Have you heard the term “Denominational Blinders”?

As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I encountered the logical fallacy of “denominational blinders” every time I went out in the door-to-door preaching work.

Denominational Blinders refers to “arbitrarily ignoring or waving aside without serious consideration any arguments or discussion about faith, morality, ethics, spirituality, the Divine or the afterlife that come from outside one’s own specific religious denomination or faith tradition.”

Of course, I never thought that I was also wearing “denominational blinders”. Oh no, not me! I had the truth. But that is exactly what most everyone else I was talking to believed. Yet, neither they nor I had put our beliefs to the test. Instead, we had trusted men to interpret things for us and we were so sure that what they taught was right, that we turned off our critical thinking when others came along to challenge our beliefs.

What we are going to examine next is an example of how clever men can take advantage of our trust to fool us into believing the very opposite of the truth.

This is taken from the February broadcast on JW.org.

“Often in lands where our work is banned, lies and propaganda are spread to justify persecution, but it’s not just in such lands where we face false reports, misinformation, and outright lies….”

Do see what he’s doing? Anthony Griffin is depending on the denominational blinders we all wore as Jehovah’s Witnesses to get you to accept what he says as gospel truth. We were always taught that we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, were being persecuted for speaking the truth in lands like Russia and North Korea. But now he wants to tap into that bias to get you to accept that other countries are persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses with false reports, misinformation, and outright lies. The problem is that these countries are not totalitarian regimes, but modern first world nations with strong human rights agendas.

“In fact, even though we bear the truth…”

Again, Anthony just assumes his listeners will believe that they are bearing the truth and everyone else is lying. But we are not going to make any more assumptions.

“Apostates and others may cast us as dishonest, as deceivers…”

Name calling. He engages in name calling. “Apostates may cast us as dishonest, as deceivers.” Think for a moment. Just because he accuses others as apostates, doesn’t mean they are. He would claim that I’m an apostate, but an apostate in this context, in the biblical context, is someone who has left Jehovah God. I haven’t left Jehovah God. So is he lying, or am I? Is he the apostate, or am I? You see, name calling only works if your audience is full of credulous people who don’t know how to think for themselves.

“How can we respond to that unfair treatment? Let’s listen to brother Seth Hyatt’s recent morning worship discussion “Speaking Truth Though Labelled as Deceivers.”

“Have you ever been confronted by a bad report, a false report about Jehovah’s people?”

Yes, Seth, I have been confronted with a false report about Jehovah’s people. As one of Jehovah’s people, I have often been misrepresented, slandered, and lied about. I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses have also been misrepresented, slandered, and lied about. However, what about the reports that are true? What recommendation will Seth give his audience on how to respond to negative reports about Jehovah’s Witnesses that are based in truth? Let’s see if he looks at both sides of the issue fairly.

“It may be a newspaper article or a segment on the evening news, or perhaps some subject is brought up in the ministry. It could be a broad range of subjects, our neutral stand…..”

“Our neutral stand”? You mean, Seth, like the 10-year affiliation with the United Nations as a registered Non-Governmental Organization?

“Our stand on blood…”

Yes, it would be terrible to have their scriptural stand on blood be impugned in the press, unless, of course, it turns out not to be scriptural at all. Let’s not assume anything. Let’s check out the facts.

“Our adherence to Jehovah’s elevated moral standards and  appreciation for the sanctity of marriage, or our insistence on keeping the congregation clean by disfellowshipping unrepentant wrongdoers.”

Seth is engaging in his own little bit of misinformation and misrepresentation. The reports that attack the Organization do not have to do with disfellowshipping, but rather with shunning. No one claims that a religious organization does not have the right to dismiss a member who violates its internal rules. That’s what disfellowshipping represents. What’s at issue in these reports is the practice of shunning which goes so far beyond disfellowshipping.  You can disfellowship someone, but then requiring all friends and family to ostracize the disfellowshipped person goes beyond what it written. By omitting that fact, Seth is engaging in his own bit of misinformation and misrepresentation.

“But whatever the subject, there are some commonalities. Such reports are often characterized by distortions, inaccuracies, and sometimes outright falsehood and inevitably they’re presented with certainty and surety as though they were fact.”

Well, dear Seth, it seems you expect us to take your word for all this because you haven’t given us a single example of a bad report, misinformation, or lie.  Yet all the claims and allegations you’ve made so far have been… “presented with certainty and surety as though they were fact.”

You see, that door swings both ways.

Now when you’re confronted with such a report how do you feel? Disheartened, discouraged, angry?

If the report is false, why would you feel discouraged, disheartened, or angry? I mean, if you realized that it was true, then yes, you might feel discouraged and disheartened to realize you’d been betrayed by men you trusted to tell you the truth. You might even be angry that you’d been fooled and wasted precious time and energy promoting a falsehood. But if you have the truth, then a false report should be a cause for rejoicing. That’s how the apostles felt.

