About JW Survey

A message from the founder of JWsurvey.org…

It is my pleasure to give you a warm welcome to JWsurvey.org. This website has been launched to give voice to millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world who would not normally have the opportunity to say what they really think about the Watch Tower Society, or the teachings and practices of the Governing Body.

The Governing Body has yet to express any interest in hearing the views of ordinary witnesses. Their mantra is: “We talk, you listen!”

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, or a former Witness, you will be aware that the opinions of rank and file publishers (and even elders) are rarely sought by the Society. The small number of men making up the Governing Body have declared themselves the “faithful and discreet slave” of Matthew 24:45, thus claiming sole control over the organization’s teachings and policies. These men are most certainly NOT interested in the opinions of the “silent majority” of Witnesses under their authority. If they are, they have a strange way of showing it!

This website seeks to redress that balance by means of an annual survey that is conducted anonymously throughout the world. The first survey was taken in 2011, and immediately attracted the opinions of 1,118 voters before closing at the end of the year. The results were posted to the Governing Body for their attention and review but, predictably, they never replied.

The following year, 2012, the survey received votes from 1,488 current and former Witnesses, most of whom expressed their concern at various Watchtower teachings. The remarkable events of that year (the Candace Conti case and the “new light” about the faithful slave) certainly seemed to get people talking. Subsequent surveys promise to attract even more attention as our website steadily grows in popularity.

A website for all

This site has been created and made available online so that anyone, whether they are a former or current Witness, or in some way associated with Witness friends or relatives, can give their honest opinions about the organization and its governance.

We adopt a strictly non-religious viewpoint, meaning that we refuse to promote any belief structure in particular. For this reason, we cannot be accused of trying to “draw off followers.” We are merely interested in garnering the views of ordinary Witnesses and reporting on the facts.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has not authorized or sponsored this survey, and it is run entirely without any influence or input from them. However, we genuinely feel that the brothers who serve on the Governing Body, having assumed such overwhelming responsibility, should take note of how ordinary Witnesses and the general public feel about their leadership, since millions of lives are affected by decisions they make at their private weekly meetings.

Who started this website?

I write under the name John Cedars. Until recently I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I left for conscientious reasons. You can read my story on this link.

I first had the idea to begin gathering the opinions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their associates around the world because of a variety of issues that continue to be of real concern to me. I believe that ordinary Witnesses who devote their entire lives to loyally serving Jehovah, through what purports to be God’s spirit-directed organization, should have some say in the decisions that are made on their behalf.

It is my belief that not all is well within the organization, and many of the teachings and practices encouraged by the Governing Body are not formulated with the best interests of ordinary Witnesses at heart.

An unmerciful practice

For example, take the practice of shunning or “disfellowshipping.” The Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthian congregation were as follows: “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man… remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Cor 5:11,12)

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians about the disfellowshipping arrangement never called for family members to be torn apart

Clearly the Apostle Paul was delivering this admonition for the purpose of keeping the congregation clean. But to what extent should these words be applied? By saying “not even eating with such a man,” Paul indicated that his words weren’t directed against family members (who would daily eat with one another), but against other brothers in the congregation with whom one might consider sharing a meal.

There is no reason to insist that the word “anyone” should be applied arbitrarily to “everyone,” irrespective of age or circumstances. Even Watchtower publications acknowledge that there should be some exceptions where family members are concerned. For example, a disfellowshipped husband is not to be shunned by his wife or children, and parents are not banned from speaking to their disfellowshipped children if they are not yet old enough to leave home. But why should it end there?

Many share my opinion that there is scope to extend even more mercy in applying this scripture than is currently encouraged by the teachings of the Governing Body. Jesus said the following to the unrighteous pharisees: “Go, then, and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13, New World Translation)

Jesus identified mercy as playing a crucial role in the extent to which laws and principles should be enforced. Many do not think it is merciful that older teenagers, many of whom were baptized at an extremely young age, are forced out of their homes by their parents and then cruelly shunned, often for the rest of their lives, through a mistaken and abhorrent interpretation of the Apostle Paul’s advice.

The Society’s publications themselves warn that “no one should be forced to… choose between his beliefs and his family.” (July 2009 Awake!, p.9) However, they apply this reasoning to every religion but their own.

The scriptures clearly prescribe “shunning” purely as a measure for maintaining the spiritual cleanliness of the congregation, and not for the purpose of breaking up families. To go one step further and insist that shunning should also apply to families is both destructive and deeply unmerciful. It also violates the principle expressed by the Apostle Paul at 1 Timothy 5:8 where he said, “Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.”

These and other teachings of the Governing Body are increasingly becoming a cause of sincere distress for many Witnesses who wish that the organization could adopt a more merciful and loving stance. In particular, one can now be disfellowshipped as an “apostate” merely for disagreeing with the Governing Body over this or other issues.

Only human

It is my sincere desire that by means of this website, and its surveys, the Governing Body will humbly consider the pleas of both myself and like-minded ones around the world who long for the Watch Tower Society to be a more loving organization – one that is truly observant of the need for respect and tolerance toward other people’s beliefs.

The members of the Governing Body are only human, and no matter how much they may pray for wisdom and insight, they cannot possibly be fully aware of how their teachings and directives are impacting the lives of their fellow worshippers on a daily basis. That is what makes this survey website so important. It serves as a constant reminder for them to show greater kindness and mercy in undertaking the role that they have assumed as the faithful and discreet slave.

I would like to thank you in advance for your support for this site, and for getting involved in our important work.

Warmest regards,



274 Responses to About JW Survey

  1. Holy Conolli says:

    Yes I have on more than 1 occasion. They have spent the night at my house and I had not been to meetings in years. My wife is a BIG time JW and she likes to Hob nob with the Big Shots and has some connections at Bethel so when they came out to give “SPECIAL” talks at the assemblies etc she goes to work on getting them to stay at the house. There were about 25 JW’s at the house to greet him and “LISTEN” to the wisdom he brought. I was polite and I am a good host so I was there as well. Of course I did not make an issue or anything I just observed the entire ordeal. I wasn’t there to cause a scene I just let them be. There wasn’t anything special what he said he pretty much would just quote the WT verbatim when they asked questions. The JW’s always talk negatively about Creature worship and say the reason they do not celebrate B-days is bc it draws attention to the person instead of God? Well, when a GB comes around there is nothing but attention drawn to that person bc they feel he is like Jesus Christ himself almost. It was an interesting experience. To be fair he was very pleasant and cordial and polite while he was here. Of course my wife wanted me to engage him in a conversation about the issues I have with the WT and their teachings and duff prophecies but I did not want to get into it with him bc I already know what he is going to say. He is going to say the same thing that the WT says about the light getting brighter and how they are the only ones that are doing the Preaching work and all the things we have heard for years. It wasn’t the time or the place for that conversation plus I am sure he did not want to go into it.He would probably label me an apostate if we had that discussion. Not that I care but I just did not want to do it. When I was on a visit to Bethel in the late 80’s I had dinner and a few beers with Fred Franz. He was kind of funny. Almost blind at the time. When he finished his beer he slammed it down and said, “Another Dead Soldier”.

  2. anonymous says:

    Hi Holy Canolli, your wife probably thinks if one of the Governing Body comes over, then that person will bring you back because they are just that much better than the others at convincing you or has she given up on you? I’d give my front teeth to be able to talk to them face to face. The first thing I’d ask is how can they prove 607, then 1914 and then 1919 and how many files do they have on child abusers in New York and why Did Garrett Losch say he didn’t have anything to do with the Watchtower. If you started on stuff like that when your wife had them over, that would be the last time and she’d never forgive you, would she? But what it would do is show them up for what they are too.

  3. Holy Conolli says:

    Hi Anonymous

    I have brought up those points SO MANY times to my wife but I t just goes in one ear and out of the other. 607 bce, 1914, 1919, organ transplants, Shunning, higher education, duff prophecies, flip flopping on Blood transfusion, the United Nations debacle, Child abuse, the 2 witness rule, Pyramology,House of Princes in San Diego, amd do may other things. She likes to use the Illustration that the T is progressive and compare it to Medical Science? She sais medical Science doesn’t believe or practice what they did 50, 100, 200 years ago do they? They used to NOT wash after delivering a baby but later found out disease and germs are passed on to others if they do not. It was bc they did not have the Knowledge at that time. When it was “REVEALED” to them they changed.Or with Penicillin…they did not have the knowledge until it was “revealed” or discovered to them. SO it is “progressive Revelation” to her thinking and they keep adjusting until they get it right like the sailor that is “TACKING: as he crosses the oceans waters to get to their ultimate destination. They may go off course for a while but ALWAYS get back on course.

    That argument I say is not a comparison bc Medical Science never claimed to be a spokesperson for Almighty God and the WT even after having made their o called Adjustments have gone back and forth on the same doctrine many, many times. Also after all of these adjustments the WT cannot still show after 140 years as a religion ! THING OR PROPHECY that they predicted has come true. Medical science has proved it by the very fact of their success in stopping and eradicating some disease and healing people. I did not go in that direction with the GB when he was here. I di share the article with her about Garrett refusing o testify and she said well there are 2 sides to every story and this is probably Media Bias. In the near future I think the GB will be coming again.

  4. anonymous says:

    Hi Holy Canolli. I feel your frustration. There is nothing I can say that my husband can absorb either. I have so much hatred for the Governing Body members right now, that I don’t know how I could hold it in if I was to meet them. I hope when they come next, that you can say something to them that will get your wife’s attention but more than likely, she’s looking at them like they are infallible like my husband does. I have to hand it to the Society (cult). They have crossed every T and dotted every i when it comes as to how to brainwash their idolator worshippers into following them, no matter how silly it is.

  5. Holy Conolli says:


    I feel your pain but try not to hate. I think if we do that it hurts us more and gives them some satisfaction and they will always make the claim like ..SEE…How unhappy that person is now that they left the Organization? They say see, “there is no happiness outside the organization”. I am sure you have heard that over the years. Hating what they do and did is normal but I think we harm ourselves if we let personal hate eat at us. Be happy you awoke and are no longer under their control. Reach inside yourself and find your peace.

  6. Wayne Bruce says:

    Hi Cedars

    This is a response not to yourself but to Paul Grundy (if you can please contact him, I failed). His article on beards in the JW movement possibly omitted an interesting comment I heard from a then elderly JW over 30 years ago about how the Russellites wore beards like CTR after his death, whereas those who followed Rutherford [JW forerunners] went clean-shaven.
    Maybe needs research/verification.
    Anyhow, All the best
    Wayne (ExJW)

  7. Sheila l says:

    Bravo, spot on and more accurate then the others I’ve seen. This needs to be told with truth not made up backwards crap I have read so far. I have been kicked out 4 times now and this time was the charm. I didn’t even get a meeting at the Hall or letter just a surprise call saying you’re out. I didn’t even know I had been under investigation as this time wasn’t guilty. Now I am being called
    Apostate for talking and then r questioning jws after being born into it 54 yes to be exact Thank You

  8. Gilbert says:

    Keep up the work!
    I had a falling out with a loved one over the disfellowshiping issue.
    She misunderstood me as a JW but I respect why she did so.
    There is a difference between “Shaming” and “Shunning”. As one of JW I do not believe in Disfellowshiping. I DO believe in Shaming. BUT NOT ON A CONGREGATION LEVEL! I practiced shaming on a relative who was way off course. The result is now a happy marriage and a son. But is was a ONE on ONE dialoge and shaming. My father, a Catholic, did the same to me when I was 17. It changed my life. Shame is good when done appropriately.
    JW heirachy has done a dis-service to Jesus Christ in this regard. Imagine Jesus asking you to write a letter and review it in 6 months to see if you can be forgiven? My goodness
    I hope one day to make amends with her.
    People are more valuable than organizations. But not Watchtower. The “Organization” is more valuable than the people. John 3:16

  9. apologist says:

    you have already erased everything I have written
    you are a clown with a hidden agenda working for satan

    • anonymous says:

      Geez apologist, get a life!!

    • Frank James says:

      ‘Apologist’. Fortunately, Gilbert is right on the money. The idea of shunning is a mean, cruel way of ‘punishing’ a person for using the free will that is a gift from God anyway. By shunning ones own children, who are another gift from God, is certainly not honouring Jehovah, but in actuality, dishonouring Him. No where in the scriptures does it say to abandon your children, siblings or spouse because they have their own thoughts on religion. We are ALL different and that’s the way God made us.

  10. Holy Connoli says:

    @apologist. Typical JW answer. Anyone that disagrees w the WT is from Satan. Case closed. Ears Closed. Eyes Closed. Mind Closed. Heart Closed. Apologist, PLEASE show mw 1 prophecy the WT has predicted that has come true in their short 135 years of existence. I can show you 100’s of ones they uttered that did not come true. Just 1 Apologist.

    • Wanderer says:

      Here is some JW prophecy. The 1920 leaflet & talk millions now living will never die? Or the generation of 1914 being alive at Armageddon? Or constructing Beth Sarim? Or………No, I give up!

  11. Frank James says:

    Holy Connoli
    To be able to show 1 ‘prophesy’ that the JW organisation had shown to be true, one would need to be blind, deaf and have a very cold heart. Satan does not even come into the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Comment posting guidelines:

Kindly observe the following requirements before posting any comments to our articles or pages:

  • ABUSIVE COMMENTS - Do not post comments that include swear words or may be considered abusive, lewd, blasphemous, obscene or threatening
  • ILLEGAL COMMENTS - Do not post comments that condone or propose illegal activity, or that breach copyright law
  • OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS - Do not post comments that are off-topic and bear no relation to the page or article
  • RELIGIOUS NEUTRALITY - Do not post comments that are evangelical in nature or may be construed as imposing one person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over those of another
  • LANGUAGE - Visitors from all countries and language groups are welcome. You may post comments in languages other than English, but we would appreciate if you could make any such comments brief. We would also be grateful if you could run any such comments through Google Translate and convert these to English, but this is not an absolute requirement.
  • LINKS - You may post links to third party websites, so long as (1) you limit these to 2 links per comment, and (2) the content on these links doesn't contravene ANY of the first four points. Specifically, you may not post URLs to websites that are evangelical in nature. Our links page has an extensive list of such sites for any who are curious about Christian beliefs in the context of Jehovah's Witnesses.

JWSurvey.org thanks all visitors in advance for respectfully observing these guidelines. Any who persistently fail to do so, despite warnings, may find themselves blocked from making further comments at the discretion of the site moderators, whose decision will be final and not open for debate.


%d bloggers like this: