Watchtower Cover of September 15, 1982
Change Forced by Liquor Company
Each issue of THE WATCHTOWER is later reprinted in a bound volume at the end of the year. But the issue of September 15, 1982 was reprinted with a different cover picture. (Foreign editions printed after the U.S. English edition also featured the new cover.) Why? What made the Watchtower Society stop using the original red sunset porch silhouette and replace it with a scene of trees and mountains? The answer is so shocking to Jehovah's Witnesses that the Society is trying to cover it up.
| A leopard can't change its spots, but THE WATCHTOWER can change its cover. And that's exactly what THE WATCHTOWER did, when it got caught red-handed 'borrowing' a liquor company's picture. Here's what happened:|
Since the middle of 1981 the red sunset porch silhouette liquor ad appeared in several major U.S. magazines. Then THE WATCHTOWER's issue of September 15, 1982, was published with the same picture (slightly modified) on its cover. When questioned, official Watchtower spokesmen at first claimed their artist had drawn the same picture simply "by coincidence."
However, Comments from the Friends, in its October, 1982, issue, publicly exposed what THE WATCHTOWER had done. Ex-JW's also ran newspaper ads, made phone calls, wrote letters, etc., making known the source of THE WATCHTOWER's cover picture.
In the midst of such publicity the liquor company found out what had happened. Not about to swallow the "coincidence" story, they had their legal staff contact the Watchtower Society. Caught red-handed with the liquor company's picture on its cover, and eager to avoid further embarrassment, the Watchtower Society agreed to an out-of-court settlement. Obviously included in this was the provision that they stop using the liquor company's picture in their publications. Here is the original Johnny Walker picture:
So, when the year's WATCHTOWER magazines were reprinted as a bound volume at the end of 1982, the cover of the September 15th issue featured a different picture. (Foreign language editions printed weeks after the English edition were also changed.)