Jehovah’s Witnesses and their conflict with the world
In contrast with the situation in Israel, in the rest of the world 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' are well known, and intensely disliked.
“Of all modern religions, the group which has experienced the most conflicts from citizens of their own country are members of the modern sect known today as the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses.'(1) Noted sociologist, Seymour M. Lipset concluded from his study of attitudes towards minorities that the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' were among the most disliked of all religious minorities he researched - the group average showed that Americans disliked them more than even the most hated ethnic minorities.(2) 1990 study by Barna Research Group found that a whopping 74% had a negative view of the sect. In comparison, 88% had a favorable opinion of Protestants, 85% of Catholics and 84% of Jews. The only other group for which this amount of antagonism existed was the 'Hare Krishnas.'(3) The attitude to the sect outside of the USA is even more negative. In the words of one researcher:
“The Watchtower (one of the names of the sect) has experienced conflicts in almost every nation of the world - this writer was unable to locate a single country where they have not experienced problems. At one time or another they were banned or their activities severely restricted in almost every nation of the world, and are still banned in twenty six countries according to their official world-wide activities report published in 1995.”(4)
In the United States alone, members of the sect were repeatedly charged in the courts of law, with among other things, blasphemy, ridicule of other religions and of authorities, inciting violence, breach of peace, desecration of the American flag, criminal syndicalism and sedition.(4) In July 1940 the government of Canada banned the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' outright. The law, passed under the War Measures Act, was vigorously enforced.(5) According to recently declassified wartime documents, the reason for the ban was: “The federal government described 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' as subversive and offensive religious zealots... in a secret report given to special parliamentarian committees in 1942”.(6) The government report on the sect concluded that, “probably no other organization is so offensive in its methods, working as it does under the guise of Christianity.”(6)
What are the reasons for so much world-wide antagonism to a rather unremarkable and pedestrian Christian sect?
Historians and researchers who studied the subject concluded that the major reason for all the conflicts was the attitude and teachings of the leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'. Writes Dr. C.E. King: “many of the teachings have led the sect into bitter conflict with civil authorities all over the world, in democratic as well as in totalitarian states.”(7) In the words of Dr. J. Bergman Ph.D.: “Especially during the presidency of J.F. Rutherford (second president of the sect), many articles in Watchtower publications were deliberately designed to stir up trouble. Rutherford’s vitriolic attacks were not only against the government, but also the clergy... He repeatedly called them scum, roosters, jackasses, harlots, s.o.b.s, even advocating violence and encouraging Witnesses to stir up trouble. Many of the articles would today, no doubt, engender legal action against the Watchtower with claims that they were inciting religious hatred. And the claimants would likely prevail, at least in American courts.”(4) Articles in the 'Golden Age' and 'Consolation' (official publications of the sect) depicted members of other religions in the vilest of terms, and numerous illustrations showed them in a slanderous light. (4),(8)
An American history book describes 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' as scornful of all other religions and notes that “members of the sect repeatedly collided with the law.”(9)
A well-known researcher summarizes the attitude of the sect to the outside world from 1922 to the present as “the extremist attitude”, “it could only be interpreted as complete negation of all governments, religions, churches and international organizations.”(10)
What is the root of so much hatred for everybody outside the sect?!
Explains Dr. Bergman - “The major reason for their troubles was because Witnesses are taught to believe that all governments and all religions are of Satan - and under pain of excommunication all of them must follow Watchtower policy.”(4) Another researcher observes: “Resentment ... attached themselves to the Jehovah’s Witnesses partly because of vehemence of their religious attacks on the established order and partly because of the militancy of their proselytizing... they were... preaching that the evil triumvirate of organized churches, business and the State are the instruments of Satan.”(11) Rutherford “declared open war on the State, in which he saw the handiwork of Satan.”(12)
In the Watchtower’s own words, they teach that: “All organizations on the earth that are in the opposition to God and his kingdom (all religious and political organizations outside of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses') therefore, necessarily take the name “Babylon” and “harlot.”(13)
And what is their ultimate goal? They openly declare that they work for the establishing of Worldwide Theocratic Government.(14) In other words, replacement of all existing governments by worldwide rule of Governing Body of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'. The members of the sect joyfully wait for the day when “the rest of humanity would be condemned to death; whoever did not join 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' would have no hope of receiving God’s mercy and would be destroyed.”(15)
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Anti-Semitism
As Jews there is another aspect of this sect’s ideology that should worry us. This is that teachings of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' are infused with huge doses of anti-Semitism! Of course, members of the sect are doing everything to hide this fact, so it wouldn’t interfere with their attempts to missionize the unsuspecting Jews.
Here we will bring some blatantly anti-Semitic statements which all appeared in official publications of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'.
First, we must emphasize, as we have already mentioned, all members of the sect must accept all the views of their leadership under penalty of total excommunication. In other words all members of the sect have to espouse anti-Semitism! The fact that this sect decided to call itself 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' is ample testimony to their views. The expression 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' never appears in the Hebrew Bible. What does appear several times is God telling the Jewish nation “you are my witnesses.”(16) Anybody opening the verses will see that the term “witnesses” refers clearly and exclusively to the nation of Israel! In 1931 Josef Franklin Rutherford, president of the sect for 26 years, decided that the Jewish nation has finished it’s role in history, and belongs in the dustbin of history. He declared that the Hebrew prophets in all their prophecies had in mind only him and his sect.(17) In their official publications they openly declare that they and only they are “the true Israel”.(18) This ideology is known to historians and theologians as the “Replacement Theology”. After the Holocaust many Christian churches and groups admitted that it is anti-Semitic in essence, and disavowed it. For example thus writes Dr. David Allen Lewis, a well-known Christian author and lecturer: “Replacement theology is inconsistent. It places all the curses of the Old Testament on the heads of Jews of today, and transfers all the blessings to the “new Israel”, the church. Replacement doctrines are theological anti-Semitism... (emphasis in the original).
These doctrines make is easier for the blatant, active anti-Semites to persecute and kill the Jews. The doctrines of replacement and contempt led directly to the Holocaust.” ('Christians and Israel' pp. 10-11) But 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' today continue to espouse these anti-Semitic doctrines with even greater fervor.
Rutherford in his book 'Enemies' writes about Jews “ultra-selfish men called 'Jews' who look only for personal gain.”(19)
In the same book he writes that the Jews “practice religion, of which the Devil is the author.”(20) In another book he again writes about the Jews: “Be it known once and for all that those profiteering, conscienceless, selfish men who call themselves Jews, and who control the greater portion of the finances of the world and the business of the world...”(21)
Speaking at 'Bible Students'(22) convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 1920’s, Rutherford described a Jew as “the hooked-nosed, stooped-shouldered little individual who stands on the street corner trying to gyp you out of every nickel you’ve got.”(23) We see here clear examples of vulgar and primitive anti-Semitism. In yet another book he wrote that Jews lost favor with God when they murdered Jesus.(24)
Nowadays 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' continue to disseminate huge amounts of anti-Seminic materials. As a matter of fact, they’re one of the biggest distributors of hate literature in human history. A few examples will suffice. In 1982 they published a book called “You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth.” It was published in 15 million copies and distributed worldwide in 55 languages. On pages 25-26 of the book we can see what is their current opinion of the Jews. Among other things it says there of the Jews:
“Was God really their father? Did God accept their form of religion? Not at all!”... Jews are “from their father the Devil, and they wish to do his desires.” The Jewish religion “served the interest of the Devil.”And they concluded that because of their evil, the Jews “were on the way to destruction”.
