Peoples since the beginning of time have been revising their history. When a person in favor with the king lost his status or went rogue, his name was never spoken again. If his likeness or name was carved into the walls, the walls were destroyed or erased. Officially, he never existed. A number of books have been written that include this topic of revisionism or denialism, with 1984 by George Orwell being among the most famous. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is another great book that is ironically about the banning of books. It was itself a banned book for many years and may still be in certain places of the world. Sadly, we as Witnesses find ourselves in this position, and there are many books we are banned from looking at or reading by our leadership. If we are seen or caught possessing them, a judicial inquiry will begin, and a possible heresy trial will ensue.

Is this an over-dramatization of what might happen? A few of the friends I’m able to speak openly to about this have said as much. Serving as an elder for the years I did I can unequivocally tell you that these kinds of trials can and do happen regularly. “Loyalty questions” will be asked. (Research McCarthyism for more on this) And when a person is cast out and DFed or DAed they are marginalized. One of the main goals is to silence and expunge that person from history. Is everything that they ever did or said now invalidated? Do you believe that? Are they now an evil apostate lying in their own filth returning to their vomit? This is unfortunately the mindset of some that attend at the Kingdom Hall. Not all, but many feel this way. It is because of the conditioning that we have all received that these ideas and behaviors are sometimes ingrained into us. I tried to get someone to read a book that would really help explain my point once. Here’s how the conversation went. The first question they asked was:

“Are they DFed?”

My answer: “Not when they wrote it.”

Response: “Are they DFed now?”


“Then I don’t want to read it- ever.”

…Then there was some silence…Then I was told:

“All you do is fill your mind on these negative, slanderous things from those that will agree with you. Why not get help from the brothers that are there to help you?”

My answer: “And when they ask me loyalty questions and I give even one wrong answer, they will attempt to spiritually execute me by disfellowshipping me. I don’t want that. I love Jehovah, I love Jesus, the Scriptures, and the friends at Hall too. I am not doing anything wrong. I have never been reproved, and have not engaged in any wrongdoing. There is no profit to be gained by meeting with or seeking out this kind of help. They wouldn’t even be able to address my concerns because they are completely ignorant of the points I would wish to discuss.”

…Silence again…




And on and on it goes. Possibly hundreds of us on this site, and certainly tens of thousands of other Witnesses all over the world have gone through this scenario with a friend or loved one, and it is sad. But regardless, we need to keep an open mind. We need to be willing to accept counsel like Hebrews 12:5,6 which says:


But YOU have entirely forgotten the exhortation which addresses YOU as sons: “My son, do not belittle [the] discipline from Jehovah, neither give out when you are corrected by him; 6 for whom Jehovah loves he disciplines; in fact, he scourges every one whom he receives as a son.”


You can’t believe everything that you hear or read. We don’t want to go off half cocked. We need to be corrected and we welcome that. But at the same time, we cannot stop searching the scriptures, studying the truth about the truth, and pursing our Christian Freedom. (John 8:32) We can’t and we won’t. When I first started awakening I did an intense study of the Proclaimers book, and the history of the Watchtower Organization. Are there examples of Revisionist history there? Dozens and dozens of them- perhaps more. And it still continues to this day.  The WT is constantly re-writing itself, even stooping to the point that it will change something written in an original magazine, and the bound volumes and CD-ROM copies will say something different. Here’s one example of this at work:

The 1989 WT has been altered to reflect a failed prophecy



There are more of these examples, but the point is this: Revising history is not going to hide the truth. Trying to erase a person from memory or destroy their credibility is not right. Who would do these things and still claim to be God’s mouthpiece? Why would we think that they are God’s spokesmen when they do so?



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17 Comments on Revisionist History and Keeping an Open Mind

  1. LonelySheep says:

    JJ thanks for the article.

    Just a quick question, what tool did you use to publish your diagram. I am looking for something similar so that I can lay out diagrammatically my understanding of the Parousia amongst other topics.


  2. greybeard says:

    Well done JJ!

    The WT does not note these changes because they don’t want to look like fools.


    • greybeard says:

      This just points out the fact that the GB/JWorg is sneaky. Remember when the number of those that partook of the Lords Evening Meal was going down? It got down to around 8000 and they never failed to point that out at every celebration. For the last several years the number has been increasing and they don’t even mention it. Are these not the real fruit that Jesus taught us to produce? Those who are in a covenant relationship with Christ? They are not even proud of this number at all. Try to figure that one out. It makes no sense!


      • Anonymous says:

        they are trying to keep face – they are not interested in truth but rather in promoting their own selves as being the only authority.


  3. andrew says:

    It’s funny but I remember way back when I read the proclaimers book it just didn’t have the ring of the whole truth. In the bible we see serious sin and weaknesses even on the part of God’s servants like Noah, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, Peter, the apostles etc. etc.

    The proclaimers book makes it sound that even when God’s modern servants were wrong it was only because they were awake spiritually. When they were wrong it was for the edification of the brotherhood. Even back then I remember it just didn’t sound like the whole truth.


  4. Mark M says:

    Hi JJ,

    AMEN! I loved the post! The most recent example of this I have found is in the 2/15/2010 Watchtower, page 16 paragraph 8. You will see a picture of the 1918 handbill inviting people to hear J.f. Rutherford’s talk, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”. However, in the Watchtower article the paragraph gives the title,
    “Millions Now Living MAY Never die”. It seems to me that there is a difference between the words “Will” and “May”. I believe this was deliberately changed, yet my wife feels this was an oversight. I know and you know that these articles are scrupulously examined before they go to print. As far as I’m concerned, this was no accident.


  5. JJ says:

    I found the scan. Go here:

    Unfortunately, this is not the best example of WT revisionism, because originally Rutherford said “Millions Now Living MAY Never Die”. It took off so well that shortly after the ad campaign began he changed it to the familiar, “Millions Now Living WILL Never Die”.

    Just keeping us honest. It still is a dubious alteration, but not a smoking gun folks. I appreciate your example Mark. I imagine there are many, many more.


  6. Mark M says:

    Thanks for the clarification JJ. Sorry folks! JJ can you give me verification of your comment, (originally Rutherford said “Millions Now Living MAY Never Die”)? I have never heard that before. Also, when the article I quoted first came out, I was all over it and never knew someone had posted it online. If I can see proof that I was wrong I will gladly retract my statement to my wife and show her that this was so. I don’t want to mislead anyone. Please accept my apology folks.


    • JJ says:

      Mark- Please don’t apologize, your reference is a good one IMO and it illustrates the fact that deception has sometimes been used in a “theocratic warfare” way by the writers and editors of the WT magazine.

      I was just putting a finer point on it, saying that it I didn’t think it was an example of revisionism.

      Your are on the money honey don’t worry be happppeee lol.


  7. Simpleman says:

    JJ I would like to know what software you used to make the diagram, its pretty neat.


  8. JJ says:

    Simpleman/Lonely Sheep

    Photoshop or Corel Draw is good for these kinds of graphics, but can be complicated. I also like it’s free and pretty good too.


  9. LonelySheep says:



  10. Ann O'Maly says:


    “Read Solomon’s Ecclesiastes.”*

    “Is the writer a true worshipper?”

    “He was when he wrote it. But as you know, he later apostatized.”

    “Then I don’t want to read it – ever. Why dwell on the negative, defeatist, ‘all is vanity’ stuff?”

    *Assuming the view that Solomon was literally the writer of this book.


    • DanielB says:

      Ann O’Maly, I haven’t yet understood about your quotation marks in this comment you gave us to ponder. Will you clarify whether or not these are your thoughts or someone else’s? I would like to offer a reply.

      I have been giving King Solomon’s words in this work thought, for a reply to you.

      I think I can help your understanding some here.

      Christian love,

      daniel b


  11. Thomas says:

    Outstanding point. Solomon and Ray Franz’s writings can’t be read by that logic.
    Of course Ray wrote large sections of the Aid/Insight book, other books,
    magazine articles, etc.


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