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”
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.
Here’s a video I made on this phenomenon back in February:
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:
1. They are strong in their opinions and the “rightness” of their comments, which reflects the JW culture’s black and white thought process.
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:
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.
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.
Here’s one quote from JW.org about this topic, taken from the Watchtower 2011 2/15 pp. 28-32:
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.
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!
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:
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.
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:
My friend who goes by Londo wrote an article that really highlights the terrible treatment meted out by Watchtower and its followers to those that have a differing viewpoint. The governing body and it’s supporters are actually causing suicides and broken marriages over these hateful teachings. This is one of the reasons so many lawsuits are pending against the WT Corporation right now.
Jesus did not support hatespeech or shunning, and in fact he spoke out about the Pharisees, calling them vipers and blind guides. He never advocated these things! See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw8yU-r8G-8
We are very familiar with this story of Jesus being tempted by Satan, who attempted to set himself up as the one Jesus would worship. A poster on JWnet made a very thought provoking thread on this passage, and I took his excellent idea and made an informational graphic to illustrate his point.
It is heartbreaking for many of us to consider that these few men (currently 8) 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 many of us strongly feel we do know is that when humans are silent and fail to act when people are dying or being harmed all around them is wrong and immoral. One current governing body member who taught my pioneer school many years ago I had formerly considered a friend. But how could I call him “friend” today while the brothers and sisters in the Kingdom Halls are hurting and 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) What about the governing body member who was a known homosexual and then later was accused of child molestation twice and quietly dismissed from world headquarters back in the 1980s? Was a judicial committee formed and these alleged crimes investigated? We do not know for certain. But we do know that he was given a pension and sent to the other side of the country and had no restrictions imposed upon him in his new congregation. He was free to live out the rest of his life in comfort. Doesn’t this make us think of what used to happen in the Catholic church for so many years when pedophile priests were shuffled from one parish to another?
Not necessarily the dictionary definition of the word apostate, which simply means a person who leaves their religion–for by that definition everyone who leaves any religion to become a JW is an apostate–but the JW conception of the APOSTATE, both as an individual and as a ‘group’ is imaginary.
For starters, the Watchtower goes beyond the definition of merely leaving the religion. According to the September 1, 1980 letter to all circuit and district overseers, if a person “persist in believing other doctrine” than what the Organization currently teaches, they are “apostatizing”. The Watchtower meaning of Apostasy therefore includes heresy, dissension of any kind, and is designed in such a way to prevent schism and grassroots reformation.
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. It is interesting to me that many other Christians take this time of year equally as seriously, such as sincere Catholics and other believers from Orthodox churches. This time period is called Lent, which I never knew much about until researching it. Here is what Lent is to many millions of people:
Lent is a solemn observance in the liturgical year of many Christian denominations, lasting for a period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the the Bible when Jesus is crucified on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Watchtower has chided its members repeatedly for many years about not reading anything it deems unsuitable, especially when it is composed by former members.
Interestingly, the new May 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. See if you can catch the clues by clicking below to read the article:
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.
One day I had a bad cold and did not go to the meeting on Wednesday night and stayed home, while flipping through the channels on Sundance I saw a movie by the title “Worlds Apart” and when I saw the small information on it, the movie was about a JW girl who is faithful and in the beginning I saw something that is true for a lot of young JWs, some listen to everything their parents tell them to do and go to all the meetings and service and etc., some are straight up two faced and live double lives, some do what they have to do but experience the “world” a bit and have fun. She eventually meets a guy through her friend and starts a relationship with him and she gets disfellowshipped and the story goes on, you can watch it in parts on YouTube with English subtitles. It made me see that the shunning we practice as JWs towards the DFD is very harsh and actually pushed people further away than help them come back and some went off the “deep end” and got lost and get into drugs and etc. as I had and so many that I know have and never again become interested in spiritual things. One week later I was named as a Ministerial Servant and that is when I got to see so much more behind the curtain of what really goes on. A cousin of mine whom I still have not had the chance to speak with had become a so-called apostate. He was never DFed but just left the organization, and it got me a little curious on looking up things that these “wicked, mentally diseased” people have to say. My thinking was that I can have a response to them and defend the truth, and comment on their blogs and YouTube videos to defend Jehovah. It was during this time that I saw for myself many of the concerns most ex-JWs had were valid and logical arguments! I kept digging in, and reading the Bible more and eventually I found TTATT. (The Truth About the Truth)
During this time I was diagnosed with a serious disease and have now finally beaten it but I fell into depression and the elders knew this was why I was not able to attend the meetings as often as before. Regardless, I was eventually deleted as a Ministerial servant over it. I was very upset initially, but as I started to reflect I truly felt free now to “test my faith” and learn more. I now try to help other JWs awaken as well. I go to the meetings less and less and in all my years I remember one thought being burned into my mind, which was: “If you leave Jehovah (the organization) then he will leave you.” One Sunday I went to the meeting with my family and they sang song 85 for the public talk. It was titled “A Full Reward From Jehovah” in part it says:
“…He knows there are times their devotion and zeal result in their loss as foretold. If you have left houses or family or friends, be sure that our God knows the sum. He makes it up now with our dear brotherhood and life in the new world to come. (CHORUS) May Jehovah, the God of comfort, see; May he provide a full reward for you. May you find refuge beneath his wings. Jehovah is faithful; Jehovah is true.”
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.
So is it a secret that Witnesses are told not to visit websites or YouTube channels that discuss the Jehovah’s Witness religion? Not at all! In fact, it is virtually drummed into their heads to avoid so-called apostate material like the plague. As an example, notice this quote below from the July 15, 2011 Watchtower on page 16 of an article entitled, “WILL YOU HEED JEHOVAH’S CLEAR WARNINGS?” It says the following on paragraph 7:
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.
So to delve into the meat of this topic then, we first wonder how many brothers and sisters that have been shunned and cast out of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation are seeking reinstatement? How many thousands are currently right now seeking to regain their former status? A simple estimate can be made from published statistics which are freely available through Watchtower literature. These tell us:
• About 70,000 are disfellowshiped every year.