Watchman Fellowship Inside the Watchtower Convention
What is it like to be surrounded by 4,700 Jehovah’s Witnesses as
an outsider looking in? This writer experienced that very thing
as the “Pure Language” District Convention in Amarillo, Texas in
the summer of 1990. Upon arrival at the Amarillo Convention
Center, the main parking lot was completely full, forcing the use
of an overflow parking lot – the first sign that this would be a
well attended convention.
Once inside, it was obvious that everyone had on their Sunday
best except… that’s right! – casual shirt, jeans and Cheetahs –
no doubt, an outsider. The Witnesses even wore nametags, so any
idea of blending in with the crowd quickly vanished.
The outsider realized that the Jehovah’s Witnesses would
recognize him as an outsider and that one of two things would
probably happen. They would either descend upon him, treating
him harshly as an enemy or they would reach out to him
compassionately as one seeking the truth (the more probable of
the two). Which would it be? Neither!
There was complete indifference. No one greeted him or even
spoke to him unless he asked a question. This treatment was not
uniquely given the outsider, however, as most of the Witnesses
kept to themselves or their own family members.
The joy of the Lord was unmistakenly absent from the convention,
which is not surprising when one considers that the Witnesses do
not worship the true Lord Jesus Christ. They serve another Jesus
(II Corinthians 11:4), the first and greatest creation of Jehovah
God, Michael the Archangel, instead of the Jesus of the Bible.
The word “slave” describes many aspects of the Watchtower Bible
and Tract Society.
First of all, the Society calls itself the “Faithful and Discreet
Slave” giving each Witness his “food at the proper time,” (Matt.
24:45, New World Translation (NWT), the Jehovah’s Witness Bible),
the one whom god appointed “over all his belongings” (Matt. 24:47
In turn, all Witnesses are subject to the “Faithful and Discreet
Slave” making them slaves to the Slave. In fact, one of the
earliest books written by a former Jehovah’s Witness was entitled
“30 Years a Watchtower Slave”, by William Schnell.
As evidence that the Society treats the Jehovah’s Witnesses as
their slaves, consider the following. They cannot:
– celebrate holidays
– celebrate birthdays
– salute the flag
– run for public office
– join the military
– sing patriotic songs
– receive a blood transfusion.
– go door-to-door with the Watchtower gospel
– believe the Society’s interpretation of the Bible
– believe that 1914 was a focal point in Bible prophecy
– turn in a time sheet showing the time they spent for the
Much more evidence could be given, but the Convention amplified
this concept of slavery to the Society. To start with, page two
of the program stated that the convention was “arranged and
directed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York,
Inc.” And just how much direction is given to the slaves at the
It appears that the most minute detail is not overlooked.
Examples from the program include:
“Attendants – the attendants are assigned to assist you. Please
cooperate fully with them by yielding to their direction…”
“Fist Aid – remember, this is for emergency treatment only.
“Lost and Found – …children who have strayed from parents and
are lost should be taken to this department. However, this
department is not to be viewed as a nursery. Please look after
your children and keep them with you.
“Seating – please by considerate of others. Remember, seats may
be saved only for your immediate family members and any who may
be travelling with you in your car…”
The Witnesses were told to stand for announcements. The
announcements were then given in a stern, commanding tone of
voice. A good example of items covered during the announcements
involved going to the concession stands. Only one member of the
family could go for the entire family and they needed to decide
what they wanted before they got there.
It was as if the Jehovah’s Witnesses could not think for
themselves, even in the small details. It is no wonder, though,
because they are not allowed to think for themselves when it
comes to their belief system. They must believe exactly as the
Society tells them to or risk disfellowshipping. The convention
demonstrated the power the Society have over the Jehovah’s
Witnesses in a very graphic way.
Other things of interest during the Convention would include:
– The music. It was “canned” with a man leading the crowd with a
baton. The Witnesses did not seem to enjoy the songs at all. It
was very uninspiring.
– Testimonies. There were several who told what life as a
Jehovah’s Witness meant to them. One said that the Faithful and
Discreet Slave (not Jehovah or Jesus) had given him sufficient
supply to live life. A high school student told how he turned
down his coach’s request for him to play basketball because it
would interfere with the Watchtower meetings on Tuesday and
Thursday nights. His goal was to serve at Bethel (headquarters
for the Watchtower in Brooklyn, NY).
A high school graduate told how he turned down a scholarship from
AT&T because of the type of people he would be associating with
(those abusing drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.). His objectives were
to keep reaching out as part of Jehovah’s Organization (the
Society) and to live forever in Paradise on Earth.
What better career could there be than to be a Pioneer in
Jehovah’s Organization (a pioneer id one who spends an average of
100 hours per month in the field of ministry, primarily going
door-to-door and conducting book studies).
– Contributions. Contribution boxes were placed throughout the
convention center with attendants sitting next to them.
– Literature. A new booklet entitled “How Can Blood Save Your
Life?”, dealing with the Society’s teaching against blood
transfusions, was released at the Convention. One copy was
offered free to all in attendance (including the outsider who
took them up on their offer!).
Experiencing a Jehovah’s Witness Convention first hand made the
outsider extremely thankful that he has a saving relationship
with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is great to be a son and not a
slave. It was a depressing experience to see so many enslaved to
an organization when they could be free in Christ. When it comes
to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, it is preferable to an
outsider looking in, even when outnumbered 4,700 to 1.
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