An Oracle Grows in Brooklyn

I like to read the WATCHTOWER* Why? Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I think it’s more because I like to keep up with the latest spin out of Brooklyn. The members of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are masters of spin—so good, in fact, they could give the White House “spinlessons!” If you ever have wanted to be able to respond to some of the ridiculous excuses, deflection of blame to one’s opponents, and absolutely shameless dishonesty that passes for “press conferences” these days, you’ll understand my desire to respond to the “spinmeisters” in Brooklyn.

 Oracle Graphic

One of their favorite ways of pulling the wool over their readers’ eyes is to “hide in plain sight”—they’ll publish an article or a series of articles harshly critical of others for doing the very things the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS)** does on a far grander scale. The very brazenness of this approach blinds people to their irony of it! This July15,1999 issue of the WATCHTOWER is a great example of the WTBTS habit of exempting themselves by blaming others and as such, is begging to be responded to! What a duplicitous mess!

Superficially, the main theme of this WATCHTOWER is Bible prophecy—and why it can be trusted— compared to the man-inspired predictions of pagan oracles that cannot be trusted and have led people to ruin. Some of you may now understand why I knew this was going to be a doozy before reading a single word! I was not disappointed

The assertion is made on page four, without a hint of irony:

“King or commoner, ancient or modern—man has felt the need for trustworthy predictions regarding the future … Throughout the ages, millions have attempted to peer into the future by consulting what they perceived as being divine.”

God Speaks Through Us

I do not find the WATCHTOWER to be a bastion of truthfulness, but boy, they hit the nail this time! Oracles purporting to share trustworthy predictions of the future are as popular in our day as ever. In fact the WATCHTOWER itself is one of the more popular oracles of our time. Millions of people around the world devoutly consult every issue of the WATCHTOWER, because they perceive this very human channel to be “divine.” Where do these folks get that idea? Right from the pages of the WATCHTOWER magazine, of course. Almost from its inception, the WATCHTOWER has claimed to be God’s channel, passing along the very words of God to mankind on earth.

“Jehovah’s witnesses are deeply grateful today that the plain facts show that God has been pleased to use them. Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths.”1, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions ‘in the name of Jehovah. Never did they say, ‘These are the words of Jehovah’.”]

“…Jehovah God has …provided his visible organization, his ‘faithful and discreet slave,’ made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.”2

Please note it is not the Bible that helps folks to “progress along the road to life,” but the organization/Oracle that interprets the Bible for its readers.

“… Jehovah God caused the Bible to be written in such a way that one needs to come in touch with His human channel before one can fully and accurately understand it. True, we need the help of God’s holy spirit, but its help comes to us primarily by association with the channel Jehovah God sees fit to use “3

Ignorant Pagans Consulted Oracles About Every Little Thing

“Take the ancient Greeks as an example. They had scores of sacred oracles, such as those of Delphi, Delos, and Dedona, where they would go to inquire of their gods with regard to political or military developments [sic) as well as such private affairs as travel, marriage and children.”4

The ancient Greeks had to go to Delphi, et al; they didn’t yet have the WATCHTOWER and Awake! available to order their everyday lives. If they were alive today, they could save themselves the trip!

Move Over Jay Leno

We all need some comic relief, and the Watchtower Society Oracle always seems willing to oblige See if you can keep a straight face while reading this:

“Modesty on the part of the faithful and discreet slave class, commissioned to provide the Christian household with food at the proper time, prevents it from presumptuously running ahead and wildly speculating about things that are still unclear. The slave class strives to avoid being dogmatic” (WATCHTOWER, June 1, 1997, p 14).

The WTBTS does nothing but speculate wildly about things that are unclear. Here is a rule of thumb—the more obscure the issue, from a Biblical standpoint, the more wildly the speculation is bandied about.

A Lot of Bullwinkle

In our century, the Brooklyn Oracle has kept its readers informed (or shall I say misinformed) about everything—from the destruction of the British at the hands of the Nazis5 to which sexual techniques are proper within marriage (which, if violated, might result in the humiliated perpetrator being banned from the congregation)6 One friend of mine, who was a Jehovah’s Witness (JW) for many years, said she used sit cringing in embarrassment when SUOT topics were discussed in the Kingdom Hall . . right in front of the children! (To be honest, I would not give, in this publication, a detailed report of the sexual rules that were openly dictated to JW husbands and wives in their Kingdom Halls. For quite a few years, husbands and wives were encouraged to rat on each other to the elders if these rules were broken!)

The Ann Landers of False Prophets

Actually, the WTBTS has offered a cornucopia of marital advice to its seekers. Hapless JWs were informed on p323 of the November 1, 1938, WATCHTOWER, that they were forbidden “by the Scriptures ‘ to marry.

“Should they marry now?

If in obedience to the divine command the Jonadabs or great multitude will marry and rear children after Armageddon, would it not be scripturally proper for them to begin doing so immediately before Armageddon? and [sic] should the Jonadabs now be encouraged to marry and rear children? No, is the answer, supported by the Scriptures.”

Some 50 years later, page 17 of the June 8, 1998, Awake! helpfully alerted its readers that some would depart from the faith and forbid marriage, teaching doctrines of demons Oh, dear. Here we go again “Hide in plain sight”—claim that those who prohibit marriage have departed from the faith and are teaching doctrines of demons without even mentioning their own teaching of this demonic doctrine in the past. Nor do they explain why they still follow other teachings of their second WTBTS President Joseph Rutherford since, by their own reckoning, he had departed from the faith! In actuality, by any reasonable reckoning, President Rutherford was never in the faith to begin with.

Nowadays, of course, JWs are not forbidden to marry, but those who do are strongly encouraged to follow the detailed instructions the Oracle/Organization provides concerning weddings—who should be invited, what type of music is appropriate, and how extravagant a “Christian” reception should be. (I’m not making this up!)

I could give similar examples all day, but I shall, instead, get back to the July 15, 1999, WATCHTOWER, p4:

“Not just kings and military leaders but entire tribes and city-states sought guidance from the spirit realm through these oracles.

Eienie Meenie Chili Beanie …

The ancient oracles were a form of occult spiritists, offering guidance from entities in the spirit realm … exactly the same as the WATCHTOWER! The WTBTS condemns Spiritism, yet most of their important present-day teachings were communicated to them from the spirit realm.

President Rutherford gave the Jehovah’s Witnesses their name, set up the egregious two-class system of believers, “realized” Jesus was an angel named Michael, set up the onerous field-service policy, etc., yet he openly admitted he received his instructions from “angels.”

I will quote several of many instances where Rutherford credited angels as the teachers of the anointed:

“No credit is due and none should be given to any man for what appears herein. The Revelation is God s, given to his beloved Son for the benefit of his servants and sent to them by the angels of the Lord.”7

“Certain duties and kingdom interests have been committed by the Lord to his angels, which include the transmission of information to God’s anointed people on the earth for their aid and comfort.”8

“… the interpretation of prophecy does not proceed from man … the Lord Jesus, the chief one in Jehovah’s organization, sends the necessary information to his people by and through his holy angels.9

The Spirits Are About To Speak

Angels are not the only “spirits” that have been alleged to have communicated “truths” through the Brooklyn Oracle. Have you ever heard of necromancy? It is communication (or attempted communication) with the dead and is expressly forbidden by God in such Scriptures as Deuteronomy 13. Yet after first WTBTS President Charles Taze Russell died the Oracle claimed that Russell was:

still managing every feature of the harvest work” from “beyond the veil.”10

More recently, the 1988 book, Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand!, informs us on p l25 that dead members of the 144,000 anointed class “may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today” to the “John class on earth” (or the anointed still alive on earth).

Is the leadership in Brooklyn perhaps acting in ignorance— unaware of God’s prohibition of necromancy? No. They condemn it in others all the time!

The 1991 Brochure, Spirits of the Dead, states on page three that:

“Countless millions [of people in pagan cultures] believe that dead people pass on to the spirit world, where they are able to observe and influence the lives of people on earth.”

And, on p 11 of the March 8, 1994, Awake!, we are told:

“… communication with the dead is impossible. According to the Bible, any alleged communication with the dead is actually communication with demons … God’s Law made the practice of spiritism [sic], including every form of divination, astrology, and mediumship, a capital offense”

The Brooklyn Oracle is not just a spirit medium, but a hypocritical one at that! At least these “countless millions” of pagans don’t claim that the God of the Bible has “put his words in their mouths.” And, they certainly are unaware of the Bible’s prohibition against such things!

Not Friendly Spirits…

Okay Boomers—what question did Rocky pose when Bullwinkle claimed to be channeling spirits? He asked, “Are they friendly spirits?” Now that’s a smart squirrel! A channel is only as trustworthy as the spirit he is channeling, right? After all, an unfriendly, lying spirit will speak lies through his mouthpiece, and we would be foolish to listen to him! So, before taking any advice offered by an alleged channel (and the WTBTS is one of many we could choose from today), we should first determine whom he is channeling! Suffice it to say I do believe the leaders of the WTBTS have been visited and taught doctrine by “angels,” and I believe they have channeled these “angels ‘ through the Oracle in Brooklyn. I just don’t think the visitors were GOOD angels, but fallen ones, known as demons. Good angels do not pass on false teachings and false prophecies, but demons do!

