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Franz adds that the organization's eagerness for the Millennium does not give it license to impugn the motives of those who fail to accept its predictions. Chryssides has suggested widespread claims that Witnesses "keep changing the dates" are a distortion and misunderstanding of Watch Tower Society chronology.
He argues that, although there have been failures in prophetic speculation, the changing views and dates of the Jehovah's Witnesses are more largely attributable to changed understandings of biblical chronology than to failed predictions.
Within days of the article's publication, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society submitted a formal request for disassociation, removing all association with the United Nations Department of Public Information, and released a letter stating that the reason for becoming associated with the United Nations Department of Information (DPI) was to access their facilities, and that they had not been aware of the change in language contained in the criteria for NGO association.
However, when the Watch Tower Society sought NGO association, "the organization agreed to meet criteria for association, including support and respect of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations", acknowledging that the purpose of membership is to "promote knowledge of the principles and activities of the United Nations." Jehovah's Witnesses assert that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 607 BC and completely uninhabited for exactly seventy years.
Witnesses are told to 'be complete in accepting the visible organization's direction in every aspect' and that there is no need to question what God tells them through his Word and organization since love "believes all things." Failed predictions that were either explicitly stated or strongly implied, particularly linked to dates in 1914, 1915, 1918, 19, have led to the alteration or abandonment of some teachings.
The Society's publications have at times suggested that members had previously "read into the Watch Tower statements that were never intended" According to Professor Edmond Gruss, other failed predictions were ignored, and replaced with new predictions; for example, in the book, The Finished Mystery (1917), events were applied to the years 1918 to 1925 that earlier had been held to occur prior to 1914.
This date is critical to their selection of October 1914 for the arrival of Christ in kingly power—2520 years after October 607 BC.
Hence, the true Christian congregation cannot rightly be accused of being harshly dogmatic." Sociologist Rodney Stark says that Jehovah's Witness leaders are "not always very democratic" and members are expected to conform to "rather strict standards", but that enforcement tends to be informal, sustained by close bonds of friendship, and that Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as "part of the power structure rather than subject to it". Former Witnesses Heather and Gary Botting, claiming an emphasis on a personal track record would mean that salvation is effectively being "bought" with "good works", observed: "No matter how long a Witness remains an active distributor of literature, the moment he ceases to be active he is regarded by his peers as good as dead in terms of achieving the ultimate goal of life everlasting in an earthly paradise ...The Watch Tower Society's views of evolution have met with criticism typical of objections to evolution. The book presents Hitching—a TV writer and paranormalist with no scientific credentials—as an evolutionary scientist.Gary Botting described his own difficulty as a Jehovah's Witness to reconcile creation with simple observations of species diversification, especially after discussions with J. Richard Dawkins also criticizes the book for implying that "chance" is the only alternative to deliberate design, stating, "[T]he candidate solutions to the riddle of improbability are not, as falsely implied, design and chance.Few realize upon entering the movement that the purchase price is open-ended and that the bill can never be paid in full until death or the advent of Armageddon." According to Andrew Holden, "those who fail to devote a satisfactory amount of time to doorstep evangelism (currently around seventeen hours per month in the United States) soon lose the respect of their co-religionists and may even be disfellowshipped.The Witnesses are thus forced to think quantitatively about their salvation." According to Osamu Muramoto, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, those who unrepentantly receive blood products are labeled "apostates", expelled, and shunned by other Jehovah's Witness friends or family members.
Criticism has also focused on their rejection of blood transfusions, particularly in life-threatening medical situations, and claims that they have failed to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities.