A Look at some Watchtower publications about baptism

After there was a schism in the American Bible Student Movement, the Judge Rutherford Group in the October 1, 1942, published an article entitled “Baptism” in the issue of The Watchtower, on pages 300 to 302, concluding with the following statements:

“Jesus sent forth his disciples with the instruction: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy [spirit] ; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28: 19,20) Therefore this water baptism toward you is performed in the name, that is. By the authority, of Jehovah God the Father and through Christ Jesus the Son, and with the spirit or holy power of God, which spirit of power is the commission of authority to do this. Hence, when you present yourself to the one baptizing in water, your baptism will be performed with this understanding and in the spirit of the Lord.

Before proceeding with your baptism it is proper, first, that you answer affirmatively these questions to show you are taking this step with the Scriptural understanding thereof and are fit for baptism as a devoted servant of the Lord, fully responsible to Him:

(1) Do you believe in Jehovah God the Father, that “salvation belongeth unto Jehovah”, and that Christ Jesus is his Son in whose blood your sins are washed away and by whom salvation comes to you from God’

(2) Have you therefore confessed your sins to God and asked for cleansing by Christ Jesus, and therefore turned away from sin and the world, and consecrated yourself without reservation to God to do his will?

Your answer, being Yes, is testimony that you are worthy and in line for water baptism in obedience to God’s Will.
(The Watchtower October 1, 1942 pg. 302)

From this we can see that the millenarian restorationist Christian denomination Jehovah’s Witnesses at that time considered the obedience to God the most important thing for joining their community and having a baptism for cleansing by Christ Jesus.

The European Bible Students and the first American Bible Students had made it clear that a baptism was not explicitly choosing for a church or denomination but choosing for becoming a member of the body of Christ. In 1943 the significance of baptism and all that it entails was also made clear by the Watchtower Bible Students from Judge Rutherford:

“It is clear, then, that, by water baptism, a creature is not joining any earthly or human organization. He is not joining the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (that is a legal corporation), nor joining Jehovah’s Witnesses (they are not incorporated and have no membership rolls). The creature is simply giving an outward sign, according to God’s commandment through Jesus Christ, and before witnesses, a sign of what has taken place in the heart, namely, unconditional and unreserved consecration to God through his Son.
(The Watchtower April 15, 1943 p. 124)

Because so many preachers in North America were baptising people into a church, in 1955 it was made once more clear, people should not be baptised into an organisation.

“A Christian therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of ANY ORGANIZATION, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit.”
(The Watchtower July 1, 1955 pg. 411 par. 15)

The questions were similar in 1956. The wording was slightly different but the important elements, Father. Son and Holy Spirit remained the same:

“(1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him the Father through his Son Jesus Christ?

21 (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightenment of the holy spirit?
(The Watchtower July 1, 1956 pg. 407 pars. 20-21)

In the year 1964 the view of C.T. Russell, (see previous article), regarding baptism was upheld:

“It may be that on some baptismal occasions in the past years specific questions that could be answered audibly were not asked of the baptismal candidates regarding their faith, obedience and dedication. Yet the failure of the speaker on baptism to pronounce such questions, and hence the failure of the baptismal candidates to answer audibly and affirmatively to such questions, do not undermine the validity of the baptism performed on such occasion. When receiving candidates for water immersion, Charles Taze Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (1884-1916), would put the following questions to such candidates:

“(1) Have you repented of sin with such restitution as you are able, and are you trusting in the merit of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins and the basis of your justification?

“(2) Have you made a full consecration of yourself with all the powers that you possess—talent, money, time influence—all to the Lord, to be used faithfully in His service, even unto death?”

After the candidates had answered affirmatively, he would say: “On the basis of these confessions, we acknowledge you as a member of the Household of Faith, and give to you as such the right hand of fellowship, not in the name of any sect or party or creed, but in the name of the Redeemer, our glorified Lord, and His faithful followers.”—See The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence as of May 15, 1913, page 159, column 2, under the heading “Broad Unsectarian Questions.”