Bible Prophecy vs. Predictions of Man

Back to page four of the July 15, 1999, WATCHTOWER:

“Some scholars go so far as to equate Bible prophecy with the predictions given by ancient oracles.

Remember the modus operandi of the WTBTS—”hide in plain sight.” The Watchtower Society’ constantly and shamelessly equates Bible prophecy with the man-made or “angel-inspired” predictions given in their publications. And then, when “God’s prophecy” fails (as it always does), they pretend it is no big deal. “There have been mistakes,” they say.11

But it’s an extremely big deal to claim to be channeling the true God and channel false information! The Bible calls this type of “mistake” false prophecy and warns us not to listen to such people (Deut. 18:21-22). For a recent, well-known example, we refer to the Society/Oracle’s longstanding declaration under “Why Awake! Is Published” (found on page four) that it was no less than the:

Creator’s promise” that “a peaceful and secure new world” would appear “before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.”12

This presumptuous proclamation appeared in every issue of Awake! until the November 8, 1995 issue, when the Oracle was forced to change the “Creator’s promise” after it had become clear even to them that He had no intentions of keeping it!

Was it really the “Creator’s promise” that the elderly generation would absolutely, positively, without a doubt, survive Armageddon and live to enter a beautiful “peaceful and secure new world”? No, it was the Brooklyn Oracle/Organization who made this rash promise, but they equate their own prediction with Bible prophecy—putting their words into the very mouth of God—and sullying His reputation in the process. After all, if the “Creator’s promise” is not kept, that makes the Creator a covenant breaker!

Paying Dearly for Worthless Information

Those consulting the oracles at Delphi paid dearly for worthless information, thereby filling the temple of Apollo and additional edifices with great treasures.”13

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society pulls down big bucks with their magazine peddling scheme—enough to buy up much of Brooklyn as well as “additional edifices” around the world. As far as having “paid dearly for worthless information,” the Watchtower Oracle has taken my poor JWs to the cleaners! Much worse than being merely “worthless” though, the WTBTS dispenses dangerous information— that takes lives. Many JWs have given up their lives or the lives of their children, following the Brooklyn Oracle’s dangerous dictates concerning blood transfusions. Where do you go to complain when you discover you’ve sacrificed your health on the altar of false Bible interpretation? Money is only money, but where do you go to get your child or your spouse back?

Spiritual Poison

Recall the Oracle claims to “help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives.” The “advice” given by the Oracle regarding spiritual matters is just as hazardous. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses have sacrificed their time, foregone higher education, and worn out their shoes trying to please the harsh taskmasters of “God’s Oracle” so as to earn eternal life.

“It is for the reward of eternal life that every last person on earth should now be working … The man who does not shrink back from the hard work of being a Chnstian will come in line for the splendid and ultimate reward—eternal life.”14

Even more blasphemous, JWs have actually been taught it is their attitude toward the Watchtower Society’s leadership in Brooklyn (the Oracle) that will determine their eternal destiny!

Your attitude toward the wheatlike anointed brothers’ of Chnst and the treatment you accord them will be the determining factor as to whether you go in everlasting cutting-off or receive ‘everlasting life’.”15

In contrast to this blasphemy, the Bible says:

“… The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:11-12).

Salvation/eternal life is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9), not an earned reward, and it is your relationship with the Son of God that determines whether you have it or not.

“Virtual” Indwelling = “Virtual” Salvation

On page 14 of the July 15, 1999, WATCHTOWER, the Oracle declares the necessity of

“making Jesus so real to them {new converts} that he virtually dwells in their hearts

“Virtually dwells in their hearts?” The word “virtual’ is defined as “existing in effect, though not in actual fact or form.” That’s not good enough. Romans 8:9 teaches us that if Christ does not dwell in you, you do not belong to Him (cf 2 Cor 13:5)! All the door-to-door preaching, all the sacrificed time and holidays, all the slavish devotion to Christ’s self-proclaimed “brothers,” and all the best intentions in the world to please God will have no effect. If you do not have the indwelling Christ, you cannot please God! Yet, sadly, the Brooklyn Oracle denies this wondrous reality to the average JW. They teach the “born again” experience (the indwelling spoken of by Jesus at John 3:3) is limited to the anointed—the elite, upper class JWs who have Jesus as their mediator—as opposed to the lower class “Great Crowd.” JWs who have no mediator at all!16 However, even the anointed are not encouraged to be truly indwelled by Christ’s Spirit, but to understand it figuratively. The Oracle has declared a literal indwelling would be impossible, and the Watchtower Oracle’s rationalistic suppositions trump the Bible’s straightforward declarations every time!17

So, since the Bible’s criterion is “impossible” in the mind of the indoctrinated JW, the Oracle offers their own criteria for the faith. Ergo, a JW thinks he is a Christian if he is associated with the WTBTS, faithfully goes door to door, doesn’t smoke, sports a “theocratic” hairstyle, and keeps a myriad of other “commands of men as doctrines” (Matthew 15:9). This “virtual salvation” of the Watchtower more rightly should be called “slavation” since it places the individual under virtual slavery to the masters in Brooklyn He may need your help to see that his virtual salvation is no salvation at all.

But that is not all—the overburdened JW can’t just keep all of the rules—he has to keep all the rules with the right motivation! This same July 15, 1999, WATCHTOWER (on pages 12 and 19). bludgeons the poor JW with the news that, if “they are serving God for selfish reasons,” he or she certainly won’t make it at all. Such selfish motivators as hope of survival, the promise of Paradise earth, or concern merely “to gain personal salvation” will sweep away any good points he or she may feel they have racked up Can you feel in your spirit the hopelessness of their plight? It is highly probable. Christian friend, that the JW at your door knows in his heart he is not succeeding in his quest to “earn eternal life, whatever “face” he puts on for your benefit.

Today, as I write this, press coverage continues about the murderous and suicidal rampage in Atlanta It was obvious to me from the words Barton used in his explanatory note that he was a Jehovah’s Witness, or at least he had been studying with them and taking in their views. The Washington Post confirmed my opinion, saying that Barton’s:

“letter referred twice to ‘Jehovah,’ reflecting what acquaintances and a relative described as Barton s recent attraction to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and decision to leave his Baptist church the couple had fought about Mark’s recent insistence that Leigh Ann become a Jehovah’s Witness, which she refused to do.”18

Listen to the language Barton used to describe his inner turmoil:

“I have been dying since October I would wake up at night so afraid, so terrified, that I could not be that afraid while awake It has taken its toll. I have come to hate this life in this system of things I have come to have no hope. I killed the children to exchange for them five minutes of pain for a lifetime of pain The fears of the father are transferred to the son It was from my father to me and from me to my son He already had it. I had to take him with me I really wish I hadn’t killed {Leigh Ann} … She really couldn’t help it. I love her so much anyway. I know that Jehovah will take care of all of them in the next life … Please know that I love Leigh Ann [Barton s wife], Matthew, and Mychelle with all my heart. If Jehovah is willing, I’d like to see them all again in the resurrection to have a second chance.”

He bludgeoned his wife and kids to death with a hammer, and yet, he believed he had done them a favor, preventing a lifetime of fear and pain

Am I saying JWs are violence-prone maniacs? Should you make sure little Johnny is safely out of range the next time they visit at your door? No, not at all. I’d have to guess that my JW friends are about as bloodthirsty as Jimmy Carter and not nearly as vicious. It would be terribly unfair to fault all JWs for the actions of one, just as it would be unfair to blame all born-again Christians for the antics of TV preachers and other high-profile evangelicals as the WTBTS always does!19

But I do think it is fair to note the man’s inner anguish, while he outwardly presented a “normal face” to the world around him. From what ex-JWs have told me. his inner despair and hopelessness is far from unique among JWs Rather than being Jehovah s happy people, as they boast,20 many JWs are dragging their sagging spirits door to door right along with their bloated book bags. They need a friend to come along side of them and point them to Jesus whose says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Perhaps you can be that friend.

So, the next time a JW comes to your door, why not invite them to take the Bible test to check the authenticity of his or her faith. 2 Cor. 13:5 tells us to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” What is the Bible’s criterion? “Christ is in you”— not virtually, not almost, not let’s pretend—but actually in you, “unless, of course, you fail the test”!

The flimflam Oracle in Brooklyn offers a flimflam salvation The cover of the March 1, 1979, WATCHTOWER tells the reader to “PUT FAITH in a VICTORIOUS ORGANIZATION.”The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians about false teachers who would attempt to draw devotion away from Christ and toward them His words about them at 2 Cor. 11:20 are just as true today as they were in his time:

“You even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you, or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.”

JWs are enslaved to the Oracle of Brooklyn Who knows? Maybe God will use you to set one free. But, whether they listen to you or not—LOVE them, PRAY for them, and be as kind to them as you can be.


