Mark Sanderson confirmed as new Governing Body member

Mark Sanderson is not just a member of the Governing Body, he is also one eighth of the “faithful and discreet slave” – God’s sole channel with mankind

It has finally been confirmed on that Mark Sanderson is the latest brother to be appointed as a member of the Governing Body. The news comes an astonishing two and a half months after the announcement was first made to the bethel family in New York on September 5th 2012, and subsequently leaked online.

Sanderson, 47, has thus completed a meteoric rise to prominence. Only a few months ago he considered himself as only one of 12,000 anointed members of the “faithful and discreet slave” class, with no special role in dispensing “spiritual food”. Now, thanks to the “new understanding” unveiled at the Annual Meeting in October, he is officially one of only eight members of a reduced slave class, which is now only composed of members of the Governing Body (in other words, the small group of anointed brothers during Jesus’ presence serving at Watchtower Headquarters who are directly involved in the preparing and dispensing of spiritual food).

“Need to know” basis

As with the announcement about the “new understanding” on the slave class, the Society has been painfully slow when it comes to confirming information to lowly rank-and-file members of the worldwide brotherhood. Rather than being open and transparent about new developments, information seems to be being drip fed on a “need to know” basis.

The dramatic news about the slave class “new light” was in circulation online for over a month before finally being confirmed on – and even then it was only first made available in the English language to brothers with internet access. Similarly, the announcement about a new Governing Body member has been in circulation on the internet for two and a half months before official confirmation was belatedly provided in late November 2012 by means of a passing mention in an informational video.

In one of the latest videos to be uploaded to the new-look website, two members of the 133rd Gilead Class are interviewed during a meal at the Watchtower Educational Center at Patterson, New York (which was recently offered by the Society as surety in appealing against a verdict in a case involving child abuse).

The news is confirmed by way of a passing mention in a promotional video on the new-look website

Early in the video, at 00:19, the narrator Anthony Morris III says: “Brother Mark Sanderson, serving as Chairman for the noon program, made his first televised appearance to the bethel family as a newly appointed member of the Governing Body.”

To view the video for yourself, please click on this link.

This is the first and (thus far) ONLY mention of the appointment in any of the Society’s official channels. Some witnesses would argue that the understated way in which the news was released demonstrates how humble and lowly the Governing Body considers itself. However, the Governing Body could never be described as downplaying its role when the members demand such prominence on the Society’s DVDs, and have their positions announced every time they appear in public. Rather, the lack of timeliness and transparency in delivering the news clearly demonstrates that information is being dispensed on a “need to know” basis, and in that respect the worldwide brotherhood is not as unified as we are often led to believe.

An Unknown Quantity

As with all members of the Governing Body, little is known about Mark Sanderson by those outside the privileged circle of informed brothers serving at Worldwide Headquarters. It is hoped that, at some future point, the Society might finally get round to making a printed announcement in the publications that will shed some light on Sanderson’s background, even if this is just a brief summary of his accomplishments within the organization.

Many old-timers who have been in the organization for decades will be surprised at how young their new Governing Body member is

What is known is that Sanderson is extremely young when considering the normal age at which Governing Body members are usually appointed. He was born on February 4th 1965, making him only 47 years old (at the time of writing).

Obviously, such relative youthfulness would be considered normal for someone in a position of leadership at most worldwide organizations. However, many older long-serving Witnesses who have been in the organization for decades (and who expected Armageddon to have been and gone by now) will be at least slightly bemused to learn that someone young enough to be their son is now in a lofty position of oversight over them as one of only eight members of God’s chosen channel with mankind.

To shed more light on the appointment, Blog writer and Watchtower researcher Marvin Shilmer has written a short piece on Sanderson detailing his background in defending the blood issue. In the article, which can be found on this link, Shilmer reveals that Sanderson worked in the Society’s Hospital Information Services Department prior to being appointed. During his time in this position, Sanderson is said to have responded to a question about the number of fatalities among Witnesses who have refused blood transfusions by saying that it was difficult to estimate such a figure.

In the same blog, Marvin Shilmer conservatively estimates the number in question to be somewhere in the region of 50,000 deaths based on an extrapolation of Witness mortality figures provided in New Zealand. One could rightly ask: “If it is so easy for a blog writer to figure out the approximate number of deaths, why did Mark Sanderson say it was difficult when he has arguably more information at his disposal?”

A job that will get tougher…

I obviously do not know Mark Sanderson personally, and for that reason it would be unfair of me to judge his character. I can well remember how easy it is as an indoctrinated publisher to jump to the defence of the organization, even if this means distorting or exaggerating what one knows to be true. For all I know, Mark Sanderson may well be a perfectly nice brother who, like the rest of the Governing Body members, is simply deluded into thinking that he really truly is serving in a prominent role in God’s chosen organization.

Like other members of the Governing Body, Sanderson will be deluded into thinking he has a special role to play in God’s purpose

It is such delusion that will ensure that, like the rest of the Governing Body members, Sanderson will do whatever is necessary in the coming months and years to try to guarantee the Society’s growth and longevity as the decades tick by without any sign of Armageddon’s arrival. One thing is certain – it is now harder to fulfil this role than it was in recent years.

The worsening saga of legal battles in defence of the Society’s negligent child abuse policies, not to mention the continuing havoc that the internet is wreaking on the worldwide growth figures, will ensure that Sanderson has his work cut out for a good few years to come. We can only hope that his increasingly high-pressured role will be somewhat easier to bear with the knowledge that, as one eighth of the slave class, he now carries Jehovah’s direct approval and authority!


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44 Responses to Mark Sanderson confirmed as new Governing Body member

  1. BeenMislead says:

    That is a good question … What qualifies Mark Sanderson to be of this now confirmed elite/elavated group above any other of the 12,000 anointed? Maybe it is because he proofed he can dodge questions like a politician!

  2. Yan Bibiyan says:

    Cedars, funny detail in the video clip from JW (dot) org are the closing credits, where the copywrite notice is 2013.

    They sure run ahead of Jehovah, don’t they…

  3. 00DAD says:

    Good, well-written article. I appreciate the way you highlight the MAJOR problems with this appointment, but do so in (as much as possible) a respectful way.

    Seriously, how could a 47 year old guy be a GB member?

    It just doesn’t make sense.


  4. Rob Crompton says:

    “Some witnesses would argue that the understated way in which the news was released demonstrates how humble and lowly the Governing Body considers itself.”

    Hmm… A group of guys who believe that they have a God-given right to demand that their published opinions must be accepted without question, have banished the last trace of humility from their midst.

    • Vanilson says:

      It’s not what they Say. It’s what God says. Man, I have read everything about religion and the Witnesses they follow gods principles.

  5. Willows says:

    Some questions I would like answered. A 47 year old in any congregation, would they be taken aside and given advice regarding those who take the emblems?
    Also I was under the impression those who partake of the emblems know their calling when baptized. Those who change their calling at a later date, the Elders like to talk to. Those of the current Governing Body, have they when baptized, always been of the heavenly calling?

  6. Newly Enlightened says:

    One interesting thing about the ‘NEW light’ and the changes mentioned on the official JW website, not everyone has thought of, is this: If the GB is not going to be appointed over the ‘belongings/domestics’ until the great tribulation, then that means that Jesus did not cleanse his temple yet and that evil slave is still in the household! And according to Luke 12:35-59 is at a high position as to be able to beat his fellow slaves. An interesting side point about those vss in Luke 12:57-59 that because they did not settle matters speedily, they will be thrown into prison and pay to very last penny. There is no evidence that any of this happened in the 1914-1919 time frame. But there is now with all the child abuse cases being filed against the WB$TS

    • Hello Newly Enlightened. I believe you are absolutely right that the Evil Slave is within the household. Also, I believe the Evil Slave is not only lurking within the WTS, but also within all religions. I’d hate to give any credibility to the WTS by confining the Evil Slave only to the WTS. That would possibly justify the GB’s claim that the Faithful and Discreet Slave is only associated with their organization.

