Inducing phobias: How the Watchtower uses irrational fears to solidify membership
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Fear plays a powerful role in cult indoctrination

Fear plays a powerful role in cult indoctrination

If I lay a plank across two overturned buckets, it should be simple to walk across it unharmed. If I take that same plank, however, and suspend it across an extremely deep and narrow chasm the walk across would be an entirely different experience. Even through both walks would be the same physical demonstration, mentally and emotionally they are dramatically different.

This is because of the way fear works in the brain. It has a tendency to overpower our logical faculties and, at times, create the very circumstances we are so fearfully avoiding.

When walking across a bridge over a deep chasm, for example, it’s best to avoid even looking down. Simply looking down could induce paranoia and compromise your ability to balance. Looking straight ahead and focusing on the task at hand is the best way to get safely across.

Jehovah’s Witnesses exist in an environment where fear is a prime motivator. In their world view 1914 marked the year when the earth was invaded by wicked spirit creatures cast down from heaven in huge numbers. They see the entire world population as deceived by those powerful spirit beings and on the path to a painful death that will bring about eternal destruction. Many do not challenge this narrative because doing so would immediately induce a state of fear and mental pain.

They claim that the only means of survival from these superhuman foes is in the protective arms of “God’s organization.” Only by listening to and obeying the information that comes out of “God’s channel” can you defeat the invisible demon hordes that allegedly riddle the planet.

Fear supply and demand

When attempting to market a product it is highly effective to convince customers it will save them from some looming catastrophe. Once you do that it is much easier to get them to make a commitment. Fear sells.

In the May 2015 JW Broadcasting episode hosted by Stephen Lett, a JW man recounted his experience as a child when he encountered one of the Watchtower’s books:

“When I was six years old my aunt, who’d just become a witness, she showed me this book. And there is a picture inside I remember so well: it’s of Armageddon. That scares a little kid, I thought, ‘I don’t want to be there.’ But a few pages later there’s a picture of a paradise. I never forgot it and I wanted to be there someday. So I thought, maybe my aunt has something. What have I got to lose? So I called them and said, ‘send over some witnesses.’”

This man’s experience aptly shows how Jehovah’s Witnesses successfully use fear to market to young and impressionable minds. First, he was subjected to a grizzly image of a child falling to her death. Then, once he is genuinely terrified of a painful divine execution, he’s shown a paradise earth. The fear-based marketing strategy was a total success and resulted in a life-long member.

Details from page 209 of the 1958 book "From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained"

Details from page 209 of the 1958 book “From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained”

 

The May Watchtower “study edition” has a duo of articles that follow the same exact pattern. The first article is all about how Satan and his demons are extremely powerful, cruel and malicious. They have the entire world in their hands and it’s impossible to face them alone. The very next article then quells the fear by asserting that success is possible by following it’s guidance.

The boogeymen

The May Watchtower mentioned above begins with the statement: “At one point in time, he [Satan] enjoyed a fine standing with Jehovah.” The statement alludes to a concept often repeated by Jehovah’s Witnesses on the podium and in their literature. They tell the story of how apostates come to be, and it often begins with someone who was a model religious figure; someone who was well respected.

The next sentence goes on to say that, at some point, Satan began to desire the worship of humans which sent him down the path of evil and enmity with God. It’s common for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accuse ex members who are activists as seeking glory for themselves. The way they describe the personality of apostates is reminiscent of the way they describe God’s greatest foe: Satan the Devil. They are clearly drawing a parallel.

Activists who expose the Watchtower have to deal with a constant stream of slander and disinformation. They are consistently misconstrued as power-hungry maniacs who are seduced by the Devil into campaigning against the faith of “God’s people.” Apostates are the boogeymen and are to be avoided at all costs.

The May article makes sure to tell readers that, without divine help, there is only failure in the fight against the Devil and his minions:

“Never underestimate the power of such wicked angels or that of ‘the ruler of the demons.’ Without help from Jehovah, we could never win our fight against Satan.”

This narrative helps retain membership, because it uses the idea that if you ever leave you’re basically demon fodder. In the world of the Watchtower, if you ever leave your peers will consider you someone who has willingly embarked on a suicide mission.

Phobia Induction

Destructive cults use phobias to control people and create dependency.

It’s similar to the way substance abuse works. Once addicted, a person will not be able to see themselves in a substance-free life. The very prospect is just too terrifying, because they have developed a severe dependency. Similarly, members of cults are guided into believing that without the aid of the cult only failure and misery await. This makes the first steps of leaving extremely difficult, which ensures that many will simply give up and stay.

In the beginning of my awakening, about 6 years ago, I sat down at my computer and used a search engine to research Jehovah’s Witnesses. I remember experiencing intense fear when I read through the results, because many of them were obviously critical of the religion. I distinctly remember my hand trembling as I moved my mouse and clicked on a link.

This is a perfect example of how my past religion induces phobias in its membership. I was extremely afraid of a website written by someone critical of the Watchtower. I had been conditioned to believe that anything critical was written by evil, power-hungry drones of Satan. It was quite some time before I was able to get past that entrenched fear and really start looking into the religion honestly.

Frankly, leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me. It enabled me to start a whole new life unencumbered by past irrational fears. Life is difficult enough without adding on unnecessary anxiety brought on by fears not based in reason or evidence. Looking back, I can safely say that nothing Watchtower predicted took place. It was all just a bunch of fears that were put into me instead of originating within me.

If you or someone you love suffers from irrational fears brought on by cult indoctrination, there are resources available to help. There are also many people out there going through the same experience in various stages. We are not alone and the feelings we experience are a natural occurrence of the undue influence we were subjected to.

Recovering from cult indoctrination is an incremental process and involves a sizable amount of perseverance. Let’s walk across this chasm safely and together. Just try not to look down!

 

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151 Responses to Inducing phobias: How the Watchtower uses irrational fears to solidify membership

  1. Catalina says:

    Robert Perez, I agree with you about my family not doing a good job at using their critical thinking skills. I’m very thankful for JW Survey. You guys are awesome. It’s taking me a long time to get my head unscrambled. Sometimes it’s like I know something without knowing it. I like James Strait article about how they use fear. My brother’s daughter (my niece) confessed to adultery and is now in good standing. My brother compares my niece to King David and Moses. My sister wont associate with her. My brother says anyone who doesn’t want to associate with her would have been swallowed up by the ground during bible times like in Moses day. My brother isn’t speaking to me because I called CPS (children protective services) on my niece for giving her nine month old baby red wine undiluted and beer from a beer bottle every day. We argued about it so I went to two elders for help. The elders told me ultimately it is her responsibility on how she raises her children. I called CPS. I’ve seen her six year old with slurred speach and staggering. My brother and his family aren’t speaking to me. I feel terrible. I have bad dreams. I would have felt worse if I had done nothing. It’s interesting my brother likes to say during bible times the ground would have opened up and swallowed anyone rejecting her.

    • EverydayExplorer says:

      Catalina, for what it’s worth, I’m sure you did the right thing in calling the CPS. (I had to do a similar thing many many years ago, but was fortunate enough to have been able to insist on my identity being withheld.) Sending you my best wishes.

    • Excelsior! says:

      Catalina,

      Madam, you have my sincere sympathy.

      You did the right thing by calling child protection services. That took courage and you should be proud of yourself.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  2. JBob says:

    Great article Mr. Strait. I find it ironic that the Watchtower blames those suffering anxiety and panics and phobias with needing more prayer and spiritual grounding. I recall sitting in a KH after coming to a realization that I was sitting in the middle of a cow pasture being served up as chocolate mousse and having a huge anxiety attack every week when the deceptions started spilling off the platform and the pages of the Watchtower.

    The panic attacks ceased when I left, they returned when “kind” relatives insisted on dragging me to special talks and assemblies for revitalization (years ago). After unlocking the confidence in my ability to critique and reason, those attacks no longer occur if I stumble into a KH or browse the lit–it’s replaced by righteous frustration and anger that is no longer repressed.

    I think at some point, in addition to the failed projections and outrageous statements from the speakers and publications, I realized this “boogeyman” was fake because of the popular practice of writing about something that is evil, yet the Watchtower’s own practices and structure placed it squarely in the same ballgame.

    What this boogeyman phobia can do is generate some truly bizarre conspiracy theories or theories that changes within a denomination are satanic attempts to undermine the “true church” (this was used to “witch hunt” in the 1980’s–blaming the disastrous growth rate after 1975 failure on “the evil slave” among us).

    It gives a canned response for any perplexing issues that take research, investigation and deep-thought solutions. Which leads us to the lazy JW syndrome, that syndrome of being thankful one doesn’t have to dig deep and research for the “facts” of the Bible or what has been hidden by the “corrupt churches”. What I’m finding is that if someone were standard Christian and not really digging in deep to understand faith icons and symbols meant, odds are they are similar as a JW. So, the nuances that we see, they really don’t see or understand. They only know to look at the clock on the wall and see 2:30pm not “how” the clock was made, or interest to take the back cover off the clock. To stretch this analogy further, they’re not bothered to compare their clock to a standard time measurement to determine if its ‘on-time’ or ‘off-time’. Think a sane person would want to know how decisions affecting their life are being reached, backing and reasons.

