Eric on Monday April 13th, 2015
Undercover video of yet another spiritual execution

Undercover video of yet another spiritual execution

As many of you that visit this site know, the Jehovah’s Witness religion does not allow people to have freedom of thought and belief. If a person changes their viewpoint and questions the JW hierarchy and leadership then they will be sanctioned. If a member adopts an “unacceptable” opinion or conviction and dares to speak of it, then the local religious leaders (called Elders) will come after them, using an iron fist in a velvet glove to bring them back in line. If that fails, then they will cut the person off and ostracize them before everyone, announcing them from a public pulpit as a satanic person, not fit for anyone in their club to associate with ever again.

And so now, for only the second time in the history of the Internet (that I know of!) we have a front row seat and a live video recording of another “Apostasy Trial” put on by the Jehovah’s Witness religion. This two-hour meeting revolves around a man named Isaac. His so-called sin is speaking out about the flaws and contradictions he has discovered through studious research into the religion of his birth. He is summoned to stand before a puritanical committee of three JW clergymen, without representation and without friends or witnesses to speak up in his behalf.

The Watchtower Corporation that controls this pseudo-religion does not want a stenographer, nor a camera, nor any other witnesses to this kangaroo court proceeding. They want no public record of what goes on. These three men act as judge, jury, and executioner and hold his “everlasting life” in their hands. If found guilty, then he will be spiritually executed and stoned for his “disobedient, rebellious acts” against the Watchtower organization’s strict dogma.

Rating 4.67 out of 5
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Eric on Saturday February 7th, 2015

GoFundMe_cover-picIt was a long two years after initially leaving the Jehovah’s Witness religion. My JW wife kicked me out of the house because she felt I was a “spiritual danger”, giving me just two days notice to gather up what items I could and squeeze them into the back of my four door sedan. I had nowhere to go and lost almost 20 pounds over the next couple months. Then within six months of this happening, and with a bitter divorce trial plodding along slowly and painfully, I received a call one afternoon as I trekked up a tall hill on my bicycle to clear my head.

“We would like to meet with you, in a spirit of LOVE” was the faux-invitation being extended to me by a young elder I had mentored just a year before when he was appointed. Of course it was not a real invitation, as they would proceed with their kangaroo court proceeding whether I was there or not. I decided to attend and “let my light shine.” (Matthew 5:16, HCSB) You can read about and watch what happened here: http://www.jwstruggle.com/2012/09/apostasy-trial-first-video/

As my divorce trial dragged on, it came down to the final court date, which was just one week after my judicial committee meeting where they told me I was to be disfellowshipped and shunned for the “crime” of apostasy. My lawyer explained that I would be put on the stand for several hours, possibly an entire day. The very thought made me break out in a sweat. What could the attack-dog lawyer hired by my soon to be ex-wife possibly ask me that could take that long?

Rating 3.88 out of 5
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Eric on Saturday December 27th, 2014
freedom
Two Years After Fading – A small introduction 
 

Hey guys I wanted to give everyone an update on my current status and share my experiences and observations. It has been just a little over two years since I faded and I have to admit that it’s been a great and interesting time in my life. In case you have not read my previous article you can find it here on this site it is titled “If we leave the organization, does Jehovah leave us?”. In summary I grew up as a JW my parents have been witnesses since their early twenties (they are sixty now) and I have had good and bad experiences as a JW. I was inactive for some time then came back and became a ministerial servant and decided to fade not only because I was already learning The Truth About The “Truth” but because I was tired of it all, the backstabbing the fakeness the politics the hypocrisy and the list goes on. I had to do it for my own sanity and sake it had gotten to the point where I was drinking almost every day even after the meetings I would go to the bar in my suit or the liquor store and I was taking antidepressants on top of that I got cancer and the elders asked me to step down as a MS because of my meeting attendance and a few run ins with some elders after that.

My current social life and running into old friends

Before I go on, I want to make it clear to everyone out there, I was not reproved nor disfellowshipped! I did not leave because I wanted to sin and etc. I did it for my health, physical mental and spiritual. Since leaving I am no longer drinking heavily, I am not on anti depressants and I am 130 lbs lighter. Spend a lot of time with family friends and my girlfriend whom I love very much and has been very understanding and decided to stick with me through all of this and I can never repay her for that. I am sure before she always dreamed of being a good jw wife with an elder for a husband and her as a regular pioneer and etc. ( you know the whole JW thing) but I think she feels less stress ( you know the JW life thing LOL) among other things I notice without mentioning it to her and I also want to point out that as of this moment I am writing this we are not “living in sin”, not that it’s any of your business but then again you don’t know me or my real name so why not share that especially for those curious active JW’s out there thinking all of us ex JW’s want to live a crazy immoral life and that is why we leave.
Spending time with family, my immediate family has become inactive except for my mother and I and my younger brother take turns at taking her to the meetings I have stayed with her 3 times and taken a nice nap, the good thing is that she now goes to an English congregation and everyone is very nice and don’t ask questions and leave me (and the rest of my family) alone pretty much so I like that. I do want to point out it has made her very sad that we do not go but she gets happy when I have gone with her, I also wonder if me finally telling everyone how I feel has something to do with it, I think most people who leave eventually do so because they are tired of it all as well and don’t want to waste any more of their time keeping up appearances, I also think they see the positive changes in my life and I am still here I am still the same old me just happier and less stressed. Even before I faded I had already started making friends and reconnecting with old friends from school and work and ex JW’s and family and pretty much those are the people I hang out with or talk to often and when I am not doing that I am with my family and girlfriend just doing what I think normal people do. I go to eat dinners and events and trips and all kinds of fun stuff in small or large groups without the fear of anyone telling on me or being judge mental about what I am doing ( I choose my company wisely) and knowing that they like me for the real me..for the first time in a long time I feel like I am being true to myself. I am not afraid of keeping up appearances nor looking over my shoulder hoping no one has seen what I am doing(not that I am up to no good but in with JW’s you just never knew what people would think or say or if they would tell). I see JW’s that I know from time to time and I would say about a third still come to me and say hi, I don’t know if they are aware I no longer go to the meetings or not but at least they don’t know I am an “evil apostate”. The others I am not sure why they don’t even bother giving me a glance but then again I really don’t care it just shows the kind of person they are. Like I said in my previous article there are some very sincere kind and loving people in the organization whom I have a lot of love for and care for dearly, and then there are those people whose love is conditional ( in other words fake ). But its totally fine with me as long as nobody is bothering me I don’t bother with them…or maybe I just look very different now that I lost weight…who knows?!

Remnants of my past life

And for the record im still not big on holidays it’s not only a remnant of my jw life but its all about money and etc. but don’t get me wrong I have celebrated my birthday and exchanged gifts for Christmas and I love NYE and Halloween.

birthday!

Rating 4.13 out of 5
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Feedback

Asking for advice and feedback after leaving a controlling religion is normal- and healthy!

Former Jehovah’s Witnesses- Are you asking Questions? Do you need advice?

When we leave a controlling group we go through a process of self-discovery and enlightenment. It takes time. We move forward with our lives and establish our own belief system, new paradigms, and traditions in our own way.

Folks contact me asking for advice fairly often. Many want to vent and tell their story and that is a healthy thing to do. First off, there is nothing wrong with asking for advice or ideas or seeking a listening ear! It can be very therapeutic and if you feel like contacting me or any of the other great folks in the exJW community you should not be afraid or hesitate.

Rating 3.80 out of 5
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Eric on Saturday September 27th, 2014
1 yr and 2 yr anniversaries for Mike and Kim and Eric!

1 yr and 2 yr anniversaries for Mike and Kim and Eric!

Hello my fellow JWStrugglers! This is a quick update to let you know what has been happening with me lately. I have decided to try putting my new videos on Vimeo, a really cool video channel that is in many ways WAY better than the big boy on the block, YouTube. No advertisements, less restrictions, and really good quality. Click here to watch:
https://vimeo.com/107339497

Here are the comments from the new video:

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Rating 4.40 out of 5
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Eric on Sunday April 6th, 2014
arc

We can reach ever-higher peaks and plateaus after leaving the cult of Watchtower!

