The Douglas Walsh Trial 1954. The Watchtower under oath. Exposing the Watchtower Dictatorship over Jehovah's Witnesses. Most of the researchers here need no introduction as to the "exposing" testimony recorded within this 762 page court transcript. The 1955 Watchtower, June 1, pp. 329--332 displayed a four page article describing some of the details of this trial. No mention, however, was made of this 762 page transcript. Approximately 18 years later, after the transcript had been made public and widely circulated, the Watchtower decided to publish mention of it in their 1973 Yearbook, p. 133. Please note these two quotes which are almost identical. Watchtower-1955-June-1-p.330 "The whole of the evidence had taken seven days to give." Scan--(See small arrow at very bottom right) http://m1.freeshare.us/view/?129fs2491178.jpg And approximately 18 years later! 1973-Yearbook-p.133 "The whole of the evidence took seven days to present and covered 762 pages ofmanuscript." Scan--(See small arrow near bottom) http://m1.freeshare.us/view/?129fs2491979.jpg Many researchers studying this trial wondered why the Watchtower did not mention a 762 page manuscript back in 1955 in their Watchtower article, and why approximately 18 years later the Watchtower did mention the manuscript in their Yearbook! Could it be that back in 1955 the Watchtower realized how damaging this transcript could be and wanted to keep it swept under the carpet? Could it be that some 18 years later, after the Watchtower thought the coast was clear, they mentioned the transcript to save face because it had already been widely circulated and the Watchtower knew they had already been exposed? Do you really think we would get a "truthful" answer from Watchtower leadership if we wrote and asked them after reading the answers they gave "under oath" in Scotland? For those who may not be familiar with this transcript we will list only a few of the statements made by Watchtower leadership. (Credits go to Cult Awareness + Information Centre)
Court Admissions of Control by Leaders - Excerpts from the 1954 Scottish Trial
UNITY - FORCED OR SPONTANEOUS?
The Watchtower Society consistently boasts about it's organisational unity. However, research shows that rather than being spontaneous, it is an enforced unity. The testimony of Watchtower leaders in the Douglas Walsh Vs the Right Honourable James Latham Clyde, MP., PC., Trial in Scotland (1954) confirmed this.
The issue was the Conscription of Jehovah's Witnesses into the Armed Forces. The questions put to representatives of the Watchtower Society were to establish the beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses for the Court.
Most Jehovah's Witnesses are unaware of this trial. Those who are aware claim it was biased. However, even if the reason for the trial was biased it does not alter the specific answers to the questions put to the Directors of the Watchtower Society. Surely THEIR answers were not biased.
UNITY AT ALL COSTS
During the Scottish trial the directors of the Watchtower Society admitted....
THE SCOTTISH TRIAL - 1954
The following testimony excerpts are from the Pursuer's Proof of Douglas Walsh vs The Right Honourable James Latham Clyde,MP, PC, as representing the Minister of Labour and National Service. Copies of the complete transcript or parts thereof may be obtained from the Scottish Records Office, H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland. The numbers following the quotations show the transcript page on which the testimony is found.
HAYDEN C COVINGTON - Former Lawyer for the Watchtower Society
Q. Is it not vital to speak the truth on religious matters?
A. It certainly is.
Q. You have promulgated - forgive the word - false prophecy?
A. We have. I do not think we have promulgated false prophecy, there have been statements that were erroneous, that is the way I put it, and mistaken.
Q. It was promulgated as a matter which must be believed by all members of Jehovah's witnesses that the Lord's Second Coming took place in 1874?
(A short discussion of evidence given by Fred W Franz about 1874 takes place here.)
Q. That was the publication of false prophecy?
A. That was the publication of a false prophecy, it was a false statement or an erroneous statement in fulfillment of a prophecy that was false or erroneous.Q. And that had to be believed by the whole of Jehovah's Witnesses?
A. Yes, because you must understand, we must have unity, we cannot have disunity with a lot of people going every way, an army is supposed to march in step.
Q. Back to the point now, a false prophecy was promulgated? A. I agree to that.Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah's witnesses?
A. That is correct.Q. If a member of Jehovah's witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong, and said so, would he be disfellowshipped?
A. Yes, if he said so, and kept on persisting in creating trouble, because if the whole organisation believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody else starts on his own trying to put his ideas across, then there is a disunity and trouble, there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching ...... Our purpose is to haveunity. Q. Unity at all costs?
A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah God is using our organisation,the governing body of our organisation, to direct it, even though mistakes are made from time to time. Q. A unity based on an enforced acceptance of false prophecy? A. That is conceded to be true.
Q. And the person who expresses his view, as you say, that it was wrong, and was disfellowshipped, would be in breach of the covenant, if he was baptised?
A. That is correct.Q. And as you said yesterday expressly, would be worthy of death?
A. I think....
Q. Would you say yes or no?
A. I will answer yes, unhesitatingly.Q. Do you call that religion?
A. It certainly is.Q. Do you call that Christianity?
A. I certainly do.
FREDERICK W FRANZ (President 1978 - 1999 )
Q. Can you tell me this; are these theological publications and semi-monthly periodicals used for discussion or statements of doctrine?
Q. Are these statements held to be authoritative?
Q. Is their acceptance a matter of choice,or is it obligatory on all those who wish to be and remain members of the Society?
A. It is obligatory.
Q. Is it for that reason that Jehovah's witnesses accept without question doctrines and Biblical interpretations as expounded by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society through its Directors?