    • EverydayExplorer says:

      JBob, your thoughtful words will give such encouragement to people reading JWsurvey who may well now be experiencing such disabling panic attacks as they start to acknowledge that inner voice of ‘something really not right’ within the JW faith system.

      I respect your openness and compassion.

  3. ScotWm says:

    While we are on the subject of fears, the Watchtower Governing Body appears to be fearful of losing even more of its remaining membership. JW Broadcasting for September 2015 has a 12 minute introduction which attempts to explain away the many problems associated with the new overlapping generation teaching. This is the generation that Jesus said would not pass away before the great tribulation began.

    With absolutely no scriptural proof, Governing Body member David H. Splane says that 1914 is the year that saw the invisible return of Jesus and that this event could only be seen by Watchtower leaders who were of the anointed class. He then rattles off the names of a number of dead anointed Governing Body members who recognized the 1914 sign. Dead Governing Body members who came after the first group are then are claimed to be contemporaries of generation that recognized the sign. This teaching explains how the generation that saw Christ’s return can still be with us 101 years later and counting.

    To top it all off, 9 minutes into the video, Splane produces a chart which illustrates “This Generation.” This chart explains how current latecomers, such as Splane and his fellow anointed Governing Body members, can claim to be part of the 1914 generation of which Jesus spoke. The only proof that we have that these seven members of the Governing Body are anointed is their word — which lately, doesn’t appear to be worth much.

    From its start, this whole overlapping generation teaching has been a major stumbling block to those who still want to believe that the Watchtower is God’s visible earthly organization. Apparently, the Governing Body feels that having this false doctrine reiterated by an anointed Governing Body member will have a positive effect on those who harbor doubts. It’s obvious that the Governing Body fears many of its cult members are beginning to see through Watchtower lies and dishonesties.

    http://tv.jw.org/#video/VODStudio/pub-jwb_201509_1_VIDEO

  4. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    JWs have made “Crooklyn” from Brooklyn!! See what I can read from their publications:

    *** w97 2/15 p. 3 So Much Suffering ***
    In Rwanda in 1994, the Red Cross reports, “hundreds of thousands of men, women and children had been brutally and systematically slaughtered.”
    We also should not overlook the pain caused by pedophile perverts. Stated one grieving mother, who said her son committed suicide after being abused by a child-care worker: “The man who abused my son . . . destroyed him and a number of other boys in the most systematic, perverted way imaginable.” And what of the nightmare of pain felt by the victims of callous murderers or serial killers, like those caught in Britain who “abducted, raped, tortured and killed with impunity for 25 years”? Throughout history there seems to have been no limit to what men and women have inflicted on one another in the way of pain and suffering.—Ecclesiastes 4:1-3.

  5. Sister drifter UK says:

    Please someone correct me if I have missed the point or misunderstood David Splane in the September broadcast.

    Was he really saying that those anointed before 1992 were of ‘the generation’ and that it’s possible that Jehovah would continue to anoint in future generations and we would read about it in an updated Kingdom Proclaimers book?

    I have always understood that there will be 144000 and when they die out the end will come as they will rule in the heavens over the earth.

    Why would there continue to be an annointing?

    Am I losing my marbles ?
    Is it my age ?
    Have I drifted so far everything is blurred?

    Your comments please.

    • anonymous says:

      Sister Drifter, yes, he said that Jehovah could continue to anoint in future generations. You are not losing your marbles. What I found interesting too is that he was talking about Fred Franz being alive at 1914 (crucial date) and saw the sign (invisible) and those who lived in that generation (contemporaries) (1914) were not going to pass away before the great tribulation. What I don’t get is how can people see something that is invisible????

      His explanation was as clear as mud to me but it has to be like that for the rank and file to buy it. They will just think it’s over their heads and trust that the Governing Body wouldn’t lie to them to string them along.

      • Garrett says:

        Anonymous,
        David Splane had a real task on his hands. Trying to explain the unexplainable and trying to defend the indefensible . It looked like a fire man trying to put out the fire of London with a squirt gun. These guys know they are in serious trouble . I bet they just hope they die soon so they can make a hasty exit and leave someone else with the truck load of manure called “doctrines” for them to sell to the public as gold nuggets .

      • Bret says:

        I have long been asking the same question, “How can anyone see something invisible”?
        I have another question with regards to an invisible presence. What about the two witness rule? Where are the TWO witnesses for this parousia?

    • Robertperez says:

      It’s whatever the flavor of the week is, with loaded language as to confuse the unedumacated masses that fall for this. How hard is it to simply admit “we don’t know, we will wait on God as his son instructed. We will study Gods word together and wait on him to act as long as it takes.” Oh and the child abuse, mental abuse, abuse of power, abuse of Gods word, so on and so forth.

    • ScotWm says:

      RE: “JW Broadcasting for September 2015”, Sister drifter UK says: “Please someone correct me if I have missed the point or misunderstood David Splane in the September broadcast.”

