The w86 3/15 likens apostate literature to reading pornography. Paragraphs 3-5 state the following:

Their propaganda is designed to weaken our faith, to cool our love for God, to sow doubts in our minds—yes, to make the spiritual paradise appear to be no paradise at all…Then the only satisfaction, of a perverted kind, may come in beginning to beat one’s fellow slaves with slander and half-truths. (Matthew 24:45-51) …Yes, we could not only lose the blessings of the spiritual paradise now but, more seriously, also lose the hope of living eternally in the earthly Paradise.”

So here are some legitimate questions: What is the definition of “apostate literature”? What if an active JW wrote it? What if a former JW wrote it? What if it is written by a person that has never been one of JW? Who decides? What is the content? Is there a list of titles that are “banned books” that we shouldn’t read? Should there be? The above-quoted article gives part of the definition when it says it would be “propaganda designed to weaken our faith, and cool our love for God”. How would anyone profit from reading that? We tell people in our ministry to examine other religious ideas and be willing to question their religion in light of the Bible. We tell them that their beliefs should be able to stand any test. The Awake 1984 11/22 p. 8 An Open Mind Wins God’s Approval says:

“Avoid Religious Prejudice

These views, and others like them, tend to close the mind and cut off investigation before it has begun. It is prejudice at work.”

However a study article (W 2/15 2004 p28) addressed to the congregation says the opposite:

“It would be a mistake to think that you need to listen to apostates or to read their writings to refute their arguments. Their twisted, poisonous reasoning can cause spiritual harm and can contaminate your faith like rapidly spreading gangrene.”

Why should we encourage people in our ministry to examine their teachings and question them, but not be willing or even allowed to do the same? Isn’t that being hypocritical? The article to the congregation continues and admonishes us this way: “You may even reason: ‘It won’t affect me; I’m too strong in the truth. And, besides, if we have the truth, we have nothing to fear. The truth will stand the test.’ In thinking this way, some have fed their minds upon apostate reasoning and have fallen prey to serious questioning and doubt.”

But again, we tell the public the exact opposite in the Awake 11/22 1984 p4:

“A closed mind…could even be a sign of uncertainty or doubt. For example, if we are unable to defend our religious views, we may find ourselves lashing out against those who challenge our beliefs, not with logical arguments, but with slurs and innuendos. This smacks of prejudice and of a closed mind.”

The “slur and innuendo” used by some of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the absolute worst word they have in their vocabulary: “APOSTATE!”


A brother named Bill Smith loves Jehovah and Christ, his family, the congregation, the Bible, is well spoken of within the community and in the congregation, conducts a regular family Bible study, is active in preaching and meeting attendance, etc. He has been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 32 years and served in many capacities- as a pioneer and a servant, etc. It is at this point in his life that he learns or studies something that his conscience tells him is true. Something that he never knew or believed before. We can stipulate that he could be correct on the point, or he could actually be dead wrong on it– but in all sincerity Brother Smith feels that through prayer and careful research it is the truth.  Is the label “Apostate” the only fair and accurate name to now give him? Is he now liable for death in Jehovah’s eyes? Or only in the Organization’s? A label put on someone can be a heavy sword carried in the mouth and the pen of someone else, with the intention being to hurt, discredit, or even physically kill the target. The Jews, People of Color, Native Americans, and even Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves, have all been victims of other people cruelly labeling them as “sub-human”, “lazy”, “savages”, “crazy”, etc. This is the very essence of “slurs and innuendos”. With this in mind, consider the following quote regarding those labeled as apostates:

“In The Watchtower of July 15, 1992, page 12, such dissidents are described as “enemies of God” who are “intensely hating Jehovah.”  The Witnesses, therefore, are urged to “hate” them “with a complete hatred.” This exhortation was repeated in The Watchtower of October 1, 1993, page 19, where the “apostates” are stated to be so “rooted in evil” that “wickedness has become an inseparable part of their nature.” The Witnesses are even told to ask God to kill them, in imitation of the psalmist David, who prayed of his enemies: “O that you, O God, would slay the wicked one!” In this way the Witnesses “leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance” Such rancorous attacks on former members of the organization reflect an attitude that is exactly the reverse of that recommended by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount.—Matthew 5:43–48.” (The Gentile Times Reconsidered, by Carl Olaf Jonnson)

