I recently finished reading Animal Farm, written by George Orwell. As someone who has recently awoken to the truth about the Truth, this book blew my mind. The parallels with the Watchtower Society are quite astounding. I found that as each page turned, things just leapt out from page as being the same, if not very similar to the way things happen in the life of a Jehovah’s Witness.
Check it out:
Animal Farm: In Major’s speech he says “Our lives are miserable. We are born, forced to work. No-one is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery.”
JWs: Humans separated from God are miserable and hopeless. No-one is free, all are slaves to sin, and then death.
Animal Farm: Major goes on to say “And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their natural span.”
JWs: “Time and unforseen occurrence befall us all.” “Glutted with agitation.” “We fly away.”
Animal Farm: Major continues “Your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray.” “Among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.”
JWs: Never swerve from the Truth. The world will lead you astray. Higher education is frowned upon. We must have unity. All those outside JWs are bad association. No grey, just black and white.
Animal Farm: “Majors speech had given the more intelligent animals on the farm a completely new outlook on life. They did not know when the rebellion predicted by Major would take place, they had no reason for thinking that it would be within their own lifetime but they saw clearly that is was their duty to prepare for it.”
JWs: Are told and believe that they have special knowledge and that their eyes are open compared to those in the world. They are told and believe that the end will come in their lifetime even though there is no reason for thinking so. They prepare for this even though there is nothing that could prepare them for the end.
Animal Farm: “The work of teaching and organising fell naturally on the pigs who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of animals.”
JWs: Allow the Governing Body to control all aspects of our lives because they are anointed by God and serve as the Faithful and Discreet Slave. The Governing Body claims to be the earthly mouthpiece of God.
Animal Farm: “The two most faithful disciples were the two cart horses, Boxer and Clover. These two had great difficulty in thinking anything for themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers, they absorbed everything that they were told and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments.”
JWs: Are told to unquestioningly believe what the Governing Body says because they are the mouthpiece of God. If you don’t understand, believe it anyway and in time it will make sense. Many JWs blindly believe everything that comes from the Governing Body. It’s too much effort or they are too busy to check deeper. They pass shallow and unconfirmed information on to others.
Animal Farm: The pigs direct that through their study they have reduced their principle ideas into 7 Commandments or “unalterable laws”.
JWs: The Governing Body direct and disseminate rules and regulations that must be followed. To question them, or not follow them is to be disobedient, spiritually weak, or a mentally diseased apostate.
Animal Farm: “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others.”
JWs: The vast majority of work is done by the rank and file. The Governing Body give the orders. They make the rules, but are rarely involved in implementing them at ground level.
Animal Farm: “With their superior knowledge it was natural that they (the pigs) should assume leadership.”
JWs: The Governing Body says they are the mouthpiece of God and are anointed so they get to do the leading. No-one can do it except them.
Animal Farm: Boxer the horse puts in extra effort because he believes so passionately. He shows this passion by volunteering to do more work.
JWs: Some are moved so much by what they learn that they volunteer to do more work. This is encouraged by the Society. Those who volunteer are more likely to be used for things like overseas work and other privileges not open to those who cannot do more.
Animal Farm: There was a ceremony that was observed each week “without fail”. It was a general assembly known as “the meeting”. At this meeting the pigs would put forward their latest ideas and resolutions.
JWs: Meet each week and if one does not do so regularly, it is frowned upon. At the meetings the directives of the Governing Body are put out.
Animal Farm: The pigs set aside their own headquarters. From these headquarters, committees are arranged to oversee various types of work.
JWs: Bethel homes are set aside and are not for use by the rank and file. Many committees and schools are an intrinsic part of these homes.
Animal Farm: Some animals have trouble remembering the 7 Commandments. The commandments are then simplified into one phrase.
JWs: The solid and deep things of the bible are simplified for the masses. Instead of encouraging people to dig deeper, the same old message is recycled and simplified. No need to do deep research, the WTS has done it all for you and made it nice and simple!
Animal Farm: One of the 7 Commandments is “Whatever goes on two legs is an enemy.” This upsets the birds who of course go about on two legs. “But Snowball (one of the pigs) proved to them this was not so.” The birds don’t understand “Snowball’s long words, but they accepted his explanation.”
JWs: Change the generally accepted and common meaning of words to better suit their doctrine (i.e ‘generation’). People don’t get it, but blindly go along with it anyway.
Page 22 and 23
Animal Farm: The missing milk is discovered to be mixed in with the pigs mash. The pigs direct that the apples are for them alone. The expectation of the other animals was that these things were to be shared among all the animals. The pigs respond with “Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health….the whole management and organisation of the farm depends on us. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”
JWs: The Governing Body set themselves aside as special. They are given a home, food and healthcare. They are set up so they can better dispense their duties and care for the flock (who must care for themselves in matters of home, food and healthcare).
Last paragraph of chapter 3
Animal Farm: The animals not only agree to give the pigs the milk and the apples, but the whole apple crop is allocated to the pigs alone.
JWs: With the blind acceptance of each new rule or directive, more control is given to the GB over day to day life. We believe we are the ones making the choice, but forget that we are told “the GB is the mouthpiece of God and to disobey us is to disobey God.” We aren’t the ones making the decision. It has been made for us.
