An open letter to the Governing Body

January 10th, 2011

By “Brother Siam”


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published as a post on the JWN forum. With the kind permission of its author, we are republishing it here in a slightly edited format. [Here is a link to the original version.] “Brother Siam” is an active Jehovah’s Witness living on the West Coast of the United States. A Witness his whole life, he served as a pioneer for several years, and as an elder for seven years. He hopes that other elders in his position will read this and reconsider their responsibilities to their assigned flock. He invites your comments…


The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Watchtower Society, Inc.
New York, USA

Dear Brothers,

I served for seven years as an Elder in the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I recently relinquished this privilege for the following reasons:

1. My whole life I was taught that Armageddon is going to be here any moment and is “imminent.” The direction from the Holy Spirit said that the end was going to come in 1914, 1925, 1975, and before the end of the 20th Century. Your followers would “never grow old” or “fulfill any career.” That didn’t happen. “Imminent” and “soon” stretched on for over 100 years. These interpretations of Bible prophecy have proven to be false, and yet you continue to pretend that they were “directed by Jehovah.”

2. I was taught that there would be very few “anointed” left when the end came and that the number will decrease as the end drew near. The number of “anointed” is actually increasing.

3. I was told that field service is a “life saving work” that must be performed with a “sense of urgency.” So far not one person’s life has been saved. And even though the work is “urgent,” the antiquated method of calling on empty houses is still used as the primary way of trying to reach people. Television, the Internet, email, postal services, and social networking are not being used – even though the effectiveness of these methods has been proven. I doubt that you feel that this is a “life saving work” yourself.

4. We are taught as an organization that “the light gets brighter” as Jehovah blesses his servants with Holy Spirit and increased understanding. Is Jehovah responsible for flip-flopping doctrines such as the “generation” of Matthew 24:34? Organ transplants? Blood transfusions? The identity of the “superior authorities”? Or is it the men who claim to be “inspired”? Despite these changes, each time the credit (or blame) is given to Jehovah. If the members of the Faithful and Discreet Slave class were actually “inspired,” “faithful,” or “discreet,” these teachings would have never changed.

5. We are taught that we live in a “spiritual paradise” and associate with the “safest group of people on earth.” As elders we were given instructions that in some cases involving criminal behavior by members of the congregation, that we were not to tell the authorities or to warn the congregation. In the past, the organization has tried to sweep this problem under the rug, and continues to do so in a misguided effort to try to protect its reputation.

6. “Disfellowshipping,” as practiced within the organization, cannot be found in the scriptures. Would Jesus have treated sinners the way that we as Witnesses treat sinners?

7. I was taught that the United Nations organization is the “wild beast” described in Revelation, and is one of the organizations “controlled by Satan.” Despite this teaching, the Watchtower Society was partners of the UN for a number of years as an “NGO,” a Non-Governmental Organization. This is the very height of hypocrisy.

8. Even though the “truth” changes, if you believe something other than what is published as the “latest light” (right or wrong), you can be disfellowshipped. I personally have seen this happen. I choose to remain anonymous because of my fear that this will happen to me.

9. 1914 cannot be proven by scripture to be “the end of the Gentile Times.” No one, other than the Witnesses, believes that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE. Brother Russell used the Great Pyramid of Giza’s measurements to corroborate 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times. His calculation arbitrarily uses a lunar year of 360 days to come to a date based on a solar year of 365.25 days.

10. Even though I have been told repeatedly that world conditions are deteriorating in fulfillment of Matthew 24, earthquakes are not “increasing in frequency” according to the USGS. Crime rates have “dropped dramatically” according to the US Department of Justice. The lifespan of mankind has “risen significantly” since 1914 as pestilence has been treated, controlled, or eradicated according to the US Department of Health. Food shortages are decreasing. Wars are not increasing.

11. Even though I pray through Jesus to Jehovah, I am taught, and expected to teach, that Jesus is not our mediator. This is despite what the Bible says at 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

Brothers, these are some of the reasons that caused me to resign serving as an Elder. I cannot with a good conscience support an organization that pretends to be something that it is not – just as I cannot pretend to be something, or someone, that I am not.

I ask that you consider that the large number of appointed men resigning as being a symptom of a larger problem within the organization. The problem is the Governing Body assumes an arrogant and authoritarian position, in that it acts as God’s sole channel here on earth today. I can see it. Many others have seen it – and are quitting because of it. The vast majority that resign are not doing so because they want to live an immoral life without Godly principles. They resign because they are men of principle.

You cannot control people’s thoughts and intentions, even as much as you would like to. Jehovah created each of us with a sense of fairness and honesty – and most importantly with a free will.

Members of the Governing Body: I ask you to act as men of principle yourselves. Allow people to have the freedom to choose for themselves whether they want to be a part of your organization – or not, and if they choose to leave, allow them to do so without sanctions. Be honest and admit it if you are not sure of a scriptural interpretation; do not force people to believe something that you are not convinced of yourself. Do not allow past mistakes in policy or doctrine to continue to morph into future mistakes that may cost people their families – or even their lives. Lastly, protect the people who are under your spiritual care – not through secrecy, but through transparency – with the foremost quality of love in mind.