A. Yes.Q. In publications both periodical and in book form?
Q. But I think you have told us already that an acceptance of the beliefs and facts is compulsory? A. Yes.
Q. And there is no possibility of picking and choosing amongst the facts which you will accept, and those which you will reject? It must be taken as a whole?
A. That is right. Each individual must prove it by the scriptures.
Q. Accepting the exposition of the scriptures in the manner you have already explained?
A. That is right.
Q. Am I right that you put what is described as the end of the time of the Gentiles in October, 1914?
Q. Is it not the case that Pastor Russell put that date in 1874?
A. No.Q. Is it not the case that he fixed the date prior to 1914?
A. YesQ. What date did he fix?
A. The end of the Gentile times he fixed as 1914.Q. Did he not fix 1874 as some other crucial date?
A. 1874 used to be understood as the date of Jesus' Second Coming spiritually. Q. Do you say. used to be understood?
A. That is right.Q. That was issued as a fact which was to be accepted by all who were Jehovah's Witnesses?
Q. But it was a calculation which is no longer accepted by the Board of Directors of the Society?
A. That is correct.Q. So that I am correct, I am just anxious to canvass the position, it became the bounden duty of the witnesses to accept this miscalculation?
Q. So that once again Judge Rutherford preached error?
A. He didn't preach the full round-about truth of the matter.
Q. In that particular, not putting too fine a point on it, he was in error?
A. He was in error.
Q. How was that error corrected?
A. We have had no book given out dealing with that particular phase of the subject.Q. But you haven't stopped publishing the book with that in it?
A. The book still circulates, and is a reference work to show that we believed at that time.
Q. How does one now joining Jehovah's Witnesses,and reading this erroneous view of Judge Rutherford's know that it is now regarded as erroneous?
A. Because he keeps up with the latest expositions and the latest publications in bound book form.
Q. But there is no latest or recent publication of the Society which brings to the notice of the Witnesses that that view held by Judge Rutherford is wrong?
A. The explanations given show that there is a different understanding of the matter to-day.Q. Where upon that particular point does the adherent to the society find any enlightenment?
A. In the publications that he reads.Q. Must he read all of them to arrive at the fact that upon this one point Judge Rutherford was in error?
A. It isn't necessary for him to read that Judge Rutherford is in error on that point. What he is interested in is in the present truth, the up-to-date truth. Q. Yesterday's errors cease to be published do they?
A. Yes, we correct ourselves.Q. But not always expressly?
A. We correct ourselves as it becomes due to make a correction, and if anything is under study we make no statement of it until we are certain.Q. But may one not assume that Judge Rutherford did not publish until he also was certain?
A. He published only when he was convinced, and he withheld publication until he was convinced that he was correct.Q. So that what is published as the truth today by the Society may have to be admitted to be wrong in a few years?
A. We have to wait and see.
Q. And in the meantime, the body of Jehovah's Witnesses have been following error?
A. They have been following a mis-construction of the Scriptures.Q. Error?
A. Well, error.
Q. Am I right that it was at one time forecast that in 1925 Abraham and other prophets would come back to earth?
A. They were expected to come back approximately then,Q. But they did not come back?
A. No.Q. It was published, was it not, to the body of Jehovah's witnesses, that that was expected in 1925?
A. Yes.Q. But that was wrong?
A. Yes, and Judge Rutherford admitted it to the Headquarters.
Q. Therefore, at baptism must he know those books?
A. He must understand the purposes of God which are set forth in those books.Q. Set forth in those books, and set forth in those books as an interpretation of the Bible?
A. These books give and exposition on the whole Scriptures.Q. But an authoritative exposition?
A. They submit the Bible or statements that are therein made, and the individual examines the statement and then the Scriptures to see that the statement is Scripturally supported.
Q. He what?
A. He examines the Scripture to see whether the statement is supported by the Scripture. As the Apostle says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
NOTE:-Does this imply discarding that which is NOT good if it disagrees with the Scripture. The Prosecutor seems to have been thinking this judging by the following questions put to Franz.
Q. I understand the position to be - do please correct me if I am wrong - that a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses must accept as a true Scripture and interpretation what is given in the books I referred to you?
A. But he does not compulsorily do so, he is given his Christian right of examining the Scriptures to confirm that this is Scripturally sustained.
NOTE:- The following on his "Christian right".
Q. And if he finds that the Scripture is not sustained by the books or vice versa, what is he to do?
A. The Scripture is there in support of the statement, that is why it is put there.Q. What does a man do if he finds disharmony between the Scripture and those books?
A. You will have to find me a man who does find that, then I can answer, or he will answer.
Q. Do you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretations of Holy Writ?
A. He comes......
Q. Would you say yes or no, and then qualify?
Q. A witness has no alternative, has he, to accept as authoritative and to be obeyed, instructions in the "Watchtower" or the "Informant" or "Awake!"?
A. He must accept those.
Q. Is there any hope of salvation for a man who depends upon his Bible alone when he is in a situation in the world where he cannot get the tracts and publications of your Incorporation?
A. He is dependent on the Bible alone.
Q. Will he be able to interpret it truly?
Q. I think you did say there was no minimum age for baptism?
A. That is except for infants, and those who are not mentally able to comprehend the meaning of baptism, and its responsibilities.
Q. What is covered by the term "infants'?
A. An infant in arms, baby baptisms with, possibly, a godfather standing in for the child.
Q. But from the age oftoddling upwards there is a potential of qualifying for baptism?
A. Yes, under parental instruction.
Please take into consideration that this is an old transcript and some of the ink on some of the pages appears weak. It is the way we received it. (Approx. 92-MB)
Click the link below and when the next page appears scroll down and a small red arrow will point to the download link.