Other baptismal speakers would follow this pattern with candidates for water immersion.
(The Watchtower February 15, 1964 p. 123)

“Jehovah is the giver of life. ‘For with you is the source of life.’ (Ps. 36:9) We cannot keep everlasting life in view without staying CLOSE TO JEHOVAH, the source of life … This is what we mean when we dedicate our lives to Jehovah. We DO NOT DEDICATE OURSELVES TO A RELIGION, nor to a man, nor to AN ORGANIZATION. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a VERY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US AND JEHOVAH. For this reason, all dedicated ones are not only privileged but obligated to draw near to Jehovah in prayer. James 4:8 tells us: ‘Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”
(The Watchtower October 1, 1966 pgs. 603, 604 paragraph 14, 15)

Six years later in 1970 the same basic formula is used:

“1) Have you recognized yourself as a sinner and needing salvation from Jehovah God? And have you acknowledged that this salvation proceeds from him and through his ransomer, Christ Jesus?

2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for redemption have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to Jehovah God, to do his will henceforth as that will is revealed to you through Christ Jesus and through God’s Word as his Holy Spirit makes it plain?
(The Watchtower May 15, 1970 pg. 309 paragraph 20)

The reasoning was made plain later that year:

“Christians must appreciate these facts. Their dedication is not to an organization nor to a work. Neither is it to a human or a government; it is only to the Creator himself, to Jehovah God, through Jesus Christ. Therefore, every command from his mouth is law to them and they know that they must live by it, just as Jesus said to the Devil: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matt. 4:4) If they do not live by it, it will be enforced against them. The spirit of God motivates them to love him and not to think that they can choose which of his laws they will obey and which they will disobey or ignore. It is the spirit of the world to try to “get by” with wrongdoing. The world’s spirit is that, if a person does not get caught, he has actually evaded the penalties of the law. As one commentator remarked, many people live by an eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt not get caught.”
(The Watchtower July 1, 1970 pg. 404 par. 13)


Baptism without mentioning the organization remained essentially the same in 1973:

“(1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ?

(2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?
(The Watchtower May 1, 1973 p. 280)

However a significant change was made in 1985:

“1) On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

2) Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in ASSOCIATION WITH GOD’S SPIRIT-DIRECTED ORGANIZATION?
(The Watchtower June 1, 1985 pg. 30 paragraphs 3 &4)

In order to prepare candidates for baptism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses their book Organized to do Jehovah’s Will stated:


Baptisms are usually held at assemblies and conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the conclusion of the baptism talk, the speaker will ask the baptism candidates to stand and answer the following two questions in a loud voice:

1. On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

2. Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

Affirmative answers to these questions constitute a “public declaration” by the baptism candidates that they have put faith in the ransom and have unreservedly dedicated themselves to Jehovah. (Rom. 10:9, 10) Baptism candidates will want to give prayerful thought to these questions in advance so that they can answer in harmony with their personal convictions.
(Organized to do Jehovah’s Will pg. 209 [2015 edition])

Here we come to see a big difference with the original idea of the Bible Students from Europe and of the Bible Students of the groups coming from C.T. Russell. Previous versions of this book [1972 & 1983] did not consider these two pre-baptism questions.

Thus in addition to the baptismal expressions commanded by Christ, in contradiction to previous statements made not only by C.T. Russell but also statements printed in the Watchtower, candidates are now baptized in association with an organization. Yet amazingly, the Watchtower issued statements assuring that a person’s dedication was made only to God himself:

“Whether young or old, undoubtedly a baptismal candidate wants to remain faithful to Jehovah. So why do some baptized Christians experience a spiritual relapse? Though various factors may be involved, there seems to be one fundamental cause — a failure to understand all that is meant by dedication. It is not a matter of dedicating ourselves to a work. That would keep us busy but would not make us spiritual persons. We need to remember that we are dedicated not to a work but to a Person—Jehovah God. This helps us to avoid the mistake of viewing our dedication as a perfunctory step we had to take before getting on with the work. Making a dedication should be viewed as entering into a vital relationship that must always be guarded and maintained. In this respect, we have the example of Jesus Christ. Expressing his heartfelt attitude when presenting himself to Jehovah are the prophetic words: “I have come . . . To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.”—Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-10.
(The Watchtower January 15, 1989 pg. 19 par. 17)

