I was a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, born in the early 1950s to parents who were both second-generation JWs. My dad was in Bethel from 1938 through 1946 when he left to marry my mom. In his last years he worked in the Correspondence Department, which later became the Service Department, so he knew all the Bethel big-wigs and was on friendly terms with them. My mom grew up as a JW from the early 1930s. Her mom and many relatives became JWs in the early 1930s, after Aunt Emma "got the truth". Grandpa was never a JW, although he was not opposed and began attending meetings in his 70s. In the 1940s grandma liked to entertain "Bethel boys" (they lived on Long Island a short distance from Brooklyn), and one of those boys became my father. Around 1920 my dad's mom became a Bible Student, but her husband never did. After 1931 she professed to be "of the anointed".
My dad entered Bethel at about age 20 and rapidly progressed in standing with some of the big boys in Bethel. After he and mom married, they were declared more or less non-persons by the Bethel big boys, but after five years they became persons again. My dad was rapidly given more organizational responsibilities. He was the Congregation Servant in the Hempstead, New York congregation until about 1958, when Nathan Knorr sent him to the Bellmore, New York congregation. He was the Assembly Servant for many Circuit Assemblies and often spent much time at Bethel doing pre-convention work for the summer District Assemblies at Yankee Stadium. He continued until his health deteriorated in the early 1960s. He then became inactive, although he always thought of himself as a JW. My mom continued "strong in the truth" until her marriage fell apart in the late 1960s. She and my stepdad were disfellowshipped for three years. After their reinstatement they became extremely active as JWs, and he became a much-loved elder. Over the next 40 years they regularly entertained Governing Body members and other Watchtower officials at their home.
From my teens onward I vacillated between enthusiastic acceptance and irritation at various Watchtower teachings. During one period of enthusiasm at age 15 in 1967, I got baptized. A few months later the Society came out with its doctrine that organ transplants were a form of cannibalism and so were forbidden for JWs. I thought that was ridiculous and argued with my dad about it, but I put it aside in the usual way that JWs are taught to "wait on Jehovah". Over the next decade I vacillated, nearly quitting but eventually becoming sufficiently accepting to marry a pioneer sister in 1975. I was soon appointed a Ministerial Servant.
After the Society's 'prediction' of Armageddon for 1975 had fallen through, I began having dark thoughts about the future. I kept thinking how unpleasant it would be in 30-40 years when I had worked all that time at a lousy job and Armageddon still had not come. Soon my non-JW father-in-law convinced me to go to college, which my JW wife was fine with since she liked nice things and was not getting many on my low salary. So I went to a community college for a year, then transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for three years, where I got a degree in Electrical Engineering. Soon after entering college I became inactive as a JW, for the last two years rarely attending meetings and never going out in Service. After college I got a good job at an electronics company and moved to Oregon, where I tried to get enthusiastic about the JW religion. But after the Society came out with more ridiculous teachings, I could not take it any more and permanently became inactive. I attended the occasional meeting and most assemblies only because my wife begged me to. By the early 1990s our marriage had deteriorated, and we eventually divorced.
During the 1980s I thought about the foundations of the JW religion and the reasons behind some of its teachings. I always had good relations with other JWs, keeping out of the personal quarrels that many JWs got involved in, so bad personal relations were never the source of my misgivings. Rather, it was always the Society's teachings, whether they were actual Bible teachings or just its own ideas. While in college I tried writing a term paper for an anthropology class, where I wanted to defend the Society's teaching that languages originated when God confused them at the Tower of Babel. When I used MIT's extensive library to look up all the source references from relevant Watchtower publications, I found that many were unusable. Either they failed to support the author's argument by being irrelevant, or they actually misrepresented the author. So I gave up on that paper and tried to write a defense of creation against evolution. But the misrepresentation of source references was even worse, so I gave up on using the Society's publications, since using those dishonest quotations would have gotten me a failing grade. That left a sour taste in my mouth about accepting anything the Society wrote at face value.
I had always been interested in physical evidence regarding Noah's Flood, and during the 1980s I occasionally did research on such. I gradually realized that hardly anything the Society had taught was correct. In 1986 I accidentally learned that the Society had largely abandoned its traditional teachings about such evidence (it quit using many of the arguments of young-earth creationist "flood geologists"), but it never informed the JW community of this major change. Over the next five years I learned about a variety of physical evidences that showed that Noah's Flood never happened. During that time my JW wife asked a young elder to discuss these things with me, but after a year or so we both realized that neither he nor the Society had any answers, so we left off our discussions. He suggested that I write to the Society and set out my evidence. Of course, I knew that would be useless, so I put off doing it for several years. Finally, in 1991 I became motivated to write such a letter, but it gradually ballooned into a 150-page tome. I extracted the most telling parts and wrote the Society a letter, but of course it never answered. This tome was the basis for the article titled "The Flood" in the "Old Articles" section of this website. Having written a long essay on Noah's Flood, I then wrote another long essay on the Society's views on evolution versus creation (see "The WTS View of Creation and Evolution" in the "Old Articles" section), which among other things examined the claims made in the first half of the 1985 book Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?. These essays were mainly intended to organize my own thinking on these topics.
Upon finishing the evolution/creation essay, I discovered the Newsgroups on Usenet, which were the main Internet forums for discussion until the advent of the World Wide Web in 1995. So in August 1992 I discovered that the Creation book was being attacked by critics and defended by JW apologists in the Newsgroups talk.origins and talk.religion.misc. I jumped into the fray and put to good use all that I had learned in writing my two long essays. Over the next few years I met many ex-JWs, JW critics, and JWs, and wrote many more articles. These articles gradually became more focused toward convincing JWs that their religious leaders were thoroughly dishonest, and they gradually found their way onto several Internet forums. One man had been reading several of these forums and, around 2000, asked permission to compile my articles and those written by others into a website, which morphed in 2006 into the corior.blogspot.com site. That site is no longer maintained, so I made my own website where the English contents of corior.blogspot.com are duplicated.
This new website, critiquesonthewatchtower.org, presents articles written since 1991 by myself and others, often presented on various online forums, about many defects in the claims and teachings of the Jehovah's Witness religion. This religious organization controls the various Watchtower corporations, which in turn issue marching orders to the worldwide community of Jehovah's Witnesses. On this website I use terms like "the Watchtower Society" somewhat loosely, in accord with the Society's traditional usage and that of Jehovah's Witnesses individually, and how I was trained from infancy. The religious organization that today calls itself "Jehovah's Witnesses" controls the top-level corporation called Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. This owns and controls various other corporations such as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., International Bible Students Association, Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.
For most of the 20th century Jehovah's Witnesses lumped all of these terms into "the Watchtower Society" or "the Society". These terms meant "the group of JWs who are the leaders of the JW religion". Until the early 1970s these leaders were practically identical to the board of directors of the Watch Tower and Watchtower corporations, although in practice just one or two men were the actual leaders, such as Joseph F. Rutherford, Nathan H. Knorr, and Frederick W. Franz. In 1971 the "Governing Body" was formed, most of whose members were also Watch Tower directors. In 2000 the corporations were reorganized and new ones were formed, and the Governing Body members were no longer directors of any of the legal corporations. Of course, through unspecified, extra-legal means this Governing Body completely controls all of the Watch Tower corporations. Given these terminologies, JWs often would say, "the Society directs that we should should do thus and so." Beginning in 1998 these terms were gradually used less often as the JW Governing Body made itself more prominent in the ken of individual Jehovah's Witnesses. Older JWs today often use "the Society" to mean "the Governing Body". The term "faithful and discreet slave" was long used as a synonym for the worldwide group of JWs who professed to be "of the anointed". In 2013 the Society changed its doctrine such that "the Governing Body" is identical with "the faithful and discreet slave".