I can just hear them now. Oh, how wonderful that the Faithful and Discreet Slave is by going to bat for us against those wicked apostates who are always trying to dig up mud, especially from the older publications. Hey, they even go all the way back to the year 1870. Hey, they even concede, with this timeline, the triple flip-flop of changes that the Superior Authorities teaching was changed to position no. 2 in 1929, then to position no. 3 in 1962.
Chalk one up for Watchtower. First, I have to applaud Watchtower for finally legitimizing the older publications because that is what this web page does. However, it gives us one more weapon when a JW uses that lame excuse as we show them some ridiculous or contradictory teaching published by them that is older than, say, the year 2000. "Oh, that's old truth and we only go by new truths."
I say, Thanks, Watchtower -- cuz we don't have to listen to that alibi any longer.
But that Superior Authorities blunder was just a token.
A cursory search for a few of my favorite Watchtower blunders reveals the following:
1. "The 1,260 Days". The Clarification site reveals a single change, that in 1993. However, here's a link to where some 5 years ago a compiled list revealed 10 different published Watchtower positions for when that time period began, and when it ended. I've since updated that table (but not published it) to include their very last change in 2014 (begins "1914", ends "early 1919").
If you're counting, that makes 11 different published Watchtower positions for a single doctrinal position -- not 2, as Watchtower is claiming.
2. Resurrection of the Sodomites. The Clarification site shows a single change, that in 1988. However, this essay shows 8 different published Watchtower positions beginning with 1879 when they first thought Sodomites would be resurrected. Each subsequent change over the years till 1988 reminds me of certain modern day politicians as they change their stance on some issue -- yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.
An abstract to the above essay link says that it was "designed for newly interested ones but JWs had better be prepared. More and more householders are asking the JW an embarrasing question contained herein. "The Great Watchtower Contradiction" exposes Watchtower by revealing the single most outrageous Watchtower contradiction that most of us (ex-JWs) have seen and that most JWs have not seen. It goes beyond the regular exposé by answering two vital questions: why they've contradicted themselves on this single issue and why most JWs are not even aware that it's happened. It does it from Watchtower's own publications and encourages the person to get their own WT Library CD for verification. It does it without arguing subjective doctrine, which, as you know is like talking to your cat. It's An 11 minute read, 19 minutes if you include all the supporting endnote references."
Watchtower's attempt at clarification of changes shows that they are either ignorant of contradiction or blatantly and dishonestly put it aside. In either case, the spirit direction that their governing body is getting is clearly not the same as the one to which it lays claim.