 25 times. The next prisoner was asked the same question. “Until my death,” came the reply a sec­ond time. After all seven had been questioned and flog­ged, the first prisoner was again asked, “And how much longer will you continue to be a Jehovah’s Witness?” The same level-voiced reply: “Until my death.”

After all seven prisoners had been questioned three times, and flogged 75 times, they were led, their backs raw and bleeding, into the shower rooms, where alter­nating jets of freezing-cold and red-hot water were turned on them. They were then paraded into the yard, naked, and forced to do calisthenics until one of them fell dead of a heart attack.

All six survivors were now asked in turn, “How much longer will you continue to be Jehovah’s Wit­nesses?”

Each replied, levelly and firmly, “Until my death.”

This anecdote is entirely typical of the History of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nazi Ger­many, where 11,000 of them were incarcerated in similar camps, leading some observers (in­cluding an official English government report, “Treatment of German Nationals in Germany,” by Sir Neville Henderson) to say that they were actually treated “worse than the Jews.” Old Jews, in most cases, were murdered quickly. Young Jews were forced to work under brutal conditions, then killed. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were tortured continuously in a scientific pro­gram intended not to exterminate them, but to force them to repudiate their religion. The pro­gram failed: Not one .of the 11,000 ever signed the official statement of repudiation prepared for therapy the Nazi government, although 7000 perished. They actually organized and carried through the only successful resistance movement in the concentration camps, refusing to work on the construction of munitions boxes until the Nazis gave up and assigned them to other work. (Many of them became barbers. The Nazis were sufficiently convinced of the Witnesses’ nonviolent principles to let them­selves be shaved by Witnesses without fear of having their throats cut.)

That was Nazi Germany. Here is a story from the democratic United States a few years earlier:

Seven Jehovah’s Witnesses drove up to the Town Hall in Richwood, West Virginia, on June 29, 1941, and applied to Martin L. Catlette, deputy sheriff, for a permit to distribute literature. According to subse­quent court testimony, Catlette held the Witnesses pris­oner and called the local American Legion post, saying, “We have the sons of bitches here.” Some 1500 Ameri­can Legion members gathered outside the Town Hall and, under Catlette’s leadership, forced the Witnesses to drink 16 ounces of castor oil each. Bound with ropes, the Witnesses were led to the local Post Office where the mob abused and manhandled them in an attempt to force them to salute the American flag, an act that violates their religion. Deputy Sheriff Catlette then read aloud the Constitution of the United States while the Witnesses were led out of town and their car . inscribed with obscene and abusive ‘slogans. They were released and warned never to come back to Richwood.

Similar stories could be collected from any country on earth. Jehovah’s Witnesses have suffered worse in totalitarian Germany and Russia than in more democratic’ countries, but even England and Canada, traditionally the two nations most fair to heretical minorities, have much to be ashamed of in their treatment of this sect. Persecution has befallen the Witnesses in every country they have entered since their founding 94 years ago. In the United States, which is neither the best nor the worst example, the American Civil Liberties Union has re­ported 335 cases of mob violence against the Witnesses in one typical year, and during the 1930s lower courts pronounced nearly 30,000 convictions against them. These convictions, usually an trumped-up charges of “disorderly conduct,” were overturned with monotonous regularity because higher courts found palpable bias on the part of the lower-court judges. This did not stop similar convictions from the benches of other lower-court judges. Charles A. Beard, the distinguished historian, has written of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in his book The Republic (Viking Press, 1943): “They have money to hire lawyers and fight cases through the courts. As a result in recent days they have made more contributions to the de­velopment of the constitution allow of religious liberty than any other cult or group.”

*     *     *

In the United States today, the only persecu­tion (if it should, be called that) faced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is connected with their re­fusal to submit their children to blood trans­fusions, even in cases where life is at stake. Courts, in several cases, have taken the children into custody and ordered the transfusion to proceed. The Witnesses’ skilled legal depart­ment is fighting every case with its usual vigor, and the most passionate advocates of civil lib­erties are – for once – divided. Does religious liberty include the right to sacrifice one’s child to one’s God? (The whole issue arises out of the well-known text in which God commands his worshippers not to eat meat with blood in it, which Jehovah’s Witnesses’ interpret as a condemnation of taking blood in any form.)

