On page 3 on this website you can find my Guest Book. Here you can submit your views, or whatever else you want to express in writing. Here you could for example write your own story as a JW, as an "apostate" or as an Ex the JW. Write 200-2000 words about your positive or negative experiences within the Witnesses. You are very welcome. You can also send opinions to Poul Bregninge Facebook. You are also welcome to send your message for me to my personal e-mail addresses: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the purpose of this page is to publicize my new book, Judgment Day Must Wait. Also note that it is yours truly who write most of the articles--except, of course quotes, reviews, and more.
Feel free to post your opinion on my book to Amazon.com, where there are already eight five-star reviews (one, however, with four). I also welcome you to send your opinion about JDMW on my Facebook page. I will regularly update the website with new items, new ideas and issues related to the development inside Jehovah's Witnesses.
The picture: "The Bomb" is about Judge Rutherford's seizure of power in the Society in Brooklyn. He "bombed" the board into place!"The Bomb" is about Judge Rutherford's seizure of power in the Society in Brooklyn. He "bombed" the board into place!
The picture above shows chapter 20 in Judgment Day Must Wait, page 221
The Harrowing Story on Jehovah's Witnesses
A book by Poul Bregninge, Denmark
View JDMW here:
Please, paste the link in the taskbar at the top, and you come directly to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
JDMW updated March 2016 with a few but necessary fixes--plus a few
words about the latest zig-zag course and confusing messages about
the proximity of the Day of Judgment--or postponement! Regarding 2034, read The Watchtower for December 15, 2003. Search for "similarities."
Read more in JUDGMENT DAY MUST WAIT.
NOTE: This website are being regularly updated.
Last Update April 18, 2016.
Both Paper Book and eBook
Judgment Day Must Wait (JDMW) is an unconventional, revealing and very dramatic book about Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW). It is written by a Danish author, who long ago has put JW behind him. Story: In 1966 Poul Bregninge published his first book on JW in Danish, and after this he put the past behind. But after 37 years, where he not at all dealt with the JW, Poul Bregninge returned to his old subject and found it so fascinating that he would try to dig deeper into the movement’s past. He found many unknown, untold and almost secret facts about JW's bygone past. The result is this critical and exciting story as it took Bregninge ten years to write. However, despite his critical approach, Bregninge maintains a balanced point of view on his subject. LINK to Amazon.com where JDMW can be purchased: http://tinyurl.com/kbsdhcb.
Judgment Day Must Wait can now be purchased as an eBook, updated March 2016. Few but important corrections is made in both the paper book and eBook. Buy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble -- and other Internet bookstores.
Dave Gracey, USA, writes among other:
"If I had this book available to me years ago my entire life would have been very different. Poul has written a very compelling and well researched book that is a must read for JW'S and non JW's alike. Most JW's are not big on reading, this is actually encouraged by the Watchtower. They produce a myriad of publications for you to read, most are unreadable and not totally factual. Poul tells the history good and bad of this movement from the get go. His honesty and candidness are refreshing, even when it is favorable to the Witnesses. I have read many ex jw books, most are quick easy reads. This book needs to be read and digested slowly." (Posted on Amazon.com on May 15th, 2014.)
Please see the entire book review by Dave Gracey on page 2, column 2 of this website.
JDMW is linguistically reviewed by Dawn B. Johnson, Word Edge, Stillman Valley, Illinois. Following a brief consideration, JDMW was accepted by YBK Publishers's director, Otto Barz. In a letter to a well-known ExJW, and yours truly, he wrote: "JDMW is a very important book that provides fact and history in an area that needs insulation and differentiation from other books that have painted the subject with the brush of rant, as yours distinctly does not. JDMW needs to be discovered on its merits as a solidly factual reference work."
Jim Whitney's opinion
Jim Whitney, a well-known ExJW, wrote to the author in nov. 2011 after reading the first 200 pages: "(...) your book is excellent, vidunderlig, and a must read for ex-JWs, as it provides insights and history that is the most complete that I have read to date." ("Vidunderlig" means in Danish: wonderful!) Jim's assessment was crucial to the author and gave him the courage to continue his research. Author's correspondence with Jim meant that he revised his manuscript decisively regarding the cause of the authorities' imprisonment of J. F. Rutherford and his staff in 1918.
Poul Bregninge, photographed in his garden in Denmark, 2015.
Judgment Day Must Wait
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: YBK Publishers, Inc.
New York, 2013
Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.4 x 9.1 inches
CONTENT OF WEBSITE:
1 Seventeen reviews on respectively Amazon.com,
Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr. and Amazon.it gives
an average of almost five stars. One reviewer
gives 4 stars, namely Jan Stilson, USA, who are
a historian. However, one of the last reviewers,
Leonard J. P. McCarthyon, the U.S. who is a
Jehovah's Witness, give only one star. This is
why JDMW now only get 4.5 stars!
2 "Armageddon is always just a little around the
corner," says Otto Barz, director of YBK
Publishers, York, about Judgment Day Must
3 Text Samples from Judgment Day Must Wait.
4 The Breakaway, Summer of 1959. Chapter 22 in
JDMW tells the story of my own exclusion in
1964, a full five years after my wife and I had left
5 Snapshot from a bygone era. Sketches from a
6 At the end of the world.
7 Judgment Day "2014" for Jehovah's Witnesses!
8 Press Release on: Judgment Day Must Wait.
9 The Origin of the Empathic Diaglott:
Read the story and the little pamphlet: Cunningly
Devised Fables of Russellism. A Pamphlet by W.
H. Wilson published for the first time since 1890.
Perhaps A little sensation!
See the "rolling" little pamphlet, mentioned
above, at the bottom of this page.
Page 2 is mainly devoted to the reviews that Amazon.com has announced. In addition to this I will on this page bring various topical articles that may be of interest to my readers.
THE TENTH REVIEW from Amazon.co.uk by Dr. David J. Nicholls, England: A very informative and thought-provoking read. "I have read all the books published about the Watchtower since the 1960s, and 'Judgment Day Must Wait' is an important and most welcome addition to these. (...) The author also provides a background to his own involvement with the Society. This is an excellent work that anyone interested in the Society should read. Definitely five stars."
THE EIGHTH REVIEW of Suzanne Gribble, USA. Suzanne writes among other things: "There is a deeper perspective here than I could ever have expected. There is a new treasure on every page, especially in the form of placing old events into their historical framework, complete with relevant commentary from all sides. The presentation is factual but the irony is not lacking. Often I've written "HA!" in the margin with my highlighter."
THE FIFTH REVIEW by Janet Stilson in full. Janet is not a former Witness, but member of a small Christian church in the U.S. Janet is a historian and released in 2011 her great work, Biographical Encyclopedia: Chronicling the History of the Church of God Abrahamic Faith 19th & 20th Centuries. Paperback first published by Word Edge in June 2011. E-book published with minor updates by Word Edge in December 2011.
Express your opinion on JDMW here.
See my request in the Guestbook.
See also Mi Chu's and Dave Gracey's outragious story.
Chapter 11 is about Judge Rutherford's takeover shortly after Russell's death in 1916. JFR, as he often is called nowadays, had virtually free rein against the confused and weak Bible Students.
Text Samples from
Judgment Day Must Wait
Excerps from the Introduction and Chapters 1, 6, 7, 11, 13, 20 and 39 of Judgment Day Must Wait.
EDITING: JDMW has been linguistically Americanized by Dawn Johnson, Word-Edge, Illinois (www.word-edge.com).
Between Idealism and Deceit
When I think of the hundreds of thousands of well-meaning people who have played supporting roles in this bizarre “divine comedy” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which the leaders of the movement in the course of time have directed and performed, I realize the history of the Witnesses is no less than a tragedy to all the people who have allowed themselves to be persuaded. Their lives are an urgent example of the costs that personal surrender to a religious organization may entail. The costs, as far as victims are concerned, are difficult to imagine. Hundreds of thousands have vainly spent all their time on the ideas of the movement. They have let themselves be swept away by belief in eternal life in a utopia-like new world where only the chosen ones, the ones that eventually crawl out from the smoldering ruins of Armageddon’s devastating chaos, come to live.
The members find themselves in a conceptual world which is characterized by delusions, and after all these years, it has become impossible for them to grasp their own situation, both intellectually and psychologically. The systematic subversive and detrimental influence, to which they are constantly exposed, causes their real “I” to be overlaid with a weight of organizational material, absurd doctrines, unreasonable obligations, rules and prohibitions, all of which are done to keep them detached from everything considered normal and indispensable by the rest of society. Worst of all: Independent thinking is systematically treated with hatred.
