The Governing Body has decided to make changes to certain terminology, and make changes to assembly arrangements
The Governing Body has decided to make changes to certain terminology, and make changes to assembly arrangements

JWsurvey has been sent a scan of a letter, dated 17 February 2014, to be read out to all congregations this week. The subject line reads: “Adjustments in organizational terminology and assembly arrangements.”

For whatever reason, the Governing Body has deemed it pressingly urgent to tamper with various organizational terms, with changes effective immediately.

“Zone overseers” are now to be known as “headquarters representatives,” “zone visits” are now “branch visits,” “district conventions” are now “regional conventions” (special conventions and international conventions remain unchanged), and circuit assemblies have been slashed from two days to one day.

The latter change means that the term “special assembly day” is now obsolete. Rather than having a two-day circuit assembly and a special assembly day every year, Witnesses will now have two one-day circuit assemblies. One circuit assembly is to be hosted by a district overseer, with the other being hosted by a branch representative.

Readers of this website will doubtless find it baffling that, with all that is presently befalling the Governing Body, fiddling with organizational terminology has ended up being top of their list of priorities. It seems plugging the constant leak of confidential material and answering the media regarding the DA motion in the McAlester case may be of secondary importance to Morris, Splane and Co. when word games are on the agenda.



48 thoughts on “Watchtower word games – letter orders changes in terminology and assembly arrangements

  • February 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Plus ça change. ‘Christendom’ in JWspeak has always meant all the bits of Christendom except their little Adventist spinoff sect. ‘Worldly’ has always referred to all the world outside WT control. (As if the WT were not part of the world! – Do they live on Mars?). ‘Publisher’ in JWspeak means doorknocker with a bag of WT mags.

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:10 am

    This is not unexpected. The WT keeps changing its mind about nearly everything at least every 20 years. District assemblies were and are a waste of time.

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Hi everyone

    This is just a quick note to say that we have been bombarded with a higher-than-usual rate of spam attacks over the last two months. It seems in the last few hours one of these attacks may have been successful in compromising our website’s coding, and as a result it has been impossible for people to leave comments.

    If you have had your comment blocked by our spam filter, please don’t take this personally. We are hoping that the problem is now fixed, but if you still have difficulty commenting please email us using the address on our “Contact us” page and we will look into it for you.

    Thanks for your patience and understanding!


  • February 18, 2014 at 3:00 am

    The good news for me here was the fact that the two day assemblies have now gone. I was around in the 1970s and they had two circuit assemblies a year which consisted of two full days and the Friday evening as well. Also District assemblies used to be much longer in years gone by, and I believe they are just three days now. Let the downsizing of everything continue!

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Shouldn’t the “district overseer” now be called the “Regional overseer”?

    Why did they change the “Presiding Overseer” to ” Co-ordinator of the Body of elders”

    That is just more of a mouthful for the same job for the power hungry brother.
    Kate xx

    • February 19, 2014 at 2:19 am

      I think presiding overseer sounds like the guy who has all the power in the congregation. The title co-ordinator of the body of elders, shows he is just one of many who run the cong.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I see it as all part of the bigger “downsizing.” Yes, money definitely seems to be an issue. In addition, the Witness population are weary, not just from the daily rigours of life, but also with the added stresses of being a Witness. Gone are the days of “revival style” seven day conventions with full meal service.
    It wouldn’t surprise me to see the District/Regional Convention paired down to a two-day affair held at a Society-owned Assembly Hall facility wherever possible, and for the circuit assembly to be limited to a single once-a-year affair. Two weekends a year are enough of an imposition.
    There is still room for further pairing down of magazine publishing, too. How about the elimination of “Awake!”? It has never held the same “mouthpiece of God/food at the proper time” status as the “Watchtower.”
    Also, the public talks have already been shortened to accommodate a weary audience. How about truncating the Watchtower study further, leading to a half size study edition? This would QUARTER the original publishing volume of four full size semi-monthly editions of the “Watchtower” and “Awake!”.
    Will the last person leaving the Kingdom Hall please turn off the “light” and set the alarm to “1914”?