In another official publication from 1984 (25) they say that 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' “have no intention to falling into the sad course of the Jews”, because the Jews “exchanged the truth of God for the lie.”(26)
And these are only some of the many crude anti-Semitic statements found in the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' literature.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Nazis
Anyone coming in contact with 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' will sooner or later be reminded of how terribly they suffered in Nazi Germany. In correspondence with government officials, journalists, etc., often totally out of context and unrelated to the subject discussed, it will be mentioned again and again. Apparently it is regarded as some sort of magic argument, which will immediately erase all the evil the sect has committed and open all the doors for them. In the 1990’s they even staged several propaganda shows aimed at 'milking' as much sympathy and benefits from the authorities and general public out of what happened to them during the Nazi regime. Even in the State of Israel they’re not ashamed of trying to get benefits using this argument. The 'Jerusalem Post' quotes Professor B. Beit-Hallahmi that the sect successfully used the claim of their suffering during the Nazi period to gain material benefits. He said, it was one of the reasons that a court ordered the Tel-Aviv Municipality to grant them a building permit for their missionary center.
If all the claims that 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' bring forth would be true, then all we would be faced with would be shameless exploitation of tragic deaths. But the reality is much worse than that. 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' are guilty of horrible distortion of facts and of historical revisionism! First, let’s see what their claims are, as presented by propagandists of the sect.
In their official publication ('Watchtower' May 15, 1975 p. 294) they write “thousands of European Jews can testify that one religious group in Germany underwent persecution equal to that heaped upon the Jews: ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ ”.
But equating their suffering to that of the Jews, apparently wasn’t enough for them. In another publication they went further: “...a horrible Nazi persecution of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', worse than that of the Jews”.(27)
But even that apparently was just not enough!
In yet another publication of the sect(28) under the headline 'The Holocaust - victims or martyrs?' they 'kindly' explain that “all those who suffered as a result of the Holocaust were victims, but only a minority were truly martyrs.” Jews just like Poles, Russians and Ukrainians were merely victims. “But the case of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' in Europe was different.” They and only they were true martyrs of the Holocaust.
Audacity more base than that is hard to imagine!
According to the above-mentioned bombastic claims, we might have thought that millions of members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' perished during the Nazi period. But in the 1974 Yearbook of the sect they admitted that a total of 2,000 of their members were sent to concentration camps, and from these 838 died or were executed.(29)
It is impossible to take lightly the suffering of even one human being. But the idea that deaths of a few hundred members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' is more horrible that the death of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, could only sprout in the distorted minds of the leaders of that sect!
Worse than that, the Watchtower Society seems to view the Nazi horrors simply as ammunition in its wars against other religions. Time after time they repeat that all Christian groups cooperated with Hitler, and only 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' were, in their own words, “the one voice in the midst of silence.”(30) We will not deal here with the subject of what all Christian churches did or did not do during the Holocaust, but will attempt to establish what did the leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' do during that era.
First of all, it has to be clarified once and for all that 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' were never against Nazis! In one of their official publications from 1984 they profusely praise themselves on their behavior during the Nazi regime. The height of praise that they could think of writing about themselves was that “theological principles were adhered to; Witnesses remained “neutral”…(31)(emphasis ours). In other words at the time when all the free world was fighting against the Nazi monstrosity, 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' were neutral! Can you imagine moral blindness more extreme than that ?! And they’re still proud of it!
But the truth is even more sordid that that. The fact is that the leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' tried to co-operate with the Nazi regime. For that purpose they distributed millions of copies of anti-Semitic materials in Germany. And only after rejection by Hitler, having no other choice, they came out against Nazis.
This is the chronological order of events:
On January 30, 1933 Hitler came to power in Germany. On April 4, 1933, the German police seized the sect’s offices in the city of Magdeburg. The reason for the seizure, for sure, wasn’t any anti-Nazi activity by 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', because there simply wasn’t any such activity. In the book 'Encyclopedia of the Holocaust' (published by 'Yad Vashem') it’s written about the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' that before the years 1933-1935 “there isn’t any evidence of any real action by them against the regime.”(32) The reasons for Nazi persecution were probably the refusal of some members of the sect to join the German army, and the known philosophy of the sect, which completely refuses to recognize any government or rule. Nazis knew that all members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' had loyalties to another totalitarian regime (the sect’s headquarters in Brooklyn) and did not consider themselves citizens of the German State. Their refusal to join the German army also didn’t come from any opposition to Nazis per se, because in the same time members of the sect refused to join American, Canadian and British armies, fighting against the Nazis. As we already mentioned, that was one of the reasons they were outlawed in Canada during WWII. At the same time they were also outlawed in Australia.
