Aluminum was an issue that became a real “tempest in a teapot” for the Watchtower. It influenced their teaching for almost 50 years and, frankly, created an impression among observers that their members were off-the-wall fanatics. For all those years, the Golden Age and other Watchtower publications took the position that aluminum cookware and utensils were one of the great health hazards of the 20th century. In effect, they waged an almost irrational war against the evils of aluminum. The crusade seems to have been based, initially at least, on the writings of Charles Betts, a dentist from Toledo, OH, who was not a JW. However, the Watchtower Society gave this issue far more publicity than Betts would likely ever have gained without their help. They actually published over 130 articles on the topic between 1925 and 1969. This is a great example of the Watchtower’s propensity to eagerly subscribe to theories of quack medicine and junk science.
Now, some Witnesses were absolutely fanatical about this subject. Besides refusing to have aluminum cookware and utensils in their homes, some would even question the staff in restaurants about what cookware was used before deciding to eat there, or would demand that their food be prepared in non-aluminum cookware. Their position on aluminum was never formally repudiated. In 1969, however, the Awake magazine published an article that took a positive view of the production and many uses of aluminum products, without specifically mentioning cookware or referring to the previous view. Today, most Witnesses would be surprised to hear that the Society opposed the use of aluminum cookware for so long.
Now, ironically, some studies today are suggesting a link between the use of aluminum cookware and Alzheimer’s disease. I suppose that any JW’s who hear about that might feel that the WTS is being vindicated, but there was no scientific evidence of that back when they were publishing their articles, and their accusations about the effects of aluminum were completely off the mark. Besides, if this had really been a case of Jehovah giving an early insight to his people, then why did they stop teaching it almost 50 years ago?
This link is an article from the Golden Age magazine from 1936. You might get a good laugh if you read it today, but it illustrates how unreliable a source the Watchtower is when it comes to medical questions - like blood transfusions.