Expanded JW.org, Mini-Mags Announced

The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has sent out a letter to all congregations worldwide announcing major changes in how it will distribute the “good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom” starting in June 2012.

Dated April 2, 2012, the letter states that elders will make an official announcement about the contents of the letter after the Watchtower Study during that week. Insiders leaked copies of the letter in several languages, allowing several Jehovah’s Witness discussion forums and websites to publish excerpts and PDF versions of the original letter to their readers on March 24.

The letter describes how the Watchtower Society plans to expand its use of the Internet in the next few months. The organization plans to combine its three official websites under the JW.org banner and then deactivate Watchtower.org and JW-media.org domains. The letter states, “The redesigned jw.org Web site is planned for release around the beginning of June 2012. It will paint an appealing picture of our preaching work, branch offices, Kingdom Halls, and conventions…Selected features from our magazines that can be presented more effectively on the Web site will now be published only on jw.org…In addition, a series of online articles available only on the Web site will present concise, clear answers to questions about the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Emphasizing and expanding its Internet presence is a major change in direction for the Governing Body and the Society. Historically opposed to the Internet since the “world-wide web (WWW)” first appeared in the late 1980s, the Watchtower has  written many articles warning its members against using MySpace.com, Facebook, Twitter, and other social websites. Personal computer use and accessing the Internet has been a frequent subject at assemblies and conventions for several years. Convention speakers have warned Jehovah’s Witnesses about visiting “apostate” websites and forums that might expose the Watchtower’s past errors, false prophecies, and embarrassing leadership. In fact, many local congregations have taken a hard-line against the Internet. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses have been reprimanded or disfellowshipped for discovering facts about the Society on the Internet and then making the mistake of bringing their questions to local elders or writing letters to headquarters. The Governing Body has labeled any online resources that discuss Watchtower history and teachings not owned by the Society as “apostate sites” – even if former Jehovah’s Witnesses do not run them.

Even though current versions are hardly more than pamphlets, the letter states that starting with the January 2013 issues, both the Awake! and public editions of the Watchtower shrink from 32 to 16 pages. The Watchtower places the blame for this change on their difficulty of “acquiring paper and equipment for printing.” One benefit mentioned in the same paragraph is an expanded worldwide readership. “Since each issue will contain less material, it may be possible for more translation teams to be able to translate every issue of the Awake! and the public edition of the Watchtower, thus increasing the number of languages in which they are available.”

The “study edition” of the Watchtower will continue as a 32-page magazine. Because this “private” version is limited for distribution only to active Witnesses and their families, there are rumors that the Our Kingdom Ministry may discontinue as a separate publication in the future and its essential articles included within the “study” Watchtower.

Some critics explain the Watchtower’s change of heart on the subject of the Internet in purely economic terms: (1)The business side of the Watchtower Society has finally realized that the Internet is the only low-cost method to get the “good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom” out to the farthest reaches of the globe. (2) They’ve also discovered that delivering the message is far cheaper when a few Bethel volunteers send it out electronically – compared to expensive paper, ink, and postage required for magazine distribution.

How JWs will distribute printed literature locally has not been clearly defined in this letter. There is a possibility that local Kingdom Halls will eventually have to use local computers and printers to make copies they’ll need for local door-to-door witnessing.

In spite of its apparent change of policy, the Society’s leaders may not want to acknowledge that many active Jehovah’s Witnesses have been extensively “preaching and teaching” on the Internet for many years. You can find JWs commenting on many non-approved websites (even those strongly opposed to the Society) and starting their own discussion threads on sites like Yahoo!Answers. As a rule, these Witnesses are easy to spot because of their heavy use of “JW Truth-speak” – since most quote directly from Watchtower publications and tend to use a lot of Watchtower lingo and phraseology unknown to the public.

It should also be noted that the letter states that this new information “should be kept strictly confidential  among the elders until the letter is read…” Even though “the cat is out of the bag,” Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t officially hear about these changes until after the Watchtower study on Sunday, April 8th – unless they’ve heard everything through local gossip or have been on websites like this one. In fact, some lower level elders and ministerial servants aren’t supposed to hear the announcement until it is publicly presented to the rank and file publishers in their own Kingdom Hall.

Read “The Letter” for yourself…

8 thoughts on “Expanded JW.org, Mini-Mags Announced

  1. Here is where I think the WT is headed:
    1. get all material on line in PDF format.
    2. Force every Cong. to take a loan from the WT to buy a color printer.
    3. The Cong. is to Print on Demand, paying for the toner and paper themselves.
    4. The Cong. must pay off the loan within 6 mos.
    5. at 7 mos. the printer is deemed inadaquate, and the cong. is forced to take another loan for a new printer.
    6. The old printer is picked up by the WT free of charge (and sold on Ebay).
    7. goto step 3.

  2. JAH bless everyone! Instead of thinking negatively about Jehovah’s Witness, why not examine closely their teachings. Everyone in the congregation is surely sinful imperfect human beings, who is not anyway?

    But is there anyone as instrument to show the light better than Jehovah’s Witnesses?

  3. If you took the time to read the articles and comments on this site, then you have to know that the teachings of JW’s have not only been examined closely, but also proved wrong! I will also say that yes we are all imperfect as humans..but we are not all liars as the Governing Body of JW’s.

  4. @Fruit of the spirit – As Faith wrote, you are the one who should closely examine what the Watchtower is teaching and preaching. Every one of us that have written articles on this website were Jehovah’s Witnesses (and some still are) for many years. We know that all men are imperfect in a Biblical sense, but we still have the ability to research and reason. I suggest that before you simply accept what the Watchtower teaches at face value, that you really devote yourself to honest research as we have. Do you really want to give up your future and your life to a false organization just because that’s what THEY tell you to do? We don’t all think negatively about Jehovah’s Witnesses and we’ll even admit that the Society has done some good things in the past. On the other hand, don’t close your mind and tell yourself that you will only think positive thoughts about the WT and bad thoughts about websites like this one, even when it is clear that the WT leaders are lying about Bible truth at the same time they are cheating local congregations out of their property and personal assets. You will be the one to suffer – not us – if you choose to close your eyes, ears and mind to the facts.

  5. This change would be great if the WTS actually offered the real TRUTH, who is none other than CHRIST JESUS. But being that they do not offer Jesus, the following applies to them:

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to” (Matthew 23:23).

  6. When Christ Jesus was before Pilot, he stated: “…For this reason I was born, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me….[Pilate replied] “What is truth?” It is now some 2000 years later and as a race we are still killing people because one mans truth is another mans lie…our days are nubered.

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