An enterprising ex-Jehovah's Witness has been sued by the Watchtower Society for "a loss of reputation and goodwill."
Peter Mosier has set up a web site operated out of Canada that does nothing but present short quotes from literature published by the Witnesses. The site, http://quotes.watchtower.ca*, is grouped by subjects such as Dates, Present Truths, Oscillating Truths, and Abandoned Truths. Of course, excerpts are chosen to illustrate discrepancies in JW prophecies, and contradictions in doctrine and teachings. It was the failed prophecies that caused Mosier to abandon the Jehovah's Witnesses several years ago. (*Note: The Watchtower website has been taken down since the writing of this article.)
The lawsuit claims that Mosier has violated copyrights by quoting more than is allowed under the fair use laws. He says that the quotes are one-tenth of one percent of the source material used. His attorney says this is well within the fair use limits. For older Watchtower material with expired copyrights, Mosier has quoted entire publications.
There is no doubt that the material is an embarrassment to the Watchtower. JWs have much to be embarrassed about, particularly in the area of failed prophecies. Thomas Heinze, in his book Answers to my Jehovah's Witness Friends, details many of the specific prophecies that failed to occur. Starting in the late 1800s, JW leaders predicted the beginning of the Millenium in 1872 with the "breaking into pieces of the kingdoms of this world and the establihment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens." When this failed to occur, they moved the date to 1975 which also passed without fulfillment.
Christ's second coming was also predicted to occur in 1874. When He did not appear, they claimed that He did come incognito. Leader Charles T. Russell declared, "Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874."
Heinze points out how this contrasts with the biblical account of Jesus coming in the clouds so that "every eye shall see him."
One of the most bizarre events was the construction of a house in San Diego, California, in 1929, to be occupied by "faithful men of old [who] will soon be resurrected by the Lord, be back on earth, and take charge of the visible affairs of earth."
Heinze points out: "When it became obvious that the prediction would not be fulfilled, the house became an embarrassing monument to a false prophecy. It was sold in 1948!"
Heinze covers a wide range of subjects that soul winners need to know when dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses. These include their view of salvation, deity and resurrection of Jesus, eternal punishment, Bible interpretation, significance of the name "Jehovah," and prohibition against blood transfusions. Because witnessing to JWs is a difficult and frustrating job but we need to be well equipped to show them the errors of their Watchtower teachings. Heinze has given us a short but powerful summary of the essential tenants of their false faith and ways of lovingly sharing with them the Truth.