By The Librarian
Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses
The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah's Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York. The body assumes responsibility for formulating policy and doctrines, producing material for publications and conventions, and administering its worldwide branch office staff. Members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders. One member explained the Governing Body as being "Guardians of the Doctrine" when under oath in Australia in 2015.
Its size has varied, from seven (2010–2012) to eighteen (1974–1980)members. As of October 2012, there are eight members. Members of the Governing Body are not elected; membership is only possible by invitation of existing members.Updated: Current list of the Governing Body as of October 2014
The Governing Body in 1975
Since its incorporation in 1884, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has been directed by a president and board of directors. Until January 1976, the president exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected—the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses.
When the Society's second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society's editorial committee—selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved.
as of 2013
In 1943 The Watchtower described the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the "legal governing body" of anointed Jehovah's Witnesses. A year later, in an article opposing the democratic election of congregation elders, the magazine said the appointment of congregation servants was the duty of "a visible governing body under Jehovah God and his Christ." For several years, the role and specific identity of the governing body remained otherwise undefined. A 1955 organizational handbook stated that "the visible governing body has been closely identified with the board of directors of this corporation." Referring to events related to their 1957 convention, a 1959 publication said "the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments [then] the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society [acted]." The 1970 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses noted that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was the organization used to plan the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses and provide them with "spiritual food", then declared: "So really the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania."
On October 1, 1971, Watch Tower Society vice-president Frederick Franz addressed the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, stating that the legal corporation of the Watch Tower Society was an "agency" or "temporary instrument" used by the Governing Body on behalf of the"faithful and discreet slave". Three weeks later, on October 20, four additional men joined the seven members of the Society's board of directors on what became known as a separate, expanded Governing Body. The board of directors had until then met only sporadically, usually only to discuss the purchase of property or new equipment, leaving decisions concerning material to be published in Watch Tower Society publications to the president and vice-president, Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz. The Watchtower of December 15, 1971 was the first to unambiguously capitalize the term "Governing Body of Jehovah's witnesses" as the defined group leading the religion, with a series of articles explaining its role and its relationship with the Watch Tower Society.
The focus on the new concept of "theocratic" leadership was accompanied by statements that the structure was not actually new: The Watch Tower declared that "a governing body made its appearance" some time after the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Society in 1884, though it had not beenreferred to as such at the time.
The article claimed that Watch Tower Society president Charles Taze Russell had been a member of the governing body. The 1972 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses stated that following Rutherford's death in 1942 "one of the first things that the governing body decided upon was the inauguration of the Theocratic Ministry School" and added that the "governing body" had published millions of books and Bibles in the previous thirty years. Raymond Franz has disputed those claims, stating that the actions of presidents Russell, Rutherford and Knorr in overriding and failing to consult with directors proved the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses had been under a monarchical rule until 1976, leaving no decisions to a "governing body".
In 1972, a Question From Readers article in The Watchtower further reinforced the concept of the "Governing Body"; the magazine said the term referred to an agency that administers policy and provides organizational direction, guidance and regulation and was therefore "appropriate, fitting and Scriptural."Organizational changes at the highest levels of the Watch Tower Society in 1976 significantly increased the powers and authority of the Governing Body. The body has never had a legal corporate existence and operates through the Watch Tower Society and its board of directors.
After its formal establishment in 1971, the Governing Body met regularly but, according to Raymond Franz, only briefly; Franz claims meetings were sometimes as short as seven minutes, to make decisions about branch appointments and conduct that should be considered disfellowshipping offenses. Franz claims that in 1971 and again in 1975, the Governing Body debated the extent of the authority it should be given.
Raymond Franz claimed that in 1980, unease with doctrines surrounding the significance of 1914 surfaced within the Governing Body. In February of that year, three Governing Body members—aware that those who had been alive in 1914 were dying out despite the teaching that their generation would live to see Armageddon—proposed a doctrinal change to identify the "generation" who would see Armageddon as those who witnessed the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik, which would be considered a 'sign in heaven'.The proposal, which would have extended the deadline for Armageddon by 43 years, failed to gain a majority vote. Former Witnesses James Penton and Heather and Gary Botting claimed that internal dissatisfaction with official doctrines continued to grow, leading to a series of secret investigations and judicial hearings. As a result, the Governing Body led a purge of dissenting Brooklyn headquarters staff in April and May 1980. Raymond Franz claimed he was forced to resign from the Governing Body, and he was later disfellowshipped from the religion. The Watch Tower Society responded with a new, hardened attitude towards the treatment of expelled Witnesses. In his 1997 study of the religion, Penton concluded that since Raymond Franz's expulsion in 1980, the Governing Body displayed an increased level of conservatism, sturdy resistance to changes of policy and doctrines, and an increased tendency to isolate dissidents within the organization by means of disfellowshipping.
The April 15, 1992 issue of The Watchtower carried an article entitled Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones” which drew a parallel between ancient non-Israelites who had been assigned temple duties (the "Nethinim" and "sons of the servants of Solomon") and Witness elders in positions of responsibility immediately under the oversight of the Governing Body who did not profess to be "anointed".Both that issue of The Watchtower and the 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses carried the same announcement:
In view of the tremendous increase worldwide, it seems appropriate at this time to provide the Governing Body with some additional assistance. Therefore it has been decided to invite several helpers, mainly from among the great crowd, to share in the meetings of each of the Governing Body Committees, that is, the Personnel, Publishing, Service, Teaching, and Writing Committees. Thus, the number attending the meetings of each of these committees will be increased to seven or eight. Under the direction of the Governing Body committee members, these assistants will take part in discussions and will carry out various assignments given them by the committee. This new arrangement goes into effect May 1, 1992. For many years now, the number of the remnant of anointed Witnesses has been decreasing, while the number of the great crowd has increased beyond our grandest expectations.
Each of the current Governing Body members served as a committee "helper" before being appointed to the Governing Body itself. The appointment of helpers to the Governing Body committees was described in 2006 as "still another refinement."
2000 and beyond
Until 2000, the directors and officers of the Watch Tower Society were members of the Governing Body. Since then, members of the ecclesiastical Governing Body have not served as directors of any of the various corporations used by Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Governing Body has delegated such administrative responsibilities to other members of the religion. The current president of the Watch Tower Society, Don A. Adams, is not a member of the Governing Body. As of October 2012, the Governing Body comprises eight members, as shown below.
Governing Body 2003
Photo shot prior to the death of Guy Pierce in the 2014 release "God's Kingdom Rules!"
One of our favorite moments of Annual Meeting…when all 7 of the Governing Body came out and sang with the Watchtower Chorus the last and newest song called: “Jehovah Is Your Name”….what a powerful and moving 100 Year Celebration! @stephendianna
Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses Letters from the Governing Body Funeral (Memorial) Programs for late **Governing Body** Members How to remember Governing Body Members' names Governing Body signing Bibles for public officials Residences of the Governing Body David H Splane: The Slave Is Not 1900 Years Old - Matt 24v45 - Frederick W. Franz was against the formation of a Governing Body References
Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972. "Our active leader today", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 27, "They recognize, however, that Christ is using a small group of anointed Christian men as a Governing Body to lead and direct his disciples on earth." "Bearing Thorough Witness" About God's Kingdom. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2009. p. 110. As of September 2005, twelve members listed (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26)
Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31)
Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 8)
Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31)
Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23)
Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6)
Mark Sanderson appointed in September 2012 "A New Member of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (2007). Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. pp. 4, 6. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 58.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 186, footnote. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 162–163, 214. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. The Watchtower. July 15, 1943. page 216, paragraph 24. The Watchtower. November 1, 1944. page 328, paragraph 32. Qualified to be Ministers. Watch Tower Society. 1955. p. 381. cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, page 74 "Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses", The Watchtower, February 15, 1959, page 115, "So with intense interest the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments... Without delay the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society closed a contract with the owners to use the Polo Grounds simultaneously with Yankee Stadium." Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1970. p. 65. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 57.