Jesus' Witnesses

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Purpose: This FAQ is designed to pull together the answers to frequently asked questions relating to the jesus-witnesses mailing list. The prime focus of the list and this FAQ is the religious group known latterly as Jehovah's Witnesses, and their controlling organization, the WatchTower Bible & Tract Society; although because many features of these bodies are far from unique, and the wider interests of some on the list, much of what is covered in the FAQ will apply directly or indirectly to a large number of other religions and organizations.

The Questions Answered:

Part I. [Q1.0 - 2.0]

     Q1.0     What is the purpose of the Jesus-Witnesses list?
     Q1.1     Who can subscribe to the Jesus-Witnesses list?
     Q1.2     How does one go about subscribing or unsubscribing to the list?
     Q1.3     Are there file treatments of JW doctrine and practices on disk?
              If so, how can these be obtained?
     Q1.4     If I decide to subscribe to the Jesus-Witnesses list will my
              true identity be revealed?
     Q1.5     What are `friends' net, PhunNet and BroNet?
     Q1.6     Is the WTS on the internet?
     Q2.0     How is the religion organized?

Part II. [Q2.1 - 3.0]

     Q2.1     How big is the WTS and how fast does it grow?
     Q2.1.1   How much preaching does it take to make one convert?
     Q2.1.2   How many members are lost each year?
     Q2.2     Where can I find the accounts of the WTS?
     Q2.3     What's all this fuss about organization?
     Q3.0     How do JWs maintain their much vaunted unity?

Part III. [Q4.0 - 4.2]

     Q4.0     What do JWs believe regarding the afterlife and soul?
     Q4.1     How is it all held together?
     Q4.2     How can I find what the individual JW actually believes?

Part IV. [Q5.0 - 7.1]

     Q5.0     I've heard people apply the Orwellian term `doublethink' to JWs.
              Is this justified and if so, how does it work in practice?
     Q5.1     Are there any other Orwellian links?
     Q6.0     Are JWs a cult?
     Q6.1     Are JWs paranoid?
     Q7.0     Is the WatchTower Society a false prophet?
     Q7.1     Is it a prophet?

Part V. [Q7.2 - 8.0]

     Q7.2     How has the WTS managed to survive so many failed predictions?
     Q8.0     Are JWs brain washed? If so, how?

Part VI. [Q9.0 - 13,0]

     Q9.0     Are JWs Un-American and Un-Patriotic?
     Q10.0    Why do ex-JWs go to such trouble to fight their old religion?
     Q10.1    Who's this Raymond Franz fellow?
     Q10.2    Someone I love is studying with JWs, what should I do?
     Q11.0    I'd like to find out for myself if JWs are what they say they
              are. After all, they laughed at Columbus & Galileo!
     Q12.0    I've engaged a JW in a discussion - but he never reads my posts
              and mails back the same old lines. Why is he so unreasonable?
     Q12.1    Is it worth continuing the discussion?
     Q13.0    Who's this Johannes Greber fellow?

Part VII. [Q14.0 - 99.2]

     Q14.0    What do all those initials in WT references mean?
     Q99.0    Where can I get more information or support?
              Q99.0 Internet Links
     Q99.1    Are there any books on the subject?
     Q99.2    What's in it for these groups?

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Document prepared by permission, Collection Development Section, ICLnet.
ICLnet Collection Development, 1996:Jan.20