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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 J and E M 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 M’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


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

  • David Aldridge

    I personally communicate with one of the brothers in this group!

  • Nigel Goh

    • First time to come across your group. I send you love and wish you peace and safety.

    • I, myself, place greater importance on personal relationship with God than organized religion.

    • Just voicing my inability to accept the description of “splinter sect” versus my notion of congregated of exJWs (renouncers, denouncers and opposers)

    • Does the TFJWs, TOJWs and/or BS have recognition outside of itself as being a religion (or a sect-ion of a bigger one)?

    • Can you enumerate major (invisible) differences in dogma and in beliefs and visible practices that easily identify them as neither Christendom nor WTS-JWS (CJW/CCJW, officially registered in USA as Congregation of Christian Jehovah’s Witnesses)


    • Peter K. (admin)

      Nigel – Great to hear your comments. I agree with your statement “I, myself, place greater importance on personal relationship with God than organized religion.”

      I can only speak as a Bible Student. We are not interested in as you say “recognition outside of itself as being a religion.” We do not care how others classify us. Each individual Bible Student simply relies on a direct relationship with Jesus and the Father independent of any organizational ties.

      You are welcome to continue the discussion if there are further thoughts you would like to share or questions you have.

  • RR

    Back in the 90s I was contacted by one of their leaders. They found my website and began corresponding with me. They are of course followers of Rutherford and wanted to know where they could find Rutherford’s books. They had been out of the loop for so long, they were disappointed to learn that Rutherford’s books have never been reprinted.

  • Roy

    Last thing I knew about this was that many of them assimilated into JW, as estimated 5000 in Moldova and probably the ones in other countries did that as well.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Many of them continue independently and view the Watchtower organization to have adopted doctrinal errors over the years.

      • Rodrigo Gallegos

        Yes, I also discovered that, I find it really interesting since this group has been dropping in numbers as they don’t preach in the same way JW do. Very interesting topic

        • Chris J

          Hey Rodrigo,
          Yes our numbers are going down. We believe it is due the bride being complete. The Truth is not for the world during this Gospel Age. The goal is ONLY to find the bride for Jesus that will together with him bring the world of mankind back from the dead and teach them the truth. There are only 144,000 so would we expect a mega amount of people to join? No. The world is blind to the Truth. It’s not for them right now.

          • John Ross

            Hi Chris, and everyone else reading this. I was given the ‘morning star’ last year by Christ and am gradually being shown the ‘hidden manna’. I’m posting this insight into prophecy on my Reddit JWexWatchtower. Jehovah has been providing ‘visions’ of a sort through my trees and photos that underscore prophetic themes. This is since i first noticed a massive image of Christ in my pines around April – which is fulfilling Isaiah 49:3, which i’ve posted an article detailing.
            I invite all to put the information to the test against scripture and modern events, lest i’m just another ‘false prophet’.
            John Ross

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Hi John Ross – Here is the scripture you referenced 3 Isaiah 49:3 “And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.’” Not sure how it applies?

              Please share a link to your photo of the “massive image of Christ in my pines” so we can all see what you are talking about. Thanks.

    • RR

      Yes Roy, that’s what the Watchtower wants you to believe. Just like Carey Barber who visited our hall and gave a special talk told us there were no more Bible Students, that there were only 2 left, one died on a park bench, the other was found dead in an attic. They could smell his rotting corpse. Lo and behold here we are …. the rumor of their demise has been greatly exaggerated.

      • Richard.Tazzyman

        RR-When and where was that talk Given.Any one who would swallow that information would certainly have to be brainwashed,as most JWs are.Love to hear from you, Richard.Tazzyman (ex JW-Now a bible student) Australia.

        • Richard, I don’t have the exact date, but it was in the early 80s in the Bronx. It was a special talk given on a Saturday. And it was most certainly eaten up by those in attendance. Having spoken to others through the years who also heard the same talk or the same scenario.

    • terry lawton

      I guess you didnt feel the need to reply Roy….

      Psa 146:3 – it would do you well brother to read it.

  • zionsherald


    In a little over a week I will be leaving for a visit to Europe which will include London, Budapest, Krakow, Auschwitz, and Romania. While in Romania I plan on visiting with the “True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses” again.

    If there are any questions anyone has that they would like me to ask let me know and I’ll work them into the conversation.

    I’ll provide an update on the visit upon my return.


