Watchtower Society
Embraces the Internet

B J Kotwall

(Investigator 54, 1997 May)


After downplaying the usefulness of computers and condemning the Internet and electronic Bulletin Boards as a place for pornography, and a "moral minefield", the Watchtower Society (WTS) came on the Internet this year with their own web site!

The following from the WTS's publications indicates what they think of the Internet and Electronic Bulletin Boards:
 

Modern computers have opened other avenues to bad association. Some commercial firms enable subscribers using a computer and a telephone to send a message to electronic bulletin boards; a person can thus post on the bulletin board a message that is open to all subscribers. This has led to so-called electronic debates on religious matters. A Christian might be drawn into such debates and may spend many hours with an apostate thinker who may have been disfellowshipped from the congregation.
(The Watchtower 1993 August 1, p. 17)

Maintaining a Balanced View of Computer Technology: Technology has been hailed as a great saver of time. For example, at the click of a computer button, a user can instantly access huge amounts of information. Computers can often do in seconds what would have taken hours or weeks to do by other means. When properly used they are a helpful tool.

Will It Really Save Time?: On the other hand, such technology does not come to the user without substantial costs – both in money and in time. Hours may be required to learn how to make the computer do some tasks. Moreover, a person who becomes intrigued with the technology itself may consume time that could be better spent...

Other Serious Pitfalls: As outlined on page 17 of the August 1, 1993, issue of The Watchtower connecting a computer to an electronic bulletin board can open the way to serious spiritual dangers. Just as an unscrupulous individual can place on a bulletin board a virus – a program designed to corrupt and destroy computer files – apostates, clergymen, and persons seeking to corrupt others morally or otherwise can freely place their poisonous ideas on bulletin boards. Unless a bulletin board, even one labeled "JW Only," is properly supervised, with its use being limited to those who are mature, faithful servants of Jehovah, it could expose Christian users to "bad associations." (1 Cor. 15:33)

The Society has received reports that such so-called private networks have been used not only to speculate regarding spiritual matters but also to give bad advice, spread gossip and false information, plant negative ideas, raise questions and doubts that subvert the faith of some, and disseminate private interpretations of Scripture. On the surface, some information may appear to be interesting and informative, and yet it may be laced with poisonous elements... Computer networks extend worldwide and can bring unlimited valuable information into the home or workplace. They offer much-needed services to businesses and organizations as well as to individuals who need to keep pace with personal or business interests in the fast-moving society in which we live. At the same time, computer networks are plagued with problems such as pornography, divisive hate propaganda, and detailed information on how to perform vile and wicked deeds.
(Kingdom Ministry 1995 September pp. 5-6)

As Australian schools connect up to the Internet global information network, they are also linking up to what amounts to a moral minefield. According to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, they can access "X-rated photos of nude children, orgies, video clips from on-line brothels, a ‘bill of rights' for people wishing to have sex with animals and information on how to join a masturbation 'chat-line.'"  The article adds: "Passwords or proof of age were not required – just an ordinary dial-up connection." (Awake! 1995 November 8 p. 29)
 

The reason the WTS has decided to jump on the Internet bandwagon is that there is tremendous activity on the Internet by religious groups and the WTS realized they were being left out.

Time Magazine did a cover story on religion on the Internet last December in which it stated that:
 

The signs of online religious activity are everywhere...everyone from Lutherans to Tibetan Buddhists now has a home page... The Internet is exploding and the church has got to be there... It's a message other churches ignore at their peril. (pp. 74-75)


Obviously WTS saw "their peril" and embraced the Internet!

The site of the WTS is presently somewhat plain and almost simplistic as compared to other religion sites that are "crammed with technological bells and whistles" as Time magazine puts it. No e-mail address has been provided by the WTS as they would invariably receive a barrage of criticisms. They have taken the coward's way out.

The web site of the WTS has its URL as: http://www.watchtower.org. This site remained blank for quite some time. Recently the WTS placed some material on it. Following are some examples:
 

Falsification of WTS's History

Awake! magazine of August 22, 1995 carried a cover page article titled The Holocaust Who Spoke Out?, which is now reproduced on the WTS's web site.

After the appearance of the article in Awake! Historian James Penton wrote an Open Letter to the president of WTS, which was reproduced on one of the sites on the Internet. The letter accused WTS of a "cover up of the most dishonest sort" for claiming that WTS, in Germany, were not guilty of compromising with the Third Reich and Nazism. Prof. Penton provided proof of the compromise of the American leaders of the WTS, particularly their second president J F Rutherford, who were directly responsible of outright anti-Semitism and the WTS willingness to compromise their so-called "Christian neutrality", so that the WTS could continue to operate in Germany. Written proof was provided by Prof. Penton by sending to the WTS a copy of the original Declaration in German written to the Nazis by the WTS.

This Declaration was published by the WTS in their Yearbook of 1934 in both English and German. Prof. Penton said in his Open Letter:
 

...the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses of that time attempted to commit what amounted to spiritual whoredom with the Third Reich in the fashion of the two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah of Ezekiel 23...


Despite this expose of falsification of history the WTS has reproduced the dishonest Awake! article on their web site.
 

Blood Transfusions

An article titled Medical Care and Blood is on the WTS site. The article is a re-hash of arguments about why Jehovah's Witnesses should refuse blood transfusions. The WTS's arguments are of the sort exposed in Investigator Nos. 8, 10, 12, and 22.

The article on the site does not inform about the inconsistent stand by the WTS in allowing some components of blood and disallowing others. The WTS allows "a small amount of blood derivatives". (The Watchtower 1978 June 15 pp. 30-31; 1990 June 1 p. 30) They have also not told JWs what constitutes a small amount or component. Moreover, as shown in Investigator No. 22 the fraction size criteria has no meaning when enormous use of blood is required to keep, for example, a hemophiliac alive.

Permitted blood products and procedures allowed by the WTS are: albumin, immunoglobulins, hemophiliac preparations, and the use of uninterrupted blood diversion and treatment of blood by dialysis machines.

Those not permitted are: whole blood, white blood cells (leukocytes), red blood cells (erythrocytes), plasma, platelets (thrombocytes) and pre-storage of own blood for subsequent transfusion.

In using blood derivatives JWs use a country's precious supply of blood but refuse to donate any.

The WTS has woven a tangled web. Their stance on blood is in shambles. But innocent lives continue to be lost.
 

WTS's Trinity Booklet

The web site has the WTSs infamous booklet titled Should You Believe In The Trinity? This booklet has only 31 pages but perhaps contains more shoddy research per page then any other WTS publication!

Authors and publications quoted in the booklet are misrepresented by partial quotes and misquotes. The complete source of their quotations i.e. page number, edition etc. is not provided so that readers find difficulty in verifying the quotations.

Angel Arellano who has written a 300-page refutation of the WTS's booklet titled Exposing "Should You Believe In The Trinity?" has made a very pertinent statement. He asks "Why would an organization deliberately misrepresent information in order to disprove a teaching that they consider false?"

It is amazing that the WTS states in the above extract from the Kingdom Ministry that private networks "speculate regarding spiritual matters", "give bad advice", "spread false information", "plant negative ideas", "raise questions and doubts that subvert the faith", "disseminate private interpretations of Scriptures" and use "divisive hate propaganda".

The WTS itself is guilty of all of these shameful acts!


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