  7. Hello Cedars. Thanks for all you are doing to educate us of the Governing Body’s workings. Even after almost 40 years in the WTS, I didn’t know alot of the things you and this website uncovers.

    Thanks too for the link to Ray Franz’s book, “Crisis of Conscience”. The opportunity to receive inside information from a Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses member is huge in helping me understand the whys of the policy within the organization. I didn’t even consider asking why about anything while a member. I’m sure you know why I wouldn’t know to even ask, let alone what to ask.

    My mission has been to inform my siblings and children of the WTS deception have fallen on blocked ears in the past and awarded me with the label “Apostate”. Now, I’m calling on the worldwide community to either help or pray the Governing Body releases its iron grip on the minds of the 7 million members under its control. With the valuable information that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is publicly admitting they are the policy makers (disguised as providers of proper food at the proper time, ie, the Faithful and Discreet Slave), I now legally perceive a face behind the organizational deceit.

    What do you suggest may be done to appeal to whoever will help free Jehovah’s Witnesses from GB mind control? Waiting on Jehovah or being used by Jehovah is always a concern as well.

    • Erik says:

      I think it is just the little things you say….as cheerfully as possible…I’ve stressed the noble-mindedness of us checking up on what our BIBLE says…toldem ‘I’m not a robot…plant happy little seeds : )

      • rob valenti says:

        because it’s not for any man to direct his own step according to jeremiah 10:23 planting little happy seeds will only get you alot of misdirection on your own.

    • rob valenti says:

      when the end time does come, who will you rely on to save you, yourself?

  8. Newly Enlightened says:

    I agree, it appears that the evil slave is in all other religions also. I didn’t mean to make it sound like the WTS was special or have any channel to Jehovah.

  9. "oftaccused" says:

    Is everyone aware of the new $3 Billion Dollar Class Action Lawsuit in Australia? This could put the Society on the brink and anymore of the like which are surely on the way will place it in insolvency!

  10. Erik says:

    I like the way you think…keep on truckin’….

  11. Mbouks says:

    I wonder why you people who condemn WTS can’t just form your own organization and leave Jehovah’s organization alone. It’s shocking that you have even infiltrated it by pretending to be its members and use its information for misleading purposes. You shall never ever find the organization that compares to it and has global appeal and direction. It may have made mistakes like Moses, Jonah, Peter who despite their shortcomings continued to be used by Jehovah. I hope you wake up from your delusions as this global outfit continues to grow by leaps and bounds because it is under the power of the Most High.

    • Cedars says:

      When you say “leaps and bounds” are you referring to the 1.9% growth in 2012? Hmm.

      Also, YOU may think this is God’s organization, but those who muster the courage and take the time to research the history of the Watch Tower Society objectively often don’t see it that way. It’s interesting that you parrot the “where else would we go to” line of reasoning that your Brooklyn masters have taught you. Hopefully one day you will realise that God doesn’t demand that you attach yourself to an organization in order to be considered a good person.


  12. Mbouks says:

    You deliberately ignore the clear cut issue that ‘those who muster the courage’ ‘form your own organization’ and return to Christendom lies. Form you our organisation that shall stand against the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Banda, Bokassa and should be found in every locality and has 7 million dedicated preachers globally. That also gets rid of apostate like you and your ilk that hide their faces and names to exist. I should havent bothered even communicating with you. What do you promise, ‘heavenly life on Abraham’s bosom?’ you might as well join the Catholic church.