Love to all,

Joy sig




© 2015, Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. All rights reserved. Excerpts and links may be used if full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.


  1. WATCHTOWER, January 15,1959, p 41 Also see the WTBTS book HolySpirit—The Force Behind the Coming New Order,1976,p. 175-176. Interestingly, the WTBTS attempts to excuse its many false prophecies by denying they ever claimed to speak the words of Jehovah. For example, the foot note of the March 22,1993, Awake! states:

    “Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus’ second coming [ sic

  2. WATCHTOWER, December 1, 1981 .p 27
  3. WATCHTOWER, February 15, 1981. P 7
  4. WATCHTOWER, July 15, 1999, p 4
  5. Joseph Rutherford, Joseph Rutherford Uncovers Fifth Column (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,1940), p5
  6. WATCHTOWER, December 1,1972, p734-736; WATCHTOWER, November 15,1974, p703-704; WATCHTOWER, December 15,1969, p 765-766
  7. Joseph Rutherford, Light 1 (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,1930), p 6
  8. Joseph Rutherford, Preparation (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,1933), p 36
  9. Joseph Rutherford, Preparation (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,1933) ,p 28
  10. Charles Taze Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 7, The Finished Mystery (Brooklyn, NY: published posthumously by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,1917), p 144
  11. WATCHTOWER,December 1,1981, p 28.

    “True, since the light shines forth progressively, and because there have been mistakes due to human imperfection and weakness, these Christians have had, on occasion, to reevaluate viewpoints and teachings.”

  12. What did that generation see in 1914? Absolutely nothing! It is now taught Jesus had come invisibly in that year, and the elderly anointed “saw” it happen through the tumultuous events occurring at the time. But that is an outright lie. The anointed of that day continued to believe as they had for 40 years that Christ had come invisibly in 1874. This can be found in the WTBTS book Prophecy by President Rutherford which was published in 1929. On page 65, it declares:

    “The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874.”

    Note this book was published 15 years after 1914!

    It was not until 1943, with the publication of the WTBTS book The Truth Shall Make You Free, that it was “seen” that Christ had really come in 1914, and not 1874. There were no “events” that convinced any of the anointed—it was a “revelation” from the Oracle that persuaded them.

  13. WATCHTOWER, July 15,1999, p 5
  14. WATCHTOWER, August 15, 1972, p 492.
  15. WATCHTOWER, August 1,1981, p 26
  16. WATCHTOWER,February 15,1991, p.8 states:

    “Nevertheless, in a preliminary way, the great crowd have already washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ‘(Revelation 7:14) Christ does not act as Mediator of the new covenant toward them, yet they benefit from this covenant through the work of God’s Kingdom.”

    And the WATCHTOWER, April 1,1981, p 12 contains:

    “Although dedicated and baptized, those of the ‘great crowd’ recognize that they have not been taken into that covenant for the Kingdom. They are not spiritual Israelites, for as much as they have not been taken into the new covenant, ‘which is made with spiritual Israelites through the Mediator Jesus Christ.”

  17. The members of the WTBTS are extreme rationalists. Their Jehovah is always limited by what they understand to be possible! (He is a limited little god who has a body, does not know for sure what you’re going to do tomorrow, and may store some of his knowledge in the brains of trusted angels. He needs angels to inform him of what is going on in the world!) Hence the idea of only a “virtual” indwelling. (According to the 1988 WTBTS publication Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 1, p 613, they do believe in demon possession in which a demon can have “captive control and influence a person.” So then, the WTBTS teaches one can be indwelled or controlled by demons, but a person certainly cannot be indwelled or controlled by their limited little god Jehovah!)
  18. Amy Goldstein. Sue Ann Presley, and Hanna Rosin, “Killer Wrote of Fear, Hopelessness,” Washington Post, (Sat. July 31, 1999), p A0l
  19. JWs are no more evil than other people, but neither are they morally superior as the Watchtower Society continually boasts in their publications. Such a claim puts a terrible added burden on the individual JW to keep up the appearance of being morally superior to outsiders, and to hide, even from their closest friends in the organization, the problems they have in their personal lives and in their families.
  20. Not only must JWs hide their sins and moral failures, they must also pretend to be happy all of the time, in order to live up to the felicitous image the Oracle demands they project to the world. Psychologist and former JW, Dr. Jerry Bergman, wrote a book, Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Problem of Mental Illness, detailing how this life of pretense takes a grievous toll on the mind of an individual JW, causing rampant depression and other mental problems among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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