Perhaps all this persecution has helped to make the J.W. movement the success that it is.  Call it masochism, call it sympathy for the underdog, call it what you will, people tend to flock into a religion that is being persecuted. When the Witnesses were banned by dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo of the Dominican Republic in 1950, there were only 217 of them on that unfortunate island. When the ban was lifted in 1956, there were 469.

*     *     *

But I still did not, I felt, really have the answer. I did not know why people are drawn into this grandiose carnival in ever-increasing hordes while other churches are lucky to hold onto the members born into them, why no other reli­gionists since the first Christians have made so many converts so quickly. Persecution helps. So does the up-to-date efficiency of the staff at International Headquarters. So does the pioneer program (while other churches sit back and wait for converts to walk in, the J.W.’s are out on the street busily hawking the message from door-to-door). Yet the key to the mystery, I had to admit, was missing. That is, until August 11, 1964, when I accompanied a team of pio­neers on their door-to-door calls in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn.

The pioneers were an attractive young couple, Dick and Jeanne DeChaine. He is a salesman for World Book encyclopedias and she is a hostess for Trans WorId Airlines, but under Witness rules they must devote 10 hours a week to pioneer preaching. Since the Wit­nesses never send more than two persons to a door (“If they see three of us,” Dick DeChaine explains, “they’ll feel we’re ganging up on them and won’t answer the door”), I accompanied only one of them, Mrs. DeChaine.

The first door we tried was answered by a harassed-looking, middle-aged Italian house­wife. Mrs. DeChaine informed her we were making door-to-door calls to encourage home Bible reading. “I’m Catholic,” the woman snapped. “I got enough religion.” The door closed.

Cheerfully, Mrs. DeChaine tried the next door. Another middle-aged Italian housewife, who also looked harassed. Mrs. DeChaine got further along with her spiel this time, but the woman hastily resorted to the Great Housewife’s Ploy that every salesman knows and dreads. “The baby’s crying,” she said, “I-gotta run-upstairs-sorry-good-bye. ”

Next was an elderly woman so gushingly feminine that she reminded me of a homo in drag (but, of course, a great many women of that generation are exaggeratedly feminine in that way). She cut into Mrs. DeChaine’s spiel immediately: “Oh, darling, you don’t need to tell me. I know my Lord, I know my God. I talk to Him all day long. I have lived with His companionship for 20 years now, darling, and I grow closer to Him every day.” Mrs. DeChaine complimented her and commented on how few there are these days who have this treasure. The old woman fluttered her hands excitedly, “Oh, darling, they don’t know what” they’re miss­ing,” she cried. Mrs. DeChaine sold both maga­zines and left an advertisement of the next Watchtower lecture. Amid a shower of “Bless yous” we made our way down the stairs.

The next three calls were brief. “Busy.” “Not interested.” “The baby is crying.” Next was an adorable blonde creature in white shorts and halter who broke my heart by using the crying-baby ploy just when I thought we were going to get in.

The next door was opened by a tall, good-looking Negro who listened politely for a few moments and invited us in. Like most Negro apartments in white neighborhoods, his was conspicuously clean and neat (“Can’t have ’em thinking I’m running down their real-estate values”). When Mrs. DeChaine, rather intui­tively, asked about his health, he poured out a wretched story: After years of hard work as a longshoreman, he finally achieved a salary high enough to move into “this nice neighborhood,” and then, 2 months ago, he suffered a heart attack, and the doctors told him he couldn’t do hard work anymore. “But what other kind of work is anybody going to offer me?” he told us bitterly. He had only one consolation, he told us: the Bible. “I’ve been reading it a lot since I got home from the hospital,” he said, “and it’s the only comfort in this whole world.” Mrs. DeChaine asked if he was familiar with the following passage from Revelations 21:4:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for all the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write, for i these words are true and faithful.

“Isn’t that a wonderful promise?” Mrs. DeChaine exclaimed, her eyes shining. “And, look, it tells you deliberately that it isn’t a symbolic passage or an allegory. ‘These words I are true and faithful,’ it says. And it’s the word I of Jehovah God Himself, who would never deceive us. But the really exciting thing is this: Do you know when all this will happen? It tells you: ‘When Babylon the Great has fallen.’ Now what is Babylon the Great?” And she went on into the usual Witnesses’ line-Babylon is our whole cruel civilization that is obviously about to pass away, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and so on. I watched the man closely as he listened. Skepticism flickered in his eyes, and then a painful longing, and then his mouth turned down in rejection and he unconsciously shook his head-too often he had heard prom­ises that were not fulfilled. But then, as she continued, the longing came back into his eyes, and he looked at the Bible himself to check that the words were really there, and then some­thing frightened and hungry bloomed in his face: He might have been fighting for his life, which in a sense, I suppose, he was. “And we can be sure it will be soon,” Mrs. DeChaine went on. “Ever since 1914 the prophecies have been coming true, year after year.” A great determination was coming into his face, wash­ing away the fear, which I now recognized as fear that she might be wrong. I looked away, embarrassed. It is a beautiful, terrible sight to see hope appearing in a face where despair has lived for a long time.