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 44. The seven directors at October 20 were Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, Grant Suiter, Thomas Sullivan, Milton Henschel, Lyman Swingle and John Groh. The additional four to form the Governing Body were William Jackson, Leo Greenlees, George Gangas and Raymond Franz. Testimony by Fred Franz, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, 2007, page 75-76. "Theocratic Organization with Which to Move Forward Now; A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower. December 15, 1971. "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 761. December 15, 1971. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1972. pp. 254–257. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 78.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 44–110. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 45.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 46.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 215. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 81–105. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 80–107. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. pp. 108–109. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (1997). Crisis of Conscience. p. 262. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 117–123. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 158–165. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Witness Under Prosecution", Richard H. Ostling, Anne Constable,//Time// Magazine, February 22, 1982. Franz, Raymond (2007). "11-12". Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 219, 297–302, 319. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones”", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, pages 16-17 "Announcement", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, page 31 "Organizing for Further Expansion", 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 253-254 "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29, "The new member is Gerrit Lösch. ... Lösch has served in the Executive Offices and as an assistant to the Service Committee." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29, "The new members, all anointed Christians, are Samuel F. Herd; M. Stephen Lett; Guy H. Pierce; and David H. Splane. Samuel Herd ... was also serving as a helper to the Service Committee. Stephen Lett ... was a helper to the Teaching Committee. Guy Pierce ... had been serving as a helper to the Personnel Committee. David Splane ... had been a helper to the Writing Committee." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26, "Geoffrey W. Jackson and Anthony Morris III—would be added to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. ... In April 2003, [Jackson] became part of the United States Bethel family and began to work in the Translation Services Department. Soon thereafter, Brother Jackson was made a helper to the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body ... 2002 [Morris] worked in the Service Department at Patterson and later as a helper to the Service Committee of the Governing Body." "Walking in the Path of Increasing Light", The Watchtower, February 15, 2006, page 28 "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 29. 15 January 2001. The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29 "How the Governing Body is Organized", The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 85, 115. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "A History-Making Meeting", The Watchtower, Aug. 15, 2011, page 21. "Schools That Teach Jehovah's Ways", //2012 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses//, page 13-17. "Theocratic Schools-Evidence of Jehovah's Love", //The Watchtower//, September 15, 2012, page 13-17. "A “Body of Elders” with Rotating Chairmanship", The Watchtower, November 15, 1971, pages 699,700, "how will the “body of elders” in each congregation be selected? The governing body through the Watch Tower Society will send out a letter asking the committee that now looks after each congregation’s activity to...prayerfully consider who within your congregation really meets the qualifications of an elder or overseer. ...Then recommendations will be made to the governing body. ...After the governing body receives recommendations from the congregation, then proper appointments will be made. The governing body will do the appointing of elders in every congregation and this information will be sent out by the governing body through the various offices of the Society throughout the world." Hope Based on the Unfolding Purpose of God", The Watchtower, February 1, 1975, page 86 "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15 "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15, "In addition to appointing Branch Committee members, the Governing Body appoints Bethel elders and traveling overseers. However, they do commission responsible brothers to act for them in making certain other appointments." "“Keep Holding Men of That Sort Dear”", The Watchtower, October 1, 1988, page 18-19, "[The] traveling overseers sent forth by the Governing Body to preach the good news and help the congregations should be received hospitably and with respect. ...Elders, in particular, should show proper respect for these visiting representatives of the Governing Body. They are sent to the congregations because of their spiritual qualities and their experience, which is usually more extensive than that of many local elders." [emph added] "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, pages 19-20, "Since February 1, 1976, each of the branches of the Watch Tower Society has had a Branch Committee made up of capable men appointed by the Governing Body. As representatives of the Governing Bodyfor the country or countries under the supervision of their branch, these brothers must be faithful, loyal men. ...Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers. After being appointed directly by the Governing Body, they serve as traveling overseers. These brothers visit circuits and congregations in order to build them up spiritually and help them apply instructions received from the Governing Body." [emph added] "Humbly Submitting to Loving Shepherds", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 27 "The Watchtower and Awake!—Timely Journals of Truth". The Watchtower: 21. January 1, 1994. "Building for an Eternal Future". The Watchtower: 25. January 1, 1986. 