Anthony Morris: Apostate, Liar, or Both?

Please watch Anthony Morris’ final talk at the 2021 Annual Meeting: “Keep on the Watch,” as presented on Lloyd Evan’s channel:

Please watch at least through 8:15 (though Lloyd’s additional comments are definitely worth a listen as well — as are the comments on YouTube. My comments below are an addendum to the excellent points brought out there.)


Just want to have you think about this here personal experience. Many years ago my sons Jesse and Paul were in the early years of school — elementary school. And back at the time — I haven’t heard it a lot lately — but from time to time this would come up at a social gathering. Now mind you, they’re second-grade, first-grade, but these boys were thinkers. So they’d listen and they appreciated all these older ones, and we had a number of them in Rhode Island. Long-time servants of Jehovah God. However, from time to time this statement — they’d be looking at my sons and, “Oh, you’ll never graduate in this system! Not gonna happen!”

So, you know, I’m at their house. They just fed us– [laughter] “Lord help me, what am I going to do here?” [more laughter] But this would come up from time to time, at least during those years, and maybe it was post-1975, I don’t know. But they’d make these statements.

And I’m going to give you a big confession, because you know, this one comes clear to mind. Driving back from the gathering Jesse and Paul, you know, are thinking, and they’re troubled. They’re puzzled: ‘What is this about?’ Because, you know, they had goals and ‘what are we going to do?’ and they’re thinking of things in the future for them, and growing in their love for Jehovah. And, “Is that true, Dad?”

And so, I said, “Look,” — and let me tell you these people saying these things were long-time servants: experienced people. If any of you are guilty, God loves you, he forgives you. [Laughter] If you did that back then you didn’t help anybody. [More laughter]

But I’m going to give you a big confession. So that one particular night, we were driving back, it was a little distance from where we were, and they brought that up. They’re sitting in the back-seats, they were having this conversation. And I told them, I said, “Look, you boys remember: you’ve got to keep on the watch. This thing could go on, and be ready for it to go to 2020.” Honest. I mean, we’re talking almost 40 years! Almost 40 years. I felt pretty safe with that. [Big laugh] Well, you know what year this is [2021]. [laughter] What are you gonna do?

Dating the Incident

If it was “almost 40 years,” then the incident had to have occurred in 1981 or later: definitely “post-1975.”

His oldest son (Jesse) was born in 1975 (w06 3/15 p. 26 ). That should’ve been a memorable year for him. So, unless he’s gotten so senile that he can’t remember his son’s birth year, there’s no way that Morris “didn’t know” that the incident (with Jesse already in second-grade) had to have been post-1975. Children are usually at least 7-8 years old in second-grade, so this would place the incident around 1982-1983.


As an aside: why was Morris fathering children at a time when the Watchtower was officially discouraging this?

Today there is a great crowd of people who are confident that a destruction of even greater magnitude is now imminent. The evidence is that Jesus’ prophecy will shortly have a major fulfillment, upon this entire system of things. This has been a major factor in influencing many couples to decide not to have children at this time. They have chosen to remain childless so that they would be less encumbered to carry out the instructions of Jesus Christ to preach the good news of God’s kingdom earth wide before the end of this system comes.—Matt. 24:14.

g74 11/8 p. 11 Is This the Time to Have Children?

Instead of foregoing children in order to devote more time to preaching, as the Watchtower was encouraging, Mr. & Mrs. Morris did the exact opposite: they gave up “pioneering” to have children. This, at a time when the end was “imminent”!


But why does Morris say “Post-1975″? If he’s trying to imply that the friends were guilty of “reading too much into” the Watchtower’s promoting the 1975 date, then he should’ve said “Pre-1975.” To my mind, the only reason for mentioning 1975 is to deviously try to limit Watchtower culpability in date-setting and life-ruining to this one time period.

In case you missed it, prior to 1975 the Watchtower had been declaring that year as the “end of 6,000 years of mankind’s existence,” and a most likely start of the 1,000 year millennium (to fill out the 7,000 years of the 7th day of creation). (See 1975 Quotes. )

They had also been discouraging the pursuing of education, careers, etc., in favor of field-service in the “short time left”:

Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.

km 5/74 p. 3 How Are You Using Your Life?

