My short bio: I come from Poland. I was basically raised as a Jehovah's Witness. My wife and her whole family was one as well. I was a congregation elder, which means I held a position of authority in the congregation. I delivered public talks, conducted public Bible studies, spent some time as a secretary (JWs produce a TON of paperwork!), basically ran the whole circus locally. We had aspiration for me to become a circuit overseer, which is the guy who goes from city to city and makes sure all wishes of the Governing Body are implemented in the congregations. On top of that, both me and my wife served as "regular pioneers" for few years, which meant we had to spend ~70 hours preaching every month. This is voluntary, normally JWs don't have any required quota for how many hours they have to report. But they have to do it every month to keep being "active".

Two years ago together with my wife we began to wake up from the indoctrination, and then proceeded to help friends and family as well. Unfortunately our families didn't respond well to that. Jehovah's Witnesses call people who leave their faith and put it in negative light "apostates". They are prohibited from talking, and even from saying "hello" to them, or from reading their blogs, etc. So... our family now refuses to acknowledge us. We have lost them, possibly forever...

We've decided to use our knowledge to help others - to try making people who are still in to see that they are being lied to. I've set up a website where I publish confidential files that normally are available only to certain people - letters from the HQ to elders, convention videos, old books that are out of print because the doctrine has changed and more. I'm also an admin of polish Ex-JW forums with 500+ members registered (and growing quickly, 48 registered in this month alone). Most recently I've shot a video for the general public which aims to show their practices in a easy to swallow manner:

And that's just about it. If that seems interesting to you, feel free to ask ANYTHING. I may only refuse to answer some personal details that could identify me, because I don't want to formally leave them just yet, as being inside helps me to help others. I will answer questions today for the next 5-6 hours, and if they are any left, then even tomorrow.

Short summary about JWs: Jehovah's Witnesses are an apocalyptic cult started 140 years ago by a guy named Charles Taze Russell. For all this time they have proclaimed that the end is coming soon™. They even set some exact years for this to happen: 1914, 1925, 1975 among others. Currently there are 8 million of them world-wide, over 1.2 million in the USA. While they may seem innocent, their practices hurt people in many different ways. They are hiding child abuse on a grand scale (in Australia alone a Royal Commission unearthed over 1800 cases of child abuse among JWs, none of which was reported to the authorities by them). They destroy families due to their shunning policy - when a member of your family is being disfellowshipped (for example because they slept with someone before getting married, were smoking, took blood in hospital or spoke against the organization). They prohibit blood transfusions which literally takes people's lives. Finally they mess up with your head, telling you that everyone in the outside world is wicked and deserves to die, while you can live forever given that you do exactly as they tell you to.

My Proof: Here's a picture of me holding a book that only elders are allowed to have - "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock", and also an outline of a talk that was delivered on this year's conventions. If that's not enough, I can take photos of newest elders handbook, convention lapel badges or many other publications.

EDIT: More proof - decades worth of elders-only correspondence.

UPDATE: Wow, this just exploded. Please bear with me as I try to keep up with all the questions!

UPDATE 2: Thanks for all the questions people, there were so many that unfortunately I couldn't answer them all, but my fellow Ex-JWs managed to answer a few. I will return here tomorrow and try to answer ones that were left unanswered. And even after the AMA ends I urge you to visit r/exjw, you will get even more answers there.

UPDATE 3: R.I.P. Inbox. 1100 unread messages. It will probably take a while to take it down to 0 :).

Comments: 7087 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

nowhereman1362967 karma

Do you celebrate your birthday now? If so, what was your first birthday party like, how did you feel?

ohmyjw4713 karma

I did celebrate my first birthday in my life this year. And believe it or not, no one died and we had fun :). It felt very nice and I felt a relief that finally I don't have anyone that tries to govern every aspect of my life.

HutSutRawlson1886 karma

I strive to not pass judgements on other's beliefs, but years ago when I was a summer camp counselor, we had a "Halloween in Summer" day, where the kids could come to camp in costume. I had a little boy (6 years old) who was a Jehova's Witness, and he was scared to the point of crying the day before that he would have to come to camp on "Halloween," because of course that wasn't allowed in his religion. I felt so bad for that little boy that something that was a fun, frivolous occasion (and not even a real holiday, just a camp event!) caused him so much distress.

There's a lot to celebrate in the world, I hope you enjoy doing it!

ohmyjw458 karma

Thanks! And yes, that is a real problem for JW children, they are constantly encountering situations where they have to behave differently than the rest, and it can be very stressing for a young child.

EinDenker1836 karma

What was the main thing that wake you up?

By the way, there is an english Sub from ex-witnesses at r/exjw, a spanish at r/extj and a german at r/exzj.

ohmyjw3040 karma

For me it was actually doctrine. We started to read more and more Bible, and started to find things that the JW publications got wrong. We started to ask questions. Then we encountered 1st hand what happens when you ask hard questions while being a JW. We got punished in the congregation for that, instead of receiving any answers at all. That prompted us to dig deeper and deeper, until we convinced ourselves that this could not be the true religion with all its lies and faults.

YackoWarner912 karma

Can you share what we're some of the questions that got you punished?

ohmyjw1918 karma

It was about the "heavenly hope" (144 000 people that are meant to go to heaven) vs "earthly hope" (all the rest who would live on earth forever). While reading the Bible (verses like John 6:50-52, Ephesians 4:4, 5 and many others) we deducted that there was no two hopes, that either everyone goes to heaven or everyone will live on earth. This is in a direct conflict with what JWs teach.

ifindthishumerus838 karma

And by recruiting aren't you increasing the odds that someone you recruit will take your spot in the 144,000?

ohmyjw1431 karma

No, because most JWs believe they are not the part of 144 000, but of the "great crowd", which has no limit.

EpsilonRose121 karma

Interesting. What sort of punishments did they hand out and was it common for people to get punished?

ohmyjw406 karma

First they take your "privileges", so you cease to be an elder, pioneer or having other position in the congregation. Then the punishment is basically shunning even without disfellowshipping you - people drift away from you, don't want to talk to you outside the meetings, etc. It may sound trivial, but when your whole world revolves around the congregations, it can be very painful.

mikeytag196 karma

My favorite is the incorrect Greek translation of John 1:1. Caldwell's Rule anyone?

EDIT: I misspelled Mr. Colwell's name. It's actually Colwell's rule. My bad.

ohmyjw208 karma

Ah yeah, the "word was a god" verse. They have a whole paragraph in their preaching handbook about that one.

Pbjdonut1679 karma

Tell me some door knocking stories... Did anyone get so irate you were scared for your life? Anyone answer the door naked? Anyone ever invite you in and you had dinner with them? Anyone try to seduce you?

ohmyjw2102 karma

There were some funny moments, and there were some scary too.

  • I once was attacked by a furious dog who jumped over the fence and grabbed my jacket. Fortunately it was winter and I have several layers of clothes on me, so he didn't hurt me, but scared the hell out of me
  • There were times that people opened the door in, erm, uncomfortable situations. Pants only, straight out of the shower, wasted after partying, etc. We usually apologized and told them that we'll try to come other time
  • Some people were very nice to us, and I had it several times that people invited me for a dinner. Almost all of those occurrences happened when we preached on the countryside. People in cities usually weren't so keen to invite us to their house.
  • I had some incidents were people were really angry at us, yelled at us and even sometimes got physical. But nowadays it's very rare. I've heard that back in the day it wasn't very uncommon for JWs to get beat up while preaching.

Godecapitator691 karma

I had a JW come to my door, this was probably 2002, I live in an area that has a high Mormon population so, I am a bit defensive & was possibly a little short, I was not rude but I had little patience for their message (I thought they were Mormons at first) as I'm not religious & feel like ppl are always trying to shove their message in my ears.
I was blown away when one of these JW actually put their foot in my doorway, trying to prevent me from closing my front door, I told them to move it or lose it, they did, but the audacity of that moment always stuck in my mind like, "wow, those JW are something else". I know many ppl have a JW story but is this common? Way over agressive, zealous missionaries?..No Mormon, while more passive-aggressive, has never tried a stunt like that, I live in a part of the country where I would not be surprised if someone shot another over a foot offense like that, I always thought although way out of line, it took balls.

ohmyjw551 karma

It WAS pretty common few decades ago, but now they teach not to do it anymore. Still, you can't change some people :).

thatpandabitca874 karma

Looking back at it all now, what do you feel was the silliest rule they had you follow?

ohmyjw1832 karma

They have a rule where a woman cannot conduct a Bible study or say a prayer when a baptized man is around her. And when the guy is not baptized, she is only allowed to do so when she wears a scarf on her head. Here's how it looks like (notice the guy in the background, if he weren't there she could conduct the study without a scarf).