2012 Annual Meeting Program (Gov. Body is "Faithful & Discreet Slave" explained in 8 minute clip) "Seek God's guidance in all things", The Watchtower, April 15, 2008, page 11. "‘They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them’". The Watchtower: 200. April 1, 1972. "the modern-day “prophet,” the spirit-begotten, anointed ones who are the nucleus of Jehovah’s witnesses today" "The Things Revealed Belong to Us", The Watchtower, May 15, 1986, page 13. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. The Faithful Steward and Its Governing Body, The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, page 24 ¶18 Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24, "They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the "great crowd" may have. They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the 'other sheep' have. They do not expect special treatment; nor do they claim that their partaking of the emblems places them above the appointed elders in the congregation." "A Secret Christians Dare Not Keep!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1997, page 14. "Insight That Jehovah Has Given", The Watchtower, March 15, 1989, page 22, "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that explanations of vital Scriptural truths have been provided for us by Jehovah’s 'faithful and discreet slave.' The Watchtower is the principal instrument used by the 'slave' class for dispensing spiritual food." "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24. "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Question From Readers", "The Watchtower", August 15, 2011, page 22 "Annual Meeting Report". "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, December 15, 1971, page 762 "The Governing Body", 1973 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 257, "The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses consists of eleven brothers, all anointed of God. They are as follows: Frederick W. Franz, Raymond V. Franz, George D. Gangas, Leo K. Greenlees, John O. Groh, Milton G. Henschel, William K. Jackson, Nathan H. Knorr, Grant Suiter, Thomas J. Sullivan and Lyman A. Swingle." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29 "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26 "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29 "A New Member of the Governing Body", //The Watchtower//, July 15, 2013, page 26. Interviews - 133rd Gilead Class (stated at video b. Mark Sanderson of Gov. Body) "Rejoicing Over "Victory With the Lamb", The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31. "Britain", 2000 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 130 "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, November 15, 1977, page 680 "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60 "We Were a Team", The Watchtower, April 1, 2001, page 24. "He Humbly Served Jehovah", The Watchtower, June 15, 1996, page 32. "A Joyful Perseverer in Good Work", The Watchtower, July 1, 1977, page 399. "Service Assembly and Annual Meeting—Pittsburg", The Watchtower, November 1, 1944, page 334. "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 28. "His Deeds Follow Him", The Watchtower, December 1, 1994, page 31. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 273–336. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "Gilead Sends Missionaries “to the Most Distant Part of the Earth”", The Watchtower, December 15, 1999, page 28, "Theodore Jaracz, a member of the Governing Body, who himself graduated with Gilead’s seventh class in 1946" "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60 Theodore Jaracz Memorial Service Brochure (1.4MB) "Jehovah Has Dealt Rewardingly With Me", The Watchtower, October 1, 1984, page 21. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, "Background of N. H. Knorr", page 91: "On June 10, 1940, he became the vice-president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Pennsylvania corporation)." The Watchtower, July 15,1977, "Firm to the End", page 441. "A Staunch Fighter for the Truth", The Watchtower, September 15, 1988, page 31. "His Delight Was in the Law of Jehovah", The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31. "The corporation, the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, pursuant to its charter and by-laws, and the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, held its annual meeting at Pittsburgh, North Side, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the first day of October, A.D. 1938, at which annual meeting a Board of Directors was elected as follows, to wit: J. F. Rutherford, C. A. Wise, W. E. Van Amburgh, H. H. Riemer, T. J. Sullivan, Wm. P. Heath, Jr., and Grant Suiter, to hold office for a period of three years, or until their successors are duly elected." - 1939 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, "Election", page 195 "A Loyal Fighter Passes On", The Watchtower, February 1, 1984, page 9. "He Ran for “The Prize of the Upward Call” and Won!", The Watchtower, September 15, 1974, page 554, "On October 31, 1932, he [Sullivan] was made a member of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; he was also one of the eleven-member governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses." "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 71, "Thomas (Bud) Sullivan, who later served as a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “It was my privilege to visit Brooklyn Bethel in the late summer of 1918 during the brothers’ incarceration." Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. p. 91. "How Priceless Your Friendship, O God!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, page 27. "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 60 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1980. pp. 257–258. "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family as of May 22, 1980." Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. p. 71. ISBN 0-920413-37-4. 1986 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 255 Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 322, 393. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Geoffrey Jackson testifies before the Australian Royal Commission 2015
Kenneth Cook- Cumpla sus promesas y reciba bendiciones (Sal. 15;4).pdf
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
As my wife and I are preparing to adopt five children, and knowing historically how many elders' children have abandoned the Truth, for whatever reasons there might be, common to mankind ... the thought occurred to me ... Were all of the Apostles Single?
