By Fred Holthouser
Before telling why I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization (better known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and elsewhere), let me warn everyone not to let this Society become your master. It used to be my master. Although most Witnesses will deny the fact, they are governed by a board of directors of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society headed by a president who is elected by this board. The only ones who can be elected president are members of the board of directors. The only way that one can become a member of the board of directors is to be what they call a member of the one-hundred-forty-four-thousand class (to be taken up in another article).
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society operates with its dictatorial structure organized from the top down. Everything that the President says for them to believe, they must believe. Otherwise they face probation or disfellowshipment. This needs to be brought into the open in order that so many people will not be misled by these false teachers. A later article will deal with the way the organization is set up and how it is along the same lines as the Roman Catholic Church. The Society is a dogmatically ruled organization in which no interference or sincere difference is tolerated. From the very start, I plead for everyone to refuse to let these men become the masters of your life as they did of my life!
Now to get back to the title “Why I Left the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” I will write the truth of the matter and not just something to hit`,back at them for what they did to me. I am qualified to write these articles because I spent over twenty years as a stave to this group of people. I was asked by them to do many things that a child of God has no business doing or even attempting to do, things which are clearly against Bible principles and even the laws of the land in which we live (0m. 13:1). The Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land in which we live. One of the reasons I left this organization was that after many hours of study and prayer, using nothing but the Bible, I saw that a person could not keep doing the things that I was doing and still be pleasing to God. I did not leave for monetary gain as the Witnesses accused when I gave some lectures at Waverly, Tennessee. They charged that I left them to fill my pockets with all kinds of money. I used my liberty in Christ at Waverly and went there at my own expense and did not receive anything from the church there in the way of any financial support (as brother Steve Bobbitt will verify).
The reasons that I did leave this false organization are numerous. These several articles giving the reasons have been written so that maybe someone will read them and by so doing bring themselves out or to stop someone from getting tangled up in this organization. If they once get into it, it will take them a long time to get out, if they ever do, just as it took me a long time.
Investigation Breaks the Chains of Slavery
When I was first asked why I left, there was only one way I knew to answer. That was to show from a study of the Watchtower books that what we were told to believe was not what they had taught in the past. Yet the Bible says that God’s word is the same or what is the truth today is still the truth tomorrow. This is not so with the Witnesses. Their doctrine changed so much and so fast that one was hard pressed to keep up with what we were supposed to teach from one day to the next. Jude 3 tells us that the faith was delivered to the saints one time and for all time. There will be no new light added to the Bible because it was perfect when given to us; we have the complete, revealed word of God in our day.
Most Witnesses, when they come to your door at your home, will ask you if you have investigated your religion. Ask them if they have ever investigated theirs; most cannot tell you one thing about the past history of the so-called New World Society. They have been blinded so badly that, as the old saying goes, “they cannot see the forest for the trees.” Also, if you try to tell them about the things that some of us are asked to do, they will not want to listen to you. In fact, they will call you a bigot or hard head or some other name that cannot be put in this article. Some of these things I will relate to you; you make up your own mind as to whether a person should do these things in the name of God.
There was a trailer park in West Point, Kentucky that did not want the Witnesses to go door to door in this park. We were told to go through it anyway. If the owner tried to stop us, then we were to create an incident in order to get a bunch of us locked up. They would then send the Society’s lawyer, who at the time was Hayden C. Covington, and we could cry religious persecution. Any time you want the American people on your side, just claim someone is denying you your right to worship as you see fit and the public is behind you then. But the police chief was a little too smart for us; he did not fall for the game we were trying to play on the town. Can you see Jesus doing something like this?
Witnesses consider themselves just like the old nation of Israel that spent 400 years in bondage to Egypt. They are the Israelites in bondage to you, the Egyptian. So whatever it takes to get the upper hand over you is fair. As the old saying goes, all is fair in love and war, and they are at war with you, the Egyptian. This they consider till you buy one of their books. Then you become a person of good will and they will treat you with kindness until they find out that you do not intend to become one of the Witnesses. At that point, it is back to war with you. I just wish that the Witnesses knew as much about their own organization as they want others to know about theirs.
To do full justice to this article, I am going to have to give you some of the things that I found out by studying the background of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This helped me to come out of that false organization as much as anything did. This organization is just like any other human organization and is built upon the sand (Matt. 7:26). Although the Witnesses will tell you that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is not in control of them, take them to their book Let God Be True. On page 221, it states, “In 1884 the legal servant body of this international association was incorporated under Pennsylvania law. That nonprofit corporation (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) and the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been inseparably associated ever since.” Let the Witnesses deny that men govern them, but a rose by any other name is still a rose. The Witnesses do have a human hierarchy with its head, just like the Catholic Church. If they think they do not, just let them try to buck the organization one time and see how fast they are put on probation or disfellowshipped.
Waiting In Bed Sheets for the Lord’s Return
The Jehovah’s Witnesses religion was started in 1872 by a man named Charles Taze Russell; the followers were first known as Russellites. In his book The Studies of the Scriptures (Vol. II, p. 2), he prophesied that the times of the Gentiles would end and God’s kingdom would be established in the fall of 1873. This would bring about the end of the world and start the millenial or thousand year reign of Christ. Because of this proclamation about the thousand year reign of Christ, followers were known as the Millenial Dawnites, which name they wore until the death of Russell in 1916.
In volume seven of The Studies of the Scriptures (p. 217), this prophecy was changed from 1873 to 1878. In their book of Religion (p. 336), this same prophecy was changed again to the fall of 1914. This was the date for God’s kingdom to start rule over all mankind. A Witness friend of mine who is now deceased was a Witness back in those days. She told me that all of the Witnesses in 1914 cut holes in their bed sheets and draped them over their shoulders. They climbed on top of their houses and lifted up their hands to heaven waiting for the Lord to come and take them to home to heaven to be with Him forevermore. When He did not show up as was expected, the organization started loosing members by the thousands. This is when they started saying that He did come but that He was invisible. They had to come up with something to save the members that they had left. The reason for the bed sheets was so that they would be in robes of white for the Lord. As for His coming being invisible, Revelation 1 :7 says, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and, every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, Even so, Amen.” In the book of Prophecy (p. 73), they claim that by force Christ took authority over the kingdom, which took Him from 1914 to 1919 to accomplish. Matthew 28:18 tells us that all power or authority was given to Christ at His resurrection in the first century and He did not have to take it by force nineteen hundred years later.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 43, pp. 689, 699
October 30, 1980