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.
It 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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).[foot]I cannot remember exactly when I first heard the phrase “The Truth About The Truth” however it was early on in my research. After doing some searching the phase can be found as early as 2007 on the internet. Myself and many other JWstrugglers out there have certainly helped popularize the expression and we are glad to have been able to help get out to the many millions of former Jehovah’s Witnesses what TTATT means in these last four years!
A friend of mine recently wrote this thoughtful update on his life and where is at now that ten years has passed since he moved away and faded. 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. Here is how he is getting along:
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.
t was May 28th of the year 2000, and I was a young elder with a newborn baby and a devout Jehovah’s Witness wife. On top of owning and operating a business and having family responsibilities, my elder duties seemed endless. In the three years since being appointed an elder I had already seen two elders removed, which caused bitter in-fighting on the elder body because of it. Two “alpha-male” elders were constantly sparring and trying to out-quote the other using Watchtower articles during backroom elder meetings. These would sometimes last for four or five hours and were exhausting. I was serving as the Service Overseer and was a regular pioneer, although the pioneering had to give way soon as my body could not indefinitely take the pace of such a breakneck schedule.
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 some six pieces of documentation 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To date, the videos covering my judicial tribunal before three elders have been viewed over 60,000 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 commnents, 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 Governing Body leaders. (See The Watchtower of July 15, 2011 page 16) This 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.
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 am writing this article in hopes to help 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?”
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:
“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.”
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.
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 […]
On July 5-8th 2013 many of us will be gathering in lake Tahoe, USA. This is a breathtaking, idyllic place, filled with fresh mountain air and gorgeous vistas of the High Sierra Mountains. Here is a snippet from Wikipedia about this special place:
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area’s economy and reputation. Mountain and lake scenery are attractions throughout the year. The Nevada side also includes large casinos. Highways provide year-round access from Reno, Carson City, and Sacramento.
Londo recently wrote an article entitled “Apostate Boogeymen” and it was well received by many. A friend of Londo’s liked the article on his Facebook, which prompted a lady we will call Gina to comment negatively about the article. She stated in so many words that we should all just leave the Witnesses alone and go on with our life. (Which of course is precisely what we are trying to do!) Positivity will triumph just as light always prevails over darkness, so we do not need to be stuck in the negative, and we are trying to shed the many years or even a lifetime of bigotry and judgementalism towards others that believe differently than us. That’s why we are here, posting our articles and comments so that we can “figure it all out”.
Anyway, her response made me wonder what was going through her mind, especially after finding out that Gina herself was DFed some 5 years previously. She was OUT of the Watchtower organization and no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses! So why the negative comment? I decided to message her, and here is the exchange:
A poster on JWnet made a very thought provoking post and I took his excellent idea and made an informational graphic to illustrate his point. It is heartbreaking that these few men of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have so much power and yet use so little of it for true good. Some have postulated that Brother Herd (a current member) is in favor of removing the blood ban but does not have the required 2/3 majority vote to affect change in JW policy. Whether this is true or not we do not know, nor probably ever will. In the meantime, each year an untold number of brothers and sisters die for refusing the medical use of blood.
What we do know is that silence and the failure to act when people are dying and being harmed all around you is immoral to most people of conscience. One current governing body member used to be what I would consider a friend of mine, and taught my pioneer school many years ago. But how could I call him friend today while the brothers and sisters in the Kingdom Halls are leaving by the tens of thousands? How could I call him friend when he has the power to stop the shunning of millions of people? Or at the very least recuse himself from further participation in something that is “crooked and cannot be made straight”. (Ecclesiastes 1:15)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are again doing their tract campaign to invite everyone to the “most important day of the year”, the memorial of Christ’s death. They are covering their territories as fast as they possibly can, in an effort to get a flyer into everyone’s door. It has only been in the last 15 years or so that the Watchtower has decided that everyone is invited. Prior to this the friends were instructed to be careful who they invited, and that a Bible student could be invited but you should explain to them first why so few partake of the emblems, etc. The general public was certainly not invited as is the case today. Most Witnesses take this time of year very seriously, and would not think of missing the memorial meeting at any cost other than a hospital visit.
