Adverse Effects During the Covid Period Among Jehovah’s Witnesses

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February 26, 2024

Four years ago, the "Covid-19 Pandemic" began, and it has left deep scars. If we look at the relatively cohesive religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, it is apparent:

The worldwide vaccination campaign not only had severe medical side effects, but also dramatic psychosocial ones!

Here is the report by Brother Ghislain Messe (France) on the conditions within the Jehovah's Witness community during the Covid-19 period. They are exemplary for many communities worldwide.

The Arrival of Covid

It all started in March 2020 when countries around the world decided to go into lockdown to stem the spread of the so-called SARS-CoV2 virus. Religious communities all obediently followed government recommendations and Jehovah's Witnesses, within a week, organized all their activities by videoconference using Zoom software. A few weeks later, all the congregations in the world were working with this software which was pushed by the Governing Body by offering it free of charge. Given that since 2013, Jehovah's Witnesses had encouraged everyone to equip themselves with electronic devices (iPad or equivalent) to follow religious meetings, the transition to distance learning was relatively easy.

The year 2020 went well. We knew virtually no people affected by Covid-19, the illness linked to contamination of the so-called deadly virus. No religious discipline committee was allowed to meet.

At the end of December 2020, the congregations received a communication from the Governing Body (via the branches) telling us that the future vaccines which were going to be distributed around the world did not contain blood. We were surprised because it had been a long time since vaccines contained blood, but also because usually the Governing Body did not comment on a particular medical treatment. This communication gave us the premonition that the Governing Body was rather favorable to these vaccines. We received a few other communications that went in the same direction.

Vaccination Pressure

At the start of 2021, around 30% of Jehovah's Witnesses in France were vaccinated voluntarily. The others were very suspicious. Then in July 2021 began a burst of news updates, television broadcasts, where practically each member of the Governing Body encouraged us to get vaccinated to stay “in the land of the living”.

Suspicious Jehovah’s Witnesses got vaccinated one after the other, even the most reluctant. And so it was announced that 99% of Bethel members in the United States were vaccinated. This figure indicates that it was no longer a matter of conscience but an injunction that came from the “channel of Jehovah” on earth, in other words, which we could not question. The few remaining unvaccinated people (around 10%) were pushed aside and branded disobedient. During religious meetings, the words that kept coming up were: obey, Jehovah, his organization. In 2024 a Watchtower article studied during a meeting contained the name Jehovah 60 times, while since 2000, the articles contained only around fifteen occurrences of this name.


Governing Body Update No. 4 on

Many Jehovah's Witnesses, including at least two university professors, wrote to the Governing Body, denouncing this pressure and indicating that the vaccines were dangerous and that they were made from human embryonic stem cells. The response from the Governing Body was very hypocritical:

  • in the written responses, everyone had the right to do what they wanted,
  • on the other hand the Jehovah's Witnesses who denounced the vaccine were corrected, punished or even excommunicated.

A communication was very quickly sent to the elders, prohibiting them from expressing themselves on the subject of the vaccine. After this communication, the subject became completely taboo, only the circuit overseer had the right to say from the platform:

“The brothers of Christ are all vaccinated, we must obey those who lead us”

and in a much lower tone:

“Of course vaccination is a personal question”.

As of January 2022, nearly 30,000 Jehovah's Witnesses had died from Covid-19, a proportion four times higher than worldwide. Far from protecting "their people", the decisions of the Governing Body have led to thousands of deaths and caused great division in congregations around the world.


Mortality 4 times higher than the world average

When services resumed in person on April 1, 2022, the mask was, in fact, obligatory and those who remained in videoconference were described as disobedient. During a meeting, when an assistant did not put on the mask, an elder came to remind him of the instruction.

This division was institutionalized on December 19, 2022, where in a communication made to elders (), the Governing Body prohibited access to training for elders and pioneers not fully vaccinated. The coordinator of the body of elders was to check the vaccination status of the other elders.

A French Jehovah's Witness filed a complaint for discrimination in July 2023, the trial is scheduled for 2024. Segregation was lifted in January 2024 in a very discreet way, by a message intended for elders which was displayed for only a few hours on their console online administration

Adverse Events

The only cases of Covid-19 patients that we saw came from new updates (television broadcasts). In one broadcast, a Jehovah's Witness from Texas had lost twenty members of her family. Almost no cases were recorded in the congregations.

On the other hand, as soon as Jehovah's Witnesses began to be vaccinated, mild, serious to very serious cases appeared. In the congregations, practically everyone was sick, each in turn, even some who were not vaccinated. Most of the sick Jehovah's Witnesses said:

"Luckily I got vaccinated because otherwise I would have died."

A 58-year-old woman had facial paralysis three weeks after the third dose. Everyone was able to see her close-up on Zoom, she wasn't hiding. At the end of the meeting, during a discussion between Witnesses, each one had their own explanation, an elder tried to reassure her by telling her that it certainly came from a draft. She knew very well what had happened but she was in denial. Two years later, her paralysis was still visible.

A nurse who was very zealous in administering the vaccine fell ill with Covid-19 several times, she and her family. She said they were really afraid of dying. Yet she continued to give her family additional doses.

A Jehovah's Witness, an elder for more than 25 years, whose parents and grandparents had been opposed to vaccines since 1960 and who had not received any vaccine since his birth, broke down, under the unbearable pressure of the entire community. On December 24, 2021, he wrote:

"We have decided as a family to be vaccinated, because we want to follow the recommendations of the faithful and discreet slave, which, in our eyes, transcend the differences of points of view concerning this vaccine. We must consider the role of the Governing Body in this final period of days and our obedience to its recommendations, even if they appear unwise to our human eyes. »

The psychological pressures became extremely difficult to bear. Unvaccinated people who regularly attended meetings were constantly told about obeying Jehovah and his organization. That these two entities were inseparable. During a special week, a district overseer said these words:

“Those who did not get vaccinated following the loving instructions of the Governing Body are rebels, they have disobeyed, they are conspirators, they are similar to those who think that man has not been to the moon, or who think that the earth is flat”.

The vaccinated Jehovah's Witnesses were discussing among themselves the unvaccinated infidels who would not see the new world (the hope that all Jehovah's Witnesses have of finding themselves on an earth transformed into paradise). When they invited coreligionists to their homes, they asked for either a pass or the result of a PCR test.

Elders have been reprimanded by their district overseer for speaking badly about the vaccine. Some Jehovah's Witnesses who wanted to help their brothers by giving them information about vaccines were excommunicated.

Many adverse events, both psychological and physical, of vaccination campaigns can be read on these sites:,, A large part of the testimonies are anonymous, which shows the fear of the entire community to talk about these subjects at the risk of being excommunicated.


A Free Space to Describe the Unmentionable

Many adverse events, both psychological and physical, of vaccination campaigns can be read on these sites:

A large part of the testimonies are anonymous, which shows the fear of the entire community to talk about these subjects at the risk of being excommunicated.



Prepared in Advance

According to a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Governing Body had prepared them for this event, when in the Watchtower article of November 15, 2013 page 20 paragraph 17, they wrote:

"3. At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not."

Yet the paragraph ended with:

"4. Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking".

The 2021 governing body instructions encouraged putting trust in human institutions, but this part had been forgotten by most Witnesses. They all understood that something irrational would have to be obeyed.

Biblical Principles

Jehovah's Witnesses have long been encouraged to apply biblical principles in their daily lives. Here are some principles they should have remembered before obeying the Governing Body:


“Whoever is fond of his life destroys it, but whoever hates his life in this world will safeguard it for everlasting life.”

(John 12:25)

"Peter and the other apostles answered: „We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”

(Acts 5:29)

“Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

(2 Corinthians 7:1)

“You must not follow after the crowd to do evil, and you must not pervert justice by giving testimony to go along with the crowd."

(Exodus 23:2)

“With you is the source of life; By your light we can see light."

(Psalm 36:9)

Rather than these principles, the Governing Body highlighted only these two principles:


“You must love your neighbor as yourself.”

(Matthew 22:39)

“Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities."

(Romans 13:1)

They relied on the misconception that this vaccine was safe and effective and could not cause death. This was not the case because many independent studies established that anti-Covid-19 injections caused 1 death for every 500 people vaccinated and had not saved anyone. From the beginning of 2021, Pfizer tests indicated that the vaccine did not prevent transmissions and that there were more deaths in the vaccinated group.

Waiting For an Apology

Beginning in the year 2022, Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world have realized that the Governing Body was wrong. They were therefore entitled to expect an apology from them. Unfortunately, many have mourned it. In a fall 2023 update, a member of the Governing Body claimed that because he is not inspired by God and can be wrong, the Governing Body does not have to apologize. During the year 2023, Anthony Morris was no longer part of the Governing Body without any information being given on the reason for his departure. Two new members have appeared. Since 2024, new faces have appeared in video broadcasts with themes which show that the Governing Body wants to forget the vaccine propaganda in which it has heavily invested ("Benefiting From Prohibitions", "See the Bigger Picture», “Listen With Mildness”).

According to two testimonies published on, Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States risked losing their 501(c)3 status allowing them to be tax exempt if they did not carry out propaganda vaccines to their flock. The Governing Body is not likely to boast about this information, since they preferred to sacrifice thousands of lives rather than lose money.


I think the most important thing to take away from this whole story is the following principle:


“We must obey God rather than men.”

(Acts 5:29)

God speaks to us through our conscience if we are in the habit of speaking with God in prayer. Then we will know how to act in all circumstances, we will become sovereign of our own person, and no human or no suffering will make us give up remaining ourselves.

Ghislain Messe