These short films use selected clips from Governing Body talks to reveal the character and intellect of Governing Body members, who now consider themselves collectively to be the “faithful and discreet slave.”
By far the stand-out performer from this series has been Anthony Morris III (or “Tony” Morris as his friends call him). While other Governing Body members tend to be quite guarded and diplomatic when it comes to voicing their personal opinions, Tony has a seemingly insatiable appetite for offloading his private ponderings on bewildered audiences as though these are part of some divine revelation.
As Tony himself is so fond of putting it, “I’m just a shoemaker. If the shoe fits, well you have to wear it. Don’t get mad at me. This is Jehovah’s Word, this is what’s been outlined by the Governing Body. Just take a look at yourself.”
Until now I have contentedly followed Tony’s advice and refused to get “mad” at him. It is clear from listening to his talks (as I have done for many hours over the past two years) that he is a deluded crackpot who loves the limelight and thinks very highly of himself. The “shoe” always seems to fit anyone but him. Even so, I have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his character. I have assumed that he is essentially a kind-hearted soul suffering from serious delusional issues.
But then I listened to the recording from his recent zone visit to the Italian Branch Office in Rome, and my opinion quickly changed.
If you would like to listen to the talk yourself, you will find a recording at the foot of this article, or on this link. But make yourself comfortable! It is over an hour-and-a-half long, and half in Italian.
From what I can gather, the talk was given on January 5th in Rome as part of a Zone Visit, and was broadcast live to another audience in Israel. The discourse was translated into Italian with the aid of an interpreter.
For those who don’t have 90 minutes to spare on listening to the entire talk, here are my notes of what was discussed (timings are approximate)…
- 01:40 – Tony toys with his audience about the new revised English New World Translation, and tells them they should have “pazienza” because he won’t be releasing a new Bible in Italian on this visit. (One brother later commented by email that this did NOT go down well with everyone, since Italians are more interested in whether their Branch Office will stay open than whether they are getting a new Bible.)
- 16:00 – Tony asks how many families in the audience have visited the local amusement park, Gardaland, but never the local Branch Office in Rome. To such ones he says, “Explain that to Jehovah. That’s a problem.”
- 22:00 – “When your family gets together to eat a meal, shut that thing off,” barks Tony when expressing himself regarding the television.
- 26:00 – Tony says to families who don’t eat together on a daily basis, “Guess what, the devil has attacked you in your family.”
- 30:00 – “Family worship needs to be more important than what we eat,” declares Tony, after a rather patronizing analogy involving pasta.
- 35:35 – Tony tells parents who aren’t prepared to “strengthen the spirituality” of their children ahead of Armageddon that they might as well “Sit ’em down and say goodbye. Jehovah is never sentimental.”
- 39:00 – Tony begins a rant against “extremely tight pants,” and goes on to suggest that these are an elaborate conspiracy on the part of homosexual fashion designers, who “just love it” when they see men wearing tight pants. Clearly rattled by the audience’s bemused response, Tony presses the issue and explains how when given similar “discipline” in America, Witnesses “threw those pants away, even though they spent considerable money on them.”
- 44:00 – Tony remarks that there are a few ties in the audience that there is “no way” he would wear, even though deciding on which tie to wear is a “personal choice” and Witnesses do not need to dress “prudishly.”
- 46:00 – Witnesses should not wear clothing that “enters the room before they do” in the style of Lady Gaga.
- 48:30 – Tony says of King David, “When he’s resurrected, you tell him I spoke fondly of him!” The way the talk is going, I’m not sure he would welcome that endorsement.
- 49:20 – “She doesn’t like it when she gets into my talks,” Tony says of Mrs Morris, with whom it’s easy to sympathize.
- 53:50 – Tony bemoans films featuring vampires. “Are they dead or are they alive?” he muses.
- 55:00 to 56:19 – The feed goes silent, presumably due to a technical problem. Audience members have opportunity to conduct a quick visual audit of tight pants and flamboyant ties.
- 01:00:00 – Tony relates the story of a father who would pray each night for his children to “never have to be dealt with by a judicial committee.”
- 01:01:00 – Tony quips that Italians can be “excitable sometimes.”
- 01:04:00 – A strange bike story is related in which a dog ends up being “the only one in the whole house that behaved like a Christian.” You can’t help but wonder whether it was wearing appropriate legwear.
- 01:07:00 – Those who aren’t preaching the “good news of the kingdom” have blood on their hands, which God can see.
- 01:14:00 – “When I finally get to heaven I hope he says ‘what a reward’,” Tony says of the mentor who took his Bible study – also of the professed anointed.
- 01:14:50 – Tony begins a discussion on shunning, using misapplied scripture and a dubious second-hand experience to reinforce the idea that the practice should be enforced within the family. Any who speak to disfellowshipped loved ones must repent.
- 01:25:00 – Tony concludes by relating the story of a Witness who impressed police with her “unbreakable faith” following the death of her daughter, who was murdered by another Witness.
- 01:31:30 – Tony indulges himself and his audience in a make-believe conversation between two mothers from “five hundred years after the thousand-year reign has finished,” or “fifteen hundred years into the future.” I guess that means Armageddon IS coming this year then.
Of all the examples of delusion and eccentricity in Tony’s talk, arguably his homophobic rant against tight pants was the most jaw-dropping. Rarely has a Governing Body member been known to disgorge such an opinionated torrent of bigotry and small-mindedness quite so publicly and all at once.
On hearing the tight pants tirade I set about making the above video, along with another longer version featuring a humorous Will Ferrell skit at the end. It demonstrated perfectly, in my mind, how outrageous this man is. Anyone listening to Tony’s pant-related musings would struggle to associate them with a man professing to be one eighth of Christ’s “faithful and discreet slave.”
The question must surely be asked by any reasonable person, “If someone as nutty and narrow-minded as Tony Morris can be a member of the Governing Body, surely can’t anyone?”
A glimpse of true evil
It was only later, once I’d listened to the Rome talk in its entirety and fallen upon the part on shunning that my blood really began to boil and the dying embers of any respect I might have once held for Tony were finally snuffed out.
The gloves came off. I felt compelled to make another video – this time in the form of a rebuttal.
As explained in the above video rebuttal, I have come to the conclusion that Tony Morris is an evil and dangerous man. Why do I make this assertion?
Tony’s staunch defense of shunning displayed, not just ignorance and stupidity, but a concerted and cynical effort to deceive. The clearest example of this came when Tony declared: “We don’t have closed doors at kingdom halls, ropes to tie people into seats. We do this because we volunteer to become Jehovah’s people.” In uttering these words, Tony told two bare-faced lies in quick succession – both of which were aimed at manipulating his audience into adopting his point of view.
First, Tony’s “closed doors” statement implied that Witnesses are free to leave the religion whenever they choose. As one of many who are currently having their family used as a weapon against them as punishment for doing precisely that, I can personally vouch to the dishonesty of this statement.
Second, Tony suggested that all Jehovah’s Witnesses are “volunteers,” which implies that all enter the religion without coercion, at an age of maturity, and with all pertinent facts regarding the organization and its history at their disposal.
In making this latter claim, Tony must have been hoping that nobody would remember a talk he gave to an audience in America in which he recommended that parents blackmail children who reach the age of 16 without getting baptized by witholding money for their driving license. Anyone who is cajoled into joining an organization before they reach maturity and as a result of blackmail can most certainly not be called a “volunteer” in any reasonable sense.
Bereft of a clear scriptural mandate for shunning between family members, Tony subjected his audience to a second-hand half-baked “experience,” in which a disfellowshipped man who wasn’t completely shunned by his family for 20 years turned around on his reinstatement and berated his family as “disloyal” for inviting him to their annual family gatherings.
Here too, I found evidence of malevolence in Tony’s character. Those listening to the dubious story were being asked to respect the sort of person who would be ungrateful and duplicitous enough to avail himself of love, kindness and hospitality for 20 years and only berate his family members for their “disloyalty” once it was convenient for him to do so.
In my opinion, the story showed all the signs of having been concocted by a depraved mind, and represented a desperate attempt on Tony’s part to dupe his audience into believing that those being shunned WILL come back some day if only “loyal” Witnesses will stifle their innate morality and subject disfellowshipped loved ones to cruelty and ostracism.
Whether the story was true or not, it only gave further validation to my new consideration of Tony Morris as an evil and dangerous man. He is evil for holding as laudible the heartless words of a cynical opportunist, and trying to trick his audience and pull the wool over their eyes on such an emotive and far-reaching issue as shunning.
And he is dangerous because he is so clearly deluded and yet, along with his cohorts, controls the lives of 8 million worshippers around the world – all of whom are under strict orders to obey any commands “whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” (w13 11/15 p.20)
I can only hope that the bolder Tony becomes whenever a microphone is positioned before his incontinent mouth, the more people will see him for who he truly is.