The Use of occult Sources throughout the Watchtower’s History

By: Lorri MacGregor; ©October 2000
Jehovah’s Witnesses used an occultly derived translation by Johannes Greber to support their translation of John 1 and other passages. How have they responded to criticism about this use? What other occult sources have they used? Lorri MacGregor examines these questions.

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses will try to excuse their founder, Charles Russell, by admit­ting that he did have some strange doctrines in the beginning, but that the light has grown “brighter and brighter.” However, history proves that the Society has consistently used pagan, occult sources to support even their present doctrines and teachings.

Consider the publication of their “New World Translation of the Scriptures.” They consis­tently, dishonestly quoted reputable scholars to try to make it appear that they had their support when they did not. On a most serious note, the Watchtower Society has the occult view of Jesus Christ, namely that he is “a god,” and they altered their “bible” to try and support this distortion of the Scriptures.

Let’s consider only one example here. To support their occult heresy that Jesus is only “a god,” they resorted to quoting a spirit medium for support, with the full knowledge that he was one.

Consider first their distortion of John 1:1 found in their “bible,” “The New World Translation” (NWT): “In (the) beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

For support of this distortion, they turned to the so-called “expertise” of a known spirit-medium. His name was Johannes Greber. He was a defrocked Catholic Priest who re­ceived his so-called “translation” of the bible through spiritistic means, usually in trances. The Watchtower Society exposed him in the February 15th, l956 Watchtower, warning that his sources were demonic. We couldn’t agree with them more!

However, in 1961, just five years later, they were singing his praises and quoting him as an authority for their New World Translation, since he was in agreement with their doctrine on the person of Jesus Christ. All three sources, Greber, the demons, and the Watchtower Society all agreed that Jesus was merely “a god.”

While knowingly agreeing with and quoting a spirit medium, they nevertheless spoke out against spiritistic practices. An example is in the October 15th, l977 Watchtower, on page 624 where they said, “Since spiritism is condemned by God, it becomes obvious that a person appealing to spiritism for knowledge or help is not appealing to God. He is looking to a source opposed to God….”

Not a single, reputable Christian or non-Christian scholar would agree with their distor­tion of John 1:1, in which they called our Savior “a god.” The Watchtower has for their support only other Christ-denying cults, the pagans, and the occult for their view of Christ. They do not have the support of the correctly translated Scriptures for their occult doctrine on Christ. Jehovah’s Witnesses need to select a reputable translation of

the Bible and read Colossians 2:8,9: “See to it that no one takes you captive through phi­losophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elemen­tary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (NAS).

All is all, and full is full, and all the fullness of Deity (Godhead, Godship) dwells in Jesus Christ, even in the flesh!

If Jehovah’s Witnesses will prayerfully consider this Scripture and begin an examination of a valid Bible by valid scholars, they will come to realize that they have indeed fallen into the trap warned about in this Scripture. They have fallen captive to “empty deception” according to a “tradition of men.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrine of “justified lying” (telling the truth to only those who are entitled to know the truth) certainly applies to their treatment of Johannes Greber. After warning against him in l956, they quoted and followed his teachings from 1961 onwards.

In 1983, only after being cornered with their deception, on page 31 of the April 1st, l983 Watchtower they denied they knew what they were doing! They promised not to quote him anymore, but they left intact his demonic, pagan doctrines on Christ, not only concerning Christ’s person, but also the resurrection of our Lord.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, do you know that your false doctrine on Christ’s resurrection comes directly from demonic sources? Jesus did not have his body dissolved into gases, and then materialize a fake body complete with fake nail prints to fool His disciples into believing it was really Him risen from the dead!

Let’s just take a moment to correct Jehovah’s Witness’ doctrine from the Scriptures. Luke 24:36-46 clearly states,

And while they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst. But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and my feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.) And while they still could not believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it in their sight. Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day” (NAS).

As foretold, Jesus Christ rose bodily, and appeared to his followers. He stated that He was not a spirit. It was really Him, risen bodily, and we live because He lives!


We are warned in 1 Timothy 4:1: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses have several other doctrines in common with those
received directly from the demons by Johannes Greber, as itemized in his book “Communication with the Spirit World of God” (CSW). Watchtower sources are shown as well.

  1. Jesus Christ is Not God. (CSW p. 330; J.W. “The Word—Who is He? p. 40).
  2. Jehovah only is God—the Father (CSW p. 302, 331, 328, 333); J.W.—”Jehovah” p. 8)
  3. Jesus Christ is a created being. (CSW p. 301; J.W.—”Aid to Bible Understanding” p. 918).
  4. Michael is a god. (Dictionary of Angels); J.W.—” Aid to Bible Understanding” p. 152).
  5. Christ’s body was not resurrected. (CSW p. 385; J.W.—”Things in which It is Impossible For God to Lie” p. 355).
  6. Body of Jesus was dematerialized. (CSW p. 385; J.W.—”Time Is At Hand” p. 129).
  7. There is no Eternal Hell. (CSW 379; J.W.—”Is This Life All There Is?” p. 96).
  8. The Higher Powers of Romans 13 are not earthly governments. (CSW p. 414, 415;J.W.—”The Watchtower” 1/15/46 p. 27).
  9. The Christian Church is not preaching the Gospel. (CSW p. 426; J.W.—”Finished Mys­tery” p. 485 ). (Points 1-9 from Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Love the Truth by William Cetnar).

Johannes Greber did not like any of the existing translations of the Bible and stated “…I have used the text as it was given to me by those spirits” (The New Testament by Johannes Greber p. 15).

We have to ask—why do Jehovah’s Witnesses have so many doctrines in common with the doctrines of these demonic spirits? Why also did Russell expend so much time and energy railing against the demons, while at the same time using their doc­trines? Modern Jehovah’s Witnesses may not realize that demonic manifestations among Watchtower members were quite common during this time. We quote “Zion’s Watch Tower “ of October 1st, 1907, “Our understanding is that this great day of the Lord began chrono­logically in October 1874, and from what we can learn it is since that date that ‘materializa­tions’ have become more and more common…the evidence is too strong to be disputed that there have been numerous genuine manifestations….”

Modern Jehovah’s Witnesses may also be surprised to see the date 1874 used in this quote from 1907. It was still used in the 1940’s! 1914 is a relatively recent update from 1874, and it itself recently required a re-interpretation because it was false.

Why have the Jehovah’s Witnesses deliberately covered over these false dates and also deliberately altered their bible, and then claimed it is accurate, when all evidence is to the contrary? Why also have members overlooked the obvious errors so many times? It can only be that they are under a spirit of deception, and need to have their eyes opened by true light from Jesus Christ.

MacGregor Ministries

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