And so, the story of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have been seized and restrained by a utopian idealism that developed into a worldwide movement, is a report of mankind’s folly, and its only real goal now seems to be growing to an even bigger movement."
The discrepancies between the reliability of what the leaders prophesied and what they demanded of the membership have been too grave. But the leaders always start afresh, when the memory of their last fiasco has finally been suppressed and the calculations and the date again changed, arguing that the “light is getting brighter” and that Jehovah only gradually “reveals his truths.”
Most surprising is that the members, without question, have accepted these never-ending revisions of the doctrines from the early days of the movement. The only possible explanation for this must be that, in spite of the deception, they simply needed to believe in the unbelievable—this illusion of the impossible—which could camouflage lives that to some extent lacked meaning and content. They became unconscious consumers of exhortations and absurd prohibitions on all human normality. They created and accepted a “surrogate reality” because there is something about this life they do not dare to face—as the female psychiatrist (Madeleine Stowe) said to the main character (Bruce Willis) in the apocalyptic science fiction movie, Twelve Monkeys. ... (End of excerpt).
EXTRACT FROM THE START OF CHAPTER 1:
Charles Taze Russell
—Prophet of the Millennial Reign
Our story begins in the 1870s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet the Ohio River. Pittsburgh’s geographical location proved to be significant to its growth in the late 19th century. Before the Europeans arrived, two Native American tribes lived there, Shawnee and Delaware.
Around the 1750s the British and the French considered the area strategically important for control of the Ohio River. In the 1740s, British settlers established commercial trading posts with the region’s Indian tribes, and around the 1750s the French began building forts from Lake Erie to the Allegheny River. When the British began to establish themselves in French territory, today the Pittsburgh area, they not only had to struggle against the French, but also against their allies, the Indians.
In 1754 the British began to build a fort on the site, and that same year the French captured it and subsequently named it Fort Duquesne. When a British regiment of 150 men under the leadership of a 21-year-old Major George Washington came across a French contingent near the fort on a rainy night in late May 1754, the French commander Joseph Coulon de Jumonville was killed in the skirmish. This initiated the nine-year French and Indian War between French and British troops (1754–1763).
The wars in North America between the colonial powers France and England were part of the Seven Years’ War, which actually involved all the European countries and eventually culminated in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783); this war was later called the “first World War.” Between 900,000 and 1,400,000 died during the Seven Years’ War.
The British regained control of Fort Duquesne in 1758, but the French burned it down before surrendering. It was rebuilt under the name of Fort Pitt after English Prime Minister William Pitt, the elder. A town grew up around the fort, and by the end of the 18th century, the area had developed into a hotspot for trade and industry. Glass was in production from 1797 and iron from 1806. Around 1800, Pittsburgh, as the town around Fort Pitt had been named, had 1,500 residents; by 1860, it had grown to more than 50,000.
From around 1870 until 1914, this area was one of the world’s busiest, richest and most productive mining districts. Coal was transported down the river on an armada of barges. In addition to coal, iron and petroleum were produced, and natural gas piped up from underground fueled industrial ovens and furnaces. Pittsburgh became a capital for industrial magnates in the 1870s, and with the need for labor, the town grew rapidly.
Near Pittsburgh lay the neighboring city Allegheny, today also called Old Allegheny, which was incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1907. Old Allegheny is the urban and geographical center for the beginnings of this story.
If we were living in the late 19th century in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, we would see a completely modern society which offered promise of great change in the immediate future.
As a result of the area’s vast natural resources, Pittsburgh soon came to be a center of political contrasts in America. I am mentioning this very deliberately, because the people of that time couldn’t realize all these signs of an arising new era, a new dawn, that hung as smoke and noise in the air, and whose consequences would lead to new social conflicts. But they were aware of the tremendous progress in all areas that occurred everywhere in the flourishing “new world”—not least of which was in the area of technical developments.
Our main character at the start of this narrative, Charles Taze Russell, was a complicated personality. On the one hand, he was progressive and optimistic. On the other, he had a religious calling, based on the ancient religious texts of the Bible, with its Old and New Testament, both of which he reinterpreted in the most speculative of ways. Still, his works must, in my opinion, be viewed as nothing less than impressive, although his ideas were responsible for creating one of the most controversial religious movements of our time, and despite the fact that he stole and copied many of his ideas from his contemporaries. He founded the only religious movement ever to stem from Pittsburgh.
Despite my attempts to look favorably upon our protagonist’s project, I cannot explain away that he was basically a rather verbose person, one who immoderately rose over everything and everybody, without possessing the required academic skills as ballast for his highly publicized messages. However, to characterize him as a charlatan would demand that the same, demeaning characterizations could be applied to many of his contemporaries, who, in the same manner as him, appealed more to emotions than reason. However, those who allowed themselves to be “captivated” by his preaching had mainly themselves to blame for being led astray—for they really were led astray.
For more than thirty-five years Charles Russell wrote about the millennial “dawn” based on his and others’ complex calculations, which he ... (End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 6:
Although Russell, despite his declared intentions, was now in the process of forming a real organization, which was only democratically organized on the surface, it became gradually clear that he—when it came to the crunch—was not really a democratic-minded individual. This was because both his society and the movement, which were gradually linked together, had a basic commercial structure, with Russell as principal and owner.
Russell tenaciously defended his ownership of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and, therefore, he was untouchable by anyone dissatisfied with his leadership. No doubt he acted wisely if, as we presuppose, his society and its subsidiaries, legally speaking, were a kind of economic activity. His company, the “Society,” was shielded against “hostile takeover,” because after 1884 and Conley’s introductory presidential period, Russell held the majority of the shares. If hostile forces sought to wrest the Society from him, they had to first acquire the majority, unlikely with Russell controlling the largest portion. Any attempt to alter this fact would inevitably fail. Thus, when some of the senior managers tried to dismiss him in the early 1890s, the coup failed, and the rebels had to withdraw. They had not really grasped how firmly Russell sat in the saddle. (…) .......
Charles Russell met Maria Frances Ackley, a school teacher and active member in the local branch of the Methodist Episcopal Church, around the turn of the year 1878–1879. Maria Frances was born in 1850, making her two years older than Charles Russell. She graduated from high school, continued her education at the Pittsburgh Curry Normal School, and because of this “higher” education seemed a perfect partner for Russell (at least, if we think solely in terms of company operations). Apparently she had recently shown interest in Barbour’s message and probably joined his movement before Russell broke with Barbour Russell had been speaking. Their infatuation seems to have been intense, perhaps even love at first glance, and before three months had elapsed they wed on March 13, 1879. John Paton performed the ceremony. (Penton, 1986, p. 35, 36; B. W. Schulz, Watch Tower History, April 22, 2008)
Mr. and Mrs. Russell’s extensive activities in the organization were only sustained because the couple agreed to a celibate marriage from the start, without sexual consummation, and thus, without children. One might wonder at the couple’s agreement to forego genuine married life, but when they committed to each other in 1879, they believed and their supporters believed that very soon—at the latest in 1881—they would be raptured into heaven (changed or transformed into heavenly life).
Therefore time, also at that time, was very short! ... (End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 7:
Maria Russell’s Uprising
Up until this time (1894 to 1897), Maria Russell held a prominent position in the movement, and the following statement, found in an Extra Edition of Zion’s Watch Tower from April 1894—and taken out of context (see endnote)—was probably published to calm her and any potential supporters:
“The affairs of the Society are so arranged that its entire control rests in the care of Brother and Sister Russell as long as they shall live” and further “that the management of the Tract Society would probably rest entirely in the hands of myself and Sister Russell so long as we live, as provided by the regulations of the Charter …” (Extra Edition ZWT, April 25, 1894, p. 57-59;91 Introduction to M.R.-Writings, 2008).
Maria Russell had many important functions in the movement at this time, and because of her skills and education, she wrote many editorials for Zion’s Watch Tower, in agreement with Russell’s editorial and doctrinal principles. However, in the midst of the marital crisis (around 1896–1897), Charles Russell recast some of the articles she wrote in her capacity as associate editor. Maria insisted that he should reject the articles instead of rewriting them. He refused and accused her of supporting women’s emancipation. She subsequently abandoned her associate editor’s title.