“As long as Jehovah has work for us to do amid this wicked world, then, following Jesus’ example, we want to be engaged in that work till it is finished. (John 17:4) Our dedication to Jehovah was not on the understanding that we would serve him for just a short time and then Armageddon would come. Our dedication was forever. God’s work for us will not end with Armageddon’s battle. However, it is only after we have accomplished the work that is to be done before Armageddon that we shall see the grand things to come beyond that great war. Then, in addition to the happy privilege of continuing to do his work, we will be rewarded with the long-hoped-for blessings that he promised.—Romans 8:32.
(The Watchtower November 1, 1991 pg. 12 par. 16)

“Dedication to God in prayer must precede baptism. (Compare Luke 3:21, 22.) Dedication means a setting apart for a sacred purpose. So important is this step that we should express to God in prayer our decision to give him exclusive devotion and serve him forever. (Deuteronomy 5:8, 9; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13) Of course, our dedication is not to a work but to God himself. That point was made clear at the funeral of the Watch Tower Society’s first president, Charles Taze Russell. On that occasion in 1916, the Society’s secretary-treasurer, W. E. Van Amburgh, said: “This great worldwide work is not the work of one person. It is far too great for that. It is God’s work and it changes not. God has used many servants in the past and He will doubtless use many in the future. Our consecration [dedication] is not to a man, or to a man’s work, but to do the will of God, as He shall reveal it unto us through His Word and providential leadings. God is still at the helm.” But what else must be done about dedication to God?
(The Watchtower March 15, 1992 pg. 17 par. 18)

“The baptism of Jesus’ followers must also be preceded by a wholehearted dedication to God. Dedication signifies a setting apart for a sacred purpose. This step is so important that we should express to Jehovah in prayer our decision to give him exclusive devotion forever. (Deuteronomy 5:9) Of course, our dedication is not to a work or to a human but to God himself.
(The Watchtower April 1, 2002 pgs. 12-13 par. 14)

Bible Students in general demand exclusive devotion to God and we might think that would also be the priority by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, opposite the many main churches who request devotion to their institution. For Bible Students the focus is the Word of God and the Work for and/or dedication to God. Only when there is given a sign of such aim to dedicate oneself to God baptism can be considered.

Concerning the schism group of the Bible Students, which grew rapidly, we may wonder why there was a need for a change in the questions, when they too considered a person’s dedication only to be to God. The April 15, 1987 Watchtower explains:

“Recently the two questions addressed to baptismal candidates were simplified so that candidates could answer with full comprehension of what is involved in coming into intimate relationship with God and his earthly organization.
(The Watchtower April 15, 1987 pg. 12)

For us Bible Students we are only a tool in God’s Hands. We consider ourselves not as  the only worthy “earthly organization of God”, in contrast what so many anti-Jehovah people may say. By the Jehovah’s Witnesses we can see a shift from the faithfulness to the bible and bible study into a fidelity to the American organization and its teachings presented in their frequent publications.

In their publications it was explained that the questions were simplified for the benefit of baptismal candidates. While it is true that the new questions contain less verbiage than formerly, an important and striking difference for the first time in the organization’s history appears. Whereas previously it was emphatically stated:

“We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organisation

Now it seem to have become important for baptismal candidates to understand that their baptism was going to bind them to what the WTBTS considered the only valuable earthly organisation of God, identifying them as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s Spirit directed organization.

A letter sent to all bodies of elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses in May 2019 directs clearly to the matter of being baptised into the organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The letter spoke about the questions which were adjusted again. Paragraph 3 of the letter reads:

“Baptism Questions: The two baptism questions that are reviewed with candidates at the time of their concluding discussion with the elders and that are included at the end of each baptism talk outline have been changed as follows:

(1) “Have you repented of your sins, dedicated yourself to Jehovah, and accepted his way of salvation through Jesus Christ?”

(2) “Do you understand that your baptism identifies you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with Jehovah’s organization?”

The new questions will be used starting with the baptism talks at assemblies and conventions beginning the week of May 13, 2019. Elders should update the two questions on page 209 in their copies of Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will.
(Announcements and Reminders May 2019)

We have come to know that this announcement was in the portion of the letter for elders only and not to be read to the congregation or posted on the information board. One has to wonder, if there is such an important need to change the baptism questions, why was the congregation not informed?

So, whereas in 1985 the questions were worded so that candidates could answer with full comprehension that their baptism was in association with an earthly organization, in 2019, contrary to Christ’s command the holy spirit is no longer mentioned.

Jw headquart.jpg
World headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Warwick, New York

Lots of anti-Jehovah people look at the present Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation, which  direct their members from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines and forget that there are tens of thousands of independent Jehovah’s Witnesses that have broken away from the Brooklyn and Pennsylvania Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization.  Several people who broke away from that organisation choose to do so because of that matter of that American Organisation presenting itself as human governmental authorities rather than God and Jesus Christ as formerly thought. Lots of anti-Jehovah people, like several Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves, do not know such shifting away form that group started already very early in its existence.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as Judge Rutherford, the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. He is the man behind the schism of Bible Students of America and the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses,

Already in 1917 a dispute developed within the leadership of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society following the death of society president Charles Taze Russell and election of legal counsel Joseph Franklin Rutherford as his successor. A later Watchtower described the outcome of the 1917 leadership dispute as the removal of

“a class of insubordinate ones who rebelled against the ways of the Lord” before Christ’s inspection and approval of the “faithful and discreet slave class” in 1918. {The Watchtower, June 1, 1931, page 169} + {The Faithful Slave Passes the Test!”, The Watchtower, March 1, 2004, pages 13-18.}

The True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses Association founded in Romania in 1992, for example, has no connection with the American organisation, though lots of anti-Jehovah people set them on the same line. It is a collective of groups adhering to earlier Jehovah’s Witness doctrine taught before 1960, and continuing with practices such as the regular use of God’s name (“Jehovah”), gathering together in annual conventions, performing the door to door ministry, immersion baptism, and the publication of a magazine.  They do have groups of supporters throughout Europe, Africa and Canada. Their International conventions have delegates from all over the world.  For them Jehovah God and Jesus Christ are “The Highest Powers”, before whom every soul is in debt to manifest absolute obedience, powers to whom Romans 13:1 refers. (Psalms 91:1; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13; Matthew 28:18; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Peter 3:22; Colossians 4:1).

For the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses the baptism is a symbol of their consecration before Jehovah God to do His will.

“Baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

Therefore they practice the baptism not at a tender age as most of the religions do, but, like Jesus Christ, at an age of maturity, when the consecrated one can decide and is sole responsible for his acts.

They say

To be baptized “In the name of The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit” means that the consecrated one must acknowledge Jehovah not only as the life Giver, but also as the Supreme One, to whom he owes obedience and service. He must acknowledge the role the Son has in Jehovah’s purpose and also to acknowledge the sacrifice of redemption for him. And last but not least, he must acknowledge the holy spirit as God’s active force that will help him to carry out his consecration and all the time to act according to it.

Only the immersion of the one who acknowledges all these truths is an adequate symbol of consecration. Only this is the scriptural baptism in water. However, the baptism is not enough to save us and guarantee eternal salvation.

The American Organisation does want the world to believe there are or have never been schisms in their organisation.

The Watchtower, November 1 (2009) p.19 article “Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Protestant Religion?” tells their followers

“…unlike the Protestant movement, which has splintered into hundreds of denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained a united global brotherhood. “

This is not telling the whole truth, like they also forget the many splitting groups before they fully became established under the name Jehovah’s Witness. Their so called “new lights” visions also brought certain people to leave the organisation. Though Witnesses are assured that the organization would never deviate from what is taught in scripture:

“What will help you to maintain a steadfast heart and thus live up to your dedication to God? With the purpose of taking in ever-increasing knowledge of God’s Word, read the Bible daily. This is something that “the faithful and discreet slave” constantly urges us to do. Such counsel is given because living up to our dedication requires that we keep on walking in God’s truth. If Jehovah’s organization knowingly endorsed false teachings, advice to read the Bible would never be given to Jehovah’s Witnesses and those to whom they preach.
(The Watchtower April 1, 2002 pgs. 18-19 par. 14)

