THIRTY YEARS A WATCHTOWER SLAVE
The Confession of a Converted Jehovah’s Witness
Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1957
William J. Schnell was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1905. He was taken by his parents on a trip to their homeland, Germany, and there stranded by the outbreak of World War I. Schnell was from Lutheran parentage and was converted in that church at an early age.
In gratitude for God’s protection during World War I, Schnell resolved to spend his life in God’s service. He associated with the Bible Students, and with them fell under the sway of the Watch Tower Society under the direction of the ambitious new president, Judge Rutherford.
Schnell worked in the headquarters of the German branch of the Watch Tower Society at Magdeburg and helped organize the work in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. He was Service Director and helped subjugate the German Bible Students to the Society’s dictatorial rule. Disgusted with the procedure and inner workings of the Society, he immigrated to the United States in 1927.
In 1933 Schnell re-entered the Society’s employ as Pioneer. He became Company Servant then Unit Servant in Manhattan. He was placed in charge of the Pioneer desk in the Service Department at the Society’s New York headquarters. Later, Schnell became Exactor (or Zone Servant) of Zone 1 (Northeastern Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania).
Amazingly, Schnell helped foment riots in Hubbard, Ohio, and elsewhere, and fought in more than five hundred court battles, some even to the United States Supreme Court.
The Watch Tower Society ordained Schnell a “minister.” He baptized 463 new converts, and organized about eighty-four congregations. In time he came to a growing realization of the error of the Watch Tower Society as he returned to personal prayer and study of God’s Word. In 1954, he returned to a life of freedom in Christ through an agonized night of soul struggle and prayer. As morning light broke he arose with peace in his soul, and a song in his heart.
For the first time in thirty years Schnell was a free man. For three decades he had been enslaved in one of the most totalitarian systems of the twentieth century. That morning he stood up with the firm determination that with God’s help he would reveal to the world the inner workings of the Watch Tower Society. The result was an entrancing book, Thirty Years A Watch Tower Slave, The Confessions of a Converted Jehovah’s Witness.
Like a giant octopus the Watch Tower Society has spread its tentacles to the far corners of the world. In spite of its denial of most of the major Biblical truths – including the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the physical resurrection of Christ, the physical return of Christ – it poses as a Christian movement. It yearly lures thousands into its fold with its ingeniously devised system of proselyting.
It is the inner workings of this organization which Schnell lays bare in his book and exposes to public view for the first time in history. Every previous effort has been successfully thwarted and the author book subjected to pressure. But his vow of gratitude to God for opening his eyes and for delivering him from this vicious network gave him courage and carried him through.
Although Schnell pulls no punches, he displays no rancor or bitterness. His book is his life’s story as a Jehovah’s Witness. It is his confession of wrongdoing to God and his fellow men. In so doing he reveals that Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for what they really are.
His book is a powerful warning to any and all who may be approached by the misnamed “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” It is likewise Schnell’s appeal to his former brethren to throw off their shackles and to return to “the liberty which is in Christ Jesus.” Schnell advises that you owe it to yourself to be well posted on this aggressive movement. Sooner or later you will be confronted with its message of perversion.