These problems led to a committee of elders convening in the Bible Student’s congregation in Allegheny; the committee held that neither she nor anyone else “had a right to interfere with Bro. Russell’s Management of the Watch Tower: that it was his stewardship only, and that he alone was accountable for its management” (Penton, 1986, p. 35-38; WT, 1906; reprint 3812). ... (End of excerpt!)
Unbearable for Maria Russell (continued)
In this gathering of conservative believers, consisting primarily of unlettered In this gathering of conservative believers,
Please see the continuation in the next column above at the right side.
Read the 17 Reviews of Judgment Day Must Wait
Last update April 17, 2016. Read all reviews in full at page 2 of this website.
REVIEW BY FORMER "BETHELITE" ON AMAZON.CO.UK.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Probably the most thorough history of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and their detrimental effects
By Max on 19 Dec. 2015
I have recently finished reading this book from cover to cover. As an ex-Jehovah's Witness of approximately 20 years in the religion/cult (4 of them in full-time service in a branch office) I can vouch for the information presented to a large extent from my personal experiences, from other material I have read and from the general feed-back of other members of the sect I knew personally. I get the impression that the author went to great lengths not to let subjectivity cloud his narrative, often giving the benefit of the doubt as to motivation that influenced members of the religion to act in the ways that they did, often to the detriment of rank-and-file members who believed their every word.
It is a large volume, I would call it a reference work that should be in every English language library available to anyone requiring a reputable, non-sectarian account of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Maybe not an easy, quick read, but I think there is no need to read it as I did cover to cover. You can pick the chapters that interest you and it would still be a worthwhile publication to have at hand.
There is a lot of information on Jehovah's Witnesses online, these days. But it is not easy to put everything in chronological order to get the whole picture as to how this movement originated and how it got to where it is today. Well done to Poul Bregninge for the time and effort, which must have been considerable, to research for and put this information together for the readers' benefit!
Thank you very much, Max.
Best Poul B.
Judgment Day Must Wait - It's a masterpiece
By Ole Lind, Denmark, on August 18, 2015
If you want to know about the organization Jehovah's Witnesses, want to know about the founder Charles Taze Russel, Judge Rutherford and the many leading personalities within the organization, and if you want to know about there many failed prediction about the end of the world it is the book Judgment Day Must Wait by Poul Bregninge you should read
The book can only be described as a masterpice, it is extremely well written, and the author's many humoreus comment to the the organization's many foolishness can only make you smile.
The book Judgment Day Must Wait will for all time be a reference book when it comes to informations about the organization Jehovas Witnessess.
ByBonnie Ziemanon March 18, 2015
Research is Amazing!
This book is such a well-written, comprehensive, detailed history of the Jehovah's Witness sect. The research that had to be done to write it is amazing! It is certainly one of the best books I have read about this repressive religion. When the author speaks about the effects and consequences of a person being a member of this controlling sect, his assessments are astute and psychologically sophisticated. As a therapist I would encourage other therapists, who work with members trying to exit this sect, to read this book for a full understanding of the client's issues.
By Di Sergio Pollina, Sicily, Italy - December 13, 2014:
A beautiful book
Judgment Day Must Wait is a book that must be read. Enter the worlds of Jehovah's Witnesses in depth and helps to understand from inside the real reasons that drive people to join this movement. The author, who was a Witness himself, explains, without using an accusatory tone, the reasons many people are attracted by Jehovah's Witnesses, and also the reasons every year many leave the movement. Poul Bregninge traces the history of the Witnesses from the beginning and highlights many aspects not known to the general public and does so with skill and insight. I have read many books on Jehovah's Witnesses, and I can say with certainty that this is one of the best that has been written in recent times.
Sergio Pollina is a former Jehovah's Witness who lives in Sicily, Italy. Sergio has held senior positions within the Jehovah's Witnesses in Rome, including instructor of the instructors at the school for the elders, at Bethel in Rome. He was at a time a preminent elder, circuit overseer alternative, corresponding to Awake, overseer of the assembly and trustee of the Society. In 1988, Sergio and four other elders ostracized and more than 40 members left the church. It was the largest mass apostasy ever in Italy. Sergio has written several books about the Jehovah's Witnesses. Sergio's review is in fact the thirteenth on Amazon (Amazon.it, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com).
By Simon Andrew Hill
Lays Out the Sordid Painful Truth
Simon Hill writes in his review:
"In excellent comprehensive and honest history of the Jehovah's Witness cult, three things you will never get from the Watchtower Organisation or its members.
Judgment Day Must Wait lays out the sordid painful truth about one of the largest and long-standing high control cults in history.
A must read for anyone associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses... especially Jehovah's Witnesses and worried loved ones. The key to the truth about the truth is here."
Thank you very much, Simon. Poul B.
By Laura L. McClain.
Laura L. McClain gives JDMW five stars and writes:
"Poul goes deep into the philosophy and the deception of a cult that destroys families and lives" Thansk a lot, Laura. Poul B.
By Dr. David J. Nicholls, England
A very informative and thought-provoking read.
"I have read all the books published about the Watchtower since the 1960s, and 'Judgment Day Must Wait' is an important and most welcome addition to these. This is particularly so as it brings the situation up to date as the Watchtower Society grapples with the numerous problems that it now faces. The author, Poul Bregninge, provides a wealth of information about the genesis of the Society and skilfully deals with its history as well as examining problems such as its doctrine of 'the little flock'. The author also provides a background to his own involvement with the Society. This is an excellent work that anyone interested in the Society should read. Definitely five stars." Thank you very much, David.
By Mary Strauser, SAVOY, IL, US.:
" book is a thorough history of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. It gives you background information that you need in order to make all the craziness make sense. This is information that Jehovah's Witnesses do not like to talk about." Thank you, Mary.
"There is a new treasure on every page..."
By Suzanne Gribble who writes in her five star review of JDMW:
"As a former 35-year member, I thought I had as thorough a perspective as possible of the religion spawned by the hostile corporate takeover of a religious publishing house. I'm so glad I decided to get this book.
There is a deeper perspective here than I could ever have expected. There is a new treasure on every page, especially in the form of placing old events into their historical framework, complete with relevant commentary from all sides. The presentation is factual but the irony is not lacking. Often I've written "HA!" in the margin with my highlighter.
But beyond the revelations about this gnarly little religious group which, as the author says, is "hugely well known -- far beyond what the size of the movement warrants," there is the context of the Christian religion as a whole and how its structure provided the foundation from which the Jehovah's witness movement and others began. Any student of religion and humanities would find this fascinating." Thank you very much for your fine words, Suzanne!
Historian J. Turner Stilson gives JDMW four stars
Judgment Day Must Wait: Jehovah's Witnesses- A Sect Between Idealism and Deceit (Paperback). The review is made by Janet Stilson, book reviewer, librarian, archivist and author of a great work on Church of God. Janet Stilson gave JDMW four stars on Amazon.com.
Short excerpt: The author is prolific in his excellent writing style to offer speculative theories about past motives of leaders, and to analyze some actions of the sect in a manner that some historians might consider to be outside the scope of valid historicity. Yet a case can be made that the author has every right and authority to speculate and to analyze. He and his family were themselves ejected from their congregation and shunned by their families. He writes from deep-felt hurt that in a lifetime he has not completely forgotten. (...) The author’s writing style is personable and readable. (...) This book is recommended for any student of American church history and for ex-members of the Jehovah Witnesses who are looking for answers or comfort. It may be purchased from Amazon.com." Thanks a lot, Jan.
Please see Jan Stilson's entire review at page 2 of this website.
See also Dawn B. Johnson's review on page 2.
Like "a Fictional Horror Story"
Kathleen Conti, a well known American ExWitness, writes in her five star review on Amazon.com:
Short excerpt: "Poul Bregninge’s in-depth research and innate understanding of the lifetime damage that this cult-like religion has on the normal rank and file Jehovah’s Witness member is impressive to say the least. If you are reading this book from outside this organization as someone who has not experienced being a Jehovah’s Witness, you may get the impression that you’re reading a fictional horror story. (...) This book "Judgment Day Must Wait" will show you firsthand what happens to people when they stop thinking for themselves and take on an Organizational Identity. Most have lost much of their lives to the Watchtower, but with hope and a lot of support we can find our true identities once more and learn to be happy once again. (...) It takes a person who truly cares deeply about his fellow man to write a book like this. Thank you Poul Bregninge for being that person. (Read the entire review on Amazon.com)." Thank you, Kathleen. As the first reviewer, I have quoted you many times since you wrote this! Best, Poul B.
