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What is the Watchtower Society?

By Adam Hill
Updated May 23, 2024
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The Watchtower Society refers collectively to the corporations used by the religious group known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. These corporations carry out the group’s publishing needs, as well as administrative and other purposes. Before 2001, the term “Watchtower Society” was often used to refer to Jehovah’s Witnesses as a whole, including by them in their own written works. Since that time, the church has made an effort to distinguish between their religion and the Watchtower Society.

The corporations known as the Watchtower Society are owned by the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Outside of these, three other corporations exist, which were all incorporated in 2000. Their purposes include furthering the operation and interests of the Jehovah’s Witnesses outside of the United States, as well as construction of the church’s houses of worship, known as Kingdom Halls.

Millions of copies of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature, including bible tracts, are distributed every month. The Watchtower and Awake! receive particularly high circulation, which is increasing on a worldwide level, and they are both translated into dozens of languages. These tracts were sold to the public at cost until the early 1990s, and since then have been distributed free of charge. Donations may be given by those who are so inclined.

The employees of the corporations that make up the Watchtower Society are volunteers who live and work at the company headquarters in New York as well as at over 100 different branch offices with worldwide locations. A small portion of member donations go to pay the living expenses of these volunteers.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses trace their origins back to the 1870s and were called Bible Students until the adoption of their current name in 1931. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” comes from a verse of scripture in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. The church uses the version of the Bible known as the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. The congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses usually meet three times a week in simple houses of worship that do not display crucifixes or images as many Catholic and Protestant churches do. Each congregation is led by elders who oversee the teaching of the congregation and offer advice and guidance as needed to those they teach.

Members of the religion also meet in larger yearly assemblies where many congregations join together for Bible instruction. During these yearly meetings, those who have recently converted to the faith are baptized. Altogether, the church has millions of members worldwide.

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Discussion Comments
By anon171026 — On Apr 28, 2011

I could be the writer of post 8 - it is identical to my to my own situation. These beliefs scare you into believing and fearing god! they only prey on the weak - the ones they can control. How sad to have a group of believers made up of such people!

By anon138552 — On Jan 01, 2011

I believe all this to be garbage. Faith is in your heart and mind. The biggest sin is the sin that organized religion tries to force upon us. Trying to force us to choose only one way, their way.

If there truly is a God, (outside of my heart) then he has got to be disgusted with the battle of the religions. My husband has been brainwashed into believing what the watchtower tells him is gospel. I say BS. I've battled his temper, addictions and much more, but this is the biggest battle of my life. I'm so very disheartened by these teachings. It's so phony.

The watchtower and its following prey upon the weak-mindedness of individuals who feel they need something in their life, a better way if you will.

I've been doing research on the jehovah's witnesses and it's full of deceit. This cult (as I prefer it to be known) is ruining peoples lives, mine include. How sad. Do some research! Who founded it and why? I did. You'll be surprised.

By anon119677 — On Oct 19, 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses believe exactly what it says in the Bible about Jesus, that he is the Son of God, the firstborn of all creation and is not equal to God. Jesus said this himself when he said "The Father is greater than I am" at John 14:28

Jehovah God The Father created Jesus first then all other things were created with and through Jesus.

This does not downgrade Jesus Christ who is our way to God and our saviour and ransom provider.

By cherry12 — On Jun 07, 2010

I studied the Bible with JW. They refuse Christian doctrine. They are the same organization as the Pharisees and the scribes. they have the same teachings and everything.

They are the same secret society religion. why? Because they hold their teachings a secret. They are more about looks and status just like them.

the pharisees and scribes' belief spread all over the world. Yes people from this organization killed Jesus and killed his disciples and after killing Christians (they killed the Jews in the 1930's with Hitler). The Mormons are the same organization just like them. They both have the same teachings except Mormons claim to worship Jesus, but refuses christian doctrine.

The Mormon and Jw have a book called Reasoning From the Scripture. The guy who wrote it wrote for both organizations. he is with the government secret society. I studied with both!

By anon52233 — On Nov 12, 2009

check out what the bible says in john 10:30 and john 12:44-46. also chec out 2 john 7:11. these scriptures shut down their whole operation. the bible teaches that whomever does acknowledge that jesus christ is the son of god has the an antichrist spirit!

By anon39650 — On Aug 03, 2009

More importantly, do Jehovah Witnesses believe Jesus is God? They do not nor do they worship Jesus as Messiah. This is a big difference from what the Holy Bible says Jesus is.

By tamscor — On Jun 04, 2009

Do jehovah witnesses believe in the upper room experience in the Acts chapter 2? Do they believe in the speaking of tongues as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Do they believe that the Holy Spirit speaks and lives on the inside of a person? Do they believe in the power of the Holy Spirit?

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