Secret Information.

Without any disrespect, JW's don't have access to how the organization operates unless they've been appointed to the position of Elder or higher. The real rules and what can happen if they break them, is contained in a manual or handbook for Elders only. The information is secret and not available to ordinary Jehovah's Witnesses.

That's why you can visit several websites online and see Jehovah's Witnesses arguing over what they can and can't do. They don't really know! The organization does not give Witnesses a 'rules of the organization' book.

Some Witnesses will deflect criticism and negative information by saying it's waste of time to talk about these things or they can do anything they want but choose to follow the Bible. ... etc. Inexperienced JW's may actually believe this to be true. However Witnesses are taught not to betray one another and the organization. They prefer not to lie, but see nothing wrong with failing to tell the 'whole truth and nothing but the truth'. They believe that hiding the truth to protect their brothers and sisters (i.e. the organization) from 'enemies' is Bible based. Misleading enemies of Jehovah is referred to as Theocratic Warfare

Witnesses are taught about the value of loyalty at all costs. Elders have an even greater responsibility because they are leaders and teachers.

Watchtower literature says this, 'If opposers of God try to cause divisions, these enemies discover that friendships among true Christians are unbreakable. Throughout history, servants of Jehovah have proved their willingness to face death rather than betray one another.' Watchtower Oct 15, 2009, Article: 'Maintaining Friendships in a Loveless World', par 4.

Therefore the best source of information about the rules is the Society's publications, not individual Jehovah's Witnesses, - even if they are Elders. Unfortunately, you'll need to do a little digging to find what you're looking for. It's not hard or difficult. It just takes time and creativity. If you're good at researching, you'll find the proof you're looking for.

If you have doubts about the 141 Rules, and want to confirm if they are correct or not, you should be reading their Elder's manual first. This publication will tell you which rules are the most important and various scenarios about what could happen if you disobey the organization. However not all rules are contained in that manual.

Some rules such as not joining the YMCA, taking yoga classes, etc will be found in their older magazines, books, and publications. The rules have also been conveyed to Jehovah's Witnesses by word of mouth, at regular meetings, and conventions. Certain traditions such as not celebrating Mother's Day have been passed down for several generations.

Hidden 'Rules'.

Of course the leadership of the organization chooses their language carefully when instructing Jehovah's Witnesses about the rules. If they created a big list of rules and said JW's 'can't' do these things because they said so, who would want to belong to their religion?

So instead of being direct about what JW's can't do, the rules are conveyed indirectly using words such as, - Christian conscience, Bible based conscience, the truth, not for Christians, may we never displease Jehovah, disgusting in the eyes of Jehovah, may we never rebel against God like Satan did, the Bible says, Jehovah said, Jesus said, the Apostle Paul said, ... and other terminology that implies that the organization does not impose any restrictions upon it's members.

The Truth.

The truth is that the rules of the organization are hidden. Only appointed Jehovah's Witness Elders and higher ranking officials are allowed to read the rules and know what the organization expects of members. Everyone else is in the dark. That includes women (who can't be Elders), ministerial servants, and all Jehovah's Witnesses with a rank less than Elder.

Why Don't They Complain?

How does the organization get away with hiding information? It is thought that only Elders are entitled to the Elder's manual because they are leaders. All other JW's are followers who don't need to know how to lead. Witnesses are taught not to meddle in matters that don't concern them.

Elders are also appointed to serve on 'judicial committees'. Therefore they need special instructions.

JW's don't believe that secrets are being withheld. They think that the information does not apply to them, so there's no reason to read it. No one questions the organization's theocratic arrangement

Elders are afraid to ask questions too. They don't know what's in the Elder's book until get appointed to that position. It can take years of hard work and loyalty to the organization to be worthy of the title of Elder.

Once someone becomes an Elder, more is expected of them. To maintain their position they must co operate with the leaders above them and convince all JW's to respect Jehovah's theocratic arrangement, - even if they secretly disagree with some things. If an Elder has 'apostate' ideas, they can lose everything they worked hard to attain. If that happens, they will not be able to make a difference. Elders are appointed because they truly love people. Elders accept their position out of love for God, religion, and all Jehovah's Witnesses.

Elders are put in a tight spot. In order to help people in their congregation they must do what they're told, even if their conscience and personal relationship with God is compromised. JW's believe they must be 'like-minded' and 'speak in agreement'. Elders are expected to be good examples. Disagreeing with the organization would not be acceptable behavior for any JW, especially an Elder.

Secrecy. Is Hiding The Truth God's Way?

Critics say this. All JW's are entitled to know exactly what the rules of the organization are and what will happen to them if they disobey. They are entitled to this important information BEFORE they get baptized and dedicate their life to the organization.

Jehovah's Witnesses should be told the truth before they join. JW's worship God by being obedient to the organization's leaders. They have two masters. If God and the Bible tells them something different than what the organization says is 'the truth', they must obey the organization first and God second if they want to continue being a JW. Matthew 6:24

Critics say that not letting JW's read secret information that affects their life and the lives of their loved ones would be like requiring people to sign a contract but not letting them read the fine print.