      David Splane is preaching to the choir. His explanation of the ever-expanding generation that would not pass away until the start of the great tribulation was intended to strengthen the faith of current cult members who may be questioning the validity of this core Watchtower teaching. The overlapping generation teaching claims that there are actually two generations; the first generation that recognized the sign of Christ’s presence and the second contemporary generation that overlapped the first generation.

      The Watchtower’s 1914 date is carved in stone and cannot be changed without totally upsetting the entire Watchtower theology. The passage of time has totally invalidated the 1914 doctrine, so the “anointed” members of the Governing Body will need to tell bigger and bigger lies. They must keep trying to convince their followers that they are part of the generation that Jesus said would see all of the signs of his return and not pass away before the great tribulation.

      RE: Sister drifter UK says: “Was he really saying that those anointed before 1992 were of ‘the generation’ and that it’s possible that Jehovah would continue to anoint in future generations and we would read about it in an updated Kingdom Proclaimers book?”

      Fred “Stay Alive ’til ’75” Franz was Splane’s example of an anointed Watchtower leader who recognized the sign of Christ’s presence in 1914, but who’s earthly course ended in 1992. Splane said several times that some of these anointed 1914 observers may have lived beyond 1992. However, Splane also warned that contemporaries of Fred Franz, such as himself and his Governing Body accomplices, are getting up in years, so the great tribulation is close at hand.

      In view of his previous statements on the matter, it is difficult to understand how Splane could envision non-contemporary anointed ones being needed on a paradise Earth after he and his current so-called contemporaries are gone. And of course these anointed ones appointed after the great tribulation would put a strain on the Watchtower’s maximum 144,000 of anointed ones.

  6. James Broughton says:

    Back in 1981 the Watchtower wrote “Persons who make themselves ‘not of our sort’ by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing” (15 Sept). If that is not mind control then I do not know what is.

  7. Ted says:

    So JHVH could keep anointing future generations, Scriptural Proof
    anybody ! Give us a break ! Your just priming your worshiper’s
    for an indefinite protraction of the generation fail. You should have
    called it, not the “Overlapping” but the “Elastic Generation”,
    One huge problem though, the elastic snapped about 50 years ago.

  8. eyes opened says:

    Since we’re talking about overlapping generations, why didn’t the “7” pick Methuselah? He overlapped with Adam and Noah, haha. As far as future anointing… The scriptures indicate that anointing was associated with something visible or audible, I.e. rushing stiff breeze, tongues of fire or speaking in tongues. They did not have to just accept someone’s word. The “gifts” ended when the last apostle died. I suspect anointing for heavenly life ended then as well. It’s a thought.

    Best Regards

    • Robertperez says:

      The miraculous gifts definitely ended with the last of the apostles, only those whom they placed their physical hands on could recieve it. We keep in mind that we are created in God the creatirs image, each and everyone of us. Our brains being our greatest gift from him. This remarkable gift capable of reasoning, logic, love, sence of justice, to scientifically observe and figure out everything around us and improve on it through our own ability to create is obviously part of his plan. Through our own God given gifts we will evolve, not just technologically, but in our principles and as humanity as well. This same gift is the one that screams run the other way when others try to stifle these God given gifts. In the case of the WT it is easy to just study up on lie after lie after ridiculous lie and just smile towards our future under no man, but our creator alone. I think ill visit the planetarium today.

      • OH DAVID SPLANE!! As Matthew was talking about ‘THE GENERATION ‘ . WHY NOT USE A SCRIPTURE FROM The Book of MATTHEW???? SAY MATTHEW Chapter ONE verse 17. Where it says 14 GENERATIONS from ADAM to DAVID! Then 14 GENERATIONS from DAVID to the Deportation to BABYLON! Then 14 GENERATIONS from Deportation to Babylon to CHRIST !!! So Matthew describes a Generation perfectly which is the LIFETIME of a Person of that time period! Which in Jesus time was approximately 37 years from 33 C.E when Jesus uttered these words to 70 C.E. When Jerusalem was destroyed !
        Even today most commentators will say a Generation is approximately 30 to 40 years !!
        IF GENERATIONS OVERLAP then that is TWO GENERATIONS Especially when you are Talking of two 90 Year olds Overlapping like Fred Franz & Brother John Booth who died in 2010!! IT IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS,But the F&D Slave have tied themselves into a Corner because if the System carries on for another 20 years then NEW LIGHT will have to Occur!!

        • OlderandWiser says:

          My study of Jesus’ words indicate as you stated they applied to the generation he was speaking to and the destruction of Jerusalem fulfilled most of his words. It is entirely possible that his return to the earth was entirely separate and would come at a later time not linked to earthly Jerusalem…wouldn’t it seem logical that Jesus began reigning as King as soon as he was resurrected and has been “present” since then – NOT since 1914. If anyone knows world history all the things Jesus foretold have been going on for the past 2000 years and haven’t gotten worse just since 1914 in fact, overall historians say people are better off now than ever before. There are many statistics to back this up.

          • eyes opened says:

            Hi Older and Wiser,

            I’m on the same wavelength as you. There is scriptural evidence that Jesus prophecies in Matthew 24 were fulfilled in the first century generation. And if you look up the word “this” in the dictionary it becomes very clear that he was talking about his disciples generation. There’s no need to try to figure it out as Bro. Splane suggests. Also it’s interesting that the term “entire inhabited earth” is a reference to the Roman empire which was vast. Just one example is when the prophet Agabus stated in the book of Acts that a famine was to come upon the entire inhabited earth and was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius around 44 c.e. I also agree with you that Jesus was both king and priest upon his return to heaven. He said in Matthew that all authority had been given him. I actually had one brother suggest that I didn’t understand the word “all”. Sigh! Some other scriptures in Ephesians, Colossians and Peter to name a few, speak of Jesus authority over angels and governments etc. We’ve been conditioned to think specific things in terms of what the new system will be like. I’ve made some personal readjustment about that. I’m not always happy about the conclusions I come to, but I make the adjustment because truth is more important to me than lala land. Learning to research and think for myself has been a joy and a freedom. I was baptized 43 years ago. Even so it is not too late for me to make some changes and keep moving forward. Okay time for me to get off my soap box, haha.

            All the best…

        • anonymous says:

          Pickled, Splane was saying there were other things mentioned in Mathew 24 but he conveniently left out some of the other things mentioned in the context were that going to be false Christs and false prophets and rumors of wars and not to pay any attention to that and also nobody knows the day or hour, not even the son. Those things Splane never mentioned.

          The song at the end about “smiling” is insulting. It’s like as long as you smile at somebody, you have done your good deed for the day. What about actually lifting a finger to help them out instead? No, the smile is supposed to lead to a conversation about the “Organization”.

          I was always told that to give of my time to preach was more important than anything else like charity because it meant that they would get everlasting life which was a far greater gift to give to them. What it was really though, was a way out of helping people out with any kind of real charity or kind deed. That song was insulting to people who need any kind of real help. After all, for a person to “smile” doesn’t take any work and the motive behind the smile was to get a way to start indoctrinating them and make them think they might have a friend in them.

        • Bret says:

          To go along with that Job 42:16 says Job lived another 140 years and saw four generations of children and grand children. 140 divided by 40 = 35 yrs each generation. The Watchtower used Joseph and his brothers as an example of an overlapping generation but Joseph and all his brothers were born in Paddan-aram over a period of less than 14 years apart minus length of pregnancy and there is a difference at most of 13 years from Ruben (Oldest) to Benjamin (Youngest). That’s typical of any big family and is much different that Franz to Barr gap in age…

          • Robertperez says:

            Watchtower Publication, after nothing happened in 1914- The Time is at Hand; 1915 pg 235
            “As in the type that date three and a half years after the death of Christ marked the end of all special favor to the Jew and the beginning of favor to the Gentiles, so we recognize A.D 1881 as marking the close of the ‘High Calling’, or invitation to the blessing peculiar to this age to become joint heirs with Christ and partakers of the divine nature.” I doubt anyone calling themselves annointed today were around for that 1881 cut off.

  9. Searcher says:

    It’s not surprising to me that James pointed out fear and phobia are side-effects of the WTS indoctrination. This is classic of a destructive, mind-control cult. Have you ever noticed that the WT study articles always have a carrot and stick theme to them? The carrot is obviously the paradise earth reward, although not directly mentioned in every article. The stick is always the threat of annihilation or disfellowship, although not directly mentioned in every article. Fear has always been a great motivator and control tool for manipulative leaders (AND CAPTORS).

    The GB and WT leadership know this VERY well and employ it at almost every Watchtower study article I have every had the “privilege” to read. The articles are always themed as “wait on the Jehovah”, “Do more more more”, “Do this or that and you’ll be destroyed or df’d”, “The world is attacking us”, “demons await your fall”, “You will never measure up to OUR status”, the list goes on and on.

    If you have this fear or phobia, obviously you are a thinking human. That’s OK. It took me a good 2 years to get over the indoctrination, and I didn’t even get to the point of baptism. That’s how good (if you could call it ‘good’) their indoctrination is. I got over the fear by reading this blog, reading books, researching the internet. I could then finally conclude that the elders, WTS leaders, GB, and past leaders are all FULL OF S**T and the WTS is by NO MEANS “The Truth”.

  10. A Patient Man says:

    Hello, I am a first time contributor! I work hard at being a patient person, I think I inherited this quality from my father, a quiet man but very strict. Like many of you I was raised as a witness, there was not much praise at all from my parents for a job well done, but there was plenty of discipline either with the hand or a belt, and also plenty of restrictions from doing stuff that kids like to do. Thus begins the cycle of fear. And then comes the intimidation and guilt. These three things, fear, intimidation, and guilt were used quite skillfully by my parents and others in my life that had more responsibility or power over me, and quite honestly I had very little power and responsibility. I am using my patience to slowly remove myself from this element of fear within this organization. I still have some elderly members of my family that I am caring for and that includes taking them to assembly days and other meetings. This brings me to a story which will illustrate how fear is used by many. At an assembly day I was quietly sitting during a break and close by a father was disciplining an eight or nine year old boy. This is what this father said to this youngster and I will never forget it, “Jehovah is not very happy with you today”. It is tough enough to be a kid today and now you have the greatest personage in the universe mad at you! So the cycle of fear begins for this young man, if it hadn’t already. How many hundreds of thousands of people can repeat this story from their youth including myself? It is for this reason and a hundred other very good reasons that I will eventually be completely gone from this madness, a quiet patient man.

    • Garrett says:

      To patient man,

      RUUUUNN!!!!

      Personally I’d leave like the house is on fire but that is me.
      Congratulations on your first post and welcome from all of us.
      Best wishes
      Garrett

    • Catalina says:

      Welcome Patient Man, From what I read from your post I believe you have a lot of love in your heart. That’s why In the long run I think you’ll have peace after your loved ones are gone. I also think you sound unselfish and intelligent. I’m learning my family is mindless. I don’t want to lose my sister so I keep her happy. I attend meetings so I wont be shunned. She shunned me for 21 years until I returned to meetings. I want to have family.

    • John freeman says:

      I am fading but still take wife to meetings also most of my family are in. So at present i feel i need to move slowly . However i have told my wife of my feelings that i no longer trust the G B . She also feels somthing is wrong . It is hard for us with lots of family in i would like to leave . Have been in since 60s have been aware something wrong for years. But am now fully awake . I find it difficult noe to put up with sitting thru meetings

      • Tara says:

        My daughter was recently reinstated. I began to fade when she was df’d. I asked her why she wanted to go back and she said she missed her friends ( the dissident ones who visited her whilst she was df’d). I get that. When I look around me I have no friends other than JW’s. I have a df’d son and a reinstated daughter. My family live thousands of miles away in a different country. Apart from my kids I am alone. The husband – non witness is now the ex. I have been told I cannot marry outside the truth but there are no brothers in the truth… not that I want one anyway. So I am alone, as I said. Being on this site and JWStruggle has made me realise that I have at least others ‘around me’ that are in the same boat. The written support here is wonderful and for people like me it is needed. Thank you everyone.

  11. Jake says:

    Boy is Splain creepy or what. Glad I didn’t have him as a babysitter!

  12. Catalina says:

    If brother Splane was really an anointed one of God he wouldn’t have said at the beginning of the September video a baby wouldn’t be considered apart of a generation if it only lived for ten minutes after birth. That was stupid reasoning.

  13. Catalina says:

    At the beginning of the September video brother Splane said a baby who lives for ten minutes after birth isn’t apart of a generation. If brother Splane was really an anointed one by God he wouldn’t say that. His reasoning isn’t right. The GB make up these things as they go along.

    • anonymous says:

      Something else that was so insulting about that talk is that every single one of those “faithful” anointed were all men. Not one single anointed female????

      • @Anonymous. YOU ARE SO RIGHT ! Where is their a mention of FEMALE ANOINTED JOINT HEIRS with Christ? The GB Are 7 MALE SEXIST Organisation keeping poor women in subjugation just used for pioneering to increase Baptised ones who can DONATE MORE for Their LUXURIOUS PROPERTY & PUBLISHING EMPIRE!

      • ScotWm says:

        RE: “Something else that was so insulting about that talk is that every single one of those “faithful” anointed were all men. Not one single anointed female????”

        The Watchtower’s Silver Sword bible says in Judges chapter 4, verse 4:

        “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.”

        If a woman could be a prophetess AND a judge of Israel, it is obvious that the Watchtower has not shown women proper respect.

  14. Ted says:

    People generally adopt the beliefs of the community they live
    In. Ghana for instance is steeped in spiritism, people born
    disabled are thought to be sent by bad spirits and there’s
    money to be made by the usual frauds claiming the power
    to cure these poor unfortunates.

    Again with the usual predictable failure. In the end the sick
    children are “sent back to the spirits” which involves ritual
    killing, which also costs money.

    A far cry from the JW community you may say, well not all
    that far. A woman in our cong, territory contacted in the door
    work who suffered from schizophrenia was told her illness
    was caused by the demons, She was so distressed she sent
    for the police, and the circuit o, had to be called to try and
    soothe the situation. And that wasn’t an isolated incident.

    True it was the fault of individual brothers, but we know the
    grip that demonology has on the JW worship’ers , how it
    controls their mind, and holds them in fear.

  15. Wip it says:

    We now have efpos machines (terminals) at the assembly hall, once back at the KH a brother was joking and asking when are we going to get them, i laughed & said how close are we to passing the plate?

  16. Wip it says:

    I started having real doubts when the new teaching of the generation came in, as i was one of those who had hoped for the end since 1975, & we all used to try to calculate the length of the generation, then a good friend said had i ever studied 607, outside the org, when i did this through books not the internet then i was really starting to smell a rat, i then read the book, crisis of C, more eye opening, but alas the fear is still their & i have a family & friends who are all in & i don’t want to loose my family/friends, so i have become a fader, this site is great as i can talk & listen to like minded ones, i have seen my Parents die, & WATCH OTHER OLDER ONES DROP OF, at funerals you hear a common comment, are well they didnt get to see the end but they are their now, its up to us to get their too, well i am in my 50’s & guess what the next 20 are going to come & go fast. thats if we don’t get sick, the elders here are all older men, no new blood is aloud into this club, so they need to change if they want this to continue.all i know is this, Jesus was not talking in riddles, he said generation not plural, & God is not cruel, my mother died a cruel death with cancer & even begging god to help her die.

  17. anonymous says:

    @Wip it, I remember counting down the months until 1975 and I was so scared but the reason I was looking forward to it is because my JW husband was a wife beater and I was sure Jehovah was going to kill him at Armageddon and then all those people at the Kingdom Hall would know what I was going through at home.

    I remember at the time there were so many people flocking into the Organization and the thought went through my mind, why would God kill everyone on earth that wasn’t a JW when if He left it go longer, the whole world would be converted? I made a comment like that and I was shot down like I had committed the unforgivable sin since it was a “Fact” that the big A was coming in 1975. I remember you couldn’t even suggest that it wasn’t coming in 1975 or you’d be shot down. I remember it like yesterday. Then it didn’t come in 1975 and I thought “just like in the days of Noah, any time when you least expect it” and that went on all these years. My husband stopped beating on me, but he’s still not a person I would have chosen, had I known what he was really like “before” I married him.

    I also remember in those days that nobody was even allowed to go to vocational school or else you were considered materialistic. If you wanted an office job, people had to take classes through the mail “on the sneak”. My husband tells me that it’s not true and that the Society never said you couldn’t go to vocational school or college and I agreed. Yes, the Society never said you couldn’t go to college or you can’t vote or you can’t celebrate your birthday or salute the flag, but it’s always been in the publications that if you did, you were materialistic or not neutral and so most people went along because it was an “unwritten” rule, just like women not wearing slacks or men wearing beards and shunning and not taking your brother to court.

    The Society also discouraged having kids and when we had kids, a lot of people looked down on us but a lot of them followed along with the not having kids and pioneered and they are now old without any family. I feel sorry for them.

    When these older people die, they have the slogan “they took the underground route”. The Society has an answer for everything.

    It’s been 100 years since Jesus began ruling “invisibly” in heaven and Satan was thrust down to the earth. My question is: If Jesus is ruling in heaven, then why is he allowing Satan to rule the earth????? Is it because Jehovah is patient because he doesn’t want anybody to die? Anybody can take the Bible and use it to spread their religion. Any scripture they want is in there and it’s all fear. That is what kept us in there and it works.

    It took me several months of learning about all the lies from the Society to lose that fear. Preaching the Bible might seem like it’s what distinguishes the “truth” from other religions, but the message can’t be lies. If it’s lies, then it’s not the “truth”. So, then what good is it to preach, if it’s not the truth????

    • Robertperez says:

      “- Preaching the Bible might seem like it’s what distinguishes the “truth” from other religions, but the message can’t be lies. If it’s lies, then it’s not the “truth”. So, then what good is it to preach, if it’s not the truth? –”
      I’m keeping that one, and for the record I will not stop my preaching I will just concentrate on using the bible exclusively without the agenda thumping books or tracts.

      • eyes opened says:

        Hi Robertperez,

        My husband and I do informal witnessing, Bible only. For obvious reasons it could be a bad idea to go with a group. We too have issues with the literature. If I can’t explain something “spiritual” with the scriptures I’m not going to teach it.
        It’s nice to know there are a lot of us in the same boat.