In any case, graduating was irrelevant since education was depicted as a waste of time, with the end so near at hand:

Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them “brainwash” you with the Devil’s propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. This world has very little time left! Any “future” this world offers is no future! Wisely, then, let God’s Word influence you in selecting a course that will result in your protection and blessing. Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal.

What Influences Decisions in Your Life? w69 3/15 p. 171 par. 12


The 1975 hoopla had been proven wrong for years prior to the incident Morris relates. So why were the friends saying that his sons wouldn’t graduate before the end? Well, the Watchtower was pushing another date in the early 80’s: anytime before the year 2001:

It has been thrilling to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ sign showing that the Kingdom was established in the heavens in that momentous year 1914. And Jesus has told us to rejoice at seeing the dark storm clouds of Armageddon gathering since that time. He has told us that the “generation” of 1914—the year that the sign began to be fulfilled—“will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:34) Some of that “generation” could survive until the end of the century. But there are many indications that “the end” is much closer than that!

w84 3/1 pp. 18-19 par. 12 Kingdom Unity a Reality Today

So, it wasn’t just “during those years” [around 1975] that the Watchtower has been guilty of setting false expectations. This is what the friends were probably reacting to: the Watchtower’s culture of doom-saying. With the understanding at the time, his sons might’ve had time to graduate, but graduating would’ve been considered pointless with Armageddon at the door.

Parenthood vs. “Witnesshood”

Morris here reveals what it is like to be a JW parent: caught between his duty to parrot the WT doctrines, and doing right by his kids. The friends were being loyal Witnesses, applying what the WT had told them about the end being “imminent” and “within a few years at most.” (w68 5/1 p. 272 par. 7 Making Wise Use of the Remaining Time) Morris, on the other hand, was being a practical parent: putting his kids’ interests first. So, good on him!

But now Morris has a role in the GB, and he is doing to other parents the same thing the WT did to him back in the 80’s. (See the recent video of Morris telling parents not to waste the little time remaining on higher education for their kids: Anthony Morris III: What Is the Best Education?) You’d think he’d have a little empathy for them, remembering his own struggles with real-life vs. Watchtower nonsense.


It’s interesting that Morris choose 2020, and felt that this was a “safe” date. In other words, he felt that Armageddon couldn’t possibly come any later than that year. How did he arrive at that? He was probably going by the Watchtower’s “age of understanding” being 15 years old (Awake! Oct. 8, 1968, p.13-14), which would mean the youngest member of the “1914 generation” would’ve been born in 1899. Then, using the Bible’s greatest estimate of a “generation” as 120 years (e.g., Moses Deuteronomy 34:7), would lead to 2020 being the year in which those youngest members would expire. So, it seems he may have put some thought into the matter, rather than just having pulled it out of thin air. This would tend to indicate that he’s not just making this whole story up, but you never know.

But this means that Tony was guilty of harboring his own “independent thought” and “personal opinion” in opposition to what the Watchtower was peddling at the time. This is a no-no, according to the Watchtower, and always has been:

Avoid Independent Thinking
How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization.

w83 1/15 p. 22 Exposing the Devil’s Subtle Designs

First, since “oneness” is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and “the faithful and discreet slave.” By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided “at the proper time”—through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions—we can be sure that we maintain “oneness” with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge.—Matthew 24:45.

w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 8 Make Your Advancement Manifest

Not only that, but he shared this opinion with his sons! That is the very definition of apostasy, according to chapter 12, section 39.3-4 of the Shepherding book: “deliberately spreading contrary teachings or undermining the confidence of the brothers in Jehovah’s arrangement.”

So, this really is a “big confession,” on his part. Tony Morris just admitted to a disfellowshipping offense: apostasy! Most Witnesses would be hauled in front of a judicial committee after such a confession. Tony? He gets laughter. Double standard? Hypocrisy? Sham? Yes, yes, yes.


Morris emphasizes several times that the friends were “experienced, long-time” Witnesses. What is his point? That, given their long-time experience with the Watchtower’s false statements, they should’ve known better than to take seriously Watchtower teachings regarding the nearness of the end. Thanks for pointing that out, Tony. Hopefully long-time Witnesses will keep this in mind from now on.

And, speaking of not taking things seriously:


The GB laughs at its loyal followers who are forced to live their doctrines! Is this how the GB plans to get out of their false prophecies and asinine statements henceforth? Just laugh them off? That’s rather crass when you consider how their words negatively impact millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But the biggest laugh is on the poor Witnesses, faithfully following the Watchtower’s every pronouncement, and applying it to their lives, but now knowing that — according to a member of the GB — such actions “don’t help anybody“!

Jehovah’s Witnesses, remember this going forward: when a GB member was in your shoes he did not blindly follow what the WT was spewing: he thought for himself, and even told others his thought. Today he laughs at those who did follow what the WT proclaimed.

So, don’t end up being the GB’s laughing-stock: think for yourself!

Resurrection! Part 1: Earthly

Luca Signorelli’s medieval Resurrection of the Flesh

The Watchtower Teaching

Unlike the Signorelli painting above, the Watchtower describes the earthly resurrection as the injecting of a dead person’s memories and personality into a newly created body.

They teach that the vast majority of humankind will be resurrected to life on earth: both the “righteous and the unrighteous.” This includes “billions of ‘unrighteous’ ones.” These are said to have gone to Sheol.

But not everyone will be resurrected. Those excluded are said to have gone to Gehanna instead of Sheol. Included in this group are:

In the past, the Watchtower has taught that resurrected ones will not be permitted to marry, or to reunite with their spouse as a married couple. In 2014, however, this understanding was revised to “we don’t know.”

A Thought About the Teaching

A question arises in my mind regarding the resurrected individual:
Is this the same person who died?

Since we have no way to test this, the best we can do is to engage in some thought experiments.

What if it were possible to inject your memories (and whatever we might mean by “personality”) into a computer, android, or living clone? Would it be you?

In Disneyland men have created an “animatronic” of Abraham Lincoln. You can watch “him” move around, gesture, and recite Lincoln’s speeches. It looks and sounds very much like the real thing.

Despite this marvelous creation though, I don’t think anyone would point to it as evidence that Abraham Lincoln literally lives. Lincoln is still very much dead.

Blade Runner was a great sci-fi movie from 1982. In the film, the character of  Rachael is of interest. She is a human-like robot injected with the memories of her creator’s niece, causing her to believe she is his niece, and that the memories are hers. However, the real niece (of course) does not believe that the robot is in fact herself.

On a lighter note, the 1996 comedy Multiplicity can aid our thought-experiment when it comes to clones. In this film, the main character (Doug) has himself cloned. The clone (dubbed “Two”) turns out to be an exact adult replica of Doug. Two has all the memories of Doug, and initially assumes that Doug is the clone! Naturally; Two thinks that he himself is Doug; he possesses all of Doug’s memories and personality. However, there is no doubt in Doug’s mind that Two is not him.

Dali Lives! On an AI interactive screen

At the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, they have used artificial intelligence and an interactive screen to “bring to life” the deceased artist in a presentation called Dali Lives! Visitors to the museum can experience what it would have been like to talk directly with Dali when he was still alive, and can even have their picture taken with him! But all of this cutting-edge technology does Dali just as much good as the Disneyland animatronic does for Lincoln: zilch. Both men are still very much dead.

For our final thought-experiment, please consider this. What if Jehovah were to create a new body right now, in front of your eyes, and place your memories and personality into it. You stand there looking at it. Do you think it is you? Or are you the one looking at this new body? What if you were to now suddenly die. Does the new body now somehow magically become you? Or are you dead?

Injecting your memories and personality into a newly created being in the New Order, seemingly will not do anything for you. It will be just like “Two” in Multiplicity and just like the android in Blade Runner. Oh yes, this new being on this new earth will think that they’re you. But is that any consolation? Can you take comfort in knowing that you will have a surrogate sincerely posing as you for eternity?

It’s not you that will be resurrected.

You will still be dead. As dead as Lincoln and Dali.


Don’t miss Part 2: The Resurrection of the “Unrighteous”!

Resurrection! Part 2: The Unrighteous

The Resurrection of Lazarus, by Leon Bonnat, France, 1857

Part 1 described the Watchtower’s teaching on the earthly resurrection. It also gave some thought to whether the resurrected individual could possibly be the same person who died.

