Template talk:Jehovah's Witnesses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Alternate Colour Scheme[edit]

If anyone does not like the current colour scheme, there are plenty of options available. I have put together another option in case anyone objects to the current colours. Lucille S 05:36, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I like the template, but I'm not a fan of the color scheme (or the alternate, SORRY! :( ), what do you all think of these? (I like the "slate grey").
Slate grey and blue look okay. I could go either way on the whole color scheme thing. joshbuddytalk 16:27, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I prefer the Slate Grey to the Blue but only because the headings for the blue one are a little harder to read. Other than that I am easy pleased. :) If no-one else makes a comment than go ahead and change it. Lucille S 23:17, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Adding Template[edit]

I have added the navigational template to each of the articles currently mentioned on the template itself (except those already added by Joshbuddy). There are three articles about people on the members section where I have not yet added the template - Charles Taze Russell, Edmond C. Gruss & Robert Countess.

All of these people are not exclusively related to Jehovah's Witnesses. Do we still add the JW Template in such circumstances? Lucille S 06:10, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure on the procedure here. I think we should only add it to articles that are exclusively concerned with JW. joshbuddytalk 06:17, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


Please see the image file for its permissions. Other religion articles use their logo. It helps identify the religion. joshbuddytalk 14:38, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Personally I'd like to see the Tetra up there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tetragrammaton.png. Just a thought. Duffer 20:59, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I knew you'd want to put that up there :) I suggest putting both up if you really want it, but the WL logo is more specific to the articles, and I feel pretty strongly about keeping it. The tetragrammaton is not indigenous to JWs. joshbuddytalk 21:10, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that the image used in the template needs to be exclusive to JW's - just an overall representation. Take for example the template for Buddhism. They have used the Dharma Wheel. This wheel is representative of all Dharma based religions including both Hinduism and Jainism. As such there is no real reason not to include the Tetragrammaton in the template. I do think that we should choose one image or the other though. It would not be impractical to include both. Lucille S 00:17, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
There is no reason why it must be exlusive to JWs, but its preferable that it is as specific to the subject at hand as possible. Buddhism is a far broader term than Jehovah's Witnesses. I mean, it would be comparable to putting the cross up on the template because JW's are "christian". The logo is very clear about who its identifing. The tetragrammaton would be less so. Speaking of which, I'm going to borrow that image for the main page I think. :) joshbuddytalk 02:22, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with either, it was just a thought. Though one thing that I strongly feel should be included in the template is a link to the Tetragrammaton article (on second thought, the Tetra and Jehovah wikis are some scary articles...). What do you guys think? Duffer 00:03, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Generally, if articles get this temaplate, they should be in this template. Specific articles like Jehovah and Tetragrammaton would be more appropriate as See Also to their specific areas. The raison d'etre of this template is help people navigate the JW pages. Taking them somewhere where the template doesn't exist seems kinda.... weird. joshbuddytalk 16:27, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

To Add or Not to Add[edit]

What about the New World Translation? As far as I know there are no other religions that rely on this text. Also the Project page contains quite a list of articles on JW literature. Do you think we should add the Watchtower, the Awake! and either the List of Jehovah's Witnesses literature or the Jehovah's Witnesses literature articles. The JW religion is quite well known for its literature. It might be important to add a link to at least one of the last two and then people can go from there. What do you think? Lucille S 23:08, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

The NWT should probably be added. I don't want to open the floodgates of adding various articles about literature, but the NWT seems like a special case. joshbuddytalk 23:22, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I added a section on literature under beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses are far too bibliophilic to ignore their printed works in the series template. I am not aware of issues surrounding this, but im willing to argue for it if need be. --PopeFauveXXIII 00:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC)


  • Why should there be hyperlinks to articles like "Controversy", "Child Sex Abuse", "Disfellowshipping" or "Ex-Members & Critics"?
  • For example there is no such links at the Christianity template or Buddhism template.
  • Since the Witnesses claim to be a Christian religion, it should be using the Christianity template anyway rather than its own factional template, unless we're going to either have seperate templates for every individual religion or suggest that Witnesses are not Christian.--Jeffro77 05:43, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

The Christian template uses the cross, Jehovah's Witnesses view it as a pagan symbol. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

Most specific religions do have their own templates. joshbuddytalk 06:03, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that this links at the JW's template are aiming to provoke against them.
  • All religions have such kind of incidents in much bigger proportions. But I haven't seen any template to refer them in this way!
  • If you put at the Template:Christianity the link "Great Apostasy", I could accept these links here.

  • Also, I would like to see an article for the main activity of JW's that is their preaching activity.

--polB 10:32, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The templates are navigational aids to the articles, not categorization. As the Christianity template contains no links to any JW articles, they are inappropriate for use on the JW pages. I'm aware that other pages use the template somewhat inappropriately. Maybe I'm just wrong here, I'm quite happy for some direction on this.
As far as critics being on the list, I would say they are JW related articles. And the template is very useful for browsing around the articles. Both Buddhism and Christianity are types of religion and Jehovah's Witnesses are a specific religion, so I think it might be a bit of an apples and oranges comparision.
A preaching article? Thats a great idea! Please write one, I look forward to seeing it. Can hopefully reduce the main article this way, off load some of the content into a more dedicated article. joshbuddytalk 06:01, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Joshbuddy in that the template is meant for navigation; controversies that surround us are very much part of all that Witnesses are. I don't see it as provocation. Also perhaps at the bottom of the template we could have a link to the Christianity portal <nowiki>Portal:Christianity</nowiki>. Duffer 00:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
The article about Olin R Moyle does not contain anything, so therefore it should not be in the box. Summer Song 19:52, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I've been thinking on this. If Wikipedia is a secular source meant to provide information to everyone why would we not link critcs? I don't find the argument that it isn't done elsewhere persusasive. Perhaps it ought to be. We are concerned with our article. Is there a Wikipedia rule involved? By editing out information on critics are we skewing the article away from a neutral point of view? Dtbrown 17:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

If you can find another major/significant religious group with critics' names in the box, let me know. I think it's disrepectful for any opposers of any religion to be given equal weight in the series. You know how I feel about other religions, but why would such treatment be fair? People who are preoccupied with ragging on a religion they formerly belonged to often have an interest in pushing themselves and/or their ideas/theories/agenda in the media. (this may be much less in instances wherein the individual in question may have been harmed in some way and did not receive satisfaction through the normal channels of the faith.) If you make note of how many of these people actually exist, however, it is a comparatively small number, so giving them such attention appears to add undue weight.
The {{Christianity}} template does not contain non-Christian criticism, let alone individual critics. The controversy box on the {{ScientologySeries}} box seems aimed at specific events and not individual; at least individuals' names aren't mentioned. The {{LDS}} box only references "conflicts" in a literal sense: wars and militias. The {{Hinduism_small}} and {{Buddhism}} templates have nothing about conflicts. The {{Islam}} template has nothing about controversy; that is surprising, but seems to be in line with the way Wikipedia editors deal with religious groups. Regardless of the issues that are much more known than any dealing with Witnesses, none of them are introduced in the series boxes. So why whould it be added into the Witness box? - CobaltBlueTony 05:25, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I think Duffer had it right when he said: "controversies that surround us are very much part of all that Witnesses are. I don't see it as provocation." CobaltBlueTony said: "I think it's disrepectful for any opposers of any religion to be given equal weight in the series." I wouldn't say equal weight but your proposal seems to prevent them from being noted. Why?
CobaltBlueTony further stated: "People who are preoccupied with ragging on a religion they formerly belonged to often have an interest in pushing themselves and/or their ideas/theories/agenda in the media." I don't see the relevance here. Just because someone is a critic (and not all critics are ex-members) does not mean they are not worthy of inclusion.
I am bothered by the idea apparently being proposed that critics should be given hardly any mention in the name of "respect." The JW pages are not "JW turf." We are doing a disservice to our readers if we skew the article away from noting criticism.
As I said earlier, I am not persuaded that we must follow how other religions have handled this. I have come to the conclusion that allowing a religion (even my own) to dictate that criticisms should not be mentioned (or severely restricted) in the name of "respect" in Wikipedia articles violates basic Wikipedia rules. Others will have to take up those battles. But, I think it's time we faced this issue. How can we square our basic committment to what Wikipedia is all about if we feel we must stifle mention of criticism on these pages? Dtbrown 08:23, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Please read what I am saying carefully. It is not the mere mention of criticism or controversey with which I have a problem. It is the addition of individuals' names (and overexaggerated controversies) into the template box. By all means, the issues should be discussed in an impartial and detatched source such as this. But some level of respect seems to have apparently been afforded in this one specific area. Deviating from that might lead to editing controversies extending far beyond the JW pages. Since other religious controversies have apparently not strayed into the series template box, why should it be so only with the JW boxes? - CobaltBlueTony 19:20, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Tony, can you cite a Wikipedia rule that says that "some level of respect" requires the Template box not to mention critic's names? I would agree some issues are overblown and we should be selective on who goes into the box. But, to suggest that JW editors can control the Template box so it does not mention certain critic's names "out of respect" goes against everything Wikipedia stands for, IMO. Personally, I think that the Template box should mention at least 3 prominent ex-member critics:
1) Raymond Franz. No matter what you think of him (and there are ex-JWs who don't like him too) his impact on the interpretation of JW history has been huge.
2) M. James Penton. His history of the JWs (which is certainly open to criticism itself) is the only work of its kind published by a University Press currently in print.
3) And I'd add Olin R. Moyle considering the impact his court case had on the Watchtower Society in the 1940s.
The articles linked may need to be re-worked so they are a balanced presentation. But, these are significant people in relation to JWs and their only claim to fame is that they were once JWs.
For the record, I'd also like to see a "Formative Influences" added to the template to include: William Miller, Nelson H. Barbour, Jonas Wendell, and perhaps a couple others.
I suggest this order:
Under "Related People" have "Formative Influences" and include some of the names mentioned above. Then "Presidents and Members" as it is now. Then, lastly, "Ex-Member Critics" and add at least Raymond Franz and M. James Penton. Dtbrown 21:30, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
This is not a rule per se. But then we should add the numerous critics of the other above-mentioned religious institutions, citing their "relevant" critics just as you suggest here. That is sure to go over well. My point is, criticism is handled appropriately over there, or it would definitely raise concerns among editors and administrators alike.
As to the effects of criticism of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, the only "formulative influence" exists outside the organization, teachings, and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses. The Governing Body only reacts to legitimate concerns, not to dissenters and opposers. - CobaltBlueTony 13:02, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll wait to see what others say. I am puzzled by your last paragraph. I am not suggesting that critics have the correct approach. I am saying that they are part of the mix of what Wikipedia needs to cover for this area. Your responses raise some concern. Putting "relevant" in quotes and adopting a defensive posture. Is it the position of JW editors that references to prominent critics here be minimized "out of respect"? Dtbrown 13:58, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Re-reading your last paragraph...perhaps you misunderstood my statement about Olin R. Moyle. His lawsuit (which he won) had an impact on the WT Society. Never again did they publically denounce a former memeber as they did him. That was all I meant. Dtbrown 14:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I will say this: it is notable that the effort is being made to add critics' names to the Witnesses' template box, where it does not exist in, or may have been successfully removed from, other more significant religious groups. If I were to add controversies to the Catholic template box, for example, I would definitely add pedophile priests, because child abuse is a significant issue to me, even though the reality is that pedophilia in the priesthood is not as accepted as some victims would like for us to believe, nor is it as widespread. Nevertheless, no mention of it seems to be there in the template box. If we change the way it's done with us, we have to promote the change with all the others. Whatever the reason, they should all be the same.
Interesting point about Moyle. Ironic that other critics thereafter condemn the faithful slave's decision to have judicial meetings held privately and its results confidential (except for any announcement of the status of the individual). Can't please all of the people all of the time. - CobaltBlueTony 14:24, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I'd have no problem with someone adding a link to pedophile priests to the Catholic Template (and I'm a Catholic). I'd use it as an opportunity to make sure the linked article was completely balanced and accurate. Dtbrown 00:56, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I've re-added tthe critics section. There was no consensus to remove it in the first place. Other critical articles are in the template, so I can't understand what is so unacceptable about critical people themselves. The whole POINT of this template was to make JW related pages easier to navigate. That's all. You do reader a dis-service by removing these articles. joshbuddy, talk 15:05, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Their articles should be linked within the controversy articles, and not given undue weight by those who may happen to agree with their positions. It also has no precedence in other religion template boxes, as noted above. - CobaltBlueTony 16:33, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
There aren't a whole lot of navigational templates dealing with specific religions (I don't really consider Buddhism, Islam etc to be relevant here as they are supersets of what we're addressing). I don't think there are enough templates to really say how this should be dealt with, and all things considered, I really like they way we're dealing with it. There are only three critics (probably soon to be only 2) and I think this is a good number. Ray Franz is a notable subject to JW's and deserves to be in the template, a very important figure in JW history. I have no strong feelings about Gruss, and I wouldn't argue to keep or remove him. The point here, is to link up important articles, and let readers navigate through these pages easily. I'm not sure how 2 links (or even 3) is undue weight. joshbuddy, talk 18:12, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe that this article is written by someone who is against Jehovah's Witnesses. Wikipedia should provide neutral articles about matters such as this. talk 22:26, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I have added some sub-sections to the Controversy area. I believe that the existence of several speialized articles in Wikipedia on different controversies grant this; here for your review. Cherrs, BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:39, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Some changes[edit]

I re-added James Penton to the notable former JW section. My rationale for this is as follows: The notability of a Former member of any religion is determined by how their status-as-former-members relates to the theory, practice or history of that religion. Therefore, michael jackson is both notable and a former JW, but not a notable-former-JW because he is much more notable for many reasons other than being a former JW, and none of them are directly related to BEING a former JW.

  • Ray Franz was a member of the governing body who was expelled in shame and subsequently wrote a book about this and his experiences within the highest levels leading up to this event. Obviously, notable primarily for BEING a former JW.
  • Olin R. Moyle, high ranking org member, had a falling out with then-president Rutherford which quickly transformed into a libel lawsuit. His notability might be debatable, but the notability he has is definitely JW related.
  • James Penton, former JW and author of two scholarly works related to Jehovah's Witnesses, definitely falls into these two categories tightly, and i am more than willing to defend this assertion.

This DOES break down, essentially, to a critics section. JWs are a controversial religion with many critics. only three are really notable enough to even consider including, and i dont think thats disproportionate. NPOV is achieved though collaboration between POVs. when a subject IS actually openly controversial, neutrality can only be achieved by directly addressing the controversy itself. This is the fairest way of doing that.


i reorganized the 'beliefs' section, and changed the tetragrammaton link to a link to the 'jehovah' article which reads God's name, and prioritized it as the first link in that section. my rationale for this follows:

  • neither the tetragrammaton article nor the jehovah article are directly tagged with the JW template, however, Jehovah is less scholarly and treats the derivation from the tetragrammaton as well as a history of the term's use, which i find infintely more relevant.
  • the name Jehovah's Witnesses is a very uncharacteristic name for a religion, and as such draws the first attention to anyone who is introduced to it. Unaffiliated persons reading this series will be far more interested in the content of the J article than the T article, for the reasons mentioned in the first point.

I also think that because of the interest generated by the name Jehovah, somebody (not me, as i am mostly uninterested in the topic) really ought to shine a little more light on its use by Jehovah's witnesses in both the Beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses and Jehovah articles.

I welcome any and all commentary/dialogue on these two edits.

PopeFauveXXIII 21:30, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Hayden C. Covington[edit]

Technically he was a former member that came back to the Witnesses. Also, no offense, but is he really "notable"? I can see why the former lawyer Olin R. Moyle would be notable. Is there anything to add that might be more noteworthy other than he left the vice presidency due to a policy change and was later DFd? I think he would be more appropriate somewhere on the List of Jehovah's Witnesses page, but under a new subheading. I wouldn't know what to call the subheading though, perhaps: "Other Jehovah's Witnesses?" Unless there's more to the story than what we've been given. Thoughts, comments? Duffer 07:31, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Duffer, Hayden C. Covington is notable in relation to Jehovah’s Witnesses not because he was or was not affiliated religiously. His religious affiliation is ancillary. The notability results from his extremely prolific and aggressive representation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in free speech, press, and exercise cases. This representation resulted in his record of Supreme Court victories that is said to be challenged only by the Honorable Thurgood Marshall. (Samuel Walker, The Growth of Civil Liberties 1900-1945, in Crucible of Liberty: 200 Years of the Bill of Rights) Such accomplishment specifically in behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes his association with the group more notable than individuals such as Don Adams, Milton Henschel, Jim Penton or Ray Franz in terms of promoting or hindering the religion’s projection and furtherance.
By the way, guess who represented Fred Franz in Moyle VS Franz? That’s right. Hayden C. Covington. Guess who represented Judge Rutherford in Moyle VS Rutherford? That’s right. Hayden C. Covington. But, as you know, in those two cases Franz and Rutherford had to anti up.
I do think it misleading to categorize Covington as a former Jehovah’s Witness. Though he was expelled for a time, eventually he asked for and was granted formal acknowledgement by the religion as an associate. -- Marvin Shilmer 18:33, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Can a new template classification such as "Notable Watch Tower Officials" or "Other Watch Tower Officials" be added? I notice that Grant Suiter and George Gangas are included in the comparable Portugese template under "Otras Biografias" (Other Biographies).Ian.winston 04:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I personally feel like this new section is the first step toward creep. i dont think either of these individuals are notable enough to merit mention on the series template. i would suggest reorganizing the List of Jehovah's Witnesses article. --PopeFauveXXIII 04:17, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


You have edited the template to include a link to www.jwbrothers.org. Are you associated with this web site? If so, how? --Marvin Shilmer (talk) 17:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Even if someone else re-adds this weblink to the JW infobox, it should be removed, as it is not an official Watchtower site.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:51, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Watchtower Society[edit]

There seems little sense in including both the Watch Tower Society and Watchtower Society under "history" in the template, since both redirect to the same page. A casual reader would know of no appreciable difference between the two, be uncertain about which link to click on, and then discover, if they returned to click on the other, it takes them to the same page. Would it not be more practical to replace both with one link to Corporations of Jehovah's Witnesses or, alternative, delete the subsidiary New York corporation? LTSally (talk) 22:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I have replaced the confusing duplicate links with a single link in the more relevant section of organizational structure.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:29, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I like it! --AuthorityTam (talk) 19:06, 21 July 2009 (UTC)