As most people on this site have come to know, the "New World Translation Committee", the group claiming responsibility for the "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures", consisted of Fred Franz and a bunch of lackeys who did busy-work. Franz was the only one hwho had even a passing knowledge of Biblical Hebrew & greek.
The 7/15/11 WT's comments about "mentally diseased" apostates is causing quite a stir in the UK in print and online. There are numerous threads on that topic on this board today.
The phrase "mentally diseased" in this context is a direct quote from 1 Timothy 6:3-4 from the NWT:
3 If any man teaches other doctrine and does not assent to healthful words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the teaching that accords with godly devotion, 4 he is puffed up [with pride], not understanding anything, but being mentally diseased over questionings and debates about words. From these things spring envy, strife, abusive speeches, wicked suspicions,
However, most other translations don't come anywhere near to using that terminology. Here are a few examples:
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions
3 If anyone ( E ) advocates a different doctrine and does not [ d ] agree with ( F ) sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine ( G ) conforming to godliness, 4 he is ( H ) conceited and understands nothing; but he [ e ] has a morbid interest in ( I ) controversial questions and ( J ) disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,
21st century KJV:
3 If any man teach otherwise and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes over words, from which cometh envy, strife, railings, evil suspicions,
And there are of course dozens of other translations - none of which even intimate "mental disease".
I'm quite sure that neither the Writing Committee, nor whichever GB member has oversight of them, thought anything about that comment in the Watchtower. After all, it's a direct quotation from the NWT! How can you go wrong with that?
Now of course, they are probably scrambling - undoubtedly answering dozens or hundreds of phone calls to the London branch, preparing for possible police investigation, etc.
If the story gains traction and spreads to other countries, especially the US, they'll go into full crisis mode.
Because of the words a semi-educated translator with limited knowledge of Biblical Greek happened to choose 60+ years ago, which words just quietly lay there, not bothering anyone, until now.
Poor ol' Freddy! Never in a million years would he have imagined all the trouble his choices of words would make so many decades after he picked them!