  13. Julia Orwell says:

    I checked out that new organisational structure illustration on the official page and went totally ape, and my husband ran in and I said, “They’re like the pope!” and said to him, “Who is our mediator?” and he said, “Jesus.” and I said, “Look at this picture! Where’s Jesus? They’re putting themselves in between us and Jesus and Jehovah!” and showed him the Annual meeting report, and he said, “I always thought the FDS was all the annointed,” to which I said, “Well now it’s these eight guys!”

    He looked troubled, troubled in the way one looks when one feels a loved one is about to go astray. I must say Jehovah’s Witnesses have done a lot for us both, especially when my husband learned about the bible and gave up drugs and bad stuff and is now so much happier. Living by the Bible has helped us to live happily, but I’m seeing now that it’s about God and Jesus and the spiritual journey and not being dictated to by some men.


    • rob valenti says:

      it’s not being dictated by some crazy people, it’s about the bride of christ having a role in todays society as a helper. please consider the informative material that helps an individual stay on the path of righteousness. jesus has a helper just like a husband has and he’s using it, but not only is he using it they are accepting the role. be appreciative, not searching for ways out. satan tried to diminish the structure of the marriage arraingement in the garden of eden and he succeded only because the participants were our original parents adam and eve who gave in to false reasoning and joined satan in independent thinking. how do we get “true” instruction if it’s not by Jehovah God?

  14. Kevin Rankin says:

    There is no way that this man is anointed. And how does he know that he is?

  15. Randy G. says:

    Hi Cedars, You know you’re getting old (I was born in 1964), when you’re older than one of the GB members! Cheers, -Randy

  16. Elizheva says:

    I was just reading the appeal by the WTBS in the Conti case. According to the appeal, Conti’s parents don’t support her claims and some of her claims seem unlikely.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m not a member of the WBTS; just a person who tells it like it is.

    • Cedars says:

      First of all, your comment is off-topic. Show some common decency to me and the other posters and write something that relates to the article in question.
      Secondly, I am good friends with Kathleen Conti (Candace’s mother) and she would be very interested to hear you say that she doesn’t support her daughter’s “claims” when she has been one of her daughter’s most vocal supporters since the trial began.
      The fact that you have openly lied about Candace’s parents (plural) indicates to me that you could also be lying about being a JW.

  17. rob valenti says:

    it does make sense, because this “generation” that the bible speaks about means that the generation of annointed christians are coming out of one seed. it’s like a father having 12 kids, not all of the kids are going to be born on the same day, week, or month so likewise the generation is still being birthed and growing, but still coming from one father Jehovah. the bible says that they will be calling him ABBA meaning that they will be very close to him as christ’s bride. they will be hand picked by Jehovah through the coarse of time much like a beautiful bride picked for a prince. it’s only fair of Jehovah to have your peers judge the actual generations out of all the peoples who have ever lived. a jury of your peers if you will. so in conclusion, we are still growing in Jehovah’s organization. just because there are imperfect human beings in Jehovah’s organization doesn’t mean that you should not serve the one true God Jehovah. the gb is also still growing with the times as did the days of the ancient israelites under God’s direction. they still had to consult Jehovah in matters then and they are still consulting him now. it’s about obedience and direction, not about judgement. jeremiah 10:23 says it’s not for man to direct his own step. he must have Holy Spirit for understanding. it’s not important when the end comes. what is important is what are you doing when it arrives. the society is a provision by Jehovah to try and help you keep on the right path to that destination. it is a race of endurance! will you be there? i hope so.

  18. KtotheRAD "Konrad" says:

    It sure will not be the Watchtower Society lawyers which has been the Governing Body’s choice thus far…

  19. Ben says:

    Mbouks –

    First, there are nowhere near “7 million dedicated preachers”. I know from decades of experience, many of those as a regular pioneer. Most JWs could not be described as being anything remotely resembling a ‘dedicated preacher’. There are a few that could be described that way, but most just look for easy ways to turn in time, many exaggerate their time, and some outright lie about it. Many of those who claim to preach are unqualified. They can’t explain their own doctines/beliefs, and they don’t know the history of their own organization. In fact, most of the really zealous ones don’t even know that. Heck, I doubt that even these newer governing body members really know the real history. Many JWs are just literature peddlers. So, to sum up my first point: you’re dead wrong; there ARE NOT seven million dedicated preachers!

    Second, if we were Catholics, we wouldn’t have to hide. We’d be allowed to question and disagree. We hide because JWs won’t allow sincere questioning and healthy disagreement & discussion. The situation among JWs is like a modern-day inquisition. JWs go around criticizing and questioning everybody else’s beliefs, but don’t allow any criticism/questioning of their own.

    Third, why would we want to “return to Christendom lies”? If we want lies, we can find plenty of them with JWs. Example: “Millions now living will never die” – said referring to those alive before 1925; indicated that that particular group alive back then would never die.

  20. If one checks the J.W. history and date setting and all the various changes in doctrine over the years, that has literally hurt and damaged peoples lives… {selling there homes before armageddon , not going to college etc etc give all these historical facts a real chance to sink in, most didnt have much information before being baptised. One should always be testing your own faith to make sure of all things…

  21. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Folks, it’s a matter of fruitage!

    Jesus saw ahead, and knew that many people would come along and say that they were from him. He told us to look at the fruitage of what we are told to do by these people.

    The WTBTS, and its governing body have presided over many errors and crimes. Their fruitage is not from God.

    God and Jesus would never allow the suffering of child abuse. They would not tell the GB to enact a child protection policy that is totally unfit for purpose, and, frankly, evil.

    By their fruits will you know them. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, as Jesus illustrated.

    I do not believe that Mark Sanderson has been chosen by Jesus to be a member of the GB. The fruitage does not tell me so.

    Peace be with you


  22. Silver words says:

    They are normal guys who just been appointed by themselves Jehovah is not among them but the Devil. The fall of JW Is coming fast that is why so many cases of child abuse/racism/abuse to sisters and been advice not to read the Bible in the 2007 kingdom ministry has to rise RED alarm bell. If we know that we need to get out now or it will be more difficult later. Trust in Jehovah he is letting it all happen to expose their Doctrines

  23. Silver words says:

    Yes you right Jesus said : ” you will regognise my disciples by the LOVE among themselves” Its not child malastation..what about the case of JW members hatred among themselves? As soon as you get baptised the hate starts..Alarm bells. Jesus is Love..Gossip is the biggest thing among JW. Yes you right Satan and his Demons are their Jehovah that is why like the catholics so many sexual charges are exposed

  24. Ricky Tenny says:

    Today my most unforgetable day I was really moved by talk given by Mark Sanderson. I thank Jehovah by giving such an encoragement through his organisation.
    Once again thank you Bro.Sanderson.

  25. So glad to be out says:

    If the most unforgettable day of your life has been listening to a talk by a guy who heads up an organisation that thousands are leaving every day and protects child abusers, then I would say you have not really had much of a day or a life.

  26. jimtie says:

    The new governing body member being young must upset some sence most of them are firm that everyone anionted is suppost to be real old. They even say that some are probably mental. But as usual their leaders are hypocrits.

  27. Bai says:

    Mark was always a very nice likeable person with an amazing memory in the real world he could have done well, I genuinely believe he thinks he’s doing the right thing …… But who knows what really happens in a persons mind

  28. Excelsior says:


    That’s reality for you! A human being can be a personable, clubable, sort and yet commit the most horrific crimes.

    No one is totally good or totally evil. We are all on a continuum between our better and our worse selves.

    Sanderson has joined a body of men who have profound power over eight million people. He condones and continues a child protection policy that is simply wrong, amongst many other crimes.

    Go figure!

    Peace be with you


  29. JOHN ROSS says:

    I knew Mark as a kid. We were in the same congregation. He was a truly nice, kind, compassionate boy. His father was one of only TWO people from my JW childhood who were kind and loving when I was DF’d. He always stopped to ask how I was if we ran into each other out in the world. He was genuinely interested, kind, and took the time & interest in me (albeit briefly) despite the admonishment to shun. He never preached or coerced me to “come back.” He was happy to see me “as is.” Mark, too, always asked after me to relatives. He has a good heart. I can’t condone the same JW policies that he surely supports as a GB member, but I can say with confidence that he’s a good man. I knew him as a dedicated Pioneer and not into it to “move up the ladder” but rather because he believes what he teaches. Since he is a devout JW (obviously) I’m happy for his “success” in being invited to the GB. My sincere hope is that he can bring some kindness and compassion to a otherwise dogmatic, self-serving, & “CYA” group. I am still a DF’d former JW, and I disagree VEHEMENTLY with the shunning policy, child abuse cover-ups, out of control regulations of personal lives, etc. However, I think there are JW’s like Mark who genuinely believe they can help and save people before Armageddon arrives. The Org needs MORE KIND FOLK like him and less Power hungry, letter-of-the-law types that have been in power for so long.

  30. arimatthewdavies says:

    Now as to a organization or group of men being gods sole earthly representative .I’ve got to rebuke that.the g.b. is gods representative in the same way the police is gods servant. The organization is the sole true religion if your goal in life is to be a publisher of written materials..that does not make Jehovah’s witnesses better than the small church down the road that meets reads the bible than goes out testifying in public with nothing but a bible. To openly say to the public we eight men are Jehovah’s ultimate authority on earth..well I would run with haste!
    Jesus came to do what? Destroy all power and authority. And rule earth himself long enough so that people would never ever turn to men or false gods again for leadership!
    So men and lady’s of god. Who do you believe jesus Christ or men who have birth certificates just like you and me?

    I don’t know about you but I have to pick jesus. Their just something about that name that says pick me you can’t lose.

  31. Jeff says:

    Wonderful. A newbie. They just keep getting younger and younger. He loves finding God’s name in the Bible. He is a God’s name finder. There it is…Jehovah.


  32. mario says:

    Caro Sanderson, appena ci sarà il paradiso terrestre, dopo che Geova avrà fatto una strage di miliardi di persone “incredule”, secondo il Vostro illuminato intendimento, ti inviterò a pranzo per commemorare tutti i morti coglioni (che non hanno mai commesso un crimine, tranne “quello” di non aver accettato la tua opinione di membro del Corpo Direttivo dei Testimoni di Geova). Sono attratto dalla tua faccia: se avessi qualche industria ti assumerei come attore per promuovere i miei prodotti…

  33. mario says:

    A parte lo scherzo. Dammi qualche data sulla fine del Mondo così avviso i miei parenti (non tutti) e i miei amici (tutti). Io per parte mia “cercherò la strada più stretta” per salvarmi. Farò come gli struzzi; infilerò la testa nella sabbia per paura di vedere e sopravviverò. Caro Sanderson (sorridente) avrò immenso piacere di averti mio ospite insieme a bestie feroci e serpenti terribili da accarezzare come è illustrato nelle vostre riviste. Quando Ti vedo penso al Cosmo e alla giustizia divina: sarai mica “unto”? Se lo sei ti chiedo scusa e mi inchino alla tua sovranità-. Scusami se ho fatto qualche involontaria allusione a stupidaggini e sciocchezze: se, quando tirerò le cuoia, vedrò la tua faccia vuol dire che son fottuto anche da morto….e va ben, pazienza…

  34. Jonathan I. Klein, Ph.D. says:

    I need to discuss a matter critical to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. For that I need a specific destination email address. And given the criticality of the issue I need to broach, you can feel free to publicize mine.

  35. Jonathan I. Klein, Ph.D. says:

    I have a matter critical to Jehovah’s Witnesses to broach. For that I need a specific destination email address. And given the criticality of my issue feel free to publicize MY email address.

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