Why Fear the Truth?

Norman Hovland

Yes, this is the question asked by the October 15, 1962, issue of the Watchtower. The article then gives some excellent examples of the reason for some people fearing the truth. The article naturally implies that Jehovah's Witnesses are very different from others in this respect. They are of course fearless and uncompromising on their search for truth.

The question which presents itself in this regard is the following: Are Jehovah's Witnesses different from everyone else when presented with evidence contradicting their own belief system? Are Jehovah's Witnesses afraid of investigating the organization's own history and teachings? Do they do this with full confidence that truth will prevail, or do they have such a great fear that they dare not undertake any investigation? Does the Watchtower Society encourage the individual Jehovah's Witnesses to investigate such matters?

The above mentioned article said:

"When Jehovah's witnesses call on the homes of people in the course of their Christian educational work some persons refuse to speak with them, even rudely closing the door in their face, and others decline to read any of their publications because, as they state, their ministers forbid them to read it. Are not these people manifesting the same fear of the truth as those who refused to listen to Paul?" (The Watchtower, June 15, 1962, page 358)

How horrible! Imagine that! Some people actually refused to speak to them, and declined to read any Watchtower publications! And it becomes even clearer when they gave the reason. Their ministers forbade it. Well, well, how appropriate isn't the conclusion drawn in the same quote.

These people were "manifesting the same fear of the truth as those who refused to listen to Paul". Yes, of course I totally agree, people who wouldn't even talk and read something, just because they were told so by their ministers, do manifest a very strong fear of the truth!

How would the fearless Jehovah's Witnesses react if someone occupied in educational work, came to their door and wanted them to read material which were critical to their beliefs? If they refused to talk, and declined to read, wouldn't they manifest the same fear of the truth as the people described in the quote above? If they declined to read just because their "ministers" forbade it? Are Jehovah's Witnesses any different than those people described above?

Let us find out:

"Do you wisely destroy apostate material?"
(The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, page 12)

"Now, what will you do if you are confronted with apostate teaching -- subtle reasonings -- claiming that what you believe as one of Jehovah's Witnesses is not the truth? For example, what will you do if you receive a letter or some literature, open it, and see right away that it is from an apostate? Will curiosity cause you to read it, just to see what he has to say?" (The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, page 12)

Yes indeed, what would you do? And even more interesting, what would your "minister" want you to do? Well, here's the answer:

When the Watchtower forbids its members to read literature critical to themselves, and labels it "spiritual pornography", they expect to be obeyed without question. At the same time the Watchtower claims that people who refused to read their own literature do so because they have fear of the truth! When the Jehovah's Witnesses do exactly the same we don't see the word fear mentioned anywhere. I do agree that the ministers couldn't have much confidence in their teachings and their flock, but are the Society's leaders any different? But since the Watchtower leaders for natural reasons can't use the word fear, what was their reason why the Jehovah's Witnesses shouldn't read the material?

"When a fellow human tells us, 'Do not read this' or, 'Do not listen to that,' we may be tempted to ignore his advice. But remember, in this case Jehovah is the One who tells us in his Word what to do." (The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, page 13)

Smooth reasoning eh? When everyone else refuses to read the Watchtower, it is out of fear of truth. When Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to investigate their own beliefs it because God has forbidden it!

The real reason why both the ministers and the Watchtower forbids their followers to read critical literature is excellently summed up in this quote:

"The religious leaders were not happy that the common people were being set free. They did not want to lose their position of authority and the hold they had on the people." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1962, page 357.)

The Watchtower leaders are naturally no more interested in losing their authority and hold they have on the Witnesses than the leaders of Christendom. That's the whole idea of religion anyway. To take "hold" of the individual and keep that "hold".

As we can see the Witnesses and the Watchtower are absolutely no different from all the others who want to believe in an illusion rather than know the truth. People with such a mental attitude will never experience real freedom. Many religious people hold to religious views for which there is no Scriptural or any other support and they are naturally afraid of anything dealing with this, and they understandably, fear the truth. They simply don't want to face up to the fact that their cherished beliefs are only figments of human imagination. As we can observe every day here on this forum [H2O], absolutely nothing is scarier for a faithful Jehovah's Witness than the truth!