It’s been a few months since I’ve written a new post here. I started the blog in September of 2010 while I was in the midst of a spiritual crisis and had only recently learned The Truth About The Truth. (TTATT) I wrote something nearly every day for quite a while. I felt that I needed to do it. I had to get it off my chest and figure it all out!1 But now nearly four years later some three months have passed and nothing new has been published on the blog until today. Be assured I am doing well and am not laying in a ditch somewhere. In fact I’m doing better all the time; so much so that I am following the crazy world of Watchtower less and less these days. I no longer compulsively download and skim all the Watchtower Magazines off their official website JW.org. Nor can I even hope keep up anymore with the amazing array of videos found on YouTube and Vimeo about the Jehovah’s Witness religion and the impressions of the thousands of disillusioned members. That’s part of the arc that many of us that escape cult-like groups travel; there’s nothing wrong with a declining interest in the religion we have escaped, rather it is a sign of a healthy recovery. A psychologist gave a lecture at my place of work a couple months ago and he talked about cognitive dissonance, a term that many of us are quite familiar with. After his lecture I told him a brief version of my story, and he was quite positive in his comments. As a parting word he reminded me that its “only been a few years” since I got out of a high control group and that I needed to continue to work on deprogramming myself. This was good advice in my mind and I appreciated the admonition to keep working on my clarity and critical thinking.

Before I go on I would like to talk about what I mean when I say “Follow Your Arc”. It is a phrase that I used quite a while ago here on the blog and also in an online video on this topic.2 It is not an often used expression in fact after doing several internet searches I found that it can’t really be found as a commonly used phrase at all. Perhaps it is because our situation is so unique in how we have escaped a mind-controlling cult. At any rate “following your arc” to me means that we all have a natural progression and evolution to our minds when it pertains to emotional and spiritual maturity. This path is not necessarily a straight line, but it is also not a meandering, backwards-traveling journey either. The definition or the word “arc” is helpful to describe this:

Rating 4.42 out of 5
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Eric on Monday January 13th, 2014
Escaping WT!

A leap out of the Watchtower grip can be hard but it is worth the effort!


A friend of mine recently wrote this thoughtful update on his life1 and where he is at now that ten years has passed since he moved away and faded from the Witnesses. His mentally unstable JW ex-wife tried to get him DFed and sent out the elders to pursue him but they were unsuccessful. I know this man personally and can say he is a friendly, caring, generous person. Like anyone, we have variations in viewpoint and how we see God, but that’s what makes the world and the billions of lovely people in it so amazing. So anyway, here is how he is getting along in his own words:2

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10 years ago I stopped attending Jehovah’s Witness meetings for good. Walked out of the kingdom hall cold turkey never to return based on injustices I observed among others and myself at the hands of elders giving out not God’s counsel but personal opinions as counsel. Some of them weren’t even giving out WT Society counsel- just personal opinions. This alleged “counsel” destroys lives if followed, breaks up families, and the stress from having to live up to “perfect” expectations can drive Witnesses around the bend mentally, emotionally, and physically. Many like myself – at one time or another reach our “breaking point” where we just cannot take the micromanagement of our personal lives anymore. I reached that point at age 44 over 10 years ago after having been born and raised in the JW cult for 44 years.

It wasn’t until AFTER exiting the Jehovah’s Witness organization that I started learning how insane, destructive, and criminal this organization REALLY was as I was under “information control” not allowed to be exposed to outside information to educate my mind and be informed so as to have a fuller, clearer picture of how myself and other JWs were SO deceived and manipulated. These are a few of the points I thought I’d share that I discovered so perhaps newly exiting Witnesses hoping to have freedom of mind will perhaps feel LESS guilt or fear in starting a new life after leaving the Witnesses and WT Society organization.

