The declaration made by Gerrit Lösch in his efforts to avoid appearing in court has been made public
The declaration made by Gerrit Lösch in his efforts to avoid appearing in court has been made public

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the Watch Tower Society to be almost synonymous with “God’s organization.” As such, they are to be obedient to all instructions passed down from it as though they are receiving these words from Jehovah himself.

But at least one prominent Jehovah’s Witness now claims he does “not answer to Watchtower,” and has even declared that Watchtower “does not, and never has had, any authority over me.” Who is this bold man? None other than Governing Body member Gerrit Lösch!

Regular visitors to this site will recall the recent lawsuit in which Watchtower received a $13.5 million judgment for its part in the abuse suffered by Jose Lopez at the hands of Gonzalo Campos, who was allowed to molest multiple victims in San Diego in the 80s and 90s without the organization’s intervention.

One of the reasons why the lawsuit went so badly for Watchtower was due to its failure to comply with court orders requesting, among other things, the organization to produce the most senior Governing Body member, Gerrit Lösch, for a deposition.

When this and other reasonable requests of the court were flatly refused by Watchtower, they had restrictions placed on them barring them from responding to the evidence put forward by Irwin Zalkin on Lopez’s behalf.

Now, the personal “declaration” of Gerrit Lösch, in which he gives his reasons for refusing the court order, have been made available online. The signed three-page document is viewable below…

It is more than likely that Lösch’s comments about Watchtower were a means of distancing the Governing Body from Watchtower, and insulating Governing Body members against any court action incurred by the organization.

Even so, at best Lösch is splitting hairs by suggesting he is ONLY answerable to the Governing Body, of which he is a member. At worst, he is seriously misrepresenting his personal relationship with the organization, and that of Jehovah’s Witnesses in general.

One can only imagine what fate would befall an ordinary Jehovah’s Witness who stood up before a packed kingdom hall and uttered the words “I do not answer to Watchtower,” and “Watchtower does not have, and never has had, any authority over me.” Undoubtedly, the back room would beckon! And yet such an individual could point out that he is only repeating the words of an exemplary Governing Body member.

Lösch’s statements about his power over the organization are similarly evasive and disingenuous. While it may be true that he does not have “any authority as an individual to make or determine corporate policy for Watchtower,” the statement is worded in such a way as to distract from the fact that Lösch is very much a decision-maker for Watchtower provided these decisions are met with the approval of his fellow Governing Body members.

All things considered, sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses will be dismayed at the lengths one of their leaders (a member of their “highest ecclesiastical authority”) has gone to in order to avoid taking a stand in defense of the organization.

It was Jesus who purportedly said, “People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them” (Mark 13:9, New World Translation) – and yet rather than take his place on the stand to give a “witness,” Lösch has done everything in his power to distance himself from ‘God’s organization’ – denying almost any affiliation with Watchtower.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that, in order for a Jehovah’s Witness to respect the Governing Body members, and give them the reverence they crave, they must know as little as possible about their words and actions.









Further reading…

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103 thoughts on ““I do not answer to Watchtower” – Stunning Gerrit Lösch declaration revealed

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:28 am

    They have become a god. ,’we must be loyal to the organization’, incorrect.
    Interestingly the apostle Paul said, having wrote the scriptures for the Christian congregations, that God was to allow an operation of error to occur (the lie) into the congregations to test the loyalty of the individual not towards an organization but to the TRUTH.

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Have Jehovah’s witnesses always taught the truth and should you be loyal to it?

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:45 am

    A Christian’s loyalty should not be to an organization right or wrong but should be to the truth. Now either Watchtower I am a liar
    or not. If not, why have you excommunicated persons for not accepting falsehoods in the guise of authority?

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Typical two-faced Judas!! He’s such a snake. They’re all snakes.

  • November 9, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I don’t answer to the law i AM the law..