A Book Long ago Needed
Under this heading, G. Medina writes in his five star review on Amazon.com:
Short excerpt: After studying the Watchtower (Wt.) and millennial movements, for about fifty years, I just came across with the remarkable book "Judgment Day Must Wait" by Poul Bregninge. I immediately ordered it and when it arrived, I intensely perused it. (...) Mr. Bregninge presents a sharp and accurate image of Russell, and he also explains for the first time, the role of Mrs. Russell in the building of the Wt. and the writing of the "Studies in the Scriptures", especially of the volume IV. (...) This book in brief, is a must for all those interested not only in the Wt. but also in millennial-apocalyptic movements and in people trapped in them. I enthusiastically recomemends it.” Thank you George! (Read the entire review on page 2).
A Thorough, Well-documented Book that I Highly Recommend
Doug Mason, Australia, writes in his five star review on Amazon.com:
Short excerpt: Poul provides a very human and balanced account of the people who shaped the organisation and his early life. Highlights include the machinations involved with the debacle associated with 1975. Poul concludes his book with a critique of the Watchtower's interpretation of chapter 24 in the Gospel of Matthew. As with the rest of his book, Poul's analysis is thorough and it is fully supported with documented evidence. He sees that the existence of the movement depends on its interpretation of that apocalyptic chapter, and he shows why its interpretation is unacceptable. (...) At each stage of his book, Poul shows that while the organisation is forever raising feverish speculation over the imminence of Armageddon, nevertheless at the same time it prepares for delay (...). Thanks a lot, Doug. (Read Doug's entire five star review on Amazon.com.).
A MUST READ for people of all faiths! It is one of the best books I ever read!
Craig Uherek, who was a member for 35 years, writes on Amazon.com:
Short excerpt: "It is a well-researched book that includes but not limited to, the history of the movement, how their teachings have changed over time, and personal experiences of some members that have left the organization. I am a exJW. I was associated with the JWs for 35 years and I strongly recommend this book to all readers. It is one of the best books I ever read!" ( (Read the full five star review on page 2 of this website). Thanks a lot, Craig.
I warmly recommend this important book
Professor Mogens Müller, the University of Copenhagen, says about Judgment Day Must Wait:
"Poul Bregninge’s background as a former member makes him an especially sensible analyst of a mentally isolated and paranoid universe only sustained by its own logic. His patient reading in the literature is extensive and his attempt to confront the interpretations of the Witnesses with a historical-critical reading of the Bible is innovative and shows how the whole construction of their universe is possible only because they have replaced a historical understanding of the Bible with an arbitrary fundamentalism. I warmly recommend that this important book is made available to a wider public by having it published in English, also because since its publication in Danish in 2006 the author has continued his investigations and included new results in his manuscript. In a period where fundamentalism is a threat to our community on several frontiers it is useful to have this comprehensive study of one of its more queer expressions."
View and read all the reviews on page 2, unabridged.
About the author
Poul Bregninge was born in Copenhagen in 1936. Two years later, Poul’s parents joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Poul was aged 17, his mother died after having refused a blood transfusion. In 1964, he was ostracized by the Watchtower Society in Denmark because he wrote articles on the Witnesses for the press. He published his first book in 1966, “Jehovas Vidner under anklage” (Jehovah’s Witnesses Accused). After this he ceased to deal with the subject JW for the next 37 years. In 2003 he decided to reissue his old book, but it became a brand new one, namely the forerunner of Judgment Day Must Wait, which was published in Danish in 2006 by the well-known publishing house of Gyldendal in Copenhagen.
Poul Bregninge, Kærlodden 27, 2760 Måløv,
Phone: 0045 44983660 / Mobile phone: 0045 61278495.
"ARMAGEDDON IS ALWAYS JUST A LITTLE WAY AROUND THE CORNER"
YBK Publishers, New York, writes about Judgment Day Must Wait:
Fear of the apocalypse that never comes! It is what holds a Jehovah's Witness power-bound by the Watch Tower Society in Brooklyn. Armageddon is always just a little way around the corner.
Poul Bregninge in this, his second book on the Witnesses, presents a complete history and ideology of the Society and why it keeps a keen focus on the Day of Judgment. He tells of multiple "days of reckoning" that pass uneventfully and how each failure of Christ to reappear is reevaluated by the Society to foretell of yet another apocalypse still to come. It is the fear of that moment that keeps Witnesses firmly in the fold. Judgment Day is the carrot dangled before them.
Every American knows the Jehovah's Witnesses, right? Those somber people who appear at our doors, offering literature and the everlasting salvation of our souls? What do we know about them? We see at our door their facades-their Society-devised disguises-directed to convert anyone willing to follow their Witness-ways of believing and living. In this book you will confront the thinking that motivates those beliefs.
Poul's book is a comprehensive view of JW history, its upheavals and struggles, and a raw demonstration of the manipulation and cruelty dealt those it charges with expanding its membership. By keeping Judgment Day ever coming, the Watch Tower Society ensures a ready supply of workers to proclaim the ever-coming coming.
The author dismantles their main biblical storage battery, Matthew 24, from which the movement takes their many "signs" of the impending end. His reinterpretation of these readings is a virtual bomb beneath the understanding they find in those key biblical texts.
Poul Bregninge was born and presently lives in Copenhagen. He was raised a Witness but informally left the movement in 1959. In 1964 he published several letters, articles, and features about the Society that the Witnesses deemed unacceptable. A three-man committee expelled Poul. Two years later he published his first book, Jehovas Vidner under anklage (Jehovah's Witnesses Accused) in Danish. This book, Judgment Day Must Wait, is a massive reworking (two and one half times its size) of his first book, now propelled by many years of continuing investigation that brings the history to the present in a text edited for the American reader.
Facts on JDMW:
Copyright © 2013 by Poul Bregninge
First English proofreading: J. Turner Stilson
Proofreading, selected chapters: Brian Kutscher, Jerry Leslie, James Parkinson and Jim Whitney
Editing for US publication: Dawn M. Johnson, Word Edge (http://www.word-edge.com)
Cover illustration by Jørgen Bregninge describes a new catastrophic year with great potential for renewed
activity about to emerge from the apocalyptic idea’s inexhaustible store: the year, 2034.
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
YBK Publishers, Inc.
39 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10013
Judgment day must wait : Jehovah’s Witnesses : a sect between idealism and deceit / Poul Bregninge.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-936411-23-8 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Jehovah’s Witnesses--Controversial literature. I. Title.
Manufactured in the United States of America for distribution in North and South America or in the United Kingdom or Australia when distributed elsewhere.
For more information, visit
(Copied from page 2 of JDMW)
Continuation of text samples from chapters 11, 13, 20 and 39.
The Table of Contents is found in the bottom of this column.
consisting primarily of unlettered men, the women’s rights movement was, at its least, unpopular, especially when a prominent “sister” was engaged in this liberation. An echo of this macho-chauvinist attitude from the 1890s is clearly sensed between the lines of a footnote in the Witnesses’ history book from 1993:
“The Bible Students did not clearly understand at that time what the Witnesses now know from the Bible regarding men as teachers in the congregation. (1 Cor. 14:33, 34; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12) As a result, Maria Russell had been associate editor of the Watch Tower and a regular contributor to its columns” (Proclaimers, 1993, footnote, page 645).
Russell offers unnecessary details about events in his account in Zion’ Watch Tower of June 1906. This presumably was the cause of Maria Russell’s final separation from him; and his intention was, as far as I can judge, to exhibit and ridicule his wife:
“[The committee] suggested that they considered Mrs. Russell had the grandest of all opportunities in the world as my associate and co-laborer in the harvest work; they told her that personally they could think of no higher honor, and advised her to take this same view, that evidently was at one time her own view of the situation…” (ZWT, July 15, 1906). Her annoyance of the committee’s reprimand of her is comprehensible, when you read more of Russell’s humiliating report:
“Mrs. Russell was chagrined, broke down and wept, and left the room.”
And he continued:
“She returned to the study [where the committee stayed] and there stated herself in substance that she could not agree with their decision, that she still had her own views, but that in deference to their advice she would endeavor to look at matters from their standpoint…”
The end of the story becomes clear as one reads further in Russell’s unbalanced and very subjective report:
“I then asked her in their presence if she would shake hands. She hesitated, but finally gave me her hand. I then said, ‘Now, will you kiss me, dear, as a token of the degree of change of mind which you have indicated?’ Again she hesitated, but finally did kiss me and otherwise manifested a renewal of affection in the presence of this Committee...” (ZWT, July 15, 1906; reprint 3812, 3813).
The situation was unbearable for Maria, who may have felt she’d reached her ... (End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 11
On Tuesday, October 31, 1916, or perhaps Wednesday, November 1, J. F. Rutherford boarded a train in Oakland, Maryland, bound for New York. He had suddenly changed travel plans. During a Bible Student convention in Oakland, he had received a telegram from his confidential friend Alexander Hugh Macmillan at Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The telegram contained a coded message about Russell’s death. Evidence suggests that Rutherford almost immediately packed his belongings, and then he took the first and best train connection to New York; if not for the telegram, he would have returned to Los Angeles, where he lived with his family. But fate yielded an alternative. A day or two later Rutherford was in the Bible Students’ Brooklyn headquarters where he, apparently without significant resistance, seized control.
As I prepared this chapter, the intense drama of this period in the Bible Students’ evolution gradually became clear to me; the movement had reached a turning point. Several times I found it necessary to rework and refine the chapter’s substance, which was remarkably difficult to grasp. Only after consulting several internet sources, the original sources from 1917 and literature I possessed—and notably important: contemporary Bible Students and ex-Witnesses, who were well-versed in the material—did it become possible for me to compile the dramatic events that led to Russell’s former legal adviser, Attorney J. F. Rutherford, determinedly seizing power of Russell’s organization.
... (End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 13
The first edition of the Seventh Volume in the series Studies in the Scriptures was presented to the Bethel “family” on July 17, 1917. On this occasion the management also announced the dismissal of four board members—whose names are repeated here for good measure: Alfred I. Ritchie (vice president under Russell), Robert H. Hirsh, Isaac F. Hoskins and James D. Wright. (Haugland: The Successor Problem, 2000; Cole, p. 93)
In 1993, the Watchtower Society wrote:
“It was as if a bombshell had exploded! The four ousted directors seized upon the occasion and stirred up a five-hour controversy before the Bethel family over the administration of the Society’s affairs. A number of the Bethel family sympathized with the opposers. The opposition continued for several weeks, with the disturbers threatening to ‘overthrow the existing tyranni,' as they put it” (Proclaimers, 1993, p. 67).
As noted in the previous chapter, Hirsh was a central figure in the explosive events of July 17 and described the events of the day in his pamphlet Light After Darkness.
Following the event summary, Hirsh notes, a few lines down, that “Pierson in his letter to Brother Ritchie has taken his stand with the majority members of the old Board, giving us a majority – five to two.” That there was a majority of five may be due to the fact that Pierson was still unsure whom he should join; Rutherford or the board majority, but he joined finally to the first mentioned. The four newly appointed directors, as Rutherford had appointed on July 12 in Pittsburgh, were: Dr. W. E. Spill, J. A. Bohnet, George H. Fisher and the “controversial”
A. Hugh Macmillan. (Light After Darkness, September 1917; italics are mine; there are no page numbers listed in the Hirsh document located on the internet; Cole, p. 93)
It seemed a “bomb had exploded” among Society management, or more appropriately a bit of a coup had occurred. Heated debates followed, wherein the four dismissed directors accused Rutherford of dictatorial methods and questioned his competence. Rutherford claimed the opposite: The four directors had formed a conspiracy to take control of the Society—perhaps a projection of his own motives toward his “enemies.” In reality, the four dismissed directors seemingly sought to maintain Russell’s testamentary intentions, and ... (End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 20
Battle of Armageddon
Gets Ever Closer
During my work with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ history I gradually realized my suspicion that the movement’s members are victims of systematic and organized cheating by Watchtower managers, and that speculative dates more or less seem to have been ongoing since Russell and Barbour joined their respective groups in 1876. Even before Russell, these encouraging preaching methods were regarded as legitimate since their application promoted the interests of God.
I found a suspicious coincidence between apparently organized “highlights” linked to apocalyptic events predicted for specific years, and the launch of new campaigns in the same years the events were to occur. The launch of a new truth, or a new organizational goal, would intentionally create great enthusiasm among the members that would erase the disappointments over the failure of the Society’s previous predictions. Typically the leaders realized afterwards that Armageddon would not arrive for a few more years and much work was still to be done, since those who shall survive must be collected everywhere on Earth, and then the end will come suddenly with much disruption—and very, very quickly!
Could there be a deliberate strategy behind it? Could one produce an outline, resting on the Witnesses’ published statistics, which could show that Watchtower leaders are deliberately cheating the members?
My investigations indicated exactly that.
(End of excerpt!)
EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 39
Great Signs and Wonders
“Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
—The Gospel According to Matthew 24:23, 24; RSV
A review of the eschatology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as
it relates to the concepts expressed by the first Christians
A few years after Birgit and I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I wrote my first book about the movement. The writing process proved to be a form of selftherapy. When the manuscript was finished, it was clear to me that the book was completely unwieldy. Five hundred pages front to back on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ interpretation of Matthew 24, verse for verse. Who could grasp that? Yet, the work was not entirely wasted, because I had discovered something.
The Watchtower Society’s interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew 24 constitutes the engine of the entire movement’s apocalyptic concept, and virtually all the arguments for the Witnesses’ thesis of the so-called “composite sign” are found in this chapter. The movement stands or falls upon the interpretation of it. My discarded manuscript later formed the basis for the tenth chapter of my 1966 book. It appears that chapter has made a deep impression on many former Witnesses who had difficulty understanding the nature of “the signs” that, according to the Watch Tower Society, had been fulfilled since 1914.
... (End of excerpt!)
END OF EXCERPTS OF JDMW
With these extracts of JDMW and the table of contents, below, I hope that you've got an useable impression of my book. The typographic typeface, the graphic design, is unfortunately not entirely accurate, but I hope anyway, it is useful to assess the quality of my book. See more on my Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/poul.bregninge
Acknowledgements ix / Introduction: Between Idealism and Deceit xi / Practical Remarks / / Criticisms xvi / Abbreviations xix
At the End of the World 1
1. Charles Taze Russell—Prophet of the Millennial Reign 3
2. The Adventists Before and After 1844 12
3. The Adventistic Connection 28
4. Crucial Meeting with Barbour 36
5. Russell’s Earthly Organization Takes Form 52
6. Increasing Opposition 67
7. Maria Russell’s Uprising 76
8. Relocation and New Problems 84
9. Growing Concerns about 1914 103
10. Moment of Truth 109
The Great Schism 123
11. Power Struggle, 1916-1919 125
12. Elected for Life! 134
13. The Bomb! 144
14. Prelude to the Trial 158
15. The Traitors! 162
16. Twenty Years Behind Bars to the Holy Ones 174
17. Cleaning up the Teachings 182
18. “Theocracy” Implemented by Voluntary Coercion 194
19. See You in the Kingdom of God 207
20. Battle of Armageddon Gets Ever Closer 221
21. The Last Giant Convention Before Armageddon 240
Human Destinies. 251
22. The Breakaway, Summer of 1959 253
23. What About 1975? 268
24. Jacobsen’s Circumstantial Evidences 282
25. Culmination of Hysteria 286
26. The Long Road to an Apology 299
27. Growth, Regimentation and Rebellion 306
28. “Brooklyn” Shaken to its Foundations 323
29. Jette Studies Babylonian list of Kings and Loses Her Children 331
30. Gangrene in the Congregation 342
31. Eve’s Choice 348
32. Barbara Anderson’s Discoveries 355
33. The Human Rights Aspect 370
Evasive Acrobatics 377
34. Problems Arising for the “Little Flock” 379
35. 2000–2012: Old Guard Disarmed 398
36. Will Armageddon Arrive Before 2034? 409
37. Armageddon is Here! 417
38. Beroea’s Choice 437
Summary, Conclusion and Outlook 443
A Closer Look 453
39. Great Signs and Wonders 455
Maria F. Russell’s “Circular Letter” 497
Olin R. Moyle’s letter to J. F. Rutherford, 1929 504
“Rumors” on Marley Cole 506
Jette Svane: Note regarding “genuine” or “false anointed” (Chapter 34) 507
Are there changes underway in the blood-transfusion issue? 509
Bibliography, Contributors, Source Notes 517
(The actual page number is 608, as the first 20 pages are in Roman numerals).
Last update March 23, 2016.