And now leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' are cynically trying to claim that the reason for Nazi persecution was “favorable comments in earlier Watch Tower publication about the Jewish people and strong denunciations of anti-Semitism.”(33) In light of the many anti-Semitic statements from Watch Tower publications, which were quoted above, it sounds more than ridiculous!
As a response to seizure of their Magdeburg branch, leaders of the sect organized an assembly in Berlin, on June 25, 1933. The goal of the assembly was clear – to publicly declare that the Nazis have nothing to fear from 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' and to declare support for Hitler’s regime. Two leaders of the sect, J.F. Rutherford and N. Knorr especially came from America to see how they can achieve this goal.(34) (35)
The assembly unanimously adopted a special statement, written by the leaders of the sect, 'Declaration of Facts.'(34) A personal letter of J.F. Rutherford (president of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses') to Hitler accompanied the 'Declaration of Facts.'(34) 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' themselves translated the 'Declaration of Facts' from the original German into English and published it in their yearbook in 1934.(36) In all their historical falsifications 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' always skip the contents of these two documents and hope that nobody will ever find out.
The truth is that the contents of both of these documents are profoundly repulsive. They are exceedingly anti-Semitic and show the clear attempt by 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' to cooperate with Hitler.
Let’s let the documents speak for themselves(37).
Before they get to the main point, the write under the sub-section entitled 'Jews':
“That is the same class to whom Jesus referred as his persecutors… it was the Jewish clergy, that is to say, the Pharisees and priests, that violently opposed him and persecuted him and caused him to be charged with all manner of crimes and offenses… Jesus told them that they were in fact representatives of Satan the Devil.”(38)
“The present government of Germany has declared emphatically against Big Business Oppressors… Such is exactly our position.”(39) “Big Business… proceed from the Devil”(40)
Whom exactly do they mean, when they say “Big Business”?
They themselves clearly explain:
“It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations.”(41)
We see here a plain example of vulgar anti-Semitism.
After the leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' finished explaining to Hitler what they really think of the Jews, comes the call to cooperation on the mutual basis of anti-Semitism:
“Instead of being against the principles advocated by the Government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles… A careful examination of our books and literature will disclose the fact that the very high ideals held and promulgated by the present national government are set forth in and endorsed and strongly emphasized in our publications…”(42)
It is superfluous to explain what were “the very high ideals” of Nazis, that 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' endorsed with such enthusiasm.
This is how the 'Declaration of Facts' was summarized in the monumental 'The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust' :
“An assembly of 'Bible Students' (the name of the sect then) in Germany was capable of declaring that there was actually no disagreement between them and the National-Socialist government… and that they’re just as anti-Semitic as the Nazi regime.”(43)
Millions of copies of this hate tract were published and distributed throughout Germany(44), and without a doubt fanned the flames of anti-Semitism even further.
And this exceedingly repulsive document comes from people who dare to claim that they were, in their words, the “one voice in the middle of the silence” against the Nazis!(30) One voice indeed!
A personal letter of J.F. Rutherford to Hitler, which accompanied the 'Declaration of Facts', was equally revolting. After addressing Hitler as “Most Honored Mr. Chancellor”, they get down to business:
“…administration of the Watch Tower Society is and in the past has been outstandingly friendly to Germany… …The administration of our Society not only refused to participate in the horror propaganda against Germany, but it took a position against this. This is emphasized by the attached Declaration, which refers to the fact that the circles which led [in promoting] horror propaganda in the United States (commercialist Jews and Catholics) are also the most eager persecutors of our Society’s work and it’s administration. …Bible students are fighting for the same high, ethical goals and ideals that the National Government of the German Reichproclaimed… At the convention, it was stated that there are no opposing views in the relationship between German Bible students and the National Government of the German Reich, but that to the contrary … these are in complete harmony with the similar goals of the National Government of the German Reich.”(45)
Later in the same letter they explain with which Nazi goals they’re in complete harmony:
“The [Nazi] Party, as such, represents the viewpoint of positive Christianity without associating itself with a specific confession. It opposes the Jewish-materialist spirit domestically and abroad…”(45)
Truly “one voice” against Nazis!
