The Watchtower Society and Human Rights

Norman Hovland

Watchtower literature occasionally publishes articles about Human Rights. Usually when they think these rights are violated in connection with the Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses. The November 22, 1998. Awake! magazine dedicate 14 pages to this theme.

Already on the front page of the magazine the informed reader notices the first serious problem. The magazine asks if we will ever experience Human Rights for all? Anyone familiar with Watchtower doctrine knows that this is a subtle reference to the future "Kingdom". As usual the magazine completely omit to mention how this "Kingdom" is to be realized. There is no mention of the most treasured of Watchtower doctrines and the pride and joy of all faithful Jehovah's Witnesses, namely the hitherto unprecedented genocide that will take place to make the Watchtower "Kingdom" possible. And of course the Awake! isn't interested in mentioning the Convention against Genocide, which can be summed up in these words:

"Convention against Genocide
This convention bans acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. It declares genocide a crime under international law whether committed during war or peacetime, and binds all signators of the convention to take measures to prevent and punish any acts of genocide committed within their jurisdiction. The act bans killing of members of any racial, ethnic, national or religious group because of their membership in that group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, inflicting on members of the group conditions of life intended to destroy them, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and taking group members' children away from them and giving them to members of another group." (Source:

So in other words, Human Rights Watchtower style is going to be ushered in beginning with the worst Human Right violation in the history of mankind. And this is of course making the Watchtower God the worst Human Right violator ever. Make any sense to you?

Awake! goes through the motions with some general information about the history of Human Rights and on pages 8-10 there is a short summary about how Human Rights stand today.

The magazine quotes article 1, of the Human Rights declaration:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

The Watchtower Society, their faithful followers violates this principle grossly because they of course don't consider any non-witness in such a manner. And of course the Watchtower God doesn't care much about your rights if you're not a Jehovah's Witness.

Awake!, also mention article 4:

"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."

What about all the people who are held in servitude by Brooklyn, who has taken their families and loved ones hostage, and keep people enslaved under the threat of Df'ing and shunning?

When the magazine goes on to mention article 18, it gets really tragicomic. Article 18 sounds thus:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

Unbelievable isn't it? What happens to a Jehovah's Witness who changes his religion? Do Brooklyn and their followers respect this right? Or do they implement sanctions against such a person? In the Jehovah's Witness mind only Catholics and others have this right, and only if they change their religion to being a Jehovah's Witness. After they have become a Jehovah's Witness this right disappear.

The next article quoted, article 23 is also interesting. Instead of quoting only the last part of the article as Awake!, does I will quote it in full:

"(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."

Seeing what section 1 of article 23 say, one can certainly understand why Awake! didn't want to quote it. Do Jehovah's Witnesses have a "free choice of employment"? Can they without sanctions from Brooklyn work for Churches, the Military, etc? Of course not. How's the pay for Bethel workers? And how many trade unions do they have represented at Bethel? The Watchtower track record on Human Rights isn't much to brag about, is it?

Awake!, goes on to quote article 25:

"(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection."

As we all know, Jehovah's Witness families are denied the right to decide what kind of medical treatment they want. When it comes planning for their future welfare regarding pensions etc, we all know what effect the Watchtower Society constant shouting about the end being near, have had on such arrangements. Another Watchtower Human Right violation.

But what about all the other articles which the Awake!, didn't mention? What about article 5 for example:

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

How about the Watchtower Star Chamber courts? How about disfellowshipping and shunning?

Article 8 should be very interesting for anyone who want to make the Watchtower Society responsible for their many violation of Human Rights:

"Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law."

How does the Watchtower Society live up to article 10?:

"Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."

Does the Watchtower Star Chamber courts live up to these rights? Have Jehovah's Witnesses the right to: "a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal"? We all know the answer to that.

And what about article 12:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

Do Jehovah's Witnesses have this right? Do the Watchtower Society and its elders respect this?

And how does the Watchtower Society live up to article 19?:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Do Jehovah's Witnesses have "freedom of opinion and expression"? Can a Jehovah's Witness express opinions contrary to Brooklyn, without interference? Can a Jehovah's Witness, "seek, receive and impart information" without interference from Brooklyn? How does the Watchtower handle the first part of article 21?:

"(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives."

What happens to a Jehovah's Witness who tries to exercise this Human Right? Well, we all know the answer to that don't we?

Then on page 11, the Awake!, states that Human Rights for all is a reality all over the world! Responsible for this astonishing feat is according to the magazine a non-government education program which is going on all over the world and it is carried out by (surprise, surprise) non other than, gasp, Jehovah's Witnesses in 230 countries!! According to the magazine this is all due to a "higher source". The problem with this reasoning is that this "higher source" is the very same one that is going to carry out the unprecedented genocide, "very soon, any day now".

In this part of the magazine human rights seem to boil down to race and not waging war. And then it is introduced the old well know code word for the old millennial "Kingdom", namely "World Government". But again not a single word is said how this "World government" is to be implemented. The Awake!, concludes by stating that, if you want to know how soon this "World Government" will be a reality, you should allow the Jehovah's Witnesses to study with you, that will give you a satisfactory answer. Yeah right!

As demonstrated and documented above the Watchtower Society couldn't care less about human rights, because they violate them all the time. The only interest Brooklyn has for these rights are when they can gain something themselves, by shouting about them. As we can see they have absolutely no intention of granting these rights to their members.