With God's help, black people can turn white

With God's help, black people can turn white December 29, 2008

WHEN we reported recently on pastor Ted Haggard’s failure to bag the holy grail of heterosexuality, we commented:

People who are naturally homosexual cannot change their sexual orientation, any more than a white person can turn black. Evangelicals should take this fact on board, and instead of concentrating so much of their efforts on ‘curing’ gays, they should find themselves another hobby. They may have better success turning alligators into aardvarks.

This prompted regular visitor to this site – Robert Stovold – to point out that the Jehovah’s Witnesses once believed that, with God’s help, black people could change their skin colour to white.
They may still harbour this dotty belief, for all we know.
In a copy of the Watchtower (dated 1/10/1900), the magazine recounted the case of the Rev Draper thus:

From Black to White He Slowly Turned … Rev William H Draper .. gave a living affirmative answer to the famous Biblical question, ‘Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?’ Though once as black as charcoal, the Rev Mr Draper is now white. His people say that his color was changed in answer to prayer. Many years ago Draper was employed by a fair-skinned man, and he was often heard to remark that if he could only be white like his employer, he would be happy.
While in the white man’s service Draper ‘experienced’ religion. From that day forward he prayed constantly and fervently that he might become white … He first experienced a prickling sensation on his face, and upon close investigation found a number of small white spots scarcely larger than the point of a pin. He became alarmed, thinking he had some peculiar disease but he did not suffer and aside from the prickling sensation felt nothing unusual. Gradually the white spots became larger and extended themselves, until now, after the change has been in progress for over 30 years, Draper has not a single dark spot on his body.

Here’s another example, from the Watchtower of 15/2/1904:

TV anchorman Lee is a victim of vitiligo
TV anchorman Lee Thomas is a victim of vitiligo

Can The Ethiopian Change His skin color? No. But … what the Ethiopian cannot do for himself God could readily do for him. The difference between the races of men … have long been arguments against the solidarity of the human family. The doctrine of restitution has also raised the question. How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was the original? The answer is now provided. God can change the Ethiopian’s skin in his own due time … Julius Jackson, of New Frankfort, Montana, a negro boy of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-tenths white. He assures us that this is no whitish skin disease; but that the new white skin is as healthy as that of any white boy, and that the changed boy has never been sick and never has taken medicines.

For more examples of quack healthcare Jehovah’s Witness-style, see here:
NOTE: The photograph used to illustrate this post is of Lee Thomas, a Fox TV anchor man who, in 2007, said:

I’m a black man turning white on television and people can see it. If you’ve watched me over the years, you’ve seen my hands completely change from brown to white.

Thomas has vitiligo, a disorder in which pigment-making cells are destroyed. White patches appear on different parts of the body, tissues in the mouth and nose, and the retina.

There is no cause. There is no cure, and it’s very random. I could turn all the way white or mostly white.

According to this report:

As many as 65 million people worldwide have the disorder, including up to 2 million in the United States.

We’re willing to bet that none of them are thanking the Almighty  for their disfiguring condition.

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  • Do you really think a 100 year old quote (assuming it is accurate) proves anything? Look at the daily newspaper from 100 years ago. Much will seem nonsensical from today’s point of view.

  • newspaniard

    And I thought Michael J. had paid for the skin job… Sorry Mike, my ignorance showed (again).

  • Dave McKeegan

    Tom Sheepandgoats wrote:
    Do you really think a 100 year old quote (assuming it is accurate) proves anything?
    Of course. It proves that 100 years ago Jehovahs Witnesses believed that god turned a black man into a white man on at least two occasions.

  • Michael

    I Really think you need to take this Very Seriously —
    As Newsspaniard has sugested it worked for Michael Jacksion what more evidence do you need !

  • valdemar

    This is a very valuable contribution. It shows that religion, which always claims to offer us eternal, unchanging moral truths, actually changes over time to suit secular values. Race – especially among fringe cults like this one – is the classic example, but we’ll see the same shift over sexuality, in time.

  • Mike

    Maybe they will be praying for this to happen to Obama.

  • Valdemar:
    It shows that religion, which always claims to offer us eternal, unchanging moral truths, actually changes over time to suit secular values.
    No. But close.
    We view the Bible as citizens here (U.S.) view the Constitution. Using your words, one might say the Constitution contains “eternal, unchanging” principles (truths, if you will) for how this country is to be governed. But time does not stand still; there must be some agency to adapt it to modern life. All three branches of government play a part, but it is the Supreme Court in particular that fulfills this role.
    So, in our case (Jehovah’s Witnesses) we have a Bible which roughly assumes the place of a Constitution and a human governing body, which roughly assumes the place of a Supreme Court.
    Now, the skin-changing article mentioned earlier is 100 years old. Society today deems it silly, but in the context of that time, it was not. It seems a cheap shot to take absurd statements totally out of their own context and think you’ve discerned anything substantial. Too, if you have to go back 100 years to dig up dirt, there can’t be that much dirt to dig up.

  • “We have a Bible which roughly assumes the place of a Constitution and a human governing body, which roughly assumes the place of a Supreme Court”.
    Your Bible has changed over time (you used to use the King James version, now you rely upon your own translation, the “New World Translation”) and your doctrines have changed too – which is all that Valdemar was implying. If a religion can’t be judged by its scriptures or by its teachings, what’s left?
    Remind me Tom, how many times have Jehovah’s Witnmesses incorrectly predicted the end of the world?
    Zion’s Wt, 1/15/1892, pg 1355, reprint .. “battle” is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914.
    The Time is at Hand, 1908, pg 101 ….the “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev.16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.
    The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg 398, 399, 485 …. ……..the people who are the strength of Christendom shall be cut off in the brief but terribly eventful period beginning in 1918 A.D. A third part are “burned with fire in the mist of the city.” …..After 1918 the people supporting churchianity will cease to be its, supporters, be destroyed as adherents,…Also in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by the millions….
    Vindication 1, 1931, pg 146, 338, 339 ….. ….years 1914,1918 and 1925 ….. they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on certain dates….
    Informant, May 1940 The year 1940 is certain to be the most important year yet because Armageddon is very near.
    Wt, 9/15/1941, pg 288 …in the remaining months before Armageddon.
    Wt, 5/1/1968, pg 273 Chart of dates 1975 end of 6th 1000-year day…2975 end of 7th 1000-year day….
    Aw, 1/22/1969, pg 16 Other Bible prophecies clearly foretell God’s purpose to bring this wicked system to an end in a few years.
    Aw, 5/22/1969, pg 15 If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. …..all evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. ….as a young person you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone!
    Wt, 10/15/1969, pg 622, 623 ….seventh millennium from man’s creation by Jehovah God would begin in less than ten years.
    The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah, 1971, pg 216 Shortly, within our twentieth century, the “battle in the day if Jehovah” will begin against modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom.
    Wt, 1/1/1989, pg 12 The apostle Paul was spearheading the Christian missionary activity. He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century. (This quote was later changed in the WT bound volume to: He was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our day.)
    In 1995 the generation of 1914 that would not pass away has changed to a contemporary generation.
    For more information, see here
    and here

  • Dave:
    Further feedback from the question you posed the other day to me on my blog:

  • Oops. Scratch that. The reference should be:

  • Thanks, Tom. Having read your note to scientist, am I right to deduce that your answer to my question ‘By what process of reasoning did you arrive at the conclusion that the Bible is the infallible word of God?’ goes something like this: you find the answers the Bible provides to such questions as ‘Why do we grow old?’ to be personally satisfying?

  • Dave: No. As I addressed your question on my own blog, it is the accumulation of many factors, that being one of them.
    Robert: For crying out loud, lighten up some, will you. At most, it’s like misreading a bus schedule. It leaves egg on your face. It doesn’t make you a fraud or a liar. In our lifetime, it’s happened once (in 1975).