So should we intensely hate this aforementioned brother? Is he “rooted in evil”? Does he intensely hate Jehovah or still love him? Is he a coward or is he showing courage of conviction? This is the problem with labeling everyone an “apostate” that doesn’t believe everything exactly the same as we do. Are there true apostates? Yes- ones that deny Christ are called the “Antichrist” in 1 John 2:22. What about those that follow Babylonish customs and beliefs, those that are mean and angry people that want to tear down and beat their fellow slaves? Avoid these ones. But can’t there be any middle ground? Or does it always have to be “unity at all costs” as the Walsh court case showed us, and death to anyone labeled as an “apostate” by their expanded definition of the word?

Some have said that if something was written by a former one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they would never read it, even if when the person wrote it they were in good standing in the organizationBy this definition, we should never read a word that King Solomon wrote. He became an apostate later in his life, so everything he ever said or did is now invalidated according to that reasoning, right? Jesus was expelled from the synagogue by the Jewish leaders, and started a new religion. He too was an “apostate” by the Pharisee’s definition, as was the apostle Paul, who was also a former member of their faith.

So each of us has to decide for ourselves, using our own Bible-trained conscience, what we will read. Paul said this:

However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. (1 Corinthians 2:15, NWT)

When you see an animal crossing the road you generally know automatically what kind of creature it is. Likewise when you come across something “apostate” you will know- your own heart and mind will tell you. Then follow the scriptures and your conscience on what to do after that. It is the opinion of many thousands of regular visitors here that this website and the pages in it will not undermine your faith in Jehovah or his appointed king Christ. It is not intended to be a place that tears down but rather a place that builds up and supports those that are in need of encouragement.

30 Comments on “Apostasy”

  1. Dennis says:

    Very well written article. Thanks, I enjoyed it. You wrote, “What is the definition of apostate literature?” Unfortunately it has come to mean ANYTHING that is not in FULL harmony with the teachings, customs and form of worship approved by the Governing Body. Sad situation, very sad indeed. I once knew someone that said, “I came into the organization thinking for myself and if need be, I’ll leave the same way”.



  2. serein says:

    the last time i spoke to an elder he told me if i dissed myself id be an apostate in afect,i said i still beleive in jehovah and jesus sacrifice, i still follow bible, im not a fornicater or drunkard or any other thing thats quoted in the scriptures to avoid,im a good honest uprite christian, and ur going to shun me becouse i want to leave and make sure im on the right path befor god.and he said yes,its ur choice, i said no its ur choice,i said u wont talk to me, but ul talk to them people if they are in ur family, if they were never jws, iv already had this with my ex mom inlaw, her 2 sons and husband dont beleive her husband has never liked it one bit her going shes been baptized since 1969,her 2 sons left as teenagers,they totaly get on at her aout how its all wrong and diss her, but shes now told my son that shes not going to talk to me.how wrong is it,im so glad that my children left befor i did, i have one son 19 whos not been in over a year but having a few probs still becouse iv brainwashed him all his life,he cant get his head around any of it that im doing,


  3. nova bingham says:

    I guess Im an apostate. I sure dont agree with the policy on child rape or molestation…I don’t understand why my daughter was molested by a young man without any discipline. Nor was my molester disciplined. One confessed. The other just said he didn’t remember anything that happened. All was covered by the “at the mouth of two witnesses a thing can be established” What self respecting child molester would molest a child with an audience of even one? What a disgrace to Jehovah’s name.


    • nova bingham says:

      Just a note. There are thousands and thousands of us world wide suffering at the hands of JW men and women. Do a search and you will find newspaper article after new article about child rapests that are loved and protected by the organization. The victims are disfellowshipped for pressing for dicipline and not being silent.


  4. Jim D says:

    In the 14th chapter of John,Jesus says that He is the truth and the way.He also says that the Holy Spirit will teach us!Why can’t people trust Him to do just that? Why would a person go out in opposition to Jesus teachings and find a man-made religion for their salvation? No authority is given to any of these man-made religions for your salvation.The authority was given to Christ.Your salvation is between you and Christ.He tells you that in the 15th chapter,you are the branch and He is the vine.There is nothing between this relationship! He is the mediator!Since the Pharisees till today these men want to be the mediator.They want the power that Christ is given.That is why they killed Christ,they didn’t want to lose the power they had over the people. It was there profit!Thrust God,He gave us his son to teach us the truth by his Holy Spirit.NOT MAN!


  5. Kojack57 says:

    Knowledge is power!!! It amazes me that the majority of Jehovah’s witnesses only read and trust what the watchtower says. All other reading material is apostate. This is information control at its highest level. The bible is the only source we can trust that will lead us though. Well I did read Ray Franz books ” crises of conscience” and “In search of Christian freedom” opened my eyes. Now I know the truth about the truth.
    And I will continue to dig until I know it all.



  6. wonderful points made Jim D and Kojack truly liked the manner in which you expressed your points! Well done




    • MrVic says:


      You are absolutely correct Franky! And notice that the 43rd chapter of Isaiah is a REPRIMAND!


  8. andrew says:

    I would agree with you Franky


  9. Octavio says:

    Apostates are those who replace Jesus by an slave. A slave can’t be greater than the owner.


  10. skyrainbow says:

    ‘Brother’ Cedars is an important instrument of Gog of Magog who is preparing his last attack on Jehovah’s people. Read Ezekiel 38: 22,23 what Jehovah will do with ‘Satan and his bands and many people that will be with him’


  11. skyrainbow says:

    ‘Brother’ Cedars has banned me from his website because he was afraid I was going to reveal the REAL reason why he left Jehovah’s people. I will do it at the proper time. Maybe on this website.
    By cowardly banning me from his website he demonstrates he is the Champion of Freedom of Though and Expression!
    “None are more hopelessly enslaved then those who falsely believe they are free” – Johan Wolfgang von Goethe.


  12. Merv says:

    I left the organization in 1972 as a teenager brought up in the “Truth”. I felt at the time that if there was a right religion, that was it, but I could not equate archeological evidence with Society claims that man had only walked this planet for circa 6000 years. I did not turn my back on the Bible or the story of creation, but stopped believing that the bible was infallible – in this particular instance in terms of chronology. Over the years I have remained on talking terms with the Witnesses, and have taken my mother to the Memorial Service, even attending a couple of times myself.

    Recently I was able to get involved in a debate between a staunch evolutionist and a Witness I have been friends with all my life. I came away expressing my disappointment that the Witness had no explanation for the “wonders of creation” v the harsh savagery of the struggle for life. I found that after a 50 year gap, the witness was just spewing out the same doctrine as back then, regardless of the quantum jump in our knowledge base over the same period. He now shuns me so I guess I have been labelled as an apostate. The function of religion in this modern world should be to provide the love and compassion to fill the void that factual science leaves. I feel no great loss but I do pity his ignorance and I feel sorry for the heartache he is going through now his own teenage children are challenging their faith.


    • JJ says:

      Merv please accept a hearty welcome to JWStruggle! Your comment and your perspective is very much appreciated. I have always been a “science guy” myself, and years ago when the Evolution Book came out and it’s successor the Creation Book was published I was thrilled, and thought these were spiritual food from Jehovah.

      But as you say, the WT does not / has not prepared it’s rank and file for intelligent debate with scientists or thinking people that look at all the evidence. It is too risky for the rest of their theology and mind control tactics to allow this kind of thinking into their congregations.

      A film that I really enjoyed that addresses the problems with a world driven only by science and the “survival of the fittest” mentality was by Ben Stein entitled, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed“.

      I would be curious what you think of it.

      With Kind Regards,
      Eric aka JJ


      • Merv says:

        Thank you for a prompt courteous reply. A copy of the documentary video you recommended is freely available on Youtube, so I viewed it this evening. My evolutionist friend openly admits to flaws in
        Darwin’s “Origins” theory and freely admits that science does not have all the answers either. My stance is that we cannot prove how life started, but we should look at the evidence all around us. The scatter-gun approach to reproduction and survival is typical of our universe, from the microscopic level of bacteria to the macroscopic level of planets settling into a goldilocks zone around a suitable sun. We operate it ourselves on the human level, 500,000 of sperm released in each ejaculation, none of which may necessarily reach its target egg, only one needing to be successful. Another winner in life’s lottery!

        We see this throughout nature. Look how many eggs that a frog lays, because so few of the tadpoles reach a stage where they can reproduce themselves. Fish spawning, maggots heaving, nits eggs in children’s hair – the examples are too many to list here, but it is “nature’s” way of ensuring some offspring have a chance of surviving predators, in order that the genes of the species continue.
        We see it in vegetation – dandelion flowers, thistle heads, conkers, fruit, berries (both poisonous and animal-friendly), other seeds (whether user-friendly or poisonous such as the laburnum).

        Survivors end up in an environment perfect for them. There is no room for losers.

        That, I am afraid, is the harsh world of evolution. Or from the other perspective, that is the harsh world of Creation. An indifference for the lives of the losers.

        Best regards


  13. The mistake many continue to make today is that they let an organization define for them what an apostate is. Why would anyone allow an organization “define for them” or “tell them who they are” unless in the deep recesses of ones mind they STILL fear and respect that organization as being the truth? It is akin to me “believing” and letting someone else define me by the N-Word. I reject such a label and do not subscribe to it.

    Likewise, those of us who have differences of views with the teachings of the Watch Tower should NOT subscribe to “their” definition and labeling of ones being apostates. I believe that the organization itself fits the definition. (That is another story, however)

    Don’t you see, there is no such thing as “apostate” literature. It is a made-up expression that many have fallen for.

    If Charles Taze Russell were alive and spoke today, he would sound like the Watch Towers definition of apostate. Much of what Charles Taze Russell wrote when he was alive would also be “apostate” by today’s Watch Tower definition. It is not for naught that his many writings do not appear in the “public” Watch Tower library nor are they referred to in the many publications by the WTBTS.

    Many, in spite of no longer being attached to the organization, are still in “captivity” to it and not free. They still view it as an “authority” and “the truth.”

    Let me remind you that Jesus Christ himself – not an organization – is The Truth and we are to be “his” (the person) disciples and not disciples of religious organizations.

    Also, our mindset should not be the Watchtower or Awake! says this or that; or “The Bible” says this or that. It SHOULD BE what did Christ say about this or that.

    Did Jehovah command us to listen to bulk organizations or a book the world mistakenly give Jesus’ title (The Word of God) OR does Jehovah command us to listen to His Son? (Luke 9:35; Rev 19:13)

    Christ will judge one as an apostate, not human beings. We are his slaves, not slaves to other men or organizations.


  14. Amanda says:

    I was forced to grow up in this religion. While I believe in free will, I can’t help but expose this religion for what it really is. I have never been baptized or made any “progress” in the religion, and I honestly do not believe any of their teachings anymore. I have done a lot of research, I’ve done my own studying of different Bibles from various religions. I have found proof of edits and alterations that were done to the NWT to support the JWs false teachings and so-called beliefs, and enough is enough.

    I come from a very abusive family of JWs.

    I must say, while they are worried about “Apostates” they really should be worried about ones who preach and teach in their organization instead.

    Here is a fine example: My paternal father (who I’ve cut out of my life) has always used this religion and its teachings in abusive ways, and one day he really stepped way over the line of abuse by stating to my first-born son (who was six at the time): “You’re illegitimate to God, Jehovah does not accept illegitimate children, it clearly states this in the Bible. When Armageddon comes, God will destroy you with all the other worldly people and crows will peck the eyes out of your rotting corps, all because your mother left the truth and had you out-of-wedlock.” My son had nightmares after this! He also told both my kids that when Armageddon comes they will watch me, their mother, being “slaughtered” by Jehovah because I celebrate their birthdays. Yes, he actually said this, as did several other family members in this religion, and it made me and my kids cry. That’s when I said enough is enough, and I shun anyone even associated with that religion now, because of their abuse and false teachings, and because my family are all psychos and losers and use this fear-based religion to put others down and mistreat people who do not share their beliefs and it is disgusting.

    I could write a saga of books on the events and struggles, the abuse and stories I have just from having to grow up in that religion. My family can continue living in ignorance, I wish to live in God as a true Christian, practicing peace and love, compassion and kindness, to be humble and not puffed up with pride, to raise responsible, beautiful children who will also love and appreciate God like me and my husband do. That is all that counts as far as I am concerned . . . I read the Bible, I have a vast knowledge of every part of it. I also have a knowledge of history, world events, and I can look anywhere online that will confirm my knowledge is correct, including your website and your articles. It’s great to know I am not the only one who feels this way, or who sees the wrongdoing within the organization. But then again, I was smart enough to do all my own research and studying to get the answers I needed, rather than turning to JWs for help. Going my own way was the best thing I have ever done for myself, and now I have a great knowledge that I can share with my kids and new family, I no longer feel like a prisoner wanting to escape for freedom (I felt that way while growing up, and it was because of that organization) I missed enjoying a lot of my childhood because of it, and because my father was so strict and negative, it was very hard to enjoy it. The majority of it was spent on this religion, and I regret that, but I should be happy because had I not spent it that way maybe I would not be as knowledgeable as I am today? Anyway, I don’t believe in the word “apostate” because only God knows the heart condition, we were all made imperfect, and we were given free will. If they are worried about apostates, they should be more concerned with the lies hey are spreading or false teachings and prophecies they are preaching to the world, because, after all, God hates a false tongue.


  15. Charles says:

    Amanda my heart goes out for you. I hope you enjoy your life and have lots of fun.
    I hope you enjoy all the sweetness this life has to offer. In time your new memories
    Will erase the bitterness created by this horrible cult.
    Do your best always.


  16. Kisha says:

    Hello, I am new here. As a lot of you, I was raised around the “truth”. I am starting to have doubts and questions, hence me seeking out some more information. The question I have is, how did you all get over the fear to leave? And, my second question is, do you guys pray still, and do you still receive blessings? Please understand where I am coming from. As we all know, the doctrine is deeply imbedded into you until you start to question. How do you deal with the separation of what has been grounded into you as the only options? (I know this just became more than 2 questions )…


    • JJ says:

      Kisha welcome to the site! Those are some big questions you are asking and it’s hard to cover all that in a comment thread like this. I will try and email you and perhaps we can chat at length. Also our Forum is geared more towards these questions you might check that out also.

      Please continue to do research and study to figure out TTATT. Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz is one of the best books to read first, along with the website JWFacts.com.

      In Christ,
      Eric aka JJ


  17. Kisha says:

    Sorry about he delay the last week has been very hectic. I am 32 years old, have been raised around the “truth” by both parents, my mother is presently a pioneer and has been baptized almost 50 years. My father is now a servant when growing up he was an elder but stepped down due to issues with my sister at that time. I have been baptized since the age of 17. I have been married and currently going thru a divorce in which there are children involved (innocent party here)Here’s my issue now, ias we all know you are conditioned of sorts to feel that this is fact all truth and I do now have questions and I do find fault with the secrets they keep from the members that have started to come out. It truly bothers me and I have been soul searching of sorts ever since, I did try to discuss some of these questions with that very same sister, because we used to be able to talk about a lot. I forewarned her it wasn’t the best, even after I tried to not go through with telling her she prodded and it just started pouring out like a river. Now, she is in shock and bothered,, and she in turn told my mother, and now my father knows (sigh) so now they are encouraging me to go to the elders, which is a problem in itself! I feel like I’m getting a glimpse of how it will be, because ever since this has happened, family is strained.


  18. LOVE says:

    Well said Jerome….
    You control people by keeping them ingonrant.

    Hello….. In the United States of America…remember in the not too far distant past the majority of White folks made it illegal for black folks to read, write etc. Why was that? If you dont know the answer in 2013 you will probably never figure it out.
    In the 60’s blacks had to FIGHT just to attempt to go to college….

    IGNORANCE leads you open to be taken advantage of.

    WTBTS WANT CONTROL OF YOUR MINDS in pretty much the same way.
    Weak men have a need to control beyond what is needed.

    They have mind control down to a science. Most cults do.

    Practically any group you are a part of is a cult…
    At least know ahead of time what you are getting into.
    It can be awful to be born into some of the cults that exist however.


  19. Alicia says:

    It’s funny how in less than 15 min. I was treated as a apostate by my best friends. I had missed 1 months worth of meetings. So my friends husband who is also my close friend texts me “we missed you at meeting today”…i honestly replied that i havent gone cause i am confused about some things and certain things dont make sense anymore. I needed to find answers to my questions first…well of course i got EVERY TEXT BOOK RESPONCE that we are taught and after i addressed my concerns and questions all i got was…”well i cant talk about this anymore im busy” so much for being my best friends. Its been a month and i havent heard from them at all. Immediately i was labeled an apostate in thier eyes. We live across the street from them!!!!! Its funny how me and my husband attended more meetings than they did yet they seem to think they are above us now. I cant see how when i know of things that will definetely get them DF…. but that is not my place nor business to tell the Elders which it seems like alot of witnesses do. They like to tattle and gossip and see the drama. Cause after all…. we are better than any other religion right?


  20. Stephanie Proulx says:

    Jehovah, meaning our creator, God. “Jehovah’s witnesses”. Since I have left the organization I am now truly a witness for our creator of the truth. So grateful for my awakening! I had family who were ministerial servant, close friends with elders etc. We were made to be quiet about any wrong doing. To dis~associate a person for falling short of their requirements is sad and wrong. We are to love each other whole heartedly. I am amazed at how blind I once was, and how free I feel to have walked away and found a true spiritual meaning for life!


  21. TuomoR says:


    Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention news, North-Korea style. “Beware of Apostates” 2013. This is parody. My motherlanguage is Finnish so there can be serious mistakes


  22. jel15225 says:

    The subject of Apostasy within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has long puzzled me. One of the accepted “Christian” definitions of Apostasy is “the rejection of Christ by one who has been a Christian”. The term “Christ” means “Messiah” and was only bestowed upon Jesus after his death and ascension. So in terms of Christian Apostasy, this would mean that a person has rejected Jesus as being the promised Messiah the only means of salvation. Therefore, rejecting an organization cannot in any Christian sense be labeled as “Apostasy” nor could an individual thus be labeled as an “apostate” unless they have rejected Jesus as the Christ. Christian Apostasy could however, logically be extended to include those that would profess that faith in Jesus as the Messiah and baptism in his name does not bring salvation unless one is dedicated to and in good standing with a particular organization of men. This requirement by any such organization then rightly identifies them as being “Apostate” having rejected the salvation that comes only through Jesus as the Messiah. He alone is “the path” to salvation not any religious organization claiming to be “doing Gods will” in his name. This is why I have rejected Jehovah’s Witnesses as being “the abomination that causes desolation” that is “standing in the holy place”. (Matt.24:15) So I encourage all to examine their faith and ask, Am I a Christian or am I a Jehovah’s Witness? Only one brings salvation.


Leave a Reply

Website Apps