It has been a year and a half since the pandemic turned the world upside-down and inside-out. And the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has done their part to overturn the cart—no pun intended.
Bethel did not merely comply with government-imposed lockdowns; no, they did more! Watchtower representatives have actually boasted that they were out in front—imposing their own stringent lockdowns before the civil authorities even ordered it. And apparently, they are intent on keeping JW’s shut up in their homes even now as everything is opened up. Even though stores and offices, churches, and schools have reopened and life is back to “normal”, Jehovah’s Witnesses remain locked out of their Kingdom halls and forbidden from even standing on a street corner or visiting an interested person in their home. And while government authorities in America are pushing a massive door-to-door vaccination campaign Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to visit their neighbors. Strange days, these!
Stranger still, while the Governing Body is keen to give frequent “updates” on the pandemic—regularly reporting on the slowly mounting death toll to heighten the fear and justify their tyrannical lockdown—at the same time, the Watchtower is pretending that nothing has changed. Take as evidence the May 2021 Watchtower article entitled: Maintain a Positive Attitude Toward Your Ministry. For an organization that prides itself on publishing spiritual food at the proper time, the information is presented as though Jehovah’s Witnesses were still going about their ministry as before. It is bizarre. For instance, the following excerpt is taken from paragraphs three and five:
But in other parts of the earth, publishers find the preaching work to be more of a challenge; people are seldom at home, and those who are at home may show little interest in the Bible… Many Witnesses find it increasingly difficult to contact people in their homes. Some publishers live in areas where there are many high-security apartment buildings or gated communities. Other publishers can go from door to door without any interference, but they find few people at home. Still other publishers preach in rural or remote areas where few people live. The publishers may cover great distances just to try to contact one householder —who may not even be at home! If we face these types of challenges, we must not give up. What can we do to overcome such obstacles and have a productive ministry?
Granted, articles appearing in the magazines are written many months before they are published, but surely this article was written during the past 18 months. Why then pretend that nothing has changed? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to offer practical suggestions for writing letters and doing telephone solicitations? Maybe I am wrong. Maybe this article was written a couple of years ago. But if that is the case, why publish it now?
Bending reality to manipulate someone is called gaslighting and that is exactly what the Watchtower is doing. It is gaslighting Jehovah’s Witnesses. (See definition of gaslighting.)
The Watchtower condemns itself. The reality-benders claim that “publishers can go from door to door without any interference, but they find few people at home.” How not true!
Since the lockdown began 18 months ago hundreds of millions of people have been at home who ordinarily would not have been. As a result of thousands of stores and businesses having been closed for a time many employers are now rethinking their business models and are allowing employees to work from home either full or part-time even though offices have reopened. It is the perfect opportunity for Jehovah’s Witnesses to reach people with a message of comfort and hope. And even though there are no government restrictions against knocking on someone’s door the masters of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not permit it.
The gaslighting continues in paragraph nine:
In order to contact people who are hard to reach at home, some publishers have changed the location where they preach. For example, street work and the use of literature carts have proved to be effective methods to meet people who live in large apartment buildings where door-to-door witnessing is not permitted. This allows the Witnesses to speak face-to-face with people who may otherwise be unreachable. Also, many publishers have found that people are more likely to converse or to accept literature in public parks, markets, and business districts.
Cart witnessing ought to be showcased in the Warwick museum as part of theocratic history. It is true, large apartments and condominiums are inaccessible—lockdowns notwithstanding. So, why stop the cart witnessing? Even health experts have admitted, perhaps reluctantly, that the transmission of the Covid virus outdoors is very low. This BBC article explains why that is the case. Supposedly, only a “handful” of cases have been traced to outdoor transmission. Being struck by lightning is much more likely. There is virtually no risk of transmitting or contracting Covid outdoors. That is a fact. Jehovah’s Witnesses could continue the cart witnessing work without worry of being infected or infecting others. Perhaps wear a mask for show, to put people at ease.
But, no, reality doesn’t even factor in. The GB has made the claim that they have consulted with health experts to get their input in formulating the organization’s policy. Really? And these “experts” did not inform Bethel that the risk of spreading Covid outdoors is virtually zero?
In truth, the only thing preventing Jehovah’s Witnesses from “speaking face-to-face with people who may otherwise be unreachable” is the dictates of the Governing Body. While acknowledging the effectiveness of having a presence on a public street, and pretending that nothing has changed, the leadership of the Watchtower is openly exposed as standing in opposition to what had previously been acknowledged as the work of Christ. Finally, consider what is stated in the last paragraph:
Jehovah views all human life as precious. He gives us the privilege of working along with his Son in gathering people from all nations before the end of this system comes. Our preaching work could be likened to a rescue mission. And we are like members of a rescue team sent to free people trapped in a mine. Although only a few miners may be found alive, the work done by all the rescuers is valuable. The same is true of the work we do in our ministry. We do not know how many people will yet be rescued from Satan’s system. But Jehovah can use any one of us to help them.
The Watchtower says it is all hands on deck for the great rescue work Jehovah is sponsoring. Time is short. Life is precious. The ministry is life-saving. It is the will of God. Jehovah will use you as a minister if you make yourself available.
Meanwhile, in one of the JW Broadcast “updates” last year a Governing Body member berated JW’s who might not be living in fear. He cited a Proverb about the foolish person who presses ahead and ignores the danger and pays the price. Life is precious. That is why the Governing Body will not allow JW’s to stand on a street corner, knock on a door, visit a householder whom they personally know, or meet together in a Kingdom hall. It is a great rescue operation underway spearheaded by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, but it is far too risky and foolhardy to engage in it.
Dear Jehovah’s Witnesses: You are being gaslighted!
For your palms are polluted with blood
And your fingers with error.
Your lips speak lies, and your tongue mutters unrighteousness.
No one calls out for righteousness,
And no one goes to court in truthfulness.
They trust in unreality and speak what is worthless.
They conceive trouble and give birth to what is harmful.