If any were married, how did they balance their responsibilities to their families, with the field ministry?
If they were in the Ministry, were they supported by the congregations from the Apostles money box ... and were their families also supported as they rove about ministering about the Good News?
If so, that would indicate a paid clergy !
I suppose it all hinges on he first question.
WERE ALL OF THE APOSTLES SINGLE ?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought .... and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
If you don't ... YOU SHOULD.
The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
JOHN STOSSEL: More people tuning out mainstream media, embracing 'truth'
Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understood idiomatic expression.
(For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
By Noble Berean
The February 2017 WT had this to say about the GB:
Compare this to the November 2016 WT which had this to say about the GB's authority:
The GB wants the unquestioned control and the credit for leading God's organization, but they also wants total freedom from accountability when they are wrong. The existence of the org is based around everyone accepting this premise.
But how is this premise not 100% illogical and absurd? The GB is presenting itself in 2 completely conflicting ways:
The GB is uninspired, fallible, and errs, so they should not be blamed for incorrect direction. The GB should not be questioned by JWs, and there is no place for independent thinking. The GB cannot state they make errors in their direction and simultaneously demand unquestioned obedience to their direction. That doesn't make any sense. If anything, JWs should be skeptical of the GB's directions because of their history of incorrect direction. However, critical thinking is discouraged as a negative trait in organization literature--even when that thinking is based on the Bible.
If there is a God, then surely he is just, and I cannot imagine he would structure an organization on such an illogical premise.
Think of how this premise negatively affects JWs. Adherents are essentially commanded to follow direction that may be 100% wrong. They are told to "wait on Jehovah" if they have doubts. This also means that a JW could be punished for having a correct idea that is currently not in harmony with the GB. I'm sure this has happened with JWs over its history.
Also, isn't it disturbing that the GB have set things up so that they have maximum control and minimum accountability? It's the definition of plausible deniability. Everyone here is well aware of the legal issues with blood transfusion rejection and the sex abuse. In these legal matters, it is pretty clear that the organization is distancing themselves from any accountability and is instead placing the burden on the individual JW. This flies in the face of the culture of the religion where everything a JW does revolves around supporting the organization. There is no room for personal opinion. To suggest otherwise in legal cases is very dishonest and shady. Moreover, it goes against the idea that their is an equal relationship--we're supposed to die over organizational doctrines but the GB won't even acknowledge their role in court proceedings?
The very fact the organization uses plausible deniability in their literature is highly suspect. The fact that they can force JWs to follow their direction, but when it's wrong they can point to a WT and say, "See! We said we were fallible and uninspired!" It all smells dishonest and shady.
By The Librarian
In precedenza è stato un aiutante del comitato di scrittura.
Egli è un unto fratello a Bethel che circa 3 anni fa ma ho assegnato alla scrittura corrispondenza da Bethel Ufficio a Wallkill.
Egli non è un fratello regola orientato a tutti. Sicuramente una persona di persone, un fratello piacevole. Rende le persone intorno a lui si sentono un rilassato a proprio agio.
Fratello Cook ha iniziato pionieristica il 1 ° settembre 1982 e cominciò a servire alla filiale negli Stati Uniti il 12 ottobre 1984.
E 'stato a Bethel tutta la sua vita, evidentemente. Niente bambini.
Il Consiglio di Amministrazione è ora composto di otto fratelli unti.
Per ulteriori informazioni sul Consiglio di amministrazione si veda:
By The Librarian
Se ha anunciado que Ken Kenneth Cook es nuevo miembro del Cuerpo Gobernante...
Anteriormente fue un ayudante en el comité de redacción.
Él es un ungido hermano en Bethel que hace unos 3 años dieron asignado a escribir correspondencia de Bet Oficina en Wallkill.
Él no es un hermano orientada regla en absoluto. Definitivamente una persona de la gente, un hermano placentera. Hace que la gente a su alrededor sienten una relajada a gusto.
El hermano de Cook comenzó pionera el 1 de septiembre de 1982 y comenzó a servir en la sucursal de Estados Unidos el 12 de octubre., 1984
Él ha estado en Bethel, evidentemente, toda su vida. Sin hijos.
El Consejo de Administración ahora se compone de ocho hermanos ungidos.
Para más información sobre el Consejo de Administración véase:
By The Librarian
Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses >
Jehovah's Witnesses began capitalizing Governing Body as a proper noun in 1971;The Watchtower that year announced "The present Governing Body comprises eleven anointed witnesses of Jehovah." The original members of the 1971 Governing Body, all now deceased, are indicated in italics in the lists below.
The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses (year appointed in parentheses): Samuel Herd (1999) Geoffrey Jackson (2005) M. Stephen Lett (1999) Gerrit Lösch (1994) Anthony Morris III (2005) Mark Sanderson (2012) David H. Splane (1999) Kenneth Cook (2018) Deceased
The following individuals were members of the Governing Body until death (years active in parentheses, including years as Watch Tower Society directors, informally identified as the "governing body" prior to 1971): Carey W. Barber (1977–2007) John (Jack) Barr (1977–2010) William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) John C. Booth (1974–1996) Charles J. Fekel (1974–1977) Frederick William Franz (1944–1992)—5th President of Watch Tower Society George D. Gangas (1971–1994) John O. Groh (1965–1975) Milton George Henschel (1947–2003)—6th President of Watch Tower Society William K. Jackson (1971–1981) Theodore Jaracz (1974–2010) Karl F. Klein (1974–2001) Nathan Homer Knorr (1940–1977)—4th President of Watch Tower Society Guy H. Pierce (1999-2014) Martin Pötzinger (1977–1988) Albert D. Schroeder (1974–2006) Grant Suiter (1938–1983) Thomas J. Sullivan (1932–1974) Lyman Alexander Swingle (1945–2001) Daniel Sydlik (1974–2006) Resigned
The following individuals resigned or were asked to step down from their positions in the body (years active in parentheses): Ewart Chitty (1974–1979) Raymond Franz (1971–1980) Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984)
”Jehovah leads and feeds those in the earthly part of his organization by means of “the faithful and discreet slave” under the direction of Christ, the “head of the congregation.” w16 November pp. 14-18
If these men were “inspired”, the above statement would be true. It takes inspiration from Holy Spirit, for them to receive Christ’s direction. Spirit must be infused in the person to guide them in the way of Christ; but we have it in print, that it is not the case with the GB. 1 John 2:4; 1 John 3:24
Instead, they rely on the voting system. It once was a required two-thirds majority in favor of passing new rules or doctrine; which at least you could understand that individuals had the freedom to reject an idea; although I was shocked that voting was even considered. Now, the GB must be 100 percent in agreement when passing new rules/doctrine.
How many teachings of past leaders have been rejected by today’s leaders? How far back does it go, that Wt’s leaders were not inspired? Whether two-thirds or 100 percent needed to agree on doctrine by men admitting to not having inspiration, it is apparent that it began with Russell.
Maybe this new GB member is not rule-oriented, but it really doesn’t matter. He must go with the flow, and it may be a rude awakening for him.
These scriptures have spiritual fulfillment today:
“Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers (elder body) of the Gentiles (those not anointed) lord it over them,
and those in high positions (GB) act as tyrants over them.
It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you (among the anointed chosen Body of Christ, since Jesus was speaking to his future apostles) must be your servant*, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave*; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt 20:25-28
*This is not the practice with the GB. They authorize their appointed rulers (elder body) to judge their fellow anointed slaves as not worthy of spiritual life. Are they serving their brothers in Christ, or condemning them through acts of tyranny? Matt 24:48-51; 1 John 2:9-11; James 2:4 Uninspired men fabricate rules and doctrine that every JW must obey, and it is called guidance from God through Christ – or from a “spirit-directed organization”. I imagine in my mind a looming spiritual power within the world since that is where it is physically built and seen, breathing a spirit, but not from the Almighty God. 1 John 2:15-17; Eph 2:1,2; Rev 13:11-15
Without holy inspiration, in what manner does God and Christ guide the organization? The GB? The members? It can be said a thousand times that God directs the organization, the “faithful slave”, the elder body – yet one slip of truth will wipe out each and every one of those false claims. That being, the Governing Body is not inspired by Holy Spirit; and if they are not inspired by God's spirit, neither is the organization. 1 John 2:27,18,19; Mal 3:18; Matt 24:4,5
“And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matt 8:20
"Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
not paying them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace
with spacious upper rooms.’