“I want to talk to my minister about this on Sunday,” he said finally, “and I want you to come back again, so I can talk to you some more.”

Mrs. DeChaine made an appointment for herself and her husband to drop back the fol­lowing week for an hour of Bible study. We shook hands, and I muttered, “Good luck.” They were the first words I had spoken since entering, and my throat was hoarse and my voice cracked.

*     *     *

And the Heavens were rent asunder and the veils fell from my eyes. And, behold, a voice spoke to me saying, Now it is revealed unto you how Jehovah’s Witnesses are made – out of the depth of despair that lies in one apartment out of nine on any street.  And I knew not whether to laugh or cry, and so I did both, and came home and wrote this article.


42 responses to “The Fastest-Growing Religion in the World

  1. Amazing! For me they have the truth and that why they blessed!

  2. It’s a matter of free will the right to rule ourselves or to live under god , Jehovah’s rule or his government . Adam and Eve had a perfect world under a perfect rule. They gave it up . Man has proven he can not rule himself nor can he ever bring peace. Ask yourself what dose the word or term paradise mean to you would you like to live there. I cant wait for the day when god, Jehovah sets his government in place on earth.

  3. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
    First of all, I would to greet you in name of the Most High God. I am bringing you the real name of God.
    You must know that your strength of singing is in vain, simply because God does not receive the praise but His enemy Satan.
    Jesus is not the name of the Son of God, His name is YASHIYA and God´s name is AHAYAH ASHER AHAYAH” simply means I AM; THAT I AM) Numbers 7) in your bible…God said that is my name forever… this name He gave Moses in the burning bush” AHAYAH means I AM in Hebrew language. I want you to watch on YOUTUBE “GOCC the disciple of the Most High God (All churches are under a pagan religion of Satan…listen to the Gathering of Christ Church. The reveal the true Gospel after please tell others. They have the original bible in Hebrew language and they are translating it on YouTube for all nations. ( Matthew 24:14) Salvation comes from the Jews) I hope you all know that the biblical Israelites are black people, same the Jews not those who are occupying Israel now ( they are (Khazar Jews fake)they are actually Romans, Babylonians the Synagogue of Satan Kingdom and they hate Christ so they have hidden the name of God when they were translating the bible. But God is great the original bible is been found and the truth is out. Please listen to the GOCC the modern Christianity on YOUTUBE…I know that JW do not allow their members to do researches Why if they have nothing to hide. I am sure millions of innocent people has no idea under which foundation is Jehovah´s Witnesses been build. Your founder Russell is actually a German guy who changed his name after so many false prophets and was a free Manson, just take a look at his grave stone. Well, since you know that Jehovah is actually a name of Satan’s high priest what are going to do? They are the real Jews the Hebrews they still keeping the customs of the bible like keeping the Sabbath Holy all the commandments of God. They supposed to come to south Africa but there is some issues with their Visa. It has nothing to do with population” Narrow is the gate to Salvation” By the way the 144.000 Saints will be from the 12 tribes of Israel, God´s children ” The Most high had made everything clear He said: I am God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You cannot be the chosen ones of god because you don´t even know the most high´s name. The fact is only those who has God´s name will be sealed with His name the rest will take the mark of the beast. I have send this message to churches but there is no reaction so I think all churches are under satanic worship simply because they don’t know the name of Christ and of God. I pray for mother land South Africa they are all in the dark but now it is your job to let people know the truth. AHAYAH told me to spread the Gospel and I give it into your hands because you are spreading Gospel door to door it will be quicker for you to reach the children of God or to rectify your mistakes. It is nothing new your doctrine changes every 4 years, …please send this message to all churches in your country…This is the real Gospel of God, watch other videos…the soul of million of people are in your hands to let them know the truth. SHALOM