  • November 9, 2014 at 3:03 am

    @Brother David, that is exactly what my husband would say in defense of Loesch’s comment and my husband would say the same thing also but try saying that to a committee if you were called before them for smoking or drinking or committing fornication or reading Ray Franz’s books. They’d tell you not to let the door hit you on the way out. In this organization, anything goes for the Governing Body. They don’t have to answer to anybody and that even applies to God. They don’t answer to God either. They just like to say it. If they answered to God, they’d have obeyed those court orders because the Bible tells them to do it, to obey legal authorities.

    Also, a real Christian is supposed to look after orphans and widows. How many Kingdom Halls could that 13.5 million built? Does it matter to those people that so many people have to sit outside in the heat and rain to go to meetings? They are hypocrites of the most evil kind.

  • November 9, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Here is some simple reasoning for Jehovah’s witnesses to consider.
    If, as it says, God allows a delusional influence into the congregations so as to test the Christian’s loyalty to what is truthful consider this. . . Have Jehovah’s witnesses ever taught as truth what is false?
    So without fear, guilt, worry & testing, with freedom of conscience and with the approval of God the inspired expression, is it right that this man refused to answer to the courts?
    Is 1914 correct? Their authority? Their loyalty over what is truthful to an organization?
    That freedom belongs to each individual and not to an organization.

  • November 9, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Whether from a secular or scriptural point of view the Watchtower has got it coming.

  • November 9, 2014 at 4:47 am

    the GB only believe Gods word when it’s suits them.

    “Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves. For those ruling are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you, then, want to have no fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it; for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear: for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad.” – Rom. 13:1-4

  • November 9, 2014 at 4:58 am

    I do like that song by B.Dylan. . Slow train coming. It’s a bit preachy but makes some valid points.

  • November 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

    In Lopez-15 Notice of Errata, page 144 (148 in pdf), Mr. Ashe testifies that “3,000,000 documents have been scanned in that would have to be searched.” This relates to Mr. Zalkin asking documents about possible child abuse. Does that mean that over the years there have been 3 million disfellowshippings in the USA alone??

  • November 9, 2014 at 6:49 am

    This testimony also makes it clear that child abuse cases are “buried” under the general heading “porneia” as a disfellowshipping reason. (Porneia is any sexual immorality, so includes sex before marriage, adultery etc). This is why, they say, they cannot produce the documents easily, it would require a lot of searching and researching work to determine which were the child abuse cases. If this is so hard to do, then how can they properly evaluate proposals for appointing ministerial servants and elders?

    And I used to think that the JWs were more responsible due to the centralization, they could prevent child abusers becoming elders, even if they would move suddenly (“hide” in another city). What a letdown…

  • November 9, 2014 at 7:45 am

    The G,B, claims to be the F, and D, S. – As such they
    are responsible for doctrines that could ,and have
    resulted in litigation. The 2 Witness rule, — Blood,

    Since the year–2000, the Religious side, and the
    corporations, that manage the organisations valuable
    assets have been kept separate. This is merely a device
    to prevent their real- estate being impounded in the event
    of compensation pay-outs.

    Losch claiming not to be answerable to the W,T, is an
    attempt to maintain that separation. So, damaged lives,
    lives lost, are of minor consideration compared to their
    material wealth.

  • November 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    This declaration is a spectacularly authored play on words…
    WTBTS of NY….hereinafter, Watchtower.
    Then the use of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (not “Watchtower” in those places)
    Where is “Christian Cong. Of JW”?
    Where is WTBTS of PA?

    Brilliantly authored play on words and strategic use of multiple Corp entities if you ask me :)

  • November 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Several of the comments have referred to the “Organization” and the fact that JWs are under the control of the Watchtower.

    A few years back the Governing Body sent a letter to all Body of Elders with instructions regarding using terms such as the “the Organization” and “the Society”.

    As many of you may recall, Bethel, it’s operations, it’s committees, as well as their activities were regularly spoken of as “the Society”. In talks speakers regularly would say we should follow directions that we receive from “the Society” or things like that when referring to what happens at their Bethel Headquarters.

    In the letter they sent to all BOEs and the congregations they made clear the term “Society” was being used erroneously when referring to the spiritual activities at Bethel, because the term applied directly to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Inc. They also made clear that the WTBTS Inc. was not responsible for the direction being provided, rather it was the Governing Body and its committees that were responsible. The WTBTS Inc. was merely a publishing corporation that was used as a legal means of printing and publishing literature and not of the administration of the “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses” as the whole “Organization” was now to be called.

    The delineation of the names caused little stir among the Jehovah’s Witness congregations. Few could really understand what was going on or what the true implications of that letter were. The WTBTS had almost always been headed by a leading member of the Governing Body, therefore Frederick W. Franz could not have made the statement that he did not answer to the Watchtower as he was the President of it. Loesch on the other hand has no legal affiliation with Watchtower. He can justify legally what he said. The pump was primed for that statement several years ago when the letter was written.

  • November 9, 2014 at 10:28 am


    The Governing Body has set themselves up in a unique situation. They tell the legal corporations, WTBTS of New York, WTBTS of Pennsylvania, International Bible Students Association Inc., as well as numerous other international corporations. They direct but do not sit on the boards of these companies and these companies do not have share holders as they are nonprofit.

    If you choose to sue, who do you sue? Look at it this way, if a company takes an ad out in the newspaper, do you sue the company that took the ad out in the paper or the newspaper that published it? In this case if you sue the Governing Body, you will get nothing as most of them declare very little in personal assets. If you sue the WTBTS or any of the other corporations, they will say that they only print what is sent to them and therefore are not responsible. Additionally by having numerous corporations under their direction, but not sitting on any of the boards, the GB alone have the ability to stall any large impending litigation and move their assets to another corporation or oversees if necessary. They will not skip a beat if anything happens.

    There is one huge benefit of these lawsuits and a way the victims can receive compensation. The most valuable asset any person or corporation can have is their reputation. If these cases are brought to the public’s attention and begin to tarnish the JW brand then they will likely settle out of court with a suppression (gag) order so as to avoid further bad press. The GB as well as the WTBTS feel quite confident that they will pay very little if any money to their victims, they have placed themselves for the most part out of the realm of civil concerns.

    This will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with how a trust works. A famous example of this is the OJ Simpson living trust, where he draws $25,000 a month while the Goldman who won a huge case and settlement from him receives nothing from his trust.

    My heart goes out to all victims of GB policy and WT abuse. If we want to see change or go down, then we will need to bring to light these matters by means of public attention. In that regard, talk shows regularly look for families that are in conflict. (I can send you links, they will even fly you out to the show) They are willing to showcase situations like shunning etc. and put it on television for the world to see.

  • November 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I was always taught that the spirit of the law is greater than the law.
    They can play their legal guessing game regarding who they answer to. Two things are perfectly obvious. . 1 they don’t answer to the courts and 2 they put themselves before victims who right deserve justice.

  • November 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

    @ Gary

    You are absolutely correct and that is the saddest truth of all

  • November 9, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Of course from a scriptural perspective they stand condemned.
    However legally :-) they have just given every lawyer pursuing such cases their counter arguments. Ever decreasing circles ahead:-)

  • November 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I think for once the truth is being told here people. The watchtower has no authority over him because he has authority over it! I would think in a legal case like this he has been ill advised to say the least in saying he is not under its authority, seems to me to put the responsibility in this case onto his (and obviously his cohorts) shoulders. He is as far as i can tell the watchtower (together with his cohorts) and how nice to see him admit this (even though he may not be bright enough to see at this moment that that is what he has done here) Hope the Lawyers in this case pick up on this and run and run with it.

  • November 9, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Your right Joe, except with one caveat. Civil cases are almost always based on the losing parties ability to provide compensatory damages to the plaintiff and their legal counsel. In the case of the GB they have taken a “simple vow of poverty”. That according to the fact that many of the GB were COs and DOs before becoming GB members have little in the way of assets. The reason the lawyers are going after Watchtower is because they have money.

    Even if a lawyer was willing to sue a GB in a civil matter, the victory would only be a moral victory. Please don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of anything that brings to light their involvement in these atrocities.
    However the cost of litigation in such a case with the GB being provided free legal counsel and the victims having to pay, may make such a proposition very difficult. Hopefully we can use the press, media and other outlets to expose the JW brand and at least force change in these matters.

  • November 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

    PS. I hope someone on here has some knowledge of how we could form a petition to stop their bad policies that violate human rights. That in itself would criminalize their actions and they could not hide behind a civil shield. Just a thought.

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I was reading the attached court documents to this article and Losch claims that he was never served with a Notice of Deposition from the courts; how true is this? Is that even possible? What’s strange is that on pg 2 of his declaration he says that, if called upon, he would testify to the facts that he states in his declaration? What kind of nonsense is he saying?

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm


    Seeing a GB member in shackles would be awesome!

  • November 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    No matter how they carve it up, the whole thing is an
    “Organisation” working in synergy for the sole purpose
    of profit.

    Anyone, or anything, that is an hinderance to their objective
    will be removed. Vey murky, very cold.

    @Tiger123, Their set up,– as Churchill might say, is a
    “Riddle wrapped up in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
    Thanks for explaining it simply.

  • November 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Hmm this is peculiar… in Lopez-11 “Exhibit 8 to DEC..” page 16 (17 in pdf), Mr. Ashe says: “We know as Jehovah’s Witnesses that child abuse is porn so ….” after which he becomes hard to follow. Anyway, I’m not sure what to make of this? A slip of the tongue? A serious remark? If it’s a slip, I’m not sure what he could have meant, so a slip seems unlikely.

  • November 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Oooh never mind, as I clicked submit, it occurred to me that he could have meant “porneia”, which pronounced in English may sound like “porny-a” (?) which the clerk may have written down as “porn”, especially if the last syllable was uttered quietly.

    Still, there are quite a few errors in the transcripts as I read them, don’t they want them corrected for the record? The one who testifies does sign them off.

    And what’s with all the objections? It seems like the Watchtower defense attorneys are objecting almost every question of Mr. Zalkin in some lines of questioning; averaging about one-third in total? (my “gut” count) Is it normal that defense attorneys object so much during a deposition?

    Hats off to Mr. Zalkin and the in-depth knowledge he shows by his line of questioning. Undeterred by all the objecting as well. Kudos to him.

  • November 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    @ Ted

    Great explanation of the synergy

  • November 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Anything to protect “God’s” Orginization! After all, the ends justify the means!

  • November 10, 2014 at 2:14 am

    I am changing my moniker to Willows as it’s not so common. From now on, my comments will be from Willows.

    Are the elders being played for patsies by the Governing Body and this thing with Losch makes that clear? The reason I ask this is because the elders aren’t supposed to let anybody know about the Shepard the Flock book right? They are supposed to pretend like it doesn’t even exist. Is that so that the Governing Body can pretend like each congregation is on it’s own and they don’t get orders from the Governing Body so the Governing Body or the Society can pretend like they don’t give the orders?

    Years ago when I was first in the “truth” when somebody got disfellowshipped, the announcement would be so and so was disfellowshipped for unchristian conduct. Then they changed it to so and so is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses instead. The way I remember the reason for the change was so that they couldn’t get sued if they just said they weren’t one of Jehovah’s Witnesses instead of saying they had done something unchristian. That is also the reason why they aren’t allowed to spread it around that so and so did this or that so they don’t get sued for spreading slander. The Society didn’t want to get sued and those orders to handle a disfellowshipping like that came from the Governing Body.

    It’s always been about covering their ass when it comes to a law suit. Now, it’s coming back to bite them in the ass anyway, but in the meantime, all these kids were molested and these perverts got away with it because of their stupid policies meant to cover their stupid asses.

    When are the elders going to wake up that they are being played for patsies????

  • November 10, 2014 at 4:27 am

    I read over the court documents (didn’t read all the objections from Watchtower) but this is what I get out of it.

    The lawyer for Watchtower was lying about how many hours it would take to find accusations of molesters. We all know all they would have had to do is send out letters to each congregation and each congregation would go through their files and send in the information to Brooklyn, of anyone in their congregation who had been accused of molesting a child. Each congregation has a file on each person in each congregation.

    If Losch had gone on the witness stand, he would have had to explain the 2 witness rule and would have been questioned as to why these people would have been discouraged from going to the police. It is easy enough to find the Watchtower articles that discourage Witnesses from turning to the courts for justice and easy enough to find many people who can attest to the fact that they were discouraged from reporting the molesters to the police.

    It doesn’t matter how much the Society has to pay out in money. It’s worth it to them to have one of the Governing Body not to sit on a witness stand and defend the 2 witness rule. The court would have had a field day with somebody from the Governing Body try and explain how that makes any sense at all.

    For all the children who were abused and molested and for all the women who were beat up by their husbands and barred from turning them in to the police, the only thing that can bring them justice, is for the Watchtower to be shown up for what it really is, which is a lying, deceiving cult that is out to make money off of innocent and stupid people and to be brought to it’s knees and erased off the face of the earth forever.

  • November 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Thank you Tiger 123 for that very helpful clarification. In the Church of England we would simply not be able to hide behind the law when it comes to matters of safeguarding. Neither should the International Bible Students’ Association (the British version of the WTBTS) claim immunity.

  • November 10, 2014 at 11:38 am

    If you ask me it looks like Losch has all the makings of an apostate!

  • November 11, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Show me, from the scriptures, where it says that a person needs to be a ministerial servant before they marry.
    Are the GB sat in the divine habitation?

  • November 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I had a bible study with a Nigerian woman who was betrayed by a friend and she said: “she is a green snake in the green grass”.
    You really can’t see how dangerous they are until they bite or kill you.
    We’ve all been bitten but we are not dead.
    Alerting others of their “greenness” is the only way to go.

  • November 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I had a bible study with a Nigerian woman who was betrayed by a friend and she said: “she is a green snake in the green grass”.
    You really can’t see how dangerous they are until they bite or kill you.
    We’ve all been bitten but we are not dead.
    Alerting others of their “greenness” is the only way to go.

  • November 11, 2014 at 8:13 am

    You really are like the media,take one simple statement and add so much fabrication to it to make a huge story for views.Of course he does not answer to the watchtower,it’s a magazine and the building where it is published is the society.You know exactly what he meant by that.You know he meant he is answerable to Jehovah and Jehovah only,like all of us. Lol smh.The only thing I commend you on is the fact you conduct yourself in a professional manner.Not endlessly debating on line,searching out witnesses to harass behind a computer screen like so many of you do.

  • November 11, 2014 at 9:16 am

    @Caroline. How nice of you to “commend” us for conducting ourselves in a professional manner, not endlessly debating on line, searching out witnesses to harass behind a computer screen like so many of you do.”

    That comment sounds so condescending. Do you go on to a lot of so-called “apostate” websites so as to judge them all? I am so curious. You aren’t supposed to do that you know.

    I like to watch a lot of videos of ex-witnesses to see why they left and I don’t remember any of them “searching out witnesses to harass them behind compute screens.” I see a lot of ex-witnesses who are out to help Witnesses to see the lies that they are wasting their lives on and that to me is very loving. They could spend their days doing other things but they take time out of their day to help people leave a very dangerous cult. For you to judge “all these other web sites” tells me that you spend a lot of time online watching “apostate” web sites or else you are lying.

    Tell us why it was alright for Losch not to show up at that trial? It was worth $13.5 million dollars of donations that he didn’t lift a finger to earn. He threw it away and what is his excuse for that? He doesn’t answer to the Watchtower. Really?????

  • November 12, 2014 at 3:46 am

    It is very evident that you do not know the way Jehovah’s Witnesses are organized and you are out to push a malicious propaganda.

    Watchtower is answerable to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and not the other way round.

    That is the little I will tell you.

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