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Who are the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why did they break away from Bethel?


The Watchtower Society claims that the Jehovah’s Witnesses has maintained a global brotherhood without any divisions, denying any denominational divisions or sects among them:
The Watchtower, November 1 (2009) p.19 article “Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Protestant Religion?”

“…unlike the Protestant movement, which has splintered into hundreds of denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained a united global brotherhood. “
Did you know that there are tens of thousands of independent Jehovah’s Witnesses that have broken away from the Brooklyn JW Organization?  Although such groups have been identified in Texas and Florida, we would like to consider Russia, then particulary focus on Eastern Europe.
The “Theocratic Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses” has a presence in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.
The “True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated up to 100,000 worldwide.”  Rumania has the largest number estimated at up to 35,000. Smaller numbers are in Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and Russia and outposts in West Europe and North America.
These groups accept Watchtower publications only up to about 1960.  In 1962, the Watchtower altered its doctrine on the meaning of the phrase “superior authorities” in Romans 13:1, identifying them as human governmental authorities rather than God and Jesus Christ as formerly thought.  Many Witnesses in Romania rejected the change, and some suspected it was a communist fabrication intended to make them subservient to the state.  Their reaction is understandable since many of them might not have gone to prison if they had the view that the Superior Authorities were human governmental authorities.


This Russian based group believes that the Watchtower Society went apostate when it published “new light” on certain doctrines, believing that the changes were actually a deceptive ruse from the KGB; therefore they discontinued using Watchtower publications printed after 1962. This group has members in Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine.  Because the group does not document attendance records, the number of members is currently unknown.


The Government of Romania instituted a ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1948 which lasted until the ban was lifted in 1990 (after the communist regime collapsed).  Eastern European Jehovah’s Witnesses preached JW doctrines underground during the Nazi era and the Cold War but failed to keep up with new “truth” promulgated in the New York headquarters.  After J.F. Rutherford died, the Society under Knorr and Franz began making changes, refining some of Rutherford’s doctrines.  With communication re-established in 1990 they realized that many doctrines were radically different and much of the “divine truth” that they had been persecuted for was now error.    
Members and representatives of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses met thousands of long-separated Romanian Witnesses to help them catch up on all the “new light” missed over the years.  They found three sets of Jehovah’s Witnesses –  Bible Students who took the name Jehovah’s Witnesses, but only studied Russell’s writings, the Rutherfordites, and the JW’s.  The Society tried to convince them of the new light, but many Romanians continued to reject certain changes and preferred their autonomy, forming The True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses Association in 1992.  Later, they sent a delegation to Bethel, but were reportedly badly treated.
Because there had been so many changes in the teachings during the time of ban, some of the Romanian membership believed that the Governing Body and WTS had abandoned “true faith” and compromised, and apostatized, and led JWs astray, and betrayed their East European brethren.   They thus decided that the right thing to do would be to separate from them.   In 1992 they formed the True Faith Jehovah’s Witness Association, which is actually a collective of groups. These ones closely adhere to earlier Jehovah’s Witness doctrine taught before 1960, and continue with practices such as the regular use of God’s name (“Jehovah”), gathering together in annual conventions, performing the door to door ministry, immersion baptism, and the publication of a magazine.  They do have groups of supporters throughout Europe, Africa and Canada. Their International conventions have delegates from all over the world.  Their website can be found at this link:   https://web.archive.org/web/20130115025028/http://the-true-jw.oltenia.ro/
The TFJWs perceived JWs as morally lax, overindulgent in wine and parties, permissive of child abuse, and as hypocrites for denouncing the United Nations while having signed up as a Non-government Organization.
They still use WTS publications published up to 1961, including Russell and Rutherford, and reprint and study Rutherford’s books.  They view Jehovah and Jesus as the superior authorities (Romans 13:1) — a doctrine JWs revised in 1962 — and denounce big business, government and religion.  They believe in a soon-occurring Armageddon followed by a new Earth where a “great crowd” will live in paradise ruled by Jesus and a “little flock”.
The TFJWs permit more freedom of conscience and dissent than JWs do and are more ready to dialogue with dissidents.  Preaching is encouraged but not compelled.  Preaching is directed at family, friends, and the public in streets and parks. The house to house method of JWs is employed infrequently.
They are structured like the main organization with congregations, circuits, and pioneers. “Elders” are older men respected in their congregation but are not appointed by a centralized hierarchy.  There are no formal committees that judge and disfellowship — each congregation decides for itself whom to associate with. Blood transfusion and tobacco are preached against, but non-conformity is not enforced
The majority of those who the TFJWs associate with outside of former communist countries are ones who originate from these countries.  One of the concerns they expressed to Bible Students Jeff and Estera Mezera each time they visited with them was why they could not find any of their faith outside of former communist countries. The TFJW leadership expressed an idea that they believed that the non-former communist countries must have some sort of conspiracy against their faith and are hiding their members in these other countries.  The people speaking with Ray Franz on the YouTube video and the same ones the Mezera’s spoke with when in Tirgu Mures.