The Nazis were not impressed by this attempt at cooperation by the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' and rejected such unwanted partners. And only then, having no other choice, did the leaders of the sect come out against the Nazis.
And now propagandists of the sect are busy distorting historical facts and covering them up. All this so as to paint themselves as innocent victims instead of would-be partners of Hitler.
Dr. Christine King is a historian who, among other things, studied the conduct of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” during the WWII. Propagandists of the sect love to quote her at every opportunity when she describes the suffering of the ordinary members of the sect in the camps. But they always forget what she wrote about the 'Declaration of Facts'. In a brief evaluation of that document she makes a rather damning remark:
“The document is a master of its kind and worthy of the other four sects [the Christian Scientists, the Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventists and members of the New Apostolic Church] all of whom supported, in one way or another, the Nazi state.”(46)
When all these embarrassing facts came to light, 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' were forced to find a way of dealing with them. And the way they found was... to put the blame on somebody else. The 1974 Yearbook of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' admits that Rutherford prepared the 'Declaration' together with Paul Balzereit, one of the top officials of the sect in Germany at the time. But then they report that a member of the sect by the name of Mtze, accused Balzereit of weakening the original text.(47) And based on no more authority then the unsubstantiated beliefs of one Mtze, propagandists of the sect consider themselves absolved from responsibility for those wretched documents. The fact that Paul Balzereit later on left the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' helped the leaders of the sect to make him into a scapegoat. Even if the claims that Balzeit “weakened” the text were true, it wouldn’t at all absolve the 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' from the heavy responsibility for anti-Semitic documents, for the following reasons:
1) Paul Balzereit was not an outsider, but one of the top officials of the sect. To an objective observer it matters not at all which official inside the sect was responsible for the text.
2) 'Declaration of Facts' was unanimously adopted by the several thousand members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' at their convention, as they themselves report in their official publication entitled 'Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Divine Purpose'.(34)
3) Both anti-Semitic documents ('Declaration of Facts' and the accompanied letter to Hitler) were printed in German and in English as official documents of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', as such they were published in their official Yearbook(36) and distributed worldwide in millions of copies!
But the truth is, that the claims of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' are just another desperate attempt in an ongoing cover-up of their ugly past. Professor M. James Penton from Canada, a well-known authority on the history of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', wrote a paper on the subject entitled “ ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’, anti-Semitism, and the third Reich. The Watchtower Society’s attempted compromise with Nazism.” There he forcefully rejects all the propaganda of the sect and clearly establishes that J.F. Rutherford was in fact responsible for these anti-semitic documents.
The following case sheds more light on the real opinion that leaders of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' had of the Nazi regime. In May 1933 the Gestapo searched the house of one, Ewald Vorsteher, a former member of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'. They found materials that unsparingly denounced the anti-Semitic and inhuman objectives of the Nazi regime. The Nazis by mistake thought that he was still a member of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'. When 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' found out that the Gestapo is trying to connect them with anti-Nazi materials they became embarrassed. Instead of agreeing with Vorsteher’s just attacks on the Hitler regime, they condemned him in the harshest of terms. A letter of January 28, 1935 to the Nazi Home Office by one of the Watchtower Society’s official representatives Hans Dollinger, reads:
“… I became painfully aware of the outrageousness of what this man named Vorsteher has done. I can really understand that the National Socialist state will not put up with such a thing… Never during all the years that National Socialism fought for Germany has the Bible Student’s Association(22) tried to impair the fight. Never in any talk given, nor in written form, nor in it’s overall policies the association has given any negative statement against National Socialism. This applies to Germany… as well as to foreign countries in general.” (emphasis ours)
In 1996, in one of their publications they actually bragged how they “courageously spoke out and exposed Nazism as the evil that it was.”(48) All that we can hear is the voice of fear and opportunism.
