Former Soviet Country Witnesses who Rebelled Against the GB

by NotFormer 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • NotFormer

    I remember the story going around the traps (here, perhaps?) a couple of decades ago, about a country formerly behind the iron curtain. When the Soviet Union crumbled, the JWs were able to re-establish contact with the underground JW movement. The story, as I remember it, is that the JWs of that country were still practicing watchtowerism as it was when they were still in contact with Bethel, which was when Rutherford was still alive and kicking! The WT doctrine and practices had changed so much that the country's witnesses rejected the GB and any post Rutherford reforms and continued doing things the way they had for fifty or sixty years.

    I'm thinking that the country was Georgia, but it may be Romania. I've tried googling, but haven't been able to find anything concrete yet. Does anyone remember that particular story?

  • no-zombie

    Hi NotFormer,

    While this story may apply to other countries to some degree, I believe that that the one your are thinking about is Romania.

    Cut off from main stream Jehovah's Witnesses just after WW2 and forced to refer to older WT material, the divergence between Western Witnesses and Romanian Witnesses theocratically, grew. Many Romanian Witnesses were sent to prison in the communist period and a feeling of abandonment developed. Ultimately, two or three sub-Witness groups formed, each with their own Kingdom Halls, Elders and administrations. However in the late '90s, a push from the US to encouraged a reunification with the greater Church, was made

    The Governing Body sent representatives and deals were made (primarily around some stumbling doctrinal differences and the issue of appointed congregational positions) and while much was made of this publicly, it seems that even today, Witnesses are not totally united in that country.

    I expect that the core reason for Romanian dissatisfaction, lies in the fact that Romanians are generally a conservative people. Thus so it should not come as a surprise that these feeling have not completely dissipated. And realistically, if you got into your time machine and brought back any Witnesses from the 1970's and dumped them into a Kingdom Hall today, most would find the Disneyland song, the beards and the very flexible understanding of 'the service', quite hard to process.

    (see the video "Gerrit Losch: Maintaining Unity Under Ban" in you are interest in the JW perspective of this story)

  • NotFormer

    Thanks, no-zombie! That sounds like what I was looking for. That's a good observation about earlier Witnesses brought forward in time and how they might react to the changes that they saw now.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    The story, as I remember it, is that the JWs of that country were still practicing watchtowerism as it was when they were still in contact with Bethel, which was when Rutherford was still alive and kicking!

    Might be a nice sociological study subject regarding the claim that a lot of JW's from that era were real jackasses by:

    1. putting their foot in the door when the homeowners tried to leave

    2. playing loud obnoxious phonographs on front porches and...

    3. blasting "sound car" talks in neighborhoods

    Reminds me of that poor deceived Japanese soul that stayed in the jungle for 40 years after WW2 ended because he was taught that the allies were canibals (worldly people)

  • NotFormer

    "...playing loud obnoxious phonographs on front porches..."

    My mother actually remembered the JWs taking da Judge's phonograph recordings door to door in her youth (1930s)!

    BTW, as I just found out, the True Faith lot in Romania don't recognise anything from Bethel after 1962, with the "superior authorities" definition change. So I was a bit mislead about them harking back as far as da Judge's era.

  • LaFrancia

    There are currently 2 or maybe 3 state-registered organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Romania.

    During last summer the Romanian JWs had 3 congresses: the JWs of the WT (Warwick): "Be patient"; The True Faith: "Determined for the Kingdom of Jehovah" and the International Association of JWs: "A people for his Name".

  • LaFrancia

    I found a site of the True Faith Association of Jehovah's Witnesses in Romania and this is another Youtube channel of theirs and this contains their songs https: //

    And this

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    I concur that it was Romania. I listened to Losch speak about it one assembly. He was instrumental in holding the WT line and getting rid of the ‘apostates’. I got the impression that was where earned his chops and proved his WT loyalty. Ten years later he partakes and presto he’s on the GB

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