  • February 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I believe it has been suggested that the PO designation might have been changed to “coordinator” and set to more of a revolving position in order to avoid culpability.
    This would make sense in the light of recent legal wranglings around liability for child abuse.

  • February 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    To me, they could produce black and white magazines on recycled paper if they wanted to, as long as what is written in them is of real value …

  • February 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Reading all this terminology just reminds me that the WTBTS is nothing more than a publishing corporation masquerading as a religion. And taking advantage of free labor and tax cuts. Pretty soon instead of “brothers” and “sisters” they will be calling them “conversion service representatives.” They already have mandatory time sheets. Why not?

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I think they already have time sheets :-)

  • February 19, 2014 at 2:08 am

    The switch from “zone overseers” to “headquarters representatives” must be indended to emphasize that these people are virtually in the place of the Governing Body, and so should be treated with the utmost servility. (Incidentally, shouldn’t the theoretical “headquarter” be Jehovah’s residence in heaven? Watchtower literature emphasizes that he dwells in a specific location and is not omnipresent.)

    • February 19, 2014 at 2:14 am

      H K, I think your ides about headquarters representative is probably spot on. It will make every witness think he is speaking for the governing body.
      Don’t agree with your idea that Watchtower thinks Jehovah dwells in a specific location. They threw that idea in the bin a long time ago.

  • February 19, 2014 at 4:30 am

    It seems Winston Smith was very busy at minitru to come with the latest improvement of the language. Although you can see more clearly the distinction between the inner party and others. Before it was zone denoting the area over which the respective inner party member had their power over. Now it says where they are actually situated, tying it to a building of the inner party rather than an area.

  • February 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I wouldn’t be overly concerned with this deck-chair reshuffling of language. Sure, the organization has larger, more pressing issues. However, this is a large organization with many moving parts. That means, while bigger issues get dealt with by one sector, smaller issues are still the daily concern of the smaller members of their “intelligentsia”.

    Thus you have language alterations in the middle of a storm.

    That being said, language is a large part of their control system over their populace. It is not something to be treated lightly by them.

  • February 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Keep them confused with never-ending distraction techniques.

  • February 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I guess if they can’t stop the videos from getting out they will try to silence the voices of dissent…..

  • February 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Next one will be “disfellowwhipped” … Just that it causes more physical pain than emotional …

  • February 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    “Keep them confused with never-ending distraction techniques.”

    I agree that this seems to be part of the overall plan. Not wanting to sound too paranoid, but they do love to stir the pot, don’t they? I recall their interpretation of Jehovah’s mighty chariot as it changes direction. Naturally Jehovah’s faithful servants, must accommodate any change that comes along, nomenclature not the least of them.

    Years ago at a DC, we were told from the platform that we should hold the Kingdom Melodies in higher regard than the great musical compositions found in the world, by ones such as Mozart or Beethoven. If we took that to heart, how should we have felt when they pulled the switch a few years ago, either altering or throwing out so many of our favorite songs! To me, this was a sin, and possibly the beginning of the end for me. I take music very seriously because it touches my soul. These ass-clowns are so clueless, that they felt free to toss it in the bin and whip out a whole new set (or variations thereof). My two cents, take them or leave them.

    • February 20, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Hi Donald, totally agree with what you said. Why didn’t we see it at the time? They kept us so busy there just was not time to do any proper research, and pre internet that was very difficult to do anyway.
      I remember the comment about the composers and as you say they then ditch the songs that were meant to be better than any classics. They are a joke. Just not funny if you are still a part of their org.

  • February 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    (2 Samuel 12:11, 12) . . .‘Here I am raising up against you calamity out of your own house; and I will take your wives under your own eyes and give them to your fellowman, and he will certainly lie down with your wives under the eyes of this sun. 12 Whereas you yourself acted in secret, I, for my part, shall do this thing in front of all Israel and in front of the sun.’. . .

    After playing with someone’s WIVES, I am afraid he/she is playing with WORDS.

    (Isaiah 45:6, 7) . . .. I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. 7 Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating calamity, I, Jehovah, am doing all these things.

  • February 21, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Only one day left to remove from the Circuit Assembly and they will finally have it right.

  • February 21, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Growing up. the assemblies seemed to be something to look forward to in a somewhat desolate JW existence. I can only imagine that all this is hardly worth getting out of bed for now. Perhaps they will take their kids on a decent holiday now they do not have to run around trying to get to an assembly? I guess it also means with less assembly days, there will be less opportunity for young people to decide who they want to instantly marry, so that should help as well. There are so many more out now, than in, I guess we will be organising three day meet-up parties soon – Post cult assemblies, includes talks given about what works in recovery, songs like “we shall overcome” and we will watch Monty Python films. The women will wear leggings and trousers, the men will grow their hair and have beards. And for some brave souls there will be the opportunity to get baptised into normality.

  • February 21, 2014 at 2:09 am

    So glad to be out, if I wear very tight pants, do you think it would be fine for me to join the next post-cult assembly ? :-)

    When I read this article, I realized how odd it sounded all the jargon used. I remember when I was a teenager, I used to do silly things with one of the kids in the congregation, who was a very close friend. One of those silly things was starting a conversation near a “worldly” friend and use this jargon, in abundance, then we’d observe the guy’s expression, who thought we were gone crazy …

  • February 21, 2014 at 2:21 am

    I think tight pants for men will be somewhere between a requirement or optional. I am awaiting new light on the matter, but in the mean time go with your conscience.
    I guess we could also have a reverse your disfellowshipping session. There will be a sort of graduation ceremony where three women (just to rebalance the gender inequality of the former event) issue people with a signed and sealed acceptance certificate. Even if you were not disfellowshipped you can also have one, cause that just shows we care.

  • February 21, 2014 at 6:33 am


    I’m OK with that, and look forward for the new light to occur.

  • February 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Hear! Hear!

  • February 23, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    the “G8” make these changes in attempt to unmask apostates.

  • February 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Another odd doing of thiers..

  • February 24, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    The Governing Body seem to be a bit They’re walking with their pants down and their high hills on…not good!!(Rev 16:15) In order to really make God happy they NEED to be meek and humble.

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

    In the 1980’s when I was still on duty in the Air Force, the chief of staff, in search of a true active mission for the force, embarked on numerous meaningless changes in the service. No change was more foolish than his attempt at designing a new uniform for officers, one that would make us all more closely resemble naval officers. In the end, smarter and more reasonable minds prevailed, and his comical attempt at “doing something” never made it to the point where anyone had to wear it.

    Throughout history the machinations of the GB have been a part of all oligarchies. One can easily see the same sort of behavior in 1930 Germany with the complete Nazification of German government nomenclature, organization and personalization. Himmler, Goring, and all the rest were the governing body of those times.

    If that is too odious a comparison for you, then just imagine the governing body at sea, arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    This who game of name-tag is enough to make a cat laugh.

  • February 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Before this letter came out there was letter sent out just too CO and DO’s that any of them that are 70 or older will be sent as special pioneers.
    I agree that theses word games are of something larger, eliminathing the C.O or D.O.

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Cedars, can you attach a copy of the letter, i missed the meeting when it was announced, good news to me, a lot of us are sick of spending money to travel to these things anyway, we have a four hour round tri plus accomodation for 4.

  • February 26, 2014 at 3:39 am

    I personally saw the slashing of the two day assembly to a one day as yet another downsizing tactic. A day at the assembly is an expensive occasion. They are saving their pennies.