    • Richard.Tazzyman

      Hello Bro,Thanks for the e/mail with the Link to the booklets that you scaned for us.We will not be in Poland for the International this year,But will be staying in London In early August.Will you still be there then?Would love to catch up with you.Christian Love,Richard & Kay Tazzyman

    • Leena

      Hello All,

      I was raised in Romania /Cluj-Napoca town, with my parents being part of the group “JW-the old teachings”, amd my father is looking amd hopping to find out that there are more people outside Romania that study the same teachings. I came across this article after digging the internet, and I can identify that my parents are in the “The True Faith JW Association ” from 1992. I just recently found out myself (as a child raised in this faith) there is this group ,TFJW in Romania, buffled my parents or in the meetings it was never brought up or contact iniated,..actually my dad has told me that it was tried a contact but no one replied (like in the association they sent emails to the email found on a website, but no replies came back).
      Am wondering if there is a envy or something like so where those who study teachings only from Russell or only from Rutherford, or some mixed etc do not want to recognize and open discussions, and why is that.
      But more, if anyone would like to get in touch to the association my father is part of, or anyone wants to talk to my dad in private, would answer or contact me so I can get this forwarded. And I apologize if I said anything out of the norm, while I appreciate any hints and suggestions on whether a similar association may exist in Usa (the 1992 Association of …). They are really small group now, mostly elders, I myself am not baptized or attending (I live abroad) but feel very attached to it as I grew up with the teachings and were our spiritual pillar. My Gmail would have the name ciceo.office plus the @ plus the Gmail dot com

      • Leena

        I am wrong, and mixed info. The name of my parents faith group is The Association of JW Romania” and is found at website w w w.amir.ro
        They study teachings of what is said to be until 1948 when something happened at WatchTower in US and thus the newer teachings do not go in same direction with the previous ones. So this would be the wonder, Any other group in Usa or western countries separated from JW teachings in 1948? And I do not claim anything or that TFJW are not good, I.actually love and follow their songs, they are pretty much same .

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Hi Leena – Actually the two groups you mentioned are probable the same group or else connected. At minimum, they should all know of each other since they live in Romania. We have Bible Students from Romania who meet with the Chicago Bible Students (see http://www.ChicagoBible.org). A friend of mine, Jeff and his wife, met with the True Faith JWs in Romania maybe 15 years ago. I asked him to join us and comment if he has time.

          After World World War 2, the JWs in eastern European counties like Romania lost direct contact with the JW governing group at Bethel and in New York. Over the years the Romanian True Faith JW brethren were able to get copies of Watchtower magazines and were concerned about the continuing doctrinal changes. They assumed that this was a communist trick and not the real Watchtower material. After the iron curtain was lifted they discovered the truth, that the modern Watchtower had become a different religion and most of the TFJWs would not submit to the JW.org governing authority.

  • Ellis Green

    Ellis here!

    With the ban on JWs in Russia, how does this affect TFJWs in Russia? I hope they’re OK.

    • Roy

      Not much affected, since they are another group, and they have very little presence in Russia, way less than the JW’s

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Hi Roy – Some Bible Students have had friendly contact with this group. Our main focus of course is our own personal relationship with our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Thanks.

  • Lynn R

    good morning, I did not go on line for a few days, so I missed your comment – we will be away for a few weeks to my mothers cottage (whom I was not allowed to invite to my wedding because the congregation I was in said no worldly people at weddings) but I have renewed my family ties, it feels wonderful.
    just asking if you can take off my last name, off the above post, my husband felt it was not a good idea.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Just fyi, Lynn’s name appears in my reply, too.


      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Okay thanks, I will take care of it. I just got home after 3 day fellowship where one from our Wednesday night study was immersed. Brandon’s wife.
        I am still hurt over Linda’s sudden death last night. I spoke with her around 2pm thru her sister. I drove in a daze home because I found out at 7:30am this morning. Just hurt although I knew it was coming. Take Care

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Lynn now I am home. So glad to see you have established relations with your family. Most have found families are willing to accept and forgive their mind control by the organization.
      I have been hearing strange things lately. Not being able to have a “worldly person” at your wedding? Never heard that in 63 years, what a change.
      Disfellowshipped persons can come to a wedding at the kingdom hall (but not be in wedding party) but not the reception because they claim you have control and it would be associating in a party environ.
      You are making new friends now and it will take time to get over the mind control of the governing body and the organization but it can be done with Prayer and help.
      On your marriage, it is personal. There can hardly be too many instances for a group of men to be in it unless it is extreme. But I don’t know the circumstances. I hope you are able to work out your marital problems between you and your husband alone. God allows for this.
      Have fun and enjoy yourself immensely with your new found family and ask them to forgive you. They will. Take Care Jacqueline

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