Your Brother,

SIAM

Categories: Documents & History, JW Teachings, Reprints

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  1. Hewwo

    1.Who says your definition of soon is the right one mister?
    2.Citations are appreciated….otherwise they’re just statements without any weight.
    3.Ridiculoso. Spiritually they’ve been saved, they’ve been saved as to where those people who used to do drugs and alcohol now are clean, saving their health, along with other immoral acts…stds….criminal acts..ect. And btw, the Society does use the Internet and postal service. How old is this letter?????
    4.Progression….
    5.I woudln’t know anything about that admonission, I’m not an elder
    6.There’s scriptual backing for it…. and yes, Jesus would treat sinners who are unrepentant like that, that’s what the process is for, for those unrepentant ones to not influence the congregation in a negative manner
    7.Omg. how long ago was that?
    8.Okay?
    9.Interesting topic, I’d say do more research and prove it for yourself, but in reality no one knows one way or another
    10. =O
    I don’t even know why I should justify this witha reply.
    There’s lack of reference points in his opinion, you can’t make a comparison without something to compare it too, and as far as I can tell it’s only referencing the United States.
    11.Where is he taught Jesus isn’t the mediator?

    So I know the guy who wrote this probably won’t read this,
    But, i’m just sayin, thought I might do some answering, yupyup.

  2. Editor

    Are you serious?

    “Ridiculoso”? “Yupyup”? If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, is this the best you can do? Is that how you’d answer objections while out in the door-to-door service? Shameful…

    Do you have any idea what the word (or term) “progression” means? It’s DEFINITELY NOT telling a new lie to cover up an old one, that’s for sure.

    “Progression” can be best described as adding new information to old in a way that increases the usefulness of the information. I can illustrate it best this way:
    Step one: I believe that you should buy a car.
    Step two: I believe you should buy a Ford.
    Step three: I believe you should buy a 4-door sedan Ford.
    Step four: I believe you should buy a four-door sedan Ford that is blue.
    Step five: I believe that you should buy a blue Ford four-door sedan and then drive it safely on your next vacation.

    That’s “progression.”

    What the Watchtower has been doing historically is like this:
    We say that “God told us to tell you to buy a Buick.”
    Ten years later we say “we never told you to actually buy a Buick (you just thought we did), but now God tells us that you should buy a Lincoln.”
    Then ten years later we say “because Lincolns are too big, too expensive, and make you look too important, you are breaking God’s laws, so buy a Honda Civic instead.”
    Then ten years later we say “owning any car (including a Honda Civic) is evidently against God’s commandments. Jesus walked – and so must you.”

    The Watchtower’s “new light” doesn’t really replace “old light.” What they are doing is using a “new lie” to replace an “old lie.”

    That is not “progression;” that by any definition is simply lying.

  3. Mike

    Siam. Honesty in life is worth protecting. Being honest with yourself and others. The maturity of an organization is seen when you resign, stating your reasons.
    Do they respect you and honestly admit their failings or do they shun you.

  4. For Immediate Release!

    Trying to wake up the WT HQ hierarchy to their errors would be like Catholics writing to the pope-dope & hoping he will dethrone himself. “It ain’t gonna happen,” friends. It’s a pipe dream.

    WTOrg has JWs convinced they need the org’s approval. Scripturally that is Wrong. You don’t need them but they sure do need you to keep their Titanic-full-of-Biblical-holes afloat. Jump ship! & if you can free a whole congregation with you, great. If not, save yourself.

    WT has created mental slaves of JWs who are terrified of claiming their God-given freedom in Christ. It’s like prisoners who are set free but are too terrified of making it on their own “out there” without “the system” to tell them what to do 24/7.

    Instead of sending letters hoping the ORG will change, send them a letter telling them YOU have changed (vis seeing the truth in Scripture & common sense re WT’s history). When Jesus wipes out false religion during the Trib & at Armageddon, the WT will be included in that bunch. You don’t want to still be sitting on WT’s knee nursing from their false interpretations & lies. “Cast out that bondwoman!”

    “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!”

  5. Samantha

    I haven’t been a witness for 19 years or so, and tend to spend little time in ex jw forums etc. I stumbled across the letter from the elder ‘Siam’ and found myself enthusiastically nodding at all of his points. For the JWs out there who will try to pretend this is not happening in your religion, ask yourself if this letter has the ‘ring of truth’. You cannot deny that it does.

  6. ken

    I am an ex jw and i can’t help but notice that most of these letters coming from disgruntled witnesses, sound like the same person is writing them. It seems like this website, for whatever reason, has an axe to grind with the JW’s and has gone to great lengths to discredit them. All I can say is where is the real people of God??
    This site goes to great pains to point out every discrepency of JW’s and how they couldn’t be the real approved people of God, but then doesn’t help us find which people are approved by God so that we can get the needed comfort and approval of God.Please , if you could take time out from your story telling, could you help me out in this most urgent matter , Please??