“So they went out from before the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name. And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5:41, 42)

“Consider the experience of a pioneer sister who was conducting a Bible study and in the course of conducting the study a woman walked into the house unannounced, she didn’t ring the doorbell, didn’t knock, and as it turned out an acquaintance of the student. She walked right in, interrupted the Bible study and in her hand was a book written by a man, who at one time had associated with Jehovah’s people.”

I wonder what book that woman was brandishing? Perhaps this one, by a former member of the Governing Body. Or, could have been this one, also by a former Jehovah’s Witness?

Why not show us, Seth? I mean, if you are, as your compatriot, Anthony Griffin said, a bearer of truth, what do you have to fear by showing us what you claim is “a misrepresentation, a false report, an outright lie?”

Did you notice how Seth characterized the encounter, coloring the perception of his audience? But perhaps what really happened is that a friend of this woman who was welcome in her home and could come and go as she pleased, fearful that her dear friend was being misled to join a cult, barged in to interrupt the study to protect her friend from harm?

Let us see how he continues to reason on this matter, whether honestly and openly, or with denominational bias guiding him.

“The woman said to the student, ‘You need to read this book.’ Well, an interesting conversation ensued, and our sister found herself in the position of being cast in the role of a deceiver. How did she handle that situation and how did the Bible student respond?”

I doubt very much if the pioneer sister was acting as a deceiver. I’m quite sure she was as convinced as I was at one time that what she was teaching was the truth. She was a victim of deceit herself.

“Well before we answer that question, let’s see how the words of today’s text and surrounding verses can help us to have the proper view. Look if you would please at 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and notice verse four. Paul says, “in every way we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers.”  Now, what follows is a lengthy series of circumstances and situations that the apostle Paul faced in his ministry and that faithful Christians have faced in their ministry ever since. In verse 7, the words of today’s text, “we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers” by truthful speech, (well we worship Jehovah the God of truth and we take delight in that and as our Watchtower comment makes the point, we’re truthful in things big and small. We love the truth. We love telling the truth about Jehovah. So, it’s interesting to note Paul’s words in verse 8, he says, “through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report.” And then this intriguing statement, we are regarded “as deceivers and yet we are truthful.”

Do you see the flaw in his argument? Seth is reading words that the Apostle Paul applied to himself and to Christians of his day, but Seth is applying them to Jehovah’s Witnesses. We know that Paul was a true Christian and that he taught the truth, but… Here, let me put this in a different way. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses watching this video, take every word that Seth Hyatt just said, word for word, mind you, but imagine hearing them from the pulpit in a Catholic Church. Would they still persuade you? Or imagine a Mormon elder at your door, saying these very words, using this very reasoning, to persuade you that the LDS church is the one true church.

Seth hasn’t proven anything to us yet. He’s using an “association fallacy,” hoping his listeners think that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe all the things that the apostles believed and practice their faith in the same way that the apostles did. But he hasn’t proven that.

“Now, that’s an interesting paradox, isn’t it? To be truthful and yet cast in the role of a deceiver. When we are confronted with a negative report that does that to Jehovah’s people, we have to remember that Jehovah was the first target of such an attack.”

Again, more of the logical fallacy of “honor by association”, only this time it is Jehovah God with whom they are comparing themselves. He’s putting the Organization on the same level as Jehovah, but that shouldn’t surprise us. His compatriot, Anthony Griffin, in this same broadcast spoke of “Jehovah and his Organization” six times as if the two were synonymous, which of course, they are not, because the Organization expects you to obey them before Jehovah. Oh yes! How else are we to understand that you are required to obey a dictate in the Watchtower, even if it contradicts what is said in the Bible.

“Look in your Bible at Genesis chapter 3. Beginning in verse 1, “Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” Now, we learn something about Satan’s method. He didn’t begin with a statement, he began with a question, and not just a question—a question that was designed to sow seeds of doubt. “Did God really say that?” Now in verses two and three the woman responds: Towards the close of verse three she actually quotes Jehovah’s command: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’ So she understood the command and she understood the penalty. But notice in verse four the serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die.” Now, that was a lie. But it was presented with certainty and surety as though it were a fact. And then in verse 5, “God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” Satan, the father of the lie, cast Jehovah in the role of a deceiver. Jesus experienced similar attacks in his earthly ministry and the apostle Paul was labelled by his opposers as a deceiver. So when we’re confronted with negative, false reports, we’re not surprised. The question is “how will we respond?”

Seth asks that when Jehovah’s Witnesses are confronted with negative false reports, how should they respond?  Here is where the fallacy of “honor by association” ends. We know that all the negative reports against Jesus and the Apostle Paul were false. We don’t know that the same applies to Jehovah’s Witnesses because to this point, Seth has given us not one single example of a false report. But fair enough. Let’s say that there is a false report. Okay, so how should Jehovah’s Witnesses respond? Like I said, this is where the “honor by association” ends. They don’t want to compare themselves to Jesus in this instance, because Jesus didn’t run away from a false report. Neither did Paul. Why should they? They had the truth, and so could show up the falsehood of any report and uncover the hidden agenda behind their attackers’ lies. But as you’re about to see, that isn’t the method that Seth Hyatt and the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is encouraging the rank and file to follow.

“Have you ever considered some questions that Eve could have asked herself that would have helped her make a good decision? Here’s one: What do I know about the person who is the source of this negative report? What is his motive? Does he have my best interests at heart, or does he have an agenda? And another question: Before I accept as truth, a negative report from someone I don’t know, is there someone I do know, someone I trust who I can talk with and get some good advice?

The irony is over the moon. He’s saying that what Eve should have done was to ask questions before making her decision. Have you ever tried to ask questions of the Governing Body? If you ask too many questions, if you point out too many inconsistencies between what they teach and what is written in the Bible, what do you suppose happens? If you’ve watched the various judicial hearings that have been exposed on this channel, you’ll know that asking questions results in being shunned.

” Well, Eve certainly could have talked with her husband and together they could have talked with Jehovah and if Eve could have asked herself those questions the world would likely be a much different place today. But Eve chose to believe a lie.

Yes, yes, and yes! If Eve had just asked herself questions and not blindly accepted the things the devil [presented with certainty and surety as though they were fact] we’d all be in a much better place.  But that is not what Seth Hyatt and the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is promoting here. They don’t want you to ask questions. They want you to believe what they say, period! Observe!

“How about the pioneer sister and the Bible student that I mentioned earlier? How did they handle the situation? Well, the pioneer sister told us that she reflected on the fact that she was a guest in the Bible student’s house and so she felt it would be rude for her to interrupt the conversation, so she chose to say nothing. What did the Bible student do? Interestingly she asked the woman, do you know the man who wrote that book? No. Do you know his motive for writing? Why would he write such a book? Well, I know this lady comes and studies the Bible with me and I know her motive is good so I don’t think I need to read your book.”

Again, a little transposition will help us see the colossal hole in Seth’s reasoning. Let’s say the woman in this case is studying the Bible with Baptists, when her friend runs into the home holding a Watchtower magazine and says, you’ve got to read this. It proves that the Trinity is false. But the woman says, I know the Baptist minister who has been coming here every week to teach me the Bible, but I don’t know who wrote that magazine, so I think I’ll just stick with the person I know. You see how the reasoning of Seth Hyatt depends entirely on the credulity of his flock? He needs them to accept the premise that they are right and everyone else is wrong, so of course there’s no need to examine anything negative, because it can’t be true. Denominational blinders!

I’m sure the pioneer sister was very sincere, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t the victim of false teachings handed down to her since she was a child. If we only accept what people tell us without looking at the evidence, how are we ever going to escape the clutches of false religion?

What if all the Jews in Jesus’ day reasoned as Seth Hyatt reasons?

“Well, I don’t know this Jesus fellow, but I do know the Pharisees who’ve been teaching me Holy Scriptures since I was a little child, so I think I’ll stick with them, because I don’t know the motive or agenda of this Jesus fellow.”

“What a beautiful response.” The Bible student got it. And we get it too.”

“What a beautiful response”?! Seth, you’re praising willful ignorance. You’re turning spiritual blindness into a virtue.

“We know and we’re not surprised that we will be the target of negative reports. At times we may even be cast in the role of deceivers.”

An interesting choice of words: “At times, we may even be cast in the role of deceivers”.  “Cast in the role”, eh? When Jesus told the religious leaders of his day, “You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father.” (John 8:44) He was not casting them in the role of deceivers, because that would imply that they were not deceivers, but like actors cast to play a part, Jesus was making them into something they were not.  No sir, he wasn’t casting them at all. They were deceivers plain and simple. There is a reason that Seth is referring to all these reports in the abstract and why he doesn’t want you to hear them or read a book. Because if you did, you could evaluate for yourself whether the reports were false or true. He knows that in the light of day, the Organization does not fare well.

“And Jehovah has frankly told us that there are some who are willing to exchange the truth of God for the lie.”

Exactly! At last something we can agree on. And those who are willing to exchange the truth of God for the lie are not willing for those to whom they lie to have the opportunity to examine any evidence that might prove they are lying.

“But that will never be true of you or me, instead we hold to Jehovah, the God of truth. We continue to recommend ourselves as God’s ministers by truthful speech.”

And there you have it. During the entirety of his talk, Seth failed to give us any example of the misrepresentation, misinformation, false reports or outright lies he claims are attacking the truth-loving organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instead, he wants you to turn a blind eye, to put on your denominational blinders and forge ahead believing you are one of God’s chosen people. And on what basis does he expect you to do this? Has he given you any proof at all to back up anything he has said in this talk, or have all his claims been…[“presented with certainty and surety as though they were fact.”]

I’m sure that the pioneer sister in Seth Hyatt’s account truly believed she was teaching her Bible student the truth. I say that because I taught many Bible students what I believed was the truth, but which I now know were lies.

I urge you not to make that mistake. Do not listen to Seth’s advice. Do not believe simply because you currently trust the individuals making the strong assertions as though they were fact. Instead, follow the inspired counsel found in the letter to the Philippians:

And this is what I continue praying, that your love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; that you may make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not stumbling others up to the day of Christ; and that you may be filled with righteous fruit, which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise. (Philippians 1:9-11 NWT)

Before closing, I need to add something I missed in part 1 of this review of the February 2024 Broadcast. It had to do with Anthony Griffin’s reference to Elisha as “God’s representative” and the connection he drew with the Governing Body whom he also referred to as “God’s representative.”

There is a vast difference between representing someone and acting as a prophet. Elisha was a prophet, but he wasn’t known in Israel as Jehovah’s representative.

I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t making an issue where none exists, so I did a search on the word representative to see if a servant of God can be called his representative. At first, I looked like I was wrong. In the New World Translation, the word is used about John the Baptist at John 1:6 and Jesus Christ at John 7:29; 16:27, 28; 17:8. I couldn’t find any occurrence of it being used about Christians in general, nor even about the apostles.  However, since I know that the New World Translation suffers from bias toward the doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I thought it wise to check the interlinear for those verses. It turns out that the word “representative” has been added. What is in those verses are words that indicate someone has been sent by God or comes from God.

John was sent by God to make the way for Jesus Christ, but he didn’t represent God. He was a prophet, but being a prophet isn’t the same as being a representative.  Jesus Christ as a man was in a category all his own. He too was a prophet, the greatest of all prophets, but he was also something more, the Son of God. Yet, the Bible doesn’t call him God’s representative, or the one who represents God. Now, you might say I’m splitting hairs, but as they say, the devil is in the details.  If I represent someone, then that means I speak for them.  Do the men of the Governing Body speak for God? Were they sent from God to speak in his name? Should we obey them as we would obey God?

They want you to think of yourself as the Shunammite woman who saw Elisha perform two miracles. The first was to grant her a son even though she was without a child and her husband was old. The second was to resurrect the boy after he had died suddenly.

I would call that pretty hard evidence that Elisha was sent from God to act as his prophet, wouldn’t you? But he never claimed to be God’s representative, did he? Still, he had ample evidence that he was sent by God to act as his prophet.

What evidence does the Governing Body have to prove they’ve been sent from God?

Calling yourself Jehovah’s representative means you are sent from God and if he didn’t send you, then you are blaspheming, are you not? I’m mindful of what the crowd chanted when King Herod got carried away with his own importance:

“On a set day, Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down on the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. Then the people who were assembled began shouting: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten up with worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)

Food for thought—pardon the pun.

Thank you for watching and for supporting our work.

“May the God who gives peace be with all of you. Amen.” (Romans 15:33)




4 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“You need to read this Book.” (Crisis of Conscience) is what I finally told my family, after decades of trying to reason with them from the Bible. They were appalled that I,d have such a thing in my possession. Now I’m labeled as an apostate for merely considering any teachings out side of their little cult. It will be interesting to see where this goes… …
Well Done Eric! You hit this one outa the park.

Leonardo Josephus

“we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers” by truthful speech, (well we worship Jehovah the God of truth and we take delight in that and as our Watchtower comment makes the point, we’re truthful in things big and small. We love the truth. If ever a statement made my blood curdle, this was one. The Organisation is not interested in real truth. Only their version of it. I have challenged teachings , and I am sure many others here have challenged them and simply got a stonewall reply. They are unwilling to reason in anyway that challenges their pre-existing line of… Read more »


Leonardo wrote:

Keep fighting for truth my brothers. There is nothing more valuable.

Well put and most accurate! As well as your whole comment. Yes, fighting for “confident truth” with no doubts.

Psalmbee, (1Jn 3:19)

Ilja Hartsenko

“Trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback.” This expresses how trust in a source builds gradually, through consistently truthful and accurate information. However, it can be lost quickly if major errors or false statements come to light. A few mistakes can undermine trust that took a long time to build. So we must continue to verify.


Such evil counsel the GB spew out. Read the Word of God to be saved, Jesus is the only Way, all other paths lead to destruction!!

Psalmbee, (Ro 3:13)

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.