The Breakaway, Summer of 1959
Chapter 22 in JDMW tells the story of my own exclusion in 1964, a full five years after my wife and I had left JW.
Purges around 1964
As I recall, there existed a heretic hunting mood at this time. It was Richard E. Abrahamson (now deceased), the then chief for the Watchtower headquarters in Denmark who was originally sent to the Danish headquarters to carry out purges, who was behind the heretic process against me and other members who put critical questions to Watchtower's teachings . He later rose high up in the ranks of the Watchtower Society in the U.S.
The Committee Members went into Total Shock!
I brought along a hidden tape recorder with me to the meeting in the Kingdom Hall with the Judicial Committee, which I revealed as the meeting was coming to an end. The Exclusion Committee went into total shock when they realized that I had recorded the meeting with my tape recorder!
This incident led shortly afterwards to my exclusion, resulting in an involuntary break with my wife's family. Watchtower has concluded that she was under the influence of her husband, according to WT's ideology, her head! But she has in fact herself her own head!
In 1966 I published my first book, which in about half a year sold 5,000 copies. An antiquarian trades purchased the rest of the edition of 500. Only 40 years later came the sequel, "Dommedag må vente," today further developed and recently published in English under the title, "Judgment Day Must Wait. Jehovah's Witnesses--A Sect Between Idealism and Deceit," at YBK Publishers, New York.
The consequence of the exclusion, made five years after my wife and I had left JW, was that I myself almost lost contact with the in-laws. When my wife was not excluded, despite the fact that she in a letter had stated that she resigned, she could still have contact with her parents. I had a few times contact with the in-laws, especially around 1978-1980, when the grip on the organization for a short while were detached. But it was short-lived, and soon the discipline and control over the members tightened to the same level as earliere. I did not see them since, and now they are long gone.
After I published my first book on the JW, it was as if a chapter of our lives had been closed, I had written me out of the sect's mental embrace. We forgot almost everything about JW for many years. In fact, up until the early '90s. In between, however, we were reminded of the sect's existence, since the contact to my wife's family was sustained by my wife, Birgit. She could in fact still visit her parents and her siblings in North Jutland.
Life went on, however, without regard to Jehovah's Witnesses' hysterical prophecies about the end of the world in 1975 (see chapter 25 of JDMW). Yes, we sensed not 1975 as a significant year. We bought in fact our first house this year, and thus turned our life into a new and productive course that dealt with garden, fruit trees, maintenance of the house and everything else that comes with buying a house. It was not until about 1990 that attention to JW was again raised. I considered at this time to republish my old book on the Witnesses from 1966. But it's a long story that took many more years.
AT THE END OF THE WORLD
The end of the world is one of my recurring themes in "Judgment Day Must Wait."
In the year AD 95, the Christians in Rome were alarmed because of Emperor Domitian's persecution, and they believed that Christ's return was imminent. The Revelation to John says in the first verse: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place (...) the time is near."
Here I quote from my book, JDMW, p. 458, 459:
The Beast—A Secret Code
The Revelation of John was written circa AD 95. It depicted the Roman tyranny and the events of the last days in a secret, symbolic and figurative language that only Christians could interpret. The writing is also sometimes called by its Greek title, “The Apocalypse.”
The Revelation had a topical focus and is actually understood best using the historical-critical approach. In chapters thirteen and seventeen, “the beast” that would perish in the upcoming battle at Armageddon is mentioned (Revelation 16:16). This beast might be seen as a secret expression of the eighth Roman emperor, Domitian. At that time, many considered Domitian to be the resurrected Nero; this is reflected in Revelation 17:11. The succession of emperors from Augustus to Domitian is as follows: 1. Augustus, 2. Tiberius, 3. Caligula, 4. Claudius, 5. Nero, 6. Vespasian, 7. Titus and 8. Domitian.
In The Revelation of John 17:11 we read about the eighth, that is, Emperor Domitian: “As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to perdition” (RSV).
This “beast”—Emperor Domitian who “was, and is not”—was, according to the tradition of some, considered to be the arisen Emperor Nero. The beast was then both the “eighth” emperor, Domitian, but is still of the “seven,” that is, Nero. This is a scholarly hypothesis, but it seems plausible when considering the time and place of origin.
When we read John’s Revelation, we must pretend we live in Rome at the end of the first century when the emperor sentenced Christians to cruel persecutions.
The year is AD 95. Forget everything you know about the centuries that followed it, because you are a member of a Roman-Christian congregation that expects the imminent return of Christ. This terrible persecution by Rome is one of the signs!" (End of quote from JDMW, chapter 39, "Great Signs and Wonders," pp. 458, 459).
Above: Chapter 25 deals with the hysteria that erupted among Jehovah's Witnesses around the world between 1966 and 1975. This hysteria was due to that the Watchtower Society in two new books, published between 1966 and 1968, caused great sensation among the members. This is discussed in chapters 23, 24 and 25 of JDMW.
JUDGMENT DAY "2014" FOR JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES?
It is claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses are in serious decline. I think that's wishful thinking. But it must be said that I basically do not know anything specific about this. I've looked at "2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses," but immediately, there is no evidence of any significant decline. In general it seems that JW is still growing, although growth is about more or less two percent. But of course I do not know the last digits from January-February 2014. It will be interesting to see later when YB 2015 is being published. However, only 2.1 per cent in 2013 (2014 YB, p. 186). Small items compared to the previous year's high growth rates, particularly in the years before 1975. Peak of publishers in 2012: 7,965,954. Worldwide memorial attendance: 19,241,252.
There is nothing surprising in these figures, apart from the number of the "anointed crowd" whose numbers instead of falling nevertheless continues to grow, reaching 13,204 in 2013. In 2006 the number was 8,758, and in 2007 9,105. In 1969 the figure was 10,368, and Watchtower Society (WTS) emphasized in 1969 that the numbers of the heavenly flock were still in decline, which should be a circumstantial evidence that the end of the world would be very near around 1975. It is now 39 years ago!
A postponement of Armageddon!
If one constructs a graph with the respectively decreasing and increasing number of anointed from 1969 until 2014 and continues this graph's upward trend, the number of anointed is likely to increase regularly until 2050, where it may be between 20,000 and 50,000 (difficult to guess!). However, depending on the statistical fluctuations and changes in the doctrines. Amazingly, WTS can get away with it. If you read the report for 2014 Yearbook, however, no signs indicate that the WTS leaders are getting wiser--maybe smarter! The increase in the number of anointed acts as a deliberate strategy designed primarily to suggest a postponement of Judgment Day, or Armageddon. But it's hard to decipher what the so-called Governing Body will achieve.
Smart and cunning!
In Yearbook 2014, WTS is also trying to ridicule and diminish the importance of the fact that it is now 100 years since the end of the world was to come. The WTS publishes thus a Bible Student countdown calendar from before October 1914, a so-called "countdown card" used "by some in their resolve to remain faithful to the end" (YB, p. 175). Very smart and cunning!
WTS writes under the heading:
The End of the Gentile Times
"The Bible Students believed that “the times of the Gentiles,”
spoken of in Luke 21:24 (King James Version), would end about October 1, 1914. As October drew near, anticipation increased. Some Bible Students even caried a countdown card so that they could mark oﬀ each passing day. Many felt that they would be called beyond the veil, or to heaven, on that date."
Continued top of next column.
Press Release on:
Judgment Day Must Wait
This Press Release provides background about the author and the book, and is written by the author.
Judgment Day Must Wait: Jehovah’s Witnesses – A Sect Between Idealism and Deceit. Released resently at YBK Publishers, New York.
SHORT: “Judgment Day Must Wait” (JDMW) is an unconventional and incredibly revealing book about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, written by a Danish author, who has long since put Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) behind him. But after 37 years he found the story of Jehovah's Witnesses so fascinating that he would try to dig deeper down into the movement’s past. The result is a critical and extremely exciting story.
Ten reviews on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.un gives in JDMW "49" stars:
Like “reading a fictional horror story.”
Kathleen Conti, a well known American exWitness, writes in her review on Amazon:
“Poul Bregninge’s in-depth research and innate understanding of the lifetime damage that this cult-like religion has on the normal rank and file Jehovah’s Witness member is impressive to say the least. If you are reading this book from outside this organization as someone who has not experienced being a Jehovah’s Witness, you may get the impression that you’re reading a fictional horror story.” (Read more on Amazon.com)
A Book Long ago Needed
Under this heading, G. Medina writes in his review:
“This book in brief, is a must for all those interested not only in the Wt. but also in millennial-apocalyptic movements and in people trapped in them. I enthusiastically recomemends it. Its publication is very welcome!” (Read the entire review on Amazon.com. Mr. Medina gave the book a five star rating).