Animal Farm: Mollie the horse disappears. She was the one that always wanted to have ribbons in her mane and not do too much work. She is spotted with the local publican. “Her coat was newly clipped and she wore a scarlet ribbon around her forelock. She appeared to be enjoying herself, so the pigeons said. None of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again.’
JWs: When someone fades, disassociates themselves or are disfellowshipped, they seem to just disappear. For most of the congregation it is like they never existed, even if they spoke to them in recent times. Often, they never get mentioned again.
Animal Farm: “This, said Squealer, was something called tactics. He repeated it a number of times ‘Tactics comrades, tactics!’ skipping around and whisking his tail with a merry laugh. The animals were not certain what the word meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further question.”
JWs: Are told that if there is something that they are not sure about from the magazines, they should show faith and wait on Jehovah. The info is not wrong, you just don’t understand it. Just believe it, and eventually it will make sense. Again, blind obedience to what the organisation says, even if you don’t understand it. Don’t you dare question it!
Animal Farm: The pigs increase the workload on the animals, and it is even extended to Sundays. Working on the Sunday is strictly voluntary, but any animal that was absent had their rations cut by half.
JWs: While the hour requirements for regular and auxiliary pioneering have been reduced, the pressure has increased for the average Joe Publisher to do more, be more urgent, to be vigorous. Regular and auxiliary pioneering are volunteer jobs, the rank and file have no obligation to take up this service. But who is the preferential choice for talks, assembly parts, demonstrations and the like? Who get the privileges and associated kudos, praise and notoriety? Regular and auxiliary pioneers.
Animal Farm: One of the 7 Commandments was that whatever goes on two legs is an enemy. “Never to have any dealings with human beings, never to engage in trade, never to make use of money – had not these been among the earliest resolutions passed at the first triumphant meeting after Jones was expelled?” Yet now Napoleon had just announced that they were going to use the services of Mr Whymper to act as their lawyer, trader, and contact with the outside world.
JWs: Are told that the United Nations are one of the enemies of God. We should never have anything to do with them lest we become ‘part of her sin’. I think we all know the story about how the WTS got NGO status with the United Nations and what they had to agree to in order to get and maintain that status…
Animal Farm: Straight after the comments above about associating with the humans - “Squealer made a round of the farm and set the animals minds at rest. He assured them that the resolution against engaging in trade and using money had never been passed or suggested. It was pure imagination.”
JWs: The NGO debacle was quickly swept under the carpet and written off as “we only did it to get a library card”. The tactic used here by Squealer is also similar to that used by the WTS post 1975. “We never said the end was coming then, some people might have said that, but we sure didn’t”. Let me guess then, was it pure imagination on the part of all the witnesses at that time?
Animal Farm: There is some discussion among the animals as to how long Snowball had been a traitor. Squealer makes a statement that Napoleon has said categorically that Snowball was a traitor from the very beginning. Boxer replies “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.”
JWs: Well, if the Society said it, it must be right!
Animal Farm: There is a slaughter as treacherous animals are done away with by the dogs at the command of the pigs. This shocks the other animals no end. They gather at the windmill. Boxer says “I do not understand it. I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.”
JWs: From time to time there are things that they don’t understand. Maybe a change in doctrine, or a technical point such as blood. According to the WTS the way to build up faith is to get busy with spiritual activities. Get busy in the busy work and things will work themselves out. Work harder, do more.
Animal Farm: After the slaughter, the animals recall that one of the 7 Commandments was that no animal shall kill another animal. They realise that this does not align with the slaughter that has just occurred. They go to the barn to confirm what the Commandment actually says and it now says ‘no animal shall kill another animal without cause’. The Commandment had been changed, but the animals surmise that they just remembered it wrong.
JWs: Doctrine changes from time to time with no big announcement. There is a single sentence in a paragraph buried in a WT article somewhere. Even if it is announced widely, there is no apology for having it wrong before. It just changes and all are expected to get on board.
Animal Farm: Time moves on and the animals grow slowly grow old and die. A new generation is born that never knew the times of the rebellion. “There were many more creatures on the farm now, though the increase was not so great as had been expected in earlier years.”
JWs: Many of the faithful older ones have been around for years and are now dying off with failed expectations. In western countries, the increase often comes from those born and raised in the Truth. The numbers are increasing, but not in the leaps and bounds of previous decades.
Page 89 - 91
Animal Farm: Squealer emerges from the farmhouse walking on his hind legs. Then all the other pigs come out, also on their hind legs. Then out comes Napoleon, also walking on his hind legs, and holding a whip in his trotter. Remember that Commandment that said that anything on two legs was the enemy? Wait a minute, what Commandment? A check of the barn shows that the 7 Commandments have all gone and have been replaced by one single commandment: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ The pigs are seen eating, drinking and partying with the local farmers.
JWs: Many teachings that come from the WTS today are the total opposite of what was taught many years ago. What used to be the truth would now be apostate. We are told that we are all equal and that there are no ranks, but the reality is far from this. There is a double standard where the GB says you can’t get higher education, but they are happy to make use of brothers who are doctors and lawyers. They say don’t study publications that don’t align with the Truth, yet constantly quote from these same books. They say the United Nations is a tool of the devil, but sign up to be a part of it.
These are but a few of the many parallels that came to mind while reading through this excellent book. I would love to hear your comments, along with what you found in this story that struck you as being the same or similar to the Society.