Below are links to videos of Raymond Franz meeting with members of the TFJW in Eastern Europe:

Poland:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tTDozZ-CHg

Prague, capital of Czech Republic:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c6I0fjiYNU

Raymond Franz in Romania:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh8r7hc3E4E



57 comments to Who are the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why did they break away from Bethel?

  • Lynn

    I have faithfully served Jehovah for 40 years, I studied with 23 people, I was married to a bully who struck me often, then started on my kids, an elder of course. Chidrens aid was brought in by a neighbor – I was treated like i was the offender by the congregation. I was not able to re-marry they told me, but he was admitting to laying on a couch naked with his new girlfriend (we were separated because of his violence), they said that does not matter. I could not remarry, my new elders told me to do what I want, there was quite the difference in opinion. I took my 3 year old to Texas to Dr. Denton Cooley in 93 – still married to the offensive husband, I paid out 110,000 for her new heart. my husband would not pay anything, told me to get a job. A job landed on my lap, making a lot of money. I set into paying down this huge debt (our home was only worth 84,000)
    I remarried, shorter story, the ex made a change to return to the meetings, so they believe everything he says, I was at the meetings, did not give up! but he is allowed to write letters to where ever I go to tell them lies, its been impossible for me in the congregations, a target. by the way his psychiatrist said he was a “chronic liar” when he was ordered by the government to get help or never see his kids, he went for a while then opted not to see his kids, and chased after them as teenagers, to get them to leave the “truth” to hurt me. he turned his kids against God, one is a very angry apostate – writes nasty things, but I keep saying I just want to serve Jehovah God, not play these games. I feel I have never been accepted by JW’s and started my search for truth again, looking up GB members since I know some walked away. I hope you are my true brothers and sisters.

    • greg (Bible Student)


      May I wholeheartedly welcome you here. You have indeed found true brothers and sisters here, persons who truly understand what it means to deeply love Jehovah as well as to love one another.

      My heart aches when I read your story. Sadly, you are not alone in your pain. My wife and I have experienced similar pain over the years from persons who merely claim to have love for God and neighbor.

      I know my words alone cannot convince you that you have come to “the right place” to find healing, acceptance, love, kindness, and caring support. But take your time, test out the waters here, so to speak, and I’m sure you’ll soon see for yourself that I make no empty claim, and that you are here now because of Jehovah’s and Christ Jesus’ providence.

      Welcome, dear sister,
      -greg (and family)

      Dear Sr. Jacqueline, are you able to write some of your wonderfully comforting words to our dear sister?

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hello Lynn and thank you for commenting. You are welcome here. I have seen this type of situation so many time within the organization. Could you come on tonight and say hello and we are starting a testimonial meeting on October 7. Perhaps others may have a reply to you and I will wait to see if you feel comfortable coming on tonight. It is posted as the Wednesday night study and we can tell you about the testimony meeting or I can give you my phone number tonight because I do know a lot about the type of situation you are discussing. Take Care

    • Nina

      Hi Lynn,

      Your life story has impresed me, and your love for the Jehovah God too. My story is quite similar to yours but in finaly, even late I have been new born in True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization. My, our God Jehovah has been so good with me but now I am feeling not enough worthy of his blessing as I am here far away for my brothers and sisters and I can’t do enough to serve to my God. The life brought me in UK along to my family who doesn’t share my belief. I would like to meet the people like you here in the UK.
      My wishes for you are to keep close to Jehovah God carrying on showing your love for him so you will be able to show to others his blesssing which I have seen you already received from him GUIDING YOU TOWARDS THE RIGHT WAY. Warm regards, Nina

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Hi Nina and welcome, I too was affected by Lynn’s story. Witnesses forget the counsel that if he leaves she is free. I am going to try and contact her so she can dialogue with you. I will tell her to come to the site.
        We will need to know where you are in the UK. Could you put it on the contact form, please and Br. Peter will see where brothers are in your area. No one sees the contact form but administration.
        Were you a witness like Lynn? My story isn’t exactly like hers but I find within the witness organization they will turn on a woman if the male is an elder. My starker was an elder and I won a restraining order against him but he remained an elder and because of this male members of my family question the Judge”s decision and the confession and admission of guilt in open court.
        So go figure, I just walked away. I am happier like you since I found other brothers and sisters who not only love Jehovah but Jesus also. Friends that are not afraid to dig into the deeper parts of the Bible and behaves as brothers in Christ and not as tyrants.
        I love the fact that Jesus is recognized as our mediator between God and man and not the governing body and it’s man made organization. Money and power seems to be the fuel behind them and how the elders behave toward the members within the witness organization.
        Tell us please, how did you find The True Faith Witnesses? Is this your group with Raymond Franz before he passed?

        BTW: you can come on and talk to us this Saturday live from anywhere in the world because it is the internet connection:
        I will be on for the evening session. Figure out the time for your country. If you can’t Br. Peter will do it for you.

      • Richard Tazzyman

        Also Nina I forgot to tell you that we have Romanian Brothers & Sisters from Romania Living in London who are bible Students.Also if you would like we also have a Romanian Sister who is married to a bible Student here in Australia.If you like I could give you her contact Details.

        • ZionsHerald


          I contacted a brother/friend of mine at the Bible Fellowship Union in the UK (http://www.biblefellowshipunion.co.uk/) and he said that there are some brethren in High Wycombe. They have a study at Chesham which is only 40 minutes away by car if you drive.

          Please contact Nick at the email address below. Just replace the (at) with an @.

          (nick.charcharos (at) btinternet.com)

          Just like Richard said, if you are looking for Romanians to meet with in the London area i can also get you their contact information as my wife and sister in law are from Romania and know the Brethren that live there.

          At this moment in time, my wife, son and I are planning a trip to London for a short time next year and then on to Poland for a Bible Student International Convention and then to Romania to visit her family and the Brethren there. As we’ve done in the past we’ll visit the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses in Targu Mures as we’ve had some very interesting fellowship with them in the past. Plans change (and finances) but we are indeed working towards that goal.

          “So by virtue of the blood of Jesus, you and I, my brothers, may now have courage to enter the holy of holies by way of the one who died and is yet alive, who has made for us a holy means of entry by himself passing through the curtain, that is, his own human nature. Further, since we have a great High Priest set over the household of God, let us draw near with true hearts and fullest confidence, knowing that our inmost souls have been purified by the sprinkling of his blood just as our bodies are cleansed by the washing of clean water. In this confidence let us hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation—for he is utterly dependable—and let us think of one another and how we can encourage each other to love and do good deeds.” (Philips Translation)

  • Ellis Green

    Hi there,

    I was wondering: How do these TFJWs get along with Dawn Bible Students in their own countries?


    • zionsherald

      “I was wondering: How do these TFJWs get along with Dawn Bible Students in their own countries?”

      Excellent question Ellis. I can answer that as I’ve been over there and visited with them on several occasions. I’ve even suggested other of our Bible Student brethren try to meet with them as well.

      They are friendly, and are open to alternate opinions, had me speak to their congregation once and even invited me to speak at their major convention (which I had to turn down due to other commitments).

      My sister in law from Romania was here (she just left today to return to Europe) and told me that they were asking about me recently and wanting to know how I was doing. We plan on visiting Romania next year and i hope and plan to visit them again.

      They order literature from our Brethren over there, such as hymn books, and other (rarely) writings of CTR.

      Since the two groups have two separate destinies it is a bit difficult to find more common ground. The main purpose of the TFJWs is to populate the earth, and a great majority of our brethren have a heavenly hope, making a divide as to where the focus of the teaching should be.

      I have some video I’ve made of a bit of discussion with them, but I’d have to find a tape, record it to DVD, and then rip the DVD to an MPG on my computer in order to post it anywhere. I plan on recording in several of my tapes from Romania soon anyway so that could be one of the first. Let me know if it would interest you.

  • Dear Jacqueline,Peter

    As I’ve understood that Barry Ward is from UK,so please pass my email address to him ,or his email address to me,because I’d like to contact him.

    • Jacqueline (Bible student)

      Okay I will tell him he has a commenter. And Welcome Nelly, soon we will have it so we can see each other and talk. Coming soon.

  • Hello everyone

    Even if I’ve found this discussion so late,after more than one year,I’m realy happy finding you,because for 3 years since I’ve been living in Uk, I couldn’t find anybody to talk with about a true faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses.I’m from Romania and I’d like to meet and talk with you(wherever you live),I’m interested to know about your spiritual thinking and teaching and hopefully to be able to go forward together in this bad and imoral world where we’re living.
    Please contact me on email.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Hello Nelly.

      I just wanted to welcome you and say how happy I am you found us here. Jacqueline and Peter and the many others here take real good care of everyone.


  • Barry Ward

    I have sought ex JW’s who are still Christians in UK for several years without success. True some joined Christadelphians, but they are nearly as bad. Of course there is an ex JW website, but they are mostly atheists. I met many ex JW’s in USA 10 years ago, including Ray Franz, Jim Penton, Clifford Forward etc. they were very zealous Christians but not churchgoers. I had a lot in common and had some good times. The problem with most churchgoers is their beliefs are a private matter. Also they never talk about morality so its very common to find sex before marriage and outside marriage which I can’t relate to. Barry Ward.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Barry – There are lots of UK visitors on our site. Since you have left your phone #, maybe you will get a call or perhaps public comments here.

    • Daz

      Hi Barry, I have had the similar problems in my search too, maybe Peter or Jaqueline would kindly pass my email address on to you as I would be happy to talk with you etc.

      Warm & loving regards,

  • Brettstone

    I watch the video of Franz in Poland, what an excellent video. I felt bad for him once I started to read his book which im about 2/3 the way through it. He was someone truly interested in Gods word and not rules! I used to view him as the boogie man with what you hear from ones throughout the org. Not true at all….

  • Wild Olive

    I find it fascinating that these Eastern European brothers were carrying on without the help of the WBTS,one of the claimed expenditures of the WTBS is the ongoing financing of conventions and other spiritual events,so how much hasn’t been spent on these faithful brothers who obviously have managed without any help.
    Makes me wonder what are they spending on now?

  • Peter K. (admin)

    Hi everyone. I am curiouos. How do you feel about these brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe, the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Did you already know about them and that they existed? If you were in Europe for a while and nearby, would you want to visit with them or would you keep your distance? How do you think it is possible that these united congregations hold onto their faith and work together without direction from the Governing Body or some central controlling administration in Europe?

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Br. Peter, I know others have something to say but I am just shocked and hurt to read about these Dear Brothers. You having never been a witness but a Bible Student all your life never heard the ugly denouncing of so call “apostates”. I know in the 90’s they were talking about the brothers that came from the iron curtain because I had visited Bethel for a week and heard about it. I did some of the black friends hair for the convention so I heard what happened. I tried to tell brothers back home but the minds of the brothers were so controlled they wouldn’t believe me. Even as many didn’t believe the Bible Students were still alive when I told them. This was kept such a secret, inside Bethel. I traveled a lot so I came across different elements across the US.
      I would have loved to reach out to them in the 1990’s. We were given a different story about these brothers but Jehovah through Jesus is their head.
      They actually are blessed not to go back into slavery to a governing body after being under communism.
      I see a loving God here, they dodged a big bullet. We love them and just wish we could have contact. I would volunteer to be a part of any delegation to one of their conventions, just to hug them.
      Have the brothers gotten in touch with them yet by email? It would be a blessing if we could have an adobe connect with them. Jacqueline

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Jacqueline – The True Faith JWS are in contact and communication with Bible Students in Eastern Europe. They even order Mannas and other books by Brother Russell from the Romanian Bible Students. When Bible Students Jeff and Estera Mezera met with them, they were very kind and asked Jeff to speak to them with a talk/discourse.

      • Robi

        Daca doresti poti lua legatura cu Asociatia Credinta Adevarata Martorii lui Jehova din Romania….mama mea este membra….si eu am fost crescut in aceasta credinta….singura credinta adevarata!

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Rob – Thanks. Here is a transaltion. Maybe someone can help me improve the translation.

          “If you want you can Contact Association True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses in Romania … my .mama member … .and I was raised in the faith … .singura true faith !”

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          I would love to contact her. I was visiting Bethe about 1990 and heard about our brothers that were free from the iron curtain. I knew they did not accept the governing body set up when a representative visited. The governingbody made the claim they were infiltrated by KGB, and we believed them. The regular brothers not in Bethe were Ted nothing about this. They continue to count the true faith brothers in their number.
          Does your mother write in English? And thank you so much.

          • Robi

            Nu din pacate nu stie….si eu sttiu destul de putin…noroc cu Google Translate!Vreau sa va spun ca aici in Romania se deruleaza o lucrare de marturie extraordinara…dupa 1990 Martorii lui Jehova nu s-au odihnit deloc….lucrarea este de mari proportii….si in Republica Moldova si in Ucraina!Doi unchi de ai mei care din pacate nu mai sunt printre noi au facut ani grei de inchisoare pentru credinta lor….unul a stat 10 ani inchis si celalalt 6.In vremea regimului comunist a fost cumplit…..tinerii erau arestati din cauza ca refuzau efectuarea serviciului militar!Ar fi multe de povestit.Va doresc toate cele bune!++


            From Peter K (Admin) I have inserted Google Translate below. If any of your out there who know Romanian can help to fix the translation and make it more clear, please help.

            “No, unfortunately I do not know … .and sttiu quite a bit … good luck with Google Translate! I want to tell you that here in Romania is developing a work of extraordinary testimony … after 1990 Jehovah’s Witnesses have not rested at all … .lucrarea is large-scale … .and in Moldova and Ukraine! Two of my uncles who unfortunately are no longer with us made long prison for their faith … .One has spent 10 years in prison and one time regime 6.In communist was terrible … ..tinerii were arrested because they refused military service! It would be much povestit.Va wish all the best!”

            • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

              Robi, yes many that serviced time in prison were upset to see the governing body changed their understanding of the superior authority to mean obey governments. So many could have done other work instead of go to war had that been the understanding. Results might have been less harsh.
              We know Jesus often went by another way or at a different time, so he could accomplish more.
              Are you a True Faith witness or a governing body witness? It looks like you are True Faith.
              Could you post your website here for us please.

              • Jeff

                Pace Robi,

                My wife is from Targu Mures and I met with the True Faith JWs there when we visited Romania in 2002 and 2008.

                Please write me at the email address above.

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    This is a post from Joe Emerson from http://www.christianwitnesses.com facebook page. I am just reporting what is posted. I have not attempted to verify this info.

    FROM JOHNNY: Bethelites told they weren’t doing enough, hadn’t reached their potential so about half of them walked out of the talk; efforts made to get names of those who walked out but didn’t get them all. Lot less JWs in pioneer schools; e.g. 10-15 instead of 50-70 in one. 84 large top of line 4 K Sony Ultra TV, 65 inches (for fun) TVs sent down to near Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Might be retreat to reward pets. In New York 22 halls dissolved due to lack of attendance. GB is much upset with Bethelites, “huge rift.” GB did not pay medical bill for Bethelite they had sent to the Domincan Republic and got sick there; is right now fighting to stay alive. Anger expressed in back rooms. GB member Jackson withholding some information; IT team stopped working on project for him that is illegal data mining; being punished for it but the IT doesn’t care anymore. At Brooklyn and Warwick GB losing control as people taking lunch when they want etc. Don’t care and so keeping out alcohol in open. Trying to bring in older elders to replace younger Bethelites but not able.

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    This is a page I wish was available when I was looking for a way out in the 1990’s’
    http://www.witness-outreach.com/Splinter.html (Divine truth- God’s way of love) I would not personally regard this as a breakaway from witnesses.

    I was on a United States tour from 2000-2008 all across america, and I drove an RV so I could also attend meetings in all locations.
    This is where I came across unexplained incidences in Kingdom Halls in Texas and Florida. They had the name Jehovah Christian Witnesses out front. When I parked my RV one time a bunch of men (5) pounced and asked what is the name of your congregation? I looked startled as I was getting dressed and spoke out the window to say my city and I was the witness that had called them. They insisted I tell them the exact name of my congregation. (strange). They said oh, we see and mentioned I wouldn’t be able to overnight park on their lot. I told them I was at a major hotel. I moved my vehicle to the Methodist church lot adjoining theirs because something wasn’t right. When I commented from the kingdom Ministry the brothers corrected me although I read straight from it. I asked at the book counter if they were witnesses they said yes. I asked to see a few of their books. They were watchtower but I later learned they would paste over or rewrite the kingdom ministry and that was why we were being admonished not to copy the society’s books in the 1990’s or change anything.
    They knew about the 22 congregations in Florida and Texas that had split off and sued to use the name Christian witnesses. (Thus why they wanted my direct cong. name) The society sued to prevent it saying they owned it by use and we were told to began introducing ourselves as Jehovah Christian witnesses in field service not knowing that it was a dispute saying it was not used by witnesses. (They should have given us a choice of whether to get involved)
    All witnesses on here will remember these events but never knew why.
    My brother later told me that he knew as an elder that they existed (22 break away) but couldn’t tell the flock as it would stir contention.

    So I agree wholeheartedly with this article. The TRUTH as hidden from us and we were lied to that there were no splintering within the Jehovah witnesses just like other religions.
    All the confusion of letters telling us not to do certain things was not understood because we weren’t doing it.
    I feel if they had been upfront with the congregations instead of seemingly accusing us of things it would have been more honest.
    Thousands are leaving monthly and congregations are combining all over the globe now but witnesses minds are controlled with the constant rhetoric blasted from their TV and kingdom hall platforms.

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