  7. Editor

    Ken: We’re not here to convince anyone to join another religion. We don’t espouse our own personal religious views. Some of the contributors to this site are quite religious and even evangelical, while others are atheists and agnostics. By far the majority of our writers and readers fall somewhere in the middle, having been burned out by their association with the JWs and tired of the control of the Watchtower Society. Who are we – and who are you – to tell others who “the approved people of God” are? Our editorial policy is to avoid going there, but rather to show that any claim by the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses of being that “approved people” can not be supported by the Bible or their own history. Plead all you want – but we leave it to you to decide what, if any, religion is the only one approved by God.

  8. David Paul

    Ken, if you are searching there is a map. It leads us away from religion into a personal relationship with Jesus.

    You can mark and follow the map coordinates as follows:

    Use the Watchtower library to find and mark the 152-odd occurrences of the phrase “good news” in your Bible. The website http://www.bible.cc may also help.

  9. The Rihkster

    It is true that many of the elders are resigning, not as a result of non-belief in God but at wondering how so many things can go so wrong in an organization that say’s it is so right.

    Show me one time in scripture where any apostle or Christ himself had to go back and correct anything they said? There is no error with Jehovah, not even in creation let alone his word and its meaning.

    The Douglas Walsh trial of 1952 Frederick Franz when pressed about the “new light” had to admit in open court that “old light” was infact “lies”.

    As witnesses you are told to be honest in all things, to admit wrong to correct that which you have done, but never once has this happened with the governing body. Jehovah as I know him is not a belligerent God and never has been. His word is precise and dedicated, his message for salvation open to all who live life according to his word.

    John 8 clearly showed the deep love Christ had when he challenged those ready to judge to show themselves without sin before judging, no one could. A message loud and clear that compassion rules not cutting off.

    Never once did Jesus ever say that the helper he was sending in Act 1 would ever give them the date or time of when the “kingdom” would be established. Yet many predictions have been made and never once has the society ever said “sorry” for ruining the lives of many who live borderline poverty and I know of many, or who hoped without doubt that they like the nation of Israel would see the “promised land”.

    I have nothing against witnesses at all, in fact i admire their zeal and devotion to their beliefs. It is however more and more evident by the use of “evidently” “probably” “possibly” “may have” as evidenced is the BTW book that guess work is not taking precedent over scriptural fact.

    Jesus did not say that we would have a complete understanding of his words, no man could possibly do so. He stated that the way to salvation was through him as the Messiah. God knows the hearts of all men, women and children not anyone on this planet can read a single intention.

    As for excommunication, In 1947 the society condemned the catholic church for using the very scriptures they now use to throw people out the church. It was not until 1951 or 1952 that they decided what they called an arrangement based in pagan ritual was in fact right.

    Russell hated the act of excommunication period.

    If in doubt leave it out is the simple principle we all live by.

    Arrogance has no place in religion and when you start your sentence by saying the “governing body” sent out this message, then you have left the life of the only savior known to man, Christ and have replaced him with men!

    Also. I have noticed more and more in your publications that the faces of the governing body as very evident and this is not at all in line with “discreet”. Looking back in older publications, not once did I see a picture of any of them.

    It is obvious to me that some sort of rebellion against them is about to happen, or God himself shall rise and remove them one by one, until then it remains with each one of the witnesses to stand up regardless of the cost and speak truth as truth is.

  10. Alan

    While I think it is very noble that you have alerted the governing body of their false teaching I find that it is likely that they are already aware of them. I strongly believe that apologetics and biblical teaching win many over to Christ but JW’s are different brainwashed breed. You have to lovingly reach out to the congregations and shower them in love even when they apostisize you. Thank you for writting this letter and showing their response

  11. Margaret

    Thank you speaking on JW teachings. Usually JWs who come to the door only want to speak on social issues, not actual doctrine. And nothing in the publications ever differentiate JW beliefs from protestant Christian belief, which makes me wonder why they bothered breaking off from the orthodox church in the first place.

    Regarding your governing body, my thought is if a person were to exhibit such controlling behavior as described in a few articles I’ve read on here, in a romantic relationship, it would be viewed as abusive. Jesus said those who lead should be a servant to all. Jesus, Himself, washed His disciples’ feet, voluntarily humbling Himself for their sake. This sacrificial love is what John 13:35 speaks about, that they will know we are Christians by our love.

  12. john newsome

    I am not afraid of this governing body located in Brooklyn, new York. They only have control of your mind if you let them-I broke away after 32 years and now I am up in age-When I broke away they asked me didn’t I believe the governing body was the chanell of God? My answer was this-” If you take Psalms 146-3&4 out of the bible then I will believe they are the channel of God” And what does Psalms 146-3&4 say? It says do not put your trust in nobles or important people-no do not put your trust in earthling man because he dies and goes back to the ground the same as you do” That’s good enough for me.

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