It is important to realize the difference between the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Society is the legally registered corporation for Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have branches which double as printing plants all around the world and they live in these “Bethel Homes.” The main headquarters are in New York. The Society make all decisions and decide doctrine, rules and policy. No accounts are shown to the ordinary members.
Although these men also call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses, they lead and are in charge, they have referred to themselves as God’s prophet. They are responsible for the claims and accusations that appear in the literature they produce.
They will often be referred to as Witnesses. To become a Witness is relatively easy. To become a member of the Watchtower Society is far harder and can only be achieved by appointment. Very few are asked to join. The highest rank is appointment as a member of the Governing Body. These men manipulate all Bible texts and decide how to apply them to Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are responsible for the changes that have taken place in their teachings over the years.
The average rank and file Jehovah’s Witness is in a different category. Most of them are sincere people, who have in many cases been attracted to the movement by a genuine desire to understand the Bible and serve God as best they can. They are often very kind people who have become unwittingly involved. Their distant and sometimes hostile attitude towards those outside the movement is a result of what the Society term “mental regulating,” in the form of books, magazines, lectures, question and answer discussions and private counselling - coupled with a fear of expulsion if they associate with anyone who their Society see as a threat to their cause.
Most members would show a great deal more empathy if they were not actively encouraged to view all outsiders as sinners who are about to be killed by the God they love. After many years in the movement and being trained to view all outsiders with suspicion, believing that they are a threat to their salvation, it is inevitable that some Witnesses have lost a great deal of their feeling towards people who are not part of their organization.
Taken from the book ‘Opening the Door to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ By Trevor Willis. Download available from http://www.lulu.com