  4. Hello
    It look nice what you said about Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are quote the Bible but they are in error about the 144,000. It is mentioned in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14;1-5. You have to see In Rev. 7 that the 144000 survive great tribulation. Presidents Charles Russell, Nathaniel Knorr, and Frederick Franz did not survive the 1900s. And Great Tribulation is it started 1914 did not end.
    In Rev 14: 1-5 show that 144,000 do not lie or deceive or have no fault before the throne. When they dont tell people that they are trying to change their religion is decietful and tell them they do not believe they are christians , because are not part of there organization is decietful

    • Mandy Cruickshank

      The article is wonderfully written. I was absorbed. Some aspects of JWs were misunderstood (e.g. movies are not banned, but careful selection of movies etc is advised. Sex is not anything unclean if under the conditions that God condones – marriage. etc) I didn’t think the comments afterwards needed to include any attacks or judgements on the witnesses let alone in depth studies. Not here. Not now. Yet this is instantly what happens and then people need to reply to clarify things. So, since I can’t just see something stated that is untrue, here I go too…The 144,000? Remember that learning something that is as huge and amazing as the Bible is never going to happen overnight. Understanding begins and it travels along a very long road that has increasing light. The covenant with Israel ended when they rejected Jesus, their expected Messiah (always amazes me how they could have missed what they had been waiting for for so long!) but a new covenant was instated, a legal agreement, that was sealed with the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine on that passover of nisan 14. This new spiritual Israel was now brought into existence and exactly as with the original Israel, others were permitted to join onto that group and follow the standards required by God. The main spiritual Israel would make up the 144,000 who would rule in heaven with Jesus for the thousand year restoration period. Who would be living on earth then? Those who were equivalent to the proselytes of original Israel. Jesus said there would be a little flock and a large one. His covenant for a heavenly government over the earth was with the small flock. The full 144,000 was not complete in Jesus’ time on earth. Therefore it had to continue over more time. But if the disciples were part of that then they did not survive the great tribulation. However it isn’t referring to all of them surviving as a whole number but any who are left on earth at that time, a remnant, would never be allowed to be destroyed in that final act of human horror. In 1914 the prophecies began to unfold for our time. CT Russell was correct about it being a world changing event but did not know all the details. How could he? It was all so young then. You can’t know everything at one go. But he was sincere and he wanted to please God. Is that wrong? Unethical? The churches wouldn’t listen to him when he asked them to tell people what the Bible really said. He didn’t want to start anything new. He had just read things in the Bible that showed where several church teachings were not ringing true so he really believed they would be happy to have these things shown to them, from the Bible, so that they could tell their congregations. But they did not want to do that. Hellfire is a powerful tool to hold over people and that was just one thing they didn’t want to let go of. So he decided to sell up his business and put all his money and energy into telling people what he had found and encourage further, yes further, Bible study. That is absolutely not anyone being deceitful. If you are invited to examine a document and look at the evidence in detail for yourself that is truly not anyone being deceitful. If they have made mistakes along the way it is because they have been, and still are, studying! Trying to learn more and more. At least they have the courage to change something if they find evidence to support the change. I never know why people knock them for this. Never do the churches or other religions do this! In fact if JWs were the only ones doing Xmas and Easter etc they would be absolutely slated for upholding pagan holidays in the name of God. It would be picked up on instantly as wrong wrong wrong. But they don’t and all the churches do…and that is all just dandy? Find something else to pick on JWs for instead. If someone doesn’t want to know then just say no. Easy. If they want to know more there will be studies and personal study is absolutely encouraged. SO no deceit then. Merely choices.

  5. Dear Mr. RAWilson,

    I appreciate the effort you expended here, but many things you mentioned need to be updated….this is from ’64?!

    Grief! 52 years ago!

    Only 3 mistakes I noticed in this article, considering it is from 1964: JW’s have always hunted, fished, and watched (decent) movies. They’ve never had a problem with these activities! I wonder what made the author think they were prohibited? Interesting!

    In 1968, JWs began publication of the book, “The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life”; that quickly became their most widely-distributed publication, outdoing the old “Let God be True”, even making the Guiness World Record list.