So he makes large windows in it,
panels it with cedar
and decorates it in red.
15 “Does it make you a king
to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord.
17 “But your eyes and your heart
are set only on dishonest gain,
on shedding innocent blood
and on oppression and extortion.” Jer 22:13-17
Jehovah's Witnesses put former Brooklyn Heights hotel up for sale
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Attention nostalgic Brooklyn Dodgers fans!
The Jehovah's Witnesses are selling the former Brooklyn Heights hotel where the forever-missed baseball team stayed during home games.
The Watchtower has just announced it is putting The Towers, also known as 21 Clark St., up for sale.
The Dodgers, who in the 1950s infamously left Brooklyn for Elsewhere (to this day, some of us find this trauma hard to write about), used the hotel as their home base, so to speak.
The 313,768-square-foot, 16-story building is now a residence for the Jehovah's Witnesses — but not for much longer.
The religious organization is liquidating its once-massive Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO real-estate holdings because it is moving its headquarters to upstate Warwick, NY.
The Leverich Towers Hotel, as 21 Clark was originally known, had its grand opening in 1928. The architecture firm was Starrett & Van Vleck — which also designed Saks Fifth Avenue's and Lord & Taylor's high-profile Manhattan flagship stores.
“When you walk the streets of Brooklyn Heights and come alongside The Towers, the elegance of the building commands your attention,” Watchtower spokesman David Semonian said in the announcement about the building's sale.
“Yet beyond the beauty that we have worked hard to tastefully preserve, The Towers has been a comfortable home for members of our headquarters staff for decades,” he said.
'The Aristocrat of Brooklyn Hotels'
The former hotel, which is located on the corner of Willow Street, is located in the landmarked part of Brooklyn Heights. So a purchaser is likely to leave the exterior of the stunning building — which has colonnaded, Venetian-style towers gracing its four corners — largely intact.
In the property's early days, it was advertised as “The Aristocrat of Brooklyn Hotels.”
A rooftop terrace with knockout views of Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge that helped give the hotel its cachet remains intact.
In 1975, the Watchtower bought the magnificent building for $1,992,229.08 from a trust with Leo Rosner and Philip Robbins as trustees, city Finance Department records indicate.
Following the purchase, the Watchtower turned the hotel into a residence and dining hall for more than 1,000 people who worked at the organization's world headquarters.
Another Watchtower spokesman, Richard Devine, said the Jehovah's Witnesses were expanding their printing plants at that time and needed space to accommodate increasing numbers of personnel.
The Jehovah's Witnesses did a more extensive renovation of The Towers starting in 1995, Devine added.
The Watchtower has been working for the past several years to sell off its Brooklyn real estate portfolio. The latest round of marketing started this past December.
Vincent Viola, the owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, recently bought Brooklyn Heights residential property 124 Columbia Heights for $105 million.
Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has a handshake deal to buy the Watchtower's Brooklyn Heights headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights plus DUMBO development site 85 Jay St. for roughly $700 million, the New York Post has reported.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
From the Newspaper the “San Diego Reader” - October 12, 2017
Jehovah's Witnesses look in other direction
Lawyers for religious group argue against daily fines in sex-abuse case
By Dorian Hargrove, Oct. 12, 2017
Attorneys for the Jehovah's Witness church appeared before a state appellate court yesterday (October 11) in hopes of overturning the $4000 daily sanctions that a trial court ordered them to pay for refusing to turn over documents in one of two sex-abuse cases.
Osbaldo Padron, a former parishioner of the Linda Vista Jehovah's Witness congregation, filed his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body, in 2013. Padron was one of seven people who sued the kingdom over sexual abuse they suffered by a former church elder, Gonzalo Campos.
As detailed in an August 30 Reader article, Campos admitted to molesting seven children from 1982 to 1999. Despite his admission, church elders agreed to let Campos rejoin the congregation after a four-year expulsion.
