Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information; therefore, fact-checking and further investigation is recommended on a per-article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW.org) a strong conspiracy and pseudoscience organization based on promoting unproven claims, theories that are impossible to predict, and a strong rejection of science.
Bias Rating: CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE
Factual Reporting: LOW
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
In 1870, Charles Taze Russell, a minister from Pennsylvania, founded “The Bible Student Movement,” which eventually became Jehovah’s Witnesses after his death. However, JW.ORG does not regard him as the founder of a new religion. They point out Russel’s goal was to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ, and they state, “Since Jesus is the Founder of Christianity, we view him as the founder of our organization.”
Russell expressed his religious views through journals, books, and lectures, and in July 1879, he published “the journal Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.” This journal is the official journal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russell was the pastor of The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which has become the present-day Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford, aka “Judge” Rutherford, was the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. He played a primary role in the organization’s doctrinal development and, in 1931, introduced the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and, in 1935, the term “Kingdom Hall” for worship place.
Charles Taze Russell predicted that Christ would return in 1914. The prophecy failed; since then, the society has indicated at least eight other dates when Armageddon would occur, but all failed. Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to salute the Flag, object to military service and accept blood transfusions. They do not lobby, vote, or try to influence public policy. These convictions resulted in many legal battles, therefore, impacting and expanding the First Amendment free exercise of religion.
Funded by / Ownership
The JW.org FAQ section details, “Our worldwide work is primarily financed by voluntary donations from individuals who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.” They state, “Every congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses provides monthly financial reports at its meetings, which are open to the public. The accounting records of each congregation are audited regularly to ensure that donated funds are being handled properly.” However, they don’t disclose their financial records; therefore, there is total secrecy surrounding their finances.
Analysis / Bias
Jehovah’s Witnesses are best known for going door to door to spread their message and distributing their Watchtower magazine. The JW.org website provides information on the organization as well as links to the online versions of The Watchtower and Awake magazines.
Politically, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not participate by not voting, refusing to salute the flag, and objecting to military service. However, they hold conservative positions, such as being opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Scientifically, they do not support the evolutionary theory but rather a modified version of Biblical Creationism. A quote reads, “Jehovah God created all the basic kinds of plant and animal life, as well as a perfect man and woman who were capable of self-awareness, love, wisdom, and justice. The Bible account of creation does not conflict with the scientific observation that variations occur within a kind.” Further, Jehovah’s Witnesses often refuse blood transfusions not because of perceived risk but due to biblical scripture that leads them to believe that the “procedure creates a risk of losing eternal salvation.”
Finally, as mentioned above, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe we are in the “Last Days” where all humans will die, and God’s Kingdom will return to earth. Since 1914, they have predicted “The End” numerous times and have failed. In general, Jehovah’s Witnesses promote pseudoscience and the conspiracy theory that they can predict the “Last Days” based on their interpretation of the bible. This is not possible.
Failed Fact Checks
- None Found. See above for false and unproven claims.
Overall, we rate the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW.org) a strong conspiracy and pseudoscience organization based on promoting unproven claims, theories that are impossible to predict, and a strong rejection of science. (M. Huitsing 09/18/2022)
Last Updated on May 26, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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