  6. I’m a bible student who is looking forward to being baptized. As one of those people, I would like you to know why. I have always found fault with what every other religion taught. For one why does everyone praise the name of Jesus? Jesus isn’t the one that should be praised. I am 58 now and I have wondered about that since I was a young teen who could understand. Why do we give gifts to each other when it was supposed to be the birthday of Jesus and why do they celebrate it on the day they do when no one knows when he was born. We only know a proximation of when. What about easter? What do the easter eggs have to do with easter? I didn’t just take the word of the Witnesses but the word of the bible and I looked things up as well to find my own answers. The bible tells us about what Jehovah wants and expects from us very plainly if only we want to listen to his words. The bible doesn’t teach the trinity but yet religion does. The bible tells us that Jesus was the first created and that he helped to create mankind. You don’t get the message out of just one or two verses. You have to read and study the bible. We all make mistakes and no one is perfect other than Jehovah God and his son Jesus. The bible tells us that Satan is the ruler of the earth. Adam handed that right over to Satan when he turned from Jehovah God and ate of the fruit of knowledge. I could go on and on. But I’ll stop here for now.

  7. Also, God does not live in any constellation, but in heaven. The earth is not necessarily 42,000 years old. Armageddon did not start in 1914. Plus, it´s not that people with lower incomes are more likely to be attracted to the religion, but that the Jehovah´s Witnesses themselves tend to dedicate more time to preaching and so take jobs that leave more time to do so. The Witnesses do not have to devote any specific number of hours a week to the preaching work.

  8. Also, God does not live in any constellation, but in heaven. The earth is not necessarily 42,000 years old. Armageddon did not start in 1914. Plus, it´s not that people with lower incomes are more likely to be attracted to the religion, but that the Jehovah´s Witnesses themselves tend to dedicate more time to preaching and so take jobs that leave more time to do so. The Witnesses do not have to devote any specific number of hours a week to the preaching work.

  9. There is an error in the above article. It states that there are 1,200,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses…There are actually more than 8,000,000 world wide.

    • Jennifer m Barrera

      Article was written 52 years ago. Look at publication date. That number was correct then.

      Of course, it has changed since then, as have their theologies and false prophesies. The ‘millions (of 1914) who will never die’ sure are dying off quickly!

      And no one can explain to me the convaluted theory of “overlapping generations!”

    • Lisa Mcdonald that article was from 1964.

    • It’s an archived article from 1964. That was the number of witnesses at the time.


  11. Thank you for capturing the essence of what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe and practice. A key characteristic of JWs is humility…a willingness to admit wrong and then adjust accordingly, a desire to uphold all Bible principals including honesty, care for others, health and recreation.

    Attending any JW meeting is an eye-opener for anyone and everyone …genuine love and friendship, trust that nothing will be stolen, clean and orderly, no collections, no single preacher or minister, voluntary participation, families, singles, elderly, young children, youth, a variety of ethnicities, veterans, PhDs, MDs, lawyers, engineers, retired but most importantly a unified purpose that is truly a global brotherhood.

    There’s nowhere else in the world like a meeting of JWs. This begs to ask the question, why is being God -fearing and Bible-based an object of fear to the world?

  12. is the website where you can research any topic or question regarding the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are always Bible reference notations for anyone who wants to search out further clarifications of the scriptural messages. For example, if you consult the “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures”, at Genesis 1:26, you will see a reference letter, (d”) beside the word, “us”. Look at the marginal note (d), and you see three related scriptures; Proverbs 8:30, John 1:3, and Colossians 1:16, which explain to whom God was speaking when he said ” Let us make man in our image…”. He was speaking to the pre-earthly “word”, just one of the many names or titles ascribed to Jesus.

  13. Please ask a witness for answers about what they believe..or visit their website because, while many things are true in this article, many are not! Most of the “Clap trap” he mentions, for instance, while indeed clap trap, are not the witnesses’ beliefs. I wonder where some of that came from? 8.3 million witnesses as of now, and counting!

  14. Even if the Witnesses didn’t​ have the truth, which they obviously do, it’s still the cleanest, honest, loving, and closest path for the best life that any of us could ever have with the closest​ relationship with our God Jehovah we could ever have!!!!!! No diversity! His people are as a garden, the more beautiful varieties of colorful plants the better!

  15. The simple reason why Jehovah’s Witnesses are increasing in numbers so rapidly around the world is because of Jehovah God. He is the one behind it all.

  16. There were things that the article got wrong about us! We are not opposed to hunting, fishing or movies! We are careful in the movies that we select, and I suppose there might be some who don’t believe in hunting, but that is their own personal conscience, just as some in the general population don’t hunt! The Bible says that animal flesh can be eaten, and as far as fishing, my dad and his friends (all JWs) were avid fishers!