Supplicationjam660 karma

What role does money play in the religion?

ohmyjw1173 karma

I would say it plays a major role, especially recently. They constantly remind their members how important it is to contribute. They even coerce children to donate.

All their buildings are built using member contributions and their time and skills. Then, the building is a property of the Watchtower (they have many legal corporations in many countries). When they decide to sell the building, all the proceeds go to them, not to members who contributed them in the first place.

petgreg308 karma

How much of that money is then redistributed into the organization, and how much goes into leader's pockets?

ohmyjw780 karma

The exact amounts are unknown, because they aren't really have their books open for the public. But to give you some context: they've recently sold their properties in Brooklyn, NY, because they are moving the HQ to Warwick, NY. They've pocketed more than 1 Billion dollars from the whole sale. None of this will be properly accounted, it will be used for, as they call it, "world-wide work".

st081569 karma

When they decide to sell the building, all the proceeds go to them, not to members who contributed them in the first place.

Does that happen a lot (that they build something with donations and then sell it)? On the face of it this would be true for donations to any church.

ohmyjw134 karma

Yeah, that does happen quite a lot especially recently. I know a Kingdom Hall (that's how they call their buildings for local meetings) that was sold only 10 years after it was built, with all people now having to drive 20-30 km to another hall for the meetings.

Yangthebull657 karma

My question is a three parter. 1) Can you explain the idea that only 140,000 make it to heaven, yet many JW's try to recruit more people. I've always found this contradictory.

2) There are other groups that shun others who question their faith. I've been told all my life questioning makes your faith stronger, and there may be something to hide if you are told youhahahaha hahah can't. How do youjj get others to begin questioning and seeing what is going on?

3) With Matthew 24:36. How does a group that believes in the bible also think they can predict the end. When the bible has specifically said no one knows, but God?


ohmyjw741 karma

1) I've already answered that.

2) Witnesses are being told that questioning can weaken their faith, that you have to get rid of your doubts, etc. It's very hard to get others to question their faith. Usually it starts with them stumbling upon a situation that helps them gain more perspective, like elders treating others partially or unfair. Sometimes people wake up when they find about something Watchtower lied to them about. There's really no silver bullet for this, everybody has their own trigger and there's no way to know what it is beforehand.

3) In some old magazines I've read their explanation that basically this verse does not apply for today. That Jesus was talking about 1st century C.E., not our times ;).

knight_who_says_knee644 karma

Is it true that Charles T Russell was basically convicted of being a fraud in a court trial where he couldn't read a line of Greek even though he claimed to have translated a version of the New Testament from Greek?

ohmyjw753 karma

Yep, that's correct, according to the court transcripts I've read. He couldn't even enumerate Greek letters from the alphabet.

Ayatollah_Bahloni605 karma

Are you still a person of faith, or are you just done with the Witnesses? No judgment around the question, just curious. Thank you for sharing!

ohmyjw1215 karma

To be honest I don't know. I definitely don't plan to join any organized religion after all this, but I still believe in God. Not necessarily the God of the Bible (because the Bible has its own set of problems), but in a creator of some sorts.

FinickyPenance476 karma

Who do you think started to drift away from the Jehovah's Witnesses first, you or your wife? Was it awkward for you to admit it to one another?

ohmyjw847 karma

We were fortunate because we started to have doubts at the same time. We had some friends in our congregation with whom we would discuss some issues, and now all four of us are mentally out.

Many people I know weren't so fortunate. Some discover the truth themselves and are afraid to admit this to their spouse. When they finally do, things often don't end up well for them. That's why I think it is important to talk to each other from the start, because the further you go down that road, the harder it will get.

ToastyVirus418 karma

An odd one, but do you believe therr are any positive aspects of the JW belief? Any ideas that are specific to it that are good?

ohmyjw779 karma

Well, their premise is good, at least on paper. Be nice to others. Don't lie. Don't steal. Etc. The problem with JWs is that there are many strings attached, which makes those almost irrelevant.