In a 1999 letter, Linda Vista church elder Eduardo Chavez argued for reinstating Campos. He wrote, “In our meeting with him he said he was very repentant for what he did. He stated that he wanted to return to Jehovah. He is willing to face the victims and ask their forgiveness. He now wants to obey Jehovah. Before, when he would speak to people on the platform he would not meditate on what he was doing. Although he needed to confess, he felt shameful and had fear of mankind. He would deceive himself thinking that he could continue serving as an elder. Now he realized that he could not change without help. Ever since his expulsion he has not abused anyone."
In 2010, five victims sued the Watchtower for allowing Campos to serve as an elder despite having knowledge that he molested several children in the congregation. Watchtower settled that case in 2012. The terms of the settlement as well as the evidence against the Watchtower were sealed.
Two more victims, Padron and José Lopez, followed suit.
In 2013, San Diego Superior Court judge Joan Lewis ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million for repeatedly refusing to turn over documents that showed the church was aware of sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
Attorneys for the Watchtower filed an appeal. They argued that Judge Lewis had acted too soon in issuing the $13.5 million in sanctions and instead the trial court should have imposed less severe sanctions. The appellate court agreed.
In their ruling, the justices wrote, "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
Then, last year in the Padron case, a different superior court judge, Richard Strauss, followed the appellate court's advice and instead of issuing terminating sanctions imposed $4000 daily sanctions on the Watchtower for refusing to turn over the documents that Padron's attorneys had requested.
Again, Watchtower's attorneys filed an appeal.
On October 11, those attorneys appeared before the Fourth District Appellate Court to argue that the trial court was wrong to issue daily sanctions — exactly what they had argued for in the appellate court Lopez case just months prior.
Justice Richard Huffman did not hide his displeasure that Watchtower's attorneys were arguing against what they had previously supported to the same court.
"You can't have it both ways," Huffman said during argument. "[The Lopez] ruling has come around to bite you and now you're saying, 'not fair, not fair.' You were headed in one direction before and now you’re headed another way. It's a breathtaking position to listen to."
The appellate court has 90 days to issue its formal ruling."
Our donations are being used to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE !
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Melody's Interview at 2017 "Don't Give Up" Regional Convention".
Last year my wife and I attended an Assembly in Orangeburg, SC, where a brother in an interview on stage was proud that he had not said a single word to his disfellowshipped father in over 20 years. We were sitting up close and could see his face in person, and on the large monitors. His declaration of cruelty was followed by intense applause from the audience.
We were stunned and horrified.
This video was originally posted on YOUTUBE by the mother of Melody, at a Regional 2017 Convention where she is proud of having shunned her sister, who is disfellowshipped, but many adverse comments on YOUTUBE made her ashamed ..... and she took the posting down.
I got this video copy from the Russian equivalent of YOUTUBE web site, RUTUBE.COM.
After she details her cruelty to her sister, the audience reaction is vigorous applause.
THIS IS WHY the Russian government and most of the people HATE Jehovah's Witnesses.
Oblivious, clueless, extreme cruelty, in the name of righteousness.
Melody's interview @ the Regional Convention 2017 _Don't Give Up_.mp4
By JW Insider
This topic has been moved to a new place and any responses here have also been moved there.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
My wife and I are planning to see the movie "DUNKIRK" this weekend, and I have seen "Saving Private Ryan", and "Schindler's List", all very violent war movies, and in my opinion very IMPORTANT movies to see.
The list of incredibly important movies could fill a notebook.
I could probably list 10 off the top of my head .. some important for very different reasons.
"The Notebook" comes to mind.
Some, merely cultural icons, like the entire STAR WARS and STAR TREK franchises, etc.
What has been your actual experience about what kinds of movies the Brotherhood actually sees ?
Has the Society ever ruled on what happens if a man or woman abandons their spouse forever ... is the one abandoned stuck forever ?By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Has the Society ever ruled on what happens if a man or woman abandons their spouse forever ... is the one abandoned stuck forever ?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Since the Society does NOT recognize Civil Divorces if there is no adultery, and considers a couple to STILL BE MARRIED ... if a man and wife get divorced civilly ONLY ( perhaps for some economic reason, like bankruptcy, or estate management .... or they cannot stand each other more than a few hours a week .. (health reasons (?)) ... and they still shack up (friends, with benefits..) does the Society sanction these ones in any way?
( For those in Rio Linda ... "friends with benefits" means friends that have sex ...) ....