In 1938, in yet another of their official publications in Germany, the true attitude of the sect to the Jews came loud and clear. Under the headline 'The Jews in Palestine' they write that Jews’ “eyes are blind and their ears are deaf to God’s truth.”(49) They explain that the Jews will never succeed in returning to Palestine because it is against the will of 'Jehovah'. And anyway the Jews belong to “organization of the Devil”. (49)
And the declaration ends:
“The Jews are the epitome of the fact how terrible it is not to be under Jehovah’s blessings. Separated from God’s grace, they are restless here, too. Sowing the wind they are reaping the whirlwind! Just how long?”(49)
A clearer example of deep theological anti-Semitism is hard to imagine.
Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Camps
There is yet another issue which the heads of the sect like to bring up often to glorify themselves – the conduct of sect’s members in concentration camps. Let’s see what they themselves say: “Yes, history reveals that“Jehovah’s Witnesses” have always shown love for their fellowman, even in the face of intense pressure.”(50) “Out of love of neighbor —cell-mate, barracks-mate, camp-mate — the witnesses shared not only their spiritual food but also whatever physical food they had.”(51)
Was that really the case?
The noted psychoanalyst, and himself a concentration camp survivor, Bruno Bettelheim in his famous book 'The Informed Heart' describes 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' as very aloof and set apart from the social life of the camp.(52) Not exactly a picture of “sharing spiritual and physical food.”
That’s how 'The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust' describes the behavior of members of the sect in the camps:
“… they refused to cooperate with other illegal political groups, to try to escape or to rebel against SS… in the end the SS exploited this unusualbehavior of the 'Bible Students'” for their own benefit. For example, by the orders of Heinrich Himmler, they were allowed to gather mushrooms and fruits outside the camps, because there was no danger of them trying to run away or to attack members of the SS. As a result of this policy change by SS, the conditions of“Bible Students” in the camps improved."(32)
The truth is that the moral conduct of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' in the camps did not differ from conduct of other non-Jewish prisoners – some of them behaved like human beings and others not at all. This is how they are described in a book 'Face to Face with Nazis – fighters tell their story' (published by the 'Association of Invalids of War on Nazism' in cooperation with 'Yad Vashem') by a Jew who was together with them in the concentration camps:
“In the camps in Poland they did not always behave according to their teachings. They served the cruel Nazi enemy very well with everything connected to murdering the Jews.”(53)
The writer of these lines could not have known what were the teachings of the sect. If he had known, he would’ve understood that they behave totally “according to the teachings.”
Rudolf Hess, commandant of Auschwitz, in his book of memoirs 'The Commandant of Auschwitz Testifies' describes the faith and behavior of several female members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', who worked as faithful servants of SS officers in Auschwitz:
“The strange thing was that all of them were convinced that causing suffering to the Jews and killing them was justified, because their ancestors betrayed God.”(54)
In light of all the citations mentioned above, we’re not at all surprised.
Attitude of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Zionism and the State of Israel
Professor Yona Malachy in his definitive work 'American Fundamentalism and Israel', dealing with the relationship of Fundamentalist Churches to Israel, dedicates the whole chapter to 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'.(55) The chapter is an in-depth research with many original sources on the theological and political views of the sect and it’s attitude to Zionism and the Jewish State.
Prof. Malachy notes that in the beginning of 20th Century the attitude of the sect towards Zionism was positive, but around 1931-32 it “gradually became negative and eventually hostile.”(56) From that time on the views of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', whom Prof. Malachy describes as “theocratic dictatorship”(57), “became anti-Zionist in tone.”(58)
An accurate example of the sect’s opinion on Zionism we find in the book 'Vindication' by J.F. Rutherford:
“…during the World War the Jews received recognition of the heathen nations.(59) In 1917 the Balfour Declaration, sponsored by the heathen governments of Satan’s organization,(60) came forth, recognized the Jews, and bestowed upon them great favors… The Jews have received more attention at their hands than they really deserved.” (61)
After the death of Rutherford the anti-Zionist approach of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' was crystallized and given an appropriate theological foundation, which was formulated in another book of the sect 'Let God be True'(62). In that book, according to Professor Y. Malachy, 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' “launched a sharp attack on the State of Israel.”(63) The book overflows with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and it is full of descriptions of various “sins” of the Jewish people in general and the State of Israel in particular. For example, the book attacks the Jewish State for the “sin” of joining the United Nations, which “was a flat rejection of God’s Kingdom of the Heavens”. Instead, Israel should have… submitted itself to the authority of the sect and joined its ranks, for after all they are “the sole, true and legal apostles of Jehovah on earth.”(64)
The following is the summary by Professor Y. Malachy on the attitude of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' to the Jewish State:
To the present, this has remained the view of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' on the status of the Jewish people. In this view Israel... is denied the right to exist as a state, for, having been established against the will of Jehovah, it has thereby become an additional instrument in the hands of Satan.”(65)
“From the point of view of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses'… Lucifer assumed command of the Jewish people, who had now returned to Zion. The State of Israel thus became in their eyes yet another deplorable political entity, and additional rampart in Satan’s fortress.”(66)
This venomous anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism does not remain with the members of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' on a purely theoretical level, but finds it’s practical application in that all members of the sect living in the State of Israel refuse to serve in Israel’s Defense Forces, completely ignore all the National Holidays (including the Holocaust Remembrance Day, Remembrance Day and Independence Day), refuse to vote in any elections, refuse to join any cultural or political organizations, etc. In the words of Professor Y. Malachy they learned to “develop a complete indifference to… the political fate of the land in which they lived.”(67)
Shortly after the Holocaust, the following lines were written in the mouthpiece of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses':
“Propagandists think the people have short memories. It is their intention to erase past history, presenting themselves in the modern disguise of benefactors, their incriminating record being covered up.” (68)
These lines perfectly describe the leadership of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' in their attempts to rely on shortness of human memory, as they try to cover up their anti-Semitism and their deplorable conduct during the Holocaust. ¯
* * *
We have devoted much of this article to quotes from the Jehovah’s Witnesses' own publications. The facts speak for themselves.
It is our fervent hope that our efforts will draw public co-operation and support, to speedily bring to the passing of effective anti-missionary legislation in Israel.
1. Bergman, Jerry, Ph. D. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Kindred Groups. New York: Garland, 1984
2. Lipset, Seymour Martin. The Sources of the 'Radical Right' in The Radical Right, Ed. by Daniel Bell, Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1964.
3. Barna Research Report. How Americans View Religious Groups. Press Release, February, 1990; March, 1990. Haymann, Tom. The Unofficial U.S. Census. N.Y: Fawcett Columbine, 1991.
4. Bergman, Jerry, Ph.D. Jehovah's Witnesses: A Brief History Of A Century Of Religious-State Conflicts
5. Kaplan, William. State and Salvation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.
6. The Globe in Mail; Canada’s National Newspaper, September 4, 1984.
7. King, Christine Elizabeth. 'The Nazi State and the new Religions'. The Edwin Mellen Press, 1982.
8. Magnani, Duane. Danger At Your Door. Clayton, Ca 1987.
9. Semonche, John E. Religion And Constitutional Government In The United States, A Historical Overview with Sources. North Carolina : Signal Books, 1986.
10. Yona Malachy. American Fundamentalism and Israel. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. p.70
11. Cox, Archibald. The Court And The Constitution. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. ,1987.
12. Yona Malachy. American Fundamentalism and Israel. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. p.69
13. Cantwell v. Conn. 310 US 296, (1940) p. 48
14. Watchtower, Sept. 1 , 1940
15. Yona Malachy p. 75
16. Isaiah 43:10,12; 44:8
17. Vindication'(1932) p.159; The Watch Tower (1932) pp. 179-186; 'The Watch Tower', April 1 – July 15, 1934
18. The Watch Tower, April 15, 1960; 'Let God Be True' 2nd edition, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Brooklyn, N.Y. 1952) pp. 213-217; K. Hutlen “Seher, Gruebler, Enthusiasten” 6 Auflage (Stuttgart, 1960) p. 108.
