B J Kotwall

(Investigator 23, 1992 March)

Many Jehovah's Witnesses are unaware that the Watchtower Society (WTS) encourages them to lie.

According to the WTS to lie and deceive in the interests of their religion is scripturally approved. They call such lying "theocratic war strategy".

Consider the following quotation:

"A Witness of Jehovah was going from house to house in Eastern Germany when she met a violent opposer. Knowing at once what to expect she changed her red blouse for a green one in the very next hallway. No sooner had she appeared on the street then a Communist officer asked her if she had seen a woman with a red blouse. No, she replied, and went on her way. Did she tell a lie? No, she did not. She was not a liar. Rather, she was using theocratic war strategy, hiding the truth by action and word for the sake of ministry." (The Watchtower WT 1957 May 1 p. 285)

The JW lied to keep out of trouble and it was a human reaction. The WTS which claims to be "God’s organization" lauds her for acting properly.

Jesus did not congratulate Peter for his lie in denying that he was a follower of Christ. Neither did Jesus urge his other disciples to emulate Peter in order to protect their faith. In fact Jesus gave Peter such a look that Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62) But in the above incident there is no evidence of remorse on the part of the woman JW for behaving the way she did!

The book Qualified to be Ministers (1955) says: "Jehovah’s Witnesses are an organization of truth. We should want to speak the truth and be absolutely accurate at all times." (p. 304)

Was the JW woman above speaking "the truth…absolutely accurate in every detail"? Certainly not.

The WTS informs its followers that they are not: "under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it." (Insight on the Scriptures Volume II p. 245)

Also: "for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies… This comes under the term ‘war strategy’." (WT 1960 June 1 p. 352)

The WTS automatically classes all who question its teachings as "God’s enemies" and all those outside the WTS as being under the influence of the Devil (Revelation—Its Grand Climax at Hand! 1988 pp. 228, 234, 270, 271) The Devil’s influence would of course also extend to the courts of law and the presiding judge. So in fact the WTS’s reasoning provides JWs with a carte blanche to lie to most of the rest of the world!

A 64-page booklet titled Preparing for Child Custody Cases (PCCC) was designed by the WTS for use by JWs and their attorneys involved in child custody cases.

The book emphasises that the JW lifestyle is beneficial to the child. It tells JWs: "there is no need to hide or distort your religious beliefs".

Similarly The Watchtower advises: "Should circumstances require a Christian to take the witness stand and swear to tell the truth, then, if he speaks at all he must utter the truth." (1960 June 1 p. 352)

However, the actual tactics suggested in PCCC are contrary. The children and their JW parent are encouraged to deceive the court by telling lies and presenting a fake lifestyle, fake ambitions and fake goals!

Let’s contrast some of the PCCC counsel to JWs on how to respond in court with what the WTS says in other publications. This will demonstrate the dishonesty of the WTS to the extent of encouraging perjury:


"Many try to portray the beliefs and practices of JWs as dogmatic and restrictive… emphasise the fact that you have formed your beliefs and adopted your practices after much study and reflection; your religion is not simply a matter of rules imposed by the elders. You want to emphasize the fact that you are a thinking…individual. (PCCC p. 3)

"Avoid Independent Thinking ... questioning the counsel provided by God’s visible organization." (WT 1983 January 15 p. 22)

And: "Fight Against Independent thinking." (p. 27)


"Be careful they [the children] don't get the impression that they are in a demonstration at the circuit assembly, when they would show that the first things in life are service and going to the Kingdom Hall… Be careful they don’t all say that they are going to be pioneers." (PCCC p. 43)

"I now have the joy to serve as a regular pioneer and that is my wish for all young people." (WT 1979 April 1 p. 14)

"While school counsellors will hold out one kind of career, Christian parents can stress goals that will satisfy the child's growing interest in serving Jehovah, such as pioneering…" (WT 1986 August 1 p. 29)

"Instead of pursuing full-time secular jobs, thousands have chosen to serve as full-time evangelizers (pioneers). Others serve as foreign missionaries or at branch offices of the Watch Tower Society." (Awake! 1989 May 8 p. 12)


"Plans can be trade, getting married and having children, journalism, and all kinds of other things." (PCCC p. 42)

"Should they marry now? No, is the answer supported by the Scriptures. There is no reasonable injunction to bring children into the world before Armageddon where we are now." (WT 1938 November 1 pp. 323-324)

"Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after highschool, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them ‘brainwash’ you with the Devil’s propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. This world has very little time left! ... Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal." (WT 1969 March 15 p. 171)


"In the past many have feared or distrusted mental care professionals (Psychologists and psychiatrists). There is no basis or need for such preconceived fear or distrust." (PCCC p. 53)

"…as a rule, for a Christian to go to a worldly psychiatrist is an admission of defeat. It amounts to ‘going down to Egypt for help.’ - Isaiah 31:1… Also, more and more psychiatrists are resorting to hypnosis which is a demonic form of worldly wisdom." (Awake! 1960 March 8 p. 27)