        Best Regards

    • Wild Olive says:

      @anonymous, I feel the same about preaching, why cart something to others doors if it isn’t genuinely true ?
      As for 1914,I realise now it’s a red herring, Jesus presence is yet future, the kingdom didn’t begin ruling in 1914, it is still to happen because nothing in Jesus words in Mathew 24 have been fulfilled in our time,and the generation he spoke about was at the most 40 yrs old, no more.
      But if the esteemed ones in Brooklyn ever said 1914 is a mistake, nearly every JW doctrine is collapsed, so they won’t be taking that road in the near future,as you said it’s not truth,it’s an idea that props up an organization.

  18. rob says:

    Control by using fear
    Control by using man made rules
    Control by using individuals as watchdogs
    Control by using shunning

    Witness religion has it all worked out.

  19. Ted says:

    I watched a you tube video, “Family Night at Bethel, with joe and
    Barb Anderson.” It featured an interview with Barb’s family and
    it was very absorbing. It wasn’t about demonism but there were
    a couple of references to it, and from the audiences responses
    it was plain the Bethel family believe such invisible malevolent
    creatures are working their mischief down here.

    There was also an experience involving a “worldly” man who had
    given a couple of brothers a hard time but came to regret it as he
    began to have many problems in his life thereafter. The inference
    was, that this time it was JHVH who was handing out payback.
    The audience seemed delighted at that thought.

    Here again we see the black and white cult mentality, good= JHVH,
    bad= Satan and the demons, if only life was that simple to figure.

    My permanent bad lungs tell me I’ve more to fear from invisible
    bacteria than obscure and imagined entities.

    As many are aware Barb Anderson left the org, that she had given
    a great deal of her life to, one of the main reasons being , the
    callous mishandling ( My words) of child abuse. She now actively
    campaigns on behalf of children. Like many others who have left,
    the org, the unjust and cruel sanction of family shunning has been
    imposed on her.

    Again it’s apparent that “Righteous” men inflict more misery on
    people than any invisible demons.

    • Robertperez says:

      They went from the well intentioned Russlelites, clueless Rutherford followers to just outright sinister persecutors of those who dare to stand for the truth found in Gods word. I can just imagine these elders faces when they tell Christ, ” we were just following the manual”, and he responds, “which one?” I lay the bulk of the child abuse problem on the elders, who put aside Gods word, his very specific instructions in order to worship at the altar of organizational theocracy. Even in the weekly bible reading of two to three chapters where your supposed to comment on what you found helpful or inspiring it is forbidden and enforced by the elders to use your own words. You are supposed to research an old WT publication and quote what IT says about those chapters. Absolute ursurpers. The programming is intended to dissuade the masses from reading Gods word and resort straight to the WT agendad publications. After decades I am absolutely convinced that the friends are the least knowledgable in Gods word, it has been nothing but a stumbling stone for them when forced to see it through WT goggles.

      • Garrett says:

        Robert. I couldn’t agree more.
        If God exists , then the Governing Body are as dead as door nails. They can wash their hands till the skin peels off but the blood guilt and responsibility for all they have done will not come off.

        As for the elders, what excuse can they give? Like the Nurenburg trials, as you put it, what defense can they make?
        ” I was only following orders” didn’t wash with that trial…. And I don’t think it would wash with an intelligent loving creator either. Perhaps they will have a cyanid tablet ready like Goering before the celestial hangman gets him.

        • Excelsior! says:

          Why is it always religious people who revel in violence and revenge?

          I thought that your God forgave sins? Surely the governing body could repent and have their sins forgiven, or is the Sacrifice of Jesus and His Forgiveness of sins denied them?

          Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  20. Mc fan says:

    Why am I blocked?

  21. Tara says:

    Forgive me father for I have sinned…. oh wait wrong religion. … BUT I did something very naughty today. I put some money in a tin for a worldly cause. Oh how rebellious I felt. But seriously, I suddenly looked around me to see if ‘anyone’ had seen me and for an instant I felt worried. Then I thought ‘meh, who gives’. I guess we are so programmed that it will take a while to desensitize from the Borg.

  22. boonfoxx says:

    Very well written. Fear is the first and largest obstacle to reason.

    What helped me make my first step in over-coming my fears actually involved reasoning with a concept within the doctrine. If Jehovah is a god of love and justice… I should be able to walk away freely without consequence. Ofcourse, this is direct contradiction of JW doctrine. Yet it is the concept of God. So I took the first step.

    Now that I’ve crossed the chasm, the the hologram shut off and I now see I really was just walking on buckets the whole time.

  23. This narrative helps retain membership, because it uses the idea that if you ever leave you’re basically demon fodder. In the world of the Watchtower, if you ever leave your peers will consider you someone who has willingly embarked on a suicide mission.

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