All in Policies
In early May, the videos of this year’s Jehovah’s Witness Convention were leaked via a TransferXL link. The videos were promptly uploaded to Rutube, a Russian competitor to YouTube. The videos have since been removed from both TransferXL and Rutube. Rutube states that the content was removed by request of the copyright holder.
Today, the Truth & Transparency Foundation has made these videos available for public viewing once again.
In a letter leaked online dated May 13, 2019, it was revealed that the Jehovah’s Witnesses made sweeping changes to the practice they are best known for: proselytizing. Addressed “to all congregations in Britain and Ireland”, the letter notes that Witnesses are “accustomed to collecting personal data” on the recipients of their teachings. However, in the next paragraph, proselyting Witnesses, or publishers, are directed to “not collect personal data in connection with the field ministry”.
In other religions, the knowledge of otherwise concealed policies has often empowered its membership to act. Many of these same letters were quickly made available in English days after they were given to elders. This is the first time they are widely available to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brazil and Portugal in their native tongue.
Last Thursday, Dallin Oaks of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, took to the stand and appealed a policy that caused a massive uproar in the Mormonism. The rescission of the policy seemingly created as large a shock as its implementation with hundreds of Mormons taking to social media to express their surprise, praise, and excitement. However, the reaction in the LGBT community did not express the same sentiments.
In February 2003, Deseret Book, the Mormon Church’s publishing arm, released a book penned by Alonzo Gaskill titled, The Lost Language of Symbolism: An Essential Guide for Recognizing and Interpreting Symbols of the Gospel. Upon investigation, it was found that many ideas and phrases in this book were directly copied from InterVarsity Press’s Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.
On February 4, 2019, rumors of the release of a new Elders manual, meant only for the eyes of the top leaders in each congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), began to surface on ex-JW forums across the Internet. Less than 24 hours later, the manual was leaked and seemingly non-stop analysis and comparison to previous versions began. In addition to the already released Elders manual, today the TTF also releases another internal manual, often informally referred to as the “branch manual”.
On the afternoon of Monday December 31, 2018, the Truth and Transparency Foundation (TTF) was issued four separate takedown requests for a total of 63 documents. The request came from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, more commonly known as “Watch Tower”, the governing organization of the religious group known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses