George Orwell, in his novel 1984, did Catholic apologists a great favor by coining the term "doublethink," which he defined as "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." It’s the most succinct way of describing certain religious beliefs. For an illustration of doublethink one need look no further than the Mormon church’s doctrines about God.
The sect known as Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) began with Charles Taze Russell in the 1870’s. Russell was raised a Presbyterian, then joined the Congregational church, and was finally influenced by Adventist teachings. By his own admission, he had a hard time accepting the existence of hell. He sought out the Bible, and as his "studies" continued, he systematically began to reject the major doctrines of historic Christianity. He ultimately established his own belief system, and in 1879 he started publishing a magazine to promote his beliefs.
There may be no religious organization that engages in more publishing, proportionately to its membership, than the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Watch Tower Society or WTS for short)—the publishing arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Each month Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) distribute millions of books, magazines, and pamphlets, in dozens of languages. Many of these are intended for non-Witnesses to try to convert them, but others are intended for Witnesses themselves.
Some core beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) were examined in our tract entitled Stumpers for Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this "sequel" tract, we will examine some additional beliefs and teachings of the Watchtower Society (WTS), the parent organization of the JWs.
Fifty years ago the Jehovah's Witnesses numbered fewer than 100,000. Now there are several million of them around the world. They don’t have churches; they have "Kingdom Halls" instead. Their congregations are uniformly small, usually numbering less than two hundred. Most Witnesses used to be Catholics or Protestants. Let’s look a little at their history, because that will help us understand their unique doctrines.
Some religious organizations (Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-Day Baptists, and certain others) claim that Christians must not worship on Sunday but on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. They claim that, at some unnamed time after the apostolic age, the Church "changed" the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.