In part 2 we are going to discuss the resurrection of the “righteous and the unrighteous.” Especially the latter.

Resurrection of the “Unrighteous”

According to the Watchtower, the “unrighteous” are not bad people, but rather those who did not get a chance to know about Jehovah:

What about all the people who did not serve or obey Jehovah because they never knew about him? These billions of “unrighteous” ones will not be forgotten. They too will be resurrected…

What Does the Bible Really Teach? (WBTS, 2016 printing) p.72-73 parg.19

The majority of people who have ever died, died in ignorance of Jehovah. They are the untold billions of “unrighteous” to be resurrected to life on earth.


The Watchtower tells us that those who are killed at Armageddon will be just like those whom Jehovah killed in Noah’s day: they will not be resurrected; they will be dead forever. (See Reasoning From the Scriptures, Armageddon: Will the Destruction be Forever? p. 19, parg. 14).

Who will be killed at Armageddon? According to the Watchtower, everyone outside of the Watchtower organization will be killed:

Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.

Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19, parg. 7

But what about those “unrighteous” ones who never heard of Jehovah? Or does the Watchtower believe that they will reach absolutely everyone with their message before Armageddon? It turns out that the answer to that last question does not matter. The Watchtower tells us that those ignorant of Jehovah will be killed at Armageddon:

“There are billions of people who do not know Jehovah. Many of them in ignorance practice things that God’s Word shows to be wicked. If they persist in this course, they will be among those who perish during the great tribulation.” 

Watchtower 1993 Oct 1 p.19

So, those who were ignorant in the past are considered “the unrighteous,” and will be resurrected and have a chance to live forever. But those who are ignorant when Armageddon comes around? If, in their ignorance of Watchtower doctrine, they engage in “wicked” practices (such as donating blood, celebrating birthdays or Christmas, giving a toast…) then they are considered “the wicked,” and will be killed, and will be dead forever.

What about children and babies? Will they be killed at Armageddon? Well, this certainly follows from the above statement about every non Jehovah’s Witness being killed at that event. The Watchtower seems reluctant to answer the question explicitly, but it implies as much when it reminds us:

in times past when God destroyed the wicked he likewise destroyed their little ones.

Reasoning from the Scriptures: Armageddon: What About the Children? p. 48

So, the Watchtower teaches that all the children who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses will be killed at Armageddon. This is in spite of the fact that the Watchtower teaches that children younger than 15 years old have not reached an “age of understanding,” and so couldn’t possibly have come to “know Jehovah,” even if Jehovah’s Witnesses were able to reach them all with the “kingdom message.” So, at any other time prior to Armageddon, children would be considered part of the “unrighteous” due a resurrection.

An Unjust Scenario

Mary, a volunteer at the Red Cross, is a woman who has dismissed Jehovah’s Witnesses many a time from her front door.

One day, Mary gives birth to identical twin daughters: Ann and Barbara. Sadly, Barbara is still-born.

The following day, Armageddon begins. Mary and Ann are killed, and — following Watchtower doctrine — will never be resurrected.

But Barbara, having died before Armageddon, is resurrected as one of the “unrighteous.” A young sister is assigned to act as her mother, and Jehovah duly induces lactation in her. [She has an easier time of it than the sisters who will have to bring to term the millions of zygotes and fetuses who died prior to birth and prior to Armageddon.]

Barbara goes on to learn the truth, and lives forever in peace and happiness on a paradise earth. She remains blissfully ignorant of both her mother and her sister [who, if they are spoken of at all, are collectively referred to as “the wicked.”]

A Horrible Scenario

John is a loyal Jehovah’s Witness, eagerly looking forward to the New System. He is also very loving, and hates the thought that his non-witness co-workers will die at Armageddon, with no chance of resurrection.

But John knows that if his co-workers die prior to Armageddon, they will be resurrected. So, one day John buys a gun, walks into the office, and shoots them all dead.

“Jehovah will forgive me,” he tells the police; “I just saved their prospects for eternal life, in the ultimate act of self-sacrificing love!”

What’s Lacking

Justice and consistency are sadly lacking in the Watchtower’s doctrine of the “resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous,” in light of their beliefs concerning Armageddon.

Don’t miss Part 3: Judgment!