  • Tom, would you mind distilling those factors into a few bullet points? There’s a lot of reading in those links, and most of it does is not directly relevant to the question.
    Something like this:
    “I believe the Bible is the infallible word of God because:
    1) I find the answers it provides to certain questions to be personally satisfying
    … etc”
    Thanks in advance!

  • It’s a reasonable request, respectfully submitted, which I appreciate. Still, I will only partly comply. I’m not sure what will be the point other than to set the stage for a very long debate. I’m not really a debating type guy. When I comment on another’s blog, it is just to give a contrasting viewpoint. When I write my own posts, I like to use current events and add a spiritual dimension to them.
    Not that I haven’t entered debates. On the contrary, I’ve entered quite a few of them, both with atheists and religionists….the trinitarian hellfire kind. They take forever and rarely go anywhere. One of the links I gave you is such a discussion with a fellow named Ragoth. It has taken forever and it hasn’t gone anywhere, and is just winding down…or appears to be.
    Still, I don’t want to be entirely uncooperative. The post I just put up should go a long ways toward meeting your request:
    It’s been in the hopper for some time, and the gist of it is somewhere in the aforementioned Ragoth discussion (I think): http://tinyurl.com/8j9opb

  • john

    Unfortunately, you can see how easy people are to believe something as obscured as this article.
    and surprisingly enough, no one has seem to make mention…
    That Jehovah Witnesses, were not even established until late 1914. The Watchtower was yet to be made.

  • John,
    You claim that “Jehovah Witnesses, were not even established until late 1914”. Your statement contradicts the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own site, which says “THE modern history of Jehovah’s Witnesses began more than a hundred years ago”.
    “More than 100 years ago”, in case your maths is a bit flakey, means pre-1909. Which means pre-1914. And that’s when the modern history began (the phrase “modern history” implies an ancient history stretching back even further than that).
    The name of the movement and its publications have changed over time, but the official website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses clearly traces the origins of the movement back to before 1914:
    “THE modern history of Jehovah’s Witnesses began more than a hundred years ago. In the early 1870’s, a rather inconspicuous Bible study group began in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is now a part of Pittsburgh. Charles Taze Russell was the prime mover of the group. In July 1879, the first issue of the magazine Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence appeared.”
    “The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times has been filled with dramatic events. From the one small Bible study in Pennsylvania back in 1870, the Witnesses by the year 2000 grew to some 90,000 congregations worldwide.”
    If you’re really bothered about names, you’re still wrong, because according the Wikipedia article, the term “Jehovah’s Witness” wasn’t formerly adopted by the movement until 1931:
    “On July 26, 1931, the name Jehovah’s Witnesses was adopted by resolution at a convention in Columbus, Ohio”
    You claim that “no one has seem[sic] to make mention” that the Watchtower wasn’t around before 1914”.
    However, had you read the source article to which Barry linked with more concern for precision and less concern for revision, you would have found the following information in the References section:
    “WTWR – The Watchtower, Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom (includes Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (July 1879 – December 15 1907) and The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (January 1 1908 – February 15 1939; ‘Watch Tower’ made into one word on October 15 1931, ‘Presence’ replaced by ‘Kingdom’ January 1 1939)) periodical”.
    To cut a long story short,
    a) you’re wrong
    b) your objections on the basis of what things are called is irrelevant to the main point at issue, namely that your organisation has consistently got it wrong big time.
    Incorrect, irrelevant and logically flawed. Your stance encapsulates religion in a nutshell. Or should I say “nutcase”?

  • Geez, Robert, go easy on John, will you? He was wrong on that point. So? I don’t see why you have to put him through the shedder.
    Plus, I doubt he’s one of Jehovah’s Witnesses anyway, which you seem to assume. It’s not likely a JW would make a mistatement on that point. We all know when the movement started.

  • Dave, who is this guy, anyway?

  • Nafees

    There are many other options like skin bleach ans other cosmetic options for skin whitening.
    vitiligo is not a better way for this purpose.
    It is fairly chronic skin condition. Affects hardly the emotions and social contacts of its sufferer.

  • Ham Bone

    In the scriptures, an apostle fearful of offending Jewish Christains didn't associate with non Jewish Christians and was rebuked by Paul in public. So on various occasions in the scriptures Christians have had wrong ideas, were corrected they left them behind. So If some Witnesses did have this idea it is not so unusual given that it reportedly is in 1900. The important thing is that such thinking be dropped, which they did.

  • Claudia

    If there is a cure or was for being gay you would reject it anyway.
    You would say the same crap. even if it were proven to be a birth defect you would insult me … call me a bigot…etc… You would say that same stuff you are saying. Why should I change? Well Most people are not born that way which means that it is not normal. There would be no world if it were normal. God made a woman for Adam not a man. That is why we are here. God said it was a sin, not in being gay but acting on it. So you are angry at him and don’t understand. Did you ever stop to think that Jesus was flesh and knows how we feel. He did not marry therefore never had sex, since he did not sin. I think he had desires but looked at the bigger picture. Maybe he even liked men that is why he did not marry. To prove you don’t have to sin. Everyone has something that can try to blame on God,but I would not advise it. I have sinned, everyone does. Heaven is for everyone who wants it. You/me need to get rid of pride and repent and TRY your best to please him, that is the only way to heaven. Hope to see you there.

  • sandrah

    who in the hell wants to be white!

  • PuReWebDev

    Being a whiteman, may have had it’s advantages 50 years ago, however, that has all changed. I find myself attracting more women, and being very socially acceptable as a black male.
    This website might be the only place where like minded idiots can congregate to share in their ignorance, where as if you started talking all this hateful content from the website in the streets, you’d quickly be relieved of your front teeth, wallet and more.
    You faggots can keep your craptastic website. Peace bitches!!

  • Christopher J Wyatt

    Hello, the fact is god doesn’t care about you, the only people who care about you are your family, your friends and yourself.
    I don’t care if you are black or white, I’ll point out i am a white man but i wouldn’t care if i was black, the fact is people who say it is god who makes their skin colour change are idiot’s.
    I have black friends and white friends, i hate more white people then i do black people, but we are all people, this is what a small proportion of people don’t seem to understand.
    I hope all the white racist’s in the world get killed by white people and i hope all the black racists get killed my black people, maybe this will show you there are evil people on both sides of story and there are also good people on both sides of the story.
    P.S if you are a racist i hope you get this condition and change white to black or black to white so you can live in the body of someone you hate for no good reason.

  • Rick

    Man you Jehovah Witnesses are completely, ignorant and epic failures in life. True and Pure Racists. It snot your faults. 2011 is the year of the Virgo and Taurus.
    (11) Which Symbolizes [Revolution] as well as those astrological signs themselves. And Guess what “Good Ol’ BOYS”?
    Yes that’s right, The Big 2012AD will be a big year. But only because its the year of the Aquarius. The Cleansing of the Earth through the Waters of the ABSOLUTE Aquarius, God.
    Moreover don’t be scared by what I say. Its only ABSOLUTE truth and you all will argue me down. But I have nothing else to say. For those here who know these things are either scared that us Black people are aware! And our Knowledge will increase even more in 2011 Three times in a Year. So that means events that would take 50-75 years to happen WILL occur in one year.
    And you also know that “2012” is the exact date wen the 6,500 years of the Lunar phase of The World is Over and the Solar Phase begins for another 6,500 hundred years.
    You Racists can call it “Global Warming” blah BLAH BLAH!! But those here that are still shocked at reading that this Black man and Most of us know these things know that It will get so hot in the year of the Aquarius, that the pale, mutated “fish people”, or “man[kind], or “white person” ill have to go back into the caves where, this beings skin was so pale it was almost translucent. And THUS, Thus Our reign begins again.
    But if you do have a relationship with God and are not of Iniquity and full of Hate like so so many people in General. Then the GIFTS from Heaven- Asteroids, Meteors and such won’t destroy, no matter your Rae, ethnicity or what have you. Because Go Loves all.
    My Goal in saying all this is to say that all this Hate stuff Why? Grab a hold of a Life. Get a Life!!!!
    Have a nice night. Ignorant pieces of Vomit and manure.