"Show that you are a loving and caring parent who wants the best medical care possible for your child… You do not want to give the impression that your religion requires you to allow your child to die should a medical emergency arise." (PCCC pp. 5, 55)

"If she died [because of refusal to allow blood transfusion] she would have a chance for the new earth. Stated bluntly, better to die now maintaining integrity." (Awake! 1951 May 22 p. 5)

"Another case of integrity keeping was manifested in recent years when a thirteen-year-old girl in Berlin was found to have leukemia. The doctor explained that transfusions of blood would make the girl more comfortable and stave off the progress of the disease. The mother...refused to permit transfusions to be given... This girl did die…" (WT 1971 September 1 p. 531)


Since the WTS appeals to the Bible for their support in lying we should know what the Scriptural position on lying is. The following is an extract from The New Bible Dictionary:

LIE, LYING (Heb Seqer ‘falsehood deception’; kazab’‘lie or ‘deceptive thing’; Gk. pseudos and cognates). Essentially a lie is a statement of what is known to be false with intent to deceive. (Jdg.. xvi. 10, 13) Biblical writers severely condemn aggravated forms of lying e.g. that which perpetrates a fraud (Lv. vi 2 3) that which secures wrongful condemnation (Dt. Xix. 15) and the testimony of false prophets (Je. xiv. 14). Lies may be expressed in words (Pr. vi. 19), a way of life (Ps. lxii. 9), error (2 Thes. ii. II), or a false form of religion (Rom. i. 25). The prophets regarded lying as a specific expression of the principle of evil (Ho. xii. I). Lying is prohibited as repugnant to the moral conscience of Israel (Pr. xix. 22), because of its anti-social effects (Pr. xxvi. 28), and above all, as incompatible with the divine Nature (Nu. Xxiii. 19). Jesus declares that Satan is the father of lies (Jn. Viii. 44). All falsehood is forbidden in the Christian community (Col. iii.9).

Lying is characterized in various ways, e.g. Cain’s evasive answer (Gn. iv 9), Jacob’s deliberate falsehood (Gn. xxvii. 19), Gehazi’s misrepresentation of his master (2 Ki. v 21- 27), and the deception practised by Ananias and Sapphira (Acts v. 1-10). Lying is the sin of antichrist (1 Jn. ii 22), and all habitual liars forfeit eternal salvation (Rev. xxi. 27).

I Sa. xvi. 2 does not justify the expedient lie. God merely suggested an ostensible reason for Samuel’s visit to Bethlehem, and the prophet was under no obligation to divulge his real purpose. Again, 1 Ki. xxii. 20-23 implies that God permitted a subterfuge that His righteous judgment should be enacted upon Ahab. In such passages as Gn. xii. 10-20 it is clear that deception is not condoned nor recorded as an example to follow.

  We have seen that the WTS encourages JWs to lie. What many JWs do not know is that the WTS has also repeatedly lied to and deceived them as well. The WTS has practiced "theocratic war strategy" on the JWs themselves!This subject will be treated another time.


[Editor's note: When Mr Kotwall wrote the above article in 1992 the directors of the Watchtower Society of Pennsylvania were all members of the JW Governing Body and wrote or approved everything published by the WTS. In 2000 CE the Governing Body resigned their positions in the WTS but, being the spiritual heads of JWs, they retain authority over it.]


(Investigator 24, 1992 May)

In Investigator 23 Mr Kotwall argued that a sectarian booklet called Preparing For Child Custody Cases encourages children of the sect to lie in court.

In taking custody of an 8 year old boy away from his sectarian mother and awarding it to the father a Johnson County, Kansas, court ruled:

33. Members of the Jehovah's Witness group are furnished with a booklet prepared by the Watchtower Society entitled, "Preparing For Child Custody Cases", the purpose of which is to instruct adherents of the group involved in custody disputes how to testify so as to conceal from the courts the true limitations and restrictions placed upon children by the lifestyle and beliefs of the group...

34. The booklet, "Preparing For Child Custody Cases," recommends the giving of testimony under oath which is known to [be) untrue.

– In the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas, Civil Court Department. In the Matter of the Marriage of Joni Rae Estes and Raymond Scott Estes, No. 89C6103, Court 9, Chap. 60, ruling by District Judge James W. Bouska, September 5, 1991    
Of course this judgment is the judge's conclusion in this particular case. The District Court of Johnson County is near the bottom of the American legal hierarchy. If the sect appeals the judgment it could lead to the Supreme Court of Kansas making a ruling on the validity of the District Court ruling. If the Supreme Court agrees with the reasoning of the lower court it will become a binding precedent in all Kansas courts but the decision of the District Court will by itself not bind other courts.

The Supreme Court of Kansas can in its turn have its decision confirmed or rejected by the US Supreme Court – if the sect thinks it wise to take the dispute that far. The Supreme Court's decision will be binding on all courts in the United States.


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