19. J.F. Rutherford. 'Enemies' (The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1937) p. 281.
20. Ibid, p. 212
21. J.F. Rutherford, A Righteous Government, The Golden Age, February 23, 1927, p.343
22. One of the names of the sect before they changed it to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
23. Prof. M.J. Penton. “A Story of Attempted Compromise: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Anti - Semitism and the Third Reich”. 1990.
24. J.F. Rutherford, The Way to Paradise p. 224
25. The Watchtower May 1, 1984 p.31
26. See also J.F. Rutherford, Comfort to the Jews (Brooklyn, N.Y. 1925) p. 123 “The eyes of the Hebrews were blinded by Satan, who prevented them from seeing the truth.”; Trost, July 15, 1938.
27. Babylon the Great Has Fallen - God’s Kingdom Rules, pp. 549-550
28. Awake!, April 8, 1989. It was distributed world-wide in 54 languages, in more than 11 million copies
29. Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1974, p. 212
30. Awake!, April-May 1996
31. The Watchtower, October 1,1984, p. 8
32. 'האנציקלופדיה של השואה הוצאת 'יד ושם' ו'קיבוץ ארצי השומר הצעיר
33. The Spirit and the Sword. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1997.
34. Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watchtower Society, 1957.
35. According to the tape-recorded testimony of Konrad Franke (later on one of the heads of 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' in Germany), who himself participated in that assembly, the 'Sporthalle Wilmersdorf' hall, where the assembly took place, was bedecked with swastika flags – evidently to please the Nazis.
36. 1934 Year Book of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1933.
37. In the book that 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' sent to all Knesset members in Israel ('The Spirit and the Sword'), on pp. 21-23 appear photographs of original German text of 'Declaration of Facts'. But in a very devious way they decided to print pictures of such small size that nobody can see what’s written there.
38. 1934 Year Book p. 132-133
39. 1934 Year Book p. 135
40. 1934 Year Book p. 135-136
41. 1934 Year Book p. 134
42. 1934 Year Book p. 137-138
43. 'האנציקלופדיה של השואה הוצאת 'יד ושם' ו'קיבוץ ארצי השומר הצעיר
44. 1934 Year Book p. 131
45. The Christian Quest Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1990, p. 77ff.
46. King, Christine Elizabeth. 'The Nazi State and the new Religions'. The Edwin Mellen Press, 1982.
47. 1974 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Brooklyn, N.Y.
48. Awake! April-June 1996, P. 4
49. Trost (German issue of 'Consolation') July 15, 1938
50. Awake! August 22, 1995 p. 15
51. Awake! August 22, 1995 p. 11
52. Bettelheim, Bruno. 'The Informed Heart'. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1960.
53. "מול האויב הנאצי, לוחמים מספרים" כרך א'. ארגון נכי המלחמה בנאצים. בסיוע "יד ושם". תל אביב, תשכ"ב - 1961
54. ר.פ.האס "הקומנדאנט מאושוויץ מעיד. רשימותיו של רודולף פרדינאנד האס."
55. Yona Malachy. 'American Fundamentalism and Israel'. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Professor Y. Malachy who received his doctorate from Sorbonne was “a scholar who was qualified as were few others to deal with his particular subject.” From the preface to the book by Professor R.J. Zwi Werblowsky.
56. Yona Malachy, ibid., p. 59.
57. Ibid., p.75
58. Ibid., p.76
59. According to 'Jehovah’s Witnesses', everybody outside of their sect is a heathen.
60. By “Satan’s organization” they mean 'The League of Nations', the predecessor of the U.N.. 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' declared themselves to be the sole representatives of God on our planet. As such, all individuals and organizations have to submit themselves to them. And since 'The League of Nations' and all the countries affiliated with them, didn’t do so, they’re considered by 'Jehovah’s Witnesses' as representatives of Satan.
61. J.F. Rutherford, 'Vindication' Vol.2, p.258
62. Let God Be True, 2nd ed., Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
63. Yona Malachy,p.80.
64. Ibid.,p.p. 76,80
65. Ibid., p. 80
66. Ibid., p. 83