PenitentiaryLearning the truth about the Watchtower Society can be very painful for a number of reasons.  First, it is so disconcerting to realize that the core of your existence and the foundations of your beliefs are false that it can throw you for a real loop. As Witnesses we are so confident in all of the answers we have been given, to questions that we never asked, that we mentally put ourselves up on a pedestal above the masses of poor, blind, “wicked” humanity.  It sucks to realize that you are in the same place as all of the people you would look down upon previously.  It is terrible when you look back and consider that your entire life up to this point has been devoted to faulty concepts generated by similarly deluded men.


Compounding this is the fact that once you learn the truth about the organization, if you are an active Witness you must continue to act as if you believe in the organization and the “unique teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.  If you choose to leave quietly you will lose your reputation, your friends and possibly even you family.  So you find yourself in the position of losing your pat sense of security in having all of the answers to mankind’s problems, your hope for the future in a paradise petting lions, and you begin to consider your own mortality. What makes it all worse is that many of us continue to go through the motions of being a Witness because of the fact that there is no way out of the religion without doing major damage to ourselves or more importantly our family.


You begin to consider that you have limited time to live on this earth and it is downright depressing to think that you will have to pretend to believe in and support a lie, that you must call truth.


There are many of us who are trapped in the Watchtower Penitentiary. Learning the truth about the organization does set you free, in terms of releasing you out of the mental prison cell you have been put in. What is funny about it is, the cell doors were never locked, we just were told that they were.  However, there are many of us who even though we are released from our solitary cells, continue to roam the corridors of the penitentiary waiting for the moment when we can walk out as free men and women.


Some of us can’t bear the thought of remaining in the penitentiary for the rest of our lives and storm the gates. Others calmly and quietly wait for a door to open that will allow them to escape. Still others resign themselves to imprisonment for the remainder of their days.


As I think about my situation and reflect on how I wander the corridors of the Watchtower penitentiary with my newfound mental freedom, I realize that it is most important to stand up for what I know is right and receive my physical freedom also.


So I have determined to speak out against the wrong doctrines and practices that I see. I know that this will result in damage to both me and the ones I love. However, as a born-in who has been taught from infancy, I have always felt that it is important to take a stand for what is right, even if it means a great loss.   So for me personally, I am breaking out of this prison that I have been born into.  Soon I will be able to introduce myself in real life.  Life is too short to allow yourself to be forever imprisoned mentally and physically by an organization that is based on a fallacy.


Psst, to those reading this that are lurking…..Your cell door isn’t locked.

The above essay has been re-posted by permission. It
was authored by an anonymous brother we will call "SIAM".
I thought you might find this second article of his of value.
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11 Comments on The Watchtower Penitentiary

  1. Wakeupwitness says:

    I was born into the organization. I got baptized at 18, pioneered for two years, became a ministerial servant, served at Brooklyn bethel for two years. I started dating a sister in another hall and we dated for about 3 yrs. The elders were always hounding us and watching every move we made. Finally, after we got married we both decided to drift away after seeing the NBC special on witness pedofiles. We completely stopped going when the society changed the generation teaching. Both of us feel free and definately released from the cell of the witness life. It’s truly amazing that when you decide to leave what a giant weight is lifted off your shoulders. I highly suggest to anyone having doubts to drift away and do your research….you’ll be amazed at what you find about the watchtower society.


  2. andrew says:

    I can see a lot of similarities in our experiences Siam. I also feel a mental freedom never experienced before.
    I applaud your courage on speaking against doctrines and policies that do harm to others. May the Lord be with you and may he grant you success in your endeavor.


  3. jacqueline says:

    What a compelling piece!!!


  4. greybeard says:

    Thank you Siem! Very good article. It is true, we do feel like we are locked inside, but the truth is the door is unlocked. You mentioned wrong doctrines… I agree the Watchtower is wrong in many areas. The hugest thing that gets me the most is the repeated false prophesies over the last 100 years plus. Not to mention the blood issue and disfellowshipping. However, I must say, there are some good things about JW’s that do stand out. For me the trinity is clearly a false teaching. I have not been able to find many other Bibles in print besides the NWT that does not support the trinity. I realize the NWT does have its bias as well. I feel that some of us, because of all the mistakes the JW/org has heaped on themselves, stopped using the NWT. I still use it to compare all others with as I am most familiar with it. I also use Mark Millers translation and I would say I probably trust it the most at this time. It is found here:

    What my point is, at a time when there were no other Bibles without a trinity bias, JW’s produced one. As we know, MOST have condemned the NWT. But the NWT did not subject itself to the World Council of Churches like all the other Bibles did. A great book I highly recommend is called “Truth in Translation” by Jason BeDuhn. I think EVERY Bible reader should read this book. It has opened my eyes to many things on this subject. No Bible is without mistakes. If there is one thing the JW’s did that was right, it was putting Gods name Jehovah back in the Bible. Yahweh would have been better but Jehovah is as good as Jesus translated from Yeshua. I do respect them highly for this.

    One thing I am trying to do with my new found search for truth is look for the good each religion has to offer. They ALL have good points and they ALL have bad ones. If we could collect the good points out of each religion and discard the bad, we could come up with something great. I believe in time, truth will prevail. The internet is still in it’s infancy and many are roving about sharing knowledge. I think this new technology will help all of mankind in there search for truth. I know it has helped all of us to see The Truth About The Truth.

    I have been guilty of making sweeping statements about the JW’s myself but the truth is, even with the terrible changes they have made sense Rutherford took over, they still have some very good and true doctrine that is hard to find in other religions. It is out there but rare. JW’s have done much to fight the false pagan trinity doctrine as well as the HELL FIRE lie and many pagan holidays that have nothing to do with Christ such as Easter and Christmas. I honestly do not think any of these are really salvation issues however I do believe we should strive to worship with spirit and truth. I think the main salvation issue is excepting Christ as your personal savior. It seams to me, the JW’s miss the boat on this most important issue pointing people to themselves (the GB) and not Christ. So in my view, they “strain out the nat and gulp down the camel”. While “straining out the nat” they have learned many Bible truths… Actually most of that was done years ago by Brother Russell and he took much of it from others. What the modern day Governing Body has done is take all the credit for current “truth” and raised themselves up above the congregation to the position of Christ at the right hand of Jehovah. They are nothing but men and we are told not to put our trust in man to whom no salvation belongs. Do they say, “we are good for nothing slaves, we have done what we ought to have done” as Jesus said his slaves should speak? Hardly… The fact is this current GB has not done much themselves in producing “new light”. They are just company men trying to keep the ship afloat. They have no back bone for setting things straight and coming clean with their mistakes. If they would do that the doors would bust open, some would come and some would go… I think there would be a huge increase myself. They need to put Christ in control and get out of the way. They need to preach the heavenly hope like the first century Christians preached. Like the Bible Students and most others still preach not shutting up heaven. Where did the Christians preach a paradise earth hope in the Bible? No where! That was Rutherfords invention because he took the number 144,000 as literal. I hope the day will come when the GB comes clean but I just don’t see it. However I pray for it all the time. Most of my family are in The Watchtower Penitentiary.

    Sorry to rant on here about all of this… Just sharing my viewpoint off the cuff…

    Your brother in Christ,


    • Alden says:

      Thank you very much Brother Greybeard,

      After taking a pounding from the other commentators, your council balanced things out well! My favorite comment from you was “They need to put Christ in control and get out of the way.” Bravo! Yes, they feel they literally posses CHRIST’S belongings and believe they can disassociate you if you think differently than them.
      But things are not all black as you well pointed out. The accomplishments that have been made in general should never be underestimated. It would be absolutely fantastic if there could be the reforms as you described them. But, come what may, the important thing is practicing true Christianity and not unproven theology. Why can’t we do that at the Kingdom Hall? There is abundant opportunity. It is a place especially to GIVE love. We don’t need to be so concerned about getting it back, and many have not understood what true friendship means. But there are some jewels out there for sure who can occupy all the free time we can muster up.
      The GB is like a pop idol. It’s not just the fault of the pop star that people idolize him. It’s not only the fault of the GB if they have been granted idol status by the masses. We humanly tend to idolize. It’s a sin. Let’s work at getting rid of it, not by resorting to hating the GB or others that may go against our grain, but by trying to get above things and see them from an elevated perspective. The way Jesus would have if we can imagine it – the way of love.

      Peace be with you all.


  5. JWB says:

    I’d like to say a hearty “Well done!” to Siam, both with the article and your convictions. The people I have most respect in this world are those who have integrity and who are prepared sometimes to stand alone. In a world where being popular and part of “the in crowd” is highly esteemed, it truly is difficult to keep one’s integrity. Of course we all appreciate the support of friends and family, however sometimes this doesn’t happen and it is a difficult path to tread. What Greybeard has said is very reasonable, I think. On many occasions when it comes to Biblical research I will refer to WTS publications as I believe various individual writers of the past have done a very good job.

    Like Greybeard, I think some beliefs expressed by JWs have a sound Biblical basis, such as rejection of the trinity doctrine and literal hellfire. I also think there has been much good done particularly where it relates to morality and encouragement to appreciate and build up strong families. It’s just a pity that for all that encouragement the WTS teachings can also have a negative, even destructive affect on families, as no doubt some visiting this site are only too well aware.

    At the end of the day, it is YOUR life to live. One thing I feel sure of is that in whatever way and at whatever time we “stand before the judgement throne of God”, the excuse of “I was only following orders” will not absolve us from personal responsibility.


  6. siam says:

    Thanks to all for the comments. The difference between following Christ and following the Watchtower organization is black and white in my mind. Christ through his love motivates a person to imitate him and love him and his Father. The organization speaks of love but instead uses fear as a huge stick to force its members to comply.

    As a Witness you are afraid of displeasing the Elders, you are constantly told through the pages of the publications that you must do more and more for the organization if you will have the chance to gain God’ blessing. In my mind the organization as it currently stands has firmly wedged itself between a person and God and Christ. Fear has trumped love within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Don’t get me wrong, individually many Witnesses are among the most kind loving people you will ever meet. But once they allow the Watchtower Society to control their thoughts and emotions they allow fear to overshadow their motivations and feelings.

    I am grateful that I learned core truths from the organization. However you should not have to give a corporation your time, money, energy, and soul to have the chance of gaining a gift that God freely gives to all.

    Take care my Brothers and Sisters



    • Alden says:

      You summed it up splendidly Brother Siam. We go placidly amidst the noise and haiste because we know who our Leader is and can see the good in people. That fear in connection with the O should be abolished. It may never happen, but thank Jah the future doesn’t depend on men!



  7. John S. says:

    Hello all,I’ve enjoyed the comments.Hello Jaqueline,I’ll talk to you tomorrow.This is an amen to Graybeard and other like minded who can see that the major problem of WT is they literally “shut up the Kingdom from before men”.How? By preaching the “Gospel ot the Great Crowd”,and elimininating to their readers,members,flock,that not only shouldn’t they aspire to try to receive the Holy Spirit,but go sofar as to say that any Witness now who claims to have received it is either mentally imbalanced or apostate.How could there be any more blatant a case for fulfilling Matt.24:48-51 than this?


  8. under the radar says:

    Go on Siam, break out of the corridors. What I’m saying to you I’m saying to myself. Please make supplication for all of us as I will make supplication for God to make it easy for us all. Salaam.


  9. Siam says:

    Yes, there are many of us now breaking out of the penitentiary. You are in my prayers dear one.



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