Also, until recently they had this thing called "Theocratic Ministry School" where you could (and was encouraged to) sign up and from time to time were assigned to give a talk in front of an audience about a given topic. You usually had 2-3 weeks to prepare and the talk was about 5 minutes. It teached me how to do research (of course the source material was mostly JW publications, but still) and talk to dozens of people, a skill which I found useful later in life. Unfortunately they've axed this part of their weekly meetings this year :/.

raechan2012353 karma

Sorry if someone asked this already. I've listened to former members talk about the sexual abuse of children being hidden by the men in power. I'm aware that this happens all over the world, every day, but I'm asking specifically about your experiences. Have you seen this, how/why is it tolerated? Is there a way to seek legal justice within the community?

ohmyjw668 karma

Yes, JWs have a big problem with child abuse. First of all, because they believe child abuse is only a sin, not really a crime, the elders in almost all cases don't report to the authorities, instead they try to handle it inside the congregation. Which most of the time ends in "leave the matter in the hands of Jehovah", because they require two witnesses to the event (which is pretty rare). They basically value the "good name of the organization" more than the safety of the children. And yes, I personally know a situation where a guy was sent to a congregation and abused a daughter of a family he was assigned to spend the night with. What's worse, the elders in his congregation knew he abused in the past, but still sent him over and didn't warn anyone.

All_American_Heathen339 karma

Do you notice any large similarities between JW's, Mormons, and Scientologist? I know the r/exjw and r/exmormon subs are very similar in feel.

ohmyjw461 karma

While I don't know those groups very well, from what I've heard the mechanisms all those high-control groups are similar. All of them have some form of shunning former/misbehaving members, all of them try to control most aspects of your life, all of them suck in your time and money as much as possible.

Steven Hassan has a great book about high-control groups, which is worth a read for anyone who encountered them.

Ickyhouse284 karma

Is there any doctrine or belief where, looking back, you are shocked that you believed something you see as obviously wrong now? Or another way, is there something that looking back you can't believe you missed as something obviously false now?

ohmyjw690 karma

A few of them:

  • that one day God will murder billions of people and leave only some JWs on earth
  • that it's better to die than to get a blood transfusion that may save your life
  • that celebrations like Mother's day or birthdays are "pagan"

AveWelche278 karma

I had a friend who married a JW and he seems to be a very nice guy. We were talking of biblical history and she misquoted scripture (I've studied the bible for both religious reasons as well as because of my interest in history and cultural anthropology). She looked to her husband to see if I was right, he looked it up to prove me wrong and became very agitated. I stayed calm as I'd been the one mistaken in the past, more than once. Since then, she has not been permitted to be my friend and was wondering if what he said was true about how he could not listen or believe anything I said because of biblical constraints. Do the JW believe this; that a woman shouldn't point out to a man something he doesn't know? Does this mean when they go on a car trip, she can't read the map for him or do they need to use a male-voiced Siri?

ohmyjw241 karma

It's true that in JW congregations women have no right to teach, but in other situations it's not a rule. So no, it's not as extreme as forbidding women to read from the map or using male-voiced Siri.

jennaflores242 karma

How do you get your confidential documents? How can us ex-Mormons do a better job at getting more confidential documents online?

ohmyjw485 karma

I was an elder, so I had access to many confidential docs. Now I don't have it anymore, but there are many other elders inside who are starting to doubt their faith and leaking the documents to me, while I publish them.

It helps to have a community and encourage people to leak things, then to have a place where you can post all the leaks for everyone to read.

UnoriginalNickname878 karma

You're like Jehovah's Wikileaks.

ohmyjw338 karma

I like that! :)

Fluffymanolo180 karma

If someone converts from Catholicism to JW, are they required to not associate with their non-JW family?

ohmyjw278 karma

No, they are not required to do so, but some simply choose not to have any "unnecessary" association with their "worldy" family, especially if said family doesn't want to hear them proselytizing. Also, JW publications often suggest that one should keep it to a bare minimum when it comes to associating with either family or anyone else (work, school) who is not a JW, because that could be dangerous to one's faith.

petgreg158 karma

After your experiences, do you think JWs are specifically flawed, or that these flaws are common amongst various religions?

ohmyjw438 karma

While most if not all religions coerce people to do things they normally wouldn't do, there are groups which are especially destructive. JWs are one of those groups, which could be described as cults. Scientology and Mormons are another. Basically any group that tries to control emotions, thought, information and behavior of a person (it's called the BITE model).

TrumpBot9000144 karma

I was a JW during my childhood until I turned 15 (I like to think that my parents woke up). Something I've always wondered is how much the elders actually know is going on behind everyone else's back in the Hall. Do you have any incidences where you knew something highly morally dubious was occurring but you couldn't do anything about it?

ohmyjw200 karma

There is much gossip going on in the congregations. But while elders like to know much, many times they cannot act because there is not enough evidence to do so. There always have to be two witnesses to a sin, unless the "sinner" confesses.

I've personally seen a situation where a person who had some personal problems was disfellowshipped and she craved to get back, wrote several letters, but the elders kept turning her down, because "not enough time passed". This was really pissing me off, because there was no real reason for them not to let her back in. They were just being bullies at that point.

GrimFeature112 karma

I grew up a JW and as an adult I am aware of how much it fucked me up and ruined parts of my childhood.. Members of my family have been disfellowshipped and although some of my JW family still talk to them it ruins the family dynamic. A divided family isn't much fun. I don't believe in any of it but I respect their beliefs (to an extent) because it makes them happpy. Even though their religious laws are absolute bullshit stupid and unfair. My question is do you have children? And if yes, how did you talk them into leaving? JW kids are heavily brainwashed, so I'm curious to know. I made the decision to leave when I was 16. It wasn't for me.

ohmyjw158 karma

No, I don't have children, but I saw first hand how does it look like when a family with children woke up from indoctrination. Basically the kids went through the whole process much easier than the parents. At first the parents tried to hide the struggle from them, but kids are extremely good observers, and before the parents knew, the kids already had an opinion that this is all bullshit :).

Solomonopia78 karma

Lots of questions! Pick from any of these: What are the JWs views regarding Christianity? What secret discussions regarding recruitment went on at meetings of the elders? How can I be nice when there are 2 JWs at my door & I don't want to talk to them? What would your reaction be if they showed up at your door?

ohmyjw227 karma

1) For JWs all religions = Babylon the Great (a term from the Bible). And Christianity is especially bad among them. While they usually try not to show this, they have a great antipathy to catholics.

2) Instructions for recruiting are usually given on public midweek meeting. There are many of them, starting from technical stuff like how to speak and ending on psychological matters and even some manipulation tricks. They have a book which contains the usual "conversation stoppers" and how to handle them.

3) You can try to tell them to put you on their "Do not call" list. Don't say anything else and if they ask if you're sure, confirm that you specifically want to be on the list.

4) Currently they would not show up on my door, because they know where I live. But if they did knock on my door I would invite them and start asking them some difficult questions :).

camodious78 karma

And what would you consider some difficult questions?

ohmyjw259 karma

Two off top of my head:

  • why are you not reporting child abuse cases to the police when the law doesn't require you to do so? shouldn't that be your moral duty to protect the children? why do you require a two witness rule when it's extremely rare for a child to have a witness to his rape?
  • how can you preach that the end is near when your predecessors did the same thing 100 years ago already? how are you not false prophets when you already had some exact dates (1914, 1925, 1975) for Armageddon to come?

Fraga12347 karma

Why is there only room for 144 people in heaven?

ohmyjw244 karma

That's a common misconception about JWs. While it's true they believe that only 144 000 people are meant to live in heaven, most of them are trained to believe that this is not what they want. Instead, they are told that there will be a paradise on earth where they can live forever. Unless they're gay. Or do anything that Watchtower disapproves of and don't repent.

kmoonster31 karma

The 144000 will inhabit the New Earth, or they will be alive when the Earth is made new?

I grew up understanding that the 144000 would be those who "are alive and remain" at the Second Coming; but I am admittedly not JW.

ohmyjw52 karma

No, the 144 000 would be gathered before the Armageddon comes. According to JWs gathering them started with the apostles and Jesus disciples and will end in our time. They actually have a prophecy saying that the remnant of 144 000 from the 1914 generation will still be around on Earth before Armageddon comes, that's why they are so sure it will come soon.

ReallyBadAtSpelling16 karma

So we're quickly approaching a time when that generation will be gone completely-- do they just not teach this anymore?

ohmyjw29 karma

No, they've recently changed the doctrine so that it's not only those guys, but also those who lived after 1914 but before those who those from the first group died. And guess what, people bought it.