Sincere Bible Students always ask their member to study the bible and take the Words for that Book of books as the guide and truth. People always should know that each human organisation has its own faults or weaknesses. The WBTS also knows that and wrote

“The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food.
(The Watchtower February 2017 study edition pg. 26 par. 12)

So if it is possible for the guidance to be faulty, one would think the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those to whom they preach are allowed to interpret the Bible for themselves and use it to test the organizations teachings. But when people question certain matters to them it looks they might give an other idea. Here is the society’s answer, showing how the American group may have come trapped in its own idea of “faithful slave”:

“Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?’
(The Watchtower November 2016 study edition pg. 16 par. 9)

Nowhere can be found proof that they would be the only “channel that Jesus is using today”. And why would they not speak about the “channel that Jehovah is using today”?

We must admit some food is given to anti Jehovah’s Witnesses people by the way that American organisation is avoiding certain questions and how the organisation wants to give those who question certain matters, the bad feeling, that they would not trust God His directives to the “faithful slave”. Taking a stand other than strict obedience would put one, according to the simplified questions, in breach of their baptism vow and result in judicial action being taken.

The first century apostles were faced with just such a situation.

“The entire Jewish nation had been dedicated to God, but Jehovah had rejected the Jews because they did not obey him. Saul believed that the Jews were still serving God in the right way, so he persecuted the Christians. But one day, the resurrected Jesus, who Saul thought was dead, personally spoke to Saul from heaven. How did Saul react? He gladly accepted help from the Christian disciple Ananias. The Bible says: “He then got up and was baptized.” (Acts 9:17, 18; Galatians 1:14) He later became known as the apostle Paul. Notice that as soon as he understood that God was using Jesus to accomplish His will, Saul got baptized without delay.—Read Acts 22:12-16.
(The Watchtower March 2018 study edition pg. 6 par. 10)

The apostle Paul was later accused, by members of that same dedicated nation, of teaching an apostasy against Moses. (Acts 21:21) Because the disciples were Jews, they were demanded by the Sanhedrin to stop speaking about Jesus. Their response was that they must obey God as ruler rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

In John chapter 9, Jesus healed a man blind from birth, yet because of his confessing Jesus as a prophet from God he was thrown out of the synagogue. It didn’t matter how many scriptures he used to reason logically with the religious leaders. As guardians of doctrine, they assumed the sole right to interpret the scriptures for the people. (John 9:34) What made all of this possible is that men viewed themselves as dedicated to a nation with its set of laws and traditions instead of to God.

What is sad and disturbing is that, like the fine print on a legal contract, most Witnesses are completely unaware of the changes made to the pre-baptism questions and what they imply, namely, that in part their dedication is to the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. {To Whom Are You Dedicated?}


For this article we were so free to a.o. make use of the article To Whom Are You Dedicated? by Preach From The Housetops.



From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name


Additional reading

  1. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way
  2. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming
  3. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ
  4. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  5. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  6. Get Your Wonderful Disease-proof Human Body
  7. To be prepared for the Day of Judgment
  8. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  9. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  10. June’s Survey – Baptism by immersion: Necessary for salvation?
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  12. United people under Christ
  13. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation
  14. Baptised sister not of higher status before God then an unbaptised young male?
  15. Uprooted Baptists their new idea of baptism
  16. A feast for the Word of God
  17. Determine the drive


Extra reading material

  1. What Does it mean to be Baptized into Christ?
  2. Who are the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why did they break away from Bethel?
  3. Lay down your burden
  4. Bible Student Baptism Service – How Different from a JW Baptism Service
  5. The truth on baptism
  6. Justin Martyr reveals what the Early Church believed about the Sacraments
  7. Where now for honest hearted Christians?
  8. A different kind of vow renewal…
  9. Guest Post: Baptism – To be Immersed or not Immersed
  10. My History as a Jehovah’s Witness
  11. My Childhood of Lies: A Woman’s Tale of Being Raised in a Cult
  12. Take your cult and get out of my life.
  13. The Myth of 1914
  14. JW
  15. Are there differences between Jehovah’s Witnesses and True Christianity?
  16. Certified Teacher of Mindful Living

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.