A Thorough, Well-documented Book that I Highly Recommend
Doug Mason, Australia, writes:
“With objective balance, Poul recounts the story of the movement that shaped his formative years. He provides a thoroughly detailed ...." (something wrong here, will be reconstructed! Look for the continuation in (Doug Mason Continued)
(continued in next column)
The Origin of the Empathic Diaglott
(Quote from p. 39 in JDMW:
"Benjamin Wilson too was tied to the Adventist movement. Still, there is nothing to indicate that Wilson himself ever considered the translation of the noun in question, parousia, to be of particular significance, as Keith, Barbour and later Russell, all felt it implied—although Wilson unwittingly delivered the very cornerstone of Russell’s late-Adventism (Adventism after 1870) development.
That Wilson himself never considered this invisibility theory had any significance is further emphasized by Wilson’s clearly favoring the idea that Jesus, upon his Second Coming, would govern the world from literal, earthly Jerusalem. In other words, he would, as a visible manifestation, be active in the physical world."
Quote from p. 42 of JDMW:
"A number of Adventists were attracted to Russell’s movement and doctrines. To confront this attraction or “drawing,” Benjamin Wilson’s nephew, W. H. Wilson—who had worked closely with Benjamin for several years—published a small, 30-page pamphlet in 1890, Cunningly Devised Fables of Russellism, all of which revolved around two central articles of faith: The resurrection of Christ in the flesh and the visible second coming of Christ. The pamphlet clearly demonstrates that the Wilson family considered Russell to be nothing less than a false prophet, particularly on the issue of the “invisible return” (“secret coming”; p. 23–27). Clearly, there is nothing to indicate that Benjamin Wilson held any sympathy for Russell and his “cunning” ideas. (Stilson)
On the other hand, for Barbour—and later, Russell—Wilson’s translation of parousia became a decisive factor in their future religious development. And as Barbour and his followers already believed the calculations leading them to 1873–1874 in the first place were valid, they easily read more into Wilson’s translation than Wilson had ever intended.
Consequently, it was the idea that Jesus would come again visibly that was wrong. Instead, from 1874 he was invisibly present—a “discovery” which, of course, was not particularly new; the Adventists had in a way used the same trick when nothing happened in October 1844. Jesus had come that year, but he had merely “moved from one heavenly apartment to another” (Stilson in: “An Overview… 1832–1871;” ZWT, Oct.–Nov. 1881, p. 3; Gentile, 2004, p. 47-50)" (...) Barbour had previously presented his so-called “time prophecies” and calculations as those before him had done. As early as 1823, in his book Even Tide John Aquila Brown presented the length of the so-called “seven times” spoken
of in Daniel 4; in Brown’s opinion it would last a full 2,520 years. Supposedly, the period began in 604 BC and would end in 1917. Brown juxtaposed .... (...)" (end of excerpt from JDMW) ...
Below can W. H. Wilson's little pamphlet from 1890 be read for the first time since 1890 (Best viewed in Google Chrome)
My father, Hans Eigil Bregninge, far left. My mother, Gerda Marie Bregninge (née Bilde), is the beautiful young woman in the second topmost row; she is ranked third from the left.
SNAPSHOT FROM A
Sketches from a Family's Story
In the midst of my promotion of "Judgment Day Must Wait" I need to tell you something that may shed light on the reason why I have written this book.
This snapshot is from approx. 1943 and is therefore about 71 years old. Everyone is happy, because they have just finished the Witness work on "the field." My mother is the beautiful woman next to the "sister" in the polka dot dress. My father sides far left--at your left hand. The Germans had occupied Denmark in 1940, as a result of unemployment, we moved to a small town near Frederiksværk Steel Shipyard, where my father got a job.
The little boy with blond hair is me, the author of Judgment Day Must Wait! Happy unaware of what was to come. Eventually it ended in tragedy, as my parents were separated and my father ostracized. Had my parents been alive today I am sure they would have been very proud of their children and our entire family! I sit next to the man lying in the front row, Hans Hansen, who was a ministerial servant and an "anointed." He was forester in one of the largest forests in Denmark, Gribskov Forest. He became some years later critical of the Watchtower organization and helped my parents out of JW.
Refused a Blood Transfusion
However, my mother turned back to the JW-faith later, as she became seriously ill. She thought that Armageddon would come in 1954 (I write about this in JDMW) and believed therefore that she also would survive the disease. It was her only hope. She died early in 1954 of cancer at the age of almost 40 years, after refusing to have a blood transfusion. My father died in 1995, aged 89, satisfied with his life. He was an excellent artist, painter and wood carver. It is now 60 years ago. A long time ago, and yet as if it were the day before yesterday!
Above me at the photo is a dark-haired girl, and in front of me a little boy in checkered shirt. Almost all are now dead, except the children, who all now are approaching 80 years! It would be very interesting to hear their story today.
I was married to my wife in 1956, and we left both JW in 1959, after which the road was paved for the reunion with my father and my sister, as we had not seen since 1954.
We were all reunited in 1959-1960, when we celebrated Christmas together. A new life outside the Jehovah's Witnesses could begin.
In 1964, I was ostracized, and in 1966 I published my first book on JW. From 1966 to 1990 we dealt not at all with the JWs. We thought barely on them. And in 1975 we bought our first house in which we lived the next 28 years. The time from 1991 to 2013, however, is a different story, as you can read more about in my new book, Judgment Day Must Wait.
See also my personal account on the new website, http://www.ad1914.com/
The picture above shows part one, page 1 (the first 20 pages are in Roman numerals)
The Yearbook continues:
"On the morning of October 2, 1914, Brother Russell entered
the Bethel dining room and announced to the Bethel family: “The Gentile Times have ended; their kings have had their day.” Some of those present would have recognized those words, which were based on song 171 in their songbook Hymns of the Millennial."
Early Christians in Rome
My intention in bringing this quote from JDMW is simply that you should know that in my book I want to tell my readers about the latest knowledge about the early Christians in Rome. In the year AD 95 the Christians expected that both Christ's second coming and the world's end was very near!
History repeats itself, it must be said. It is therefore in my opinion the time to avoid being tempted by hag-like fables and speculations in the belief that when Christ returns not happened around 95-100 AD it did not mean that the Second Coming was postponed indefinitely. The simple explanation is that the Christians around the time of the emergence of the Revelation of John imagined something about the near future which did not happen. Christ should come "soon," as it is said in the intro words, but his coming did not materialize in fact. And when he still has not come, it could nevertheless indicate that someone has misunderstood something. Or maybe even the author of Revelation of John had misunderstood something! Yes, I know very well that I am moving into a minefield. But is it not about time that someone says it.
By believing that Christ's Second Coming, Judgment Day and the world's end is currently in our century, and will happen on a specific date in the near future, then you are cheating not only yourself, but also the person you mislead with that kind of crafty "fables. "You can lose your life for an illusion that does not have an earthly chance of becoming reality. My advice is: Use your time on real life and drop the belief in that kind of sectarian speculation. See what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:2-4; please see quote from Tim. 2 at bottom of this page).
The picture in the middle depicting a countdown calendar that Bible Students used just before 1914. Source: 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 125. The caption reads: "The “Be Thou Faithful Unto Death” countdown card was used by some in their resolve to remain faithful to the end."
The image above: Before October 1975, some Witnesses in Denmark used a tape measure as a countdown calendar. Reconstruction of the author.
Dawn. Since 1879, the Bible Students had been singing “The Gentile times are closing,” but those words were no longer true, since the Gentile Times, or “the apointed times of the nations,” had indeed ended. (Luke 21:24) In time, our songbooks reﬂected this important change."
The 2014 Yearbook continues:
"By year’s end, the Messianic Kingdom had been ﬁrmly establishedin the heavens, and some Bible Students thought that their work was done. Little did they know that they were about to enter a period of testing and sifting... (...) The Bible Students were about to facetrials, both from within and from outside their ranks. Their ... (read yourself the full text; quote taken from the 2014 Yearbook of JW, p. 175).
Ok! Words hides a multitude of sins, including the "sin" that Russell and the Russellites for many years before 1914, had proclaimed the world's catastrophic end around October 1914, but a few years before the downfall, Russell opened up the possibility that he might have guessed a few years wrong. And now it is 100 years "wrong"!
WTS's ostensible lily-white style
Behind WTS's ostensible lily-white style, there is no doubt that the so-called Governing Body perceived the situation until October 2014 as deeply serious and very labile. Maybe even dangerous! Everything could happen! Therefore, the above mentioned quote served probably to calm down any dreamers in the ranks. WTS's own judgment day that might be present! The question is when? !
But "it is difficult to make predictions--especially about the future," as the Danish humorist and cartoonist Robert Storm Pedersen (1882-1949) said. It could have been Jehovah's Witnesses' motto!
News about the 1914-2014 development? What is happening right now within the Jehovah's Witnesses' ranks in the United States and across the world? What do the rank and file JW think? Or are the Watchtower foot soldiers largely unaffected by the situation? If there is an ascertainable increasing decline because of the centenary for the worlds end in 1914, as the WTBS clearly seeks to minimize and ridicule the importance of, then I am very interested in reports on what are going on.
I imagine that the fact that there was not something special about October 1, 2014, can subsequently lead to that there comes a certain dropout. Such dropouts would then tell us that many members thus actually was expecting something special about October 1, 2014. But it can be exciting to see what there in the future will take place within this movement.
Personally, I'm not sure that the rank and file JW will respond to the issue "100 years of the end of the world." Perhaps few! The Witnesses are likely as a religious group in the process to establish themselves as a permanent church/movement in the religious market.
It is not unusual that the members of a certain religious group is not susceptible to impressions or outside influences. As churchgoers in the major Christian churches, there must really be much unrest and talk within one's own religion for that one begins to move and ask dangerous questions. Maybe it's good that way. It is usually only a few individuals, who, for one reason or another, break with their past religious environment.
But things can develop very quickly, as we saw in 1989 with the collapse of communism in DDR and the Soviet Union. We were totally unprepared for it, but when people first came in motion, nothing could stop them. So much can happen after October 1, 2014. Therefore, I need some knowledge about what is happening from now on and the next years concerning these issues!
These article were updated October 9, 2014.
The whole website will continue to be updated! And fortunately, it contains no prophecies, on the contrary!
You are welcome to write to me directly on Facebook, or via my email addresses: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Doug Mason Continued)
account of the organisation’s story from its formation during the 1870s through to its most recent days. Poul provides a very human and balanced account of the people who shaped the organisation and his early life. Highlights include themachinations involved with the debacle associated with 1975.” (Mr. D. Mason gave JDMW five stars; please see Amazon.com.)
The author: Poul Bregninge was born in Copenhagen in 1936. Two years later, Poul’s parents joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Poul was aged 17, his mother died after having refused a blood transfusion. In 1964, he was ostracized by the Watchtower Society in Denmark because he wrote articles on the Witnesses for the press. He published his first book in 1966, “Jehovas Vidner under anklage” (Jehovah’s Witnesses Accused). After this he ceased to deal with the subject JW for the next 37 years. In 2003 he decided to reissue his old book, but it became a brand new one, namely the forerunner of Judgment Day Must Wait, which was published in Danish in 2006 by the publishing house of Gyldendal in Copenhagen.
Translation of JDMW:
While translating his book into English between 2007 and 2013, Poul studied the subject further, creating a more comprehensive work. The manuscript was linguistically improved by Dawn Johnson, Stillman Valley, Illinois. The resulting manuscript was accepted for publication by YBK Publishers’ managing director, Otto Barz of New York.
Russellism: JDMW is a comprehensive account of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ history that has to be seen in the light of the Adventists’ so-called “Great Disappointment” of 1844. The Adventists believed that Christ would come again on the sky in 1844, but nothing happened and the movement collapsed almost. Thirty years later, a young man, Charles Taze Russell stepped out of the reorganized revival movement’s smoldering embers. Russell’s ideas attracted many people, who saw him as the “wise servant” of Matthew. 24:45. Poul’s dramatic report shows that this not was without problems. The story of Maria Russell’s rebellion reveals previously unknown details for the understanding of the couple's conflict.
Rutherfordism: Upon Russell’s death in 1916, J. F. Rutherford (JFR) seized control of the founder’s companies and secured for himself the life-long position as the president. Critics called Rutherford’s reorganization “Rutherfordism.” By 1931, 70 percent of the original Bible Students had left the organization. Russell’s original idealistic movement was developed by JFR into a dictatorship with strict regimentation, which has continued to the present time. JDMW provides full details of JFR’s seizure of power and his subsequent perversion of the faith. This part of the book contains astonishing details.
The Doomsday Machine: Following the 1914 failure, when Judgment Day did not come, JFR and his successors kept setting other dates for the world’s destruction: 1918, 1925, 1954 and 1975 -- and now, 2034 lurks on the horizon. One must ask: What would the movement’s leaders do without this “doomsday machine”? The unacceptable alternative would see decreasing growth of membership. The theme of the world’s end continues to be the pattern and the method needed to keep the movement going and growing.
Professor Mogens Müller, the University of Copenhagen, says about JDMW:
“Poul Bregninge’s background as a former member makes him an especially sensible analyst of a mentally isolated and paranoid universe only sustained by its own logic. His patient reading in the literature is extensive and his attempt to confront the interpretations of the Witnesses with a historical-critical reading of the Bible is innovative and shows how the whole construction of their universe is possible only because they have replaced a historical understanding of the Bible with an arbitrary fundamentalism.”
Please apply to email@example.com for a review copy.
See more: http://ybkpublishers.com/#Judgment
Please see also on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/kbsdhcb, where the book is now available.
Otto Barz, the publisher, can be reached at
See also the mention of JDMW on these sites:
Danish book now in English: Judgment Day Must Wait: JWs-A Sect ...
The Book Corner – Judgment Day Must Wait | JWsurvey
Publicity - Judgment day must wait - jwstudies
Contact the author on these e-mail addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org or: email@example.com
Cunningly Devised Fables of Russellism
Pamphlet by W. H. Wilson published for the first time since 1890. Perhaps a little sensation!
During my work with the Danish version of JDMW I came in 2005 into contact with Jan Stilson, an American writer and historian who was a member of the Age to Come Church, Church of God. She has written many scientific articles, including an encyclopedia about God's Church.
Through Jan I got in touch with David Krogh, who is registrar at Atlanta Bible College, McDonough, Georgia. I received with gratitude a copy from David of W. H. Wilson's Conningly Devised Fables of Russellism.
Benjamin Wilson's uncle, A. S. Wilson, published in 1890 this small print, Gunningly Devised Fables of Russellism.
It probably had no attracted attention in 1890, and will probably not do so in 2014— except perhaps among ExJWs. Nevertheless that small print seems to prove that Benjamin Wilson—whose New Testament translation, The Emphatic Diaglott, was the Watchtower's main Bible translation the first 70 years of the Bible Student's and Jehovah's Witnesses' existence—vigorously opposed Russell'sview of Christ's invisible return.
Benjamin Wilson and his uncle A. S. Wilson plus his nephew, W. H. Wilson, who was the author, perceived Russell as a false prophet. Benjamin Wilson had admittedly translated the Greek word parousia to "presence," a translation that totally occupied Barbour and Russell and as the Watchtower Society today has inherited and used as the cornerstone of their teachings.
Quote from JDMW, p. 41, 42:
"The events concerning the Watch Tower’s acquisition of The Emphatic Diaglott
around 1901 are somewhat unclear, but copyrights and printing blocks of the Diaglott were clearly, as part of some “arrangement” with the family of the late Benjamin Wilson, transferred from the publishing firm S. R. & Wells Company (later, Fowler & Wells), New York, which for some years had printed Diaglott from the original printing plates, in the form of a gift to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society—also resulting in great frustration to Wilson’s former fellow adherents of the Church of God. (Stilson; WT, Nov. 15, 1969)
The printing plates of the Diaglott were a prized “relic” for the Watch Tower
Society, and it was the movement’s main Bible translation for its first seventy
years. It was not reprinted before 1927, but from that year and forward to 1993,
427,924 copies were produced. (Stilson; WT, Nov. 15, 1969; Proclaimers, 1993, p. 606-607)" (End of quote from JDMW p. 41, 42).
Read the whole story in Judgment Day Must Wait.
Test med billede, taget 30.3.2016. Test with picture taken 30.3.2016. P.B.
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