JediGamer4u46 karma

Do you know/talk to any foreign ex-JW's ?

ohmyjw100 karma

Yeah, a lot, because I'm from Poland and I'm active on r/exjw subreddit, where we have almost 10 thousand members already :).

peace_n_carrots20 karma

how are women regarded in the JW society?

ohmyjw47 karma

Woman is being regarded as "a complement" for a man. She should be submissive to her husband, who is the head of their family and it is he who makes all the important decisions. Women cannot teach in the congregation, they cannot deliver public talks or say public prayers. When they conduct a private Bible study or say a prayer with another person, while a man is around, she has to wear a scarf on her head as a sign of being submissive.

hmscoachhardin9 karma

I live in a larger town (about 50,000) in the middle of the southern United States (Southern Buckle of the Bible Belt), yet I see the JW throughout town, know a few as acquaintances, and even have a branch of their "church" nearby. What makes them want to go door-to-door, even though they know full well that no one is wanting to see them? Is it just to get people out there talking about JW? Is it in the hopes of a recruit, albeit 1 out of 100,000, if lucky?

ohmyjw9 karma

I'll quote myself from another comment:

They like to say that in that case they are just preaching to "give a witness" (so when the Armageddon comes people will have no excuse that they didn't knew it was coming), and that's enough for them.

That being said, they still manage to recruit people nowadays, but it's not very common anymore, at least as much as it was few decades ago.

innovationflow6 karma

So how can we thank you for personally exposing this cult?

ohmyjw7 karma

By spreading the word! Just liking/sharing the video I posted in the OP will mean a lot. The more people know about this, the less will get caught by them when they are off guard. The thing they are fearing the most is information, that's why I'm doing whatever I can to spread as much information about them as possible.

datlankydude4 karma

Every day, I see Jehovah's Witnesses outside the train station waiting for people to talk them. I NEVER see people talking to them. Are they going to give up at some point? Or is a .01% rate of people talking to them sufficient to keep them there? Or do they even care?

ohmyjw7 karma

They try hard to find some people to convert, but they will not give up even if no one listens to them. They like to say that in that case they are just preaching to "give a witness" (so when the Armageddon comes people will have no excuse that they didn't knew it was coming), and that's enough for them.

mredria4 karma

Thank you for doing this. There was a large JW presence in my small town among the most impoverished. The Kingdom Hall provided 2 meals a day and day care. Is there a specific strategy to recruit those in poverty, or are activities like this for the congregation to feel like they do good works in the community? Or does it actually come from a place of compassion?

ohmyjw5 karma

That's actually not a common strategy and it's the first time I ever heard JWs providing meals and day care from their Kingdom Hall. Probably a local initiative. If the branch office learned about that, they would probably get in trouble, because there are letters where they instruct specifically not to engage in those kind of activities.

Betrayus3 karma

What is something that you miss from being involved?

ohmyjw3 karma

I miss spending my whole teen years doing work for some cult leaders. I had opportunities for some very nice jobs that I rejected because I wanted to do more as a "pioneer" (spending ~70 hours a month preaching). If I didn't, I could probably afford a nice house right now.

vinoestveritas3 karma

What was the first thing you did after you left JW that you weren't allowed to do in the faith?

ohmyjw9 karma

It's not like now I would go and do everything that was prohibited, but I did try some weed once when I had opportunity to. And recently I had my first birthday :).

dagadbm2 karma

So this is works Just like scientology ? Or worst?

ohmyjw4 karma

Hard to judge, it's probably on the same level of controlling your life and having potential to ruin it.

[deleted]1 karma


ohmyjw12 karma

I've put a brief bio of JWs in the OP. The founder was Charles Taze Russell. He started something called "Bible Students" movement. Then, when they grew it transformed to International Bible Students Association. Russell was regarded as the mouthpiece of God, he wrote many books which were regarded coming from the God himself. They even said that one can only read his "Studies in Scriptures" instead of the Bible and they will have more Bible knowledge than from reading the Bible alone.

When Russell died there was a first schism among them. A former lawyer, Joseph Rutherford, managed to secure the chair of society's president and held it for next dozen or so years. He transformed the movement almost completely. After about ten years he basically tossed all Russel's teachings to the bin and replaced them with his own. After him came another president, Nathan Knorr, who orchestrated the infamous 1975 campaign (JWs predicted that in this year the Kingdom of God will start to rule on earth). Then came Frederick Franz, and after him they actually formed what is now called a "Governing Body", so they no longer have one president, they have few of them (currently 7).

That's it, in a nutshell. I don't have any books that cover them in-depth at hand, but I will report back if I find some.