  17. This was posted in 1964!! Is it still true??

  18. Thank you for writing this article

  19. WOWSER I do laude the writer for trying to cover the beliefs &activities of Jehovah’s people I have been Baptized 44 years enjoy every day in Jehovah’s worldwide BROTHERHOOD

  20. The artical has very little coherence and authenticity errors. The overall statement is composed of honesty and jurisprudence. The Biblical timeline hasnt beed perceived of as a short period. Looking at the handreds of years that pased on after the first divine prophesy (Gen.3:15), we can tell that most of the prophecies were destined to take but many days. Even Jesus’disciples were not acculate in their perceptual conceptions of ascession and bethroanment.

  21. Very old article, Jehovahs witnesses are increasing but in a decreasing manner and barely a little more than natural growth rates. The Pew research shows that they are less educated than the general public and less educated than other Christian denominations.

  22. okah victory jahcares

    This article is awesome! What you don’t know you have to search or dig deep to know it.i belong to this group and my parents aren’t jws,it’s choice tied to what the Bible says not man-made knowledge.

    People conderm or talked about the jws but don’t want them to explain.
    I saw how other religions carryout their worship,I was once with them but I noticed something” that within them there is no love,trust, and in that gathering quarrel sneak in” I gave up on religion so was my dad but I found something different that true worshippers are built on love,trust.infact Jesus further said that there is a mark tied to it worshippers.mathew7:16,17
    (1)use God’s name john17:6
    (2)not play politics john 18:36
    (3)genuine love john 13:35
    (4)worshipe only jehovah plsams83:18
    (5) believe in God’s kingdom as mankind only hope mathew24:14 dan2:44
    (6)based their worship on the bible2tim3:16
    After considering these point I made a decision to study and later come to know more about who they are!
    Even my dad who is not a jw acknowledge their effort now am not alone my sister is also one of this group,the point is not just who they are its how they are guided by bible principles this makes all the different.

    You have taste and now you have seen,the way you might identify an object from a distance may not be the way you will when you’re closer to that object,dont wonder about it growth because it’s jehovah that is behind it!
    Who will proudly abandon his work and go out to people’s doors to encourage them,its called love;still some say hurtful words or insult you for no reason and yet you’re smiling at him/her and in response you calmly plead and gave a genuine smile to’s love.
    Your research is splendid,the time,effort and money.weldone!
    Others who are willing to know more about Jw the Web is there better still near and meet some of them,attend their meetings hmm my first day will never be my last day!

  23. The caption “The fastest growing religion in the world” sure got my attention but it is DEFINITELY NOT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES!!
    The fastest growing is the Moslem faith and in the next decade they are expected to come close to the number of Christians.
    The fastest growing Christian religions are the Evangelicals.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are just marking time….. mostly natural growth with their children as young as 9 and 10 being baptised to boost their numbers. Such is their decline that the JW Governing Body has now cancelled publication of their Year Book which used to show these statistics. Kingdom Halls are being sold off or amalgamated and there is a lack of Elders to run congregations. This religion has painted itself into a corner by holding fast to their prophesy that the generation alive in 1914 would witness the end of the world. Now in 2018 they are quickly running out of witnesses 104 years of age. They have come up with a goofy explanation of “overlapping generations” but nobody is buying it. There are always die- hards who will believe anything but JWs are on a downward slide.

    • WoW! So much misinformation! The numbers of witnesses increase steadily year after year and the demand for new Kingdom Halls is bigger than ever. The year book was discontinued because all the information in it and MUCH more is now published in their website,, which by the way, is available in more than 400 languages and a World Wide Web record! Your ”facts ” are biased sir, and your words belie your motives are impure. When I became a witness in 1984 there were 2,480.000 witnesses. I have seen that number grow to over 8,000,000. And be the way, NONE of Jehovah’s Witnesses are concerned about being the fastest anything, or world records… that is of no consequence to them. Obeying the Christ, by preaching the good news of God’s kingdom is.

      • I was a witness since age 8. I’m now 34 and have been out for 2.5 years. The Governing Body is hiding child molester and shiekding them from the law, and there is impunity due to the two witness rule. Known and confessed child molesters continue to roam in the congregations. It is all over the news.

        The generation that would not pass has surely passed and the “overlapping generation” has no biblical foundation, it’s as false as the book of Mormon. The Governing Body says something and it becomes gospel to these people.

        Jerusalem was not destroyed in 607 BC, there is no archaeology to prove it. Therefore the date of 1914 is not true and Jehovah did not choose the Watchtower in 1919. Do your research people and wake up!!!!

        All praise still belongs to Yahweh (Jehovah) and his son Jesus.

    • Were did you get your information.

  24. I find many misconceptions in some of this article. I became a Witness 41 years ago. I was impressed by how the Witnesses always answered my questions and concerns using the Bible as the final authority. I seen so much hypocrisy in religions it made me sick. All I can say is, you may think Jehovah’s Witnesses are whatever you want to call them, but, I’d rather be a Witness for Jehovah’s name and his Kingdom than for anyone or anything else. Even if the Witnesses were wrong, which they are not, there is no better way of life to be found anywhere. The Bible is the only source used as the final word. It has truly made me a better person in every aspect of my life.

  25. Kingdom Proclaimer

    There appears to be some confusion in that many respondent’s did not realize this article was originally published over 50 years ago.
    The “runaway slave” (quoted above) serves as a reminder that some have been distracted and fallen off the path or perhaps tired out and lost faith in Jehovah’s purposes. See Proverbs 4:18-23
    Despite earlier comments this organization is steadily growing and yearly reports are still being published. There are presently 8.3 million (and growing) active witnesses sharing the “Good News” of Jehovah’s kingdom. This preaching work is being done in compliance with Christ’s direct instruction at Matt 28:19-20 in every country on this planet making the concept of “fastest growing religion” a very mute point.
    Hopefully anyone genuinely interested in learning more about Jehovah’s Witnesses will disregard the distortion and partiality of naysayers and go directly to the source at the library/research guide. I would also be happy to field any earnest questions through his forum.
    Thanks once again to the author for his time and research

  26. Do the JWs believe in the New Testament? The Old Testament foretell the New Testament. What do the JWs believe in salvation. God has many names but we are to pray in the name of Jesus. God created the world through Jesus Christ. Jesus came so that whoever believed in Him and obeyed His gospel they would have eternal life, providing they stayed true to Him. I agree with the JWs in many ways but we are living under a New Covenant not the old. We must go by the Holy Bible and not make up our own rules. We go by the New Testament only as that is the covenant we are living in.

  27. I was born in the religion, raised in California. My family of 4 are all JW’s. My brother and I serve as Circuit Overseers in the Spanish field respectively. After 10 years of being in a prominent position, I have seen how this religion hides their history of false prophecies, doctrinal flip flops, child abuse cover ups and is willing to protect its power and authority at all cost even if it means sacrificing justice and truth. This is a Corporation, a business hiding behind the cover of religion. They use mental, emotional and psychological pressure to keep members from leaving. I’m tired of all the politics. I just want a personal relationship with Jesus but this “religion” prevents that. I’m afraid to lose my family and marriage if I tell them how I really feel.

  28. Amen… Jehovah’s mighty power at hand. He is God Almighty ☝️❤

  29. I was amused at writer’s experience at the later part, but one thing i dont understand is that he said JW don’t do yoga?? We should know that this article was written a long time ago, the JW might have studied more and make changes in their beliefs. Rather than argue uneccesarily lets all go see for ourselves, rather than base our decision on what people say KEEP SEARCHING AND YOU SHALL FIND.

  30. JWs were once a great movement. They’re losing members fast. I’ of them that has left.

    Their generation that would not pass false prophecy is just the tip of the iceberg on what this religion has erroneously and falsely predicted as well as what they hide. Be careful.

    There’s 8.3 million members. I bet 8.2 million don’t know all these facts.

    The Governing body keeps them in the dark cuz their spoken word is gospel to members

  31. The Organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is hemorrhaging members by the thousands. As the world continues to be introduced to the internet, more and more people are learning the truth about this harmful and dangerous group. From a horrible shunning policy that has destroyed many families and pushed thousands to suicide, a no blood policy that has also cost the deaths of thousands of indoctrinated members, to tens of thousands of child abuse cases covered up by the Watchtower Society, this Organization is being unmasked for its practices.

    The internet is making sure that many are being warned to keep away from this cult and thankfully their numbers are starting to fall.

Leave a Reply to Rita smith Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *