The latest Watchtower evokes images from Hitchcock's thriller "The Birds" in describing Armageddon
The latest Watchtower evokes scenes from Hitchcock’s thriller “The Birds” in describing Armageddon

The latest February 15th Study Edition of the Watchtower is now available for download on – but one gruesome paragraph in particular will stand out for thinking Witnesses.

In the study article entitled “Hail Christ, the Glorious King!” one of the concluding paragraphs paints a grim picture of global carnage at Armageddon. Jeremiah 25:33 is invoked to remind Witnesses that those killed at Armageddon will be “from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.”

And in wording reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film “The Birds,” Watchtower applies the prophecy at Revelation 19:17,18 to describe the ultimate fate of any who ignore their teachings… (bold is mine)

“In poetic language, the psalmist prophesies that the King’s ‘arrows are sharp, piercing the hearts of his enemies’ and ‘making peoples fall before him.’ The carnage will be earth wide. Jeremiah’s prophecy foretells: “Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.” (Jer. 25:33) A parallel prophecy states: “I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.’”—Rev. 19:17, 18.” (w14 2/15 p.7)

As though the use of the scripture in Revelation isn’t graphic and disturbing enough, with birds being summoned to “cleanse” the earth of the corpses of those slain, the warning is supported by a chilling illustration on the same page.

birds-of-armageddonThe message is simple. All must heed the Governing Body‘s self-proclaimed authority, or else expect to end up as bird food when Armageddon strikes.

Sadly this is not the first time the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses have resorted to fear-mongering to keep adherents in check. Those like myself who have grown up in the organization will recall countless images in Watchtower publications depicting the death of unbelievers at Armageddon.

And in one of his talks, Governing Body member Anthony Morris III drew from his Vietnam experience to give a morbid foregleam of a slain one as being “like a hot dog on a grill, blackened and splitting open.”

Those who choose to cling to such dreadful rhetoric as stated above need to ask themselves three questions: (1) “If there really is so much at stake, isn’t it worthwhile subjecting my beliefs to a rigorous test to make sure they really do add up?” (2) “Is this really a religion of love if its leaders need to threaten people in this way?” and (3) “Would Jehovah really kill all who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses when Armageddon strikes, even though these number into the billions, with a third of the world’s population in many Asian and Muslim countries never even having heard our message?”



115 thoughts on ““The carnage will be earthwide” – new Watchtower describes fate of unbelievers

  • November 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hi John Baptist, actually we’re on the same page on this subject. I indeed mentioned “high standards”, not in the view of being “in” or “out” of the organization, rather living a life in line with what we understand from Bible in general, regardless who we are. My own feelings are exactly the same as the circuit overseer’s comment you mentioned ! So my thought is, given today’s world conditions, anything immoral is becoming such a normality that leading a “spiritual” life is getting really difficult. I think this is true for anyone, JW’s or other.

    I am actually an ex-JW. For a longtime I never really cared about my “spirituality” but with time and experiences, I just started coming back to the question. As I was born as a JW and I must say, I also kept some of the positive aspects from my youth of being part of the congregation (and having a loving family, who actually still make me feel as their son and brother), I wanted to get back in touch …. with Jehovah. So I join the meetings simply because this was my initial reference point, but being a DF’d person makes things easier for me, so I don’t have the risk of being an apostate, and actually I’m totally free. I feel free to raise my questions and doubts and try to find answers anywhere. This might make me a little hypocrite, but in any other context I couldn’t really have this openness I need. I think still, as long as the subjects are related to the fundamental moral points of Bible, I feel good being part of the meetings.

    I wish I could just say being a JW again is the right way to find my way to the truth. This would make my life so much easier, but I can’t. I don’t see myself preaching, and being able to give a very honest, truthful answer to several embarrassing points, for a simple reason that I couldn’t find them in the first place.

  • November 24, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Totally agree. Wilhelm is so far away from Jesus teachings and doings it´s almost unbelievable.

    Talk about judging others. Could well be your own downfall that is coming with all the hatred, even towards your own brothers, you produce! You do not have Christ Spirit in any way!

  • November 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

    If the JW’s understanding is correct of who will and will not survive the big A then the most loving thing a JW could do is stop preaching altogether, since those that do not hear the message will survive.

  • November 25, 2013 at 12:41 am

    The book of Revelation in the opening verses state the Revelation given to John , was given using signs.

    It appears the Watchtower have taken the Revelation literally not figuratively. This may be corrected in time.

    Some religions use burn-ing hell-fire. Another literal type application of scripture.

  • November 26, 2013 at 4:43 am

    the Bible is often illustrative. Jesus spoke in parabels.
    Think of the “birds” in that light.
    Birds are free creatures. They come and go at whim so they are not ‘anchored’. Food is where they find it. They nest above the dangers on the ground. Their eye-sight is way above any other creature. Their ability to perceive is immense. Get the idea.?

  • November 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Reading all the replys on the web I am beginning to think all are in a room where daily medication is being given out. Is there a plan to have cool aid day for all the jws . Question does any one know the date and time? Question number two why not have all the persons posting use real names. I use mine. It is only fair, let’s keep the overly medicated, off the page it’s getting very boring.

  • November 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

    A good point, zeb. The visions of St. John on Patmos were not a documentary about the time of the end!

    There has been research that could explain these visions. There is a particular fungus that grows on grain. If consumed, it can induce hallucinations. Maybe poor old St. John imbibed some of this contaminated grain and fantasised about what would happen?

    There was serious doubt put on the cannonicity of the Apocalypse. It almost didn’t make it into the cannon!

    As I have posted above, I see no moral excuse for God killing anyone!

    I would urge you all to think about the billions that the GB are convinced will die. Babies, children, disabled ones, elderly ones, with no mercy or quarter given. This does not represent love to me.

    Many dictators and despots have used industrial scale murder to try to create their twisted paradises. They have always failed to create anything of worth or longevity.

    Why does everyone think that God killing billions of people will? Ah, you say, but God can read hearts! Well, good for him, but what does that mean? Does he peer through time to see what each individual will do? How can the deepest feelings of billions of people be worthy of eternal death?

    The ends never justify the means. Say that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are right. Would any of you want to enter this paradise, created by death? Could you ignore the piles of bodies, the friends and family now eternally dead? Could you remember them?

    Even if I was judged worthy, I would decline. It would be better to be dead than live forever with that guilt.

    I put it this way to highlight that a righteous God could not do that. I don’t believe in God, but if I did believe in him, he certainly would have to excel in mercy, compassion and the giving of life. He would have to guarantee a fulfilling, free life for everyone.

    That is why I do not believe in Armageddon. We do, however, face real and grave threats to the continuation of life as we know it on this planet. We have to come together as people to plan for the changes that are coming and to arrest as best we can the pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is a noble future that everyone can take a part in.

    Peace be with you


  • November 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Donald, I do not use my real name because I am concerned for repercussions for my mother, who is a JW. I do not feel the need to attach my real name to my comments anyway, as they are polite, on point and follow all of the rules for posting on this site.

    As someone who has mild mental health issues, your comments about daily medication are in very poor taste. If you disagree with the views of a poster, then you can either choose to comment yourself in rebuttal, or not. I consider your remarks the same way I view the GB calling me mentally diseased, as an analogy that is not at all helpful.

    Your reference to “the cool aid” is rather crass as well. The deaths in South America of those poor unfortunates was the largest death toll of civilians until the attacks of 911. Anyway, the witnesses will not be dying! It is all the other poor souls who will be dying.

    Finally, if the comments are so very boring, then there are a multitude of things you can do instead. You could go and wash the feet of a beggar, or buy some food for a homeless person, or anything your heart desires.

    I was once a JW. I once believed in all the things that they still erroneously cling to. I try to show compassion and politeness to people who have been systematically brainwashed into a set of beliefs that are wrong. Your kind of sneering impatience is not going to help anyone.

    So please, take a deep breath, and think of something polite and positive to contribute. I am sure that you have many interesting opinions and facts to share.

    Peace be with you


  • November 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Ya they’ll be searching along long time! When Armageddon hits I’ll be still waiting!

    I wonder though if the birds eating flesh is symbolic or literal. You know Armageddon was suppose to come some 20 times or more and yet here we are! 1914 was the year Armageddon was going to happen and we all know what happened! 1914 generation was the generation that would see Armageddon(though it’s not even in the Bible) Now we have an “overlapping generation” equaling 2 generations. So someone who knew someone from 1914 would be the generation. I’m looking it up in my Old World Translation and I aint seeing anything about an overlapping generation. It just says that “this generation will by no means pass away.” What generation? It does not say but we are entering into 2014 and that generation will be 100 years old…..

  • November 27, 2013 at 5:14 am

    The GB are slowly but surely distancing themselves from their Millennialist roots.

    All the major Christian sects have done this centuries ago! The kingdom of God has been moved to heaven and there is no end of days. A neat and simple solution.

    The trouble with allying oneself to an end of days scenario is that it is impossible to keep waiting forever. People start to wander off! That’s why the GB keep having to say that “it’s just around the corner”.

    By beginning the process of blurring this end of days motif, the GB are attempting to continue their organisation well into the 21st Century and beyond!

    Peace be with you


  • November 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Well folks i’ve out of the Org for 10 years and in for 20. It has just dawned on me that all this talk of the JW version of “A FINAL SOLUTION” by a God of Love, beats anything our NWO sociopaths can come up with for a depopulation agenda, slam dunk !!
    Yet I see this as the Watchtower equivelant of the dreadful images painted by Bosh in the 1600s.
    Whereas, the church was systematic in marrying the immortality of the soul doctrine with the horrors of eternal punnishment in hell, to keep the faithfull in check. The Watchtower use the same psychology of a fiery Hell not deep underground, but above ground. A hell based on the fear of birds devouring your corpse.
    This is the JW version of Hell propergated to keep the members in check.
    Yet, why fall for this strawman, [Birds]. If you are conscious of anything after death where is your fear, is it worse to eaten by birds than by maggots !
    The next time you talk to a JW ask them if they believe in Hell fire, or Hell on earth. Its the same doctrine with a different set of demons.

  • December 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Hope brought them in,Fear keeps them in.Glad I left that madness.I would rather die once some day then live dead forever- me.The Watchtower will make you into a living dead puppet with no freewill.

  • December 16, 2013 at 8:32 am

    SIDE NOTE: Jeremiah was written for the Jews who were suffering exile from Babylon under the rule of Nebuchadrezzar (stated in the first verse of the chapter, in fact). The book exists in two forms… a shorter form from which it was intended, and a longer form adopted by “western” (Christian) civilizations ALREADY trying to give it contemporary relevance (2000 years ago).

    Revelation is a depiction of an aftermath of a spiritual war. Typical of the time, the imagery would include bodies left out for the birds to feast (the phrase was popular at the time to denote the carnage of victory). Revelation is mainly metaphorical in it’s entirety (quite possibly the writings of a man gone mad with malaria that was quite popular at the time). Regardless, the important lesson here is that it’s still acceptable to have slaves.

    One can’t take one part of the verse and ignore the other part. Either God’s war is coming and it’s okay to have slaves… OR… the ENTIRE VERSE was written for people at a very, very different time with a very different meaning. One or the other.

  • December 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    … but the wts has slaves does it not?

  • March 30, 2014 at 7:37 am

    jenny that me laugh and an absolutely wonderfull question for a child to ask.

  • March 30, 2014 at 7:39 am

    yes its another Gospel which Paul warns us about brother.

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