  • February 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Well get this, when i served as an elder we used to attend a business meeting during lunch time, where we discussed finance, even though we own the Assembly Hall & have over 300k in the bank, they still solicite funds from the sheep to the tune of 14k rent cost for the weekend, hang on a minute if we own it, then why do we have to pay rent for the use of our own building, greed, we also would donate thousands to the world wide work (pedo court costs & silence money to victoms), a friend of mine who still serves as an elder won’t attend those meetings because he is disgusted, who wouldnt be.

    • February 28, 2014 at 1:59 am

      On the contrary, he should attend and make recordings …

  • March 1, 2014 at 7:22 am

    You never know. The spirit directed FDS may have had insight on how these representatives were actually called in the time of Acts, then translated such terms to English. After all, they claim to be similar to the group of elders in Jerusalem.

    Interesting they don’t have better things to discuss at their meetings.


  • March 1, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Jamie Clark,

    I do not understand your comment. Which representatives?

    Peace be with you


  • March 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I have just heard something very haunting and disturbing regarding a letter that was read at my mothers congregation in western canada this week. I was wondering if anyone else has more information? It was regarding emergency supplies (flashlights, etc) and up- to- date papers on each publisher to be placed in a personal carry bag, to “grab and go” when the call for evacuation of Jehovahs Witnesses is called. My non JW sister was there as my mother pulled this “bag” out behind the couch to show her. This upsets me so much that these 8 creepy men are playing on fear and enticing these poor followers that Armageddon is near (again) and stringing them along with hope to keep them in line and in doing so places a veil over the problems that are occuring within WBTS. I only hope that there was not a “pill” included in the contents of the bag.

    • March 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Shannon this is really so sick isn’t it! I was a witness for too many year’s. Glad to be out Common sense preveiled. Sad thing my Elder Husband is at an assembly today, goodness know’s what rubbish he will be having his head filled with? will have to keep a look out to see if he is filling his bag! without me in the picture!! If it was not so tragic it would be funny!!!

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Run to the Hills, when this end comes, half the world will be asleep, depending in which part of the globe you live in, so we are going to be in the hills for some time, i will have to put more in my carry bag, bed & blankets etc. What would we do if we got the call to run?, according to their own teachings, we need to see the banning of religion, the amergence of the king of the north, pushing between the 2 kings, then if i am not mistaken the king of the north attacks religion, we are still going at this point, then they turn on us, thats going to take some time isnt it, going to be in the hills for a long time i reckon.

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm


    Yes, I have heard of this. My dear old Mum has a “go bag” ready in case of some emergency.

    They’ve tried to make it seem as if it is there in case of a flood or some such natural disaster. But it isn’t. It’s a cruel and mendacious way to get people afraid and ready to be told what to do.

    My mum has had hers for at least a year now. Funnily enough, there has been no disaster here!

    Peace be with you


  • March 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hallo Cedars,
    thanks for your Video about Tony Morris. I got the link via BI. Thanks a lot for the information. It is hard to believe but its true. I hope that the time comes and this very soon that the WTG is at its end before more sorrow and pain happens. Unbelievable.
    Nachdenker (Germany)

  • March 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    How are we going to keep preaching if we are in the hills? the prophecy states that we will be targets of gog, so we can;t be hiding, we are going to be visable, interesting

  • March 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    In England the ‘go bag’ letter was read out a couple of years ago. One congregation we know of took it very seriously and the elders were insistent that everyone had their supplies ready to go. I enquired of one elder a year ago if he still had his go bag ready. Yes, he replied, but I have had to replace some of the food items which had gone out of date.
    Some years ago my husband went to an army and navy stores with our young son to show him the things that boys like to look at. I mentioned it to an elder who just happened to be passing our home. It apparently became a subject for discussion, the elders were concerned that we were becoming survivalists! But of course, if the GB says it’s OK, then it’s OK right? Get your water bottles ready for the off, three days supply was recommended. I hope some of the old sisters have the muscles to carry them!

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