The new March 2013 Awake magazine pages 10-11 (Available online at JW.org the official site of Jehovah’s Witnesses) has an article about a woman that studied and then converted from Judaism to Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are three key points in the article that actually encourage those with discernment to go against the Watchtower ban on books written by those with dissenting views.
I would like to start by introducing myself to the brothers and sisters and friends who visit this blog and thanking many of you who have helped me in my struggle. I go by C M here on the blog they are my biological grand-fathers initials, since it was my step grand-father who claimed to be of the anointed class who introduced my father to “The Truth”. My parents have been Jehovah’s Witnesses for over 30 years my father has served as an elder on many occasions and now he and my mother have been Regular Pioneers for over 15 years. In my years growing up as a JW I saw a lot of hypocrisy and so many things I can sit down and write volumes of the terrible things I have seen growing up as a JW, it was because of these things that I became inactive for quite some time I was a gang member I did drugs, women, etc. But I needed structure so I came back to the place I always believed to be where I belonged and attended the meetings and just helped the brothers in the congregation.
I am not and never have been a JW or in anyway associated with the WBTS. In summary, my now exwife (was not a JW at that time) met, had an affair with a married JW, divorced me and married him. She is now raising our two children as JW’s. I consider myself and and our children as collateral damage to this destructive organization and am arming myself with knowledge so I can show my children TTATT.
I will wait for your reply,
Lately, more and more asleep Jehovah’s Witnesses that are “true believers” are coming to my site and my YouTube channel to defend their Governing Body and their Organization. Should this bother me? Should it bother any of us?
I think it’s great…and also very interesting, because their own leadership has told them that they are NOT to watch or read or comment on anything produced by dissident or former Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to Watchtower dogma, they should not be going to any internet websites except JW.org, the official site for Jehovah’s Witnesses. There they will find thousands of pages of unchallenged rhetoric espoused by their unique channel, called by Witnesses the Governing Body.
I most certainly cannot read your mind, and it’s likely that no one else on earth can either. However, if you happen to be seeking reinstatement into a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and are here on JWStruggle reading an article like this, then it becomes quite easy to guess what’s on your mind: You have begun to awaken to the serious problems within the Watchtower Organization and religion, and you are thinking about how to get reinstated so as to again have access to asleep JW family members and friends. We here at the Struggle “get it”, and you are not alone. In fact our good friend Londo (who wrote the article The Myths of Disfellowshipping) successfully gained reinstatement recently for that very reason, and his experience and impressions will be shared in a later portion of the article. To be sure though, the elders that sit in judgement when a person seeks reinstatement can’t read minds either. Nor can they read a person’s heart.
I wanted to share just a fraction of the feedback I have received, as much of it is quite encouraging. The few negative comments have literally constituted less than one percent of what has been said regarding the YouTube videos making up my entire Judicial Trial process and documentation of it.
Recently I spoke at length to an active JW elder who is asleep in the movement. We needed to speak on a business matter, but yet he was the one that began asking me questions about my trial. At one point he said,
“I heard you put your judicial committee meeting all over the internet and lied to the elders- is that true?”
I had been thinking about how hard it can be to tell the difference between a high quality product, the “genuine article”, and a knockoff or an inferior product recently. Well sometimes the imitator can be so hard to distinguish that even an expert can be fooled at first. To me it’s like that when we are in the Jehovah’s Witness structure- we are told what to believe, given a very well-thought out schedule of all the things we should be doing, etc.
There are two lengthy meetings per week, field service at least once or twice on the weekend, family study night, cleaning of the Kingdom Hall every couple months or even more often, and more. There is the reading of the three monthly issues of the Watchtower and Awake, and now there is the reading of the extra online content at the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, JW.org as well. On a yearly basis there are two assemblies and one District Convention to attend, two visits of the circuit overseer (sometimes three even) and on and on it goes.
I can opt for giving you a list of dos and don’ts. The list comes from my personal and/or traditional preferences. It becomes my responsibility to tell you what to do or not to do and why. I then set up the conditions by which you begin to earn God’s acceptance through me. You do what I tell you to do . . . you don’t do what I tell you not to do, and you’re “in.” You fail to keep the list, you’re “out.” This legalistic style of strong-arm teaching is one of the most prevalent methods employed in evangelical circles.
Birthdays have been on my mind a lot lately. Now that we as awake JWs and former JWs know that birthdays aren’t wrong, we can be free to be more “normal” and just enjoy this benign personal holiday for what it is. One great place I found online that demonstrates the extremes the JWs go to regarding birthdays is www.WatchtowerLetters.com. Go there and then click on “More Info”. This site is a great resource! The whole thing started when this JW man James had doubts about a global flood being scientifically possible, and how he wrote the Watchtower Society on this, but ultimately it was the issue of birthdays that got he and his wife cast out.
A new video has been published on YouTube entitled, “Sins of Omission and Taking Responsibility For Our Actions”. I have been thinking lately about the Nazis, and how their principle defense at Nuremberg was to blame Hitler. They claimed that they were just following orders. They had to do what he told them to do, and so tried to shift the blame for the atrocities committed solely onto him.
That court, as well as history and people’s sense of right and wrong ruled against them. You cannot blame someone else for your own actions. Even under duress we have a choice. For those of us that were congregation members, regularly attending the Kingdom Hall and practicing the Jehovah’s Witness religion we can relate to this.
Brothers and Sisters of Central Virginia, * Are you waking up to the truth about the ‘truth’? Or have you been awake for some time? * Do you simply have doubts or see the injustices in the Organization and need a safe way to vent these to people who understand? * Are you active, but […]
One of the things that I used to read regularly was the Daily Text. That’s what most Witnesses call it in everyday speech, but it’s formally titled, “Examining the Scriptures Daily”. It used to be read before field service meetings, however that is no longer done. When I was little I remember it used to be bound into the back of the Yearbook. At any rate, I read “The Text” regularly, and often looked up the Watchtower article the theme scripture was taken from, and research the verse in other translations and read the context also. This was something my mother inculcated into me at an early age and it seemed like a good thing when I was an active adult member to do. It was a way to daily feed on the Word of God and I used it for that purpose. When I was a Bethelite the family even received it in a “tear-off block”, sort of like a daily calendar that’s gummed on the back, so they could grab the individual sheet without having to tear it out of a booklet and ruin it.
Water baptism is a very important step in a Christian’s life. It is a solemn oath to dedicate yourself to do the will of God and his appointed king, Jesus. For this reason it is taken quite seriously among many people of Christian faith, including Jehovah’s Witnesses. Notice the following quotes from the New World Translation Bible on the importance of this step:
Matt. 28:19, 20: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.”
Acts 2:41: “Those who embraced his word heartily were baptized.”
Acts 8:12: “When they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized, both men and women.”
Like it or not we are in a spiritual warfare. (2 Cor. 10:4, Eph. 6:12) We must fight every day to safeguard our own imperfect hearts and keep our spiritual balance against this wicked world as all Christians must do. On top of that, many of us are forced to brace up our minds as they are subjected to a barrage of propaganda that assaults us at the Kingdom Hall and in the Watchtower magazine. This can cause many of us cognitive dissonance of the worst kind.
Recently, supposed “new light” has been discovered by the Governing Body regarding just who or what the faithful and discreet slave is, and it is now all over the internet. The following things were publicly announced by these men at their annual meeting:
Over the last year or so I have had a number of visitors to the site ask me how they can help. Specifically most have asked if they can contribute funds to keep the site going. I have always thanked them and declined the offers because in financial matters I had been doing okay and was able to cover the website expenses myself. Also I feared the perception some could have that JWStruggle had turned into something commercial and I was operating it “just for the money.”
Unfortunately for the first time in years I find myself in a place where I barely have enough to cover my own needs. I received the quarterly bill from my hosting package and web domains recently, which was charged onto my nearly-maxed out credit card. I cringed when I saw the emailed bill. The cost to maintain the site is modest compared to many websites, but never in my life have I worried about bills like this until just now.
For about one week the database that runs the JWStruggle blog has been locked by my internet hosting service. When this happened no one was able to add a comment, register for a new account, or post anything whatsoever.
I spent easily a dozen hours trying to figure this out and get it fixed, and was on the phone to tech support twice. Late yesterday my host, 1and1.com, Finally rectified the problem and then just now I was able to update the Wordpress configuration files to accept a new and improved database file so this should never ever happen again.
The reason that the database was locked you ask? Due to the increased traffic and comments over the last month or so, the database grew so quickly it exceeded the maximum file size allotted to it, and once that mark was hit they “froze” the file so that no additions or subtractions could be made. Of course I did not know this, and so stumbled around searching for the why of the problem for quite a while!
My judicial trial is now over. The elders were not arrogant or mean spirited. Mutual respect was shown by all four of us, but these men were compelled to follow the Watchtower policy playbook, and by those standards of men they had no alternative but to disfellowship me. I do not blame them, and harbor no ill will towards them.
After much prayer I felt that I had to let my light shine, and that the Lord was with me, giving me the words that I should say. I was found guilty of “apostasy” as defined by the Watchtower Organization, and they will be announcing that I am no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Tuesday the 25th of September. I am not devastated, nor downhearted. Quite the contrary, as literally hundreds of people have been expressing their thanks and prayers in my behalf. It is overwhelming and very much a humbling experience for me.
I would like to discuss briefly in this post just what the JWStruggle.com website that you are reading right now is all about. But first a short recap: In my previous article entitled “Apostate Trial Part 1” I wrote about the news that the local Elders are after me, despite the fact that I have not attended meetings in over a year and have no leavening influence on their local flock, as the friends that attend in my area already snub or shun me when they see me around town. The elders will be “spiritually stoning” me in a few days at their judicial tribunal (1 Corinthians 4:3-6, HCSB) and I am preparing for it now, even as I write this article.
The elders sent me a letter summoning me to a judicial committee, accusing me of “spreading apostate teachings that go against Bible truth as taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses.” For those of you that are in the know, this means that they have already determined that I am guilty of the above mentioned “crime”. The letter was sent certified mail, and when I received it I signed and printed “Martin Luther” on the return receipt. I wrote back and asked for a date one week later as I could not make the 8/30 day they had ordained for my spiritual stoning.
A continuance was granted and I was given a tentative date of 9/12/2012 so we will see what happens. I am not afraid of this meeting, however it is not something that I relish either. I personally feel it must be done as my conscience will not allow me otherwise. The early Christians were fed to the lions and Yeshua said that if we confessed him as Christ we would be persecuted and delivered up before the synagogue and expelled. (John 16:1-4)
If someone is spoken of as being guilty of the above-titled offense, what does it really mean? Here are some definitions of the expression “talking out of both sides of your mouth”:
Speaking with a forked tongue.
Saying one thing, but meaning something else.
There are a great number of problems to be found inside most Kingdom Halls:
Gossip, cliques, favoritism, nepotism, good-old-boy networks, hidden sin, arrogance, etc.
Do you agree with this statement? How about this one:
There are a great number of problems to be found inside most Christian churches:
Gossip, cliques, favoritism, nepotism, good-old-boy networks, hidden sin, arrogance, etc.
If they are both true, then what does that mean? If both statements are oversimplifications and exaggerations, then what does that mean?
There isn’t a single person or large organization that can say they don’t have any secrets. Everyone has hidden something about themselves at one point in time or another. But no matter what those things are, our Creator knows about them. And in his great love he has appointed a righteous judge, our Lord Jesus. (Acts 10:42; John 5:22-23) We also know that sins and secrets often have a way of coming to light, whether by accident or divine direction. Jesus himself famously said:
“What I tell YOU in the darkness, say in the light; and what YOU hear whispered, preach from the housetops. And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. “ (Matthew 10:27, 28, NWT)
Some have asked me directly, and others have mentioned this subject in the forum and I feel it merits a short article. If you are an active or inactive Jehovah’s Witness and you are wanting to do deep research on Watchtower teachings in line with 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, then this has probably crossed your mind at least once if not more times.
Concerns about “spying” or getting caught reading something others would be bothered by is understandable. You want to protect yourself. You may also may worry that a friend or family member might be bothered or stumbled if they found out where you have been on the internet. A person may even worry that an elder or other “bloodhound brother” will sniff them out and discover their online history.
Longtime Christian minister Wilbur Lingle wrote an excellent book in 1994, and then updated it in 2004, entitled “Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love”. This book analysis and review contains some thoughts about what and how Mr. Lingle wrote his book, and the ways it has been encouraging and instructive to me personally as someone who has close friends and family members that are asleep within the Organization.
As most of you know my goal (which is shared by many of us here on the JWS site) is to gain Christian Freedom from what mortal man or a man-made structure think or say. Another goal of mine is to help others among my JW brotherhood (especially friends and family members within the movement) to see that there is more than one rigid way to serve God besides underneath the banner and tutelage of the Watchtower Society. And it is for this reason I feel that the book helps in both ways.
I’ve been told that if you put five apes in a room with a ladder leading to an access hole in the ceiling, those apes will try for the ladder and head for the hole. I’ve also been told that if you spray them with a fire hose every time they make for the ladder, eventually they’ll all stop trying to climb it. Furthermore, if you take an ape out and put a new one in with four of the original apes, the new one will go for the ladder. However, the veteran apes will pounce on and beat on the new one for his foolish attempt until he too stops trying for the ladder. And so it will go each time you take out one of the veteran apes and replace him with a new one: the new one tries for the ladder until he’s tromped into simian submission. Eventually, you’ll have a room full of five apes who weren’t of the original five that had actually experienced the initial fire hose treatment.
How far does our world-wide brotherhood extend? Is it limited to just ONE Christian group? Is it limited to all EXCEPT a particular group? Can we personally judge a denomination as genuine or not genuine, while accepting the fact that Christ is the judge and individuals from this or that group may be sharers in the “one hope” to which we were were called? (Ephesians 4:4, ESV) I certainly don’t have the answers to these questions. These are complex notions to contemplate and perhaps impossible to answer definitively.
It has been mentioned to me (and I agree) that this place is not necessarily a final destination on our Christian journey as servants of the Father and our King Christ Jesus. But no matter where we go online or in the flesh, we continue to try to upbuild our fellow man, and especially our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. (Galatians 6:10, NIV)
It can be one of life’s biggest trials when you come to the realization that the Watchtower Society is not what it claims to be, namely God’s organization. I remember the feelings that I had, shock, dismay, anger, depression, disbelief, fear and then finally acceptance.
Many of the questions that we have at this time in our awakening to the truth about the truth include…
Where else do we go?
How can we serve God without a visible structured organization?
Am I simply just being too critical and fooling myself?
Why isn’t God fixing the problems within the organization?
I felt moved to write something about this subject for different reasons. First of all this is an extremely important subject where Christians are concerned. Also, there seems to be conflicting ideas about what sacred service actually is. Any misinformation about sacred service or misunderstandings, could seriously affect our standing with our Creator. I feel it is important to let God’s word be the final authority as to the definition of Sacred Service. Let me explain what has prompted me to spend two weeks in meditation and study on this matter, as well as some sleepless nights.
As you are all well aware, Jehovah’s Witnesses place a great amount of emphasis on the preaching work, the main method being the “house-to-house” covering of territory. I respect the dedication shown, and I don’t doubt the motives of others doing this work since man cannot read hearts. In fact everyone I personally know appears to have fine motives. As you all probably know the normal “rank and file” members are mostly very sincere and humble people. So while not doubting their personal convictions and love of God and neighbor, I question the information they have been given to keep them motivated.
I decided to record a message about an article that had really affected me early on in my struggle to understand the problems within the organization.
A short recap is first given of Watchtower history when N. Knorr and F. Franz took over after Rutherford’s death. Then the Watchtower article of 11-1-1946 is discussed at length. This excellent article talks about how people can understand the Bible, using 2 Timothy 3:16,17 as a key scripture.
Franz wrote that we do not need a “magisterium” to explain the Scriptures to us, and that we do not need a “visible human organization” either, as each Christian can be completely equipped for every good work through the study and application of God’s Word.
My goal with the site these days is for it to be a beacon and an aid to all that have been associated with the Watchtower Organization in one way or another. Some are disgruntled and are struggling to contain their anger, while some are doubting “the truth” and not sure what to do.
“Should I continue to attend the Kingdom Hall or fade out and stop?” wonder others.
Some have been out for many years and are disfellowshipped. One young lady that wrote me (who had never been a one herself) was simply dating a Witness and trying to learn more about his religion and how she should proceed with the relationship. And then others want to move beyond this site, and put the J.W. mindset behind them. If it is positive and healthy for them to do so, then by all means do so!  So our heart goes out to all these groups.
Long before my “awakening” from the psychological grip of the Watch Tower Society I was confused and confounded by certain elements of the Genesis account – particularly the events described in the first three chapters. Elements of the narrative simply baffle me, and the publications have never offered any meaningful answers to my specific questions. Now that I am mentally and emotionally free from the Society, it seems like a good time to share these questions in the hopes that someone out there may have the answers, or else, share in my bewilderment!
It has been said that if you rest, you rust. For us as Christians this applies in more than one way. Do we “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness?” (Matthew 6:33) In what ways can we do that? Must it always entail a formalized, door to door preaching effort?
A mature brother has given me some helpful counsel on this, reminding me that “cold calling” does not really work very effectively, and the facts bear this out in the statistics of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their yearly report. Yes, billions of hours are recorded. But the conversion rate between hours-spent to new-converts-acquired comes out in the thousands of hours. What does this mean? It means that to bring one new person “into the truth” and baptize them as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it takes each publisher over 40 years of preaching on average.
We’ve all heard comments about Jehovah’s Witnesses being “brainwashed”. That always seemed like an outrageous claim to make. And of course there are the comebacks, such one a circuit overseer used to use the comeback, “The world is such a filthy place- maybe our brains needed washing out when we came into the truth!”
The idea of brainwashing goes back many years. Here is a comment about its possible origins:
“During the Korean War, Korean and Chinese captors reportedly brainwashed American POWs held in prison camps. Several prisoners ultimately confessed to waging germ warfare — which they hadn’t — and pledged allegiance to communism by the end of their captivity. At least 21 soldiers refused to come back to the United States when they were set free.”
You may remember the exchange I posted a while back with a spiritual brother and friend, a Jehovah’s Witness publisher named “Ben”. Well we began to exchange some emails recently, and it turned into a long running dialogue about the problems within the organization. To his credit, he defends what he has been taught with an open mind, trying his best to reason with me. I do the same, with the goal of helping him to awaken to the flaws of the organization.
First I will give you a brief summary of the (quite lengthy) exchange, as well as my impressions of what went right and what went wrong and some background on the brother. I spent many hours composing these emails and their attachments, but ultimately it may have been too much too fast. We may never know…or I may hear from him tomorrow, it’s impossible to say.
As you may already be aware, on September 21st 2011 I began taking a survey of all current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world. The survey canvassed the opinions of all who share a connection with Jehovah’s Witnesses, irrespective of whether they are active, inactive, disfellowshipped, disassociated or even non-baptized family members. The purpose of the survey was to find out what people really thought of your leadership on certain issues, particularly since you go to such vigorous measures to prevent people from freely voicing any dissenting opinions.
It has not gone unnoticed that you recently advised the brothers to even stop writing to you or your representatives with any questions that are not covered within your publications (w11 10/15 p. 32). It is against this backdrop of increasing disinterest on your part towards the personal views or queries of your flock that this new global survey has been founded, and the results are enclosed herein.
Do you have questions about the truth? Has the truth seemed to change over the last few decades? Do you feel guilty for questioning the things that you have been taught? Or for doing research online by visiting websites that are not approved by the Society? Do you lie awake at night trying to sort it all out? Does it seem to you despite inconsistencies in doctrine and policies within the teachings of the Watchtower Society that there is “no where else to go”?
If so you are not alone. My online name is SIAM and I have been in that position. I served as an Elder for 7 years until early last year, when I resigned because of my conscience. I came to the point where I could not teach the congregation in good conscience things that I was unsure about. Like many of you, I was raised as a Witness, and much like Timothy I was taught “from infancy” things from the Bible and the Watchtower Society. I spent 5 years pioneering and sharing “Kingdom truths” with my neighbors. I was used as an Elder on Assembly parts and gave many Public Talks in the Circuit. I might have even given a talk in your hall.