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The thing that puzzled me being raised up a JW was always being told how “special” we were as Witnesses. Phrases were used to control our thinking like “you are a people for special possession” or we were such “privileged people” when compared to allegedly “worldly people” whom Jehovah would destroy at Armageddon because they were “sinful” and not in the Jehovah’s Witness organization. In my opinion I feel that this is one of the main reasons Jehovah’s Witnesses have such an ELITIST attitude about themselves being better than non-Witnesses due to the fact that this “privileged people” thinking is pushed so hard into their psyche by WT leaders and writers from the moment they start reading JW material or listening to talks at kingdom halls. And the ironic thing is that JWs are ONLY considered “special” to Watchtower Society leaders interests based on how much they attend meetings or donate contributions to WT Society interests. In reality- in the REAL world JWs are no more special than ANYBODY else on the planet – except in their own eyes THEY feel more worthy than non-Witnesses. Once a Jehovah’s Witness sees the WT Society for what they are (a money making corporate business disguised as a religion) and exits the religion- they no longer remain a “special person” to ANY former JWs they knew. Including WT leaders. They become expendable.

Rating 4.31 out of 5
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Eric on Thursday January 2nd, 2014
banned-books

Watchtower’s list of banned books never stops growing…

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Why is it that there are so many books written about and by former Jehovah’s Witnesses and their religious practices floating around on the internet? A check on Amazon or any internet search engine will yield literally hundreds of them. I am particularly interested too in why so many former members feel compelled to write about their experiences and ordeal in leaving the Watchtower Organization?
Over the last few years I have accumulated over a dozen different books of this kind, and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Here are just some of them:
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• Ray Franz, Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom
• Nancy Sage, Going Undercover to Rescue My Daughter from the Cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses
• Ron Frye, My Christian Quest
• Richard Kelly, Growing Up in Mama’s Club and The Ghosts of Mama’s Club
• Brock Talon, Journey To God’s House
• Mark H. Miller, Nazarene Prophecies
• Steve Hassan, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs
• Wilbur Lingle, Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love: How to Witness Effectively Without Arguing
• William J. Schnell , 30 Years a Watchtower Slave: The Confessions of a Converted Jehovah’s Witness
• Don Cameron, Captives of a Concept (Anatomy of an Illusion)
• Edmond C. Gruss, The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society
• James Zimmerman, Deliverance at Hand! The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness
• Dan Hall, The Armageddon Cult1

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undercover-book

Going Undercover to Rescue My Daughter from the Cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses


A book I’ve recently finished and the second book in my list is, “Going Undercover to Rescue My Daughter from the Cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. 2

Mrs. Nancy Sage (the author) was kind enough to send me a copy, and I am very glad that she did. As I began to read I stopped, got out a pad of paper and began to actually jot down notes. I felt compelled to share more about it with you as it is quite a story. Mrs. Sage tells the harrowing account of how she and her family escaped the Witness mindset and cult-culture, and then went back inside ten years later to rescue her adult daughter. Yes you heard that right. She went back in, became a “JW” again, to rescue her beloved child.
The book is written in a very readable and sincere way. The most unique aspect of course is the fact that she got reinstated and spent some two years helping and ultimately saving her daughter Gloria from the cult of Watchtower and her abusive JW elder husband who was also a pedophile. 3

Rating 4.41 out of 5
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Eric on Saturday November 16th, 2013
boy is baptized into JWs

Children as young as 8 years old are being recruited into the JWs and WT acknowledges that it is a risk to them.

Baptism is a risk! That’s what the Watchtower of June 15, 2011 page 5 says. (This article can be found on the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses at JW.org) You may be surprised at such an admission, but it is there for all to see when you read between the lines, and the ramifications of such a statement are chilling when analyzed. I thought it was worth breaking down and disassembling what this means in the light of critical thinking, something that is sorely lacking among most Jehovah’s Witnesses unfortunately. I made a video on my YouTube channel about it to accompany this article.1

You may have noticed that the writers of JW.org and other Watchtower literature and policies are expert spin doctors at implying things without ever actually saying them. Propagandists, demagogues, and professional symbol manipulators excel at the art of implying something without ever coming out and actually saying it. Communist governments are especially good at spreading propaganda this way so as to exercise influence and control upon the people they rule over. Watchtower leaders have imitated their methods (consciously or unconsciously) it seems.

Rating 4.45 out of 5
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Eric on Friday October 18th, 2013

Once a hunt for your scalp has started, certain bloodhound elders rarely let up until the kill.

Once a hunt for your scalp has been started, some bloodhound JW elders will rarely let up until they feel the congregation has been cleansed.

This story is quite remarkable and no doubt many will appreciate it being told. It is telling for several reasons; it highlights the fact that the Watchtower Organization can expel and marginalize anyone for literally anything if they are crossed. They did that to Ray Franz back in the early 1980s and they recently have done it to these fine folks. There are six pieces of documentation1 in the account and it is in some ways “a complicated mess”, but it really boils down to a couple of active Witnesses informing on someone to the elders. Once the accusations are made, the Kingdom Hall gossip-mill and then even the Watchtower machinery begins to turn. If you do not play ball then they can simply call three strikes and you will be put out.

When I mentioned to a former longtime elder that I was working on this story (initially for YouTube2

Rating 4.19 out of 5
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page210_webI recently completed a new YouTube video about the terrible state of affairs that thousands of grandparents have found themselves in after they stop serving the Watchtower Organization and it’s Eight-man “Slave Class”. The description and the link is below:

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A heartbreaking situation is played out every day for many grandparents that are former Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons: Their precious grandchildren grow up without knowing them, and in some cases the little ones are told that their Grandma or Grandpa hates God and is serving Satan and will be killed at Armageddon.

Why would such a terrible thing be done? It is because of the Mormon Church and Watchtower Society’s harsh shunning policies. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses have used this terrible doctrine as a weapon against their own parents and it is a tragedy and a horrible loss for all sides. Once a person is indoctrinated into a cult, they will even turn on their own family members and this is one example of it in action.

Rating 4.23 out of 5
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Eric on Monday October 7th, 2013

My escape from Watchtower bondage was a little over one year ago!

My escape from Watchtower bondage was a little over one year ago!

I had intended on posting this on the one year anniversary of my judicial committee meeting with the Jehovah’s Witness elders on September 5, 2012. But I’m late! It is October 7, 2013 and only now has the article been finished. Why is that? Well it is because I had a very lengthy transcription to complete, and just now it is done. It took me several weeks to accomplish this task, one that many people have been asking me to do for months. That’s right- the entire conversation the four of us had during my three hour judicial committee meeting has been typed up. It is about 29,000 words, some 79 typed pages.
What finally got me moving was an awakened brother from Brazil who messaged me and said,

“I just want to thank you for your courage to record your judicial committee. That was really shocking to see how they treated you. My wife also wants to thank you because, as she said, we would never believe this story if someone just told us. Thank you! You helped save our lives and our marriage!
My wife is waiting for the elders to call on her. She’s missing meetings for a month now. We believe they are consulting their spies my now. Because of your work, we learned to do it the right way. We are going to record it as well, and we are going to ask the right questions. No ‘debate’, as they say.
Would you consider transcribing your judicial committee? My wife was willing to translate and post your video with subtitles in our language. There are 750 thousand JWs in Brazil who would die to see this judicial committee. My brother-in-law wants to see it, but he can’t understand English.”

How could I say no to this? I have also had offers from others to translate the tribunal into Polish and Spanish as well. Since the videos of my “Apostasy Trial” were posted in late September of 2012 the series has been viewed over 60,000 times. The feedback and thanks I’ve received has been overwhelming. I had written one article about this several months ago entitled, “Feedback on my Judicial Meeting” but I would like to include a few of the new ones that have come in:

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Alfonso GUTIÉRREZ via YouTube on 4/10/2013
Brother you’re really a disciple of Christ. What a loving prayer you said in behalf of those brothers blinded by the unscriptural policy of the WT. Eric, my brother, you will certainly be blessed by our loving father Jehovah when our Lord Jesus’ kingdom take over human affairs.
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From: Sunshine Sky via YouTube, on 8/21/2013
Jwstruggle, this is the video that woke me up. I knew that I was being disobedient by watching it, but by the end of all of them… I just felt like my chains where falling apart, and my guilt was no longer there.
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From: Dave Tony via YouTube, on 6/21/2013
As I watched this video I burst into tears because I felt those Elders hearts and that they were genuinely concerned yet so lost and blinded!! My heart really goes out to them….. Your bravery is inspirational because I haven’t had the courage to do what you did.
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From: luomio via YouTube, on 6/2/2013
I was disfellowshipped from the Mormon church while “on my mission”, as Mormons say. Looking back I realize how insignificant those who disfellowshipped me and the organization are. I do enjoy letting them know how I feel though. I’m waiting for the right moment to officially resign from the church. Great videos.
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pebbles6085 via YT on 5/09/2013
My family and I still worship Jehovah. However, we no longer go by the teachings of the Watchtower or their organization. We have never been happier and JEHOVAH still answers our prayers. Thank you for sharing your video. God Bless you always Brother.
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Michael Atkinson via YT on 4/26/2013
These were the most revealing and touching 6 videos I’ve seen. There were moments when I was literally cheering after some of the points you made, because I could tell that The Holy Spirit was working in you. I am hoping one day my mother will listen to me, and leave the WT, and learn the real truth that’s in the Bible. Until then, all I can do is pray for her and all the Witnesses who are lost. I will also pray that people like you keep speaking the truth w/ love like you did. So inspiring!!
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Rating 4.41 out of 5
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Eric on Thursday September 12th, 2013

celebrate

JWStruggle… Three years and counting! Over 200 articles and almost 40 YouTube videos!

OVER 1,000 DAYS have passed since I started JWStruggle. It was not for publicity or accolades. It was not even for the noble intent of blowing the whistle on Watchtower Corp and letting sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses worship God free from the crushing rules of the governing body pharisees. These men have wielded the elders like a dull axe in the local congregations, bludgeoning so many “little sheep” with WT policy and rules.

No, it was for therapeutic reasons of my own that I began to write a blog. I had almost no one to talk to. My best friend was my wife, and she had already begun calling me names like “apostate”, despite seeing me read the Bible every day, study with the children, etc. I was gaining weight, eating and drinking too much, and the cognitive dissonance was getting worse. On top of this I had to remain anonymous and was worried that I would be outed. It was something I felt I needed to do- to write down my thoughts and impressions, and get it all out.

I decided to call myself “JJ”. First off it was short and easy, and it was a nod to my deceased Mother whom I still love very much and miss every day. She wanted to name me JJ before I was born but my father exercised his veto power and I was named Eric instead.

Rating 4.53 out of 5
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Eric on Wednesday August 14th, 2013

WT publications say that no one should be baptized into an organization...yet they lure thousands into doing just that every year.

WT publications say that no one should be baptized into an organization…yet they lure thousands into doing just that every year.

You are likely familiar with the two questions asked of baptismal candidates at assemblies and conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It has been worded and used in the exact same way since 1985, which incidentally was the year I was baptized into the Watchtower Organization. If you were baptized prior to 1985 then the second question was different for you. We have written about this before in the article, entitled, “Questions about our baptism” but the topic bears revisiting as you will see as this article progresses.

The questions asked by the brother giving the baptism talk (since 1985) read:

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?”

Many have noticed that a person is not actually being baptized into Christ (See Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27) at this occasion as the scriptures indicate the first century Christians did. Also, as has been discussed on the JWStruggle forum and in other places online and by Bible scholars, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Matthew 28:19 was “adjusted” by those that hoped to cement their new trinity doctrine back in the fourth century, and the Father and the Holy Spirit were added to the original text.[1] This is beyond the scope of the subject at hand but some references in the notes have been provided if any want to do further research on this topic.

Rating 4.47 out of 5
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