JJ 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 4.36 out of 5
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JJ 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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JJ 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 4.40 out of 5
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JJ 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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JJ 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 4.16 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 4.22 out of 5
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JJ 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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JJ 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 4.52 out of 5
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JJ 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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JJ on Monday July 15th, 2013

wt-new-clothes

The Watchtower continues to layoff men and women that have given their entire life to the organization.

If you are a Christian, the phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ should be quite familiar to you, as Jesus spoke of this Kingdom often when he preached the Good News. However, if you are a Jehovah’s Witness, the Kingdom takes on very unique significance. The publication, Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, says, “Note, however, that the message that Jesus said would be proclaimed in our day goes beyond what his followers preached in the first century.”

Contrast this with what the Apostle Paul said at Galatians 1:8 which says, “However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.”

That aside, what is this unique take of the Kingdom? Notice a few quotes from the August 1, 2004 Watchtower, in the article entitled, “God’s Kingdom Government—A Reality Today”

Rating 4.23 out of 5
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JJ on Tuesday July 2nd, 2013

apostate warning

The Governing Body has explicitly told it’s followers not visit or watch anything but what’s on JW.org

To date, the videos covering my judicial tribunal before three elders have been viewed nearly 70,000 times. The amount of minutes viewed is over 600,000 minutes, which is more than 10,000 hours of watch time. A huge number of comments have been received via YouTube comments and messages, email, and other methods. These have been overwhelmingly positive and continue to trickle in nearly every day. However the Watchtower defenders or “JW apologists” commenting on my YouTube channel are on the rise. They are doing this in direct disobedience to their leaders. (See The Watchtower of July 15, 2011 page 16) The Governing Body has explicitly told its followers not to visit or watch anything but what’s on JW.org the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, yet these rogue JWs continue to post.
This message from the 2011 Watchtower is being strongly reiterated in the current District Conventions being held throughout North America and other parts of the world right now. There is a symposium with a talk about “Human Apostates” that is very slanderous and defamatory and has the ex-JW blogosphere up in arms over it.

The fact that loyal JWs are going against this advice is actually quite encouraging to me, as it shows that people are thinking for themselves more and more, even if they are operating from a position of ignorance on some points.
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Here’s a video I made on this phenomenon back in February:


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Some of these rogue Jehovah’s Witnesses that are trying to defend “The Truth” are sincere. Unfortunately many of them are also bullheaded and arrogant in the way that they try and make their case. I wrote about this once before in February of 2013 (See article, “JW Apologists Keep Commenting”) but thought it was worth revisiting. There seems to be some commonalities with these JW militants that I’ve gathered:
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1. They are strong in their opinions and the “rightness” of their comments, which reflects the JW culture’s black and white thought process.

Rating 4.49 out of 5
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JJ on Thursday May 30th, 2013
The following guest article by GoJira101 is quite informative, dealing with reading body language and how we can utilize simple clues when talking to a friend or loved one about TTATT. Without further ado, here is the article:

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body-language

When we speak to an asleep Jehovah’s Witness, we need to take care and watch the signs their bodies give us…

I am writing this information with the hope of helping you approach your friends and family with The Truth About The Truth (TTATT). The perspective I’m approaching from is how we can read their non-verbal cues to help us to wake them up. Also if you are still attending meetings or having contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses, how can you avoid telling them too much if you are being questioned and/or how to read their non-verbal communication to know when to stop talking and “back off?”
First I should explain how I have become knowledgeable on reading non-verbal communication. As a sign-language interpreter I have had extensive training, through college classes, on reading body language and facial expression (non-verbal communication) in order to work with someone who is deaf. My knowledge base also comes from the practical, everyday experience of working with deaf people. With American Sign Language (ASL), 93% is all body language, 7% is the actual signs/words. With ASL, because 93% of the language itself is body language and facial expression, I have to be able to read the person’s body language and facial expression in order to understand the meaning of what they say. For example, the sign for “FEAR” and “SCARED” are the same sign, but as we all know, being scared about something and having a fear, are two different things. Without being able to read the person’s body language I wouldn’t know what the person is trying to say.

I know you are probably thinking, “But how does this help me with talking to people about TTATT?” People read non-verbal communication every day without even realizing it. It is not difficult to understand non-verbal communication. People from all over the world have their own set of cultural non-verbal communication that truly shows what they are feeling/thinking. We experience these interactions every day.

Rating 3.39 out of 5
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JJ on Thursday May 23rd, 2013

Watch the film: The Shunning

Jehovah’s Witnesses practice extreme shunning just like the Amish. It tears thousands of families apart every year.


For years people have been leaving the Watchtower Organization for varying reasons. The Watchtower itself used to mention the actual number of those disfellowshipped each year. Public relations shill for Watchtower, J.R. Brown said this in 1992:
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“Elders disfellowship 50,000 to 60,000 Witnesses around the world each year”, Brown said. “It’s not an unusual occurrence, as far as we’re concerned.”
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Like most thinking, reasonable people, we see that this is a cruel and inhumane practice, one that separates grandparents from grandkids, and Mothers and Fathers from their own children. It literally destroys hundreds or perhaps even thousands of families each year when it is enforced by JW elders acting as Watchtower representatives. Many spouses are urged to file for divorce or separation by members when their mate chooses to leave the Jehovah’s Witness movement.

Here’s one quote from JW.org about this topic, taken from the Watchtower 2011 2/15 pp. 28-32:
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16 Consider the experience of a sister whose adult son at one time had love for Jehovah. Later in life, however, he unrepentantly chose to practice lawlessness. Hence, he was disfellowshipped from the congregation. Our sister loved Jehovah, but she also loved her son and found it extremely difficult to apply the Scriptural command to avoid associating with him…By cutting off contact with the disfellowshipped or disassociated one, you are showing that you hate the attitudes and actions that led to that outcome. However, you are also showing that you love the wrongdoer enough to do what is best for him or her.

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Rating 4.50 out of 5
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trust-me-im-lying

Is it lying to quote-mine a book that may not even be true? Or is that justified in the theocratic war that WT feels it is in?

Many of you have read that the Watchtower Society and its writers have taken quotes out of context, or even completely misquoted an expert or a book altogether to justify their policies or doctrines. This article illustrates a similar example that goes back over 40 years…and still has not been “fixed” by Watchtower. In fact they continue to quote from a work of historical fiction filled with salacious accounts of sex, gore, torture, and bestiality as recently as March of 2013. So let’s get to the reference of this book and when it was first quoted by Watchtower:

In 1972 the Aid book on page 828 quoted an author by the name of Daniel Mannix, in the article on “Incense”. They quote Mr. Mannix as stating that early Christians refused to give service or worship to the emperor. What the writers of the Aid book likely did not know at the time though was that this book is a work of historical fiction and contains many extrapolations and embellishments, that was authored by a professional sword-swallower and illusionist. In addition, the book is filled with many salacious stories and accounts that would land any rank-and-file Jehovah’s Witness in hot water if they wrote or even read such a book![1]

Aid book Mannix quote

In 1972 the Watchtower Society quoted from a salacious book of historical fiction

This author’s book and accompanying quote from it has been referenced or reproduced by Watchtower at least 14 times. This was confirmed by doing a search on JW.org and also on the Watchtower Library CD-Rom. It has been used in the School brochure, Reasoning Book, Insight on the Scriptures, at least six times in the Watchtower magazine and three times in the Awake Magazine. Here is the most recent citation where Mr. Mannix’s book is quoted from:
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Like Jesus, early Christians courageously rendered worship only to Jehovah. (Matt. 4:8-10) They refused to burn incense in honor of the Roman emperor. (See picture.) “Very few of the Christians recanted,” wrote Daniel P. Mannix, “although an altar with a fire burning on it was generally kept in the arena for their convenience. All a prisoner had to do was scatter a pinch of incense on the flame and he was given a Certificate of Sacrifice and turned free. It was also carefully explained to him that he was not worshiping the emperor; merely acknowledging the divine character of the emperor as head of the Roman state. Still, almost no Christians availed themselves of the chance to escape.”—Those About to Die.

Rating 4.42 out of 5
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